Annual Report 1997
"The purpose of the Dartmouth Outing Club shall be to further, through good fellowship in the out-of-doors, the educational objectives of Dartmouth College by stimulating an appreciation of nature, a knowledge of fundamental crafts of outdoor living, the creative use of leisure time, and above all, the development of such personal traits as initiative, integrity, self-reliance, and leadership."
- The Constitution of the Dartmouth Outing Club,(Article I, Section II)
Table of Contents
- General Manager
- DOC Trips
- Bait and Bullet
- Cabin and Trail (C&T)
- Dartmouth Mountaineering Club (DMC)
- Environmental Students at Dartmouth (ESD)
- Ledyard Canoe Club
- Dartmouth Ski Patrol
- Snowboarding Club
- Women in the Wilderness
In the wake of the DORC process, the DOC worked hard to address recommendations and implement changes. As a result of new procedures and policy, the DOC constitution needed and received a complete overhaul. From now forward the student/staff governing body constitutes the DOC Board while the previous Board now constitutes the DOC Advisory Council. The DOC Board itself, although part of the weekly DOC routine by Fall term, came into being at the beginning of this year. This policy-making body has the potential to fully open and clear lines of communication between staff and students. Although the Board has facilitated efficiency and effectiveness in many areas, the meetings tended to get bogged down by logistics and details. Concerns about larger issues rarely found their way into the agenda. In future years, Board meetings will better serve the DOC, students, and staff if greater emphasis is placed on wide ranging discussion and concerns. However, the Board did provide a good forum for daily business because it brought everyone together and conflicts could be identified and avoided.
Much shifting occurred in the Outdoor Programs Office this year. Duties and responsibilities changed hands and Lynne Aylesworth became the new Assistant Business Manager. Amidst this change, student leaders lives were actually simplified to a certain extent. Through the partnership plan each club is assigned one staff member as an advisor. David Hooke became the directorate advisor and beginning Fall term, Kevin and I could direct most queries and comments to David without traveling in circles around the OPO offices searching for answers.
Kevin Hand, DOC vice-president, and I continued to emphasize DOC unity (occasionally through inter-club rivalry). With the help of loyal DOCers we pulled off a DOC Decathlon spring term. Events included cross-cut sawing, mountain biking, canoeing, climbing, fire building, fly casting, trail running, snowshoeing, trash sorting (ESD), and a litter carry. The event provided a perfect opportunity to pull together all types of DOC activities and DOC folks. Kevin and I would love to see the Decathlon become an annual event coinciding with Green Key Weekend. In addition, we transformed Pine Park into a haunted forest on Halloween complete with rappelling ghouls. Other All-DOC events include apple picking and pie baking at aboutcoming, Moosilauke weekends, an ice skating trip, and a medieval banquet during Winter Carnival. From my experiences over this past year, I feel strongly that large campus events or easily accessible outings (i.e. Moosilauke) really pull the DOC together and attract new members. It is wonderful to encourage DOC members with widely diverse outdoor interests, but it is also nice to bring everyone together as a reminder that we are all part of the DOC.
Beginning fall term, interest in the DOC Service position re-ignited. Ben Berk '00 worked long and hard to gather together a group of DOCers excited about volunteering in the Upper Valley out-of-doors. Projects ranged from repairing the shelter atop Gile Mountain with the Norwich Conservation Society to hosting a climbing day in the Daniels Climbing Gym for Piermont school children. The possibilities for community service in the out-of-doors seem endless. Hopefully, enthusiasm for such projects will continue.
On a day-to-day basis, life in the DOC has changed a bit in response to the DORC process. New trip forms (in triplicate) document more completely trips in the field and the blitzmail safety account has been done away with. Before trips actually leave campus, they must be approved and have a standard on file.
Yet another year in DOC history has rolled by. Overall, I had a wonderful experience working with the club. It wouldn't have been have been half as fun without Kevin. He took charge at times when he really didn't have the time, and made things work. Thanks also to Brad Molyneaux who stepped up and took on the presidential responsibilities over summer term. He made amazing progress with the DORC implementation process and handed things over in perfect order come fall.
- Megan Currier '97, DOC President
This has been a year of major change for the DOC. For one thing, I am now DOC General Manager. Brian Kunz and I have taken the reins jointly from Earl Jette as part of a major reorganization, and I am once again where I was 15 years ago, asking dumb questions and learning from the master as I try to understand how best to help this club tick.
At the same time, MANY details of daily and long-term operation of the club have metamorphosed, as the club responded to the External Review's call for more accountability and staff involvement. It could have been a chaotic year, and indeed the changes have not always been smooth. But I can say firmly that the essential nature of the DOC has not changed, and what it has kept it that way more than anything else are the leaders of this club, full of ideas and energy, and with their sights firmly on the purpose of the DOC as laid out on the opening page of this Annual Report.
We are finally nearly done with this nearly three-year process of evaluation and change. The result:
- Two new positions, that of DOC General Manager (yours truly) and DOC Trainer (Brian Kunz) were created to provide direct, day-to-day advising to the clubs as they need it. Brian works with Ledyard, Mountaineering Club, and Women in the Wilderness and oversees safety and training, while I work with all the other DOC clubs and oversee budgets and administration. The result of this new arrangement is that Earl Jette, who had served as Executive Director of the DOC since 1975 and also as Director of the whole Office of Outdoor Programs since 1983, is now able to be solely the Director of OPO, while Brian and I are substantially committed to the DOC for a major part of our time. Lines of communication are clear and the clubs are able to get substantially more help than under the previous arrangement.
Given that I, for one, still have most of the responsibilities I had before, it is more than a little bit of a stretch to manage it all, but the DOC has been made a real priority of this office, which is exactly as it should be. The addition of Larry Hathorn as Facilities Assistant, a man with a wide variety of skills and a classic Vermont work ethic, has really made the thing possible.
- An office reorganization, with Ashley "ASE" Thomas '91 as part-time Publications Assistant, and Lynne Aylesworth as Assistant Business Manager, providing substantial support to Kathy Decato, our indefatigable but totally overworked Business Manager. When this process is complete Outdoor Programs will be able to expand business office hours and provide student leaders with substantially greater service and flexibility.
- Redefinition of the DOC Board and creation of the DOC Advisory Council. For many years the DOC Board has been in a sort of administrative limbo, constitutionally charged with decisions-making in the DOC, but unable to fully exercise its authority. Now, that group that was the DOC Board—selected club leaders plus faculty, staff, community and alumni representatives—is now the DOC Advisory Council, and its job is to provide big-picture guidance to the new DOC Board. This new Board consists of the leaders of the thirteen DOC member clubs, a new student Secretary and Treasurer, Brian, and myself. The College recognizes its authority, the group meets every other week, and has already shown its ability to solve problems that the club faces.
- Some new trip reporting procedures are in place, including DOC/OPO activity forms (also known as "Hooke's Pink Forms") that give us a good legal and statistical record of all club and OPO activity in the field.
The DOC and Outdoor Programs moved back to Robinson Hall after a year in Sherman House. Lost in the process was the immediate access of students to workshop space for construction projects and tool maintenance—this set of functions was moved to a new building at Oak Hill, about 2 miles north of campus. Gained was a new and expanded equipment rental program, improved ski coach workrooms and ski office space.
Equipment Access for Trips
One of the most exciting changes has been the start of "free" equipment for all official DOC events. This service is something that had been dreamed about for years, and the Capital Campaign finally provided enough resources to make it possible. Coupled with the new and improved equipment rental space and bike repair area, along with greatly improved lockers for individual clubs, it is finally the case that equipment need not stand in the way of outdoor activity.
