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Thursday, Apr 18, 2024

Class of 2022.5 Ski-Down moved to Middlebury Chapel hill due to extreme cold

Febs in the class of 2022.5 participated in a modified version of the “Ski-Down” — a traditional event in Middlebury’s Feb Celebration for 30 years in which graduates ski, sled or walk down the Middlebury College Snow Bowl in their caps and gowns. Due to Feb. 4 weather forecasts showing windchill temperatures of -22 degrees Fahrenheit at the Snow Bowl, the college decided to move the Ski-Down to the Middlebury Chapel hill on campus. 

The Feb Celebration website explained the change.

“The hill has hosted many Middlebury skiers, sledders, hikers, and snowshoers in the past, and we are delighted that we can take up that tradition again in new ways. It will be a shorter, safer run, and convenient to warm locations and the luncheon afterward,” the site reads.

The college provided shuttles for families to get from the graduation ceremony in Virtue Field House to McCullough Student Center, where there were warm drinks available as the graduating class prepared to ski down the hill. Staff from the Snow Bowl helped to prepare the hill for skiing and sledding and provided equipment for graduates to use. 

“Even if the weather wasn’t such a huge issue, I think that it was more accessible and inclusive not just to our families and friends watching, but also to those of us who don’t ski. The Chapel hill is a lot more approachable than Lang or Voter at the Snow Bowl. And it was nice to get inside Proctor for a warm meal so soon after taking photos with the iconic Chapel spire in the background,” Sophie Eisenberg ’22.5 said. 

Families and friends of the graduates lined up on the Chapel hill to celebrate the graduates as they made their way down. 

“I really appreciated how much effort that went into making the logistics possible, like grooming the hill, directing people around, having hot cocoa etc.,” Pelham Hardie’22.5 said. “One aspect I loved was that there were people lining up the whole hill on the sidewalk or just in the snow, which isn’t possible at the Snow Bowl.” 

“I don’t know what the school plans to do for coming celebrations, but the cool thing about breaking tradition is that a new tradition begins,” Eisenberg said. 

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Lily Jones

Lily Jones ’23 is an online editor and senior writer.

She previously served as a Senior News Writer and SGA Correspondent.

Jones is double majoring in Philosophy and Political Science. She  also is an intern for the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs and on the  ultimate frisbee team.