This fall, first-year trips will have their final celebrations at Dartmouth Skiway.
Members of the Class of 2021 will continue the Dartmouth Outing Club first-year trips tradition this fall, but because it is taking longer than expected to complete construction of the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, trips will end with an overnight stay at the McLane Family Lodge at the Dartmouth Skiway in Lyme, N.H., instead of at Moosilauke.
“The lodge construction schedule was very ambitious from the start,” says Eric Ramsey, associate dean for student life. “The project team aimed high trying to finish it in time for trips. It is, however, more important to us that students’ first interaction is with a beautiful, finished lodge.”
Equally important, says Dean of the College Rebecca Biron, is the continuation of the enduring and distinctive Dartmouth tradition of ending trips at Moosilauke. First-year trips connect students to one another and to the College as they embark on a new chapter of their lives.
“We look forward to opening the lodge in September and concluding trips at Moosilauke for the Class of 2022, and for generations to come,” Biron says. “That’s not going to change.”
Construction is proceeding smoothly, says Joanna Whitcomb, director of campus planning. The building is now weather-tight, and exterior siding and trim are starting to go up. Inside, masonry work is going on throughout the lodge, along with work on mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire-protection systems. The new lodge includes a number of rustic design elements, a way of paying tribute to the original building while making the lodge more energy efficient and accessible to people with disabilities. The adjustment in the project completion date is due to early snowfall this past year and to building challenges presented by the site.
Students will make lifelong connections during this fall’s trips, says Ramsey. Going to the skiway will show Dartmouth’s newest class “another gorgeous place that’s part of the Dartmouth experience.”
This isn’t the first time first-year trips have been relocated. In the 1980s, a plumbing issue at Moosilauke made it impossible to use the lodge for a while. Planners say such problems are unlikely to arise in a new building with state-of-the-art facilities, including a kitchen that will make it much easier to prepare meals for hungry hikers.
“The student directorate is poised to make this year’s trips experience as memorable as ever,” says Outdoor Programs Director Dan Nelson ’75. “The Class of ’21 will have plenty of opportunities to reinforce their sense of place at Moosilauke over the course of their first year.”