Oak Hill Building
Completed in 1995 as part of the Robinson renovation project, this frame building houses a shop and six storage lockers plus a capacious attic for all sorts of DOC impedimenta. Gas heat makes the place comfortable. The building and its newly improved grounds have now served two seasons as the practice site for Forestry Team and is seeing steady use as a place for seminars, workshops, and other locations that need a nearby woods venue, particularly such things as chainsaw workshops.
Friends of DOC Mailing
In March 1996, for the first time in close to 10 years, the 2000-member Friends of the DOC mailing list was contacted with a letter from the DOC President, a newsletter about the Outdoor Programs Office, and a request for donations. The drive was remarkably successful, not only in fundraising but in appreciative letters from alumni/ae. We repeated the effort this past month and the results again are coming in strongly.
The Capital Campaign has been remarkably good to the DOC and Outdoor Programs. As a result of these gifts, all of the DOC clubs are now fully supported with money to subsidize their trips and activities, there is "free" equipment available for all official activities, vastly increased money for leadership and safety training, and many other specific needs. And "it ain't over yet:" many of the gifts were in the form of life income trusts, where the income will be realized in the future. As a result of all of these gifts and their associated income, the DOC and Outdoor Programs is inching ever closer to full economic self-sufficiency.
As it has been since Fred Harris's day, the thing that makes it all work is the dedication of the central core of leaders, and the Outing Club is the measure of their devotion. It has been a true privilege to work with these fine young men and women, and to see them mature into their leading roles. At the risk of leaving some worthy names out, I would like to give particular mention to the following graduating seniors: Megan Currier as President, Kevin Hand as VP, Jim Hourdequin as heart and soul of ESD as well as the prime mover behind the Organic Farm; Chris Fowler, Carter Wray, and Andrea Paradis as the lions of Ledyard; Pete Semen as the quiet persuader of Cabin and Trail; Sara Greenberg as former VP and long-time leader of Women in the Wilderness; Chris Carbone as head of DOC (freshman) Trips; and Heather Halstead, past Trips director and co-head of Trips Lodge Crew this year. You have truly given more than was asked, and on behalf of the College and the DOC past, present and future, I thank you.
This group's accomplishments have been many. The one that stands out most was the leader training initiative for DOC Trips. Emerging from a student-staff collaborative in the spring of '95, additions to the program this year have changed the face of DOC Trips, making that critical program dramatically stronger and more credible. These changes were entirely the result of student initiative. There have been many other excellent initiatives as well, many of which are chronicled in these pages. I particularly enjoyed working with Chris Saccardi '97 on developing a winter leadership course, and I hope to expand this kind of partnership in the year to come.
There are a lot of people besides the students who give generously of their time and energy to make things happen. Here are a few:
DOC Advisory Committee
Kevin Peterson '82
Willem M. Lange '57A
Dean Dan Nelson '75
Dean Peter Goldsmith
Professor David Kotz '86
Professor Leslie Sonder
LCC Board and Overseers
Dean Dan Nelson '75
Diana Munson '82
Billy Nutt '76
Dan Lambert '92
Jay Evans '49
Walker Weed '40
Vail Haak '49
Herve Garant '90
Safety Review Board
Jim Mason, Chair
Dr. Alex Reeves
Dr. Michael Mayor
Earl Jette '55A
Professor Stuart Trembly, Biathlon
Dr. Alex Mamourian, Biathlon
Professor Andy Friedland, ESD
Professor Leslie Sonder, Mountaineering
Appalachian Trail Advisory Committee
Dr. Robert W. Averill '72
Thank you, one and all, for your dedication to this organization. It really wouldn't be the same club without your support - moral, physical, and otherwise.
It has been an excellent year for the DOC. As you read these pages and reports of other years, you will see that there has been a tremendous variety of activity, and a huge variation in the level of activity from club to club and within a given club from term to term or year to year. This is good. Perhaps more than anything, this shows that the DOC is not the slave of tradition, and responds as needs and interests change and leadership becomes available and interested. One of the most exciting new developments is the DOC Service organization, ably led by Ben Berk '00, and making a bold new effort to get other campus organizations out in to the woods by physically taking them there as groups. It's the kind of "why didn't we think of that before?" that makes one realize that the possibilities and promise of the DOC to be a force for good on this campus are truly endless.
- David Hooke '84, General Manager
The Dartmouth Outdoor Review Committee recommended changes were implemented at the beginning of fall term. The key point of the review process was to define the working relationship between student clubs and staff where the club's desires and the interest of the College can both be met.
The position of DOC General Manager and Trainer were created to help clubs run their activities, and in addition, staff have the responsibility to the College for assessment of risks and benefits, and approval, of particular activities. The overarching concept is to be one of partnership, based on accountability.
Club-wide this partnership takes the form in the student/staff DOC Board which is responsible for club-wide decision-making and planning. On the individual club and program level, responsibilities have been delegated to the General Manager and Trainer so that each will serve as the staff partner for certain clubs and programs, and will be the chief contact for all of a specific club's day to day questions, including budget, training, activity planning and review, equipment and facility management, and communication with the Dartmouth community. The staff member is charged with approving activities and expenditures, and may advise the club to proceed with their plans, redesign them, conduct the activity outside of Dartmouth sponsorship or cancel the program.
As DOC Trainer, I am club partner with Ledyard, DMC, and Women in the Wilderness, and responsible club-wide for: Basic Leader Training, maintaining database for club leaders, safety training, interfacing with the PE Office for PE credited programs, and risk management.
On the whole these changes have made it easier for club members to get outdoors and the College has an increased ability to assess the risks and benefits of club activities before the activity takes place. Clubs meet weekly with their partners to discuss their programs, trips, expenditures, and concerns.
Safety And Training Committee
In an effort to decrease the potential for accidents on DOC trips, the students and staff of the DOC and the Office of Outdoor Programs have created the Safety and Training Committee (SATC). SATC has clarified the requirements for leaders in the DOC. These requirements are to be followed by the clubs when creating their leadership protocols. SATC recognizes that each club has unique concerns regarding safety; however there are some factors common to all adventurous outdoor activities. These include degrees of technical difficulty, the demands of the specific environment, and the extent of leader's and participant's preparation for the particular activity.
The general format of requirements for club leadership programs is as follows:
- Leaders have a charge
- Leaders are in charge of protecting the safety and well-being of participants and ensuring their enjoyment and optimal learning potential. Leaders are also ambassadors for the Club and Dartmouth College to the rest of the outdoor community.
- Leaders go through a selection process
- Leaders should be designated by each club's leadership committee. Each club's president or chair should appoint two active members in their club to be on a leadership review committee; in addition they will need to invite one OPO staff member. All committee members should be knowledgeable in the particular club activities being reviewed.
Leaders should be selected on the basis of their qualifications and their qualifications should be documented, referenced, and demonstrated. Each club should develop a document for club members to maintain a log record of their experience and training in the relevant club activities.
- Leader requirements should be defined clearly, training should be provided, and safety procedures understood
- The club will have had to define clearly the requirements for leaders and provide the necessary training to assure adequate leaders for their trips. In addition, each club will have clear safety procedures that are understood by both participants and leaders.
- Participants on club trips should know their rights and responsibilities
- Club trips and programs should be enjoyable. No one should feel uncomfortable or find themselves in a situation that they think is dangerous. Trip participants should be viewed and treated as allies in the goal to be safe and responsible when engaged in adventurous activities. Requests by participants to the trip leader to modify his or her decisions or behavior at a particular point on the trip should be weighed, by the trip leader, immediately and should result in the most conservative and safe decision for the group.
