The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Author: Sarah Rothmann Page 1 of 4

Ski Teams Impress at St. Lawrence Carnival

Most Bobcats finished their travel plans as they transitioned back into another semester at Bates. The Nordic and Alpine Ski teams, however, could not get too comfortable in Maine. Both teams drove six hours to Lake Placid, New York, for their first Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association Carnival race of the year, the St. Lawrence Carnival. The carnival spanned two days, Jan. 12-13, with Bates’s Nordic and Alpine Ski teams combining to score 331 carnival points, finishing 9th out of 17 participating teams. Nordic competed at Mt. Van Hoevenburg, while Alpine raced on Whiteface Mountain.

DENNIS CURRAN/COURTESY PHOTO
Kayelyn Woods ‘20 led thewomen’s Nordic Ski team to their 7th place finish, earning 16th place in the 5K and 14th in the 10K races


For the Nordic team, on Jan. 12, Kaelyn Woods ’20 placed 16th out of 98 competitors in the women’s 5K freestyle. She completed the grueling course in a brisk 16:35.1. Maya Seckinger ’21 placed 39th, Olivia Skillings ’22 debuted in 44th, and Zoe McKinney placed 49th. These Bobcats finished with times of 17:32.5, 17:39.8, and 17:58.5 respectively, rounding out the carnival’s top 50 times. On the men’s team, Brad Ravenelle ’21 led the Bobcats in 58th place out of 102 individuals in the 10K freestyle race and completed the course in 30:44.2. Henry Raff ’22, captain Carter Ros ’21, and Tucker Barber ’21 were not too far behind, finishing 60th, 63rd, and 66th respectively.

On the Alpine Ski team’s mountain on opening day, Griffin Mueller ’20, who qualified and competed at the NCAA Championships last year, placed 16th in the women’s slalom. Mueller had runs of 49.19 and 51.00 seconds for a combined time of 1:40.19. Tess Coutu ’22 started her alpine ski career with a combined time of 1:44.47, which put her in 27th place. For the men’s team, Arie Van Vuuren ’22 finished 16th in the slalom while Joe Gillis ’21 placed 27th in 1:39.69. After this first day of competition, the Nordic and Alpine Ski teams stood in ninth place out of 17 teams, with 239 carnival points.

“Last year we had a great season and saw the team have some of its best results for years,” Muller said. “We would love to see a little more consistency this year and want to make sure we are getting faster throughout the season…This year’s squad stands out because we are still such a young team and are grounded by just a few upper-classmen with the bulk of the team members and the energy especially coming from the freshman and sophomores on the team,” she continued. “Also, the team has so much passion and energy driving them it is going to lead to great results.”

“Although ski is a very individual sport, since you’re the only one racing down the mountain, it’s also about the team that supports one another,” West added. “So, a goal for this season is to get as many athletes to NCAAs as we can by cheering each other on and pushing everybody in training.”

The final day of the carnival saw Nordic’s Woods finish 14th out 98 competitors in the women’s 10K classical technique race. She covered the course in 35:52.7. Seckinger ‘21 and Skillings ’22 finished second and third for the Bobcats, completing the course in 30th and 36th with times of 37:20.8 and 38:23.0. On the men’s side, Raff led the Bobcats, finishing the 10K course in 31:22.8, Ros placed 57th in 32:02.2 and Barber rounded off the scorers in 58th.

For Alpine, Gillis completed the men’s giant slalom races with a career best 19th place finish. Max Schneider ’21 tied for 32nd place out of 64 competitors with a time of 2:17.4. Calvin Wilson ’22 placed 42nd in 2:19.01. On the women’s side, Hannah West lead the way in 25th out of 73 competitors. Coutu finished her debut in 33rd place with a time of 2:28.25.

Overall, the carnival was successful for both teams, with Bates scoring 331 points and securing 9th out of 17 teams. The Nordic and Alpine teams hope to continue their success at the UNH Carnival at the Jackson Ski Touring Center in Jackson, New Hampshire this weekend, Jan. 18-19.

“I hope this team can stand in the top five at some of our carnivals,” Mueller said. “The most immediate goal I have for is to improve upon every weekend and be around to push each other.”

