February 17, 2023 | NEWS | By Michael Braithwaite, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Colorado College students awoke Wednesday morning to a familiar yet exciting sight. Just the previous morning, 50-degree temperatures had given campus a warm, springlike feeling. Hammocks and Slacklines were strung up on Tava Quad, and congregations of students holding Spikeball nets and frisbees populated campus. One could even spot the occasional February T-shirt wearer (such as myself), but on such a sunny spring-like day, even that normally atrocious behavior was acceptable.

However, on Wednesday, an entirely different sight greeted CC students as they pulled themselves off their dorm mattresses and made their way to class in the classic middle of the Third Week slog. Gone was the sun and the grass, and in their places stood a winter wonderland.

It was a snow day.

While many CC students were not able to experience the same closed-school euphoria that a 10-year-old may feel when their beckoning for a day off actually becomes reality, some still took advantage of the winter weather. A little after noon mountain time, right after classes finished for the day, it seemed as if many students had the same idea in mind, and soon enough the hill behind The Preserve was the place to be.

Many students chose to forgo the traditional sleds and skis (though those certainly did make appearances at the hill throughout the afternoon) and instead go for a more modern means of transportation. Snowskates – skateboards without wheels that are modified for slicker weather – were the ride of choice for numerous students.

“I don’t really know any of these people,” said Jason Smith ‘25, who was one of the first students to arrive for the afternoon. “But my friends and I were talking about coming out this afternoon.”

The scene had all the makings of a classic teenage coming-of-age movie. A speaker blasted songs from The Cure and Billy Joel (among others), while students did their best to stay on their snowskates all the way down the hill to the Stewart Field turf – a particularly tricky task given the multiple drop-offs carved into the bottom of the hill. A few more highly skilled snowskaters added freestyle tricks to their rides down, including kick-flips, ollie’s and manuals.

“Just making it down without falling off, that was pretty sick for me,” said Smith.

After about 45 minutes of snowskating down the hill, work began on a jump right above the first drop-off, a seemingly regular tradition for those involved in its construction.

“The other day when it snowed just a little bit we had like five or six guys out here building the jump at like midnight,” said Pete Eisenheim ‘26. “You gotta get it in while you can.”

Eisenheim’s experience building these jumps showed. Each part of the jump, from the curve to the sides to the anticipated landing spot, was carefully thought out and involved a significant amount of shaping, compacting, and adding snow. Upon completion, the snowskaters, sledders, and skiers alike were able to use the jump for all their freestyle desires, doing so late into the afternoon.

“Every time it snows I come here, it’s great,” said Eisenheim. “Everyone sleds, some people snowskate. It’s a good time.”

Despite the general population erring toward younger students, snow days on The Preserve’s hill have been a CC staple for years. As recently as 2018, the Freerider’s Union of Colorado College sponsored an annual Rail Jam contest on the hill for CC’s skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, and even in the contest’s absence the hill remains a destination for those looking to have fun in the snow.

“The snow always draws a pretty good crowd to the Preserve Hill,” said Smith.

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