22W - A chilly, serene winter with incredible trips!
Formatted and edited by Piper Stacey '23, Max Teszler '23, and Gretchen Bauman '25
Throughout the past term, the DOC buzzed with a flurry of winter activities. During the winter, nearly every single sub-club was active. Students hiked up snowy peaks, skied (backcountry, downhill, and nordic!), snowboarded, ice-climbed, hunted, and researched the history of marginalized individuals in the outdoors — just to name a few of the things we got up to.
As an overall club, we threw a contra-dancing semi formal at the DOC house on Occom Pond and held a Microbrews and Macrotrips event, hearing stories of adventure from Chris Bustard '10 as well as Will Hodgson '25 and Carter Ley '25.
We even added a new sub-club to the DOC: Skate Club (focused on skateboarding). We saw an exciting resurgence of activity from clubs like Winter Sports Club and partnerships between POCO (People of Color Outdoors) and a host of other subclubs. Looking to this current spring break, over 100 students will go out on break trips, from climbing in Red River gorge to backpacking in Canyonlands National Park. We can’t wait for you to read more.
A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT…
Hi DOC Alumni,
As snow melts on campus and my time as DOC president ends, I want to reflect on what this organization means to me. Hanover winters are special, but they are not easy. With limited daylight and cold temperatures, I find myself feeling easily stressed and cooped up. Connections fostered outdoors grow as important as ever. It was joyous to watch club activities this winter. From ice climbing to backcountry skiing to winter hiking, our sub clubs embraced all that winter in New Hampshire has to offer. The return of indoor feeds enabled connections over shared interests. I also want to acknowledge this term’s directorate. The care and thought these individuals gave to guiding the DOC is impressive, and I am immensely grateful to have worked with them.
Winter in the DOC is particularly sentimental to me because winter sports were my initial connection to the club. I first got involved with the DOC through Winter Sports Club (WSC - our backcountry skiing club) and through Ski Patrol. The recent growth of WSC been an honor to watch and take part in. The increase in beginner trip offerings (which I cannot take credit for) is perhaps the most exciting part as it introduces new people to the sport. My fellow WSC leaders have taught me that excitement is contagious, and their passion and dedication has allowed the club to grow. Overall, the highlight of my Dartmouth experience is the people. I love how passionate everyone here is, and that is especially true of DOC folks. Thank you all for making my four winters here magical and full of smiles shared outside.
Emery Rheam ‘22 - Jackson Hole, WY
*YITOOD stands for "yours in the out of doors"
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE ALUMNI WORLD...
Susan Dunklee '08 - Olympian, Biathlete, DOC alumn
Written by Gretchen Bauman '25 - West Lafayette, IN
In addition to being an alum of the DOC, Susan Dunklee ‘08 is America’s most decorated female biathlete in history. While at Dartmouth, she competed on both the nordic skiing as well as the cross country teams, and graduated in 2008 with a degree in Ecology. After leading Dartmouth’s nordic skiing team to a national title in 2008, she was recruited by the U.S. Biathlon National Team, and has been a member of the national team ever since. Most recently, she competed at the 2022 Winter Olympics, placing 7th in the mixed relay and 27th in the sprint biathlon competitions.
What does your training look like for the Olympics?
I am based in Craftsbury, Vermont and train with the Craftsbury Green Racing Project. We have a rollerloop there with a shooting range and in the summer I typically log 20 or more hours per week of physical training (rollerskiing, running, biking, hiking, strength, etc). About once a month I travel for training camps with the National Team. The closest camps happen in Lake Placid, NY, but we also head to Bend, Oregon to get on spring snow and Park City, Utah for altitude. Once November hits we base out of Europe for 4.5 months during the World Cup season.
How did your time as an athlete and a student at Dartmouth prepare you to compete on the world stage?
The talent that surrounded me on the Dartmouth Ski Team was incredible. I became a much faster skier during my years there because of the quality of my teammates and our awesome coach, Cami. I had teammates who represented the US on the world stage and that inspired me. I also learned a lot about time management and how to balance and prioritize the different challenges that college threw at me. That gave me confidence to take on big challenges later.
What’s your favorite memory with the DOC while you were at Dartmouth, and what sub-clubs of the DOC were you involved in?
