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Snow cool :0

As a through and through California girl, Hanover winters are a new experience. When I stepped off the coach at the beginning of January, I was super nervous about what winter would bring. The most wintery coat I owned was a Uniqlo puffer, let alone snow boots. Now, as a Hanover winter veteran (ok, maybe just three weeks), I can say that Hanover winters, even with their -20 degree nights, are not unbearable. On the contrary, they're pretty fun, thanks in part to the plethora of outdoor winter activities available to students through the college. 

Over the last few weekends, I've tried my hand in what feels like nearly every winter sport. Last Saturday, we took advantage of a beautiful Sunday day and went cross country skiing on College grounds, just past the medical center. Dartmouth owns and operates a cross country ski center for the entire Upper Valley community, but Dartmouth students can rent traditional cross country and skate skis for free. As cross country can sometimes be a cost-prohibitive sport, it's truly an amazing opportunity to get to try for free. Trust me, I still totally sucked at it, but the learning curve was enjoyable. For the first 15 minutes, I fell nearly constantly, but once we had completed a lap around the course, I was able to stay on my feet. It was a great workout and our bellies hurt from the laughter of repeatedly watching our friends face-plant into the snow. 


Occum Pond, right in the center of campus, also freezes entirely during the winter. The Ski center also rents out ice skates to skate on the pond, and I've paid witness to some gnarly ice intramural ice hockey games. For students new to skating, you can bring a trash can out on the ice with you to help you keep your balance. 

For people with absolutely zero athletic ability, such as myself, I'd recommend sledding down Pine Park hill. There are sleds available for rent, and you're guaranteed to get a face full of snow. We went on a day where we had just gotten 12 inches of fresh powder. It felt like a scene from a postcard: snow falling, people laughing, sleds careening down the hill. 

With so much to do, it's clear why people are willing to brave cold temperatures. There's plenty of fun to be had, just remember — there's no bad weather, only bad gear. 

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