By Riley Meese

Controlled chaos. This is the best way to describe what happens when 90 Colorado College students storm a local ski resort. Welcome to Snow Day.

On March 1st, Colorado College’s Outdoor Education department held Snow Day, an opportunity for students who are new to winter sports to spend a day learning to ski/snowboard. Pictured: Marco Tapia ’22, Gali Hoffman ’23, Gabriela Morales ’23, Rachel Abler, Unkown, and Khongorzul Batbayar ’23. Photo by Chidera Ikpeamarom ’22

This past Sunday, two buses and a van filled with 15 leaders and 75 participants left CC at 6:30 a.m. for Monarch Mountain, a small local ski resort in Salida, Colo. Snow Day was planned and sponsored by Outdoor Education and the ski and snowboard club at CC — the Freeriders Union of Colorado College (FUCC). Snow Day was Sofia Infante’s ’21 project as a sustainability intern. She was excited to have a ski day due to her involvement with snow sports. Not only was this a massive accomplishment in terms of the large scale of the event, but each participant got to go free (a $15 deposit was paid by participants but refunded if they attended). As usual with OE trips, leaders also went at no cost. 

Typical OE Resort Trips are centered around teaching skiing and snowboarding. However, Snow Day included snow tubing, snowshoeing, and good old-fashioned grilling in the parking lot for lunch. Amy Raymond ’21, President of the FUCC club, said “FUCC was super stoked to be involved with this because [it is] really aiming to increase inclusion and diversity within the club and snow sports community on campus.” Snow Day was able to involve a wider variety of students who have more diverse interests by including snowshoeing and tubing.

Photo Courtesy of CC Outdoor Education

All of the leaders and I were excited to get to know the participants, as well as introduce our new friends to snow sports. Raymond “got to ski with one of [her] best friends who said before that she hates snow and would never try skiing — but [they] ended up having a really fun day together!” This participant even came up to me at one point and said, “Riley, we have a problem. I’m actually having a lot of fun!” It was a special thing to see how individual’s perspectives change when they are introduced to the sport in an inclusive and laid-back setting.

Personally, I got to lead a female group of participants, which has never happened before. Naturally, I was excited and I was thinking, “yes, female power!” Five of these participants were snowboarders, my mode of transport on the mountain. While some of the women picked it up faster than others, everyone had such a positive attitude throughout the constant falls. Even when I was not on the mountain, I was having a blast.

For lunch the other leaders and I, along with Rachael Abler, the Assistant Director of Outdoor Education, grilled out in the parking lot. Another leader, Jon Kaufmann ’21, said “one of [his] favorite parts was grilling at lunch.” After we were done serving all of the participants, two of the leaders were seeing how many times they could flip burgers while successfully catching them with the spatulas. We were all laughing so hard!

As with any new trip, there will be hiccups here and there; however, it was a successful and fun day overall! As Kaufmann said, “as leaders, we are stoked to facilitate an opportunity for somebody to try the sport(s) [we] love!” I hope this will become an annual trip to Monarch! 

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