- Leaders are supported by the Office of Outdoor Programs
- The Safety and Training Committee was created to assure that adequate resources are in place to support the development of club leaders and to support them in performing their role as leaders. Leaders are a valuable resource to the Club and provide a valuable educational component for the College.
- Leaders are accountable for their actions
- All leaders should be subject to review and change of status for: endangering the safety of others, disregarding safety regulations, modeling inappropriate behavior, and using poor judgment. Leaders whose behavior threatens the existence of the club are subject to the loss of club privileges and, in the case of employees, termination of employment with Outdoor Programs.
- Trips will have written descriptions of the leader's duties and responsibilities
- Each trip or activity will have written descriptions of the leader's or organizer's expected duties and responsibilities. In addition, clubs should be capable of supervising leaders in all of the activities they will be conducting for the club and should also assess leaders areas of weakness and develop a training regime to strengthen them.
- Leader training
- Leaders must be trained in club activities in which they will be performing and leaders should eliminate their weaknesses in these areas. For each activity they must learn a sensible instructional progression to suit the demands of the activity and the special needs of the participants. They must know how to use related safety equipment.
All leaders should be taught the differences between general, specific, and no supervision of participants and know when to apply each. They should gain familiarity with activity sites and local dangers before using them with participants, and training should include hypothetical responses to accidents in, and evacuations from, those sites.
New club members ought to be apprenticed with established, experienced leaders in order to receive feedback on performance and improve their judgment. All training should be recorded in a plan. Training should be consistent with club goals.
Each trip must have a documented and understood participant/leader ratio. These ratios are meant to reflect a progression of increasing difficulty, inherent dangers, and the need for supervision. As these progress toward being greater, the ratio ought to become less (i.e. more leaders for the same number of participants, even if the participants are assumed to have gained more competence).
Examples of criteria for a basic outdoor leader:
- 1. Competent in the trip activity, capable of teaching others the basic skills inherent in the activity and can rescue participants from common dangers associated with the activity or trip.
- 2. Adheres to club safety regulations, anticipates dangers and takes appropriate actions to safeguard participants from the elements.
- 3. Understands the basics of CPR and First Aid including recognition of hypothermia symptoms.
- 4. Is skilled at organization, including logistics and documentation of trip, including correct use of trip route plan, assumption of risk, medical form, budgeting, and accident/incident report.
- 5. Has the ability to determine if perspective participants are qualified for the trip. Decisions based on safety and comfort.
- The Safety and Training Committee is also responsible for reviewing and approving standards for club activities. These standards would include such areas as: leadership, equipment, waivers, participant fitness and review of new trips and expeditions.
Daniels Climbing Gym
The Gym is dedicated to the memory of Jonathan Belden Daniels '86, an avid outdoorsman and active member of the DMC who died in an avalanche in Poland's Tatra Mountains. Daniels was instrumental in establishing the climbing classes which have taught hundreds of Dartmouth students how to climb.
Climbers of every skill level can practice their skills on the wall. The gym is an excellent place for students and others to gather and engage in an enjoyable and athletic activity all year long. Classes offering instruction in basic climbing and advanced techniques are offered every term. In addition, each of the outdoor classes spend at least one session in the gym during the term.
The gym is located in the basement of the Maxwell dormitories. It is open to students, faculty, college employees and affiliate members of the Dartmouth Outing Club. The gym was managed by Brad Molyneaux this year. The manager oversees the monitors, route setting, equipment and pass sales for the gym.
Rock Climbing Programs
The typical outdoor class meets once a week for four hours and travels to Rose Ledges in western Massachusetts for a full day of climbing at least once a session. Students master the skills of belaying, anchoring, tying-in, and climbing. In the advanced class the group is smaller by design and meets five hours every week and the highlight of the course is the weekend "Gunks" trip. The advanced students focus on climbing technique and fitness training. Classes continue to be popular, and we have added an intermediate class which focuses on the indoor climber who wished to learn how to climb outdoors.
Lessons for physical education credit this year were centered at the Occom Ski Touring Center located at the DOC House. This winter had a late start with the weather, but soon developed to be a great snow year. In fact it is still snowing as I write. Not one scheduled class was canceled. The course was successfully carried out by driving students by van to the higher terrain surrounding Hanover during the weekdays and heading out to the White and Green Mountains during the weekend full day sessions. Thirty students participated in the different classes and were instructed by one director of skiing and six instructors.
Groulx Mountain Spring Break Trip
Chris Carbone helped lead this years Groulx mountain trip to remote northern Quebec. We experienced the best snow conditions in the six years we have been going to Quebec. There had been no thaws or rain events all winter, which allowed us to build a great igloo that could sleep 5 persons.
This program continues to be popular and is conducted at the end of fall term from Billings Cabin. Each day we travel to a different notch or ravine in the White Mountains to practice snow and ice techniques. The highlight, weather permitting, is to hike to Tuckerman's Ravine and practice the techniques learned earlier in the week such as snow travel, building emergency shelters, visiting an alpine environment and ice climbing. We cook our meals at Billings and provide lectures on different aspects of winter mountaineering in the evening.
Ropes Course-New Games-Orienteering
The course on Oak Hill remains popular with both campus groups and local schools. We have combined ropes course activities with the challenge of orienteering on our new five-color orienteering maps of Oak Hill and Burnt Mountain.
We now offer instructor training for the ropes course and have a group of well trained instructors that can lead groups in team building activities. The instructors led adventure team-building activities for: 37 First-Year students in the Leadership Development Program (LDP), 55 Dartmouth women in the recent Women in Leadership at Dartmouth (WILD) Program sponsored by the Rockefeller Center, and 24 Seniors active in the SEC.
- Brian Kunz, DOC Trainer
One might venture to say that DOC Trips is the most broad-reaching tradition that exists at Dartmouth. It is certainly the one which affects the most people in the shortest time period, shaping their first experience on this campus. DOC Trips is the true embodiment of the expression "student-run." The program is unique in that it is our way, as students, to introduce our peers to Dartmouth. It is a time each fall that is full of a peculiar spirit of community, energy, and excitement. DOC Trips 1996 was an incredible success.
Here are the final stats:
- Number of trip sections: 9
- 956 trippees (19 of which were transfers)
- 174 leaders; 82 male, 92 female
- 35 crew type people: 20 female, 15 male
- 1 director type person (that's me)
- 1,166 total people were involved in the program
- $7,710 awarded to 124 trippees in financial aid
- Cost of a trip: $90
- Number of green eggs used at Moosilauke: 2,648
Like every year, most of the logistics for DOC Trips in 1996 had been figured out and set up by the previous directors (thankfully), but there were of course a few new twists. As a new trip type, organic farming was tried out. Two different trips spent three days at the farm and had an incredible time. Students learned about the farm as a result of plenty of hands-on work. They did a lot of harvesting, hiked a bit in the Oak Hill area (across NH Rt. 10), and even provided fresh vegetables for their section's feast at Moosilauke. There was also the unique opportunity to canoe to the farm in the war-canoe. In addition to organic farming, 12 different hiking trips were offered. All of the old specialty trips were also offered: kayaking, canoeing, white-water canoeing, horseback riding, fishing, climbing and mountain biking.
