Insider's guide to outdoor clubs

by Amanda Zhou and Kristine Ahn | 8/14/17 12:40pm

woodsmens_weekend_posted_april_2015_on_flickr_w4

The Dartmouth Woodsmen's Team practices events such as axe throwing and wood splitting.

Source: Courtesy of Rauner Library

This article was featured in the 2017 Freshman Issue.

Dartmouth is known for having a high number of options for outdoor activities — one of the benefits of living in rural New Hampshire. The Mirror explores the various sub-clubs of the largest collegiate outdoor club in the country, the Dartmouth Outing Club, as well as some of the other options for outdoor fun that students have access to.

Cabin and Trail: Cabin and Trail, or “CnT,” organizes all trips related to hiking, trail work and cabin camping. From easy sunset hikes up Cardigan mountain to the 23-mile Presidential traverse across the White Mountains, CnT welcomes hikers of all levels. However, it’s not all about fitness, as members are known to love trying various diners around the Upper Valley. A sophomore summer tradition includes “Portage,” a day in which students take turns carrying a canoe up Mount Washington to paddle in the tiny Lake of the Clouds. CnT also operates the Woodsmen’s Team, which competes against other colleges in lumberjack skills such as splitting wood and axe throwing.

Ledyard Canoe Club: Located by the Connecticut River, the Ledyard clubhouse contains dozens of canoes, paddleboards and both flatwater and whitewater kayaks. Members hold rolling sessions in the river and at the pool, where students learn how to turn over in a capsized kayak during whitewater kayaking. Trips that take place over school breaks include kayaking in Asheville, North Carolina and flatwater kayaking in the Everglades. When the river isn’t at a hypothermic temperature, the clubhouse is open to the public for sunbathing and renting kayaks, canoes and paddleboards.

Dartmouth Mountaineering Club: The Dartmouth Mountaineering Club, or “DMC,” runs regular weekend climbing trips to locations in New Hampshire, such as the crags in the town of Rumney. DMC members also operate the Daniels Climbing Gym in the basement of Maxwell Hall of the River cluster dorms, where students can learn how to boulder or climb without a harness at a safe height. An interim break trip travels to Red Rock Canyon in Nevada, where students can advance their skills to sport and lead climbing. A sub-group of the DMC includes the climbing team, which competes in the “USA Climbing: Collegiate Climbing” series.

Farm Club: Operated through the Office of Sustainability, Farm Club works to maintain the Dartmouth Organic Farm, as well as its social and education activities. The club holds regular work sessions during the growing season, including soil preparation, seeding and transplanting and harvesting. Out-of-season activities include land-based workshops and festivals and an annual visit to the Winter Conference held by the Northeast Organic Farming Association in Vermont.

Alpine Ski Racing Club: The club is open to skiers of all abilities. Members practice at the Dartmouth Ski Way and compete in the USCSA Thompson division races against DIII varsity teams and other club programs.

Bait and Bullet: Founded in 1921 for the purpose of fishing and hunting in areas close to Hanover. Bait and Bullet organizes workshops close to campus and hunter safety courses every fall.

Women in the Wilderness: Founded in 1992, Women in the Wilderness runs trips and seminars to provide women with the opportunity to develop outdoor skills, confidence and leadership in an all-female environment.

The Fifty: The “Fifty” is not a club, but a DOC event that occurs every fall and summer. If snow melt conditions permit, the event operates during the spring term as well. Teams of four students attempt to hike the 53.4 miles between Hanover and Moosilauke mountain in one trip. Those who do not wish to hike the full distance but who still want to be involved can support the various stations along the way at which hikers can refill their water, get a snack or change their clothing.