“Although ski is a very individual sport, since you’re the only one racing down the mountain, it’s also about the team that supports one another,” West added. “So, a goal for this season is to get as many athletes to NCAAs as we can by cheering each other on and pushing everybody in training.”

The final day of the carnival saw Nordic’s Woods finish 14th out 98 competitors in the women’s 10K classical technique race. She covered the course in 35:52.7. Seckinger ‘21 and Skillings ’22 finished second and third for the Bobcats, completing the course in 30th and 36th with times of 37:20.8 and 38:23.0. On the men’s side, Raff led the Bobcats, finishing the 10K course in 31:22.8, Ros placed 57th in 32:02.2 and Barber rounded off the scorers in 58th.

For Alpine, Gillis completed the men’s giant slalom races with a career best 19th place finish. Max Schneider ’21 tied for 32nd place out of 64 competitors with a time of 2:17.4. Calvin Wilson ’22 placed 42nd in 2:19.01. On the women’s side, Hannah West lead the way in 25th out of 73 competitors. Coutu finished her debut in 33rd place with a time of 2:28.25.

Overall, the carnival was successful for both teams, with Bates scoring 331 points and securing 9th out of 17 teams. The Nordic and Alpine teams hope to continue their success at the UNH Carnival at the Jackson Ski Touring Center in Jackson, New Hampshire this weekend, Jan. 18-19.

“I hope this team can stand in the top five at some of our carnivals,” Mueller said. “The most immediate goal I have for is to improve upon every weekend and be around to push each other.”

Men’s Cross-Country Impresses in Wisconsin at NCAAs

The men’s cross country team started their Thanksgiving break with a short, but exciting, trip to Winneconne, Wis. for the Division III NCAA Championships. The 8-kilometer race was held on Nov. 17 at the Lake Breeze Golf Club and comprised a field of 280 nationally qualified collegiate runners. This trip marked the men’s cross-country team’s first presence at the NCAA Championships since 2013, the sixth experience overall, and the first experience traveling with the women’s team since 2012.

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Men’s Cross Country Dominates NESCAC Championships

The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) is notoriously one of the most competitive Division III conferences in the country. Several schools such as Amherst, Williams, and Tufts are often nationally ranked. Therefore, when Bates’ cross country team finished fourth out of 11 schools at the Championship meet at Franklin Park in Boston on Oct. 27, it should be recognized as a tremendous accomplishment.

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Coach Hall Looks to Enliven Bates Football

Last year marked Head Football Coach Mark Harriman’s 20th and final season. The Bobcats capped off Harriman’s final season with a record of 2-7. Their only two wins were against Bowdoin and Colby, granting them the state of Maine CBB title.

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Rowing Teams Ready to Dominate the NESCAC and NCAA This Spring

One point capped off an incredible 2016-17 season for the women’s rowing team. The Bobcats became national champions as their second varsity eight narrowly defeated the Williams Ephs by one crucial point on Mercer Lake in West Winsor, New Jersey at the NCAA Championships last May. The men’s team also had a remarkable 2016-17 season, as they placed a program-best second in the men’s varsity eight and first in the second varsity eight at the New England Rowing Championships on Quinsigamond Lake in Worcester, MA during the same month. Both teams look back at these impressive achievements fondly but are excited for a fresh slate this spring.

“We have a large team this year with a strong freshman class, so we’re looking to continue to have good depth on our team,” says senior captain Olivia Stockly ’18 on behalf of the entire team. “Every year presents a new challenge, so we’re not necessarily looking at last year, but rather trying to find our full potential this year.”

As a team we are really striving to solidify ourselves as a dominate force, not only within the NESCAC, but also within the rowing community in general,” says men’s senior captain Kyle Schueter ’18. “We are going into this spring season as deep and as strong, across the board, as the team has ever been. Earning a spot in the de facto D1 national championships, IRA’s, is something that all of us have our eyes set on. It would be a NESCAC first and Bates first to get an invitation to such an elite event.”

Unfortunately, the beginning of the season has proven to be rather difficult for both teams. Relentless March blizzards have kept the Bobcats off the water during practices and races, delaying the start of competitions. Given the slow start, the teams are antsy to get on the water and face new rivals.