The other new part of the program was the extension of the leader training program. The idea of training leaders in a variety of areas, including medical skills, hard skills (i.e. tarp setting, etc.), and soft skills (i.e. group dynamics, etc.) was discussed heavily prior to 1995 Trips under Heather Halstead's reign. That year, mandatory evening seminars, focusing on both "hard" and "soft" skills, and weekend trips, led by both an EMT and a "soft skills leader," were implemented. For 1996 Trips, however, a whole new dimension was added. In addition to the seminars and overnights offered in '96 Spring and Summer, it was decided that more needed to be done immediately before trip sections met in Hanover. In the Winter of '96 we decided that the leaders would come into Hanover the afternoon before their trippees would be arriving in Hanover, and would spend the night on Gilman Island at Titcomb Cabin (via the war canoe) with two leader trainers. J. Brooks Weaver '97 and Sara Greenberg '97 did a terrific job as the leader trainers. On the island, they reviewed the soft skills and hard skills the leaders had already learned mainly through discussion and games. All of the leaders had positive things to say about this overnight. The minor inconvenience of arriving the night before their trip was nothing compared to the benefits. This night not only allowed the leaders to brush up on some of the hard skills, it brought them together and gave them time to think about how they were going to handle the next four days with their trippees. As an added bonus, it made life at Moosilauke a lot better because the leaders all had spent a night together. They knew each other and felt a bond to one another, so interaction between different trip groups happened naturally. After spending the night on the island, the leaders then spent the morning with the two safety directors, CJ Robechek '96 and Carter Wray '97. The leaders reviewed all the basic first aid and actually assembled their first aid kits with the safety directors. From there they moved onto lunch with a dean and the Trips director. At lunch, they were given the profiles of their trippees and given a chance to ask any questions to the Trips director or the safety directors about their trippees. Then, they had the afternoon free until they met for new games at the DOC house. Many trip leaders took these last couple of free hours to get to know their co-leader or to mentally prepare for their trip one last time. The recent improvements in leader training has shown to be very effective. This year, there were no serious injuries as a result of the poor decision making of a trip leader. All the trip leaders made intelligent decisions that lead to a safer and happier trips program.
DOC trips in an unique program with a spirit that somehow is able to capture everyone involved. It is an invaluable tradition that needs to continue at Dartmouth. As the first impression of Dartmouth to many students, it serves to open their eyes and minds to the possibilities ahead of them.
- Chris Carbone '97, DOC Trips Director 1996
Bait and Bullet
This past year was a successful one for the members of the Bait and Bullet Club. We engaged in a variety of activities. Members have gone trout, salmon, walleye, and bass fishing. In addition, the hunters among us went into the wilderness in search of deer, grouse, ducks and other game birds.
The fly fishing clinic on the Green, sponsored by Orvis was a hit as usual. Attendance was not what we might have hoped because we missed Freshmen Parents Weekend due to a miscommunication. We will be remedying that situation this year. This annual event is always a great opportunity to try out great equipment for both novices and experts alike. Plus they give away free Orvis fishing gear, which is always a good thing.
In the fall we had a club trip to the Grant where our members went deer and grouse hunting. This past winter, we conducted some fly fishing sessions for those members interested in pursuing and learning that hobby. We also offered a hunter safety course with the NH Fish and Game Department.
- Brian Sheldon '98
The biathlon club had no activities this year except for a few practices indoors in the range. We are planning on having a biathlon this May outside and will have weekly practices from now on. We spent no money and were recently allocated some funding to purchase needed equipment.
- James A. Franzone '97
Cabin and Trail
This past year in Cabin and Trail can probably be best summed up by one theme: a constant adjustment to change.
First, the Chubber landscape has changed a bit. This year saw C&T move from our exile at Sherman House back to good 'ol Robinson Hall. A smaller and segmented, but serviceable, room 13 warmly received the returning students and coupler alike. Having meetings again in the Robo basement was comforting as was restoring our "classy" awards to their former place of prominence. Alas, several tears were shed when we found that the former workshop space was now the new Ski Team waxing area, the old trails locker had become a janitor's storage area, and the venerable forestry locker had become a handicapped bathroom ("UGGH!" I heard a woodsman say...). However, some comfort was taken in the knowledge that our equipment was safe and sound in the relatively new DOC Storage Building at Oak Hill. Use of this facility, with its now amply-sized workshop and clean well-lit lockers, has unfortunately been quite low due to its "well off the beaten path" location two miles north of campus. Spontaneous workshop time of the past, with Chubbers applying a coat of paint here or filing an axe there, between classes or during lunch has effectively come to an end. Easier access to a vehicle may help in recapturing the important resource of students' unstructured free time, but this still leaves those who have not passed the stringent DOC Driver requirements (i.e., many members and most heelers) out in the lurch. Students must try to adjust as well and make a more concerted effort to just get out there on a more regular basis, get heelers familiar with the area/tools/tasks, and work on any of the numerous projects.
New staff arrived in the position of Facilities Assistant. The previous year, C&T and the OPO had agreed to try something new with Trail Crew. We decided to try taking the traditionally student-held position of Trail Crew Foreman and turning it into a full-time, year-round professional position to provide greater continuity and consistency. This new person would be in charge of the summer crew and work on cabin and OPO projects for the rest of the year. Students would have a new person to turn to for help with accomplishing projects. Unfortunately, when it came time to choose the new person, the promised student input into the hiring process was not solicited, leaving feelings on both sides hurt. Apparently, the lessons learned in past student/staff miscommunications (Oak Hill workshop, for example) and the improvements in communications (council meetings with Earl, weekly meetings with Earl, etc.) did not help in this very important matter to C&T's future. Larry Hathorn was selected from a small pool of able candidates. Since the selection started out on the wrong foot, students were reluctant to use Larry as a much needed resource for accomplishing tasks they needed help with. Larry became a casualty in the battle of wills between the OPO and C&T. Trail Crew and the summer helped to smooth things over a bit, and several projects in the fall (Armington re-roofing and the Nunnemacher work) were a testament to what well-channeled student labor could accomplish with the aid of a Facilities Assistant. Better communication on this front, from weekly meetings to blitzmail messages, must be encouraged if this position will continue to help C&T complete its responsibilities effectively. Attitudes can all to easily go the way of "let somebody else do it" if we are not vigilant in how this resource is utilized.
More of the change that C&T had to cope with came from the continuing implementation of the DORC response. Although these changes may be detailed by others in this annual report, the student response to all these changes that I saw was one of general reluctance. New trip standards, Council meetings, trip forms, equipment policies, leadership plans, Basic Leader Training, waivers, etc. came about at biweekly Council meetings. For a while, it seemed that every time I turned around, there was a new form, committee, or meeting to deal with and let my council know about. Although some of these things may be ultimately valuable to the club, I really think that DORC tried to tackle too much at once. Besides, basing all this on the advice of a few people (from clubs based on the original Dartmouth innovation anyway) who toured the area for only three days seems dubious at best. Larry Breckenridge's prophetic angry response to what he read in the External Review's report has unfortunately come to fruition. More bureaucracy takes the place of student activity in the out-of-doors.
Other new policies were prompted by the College lawyers. Of note, the DOC Board of Directors was eliminated as the decision making body of the DOC in favor of a Student/Staff collaboration known as Council, and then eventually as the new Board. Curiously, many of these changes happened initially without Board approval or following the rules of the DOC Constitution. Later on, after the new structures and policies were in place, the Board was consulted and the constitution changed to reflect the new responsibilities and procedures. This new setup better reflects the actual way the old Board was used and will probably give students a more timely and efficient structure to deal with real issues.
One positive change that resulted from the DORC response, was the reordering of club advisors and their responsibilities. C&T's new advisor is now David Hooke, the new DOC General Manager. This idea of "one stop shopping" for club advising is excellent and should eliminate many of the communication difficulties of multiple advisors that were encountered in the past.
Changes on the trails came in several different forms. The new Thistle Hill Shelter out in Vermont was finally opened in the spring. The old Happy Hill Shelter (Cabin) was demolished to make way for a new stone shelter. Rocks were sledded this way, that way, the other way, and back by groups of eager chubbers and the Big Moe sled in preparation for the coming year. New trailhead signboards were erected along the AT with the help of ALDHA volunteers. The coming year promises to be one of much activity with the new Happy Hill construction.
