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sydney wuu skiing 2

Did you know that Dartmouth is one of the only two colleges in the United States to own their own ski mountain? And here's the best part: you don't have to be an expert skier to have fun on the slopes. As someone who hadn't skied in over 12 years, I had a great time reuniting with the sport last weekend for a three-hour excursion at the Dartmouth Skiway. Spending Valentine's Day taking a ski lesson with my friends was an awesome experience, even though we were all complete beginners! 

I met my friends Lauren and Marco at noon in front of Baker-Berry Library to board the Dartmouth Campus Shuttle bound for the Dartmouth Skiway. The shuttle conveniently offers free rides at the top of the hour for all undergraduates throughout the day on Friday, Saturday and Sundays during the ski season. The Dartmouth Skiway is only around a 20-minute car or bus ride from the center of campus, so we arrived at the grounds with plenty of time to spare before our 1 p.m. lesson. Upon our arrival, Marco and Lauren headed to the rental station to pick up their gear: helmet, goggles, poles, boots, and of course, skis! I tagged along because I had brought my own equipment with me. Everything looked so different as we snapped on our snug ski goggles and stepped outside the lodge. The UV-protected lenses added a new filter to our vision, shielding us from the blanket of glaring white snow.

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sydney wuu skiing
Lauren and I snapped this photo together after our first successful run of the bunny hill!

We met our instructor and introduced ourselves at the base of the bunny hill. All three of us may have stepped onto the skiway as complete beginners, but by the end of our first lesson, we had learned how to stop, change directions, incorporate our poles, and stand up sideways to recover from a fall. We also became much more confident at zigzagging the bunny hill — all in the span of 90 minutes! 

Regardless of your experience, there are a variety of steepness levels for skiers to enjoy after mastering the bunny hill: green (novice), blue (intermediate), black diamond (advanced). After a quick water break back at the lodge, we headed up the magic carpet (a conveyor belt type lift that takes you up the slope while standing) to conquer the bunny hill a couple more times before trying one of the easier main green slopes. It was so much fun taking a ski lift for the very first time; the views were incredible! We still need some additional practice, but I'm so glad to have had this chance to re-engage with skiing while at Dartmouth, with many more trips to come. I plan on hitting the slopes again next weekend, and would love to make skiing part of my weekly winter routine. 

In the future, who knows? I may even try snowboarding.

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sydney wuu skiing 3
Fun fact: Dartmouth Skiway hosted the NCAA Skiing Championships in 1958 and 2003. It also plans to host the championships again in 2025!

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