“We’ll be racing against some teams we’ve never seen before, which is an exciting new challenge,” agrees Stockly and the women’s team. “At this point, we’re just ready to get on the water, competition or practice! Coming off the high momentum of the fall, we’re all very excited to find new speed and face some good competition!”

The women not only dedicate their time to hard work in their erg room, but also test their swim racing talents. “Although we spend the majority of the time in the erg room, every so often we dabble in our swimming abilities with relays and laps,” adds Stockly. “Mostly, we are splashing and making lots of noise and thinking about how easily the Bates swim team would put us to shame!”

The men have also made the most of their practices. “We have been putting in some serious hard work indoors,” says Schueter. “The amount of bulk work we have been doing inside only makes us relish the moments we get on the water that much more, and we always strive to make the most of our time outside of the erg room,” says Schueter.

Saturday, March 31 saw uplifting feats, as both teams used their intensive practices to their advantage and reigned victorious at their respective competitions on the Charles River Basin. The women competed against Simmons, Radcliffe, MIT, and Georgetown and returned to Bates with an impressive 4-1 win. Although a closer result, the men competed against Harvard, Trinity, and Boston College and came home with a 5-4 win. The success that the men and women’s teams saw this weekend foreshadows an exciting spring of regattas!

“Even though most of our competition has been on the water for some time, we’re just excited to get out and see what we can do without water time,” says Stockly and the women’s team. “At this point, we’re hoping for warm weather to melt the river!”

“Also, the indoor work has shown just how strong our team is overall compared to previous years, and it is very exciting to see such powerful underclassmen making their strides in our program, and who are willing to keep pushing the envelope and limits of our successes,” says Schueter.

Overall, on both the men’s and women’s sides, depth has been added to their rosters with strong showings from all class years. The Bobcats look forward to keeping up the momentum from this weekend and jumping into April and May ready to earn huge strides and historic accomplishments.

 

Baseball Team Looks to Reclaim Their Season After Tough Start in California

Despite a six-game losing streak during their week-long 2018 debut in California, Bates’ baseball team looks to persevere and regain a victorious momentum throughout the remainder of their season. The Bobcats were in California from Sunday, February 18-Saturday, February 24 and recorded six losses against Pomona-Pitzer, Occidental, Whittier, Cal Lutheran, Claremont-M-S, and Puget Sound. When reflecting on these losses, the team agrees that they need to bounce back by regaining their focus and playing with more energy and confidence.

“We got off to a tough start in California and I think we just were not prepared all the way around,” says Zachary Avila ‘20. “There were undoubtedly some good teams but we just lost some of those games due to lack of preparation.”

“We did not do nearly as we had planned, but we’ve now had almost a month to work on the weaknesses we identified and feel ready to compete come NESCAC time,” adds senior captain Jacob Shapiro ‘18.

This is the Bobcats’ second season with head coach Jon Martin and the team understands that his expectation for them is to work on “executing” every pitch and situation, whether it be in games or practice. After a month of intensive practice and teambuilding, the Bobcats have already begun to turn their 2018 record around. On Saturday, March 10, less than a month from their California season opener, the Bobcats traveled to Northboro, Mass. and swept Worcester State at the conclusion of an exciting double-header.

“Last weekend, against Worcester State was all around great baseball in both games,” says Patrick Beaton ‘20. “Our pitchers did really well. Offensively, we had timely hits when we needed, with men in scoring positions to start innings. We also capitalized on all their defensive mistakes.”

Game One ended with the Bobcats finishing with a tight victory of 3-2. The competition lasted for twelve grueling, hard-fought innings. During the final inning, Avila hit an RBI single to send Pat Beaton ‘20 home for the winning run. Beaton had hit a triple before Avila was at bat. On the mound, the Bobcats only allowed two runs and six hits. Senior captain Connor Russell ‘18 lasted five innings and only gave up three runs before Shapiro took over during the sixth to earn the win. Russell struck out three batters, while Shapiro allowed no runs and struck out five batters.