New equipment arrived in the form of a Griphoist (TM) Cable Winch from the ATC to help in the area of trail construction and reconstruction. Apparently being the next best thing to dynamite, monster boulder levitation and some productive trailwork should happen soon once the proper accessories and training are in place. C&T also replenished the supply of some tools in the Oak Hill workshop to encourage more projects. An equipment management plan as per the DORC requirement was formulated, but work on implementing this (or at least something ... ) needs to continue. The most visible change in equipment, was the retiring of the Stake Truck (sniff, sniff ... but you've got to go), replaced with a brand new crew cab Chevy Cheyenne Pick-up, complete with lumber rack.
Despite all the changes, C&T continues to plug along. We have a large group of Council Members and a number of diverse activities continue to flourish. C&T must continue to emphasize teaching of skills to continue to effectively meet our goals and responsibilities in the future. We must redouble our efforts at getting out on our trails and to our cabins to take care of the work that needs to be done. More council members must try to dedicate larger amounts of their ever dwindling time to the Club to become "career" chubbers, ready and able to take on responsibilities as they come about and able to pass on traditions. With the help of effective advising and guidance from the General Manager and Facilities Assistant, much enthusiasm and energy can be channeled to produce some amazing results.
Finally, some memorable activities that yours truly can recall from the previous year:
- CCFL's hosting of the 50th Annual Woodsmen's Weekend
- A good spring trails day at Moosilauke, despite the best efforts of snow to get in the way
- Several landscaping trips and a christening of the new Thistle Hill Shelter
- A productive Trails Seminar out at Velvet Rocks
- A great weekend replacing the roof at Armington and burning huge piles of debris
- A brilliant end to Rich's Uni Night (Will K-mart be next?)
- Repairing the Nunnemacher attic to make it habitable to more than mice for the near future
- Pentaprivy Levitation Problems (and the harsh realities of gravity)
- Bob Averill 's famous Clouldland Privy moved to Thistle Hill.
- The staging of a very successful 50 Mile Trailwalk.
- NH chapter of the Freemen loosen their grip on Miller Cabin
- A rousing New Year's celebration at Stoddard
- Respectable showing after a long, dehydrating night at the McGill meet
- Chubber Hockey makes its way to the finals and loses to Biohazard - again...
- Running of the Carnival Classic Race by the Ski Team
- Rock Sledding trips to prepare for the new stone Happy Hill Shelter
- Spring Break Trip to Utah
- Yours in TOR, Peter Semen '97
The main C&T projects relating to cabins during the '96 Fall term were: a new roof on Armington Cabin and replacement of Armington's old cook stove. Nunnemacher cabin was given a new roof over the summer and work continues to be done on the cabin with the hope of eventually adding it to the chain of cabins available to the public. The volunteer cabins work weekend took place the weekend of November 13. A crew of volunteers worked on Hinman Cabin, contributing to routine cleaning and basic repairs. In the future, interested volunteers will be notified of this weekend further in advance, to ease scheduling. The main cabin projects during the '97 winter term included: installation of new lights in Agassiz Cabin, replacement of the handle on John Rand Cabin's door, installation of new screens and glass in Hinman Cabin's windows.
- Frances Baxley '99
Summer Trail Crew '96 Report
This year's trail crew members were Ed Hughey, Greg Miller, Sarah McCoy and the newly hired supervisor, Larry Hathorn. There were some reservations about hiring a full-time non-student as supervisor, but as it turned out, it worked out fine: we had lots of fun, and got a lot done.
Our first project was working on the upper part of Mt. Cube, where we dealt with mud and erosion. The British volunteers were next on the agenda. They worked hard with us on the Gorge Brook trail of Moosilauke, where we put in some impressive rock cribbing and diverted the flow of the brook in some areas. Since we finished ahead of schedule, we worked on the beginning of the Ridge Trail. Our weekly duty on Moosilauke was to compost the Beaver Brook privy.
The next week the trail crew spent in the Grant, building the frame of Johnson Brook Cabin, a plush new alumni cabin. For recreation, we dared the rapids of the Swift Diamond River on the Island of Fun, and ate 10 inches of beans.
Our final trail work project was the Lambert Ridge Trail of Smarts Mountain. We put in many steps, water bars, ditches and puncheons. A few nights on the top were a treat—we saw a spectacular sunrise over misty mountains from the top of the firetower.
Of course, we bucked up lots of wood and stocked the cabins.
Finally, on a sad note, the stake truck got pretty much creamed. Both the right and left suspensions fell apart while in motion (luckily slow), stranding us once in the Grant and once in a gas station in Barre. The messed up alignment wore the tires down to the steel threads, and the brakes needed work. We do however, mourn the loss of the stake truck with heavy hearts. It was a grand beast indeed. SP>- Sarah McCoy '99, Greg Miller '99, Ed Hughey '99
There weren't as many Heelers this term as I would have liked, but a lot went on. We had meetings most weeks, with attendance varying from 4-12 people. There were a number of seminars that took place: sign routing, axe hanging, leadership, map and compass. There were also several fun trips to places like the firetower on Gile Mt. and an expedition to see Star Wars in Lebanon. Finally, the tradition of Diner Tour was continued, with trips to most of the diners within an hour radius of Hanover.
- Chris Saccardi '97
Greetings to you, fellow leisure loggers and leisure logger lovers. Another year has slipped by like the breeze, another growth ring has formed on that ancient cosmic tree. Let us examine this new growth. Thick, fat, juicy, oozing with sap…it seems all the necessary and proper conditions for life—the good life—were present, and in abundance. What sublime nectar, O woodsfolk, were we fed on?
Flowery words, bad poetry—these things obscure truth. Truth be told, the details of the last year in Dartmouth Forestry are about as clear to me as the waters of the Baker in April. Yet an accounting must be given. Please forgive the grievous omissions and tolerate any gross exaggerations.
The spring meet, I mean, the 1996 Northeastern Collegiate Woodsmen's' Championship, was hosted by the Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, New York. Notice I wrote 'Finger Lakes Community College,' not 'Community College of the Finger Lakes.' This is because the school has changed their name. Why? I suppose someone realized that the nickname "Syphill" was unflattering. Is "Flick" any less so? Names change by whim these days, but one thing hasn't. The FLCC team still kicks Dartmouth's axe. Did they win the whole thing? I forget. The FLCC teams were up there at the top, though. In my mind, the clear winners of the competition were the professional woodsmen who put on a thrilling show. The exhibition was sponsored by the Stihl chainsaw company (This I remember because we stole some huge banners that read "STIHL.") These pro loggers humbled everyone, even those collegiate Paul Bunyans who ended up with the highest point tally. These pros single-bucked a 16-inch cant with the same ease that you or I unzip a mackinaw. In the springboard event, they ascended the pole like frightened squirrels spiraling up a tree and then severed the cant atop it with savage precision while poised on a sliver of spruce like some northwoods Nureyev. Underhand chop, gleaming billets of steel crashed down on bare necks of pine—Robespierre would have been proud. What I am saying is that these dudes were pretty damn good.
We were pretty damn good, too, or at least darn good. Dartmouth walked off with a clutch of first-place trophies, including two for fly-casting and two for canoeing. There were others trophies too, but I don't remember what they were. As for overall team performance, all I can say with certainty is that we didn't come in first, and we didn't come in last. I think the ladies' team placed higher than the men's', if anyone is concerned about that. Accolades, kudos, and A-citations to those who did win an event: you know who you are. Sorry my faulty memory has deprived you of immortalization in the DOC annual report. The same praise goes to those who didn't win an event but tried really hard.
