When people think about what there is to look forward to during winter term, the list usually begins and ends with Winter Carnival. As it so happens, Dartmouth offers a lot of winter specific activities that any zealous student can, and should, take advantage of. Continue reading
The Sochi Olympics have created quite a stir, from the unfinished city infrastructure and hotel accommodations to reports of the government-sanctioned extermination of stray dogs to public scrutiny of Russia’s extreme hostility toward the LGBTQ community (GQ magazine recently published English professor Jeff Sharlet’s excellent coverage of the issue. Not to mention that Sochi is the warmest city to ever hold the Winter Games; the highs this week are in the 50s, making it difficult to maintain passable course conditions for some events.
While these issues do merit some attention, controversy seems to have detracted from what remains at the heart of the Olympics: competition and athletes. So let’s talk about some U.S. team members and throw in some of their favorite music. (Don’t worry, I screened it—you’d be surprised how many times “Imagine Dragons” appeared). Consider this my disclaimer: I’m talking more about the Olympics and less about music this week. Hopefully after this you’ll actually know a bit of what’s going on, since it’s unlikely that you’re following Sochi as closely as Vancouver.
Kaitlyn Farrington, snowboarding: In the 24-year-old’s first Olympic Games, Farrington outscored silver medalist Torah Bright by just a quarter point in her last two runs of the halfpipe event, earning her first gold.
“Psychic City (Radio Edit)” – YACHT
J.R. Celski, speed skating: Earlier this week, the short track speed skater finished fourth in the 1500 meter race, the event he took bronze in during the Vancouver Games. Yesterday he began competition for the 1000 meter race. In 2012, Celski set the world record for the 500 meter.
“Didn’t Cha Know” – Erykah Badu
“So Far To Go” – J Dilla
“No Alibi” – The Roots
Hilary Knight, hockey: The Hanover native and U.S. women’s team forward is competing in her second Olympics. The hockey team showed their strength in a 9-0 victory over Switzerland and is one win away from the gold medal game, despite a 2-3 loss to Canada.
“Turn on the Lights” – Future
Arielle Gold, snowboarding: The 17 year old became the second youngest winner of a FIS World Snowboarding Championship last year, and was considered a medal contender for Sochi. Unfortunately, after a crash and resulting shoulder injury on Wednesday, she had to drop out of competition.
“Soundtrack 2 My Life” – Kid Cudi
Shaun White, snowboarding: Recently, White has been sporting a new look and a new attitude (maybe?). Love him or hate him, he raised the profile of the sport of snowboarding, and for years his face has decorated the bedroom walls of teenage extreme-sport hopefuls. Unfortunately, the halfpipe favorite finished fourth this week.
“My 1st Song” – Jay-Z
“Bad Kids” – Black Lips
Heather McPhie, skiing: The seasoned moguls skier made it to the finals last week, but didn’t advance after her first run. However, teammate Hannah Kearney ’15 scored a bronze in the same event.
“The Fear” – Ben Howard
“Don’t Move” – Phantogram
“Ghostwriter” – RJD2
“Down on Life” – Elliphant
Peter Frenette, skiing: Though Frenette wasn’t able to advance to the finals in the normal hill ski jumping event, his road isn’t over yet. The individual large hill and team large hill events are today and Monday, respectively.
“Money Trees” – Kendrick Lamar
Elana Meyers, bobsled: Meyers won a bronze in the two-woman event at Vancouver and will be the driver in next week’s competition. Most importantly, like yours truly, her birthday is October 10th and she’s from Atlanta (more power to her for being a bobsledder from Georgia).
“Two Words” – Kanye West
Once upon a time in ancient Greece, citizens competed in running, boxing and javelin-throwing events to demonstrate their devotion to Zeus. Some would say that we’ve come a long way since then, with our electronic stopwatches and 24/7 television coverage of the Olympic Games. I would argue, however, that the biggest win in the evolution of the Olympics is that we’ve come up with a completely better version of them — the Winter Olympics.
