The illustrious CO Kid in question. Illustration by Kate Saylor.

Shocker: CO Boy Can’t Stop Talking about CO

The Backdoor is a work of fiction and humor.

STEVE “THE SnowPacker” Wilson is an icon for any aspiring College Outdoors (CO) kid. He wears Crocs, yellow but with blue straps from his friend’s Crocs, and a rain jacket with “LEWIS & CLARK COLLEGE OUTDOORS” handwritten on the back in white puffy paint. You’ve seen the likes of him around, but the OG CO boi is elusive.

Wilson always has a “Steve Stove,” a wilderness appliance he made himself solely out of recycled Kombucha bottles and a single sock. It makes coffee, oatmeal or hot water with a touch of “trail spice,” also known as dirt. The Steve Stove’s main claim to fame is an exquisitely fried wild cricket, which is the most eco-friendly source of protein according to the master himself.

The epitome of wilderness fashion, Wilson is typically seen sporting a minimum of three Patagonia items, plus a pair of climbing shoes hanging off his school bag on a carabiner. You never know when you’ll need to scale a wall. What if the stairs are blocked, and you have to climb up the outside of Howard in order to reach the second floor for your environmental sociology class? This style is, above all, functional.

Wilson recently added  septum hoop to his collection of body alterations. Starting conversations about piercings is one of his main techniques for identifying potential new friends.

“Does anyone know how to keep the boogers outta these things?” Wilson queries to the Lewis & Clark community at large, loudly, on the Pio.

Oh, and he’s a big time skier. Shreds the gnar on the reg. His Instagram feed consists solely of ski videos, and he probably has the weather on Mount Hood transmitted directly into his brain at this point. How any signal gets through the thick dreadlocks, we aren’t sure yet.

Wilson knows everything about being outside, and being around him is like a constant live stream of his thoughts on the matter. So even though he brings some pretty big news to the table, he then repeats it around eight times an hour. But it’s cool, since he’s always surrounded by a group of people in puffy vests who like to raise a good fist bump even if it’s to old news.

“The snow pack is insane, dude,” Wilson said. “Me and my buddies are gonna get sendy on Momma Hood this weekend.”

“I think there are four words Steve couldn’t speak without: ‘send,’ ‘Hood,’ ‘pow,’ and ‘sick,’” Garrett McConnell, professor of environmental philosophy said.

“Sometimes I just wanna hit him in the face to see what he’ll do,” an anonymous student who was seated next to Wilson in class this semester said. “If I got him right in the piercing I could do some serious damage to that ego.”

Anna Baker ’20, campus connoisseur of Carhartt pants, is a good friend of Wilson’s. She recalled a scary experience from freshman year when the SnowPacker didn’t get his weekly shred in.

“One weekend he couldn’t get up to Hood because his car was in the shop,” Baker said. “Without regular exposure to snow, Steve’s skin will just start to peel off and he experiences extreme anxiety akin to a bad drug trip. I had to go up to the mountain and get some snow to get him back on his feet.”

Wilson has carefully planned his schedule in order to have no obligations on Fridays, so he can go up to Hood in his overwhelmingly bumper-stickered Subaru Outback. The vehicle is fully outfitted with gear in case of emergency.  

“One time she ran outta gas just a few miles from the Hood,” Steve said. “So I had to spend the night huddled up in a Walmart parking lot. Luckily I had a tent, a camp stove and some freeze dried meals on hand. Once I salvaged some rainwater, I was pretty comfy.”

Wilson said he was fine until a Walmart employee knocked on his window at 5 a.m. to let him know that this was not actually a campground. Now, he keeps a liter of gasoline in his car at all times for safety purposes. Only one or two of his friends have attempted to fill their Nalgenes with its contents so far, so you could say it’s going well.

Since he is an unemployed ski bum who spends all his parents’ savings on buying Clif bars in bulk and lift tickets, Wilson has to make sure he makes it to the Bon for dinner.

“I love just staying in my gear, or at least my snow pants, whenever I go to the Bon,” he said. “It makes me feel like I’m still on the mountain. Plus, it lets people know that I’m into that ‘shred or be shredded’ type of lifestyle.”  

So if you need advice on outdoor fashion, or a plug for piercing shop recommendations, you can probably find Wilson hammocking near the ravine or working in the gear warehouse at Sequoia. He’s pretty friendly, as long as you’re his type, so make sure to reference the new movie “Free Solo” or throw the phrase “pow days” into conversation to catch his attention.

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