The recollections I do have are of what is really important about a Woodsmen's' meet. Not trophies, stats and who is better than who, but things like sitting around a fire in the evening smoking a pipe, watching a monstrous yet beautiful storm roll in off the lake, driving around upstate New York in search of a stock car race…warm and fuzzy stuff like that. I also remember an incident concerning team members, beer, and overzealous campus security guards. That is important, too, I guess.
If last spring was a miasma of disjointed impressions, the summer and fall were utter voids. Did any forestry activity whatsoever occur? Well, maybe there were a few fall practices for people who wanted Phys Ed credit...
I suppose it took the dead gray of New England winter to provide some contrast against my sepia-tinged memories. February. Montreal. The icy silent St. Lawrence. Pitchers of mediocre stout at a sort-of hip night club. Rayon, black leather and brown canvas duck on the dance floor. French rap music. And oh yes, the competition at McGill...
Again I cannot recall how our we fared quantitatively. As usual, we placed neither first nor last, but for sure we were closer to last than first. What I do recall vividly is the team from Sir Sanford Fleming College (Sir Fleming may have been governor of Ontario in 1850 or maybe some not-so-famous explorer) arriving in uniform on a tour bus emblazoned with the words "SIR SANFORD FLEMING." They were sponsored by the great benefactor of timbersports, the Stihl chainsaw company, who gave them orange suspenders and free bar oil. There was also a professional timbersports talent scout on the prowl (well, this was a rumor I heard). We can't know for sure because no one from the Dartmouth team was offered a contract.
Now it's springtime again, or at least that is what my almanac says. The pitiless elements say otherwise. This year we go to Paul Smith's College in the Adirondacks. Sadly for me, this will be my last woodsmen's competition as an undergraduate. Many other folks, namely Pete Semen, Megan Currier, Chris Aslin and Kathryn Scharbach are in the same boat. Hopefully we will return as alumni to the 1998 competition, which will go down here on the green at Dartmouth if the spirit of Ross McKenney smiles upon us still. My deepest thanks to Dave Hooke and Put Blodgett, who have brought continuity, not to mention immense knowledge and skill, to the forestry program in my years here. They have taught me much. I am grateful to all who have worked to make the forestry program a reality. At an institution where we are so often led into blind narrow alleys by people who really should know better (many times ourselves), I am thankful that there exist some places, like Dartmouth's forestry program, where we can learn to see as far, if not farther, from the crown of a towering white pine as we do from the parapet of an ivory tower. So now lets get back to work felling that towering white pine.
- Yours in the Way of the Woods, Tom Russo, Forestry Director
Dartmouth Mountaineering Club
Spring comes late to Hanover, and upon return from Spring Trip, many of the club's members found themselves still on the ice and in the snow. Tuckerman Ravine saw several of the club's eager skiers and the local cliffs remained unclimbable until mid-March. An exceptional winter resulted in an extremely wet spring, thus resulting in a frustrated climbing community. Nevertheless, classics such as the Whitney Gilman ridge still saw several ascents by club members. Co-chairs Margaret Wheeler and Brad Molyneaux headed up the club for spring term. Cocoa climbs were continued and Tuesday night feeds were raised to a new level as several of the clubs more talented chefs stepped up to the challenge of feeding the masses.
While club members ate and slept well in Hanover, Scott Porter, having just graduated at the end of winter term, was curling up in his bag at 13,000 feet in an attempt to pioneer a new route on the Himalayan peak Masherbrum. Due to unusually volatile weather and snow conditions, the summit attempt was sacrificed. Fortunately, all members of the expedition returned safely to the United States.
On July 10, Peter Guinn, Luke Cudney, and Kevin Hand departed for the Bugaboos in British Columbia to test their alpine, free, and aid climbing techniques. In honor of Jack Durrance and the 60th anniversary of the DMC, they stopped in Wyoming on their way to Canada and repeated a few of Durrance's routes on Devil's Tower and the Grand Teton. In the Bugaboos, the team made multiple ascents (via different routes) of the Bugaboo, Snowpatch, Pigeon, Eastpost, and Crescent Spires. One first ascent was attempted on the east face of Bugaboo Spire. They ascended three pitches before a snowstorm forced them off the cliff. They named the route "Jack's Ghost" in memory of Jack Durrance, and rated it 5.10R, A4. The first ascent is recorded in the official Bugaboo Logbook under the DMC's name.
The fall term is traditionally the busiest for the DMC because the club introduces many enthusiastic first year students to the sport. Under the leadership of Tina Rutar and Margaret Wheeler, the club held beginner and advanced trips to most of the nearby cliffs, including Cannon, Cathedral, the Gunks, Rumney, and Winslow. Luke Cudney taught a weekly clinic in the Jonathan Belden Daniels Climbing Gym emphasizing technique and safety skills. The club sponsored presentations by three accomplished mountaineers that drew crowds of up to 300 people from the entire community. Todd Skinner spoke of the difficulties of free climbing at 20,000 feet during his expedition's first free ascent of the Nameless Tower in the Himalaya's. Geoff Tabin, a former guide turned eye surgeon, described his adventures as the first American to climb the highest peaks of each of the seven continents. John Bouchard, a graduate of Tuck Business School and founder of Wild Things, spoke about his fast, alpine-style ascent of Shivling in the Himalayas.
The DMC got an early start on the winter with a trip over New Year's up to Crawford Notch, climbing various ice routes in the area. Once the term was under way, co-chairs Jen Ratay and Thaddeus Law organized beginner ice climbing trips, and several leaders of the Club participated in a day of instruction given by AMGA guide instructor George Hurly. Throughout the term, climbers ventured out in the White Mountains, the Adirondacks and the Hanover area. The 3rd Annual JBD Climbing Competition took place in February with 40 competitors in 4 divisions demonstrating their skills.
At the close of spring term, 14 DMCers headed west to sunny Red Rocks, Nevada for the annual Spring Trip. They were met by over twenty other club members and recent alums who converged on Red Rocks from across the United States, and everyone enjoyed a week of fantastic climbing. The area's wide range of excellent trad and sport routes kept everyone occupied. At the end of the week, much of the group returned to Hanover, nursing their fingertips and dreaming of a dry New England spring.
- Bradley J. Molyneaux '98
Environmental Studies Division
Last spring, ESD had a busy term. The club was very involved with Northern Forest issues concerning logging and clear cutting. We sponsored the Northern Forest Lecture Series with the Environmental Studies Department in an effort to further on-campus knowledge. We also did some tabling outside Collis to try to educate students about what was happening in the forests on New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. A group of ESD members traveled to Mount Kearsarge in Maine to spend time backpacking and camping in a section of forest that was scheduled to be clear cut soon afterwards. Other club happenings included work trips to the Organic Farm as well as an Earth Day dinner and Dartmouth community work on the farm day. ESD also had some picnics in Nathan's garden in an attempt to provide a comfortable, informal setting for students to hang out and talk about the environment. As always, we held weekly planning meetings on Wednesday nights. Julie Moynihan and Josh Mooney were co-leaders for the term, and Jen Bonin was secretary.