Every four years we are blessed with the chance to watch the seemingly fearless athletes of the world fly through the air strapped to a piece of wood or shoot down an icy slide at terrifying speeds.
Notwithstanding the fact that Sochi seems to be piping polluted water through their faucets (among a slew of other issues), the Winter Olympics is a badass combination of guts, glory and snow.
- Freestyle skiing
The fact that this is even an event is unreal. I’d like to see any summer athlete speed through moguls only to pull an aerial trick and then continue banging through more moguls. Check it out.
Which brings me to…
- The U.S. ski team
Not only are they incredibly talented, they are pretty easy on the eyes. No seriously, look at them.
- And on a similar note, our snowboarders are looking pretty sweet.
There’s even a Buzzfeed post called “23 Reasons Why Greg Bretz Should Be Your Valentine This Year.” Good luck ladies.
Need I remind you of the speech from “Miracle” (2004)? Seriously people – “Great moments are born from great opportunity.”
- Sochi puns
Curling and Russian history jokes are running rampant on Twitter, with snippets like, “What I learned from the Olympics: In sports, you get out what you Putin,” or, “With the Olympics going on I’m making a concerted effort to make as many country related puns as possible. I should start a Czech list.”
— Darius J. Nolan (@da_nolan) February 11, 2014
- The U.S. team sweaters
I’m not sure if this was an intentional joke or not, but these uniforms are hilariously amazing. You can’t deny that this would be the ultimate flair for tacky sweater tails.
- Sochi’s Olympic program also won with the Russian Police Choir performing Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” at the Opening Ceremony:
Even if you can’t get behind this rendition, you have to at least give them an A for effort (and for their outfits).
While some people write off Winter Carnival as the grimmest big weekend of the year, the weekend is the perfect time to let off some steam from midterms, enjoy the snowy weather and cross a few items off your Dartmouth bucket list. Be sure to keep these important dos and don’ts in mind as you enjoy the (freezing cold) revelry.
DO: Go to some of the scheduled daytime activities! Even if jumping into a freezing pond at the Polar Bear Swim isn’t your thing, there are lots of official Carnival events throughout the weekend: the Carnival Tea, ice sculpture competition and human dog sled race. You can check out the entire schedule online here.
DON’T: Sleep through everything! The corollary to my previous point. By the time I woke up on Friday of last year’s Carnival, the Polar Bear Swim was long over. Figure out what events you want to go to in advance and set multiple alarms.
DO: Go skiing! This Friday, February 7th is 99 Cent Ski Day at the Skiway. Even if the idea of a black diamond slope makes you cower in fear for your personal safety, there’s no better time to get yourself out there and practice. Take advantage of the snow while it lasts!
DON’T: Forget to grab a Carnival poster and t-shirt from Collis! The Carnival of Thrones theme this year is pretty awesome, so don’t forget to buy something to commemorate your experience. (I doubt the snow sculpture will last as long.)
DO: Stay warm! In the winter, scarves and hot chocolate are the answer to all of life’s problems. When going out at night, bring an extra-warm fracket and do your best to keep track of it. There’s no worse way to end your Carnival weekend than freezing to death.
DON’T: Forget about homework and upcoming midterms! They literally never end, argh.
One of the perks of living in the Middle of Nowhere, N.H., is that we have easy access to a variety of outdoor activities to take advantage of in our downtime. In the winter, many students venture to one place in particular — the Dartmouth Skiway. Located 20 minutes north of campus, the Skiway has four lifts and 31 trails spread out over two mountains.
Every winter, hundreds of students enroll in a variety of snow sports classes at the Skiway through Dartmouth for a fraction of what it would cost in the real world. According to the Registrar’s Office, there are currently 228 students enrolled in classes of all skill levels, including downhill skiing, snowboarding and Telemark skiing.
Natalie Shell ’15 took beginner downhill skiing last year and is now enrolled in intermediate lessons.
“I learned when I was little but had not skied since I was about eight, so there was a good 11 year gap where I forgot everything,” said Shell, who grew up in California.
