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Kick in the Bucket: High Valley Activities to Cross Your List Before the Snow Melts

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Dartmouth students discuss their 22W bucket lists and winter term philosophies.

by Meghan Powers | 1/12/22 2:05 am

A student takes a break from studying and sledges on the golf course.

After six winter weeks, the holiday season is over and Dartmouth students find themselves at the start of a new year and a new term. Summer has its sun, autumn has its foliage and the infamous Hanover winter has its Seasonal affective disorder.

In order to beat the cold, Dartmouth students often plan ahead to make the most of the winter term. Madeleine Grussing ’23, for example, has compiled a hell of a to-do list.

“Oddly enough, it’s not actually called the ‘Winter Term Bucket List’,” she said. “It’s actually called ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder Alleviation.”

This winter, Grussing plans to tackle a plethora of activities, both indoor and outdoor. Seasonal Affective Disorder Mitigation includes, but is not limited to: ice skating on Lake Morey in Vermont, hosting an evening of hot chocolate and board games, and watching the sun rise from the top of Leverone Field House, probably near the end of a Lou sleepless night challenge.

As a junior, Grussing was able to develop his 22W strategy with the help of past winters, but the freshmen are determined to enjoy their freshman year on campus as well. Especially for the subclasses there is a lot of pressure to have fun, find your place and survive the days when the forecast drops to single digits. Selen Kazmirci ’25 received advice from older students to manage her first winter in Hanover: “Spend as little time as possible outdoors. “

This strategy has its appeal, but Kazmirci is also eager to enjoy some of the quintessential outdoor activities that Dartmouth has to offer.

“I have heard people sledding with Foco trays, but they don’t have any at the moment [due to COVID restrictions], Kazmirci said. “In Turkey we were sledding with plastic bags, but I haven’t been in years. “

Kazmirci is also looking forward to visiting the Dartmouth ski slope and learning to ice skate, but his winter term to-do list needs to meet his course load, which includes CHEM 5 this term.

“It’s hard to find the time [for winter activities], but I’m convinced that if I really want to do something, I’m going to plan it, ”she said.

Nik Morgan ’23 also has big plans for this winter. Morgan, who is a risk manager for the Dartmouth Outing Club and plans to become a mountaineer professional in the near future, highly recommends winter hiking.

“I really like to hike in the winter because there is a lot of cool weather,” Morgan said. “You also have a lot of dangerous ones, and you get views that you wouldn’t normally get. The snow is really cool to be around.

For Morgan, one of the lesser-known benefits of winter hikes is the opportunity they provide for an activity she calls “butt slipping”.

“Towards the end of the winter session you can slide down the trails,” she said. “Frank Ridge, for example, is very steep in one area and you can slide about 150 feet. Just get on your butt and sled off the trail.

Morgan noted that Frank Ridge is a fairly advanced trail, but beginners don’t have to worry about it. There is a lot of sliding potential wherever snow meets a slope.

“It’s pretty much the best mode of transportation,” Morgan said.

Grussing has a similar element in her “mitigation” plan, although she viewed it as a “winter slide,” for which she spotted Mount Cardigan as a possible location.

“I don’t have any equipment,” Grussing said. “I know I can rent it through DOC, but realistically, I’m going to go to Nike Air Force Ones and see how it goes.”

Another item on Grussing’s to-do list is the annual Winter Carnival Ice Carving Competition.

“I’m entering the ice sculpture competition for the winter carnival because I would love to lose it,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if your sculpture is good or bad, they have to present it. And people will have to go through it every day. I have no history, I have not done any design work, I am not an art student, but I think I will take a creative approach.

What the sculpture will be remains a mystery, although Grussing says she is open to suggestions.

“Maybe I’ll just rack my brains, then I’ll be on the green,” she said.

Kazmirci’s Winter Quarter philosophy doesn’t involve ice sculpting, but as a ’25 she realizes the need to be more intentional about her free time during her second term at Dartmouth.

“In the last trimester, I felt like I wasn’t actively doing anything for fun,” Kazmirci said. “I was doing classes, then I would talk to people when I saw them and had a passively fun time. This term I’m trying to plan things more as I started to feel like I’m going into the same cycle.

An indoor activity on Kazmirci’s to-do list is an offer no one can turn down.

“I would love to do more movie nights in the common room with my friends,” she said. “I’ve never watched all of the Godfathers – they look like winter movies.”

As seasoned veterans of the Dartmouth winters, Grussing and Morgan have plenty of other items they hope to check off this quarter: penguin gliding on Occom, taking a daytime nap in the tower room, skiing from bottom and buy a Whaleback evening ski pass are all on the table.

Grussing thought about creating custom t-shirts with his face on it to celebrate the completion of his bucket list, but at the end of the day, the list is just a means to an end.

“Every quarter, some of your best memories come from things you plan well in advance and are passionate about, but the funniest things come from things you didn’t plan,” she said. . “What is the fourth day of the winter term?” So who knows what’s in it? If I do all of these things planned, my theory is that they will turn into other things.

For Morgan, too, the hype and dread inspired by the colder days in Dartmouth obscures the fact that there is a very simple philosophy at the heart of a successful winter term.

“I think the most important thing in winter is to have a good group of friends who are willing to do crazy things with you,” she said. “People who say, ‘I’d love to roll in the snow for an hour. “