Fall was a great term for ESD because a lot of new people joined in and showed interest in the environment. '99's and '00's showed a lot of enthusiasm for a strong future in ESD. Fall marked the start of our successful Ecostew dinner and brown bag lunch program. Every other Tuesday we invited a guest, usually a professor or an environmentalist, to join us for a vegetarian dinner in Foley house. At these dinners, students have the chance to talk with experts about different issues instead of just listening to lectures. Guests included professor Doug Bolger from the Environmental Studies department, an expert in conservation issues, as well as Cabin and Trail members who we talked with about forestry and trail building. On Tuesdays when we had no dinner, we had student brown bag lunches in Collis instead. We would start these discussions off with a predetermined question, and then just see where the discussion lead. Both of these types of meetings stemmed from our picnics in the spring and our wish to keep on fostering informal environmental discussion among Dartmouth students. We also tried to provide information about the best environmental candidates in the 1996 elections. The week before election day, we tabled in Thayer during meal times and answered students questions about NH candidates for Senate, Congress and governor. ESD members went on an overnight to Great Bear cabin to promote fun and fellowship within the club. ESD members also attended informal dinners with two Montgomery Fellows who were on campus this fall: Joe Sax, from the Department of the Interior and an expert on the Endangered Species Act, and George Woodwell, a biologist involved with international climate change and deforestation issues. Talks with both of these visitors proved to be very interesting leaving us with a lot of issues to think about. Leader for the term was Jim Hourdequin. Laura Tam and Laura Sigman served as secretary and DOC representative respectively.
ESD winter was kicked off by an eventful trip to the Grant where about eight members met Kevin Evans, the college forester, and a biologist from the NH Fish and Game department. The two gave students a fine tour of forestry in the Grant and were eager to answer questions. Ecostews and lunches continued in the winter, and members showed their cooking talents. Professor Andy Friedland came to talk with students about Environmental literature. Brian Kunz discussed living environmentally with students and told us about his solar powered house. Professor Shelby Grantham was our third and final guest, and her presence brought a great discussion of vegetarianism and vegan living in relation to environmentalism. In addition to trips and meals, ESD hosted an educational lecture by Daisy Goodman, an activist involved with aerial herbicide spraying in NH. She showed a devastating slide show of what has already happened in northern NH forests and told us how we may be able to help stop paper and lumber companies from destroying the natural forest habitats near the Grant. In light of this talk, we are planning an on-campus Aerial Herbicide Conference for Earth Day weekend. We met with some representatives from the Native Forest Network which is an organization working against herbicide spraying in Vermont and they will be bringing their roadshow here for our weekend conference. Other planning that went on in the winter included preliminary details for a "green guide" to be issued to incoming first year students and let them know ways of living environmentally at Dartmouth, as well as a meeting with Alli Brugg '99 who works for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance to watch a video about Utah and plan for Tom Price to come and give a talk and slideshow on preserving Utah's nationally declared wilderness lands. This talk will be pertinent considering current debates over President Clinton's recent designation of the new Escalante-Grand Staircase national monument in Southern Utah. Emily Neuman led ESD through the winter. Laura Tam and Sally Dickinson were secretary and DOC representative respectively.
- Sarah W. Dickinson '99
Ledyard Canoe Club
The canoe club had a very successful year despite a rainy summer and subsequent loss of revenue. The year was characterized by a number of new trips both flatwater and whitewater, in addition to a dramatic increase in the number of active participants in the club and club activity levels. The club did have a fairly difficult year in its dealings with the Outdoor Programs office. The implementation of the recommendations from DORC caused some dramatic changes in the way the club was managed that needed, and still need to be worked through. In this report I want to briefly talk about the new activities of the club, its growth, and its relationship with Outdoor Programs.
New trips were big this year. At the end of spring term 1996, two trips went out, one to Idaho and one to Minnesota. Both were tremendously successful. In addition, the return of an organized Fall Trip made this trip seem likely to be an annual affair in Ledyard's boating calendar. These trips were a tremendous success, and were only possible through use of club resources. Numerous other trips during the summer were turned into private trips in order to reduce expenditures on boating, but these major trips were something that would not have been possible without the active involvement of the club through equipment and subsidies. In addition, the club dedicated a portion of its funds to send former President Ian Stewart to the Wildwater World Championships in Austria.
Another important characteristic of the club was the growth in popularity of whitewater kayaking. Several students were certified as ACA (American Canoe Association) Instructors with the club's help insuring that we will continue to be able to provide well taught PE classes, and that more of the Dartmouth community will be able to participate in the sport of kayaking. Commensurate with the growth in the PE program was a growth in the popularity of beginning and intermediate trips. Numerous beginner trips were run throughout the Spring summer and fall, and Spring Trip presented the largest group to date, and was completely full by October. Participation in flatwater and marathon canoeing was also maintained with a number of flatwater trips, and marathon and canoe camping PE classes.
This was a difficult year for Ledyard's relationship with Outdoor Programs. Dramatic changes in college supervision changed the role of the club's Board of Directors, and greatly stressed the relationship between students and OPO. After a lengthy set of discussions, most issues raised by students, OPO and Board members were resolved. These issues considered the revised role of the board and improved communications with a club partner. The one issue that is still outstanding in this discussion is control of Ledyard's finances. Ledyard has a unique source of income among DOC clubs, and a policy of bringing the management of Ledyard more in line with other clubs seriously affects the internal workings of the club, and is of great concern to the students. As of this date, I am hopeful that this problem will be resolved.
Dartmouth Ski Patrol
The 1996-1997 season saw many changes and events for the Dartmouth Ski Patrol, including new training, new members, and new equipment.
During the spring of 1996, the patrol fell naturally back into its forgotten role as emergency medical provider for the Outing Club at the Mascoma Whitewater races, and the 50 mile hike in the fall. The presence of the patrol as a dedicated emergency team meant that there was an obvious mechanism for individuals to seek medical attention as needed, even for minor injuries which might otherwise have been neglected.
The fall term was kicked off with the annual recruitment drive for new members. Dozens of prospective members showed up to our open house, and over 50 applied for a position in the OEC class, with preference given to last year's first-year Apprentice patrollers. The Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) class was limited to 16 participants, to ensure plenty of hands-on experience and a high instructor-to-student ratio. A standardized application form and interview procedure were used to ensure fairness. Those First-Year applicants who were unable to be placed in the OEC class were offered an opportunity to participate as "Apprentice Patrollers," of which approximately 25 decided to partake. This fall had one of the highest memberships ever in the DSP, with over 50 members. These students got together to pull off the most successful fund raiser in recent history, under the strong leadership and dedication of Fundraising Chair Stacey Davis '99, netting over $550 for the DSP.
The apprentice program was designed in 1995 to offer freshmen the opportunity to begin their involvement with the patrol slowly. In past years, many students entering the patrol as freshmen found that the new environment of the college led them to "bite off more than they could chew", and in the aftermath, many were forced to choose other activities over the patrol after their first year, thus wasting many hours of their time, and more hours of the time of the OEC instructor. Apprentice Patrollers have the opportunity to experience patrolling, and to become trained in the on-the-hill skills required of all patrollers. Their sophomore fall, they will be given first priority for the OEC class, and will become full patrollers at the beginning of their sophomore winter.
The interview process proved successful, as a very dynamic and enthusiastic group was selected for the OEC course, including 13 '99's and 3 '00's.
With the devastating loss of Matt Fulton '96 to graduation, and the tough scheduling of co-instructor Scott Brown, Lon Setnik '98 was forced to teach the OEC class almost 90% alone, but managed to continue Matt's leadership in the direction of fun learning, with many activities mixed up into the infrequent lectures. The instructors resolved to avoid unnecessary lectures, by relying on the students to do their assigned textbook readings, and every attempt was made to provide ample hands-on time. The efforts paid off, and the class produced a number of hot-shot emergency care providers.
An outstanding refresher occurred in the fall, mostly because of the presence of outside help. No lecture was given by a member of the patrol, instead Dr. Reed Brozen, Dr. Katie Little, First-year Medical Student Tricia Petzold, Whaleback Ski Patrol Director Wil Guitar, and other outstanding members of the NSP community including Michael Sayer (ex-director of the Middlebury Ski Patrol) and Bob and Scott Brown (NSP Section Chief and long-standing ski patroller at King Ridge respectively) blessed the refresher with their leadership and presence.
