Sunset Snowshoeing
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After a spectacular (and sweaty) week in the woods, I finally stepped off of the bus and back onto Robo Lawn. Trips were actually over. I had been having the time of my life but it went by so fast, and I already knew that it'd be an experience I'd never forget. A225 Hike and Climb. That was the first time that I'd ever been rock climbing and I already loved it, and surprisingly, it wasn't even my first choice trip. It was then that I decided, in that disheveled state on Robo Lawn, that trips wouldn't be the last time I scaled rock faces, tied knots, and squeezed my feet into tight shoes. I wouldn't let my climbing adventure stop there.

Duncan climbing sideways
Duncan climbing sideways
As a section A trippee, I got to return home for a week before coming back to campus for orientation, and I spent most of that week at REI and EMS searching for climbing gear; the thought of slipping my sweaty foot into rental shoes didn't seem very appealing (even though Dartmouth's climbing gym does provide them for free). Once I arrived on campus, I took every opportunity to weasel my way into the gym, attending every DMC event and all of the Climbing Team practices, taking every tip and trick that anybody could offer to help me get ahead. Now, it's hard to believe that only 4-5 weeks in I'm doing some of the crazy ascents that I've been able to accomplish. I feel like there's no possible way my first attempt was only a few weeks ago.
Climbing buddies defying gravity
Climbing buddies defying gravity
The craziest part about this all is it I never even saw any of this coming; I got assigned to climbing by complete luck and coincidentally ended up in the dorm right across from the climbing gym. I think that's one of the great things about Dartmouth; you'll find new things that you'll end up loving that you don't even look for, and it's so easy to try new activities. And the people! Just through climbing alone, I've met so many friends, and I'm still making new ones. All of this was completely effortless, which was a huge gift for somebody with no roommate like myself; it gave me a place to go out and meet people and bond over something that was brand new for all of us. Yet at the same time, we were learning next to nationally-ranked climbers, and though that might sound intimidating, it's actually the chillest environment in the world.
Duncan upside-down
Duncan upside-down
I think that's just the general vibe about Dartmouth, and truly it's one of the reasons why I love it here. There's no reason to ever be afraid to try new activities and it has opened my world to so many new things. Climbing is the perfect example, and a perfect place to start off your Dartmouth adventure for any incoming student. Hopefully I'll see you in the gym next fall!
Taking a casual fall...
Taking a casual fall...