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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Polar bear swim canceled due to weather concerns

Weekend temperatures are expected to exceed 40°F.

In a campus-wide email on Feb. 6, the Winter Carnival Council announced that the polar bear swim will be canceled for the 2024 Winter Carnival weekend. According to the email, the cancellation comes as a result of unsafe ice conditions, as the weather has been too warm for Occom Pond to properly freeze over.

According to WMUR, the weather this week has followed a “warming trend,” with highs expected to exceed 40°F into the weekend.

Winter Carnival council chair Sophia Abati ’27 previously shared concern that the council would have to cancel the polar bear swim as a result of the higher temperatures.

The cancellation of the Polar Bear Swim is the third cancellation of the event in the past five years. According to past reporting, the 2020 swim was canceled due to extreme rain and snow conditions the night before, which created unsafe conditions for swimmers. In 2021, Winter Carnival was moved into a 16-day hybrid format due to COVID-19 concerns, and the event was canceled because the logistics of the swim made social distancing and masking impossible.