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The Dartmouth
April 18, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Campus sees return of winter activities, changes to ski and skate rental options

Students participated in the annual snowball fight, the ice skating rink returned to the Green and the DOC House discontinued cross country ski rentals.


Low temperatures and snowy conditions have brought outdoor winter activities back to campus with a few adjustments this year. While the Dartmouth Outing Club and Outdoor Programs Office have adjusted their cross country ski and skate rental options, the ice skating rink has returned to the Green after a two-year absence and the annual snowball fight took place on Jan. 8. 

According to an email statement from Outdoor Programs director Katie Colleran, the DOC House is no longer offering cross country ski rentals due to changes in management. However, Colleran wrote that students can rent cross country skis for free with a valid student ID at the Oak Hill Outdoor Center, and skiing on the trails also remains free. The Oak Hill Outdoor Center is located at Storrs Pond, which is a seven minute drive from campus, according to Google Maps. 

Dara Casey ’25 said that the DOC House ending cross country ski rentals is “unfortunate” because the rentals made cross country skiing more accessible for students new to the sport.

“I think it’s really a shame that they’re shutting [cross country ski] rentals down at the club house,” Casey said.  

While the DOC House has discontinued cross country ski rentals, it will continue to offer ice skate rentals, Colleran wrote. 

At the rink on the Green, ice skates will not be available for rental, according to Colleran, though some skates are available for rent in the Dartmouth Outdoor Rental space in Robinson Hall, along with other winter gear.

Meanwhile, other winter activities are taking place on campus. 

Each winter term — after the first major snowfall of the term — an email is sent to all undergraduates addressed to “Robert Frost” from “Dr. Suess” inviting campus to participate in a snowball fight at midnight on the Green. This year, the email was sent on Jan. 8 at 11 p.m. — more than five hours later than last year’s email was sent around 4 p.m. 

“[The email] read how I would think Dr. Seuss [would sound],” Alejandro Menendez ’27 said. “I liked the play on words in the email.” 

A second email from Dartmouth Student Government was sent after to confirm the snowball fight, including another invitation from “Dr. Seuss” that explained that the email was delayed because he was “traveling.”

“I think somebody definitely forgot to send out the email,” Casey said. “Usually it comes out earlier. Some people definitely missed the snowball fight because the email went out so late.”

Menendez added that he heard a “rumor” from friends that a student was planning on sending a “fake” email pretending to be “Dr. Seuss” in order to ensure that the snowball fight still happened. 

Coming from Puerto Rico, where snow is uncommon, Menendez said he had a lot of “anticipation” about the snowball fight, although he said he wished he wore more layers this time and plans to do so next year.

“Getting snow underneath your jacket is not fun,” Menendez said.

Colleran also wrote that  the DOC House is hosting Winter Fun Days this term on Jan. 13, Feb. 11 and Mar. 3 with “fun winter activities,” including ice skating on Occom Pond, on the condition it freezes over.

Students generally expressed excitement about getting outside this winter and appreciation for winter activities the College offers. 

“I just hope the snow lasts as long as possible,” Menendez said. “I’m super happy.”