Snow-capped mountains
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a picture of Kalina's friends, in full skiing gear, at night on the ski way

It was December 31st, and I was preparing my luggage to spend six months in the States. Back in August, when I was preparing a suitcase full of clothes, notebooks, and a sleeping bag, I was thinking mainly about the fall, spring and summer season in the Upper Valley. In December, though, I had to pack everything I needed for the winter term. The list consisted of collapsible ski poles, ski boots, a ski helmet, ski pants, and some everyday clothes, but the bulk of it was mainly the ski boots, stuffed with socks and shampoo bottles. 

For several weeks this term, I was afraid that I might not use my ski equipment at all. There weren't many backcountry skiing trips on Trailhead (check out this blog post to learn about the Dartmouth Outing Club's trips website), and the first two weekends, skiing just got cancelled due to the weather. First, the free bus to the Skiway didn't show up because of the 5 inches of snow on the road, and then the lift wasn't working because of the strong wind! But finally, week 4 rolled around, and the Snow Sports Club started leading backcountry skiing trips, from 7pm to 10pm on evenings after school.

a picture of Kalina's skiing gear drying at her room - ski pants hang from the wall, ski boots dry by the heater
My gear drying in my room

You can surely go skiing during the day. You can go to the Skiway on a weekday or a weekend, and you can rent skis from the Outdoors Programs Center or you can bring your own skis (if you live nearby). The reason I was waiting for a Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) backcountry skiing trip and didn't just go on my own was because I didn't want to pay for a ski pass (besides, the DOC gives you skis for free) and because I don't have that much time to allocate a whole weekend just for skiing (I'll tell you what I'm doing on weekends in a future post). In other words, with the DOC, I went skiing for free. The only thing I had to do was just bring my own ski boots, helmet and poles. They provide you with all the rest. Ain't that amazing?

P.S. I just found a really cool article on backcountry skiing at Dartmouth by The Dartmouth (the college newspaper). You can check it out here :)

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