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Tuesday, Dec 5, 2023

Snow Bowl looks towards the upcoming ski season by hosting open house, Gobble Hobble fun-run

Before too much snow covers the ground, participants in the Gobble Hobble had the chance to run up and down Worth Mountain.
Before too much snow covers the ground, participants in the Gobble Hobble had the chance to run up and down Worth Mountain.

The Snow Bowl slopes have not opened for the winter season yet, but that has not stopped the college’s ski mountain from welcoming students and community members to its grounds. On Saturday, Nov. 11, the Snow Bowl hosted an open house and artisan market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with food, games, vendors, door prizes, live music and a turkey trot dubbed the “Gobble Hobble.”

“This is the second time we have had an open house, however, it is the first time we have ever built the event to this size and scope,” wrote Derrick Cram, ski shop manager at the Snow Bowl, in an email to The Campus. “The artisan market, turkey trot, food trucks, and more have been added to really make this an event that has something for everyone.”

The main event was the Gobble Hobble, a turkey trot-inspired fun run in which participants followed a route all the way up and down Worth Mountain from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Organizers implemented a rolling start in which runners could choose to start any time within one of the four hour-long time slots, which enabled participants of all speeds to run the race.

There were prizes for the fastest, median and slowest times of the Gobble Hobble, so everyone, regardless of pace or experience level, had a chance to win a prize. In addition to their prizes, the winners’ names were added to the Gobble Hobble plaque, a marker mounted on the Worth Mountain outhouse on top of the Worth Mountain Cliffs. For spectators who did not participate in the Gobble Hobble, there were chances to win other prizes just for being in attendance. 

“The Gobble Hobble is a really fun community event. The Bowl is no joke. It packs a punch! Overall, a great day,” wrote Annie Leithead ’23.5, one of the racers who participated in the Gobble Hobble in an email to The Campus. 

Emily Jones ’23.5 also participated in the Gobble Hobble and agreed that it was a fun, yet surprising experience. 

“Running the Gobble Hobble provided a new perspective on a familiar playground. Having skied and run these trails many times, I thought I knew what to expect, but the snowy shoulder season conditions are always full of surprises,” Jones wrote in an email to The Campus. 

She also reflected on the value the Snow Bowl adds to the college experience at Middlebury. 

“We’re all incredibly lucky to spend four years (or more) in a place with such incredible trail access and stewards of local land, and the Snow Bowl is no exception,” Jones wrote. She expressed her gratitude to all the people who made this year’s event possible.

Jones expressed her gratitude to the volunteers and organizers that made this year’s event possible. “ Their dedication ensures that the Snow Bowl remains a hub of community life for many seasons to come,” Jones wrote.

During the open house, there was live music playing from local bands Hancock Daze and First Chair, giving participants the chance to dance while enjoying the wide variety of food and treats. 

Skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts had the chance to register for snow sports programs for all skill levels. There was also a ski shop sale with a variety of gear, clothing and other essentials for skiing and snowboarding for sale.

Student attendees came not only from the class of 2027, who are eligible for free season passes to the Snow Bowl this season, but students from a range of class years dropped by the event for a chance to connect with fellow winter sports enthusiasts, explore the mountain and participate in the variety of programming.  

In order to ensure students can easily visit the Snow Bowl throughout the ski season, a bus will run to the Snow Bowl directly from campus. “The [bus] schedule is currently being finalized but will be a much more comprehensive schedule. With trying to help student workers get to the mountain earlier and help cater to anyone joining us for night skiing, we have really tried to make some logical adjustments,” Cram wrote. 

Community members who missed the open house can still take full advantage of the Snow Bowl this season. When the mountain opens, the Snow Bowl will again be offering lessons and equipment rental and services. 

One avid skier, Ben Conway ’26, expressed his enthusiasm about skiing at the Snow Bowl this winter and working as a ski instructor over J-Term. “I’m very excited for the upcoming Snow Bowl season. The skiing and atmosphere at the Snow Bowl [is] one of my favorite parts of Middlebury,” Conway wrote in an email to The Campus. “My plan is to visit the Snow Bowl after Thanksgiving break when there is hopefully snow on the ground. Fingers crossed!”

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