I worked at Moosilauke a couple times and those are my favorite DOC memories. I loved the variety of the work and being forced to learn new skills. Waking up and seeing the mountain first thing each morning was exhilarating and I became familiar with every side of it during training runs.
I was a leader in Cabin and Trail, a Rockstar resident (16 Sargent St!), and I occasionally jumped into some Woodsmen's Competitions. As an alum I've helped out with some of the Moosilauke bunkhouse timber frame projects.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in biathlon?
Biathlon is hard, fun, satisfying, but also frequently humiliating. Even after decades of training the top athletes can have days where they miss more targets than they hit. Occasionally it seems inexplicably easy to hit targets and you feel on top of the world, but that is usually fleeting. Expect an emotional rollercoaster. Be the sort of person who takes pride in your resilience.
FUTURE PLANS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE OUTDOORS...
Looking toward a better future: DIJE Conference
*DIJE stands for Diversity, Inclusion, Justice, and Equity
Written by Abigail Johnson ‘23 - Andover, MA; Kate Wasacz ‘25 - Madison, WI; Jess Chiriboga ‘24 - Glendora, CA
Abigail, Kate, and Jess are the DIJE conference chairs. Abigail is also the Vice President of the DOC.
The DOC is planning a conference on inclusivity and equity in the outdoors for April 15-17, 2022. With the Diversity, Inclusion, Justice, and Equity division (DIJE) of the DOC in its second year and with DOC members working in different ways to create a more inclusive culture in our club, we saw a need to create an event that dives more deeply into what it means to have an inclusive club and equitable access to the outdoors. We want to devote a whole weekend to these topics so we can dive more deeply into specific issues and create space to invite all DOC members and members of the Dartmouth community to participate. Visitors to campus will include hiker and chef Kena Peay, Rich Holschuh of the Atowi Project, Syren Nagakyrie of Disabled Hikers, and Jeff Alexander of Vermont Adaptive. We also expect this list to grow!
For those who consider themselves part of the DOC, we hope this conference will illustrate that equity in the outdoors is a pressing issue for the club and the wider community and give them the motivation and skills to begin addressing it in their communities. For students who do not currently see the DOC and/or the outdoors as a place for them, this conference is one step towards making these spaces more inclusive. Look out for more information about the conference and which events will be live-streamed on the DOC’s social media accounts!
TRIP REPORT: WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE DOC?
POCO Winter Activities
Written by Josh Ocampo '22 - Las Vegas, NV
Josh is one of the POCO chairs this term
People of Color Outdoors (POCO) has always aimed to provide a space for members of communities underrepresented in outdoor activities to find representation and comfort in the camaraderie of people who share and support those identities should they seek it. POCO is one of the newest sub-clubs within the DOC, and we have made incredible strides towards building a leader body and running hiking trips consistently, but winter exposes one of our main barriers—we don’t have many, if any, members who are proficient skiers or snowboarders.
Our first event was POCO Ski Day, which used to be taught by former chair Jae Hong ’20. With the help of members of club alpine ski, we were able to bring it back, taking many of our members on their first runs at the Skiway. Our next event was a collaboration with Club Snowboard and Killington Ski Resort, where members would take lessons for two consecutive days and were given their own new Burton snowboards and bindings afterward. The event attracted 24 new snowboarders, with the program subsidized with financial aid.
Club Snowboard then continued offering beginner-focused practices for the rest of the term with their coaches. For every one of our events, we have had more demand than spots, and
the financial barriers to gear and additional training remain. However, this season, several of our members who had never been to a ski hill before became pretty solid snowboarders (and now own their own boards!), and now we have budding relationships with the snow sports sub-clubs that’ll set the stage for some pretty exciting collaborations in the future. Next winter, we hope to continue offering these events, and hopefully more.
Send a V4! The Climbing Gym Reopens!
