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Skidmore College

Wander into Skidmore Outing Club

March 4, 2019
by Harry Mooney '21 | Photos by Amira Silverman '21

It’s 6 a.m. and minus 3 degrees outside. I am standing in the Case Campus Center parking lot with a backpack, thermal layers, chocolate and snowshoes. For some, it may seem like an odd picture. But for me, it’s a normal Saturday with Skidmore Outing Club.

This particular Saturday, eight other Outing Club devotees and I were up early for a trek into the Adirondack Park. Our destination: more than 4,000 feet up to Wright Peak’s summit, where we’d learn it was about minus 20 degrees with 75-mph wind gusts.  

Add some frost to my eyelashes and subtract one chocolate bar, and it was one of the best outdoor experiences, with some of the best people, I have ever had. 

Join The biggest club, the biggest family 

My day on Wright Peak is both one of a kind and one of many. I’ve been on dozens of adventures so far with Outing Club. Each one is something to cherish. 

You see, Outing Club has been my family since the moment I arrived at Skidmore. Like any family, we’re united by our commitment to supporting each other (something that backpacking and rock-climbing adventures force you to do). The more adventures you have, the tighter you become.  

We’re so tight that we willingly spend every Sunday night together, meeting to swap outdoor stories from the weekend and plan what’s next, like part of a family. 

Skidmore students hike in the winter in the Adirondack Park

rEAP THE Club benefits 

Outing Club is the biggest club at Skidmore, with over 800 members. Our purpose is to make the outdoors accessible to students with all levels of experience.

Every weekend, our Wilderness First Aid-certified Outing Club leaders host unique trips near and far. So, if having icicles form on your eyelashes as you pull that balaclava over your nose isn’t your thing, I assure you the club leads other kinds of activities, too.  

Another cool aspect of Outing Club is our gear shed. Whether it’s rock climbing, ice hiking or anything between, specific gear is often needed for comfort and safety. Luckily, we have it all! For personal use or an organized trip, club members can stop by the gear shed and sign out whatever they need, wherever they’re going.  

Skidmore students hang out in hammocks after a hike in the mountains

See the (natural) world With Skidmore 

Yes, being at the top of Wright Peak with my best friends in the middle of winter was pretty cool. But what’s even cooler is the sheer variety of experiences I’ve had at Skidmore because of Outing Club.  

To capture the places we go, we’ve begun archiving each of our trips in an interactive map. Curious where you might travel with us? Check it out. Each marked location is a recent trip with a description, difficulty rating and photos. 

Skidmore Outing Club adventure map

Last year, I went to Joshua Tree National Park for a week, spent many weekends on all levels of hikes in the Adirondacks and walked on a slackline next to Lake George on my birthday.  

So far this year, I have rock climbed multiple times a week, gone ice skating on a frozen quarry in Vermont, skied in our own North Woods and down the slopes of Gore Mountain. 

And that’s only the beginning.

Outing Club has given me priceless experiences and the friends to share them with. It’s an essential part of my Life at Skidmore.  

I’ll see you on the mountain! 

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About the Author

Harry Mooney

Harry is a junior from North Bridgton, Maine, studying history and philosophy. You will likely find him at the climbing gym, the library, the Adirondack high peaks, or his bird’s eye window seat high up in Jonsson Tower. His favorite building on campus is D-Hall and his favorite color is chartreuse.