Later that same day, the Bobcats defeated Worcester State 4-3 after another close game. The Bobcats won the game in the bottom of the seventh inning when Dan Trulli ‘19 hit a walkoff single. Relief pitcher Justin Foley ‘19 earned the win, allowing no runs and recording three strikeouts.

“Ever since California, we have proclaimed ourselves to be in the land of execution,” says Avila. “We know we don’t have a big team, so we have been preparing a lot for the small ball aspect of the game, such as bunting and hit and runs.”

“I think one thing that sparked us after California and made us play with more energy, as crazy as it sounds, is a picture of one of our teammates smiling at the camera during batting practice and giving a thumbs up,” Kyle Carter ‘20 remembers. “Coach Martin got hold of the picture and now the awkward-smile-thumbs-up has become our thing, and it gives us so much energy for some reason.”

The Bobcats will continue to build upon their team chemistry and use mementos such as the “awkward-smile-thumbs-up” photo to earn more NESCAC wins. The overarching goal for the team is to get to the NESCAC tournament, and that requires a cohesive team unit.

“We have a young lineup this year, but with great senior leadership and a great pitching staff, we know we have what it takes to not only get to the NESCAC Tournament, but win it,” says Avila. “Since California, our entire outlook has changed, and there is a new sense of energy and focus in the locker room.”

The Bobcats’ games against MIT that were supposed to be scheduled for Sunday, March 18 were postponed but they will look to keep their winning streak Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 with back-to-back doubleheaders against Salem State and Endicott.

Q&A: Dinos Letkaritis ’19 Shares Stories from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games

February break feels like ages ago. Alpine skier Dinos Lefkaritis ‘19, however, remembers that week like it was yesterday. During break, Lefkaritis was in Pyeongchang County, South Korea representing his country, Cyprus, in the Olympic games. Despite a 10 hour time difference and an intensive training schedule, Lefkaritis took the time to share his remarkable Olympics experience with me.

The Bates Student: (BS) When did you find out that you got selected to represent Cyprus at the Olympics?

Dinos Lefkaritis (DL): I found out after the Olympic list was published on January 22. Until the deadline, I was racing with the national team in order to get the lowest average out of five races. Cyprus only got one spot for alpine skiing.

BS: Describe your thoughts before arriving to the Olympics.

DL: I was in Cyprus for some days before the trip to Korea for some training and preparations. I wanted to start this journey as soon as possible. I had a small taste from participating in the 2012 Youth Olympics. There was some nice anxiety going into something so big and new.

BS: How did you prepare yourself for this competition?

DL: I was following our usual training program at Bates. Due to an injury in the summer, I needed to take a semester off and have more time to train and prepare. I was in Austria since September for training and then from December I joined the national team for our qualification races. With the good news, we decided to take the winter semester off as well for the Olympics. I had also seven days of training in Korea before the competition which was focused on getting used to the snow and adjusting to the equipment.

BS: What was it like being the sole athlete from Cyprus? Describe your thoughts during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

DL: Walking into the stadium, especially in the Opening Ceremony, was a very special moment. I just wanted to hold the flag as high and proud as possible. The Opening Ceremony was the first moment when I fully realized that I was at the Olympics. The shows were amazing and also being together with all the athletes from so many different countries under one Olympic flame was incredible.

BS: What was it like training with all of the athletes before competition?

DL: Besides training at the slopes we spent a lot of time in the gym and the fitness centers at the Olympic village. As an athlete, it was the best environment because everybody had similar goals and interesting stories to tell. Our events were later in the schedule so we got to watch other competitions from TV’s all around the village. In the village there was also a recreational center where we had games like air hockey, table football, and the best, a massage chair room. The center was filled with TV’s so we mostly watched other events there.

BS: What was your most memorable moment from the experience?

DL: I distinctly remember the Olympic circles on the starting gates and the flags. Everything was set up perfectly. You feel an obligation to yourself and your country to leave that starting gate with everything you have. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as I hoped for as I fell in both of my events but I have no regrets.

BS: The most difficult?

The end of the Games. I could definitely stay much longer but all good things come to an end. I have so many memories and experiences that will stay with me forever.

BS: What’s next in your skiing career?