Written by Max Rosenfeld '23 - Pasadena, CA
Max is the Assistant Climbing Gym Manager
Hello! The Climbing Gym finally reopened early winter term after the hard work of many
students and Outdoor Programs Office (OPO) employees. We’ve had a great term getting back and up and running, semi-regularly resetting routes and getting as many people in the gym as possible (open 9 hours a day during weekdays and 6 during weekends!). I personally have been so excited to have this place of community again, and it has been so fun to hang out and climb with people I know as well as see so many people try out climbing for the first time! It makes the job really fulfilling. In terms of random specifics we’ve done, we made some Valentine’s day themed routes including a partner climb. We also did a virtual competition at the end of the term for prizes and want to have some more events like that in the future. The Climbing Team is also up and running, hosting open practices for people to train and meet other climbers. Additionally, VHOC and POCO have also been hosting climbing sessions which I believe have been conducive to giving people a great comforting space and community to occupy. Looking forward, we hope to expand capacity soon given the lowering of case numbers and Dartmouth dropping its mask mandate. I know Grant and I, and the rest of the Dartmouth climbing community are incredibly stoked to be in the gym and can’t wait to see what’s next!
*VHOC stands for the Viva Hardigg Outdoors Club for marginalized gender identities in the outdoors and POCO stands for People of Color Outdoors
Hey alums... can you guess which summit this is?
Icy Trails: Winter Skills Trainings for Cabin and Trail
Written by Max Teszler '23 - Newton, MA
Max is an editor of the Solstice and Equinox and chair of the Alum Committee
Cabin and Trail (CnT) has a proud tradition of winter hiking — for many of the club’s members, myself included, it’s our favorite time of the year to hike. Rocky trails become smooth “monorails” of packed down snow, while hiking above treeline in winter feels truly otherworldly.
Winter also carries risks and requires special skills; this year, we revamped the training for our leaders to lead winter hikes. CnT adopted a new classification system for the difficulty of various hikes and created corresponding training. While we used to have just one level of “above treeline” training, we now have two different levels — the more-aptly named “Winter Skills I” and “Winter Skills II.” The skills of winter hiking apply below treeline, as well!
In addition to fulfilling leader requirements, these training trips were very fun in themselves. Winter skills I trained went to Cardigan, while winter skills II went to Monroe. Winter Skills I covered the basics of traveling on snow (hint: microspikes!), the importance of hydrating and eating in the cold, and the planning of winter hikes. The freeze-thaw cycles of January also gave us some nice patches of ice to deal with on our way up. But perhaps the most important skill was the “Gitlin Rule,” named after Saige Gitlin ‘22 — which is to make sandwiches and pack snacks in baggies in the car, before hiking! It makes eating on trail so much easier.
Winter Skills II was more of a work-in-progress, especially for me leading it. We covered the basics of ice axes and crampons, as well as navigating with a map-and-compass above the treeline. This involved pre-trip training on the golf course, where we slid down snowy hills (and then stopped with our ice ax) to practice self-arrest. But the actual training trip itself had some issues with crampons the first time it ran, resulting in us turning around about a mile before the summit of Monroe. Fortunately, the second run was successful in reaching the summit — and as you can see by the photo, there is truly nothing like the Presidentials in winter.
Next winter, we hope to keep developing these trips. Building these skills is tremendously rewarding for everyone involved, and helps keep CnT trips safe while expanding the limits of what we can do.
Shreddin' with Club Snowboard
Written by Brandyn M. Humberstone '22 - Perry, NY
Brandyn is the Team Coordinator for the Snowboard Team
This season the Dartmouth Snowboard Team has been great success. Using a one-time start up fund of $2680 from the President’s office, we hired 3 coaches to help train student leaders, improve intermediate/advanced riding skills, and prepare students to compete in 4 competition disciplines. We have put a new focus on bringing in freshmen and getting students into snowboarding. Since the Dartmouth Snowsports program has a very low capacity, we had to get creative. We teamed up with the People of Color Outdoors Club and Killington Resort to utilize the Burton Discovery Program. This gave students two lessons, access to rental gear, lift tickets, and a brand-new Burton Ripcord snowboard and Freestyle Bindings. The cost to students was $434.00, even though the gear alone retail for $570.00. We put 22 new riders through the program. We have realized that programs like this are key to breaking down the initial cost barrier and we are looking to double participation in the program next year. Additionally, we offered three trips per week and explored various locations. New rider, snowboard alpine practices, and for-fun trips were held at the Dartmouth Skiway. The Skiway has struggled to build and acquire terrain park features, as a result training for freestyle events occurred at Killington Resort.