The lessons gave Shell “a lot of confidence on the slopes, and really taught [her] how to reposition [herself] on the skis.”
Blake Osborn ’15, another warm-weather native who hails from Texas, usually goes “skiing once every couple of years” and wanted to capitalize on the nearby facilities to work on her technique.
“I used to not take the lessons because I could just get down the mountain and apparently my form has been completely wrong,” said Osborn, who said she feels that she has “already gotten better at turning” in her two intermediate lessons so far this season.
So who teaches these lessons? Dartmouth students themselves! Joshua Wang ’15, a snowboard instructor since last winter, was certified at the end of last season on Mount Snow, about two hours south of Hanover.
Wang went the extra mile, as “most instructors at the Skiway aren’t certified.”
Not to fret, as all hired instructors go through “a few clinics at the beginning of the term, so [they] know what to teach and feel more comfortable,” Wang explained.
Wang also mentioned that being an instructor “makes [him] more motivated to go to the Skiway.”
Osborn agrees, saying that she “really wanted to go to the Skiway and knew the only way [she would] get out there was through a class.”
Aside from actually learning how to ski, getting to know other Dartmouth students was another advantage of taking the lessons. Shell said she forged a special bond with her instructor, mentioning that there was “a lot of time on the ski lift between runs [when] she would give me her perspective on Dartmouth as a senior when I was a freshman.”
Osborn said she enjoys getting to know students from different classes at Dartmouth.
“It’s actually really cool because [my instructors] are ‘16s so you get to know underclassmen too,” she said.
Once you get over the initial fear of heading out on to the slopes, there’s no turning back.
Shell said she looks forward to continuing her foray into skiing, and hopes to “take intermediate or advanced [lessons] senior winter, or just ski on my own.”
So the next time you have a few hours to kill on a Tuesday after your 10A, maybe head up to the Skiway to see what you have been missing out on.
Snow in October?!? There are a lot of reasons to be distressed about this mid-fall snow shower, but I can’t help but get excited for ski season after seeing some real snow on the ground. Ski season doesn’t begin until the end of December (earlier if you’re hardcore and are willing to scrape down lightly powdered back-country trails), but now is the time to purchase season passes. Though the winters in Hanover can be brutal, being here puts you in a prime location to access amazing skiing. Here’s a breakdown of the passes for resorts in the area:
- The SOS College Pass gives you access to Mt. Sunapee, Okemo and Stratton. If you purchase it by Dec. 19 it’s $315, and if you’re looking for a variety of slopes with pretty good snow-making equipment this is a solid choice.
- The Triple Major lets you ski Bolton Valley, Jay Peak and Mad River Glen. It’s $299 if you buy it by Nov. 7. Great for skiiers interested in more back-country style slopes, but snowboarders should take note that they won’t be able to ride the trails at Mad River Glen.
- A Stowe season past will cost you $399 if you buy by Oct. 30, so act quick if you’re debating about this one. Stowe’s big and has lots of trails, but unlike the first two options won’t let you switch between mountains depending on your mood.
- Killington is another big mountain with lots of trails, slightly less than Stowe at $329 until Dec. 8.
- The Dartmouth Skiway offers students season passes at $150 for the winter. While more experienced skiiers may get bored with the shorter runs, this could prove to be great for beginners looking for an option close to campus.
These are just a few of the more popular options for Dartmouth students. Also note that you do actually have to be an enrolled student to get in on these deals — most slopes will require proof of enrollment in the form of a letter from the registrar and a peek at your student ID. If you’re trying to figure out where to go this winter, the DOC Winter Sports Club has compiled a Google Doc in which students can list where they have bought a pass. This will help later for carpooling and now when you’re trying to figure out which pass is the best fit for you.
Personally, I’m leaning towards the SOS pass, but I have yet to decide. These mountains are all pretty close, the price is good and they all have solid skiing.
Here’s hoping for an amazing snow-filled season!