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The Cold Can Be Cool, Too
The Cold Can Be Cool, Too

How campuses play in the wind and snow

By Elisa Wiseman

Jeff Woodward/Dartmouth College

There's nothing like the beauty of the first snowfall—until you have to trudge through several feet of the stuff in subzero temperatures. Thankfully, some institutions in cold climates have found ways to make winter fun: 

Take the Plunge: Dartmouth College

Despite an average annual snowfall of 60 inches in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth students have enjoyed a Winter Carnival for more than 100 years. A student began the tradition in 1911 to "reawaken the Dartmouth community amidst winter's short days and low temperatures." The weekend-long event features human dogsled racing and ice sculpture contests. The highlight is the Polar Bear Swim, for which students jump into a small pool carved out of the frozen-over Occom Pond.

Give Yourself a Brrreak: Concordia University

Even in the middle of February in icy Wisconsin, Concordia students can enjoy walks to class in shorts and flip-flops. With a nearly four-mile underground tunnel system, the institution offers the best of both worlds: enough snow outside for awesome sledding and a sheltered way to avoid the harsh winter elements while crossing campus. The tunnel system's aboveground hallways offer scenic views, too: Many have windows facing Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee skyline.

Practice Your Triple Lutz: McGill University

Students at the Canadian institution are accustomed to bundling up for class. Now they can lace up between classes at the university's new outdoor ice rink, located on the lower campus in downtown Montreal. The Iron Rink is free to the public and available for McGill group bookings. As a home for budding organized ice hockey more than 130 years ago, McGill naturally reserves time for recreational games. 

About the Author Elisa Wiseman

Elisa Wiseman was a summer 2016 editorial intern for Currents.




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