Our new head coach is Tony Coccia, a former Director of Testing for Burton, 5-time USASA Southern Vermont Gold medalist, and a snowboard instructor with 30 years of experience. We prepared nine students to compete in the USCSA McBrine Division. Only one of those nine students had ever competed before. We took home over 15 medals between Men and Women in freestyle and alpine events. At regionals, Kiera Jackson ’22 took 1st place in slalom race and 1st place in freestyle. Helena Seo ’25 took first place in the Giant Slalom. Brandyn Humberstone ‘22 took 3rd place in the slalom and 2nd place in the freestyle. This earned Dartmouth first place as a team at Regionals. We only sent three students to Nationals due to cost. Nationals took place in Whiteface, New York. Brandyn Humberstone ’22 qualified for Slopestyle finals and placed 8th out of 34 competitors. Helena Seo ’25 placed 5th in Giant Slalom against 31 competitors. Next season we are looking to double our member numbers again by focusing on bringing in freshmen and using some sort of discount/discovery program. This spring term we will do a trip to Craig’s, Burton’s prototyping lab in Burlington, Vermont. We will meet with the lead board and binding engineer and get a tour of the facility. Since the Skiway closes at the end of March, we will continue trips to Killington, VT. To prepare for next season, we will focus on fundraising to pay for coaching, competition fees, and subsidies for new riders.
WINTER SPORTS REWIND...
Written by Nolan Sankey '21 - Steamboat Springs, CO
Nolan former President of Biathlon
This winter, the Dartmouth Biathlon Club attended the 6 event Thursday Night Race Series at the Ethan Allen Biathlon Club in Jericho, VT. Racing offers a unique opportunity to shoot at a full, 30-point range and ski on impressively maintained trails. Over the duration of the season, many targets were hit, yet lots of penalty laps were also skied after misses. Upon tabulation of the season-long results, Aryeh Lande finished 3rd in his age category. Congrats Aryeh! There are not many collegiate biathlon programs, so it's exciting to get the chance to bring a Dartmouth team to events like this.
Written by Nat Alden '23 - Minneapolis, MN
Nat is the head of Club Nordic
Club Nordic had its highest participation ever at races this year, and we were able to bring more beginners and compete more seriously than any previous year. We had our first individual podiums for Ericka Asmus and Dirk Andrew, and established ourselves as a competitive member of our conference. But we also wore more flair than anyone else, and brought a dance party to every race. This season made me so hopeful for the future of competition in the DOC, because I thought club nordic provided the perfect example of how competitions can be used as a unique and valuable way for beginners and experienced skiers to see beautiful places and enjoy the cold New England winter.
Insights from a first year on Club Nordic
Written by Madeline Wolfe '25 - Grantham, NH
With my first year racing with Club Nordic, I raced two weekends: one at UVM, and one at Middlebury, competing in one day of sprint relays and one distance day each weekend. I loved the atmosphere of the competition; while there were seriously fast skiers, there was also camaraderie and support shared between all the teams, and especially through the Dartmouth team. My favorite moment was when I finished a 10k classic race on a freezing cold day and at the finish I was told we were going to Ben and Jerry's- I loved being part of Club Nordic this year and I can't wait for three more years.
Club Alpine Skiing
Written by Julia Patterson '24 - Omaha, NE
This year, the Dartmouth Alpine Club Ski Team competed in four two-day races, three locally (Skiway and Whaleback) and one overnight (Jay Peak, Vermont). As a team we were incredibly successful, with at least one (if not many) top 15 finish every day we raced. Most notably, Colton Sankey won four races, Lizzy Hanson finished second place at our final race, and Carly Walter-Porino finished third place at our first race. About half of our team this year had no prior racing experience, and those members improved substantially over the short season. All our racers, old and new, greatly valued the opportunity to come together as a team and grow as athletes and as people.
As the editors of this newsletter, we hope you’ve enjoyed catching up on the goings-on of the DOC. We’re Max Teszler and Piper Stacey, the co-chairs of the DOC Alum Relations Committee. We’ve also been working on increasing connection with DOC alums in other ways, such as compiling a better mailing list and directory.
For that, we need your help — if you know anyone who would who enjoy receiving this newsletter or other DOC updates, please direct them to this link:
Finally, we hope to expand our work to include events like an outdoors career fair. Alums working in the outdoor industry would be invited to share their stories and advice. So stay tuned!