This year's ski season got off to an unusual start. Due to poor weather, and a crazy post-New Year's schedule, we were unable to hold our annual first-weekend training marathon. Instead, a new system was devised to provide equal training to those working every shift, and this training was provided by the "shift supervisor" as dictated by hard-working DSP-Training Officer John LaMattina '99.
Once again, the non-student volunteers held down the fort when the DSP was unable to provide complete coverage, and both organizations worked towards merging interests and training, with some success. It seems the avenues of communication have opened up, and we expect good relationships to prosper with such ski patrol legends as Bob Brown (Nominated for NSP-regional director), Hans Zopf (31 years), and DJ Johnson (30 years this spring). We will be losing a local favorite, Chris Prior, who is leaving after his second year to pursue bigger things and deeper powder in Vail next year.
For the second year in a row, the DSP has been blessed with new equipment, under the watchful eye of Equipment Officer Frank Cappello '99, which brings us up to the standard of the Ski Patrol industry. The purchase of a second Cascade 100, two portable oxygen systems, and a sled carrier for the ski lifts, has continued the rapid evolution of our equipment. Those purchases were made possible by the generosity of the DOC with matching funds from the fall DSP fund-raiser.
Also looking good on the gear front were the patrol vests purchased from Ski Area Supplies as a uniform option this year. To reduce costs, hopefully graduating patrollers will be willing to sell their uniforms to apprentices for use next year. For the record, no patroller was seen on the slopes in blue jeans this year. During the fall term, fleece vests and jackets for off duty or aid room wear were obtained from Colorado at half of retail price, and embroidery was done by TopStitch, also of Lebanon. The vests looked really sharp, and did a lot to build team spirit.
The decision to discontinue placing large orders with the unreliable NSP Warehouse will hopefully make the supply process a lot smoother in the future. This year's packs were ordered from Conterra Technical Systems, and they were cheaper, better quality, and they were actually in stock and delivered promptly.
One of the most revolutionary acts of the winter, the First-Annual Ski Patrol Formal, was executed by a hard-working Danielle Poulin '99, Social Chair to the DSP. This was attended by almost 50 members, including long-time DSSP member/Director John Koiter and his stunning wife, as well as new (kind of) members to the Dartmouth scene, Demitri Geriakis '63, and his son Peter, who both are now valued DSSP members.
This year's relationship with skiway staff could not have been better. The Mini-Hop continued to provide free drinks, and even gave each patroller a cost- and waste-cutting enviromug labeled with our names. Many patrollers took advantage of free-rentals to try their luck at skiing parabolics, or snowboarding, and not one was seriously injured. Mike Lepene '99, Assistant Director, probably should have, after he broke his skis and was forced to patrol on "cut-offs" which were about 60 cm long and 60 years old. That's just one of the reasons he was so important to the patrol this season, he was always able to make sure we kept it fun.
This year, we again broke the 50 injury mark, which has been the average for past years. In response to that, this season included bi-weekly training, again spearheaded by John LaMattina, that involved reviewing cases from the previous few weeks. We developed a relationship with Dr. Brozen and were allowed to perform continuing education follow-ups at DHMC-ED.
The year ended with a bit of a bang, with late February and early March providing some of the best skiing of the season after some big snowfalls. This gave everyone that extra boost of enthusiasm to keep patrolling in those final few weeks. Over 90% of the patrol finished their allotted hours within the term, and a few even stayed during finals and vacation to put in a little extra time. Hopefully, this enthusiasm can keep its momentum going into the 1997-98 season, where the DSP again intends to prove we belong on the mountain, and deserve the credit we are now starting to see.
- Respectfully submitted, Lon J. Setnik, EMT-OECT/I, Patrol Director '96-'97
The Dartmouth Snowboarding Club, as of March 1997 has listed approximately 100 members and approximately 150 names on the Snowboarding Club blitzlist. By looking at the numbers it is evident that there is a strong interest in snowboarding on campus. The actual number of snowboarders is rapidly increasing with many of the members joining during the '97 winter snowboarding season. The club's events have attempted to bring together, in a comfortable environment, those that have questions about snowboarding, those that want to hang out with other snowboarders, and those that are interested in sharing anything they can about a sport that is either a fun past time or a lifelong obsession.
The Club had a great year, meeting about every two or three weeks to wax boards, have refreshments, share stories and watch snowboarding movies. After a long summer the leaders of the club also offered members information concerning snowboarding events and opportunities at resorts around New Hampshire and Vermont, including Killington, and the Dartmouth Skiway. One problem that arose throughout the season was a lack of Dartmouth and DOC certified van drivers to transport members to any places to ride.
The Club accomplished two major tasks this year: first, offering all members a substantial pre-deal from Sims Snowboard Company, and second, offering all members the opportunity to go on the annual Snowboarding Club Spring Break Trip, this year to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The pro-deal worked out well, giving at least 15 members new '97 Sims boards at a great price. The Jackson Hole trip was very successful, taking 16 members to Wyoming for 8 days of great skiing and snowboarding.
Many of the Club's members were instructors at the Dartmouth Skiway and this gave them the opportunity to ride, share their skills with others, beginners and intermediate, and spread the word about the Dartmouth Snowboarding Club's events. Many people, students and faculty, had the opportunity to go out and ride this winter with the confidence that a Club member would always be willing to help and share their knowledge whenever necessary.
Some of the goals of the club this year were to do more events, get more people involved and to spread the word about a DOC club that has not been very strong in the past. Hopefully this Spring 97 the Club will continue to spread the word and share its passion with whoever wants to get involved, on whatever snow that remains. Trips to Tuckerman Ravine and local resorts are planned for this term, as well as trips to local snowboard shops to take advantage of the great end of the season sales on snowboarding gear. With the ever increasing rise in interest in the sport it is important for the club to offer opportunities for its members to get outfitted with all of the proper gear at a modest prices.
The sky's the limit for next year's club events and every year thereafter. The Club should be able to offer its members every opportunity to take advantage of the great riding here in the Northeast and here at Dartmouth.
- Adam Chavez, Melanie Watts, JC Martinez, Brett Jensen
Women in the Wilderness
Spring 1996 was a challenging experiment in group leadership. Four fledgling W.I.W. leaders made a valiant attempt at organizing and planning trips for the term, although the lack of experience and drivers were definite stumbling blocks. Much experience was gained in the logistical workings of running the club, however, and the knowledge was carried on to the following year.
During summer 1996, W.I.W. was inactive.
Early in Fall 1996, the Passion Constellation convened in Sara's apartment and inspired one another for a new year of Women in the Wilderness. A constitution, drafted one Sunday morning at the River Ranch, solidified and strengthened the organization and character of the group. Fall activities included a hike up Mt. Ascutney, a trip to Stoddard in the Second College Grant, and the end of-term retreat at Great Bear, where we gave Colleen a tearful sendoff back to San Diego.
Winter 1997 brought snowshoeing up Smarts Mountain, an interesting attempt at a cross-country ski trip, from which the lesson of where to park, and where not to park, was finally learned. Then came a successful winter camping trip near Moosilauke during which we were blessed with warm, beautiful, sunny weather and a great group of women. The end of term retreat turned into an eight hour dinner and movie fest at the Women's Resource Center due to snowy roads, and the desire to just veg out and eat popcorn, and of course the weekly Sunday dinners each term were always well attended.
We are looking forward to a wonderful Spring term, including a llama trek and hike up Franconia Ridge. Thanks to everyone who made W.I.W this year such a success!
- Lauren C. Allan-Vail '99