DL: Until the end of this season, I will continue with training and races in Europe. I am looking forward to joining Bates again for the college championship. Looking even further, I hope I have the opportunity to represent my country again in big competitions.

BS: What are your plans for when you return to Bates?

DL: I will continue pursuing the combined plan of Mechanical Engineering and Economics.

BS: Any final thoughts?

DL: I really want to thank the Bates Alpine ski team, my teammates and coach Michaela Holland for all the help and support in this journey. The last two years, we have been working together and contributed a lot in this achievement. I also want to thank my parents for being next to me in good and bad times and lastly the whole Bates community for the amazing support.

 

Softball Team Sets Records in Florida

March is always a hectic month for Bates. The softball team, however, knows how to begin this crazy month right as they traveled south to Clermont, Florida for a week of intense competition. Instead of trucking through mounds of snow, the Bobcats took advantage of the warm Florida sun and won nine out of the twelve games that they played during the week. This is the best start the women’s softball team has seen since 1994.

“The Florida trip is an essential part of our season and travel experiences are important to the team because not only are we playing a lot of games down here, but we’re also together 24/7 for a week,” says Kirsten Pelletier ’20. “We’re cooking, cleaning, packing coolers, doing school work, and everything else in between which really allows us to develop an amazing team dynamic.”

Before the team started the week, they visited a second grade classroom at Clermont Elementary. While they were helping out, the teacher and her students used a “ten-finger woot-woot!” cheer whenever a hard question was answered correctly. The team took this saying under their wing during the rest of their time in Florida.

“When someone on the team gets a good hit, or makes a great play, we award them with a “ten-finger woot-woot!” Pelletier explains.

Tuesday, March 6 marked the first day of the week-long series and the Bobcats immediately started with a “ten-finger woot-woot!” During their first game against North Central University, Pelletier threw the team’s first no-hitter since 2013 to drive Bates to win 6-0. She struck out a career-high eleven batters. The Bobcats also tallied seven hits during this game with the first-years making impressive strides. Caroline Bass ’21 went 2-2 with a run scored, walk, and stolen base and Mary Colette ’21 went 2-3 at the plate.

“The no-hitter I threw was an awesome experience,” says Pelletier. “I have worked hard all offseason, and to see results in the first game was an amazing feeling.”

On the same day the Bobcats fell 7-2 to Dominican University. Julia Panepinto ’20 and Andrea Russo ’19 each recorded a pair of hits and RBI to put Bates on the board.

The Bobcats won all of the games that they played on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesday they won 1-0 against Penn State Brandywine and 5-4 against New England College. During the win against Penn State Brandywine, Pelletier allowed just two hits and struck out eight batters. On the same day, the Bobcats defeated Mitchell 9-1. Payton Buxton ’21 pitched a complete game and did not allow a single run after the first inning. The Bobcats scored five times in the third inning with Buxton scoring twice and driving in two runs.

Pelletier continued her dominance on Thursday, March 8 when she threw a complete game three-hitter and struck out seven batters. Mimi Crowley ’19 and Buxton both had two hits and Russo scored two runs. All of these impressive feats helped the Bobcats defeat Bridgewater State 3-1. Moreover, Buxton hit her first career home-run to help the Bobcats win a game against New England College with a score 5-4 that same day. Over the course of both games, runs were scored by Russo and Buxton.

Friday consisted of a tight win against Northwestern (Minn.) and a complete blowout against Wheelock. When the Bobcats played Northwestern, Pelletier threw another complete game with nine strikeouts and no walks. Russo, Panepinto, and Buxton each recorded two hits to help the Bobcats rise 4-3. Later that same day, Bates defeated Wheelock 15-1 as the Bobcats scored 10 runs in the sixth inning. Jevan Sandhu ’21 allowed just one run during the game and struck out two batters.

To end the week, on Saturday March 10, the Bobcats defeated Gordon College 12-6 and lost to UMass Dartmouth 2-0. During the win against Gordon, every Bates batter tallied at least one hit. Buxton threw four shutout innings, striking out five batters and allowing only one hit. Pelletier pitched the entire game against UMass Dartmouth, allowing eight hits and striking out two batters. Finally, on Sunday the Bobcats defeated Ripton 7-1 and lost to Minnesota-Morris 6-4.

