To learn more about clubs and groups at CU: http://sofo.colorado.edu/SOFOsdg.php.
It can be intimidating to try a new outdoor sport like climbing or triathlon for the first time. But with a little help from friends, you can get the support -- whether that means borrowed gear or instruction -- to brave it and learn just how awesome it is.
There are quite a few clubs and teams at CU that will make your transition into your sport of a little easier, but here are a few of our favorites:
Boulder Freeride, the Ski & Snowboard Club at CU, is the largest student group on campus with between 4,000 and 5,000 members. The club began sometime in the 1930s, according to Boulder Freeride president Annie Davis. Freeride promotes skiing and snowboarding socially -- no competitions here, that's what the snowboard and ski teams are for, but that doesn't mean you can't race your pals down the hill.
Group organizers are open to teaching newbies how to ski or shred, and they plan various trips throughout the years for cheap, getting sweet deals on resorts and transportation.
This club talks about planes, looks at planes and even flies planes. You can join even if you're not a pilot, and chances are someone else will fly you around during some of the club's "flyouts." If you want to get your pilot's license, the club offers ground school at a discounted rate -- it's the school part of learning to fly.
The hiking club -- which says it is the oldest ongoing club at CU -- organizes trips most weekends during the school year, and offers free gear like snowshoes to members. This club hikes fourteeners, organizes hut trips and even goes for moonlight snowshoeing trips.
If you want to go beyond groomers and ski or ride in the backcountry, check out this club.
Backcountry travel requires different skills than what you need to ski inbounds, or even in sidecountry at a resort, so the club provides members with discounted avalanche education and offers free equipment rentals.
Always check avalanche forecasts before heading out: https://avalanche.state.co.us/index.php. Always.
This Club Sports team has won 14 national titles in triathlon -- a race composed of swimming, cycling and running -- most recently in 2013. The team is open for newcomers to the sport and organizes workouts throughout the year.
Even if you just want to get in shape, the team's mission is to expose more people to the sport. Get out there.
This Club Sports team started in 1986, and competes and trains in various cycling disciplines, from mountain biking, road racing and cyclocross. During the summers, the team hosts Short Track mountain bike race series for the community at Valmont Bike Park.
This club focuses on bringing people together to climb -- sport climbing, bouldering, ice climbing and more. If you're new to climbing, the club can lend you gear like a harness or belay device. This group is a good way to meet climbing partners, and the club tends to take frequent weekend trips to climbing destinations beyond Boulder.
Though telemark, or free-heeled skiing, is about 200 years old, it has seen a resurgence in recent years. This club plans hut trips and telemark outings, as well as offering members some deals on free-heeled gear.
Freestyle Ski Team
If tricks on sticks is more your style, this club offers training in park, pipe and jib ski events, plus big mountain and backcountry. And they're good -- the team won both the men's and women's national titles in 2013.
--Follow Sarah Kuta on Twitter: @SarahKuta.