Snow is soon to come
Every year, about this time, students at Bowdoin begin to get excited. There is a buzz around campus that has nothing to do with the gallons of coffee drunk to fuel all-nighters. You can hear it in the Union, in the dorms, in the hallways of the academic buildings. And whether you love it or hate it, everyone is anticipating snow. That's right, snow.
Despite all the rain of the past week, we all know that snow is on the way. For the first-years who have never experienced a Maine winter, get ready. There are some bad things about it: the frigid cold that renders your fingers unusable, the wind-tunnel outside the Tower that steals your breath away, or the fact that the whole campus, not just the Quad, is turned into an ice rink.
Besides these, though, winter is great. Some of my favorite things about winter at Bowdoin is the way the sun glints of the snow so brightly that you are blinded walking to class, the way that someone returning from a great day of skiing sports the inevitable raccoon tan from their goggles, or how you begin to recognize your friends across the Quad simply by their hat and scarf. Not to mention the skiing.
As this season of all seasons approaches, I thought I would take my allotted word count to tell you all about the great opportunities that the BOC offers during the winter months.
Snowshoeing. Remember how the snow sometimes crusts so hard that you can walk over the top without breaking through? Remember how exhilarating that was as a kid? That is what snowshoeing is like all the time. Strap these crazy contraptions on your feet, grab some poles (if you want), and go anywhere. Snowshoeing is a great way to explore the woods during the winter. We offer many day and overnight trips, but you can also borrow a pair from the equipment room and take off to the Pines, the Commons, Bradbury Mountain, etc. Bring a friend, bring some water, and go crazy!
Skiing, of all types. Cross-country skiing, the most hardcore, is a sport that is easy to do, hard to do well, but lots of fun either way. For those of you who don't know how, but are dying to learn, the BOC offers lessons two days a week (taught by yours truly) at local skiing hot spots.
If you already know how, but would still like to join us for an afternoon, come along and free ski on your own. Gear is available through the equipment room. Telemark, the craziest (led by the crazy Matt O'Donnell, the crazier Callie Gates and the craziest Jeremy Katzen), has taken Bowdon by storm and continues to grow in popularity by the minute. The BOC offers a telemark class with limited space that preludes a spring-break backcountry skiing trip.
An informational meeting about this class will be held next Monday, November 18, at 7:00 p.m. in the OLC. There is some downhill skiing around these parts as well, but the free heel is the way to go.
Winter camping and mountaineering. Who said butter was bad for you? This year, as always, the BOC will send out numerous winter camping trips that teach you how to survive in the woods in the winter, as well as how to have fun doing it.
The great thing about these trips, besides the amazing beauty of the Maine woods in the winter, is that they are the ultimate BOC eating experience. You need a lot of calories to stay warm, which means lots of chocolate. Mmmmm!
The BOC plans to send out a winter leaders seminar, which will teach current leaders the skills of winter camping if they need a refresher. Also, the BOC will offer a winter mountaineering class, over three weekends, led by the infamous Bill Yeo, a mountaineer who has traveled around the globe in search of the most amazing adventures. More information about this class will be available soon.
And, for those of you who think the indoors is a better place to be when the temperature drops below zero, consider a trip to the BOC Cabin for some hot chocolate and super sledding.
Keep your ears and eyes open for more details about all the upcoming classes and events for the winter season, and remember that you can't hide from the cold, no matter what you do--so you might as well embrace it and head outdoors on a trip this winter.