Given their impressive week in the Florida, the Bobcats are eager to have this level of intensity be consistent through the rest of the season. “In general, we want to give it our all in every moment of every game. As a young team, our main focus is to compete and develop the program,” explains Russo.

 

Eleven Bobcats to Represent Bates Swimming and Diving at NCAAs

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving team will cap off a remarkable 2017-18 season by sending 11 Bobcats to the NCAA Division III Championships set to take place March 21-24 at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis. On both the men’s and the women’s teams, there are Bobcats who will be making their NCAA debut and those that will be returning to the national stage for their fourth consecutive year.

“I am proud of my team for being so positive throughout the rough parts of this sport; it makes the season more fun and happy,” says Caroline Apathy ’21 of Devon, Pennsylvania. “Just continuing training and doing what we’ve been doing will help us get ready for the meet. I’ve thought about having this chance and I’m excited and honored to represent Bates at NCAAs.”

“This year was a tighter group and everyone had each other’s back,” says Alex Bedard ’19 of Amherst, New Hampshire. “We are prepared for NCAAs by keeping the high energy from NESCACs and keeping the excitement for the next few weeks.”

The women’s team will be sending six athletes to the NCAA championships. These swimmers include: Apathy, Lucy Faust ’19, Janika Ho ’20, Monica Sears ’20, Hope Logan ’18, and Logan McGill ’18.

“My goals are to just have fun and enjoy Indy,” says Apathy. “I’ve swam here before and I haven’t seen the new renovations, so I’m looking forward to seeing the pool and hanging out with my team.”

“NCAAs is really a whole different ball game from the rest of the season. There are some incredibly talented swimmers in DIII, so it’s always fun to watch and learn from them,” says McGill. “For my final NCAAs, I’m mostly looking to enjoy the experience and take in everything I can one last time. I also want to focus on the relays I’m in, since those score a lot of points, but are also hands down the most fun.”

On the men’s side, there will be a record five swimmers attending the meet in Indianapolis. These Bobcats include Alex Bedard ’19, Jonathan Depew ’18, Riley Ewing ’18, Tanner Fuller ’20, and Teddy Pender ’18.

“As this is my first time making it to NCAAs, I am really just excited to be going,” says Bedard. “I’m really excited to be going with a large team, too, and to be able to share the experience with each other. That being said, I am going to go to the meet and not count anything out and still give it my all.”

“NCAAs is always an incredible experience and I’m honored to have this opportunity again. Going into this meet, I would love to finish top 16 for at least the 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke as well finish top 8 in our two medley relays,” Ewing says. “However, I’m mostly just looking to have fun this meet! It will likely be my last time competing in the sport that I have dedicated over a decade and a half to!”

For both teams, relays will be the focus. The 200 free relay team – Apathy, Ho, Logan, and Mcgill – is seeded 12th overall. The same group of women are seeded 14th in the 200 medley relay and 21st in the 400 medley relay. The 400 free relay team of Apathy, Ho, McGill, and Sears is seeded 17th.

On the men’s side, the 400 medley relay team of Ewing, Bedard, Pender, and Fuller is seeded 14th. Depew will be anchoring the men’s 200 medley relay team with Ewing starting and Bedard and Pender swimming the middle legs. This 200 medley relay team is seeded 15th.

The individual swimmers include Apathy, Sears, Ewing, Bedard, and Pender. Apathy is seeded fifth in the 100-yard butterfly and 56th in the 50 free. Sears is the 25th seed for the 200 freestyle and the 27th seed for the 1,650-yard freestyle. Ewing is seeded ninth in the 200 backstroke, 22nd in the 100 backstroke, and 36th in the 100 butterfly. Finally, Bedard is 26th in the 200 breaststroke and Pender is seeded 28th in the 100 freestyle.

“The next couple weeks, we will begin to focus on race development again. It’s a quick turnaround from conferences to NCAAs but every year the team is able to improve on records set at conferences,” says Ewing. “NCAA’s is always an incredible experience and I’m honored to have this opportunity again. It is fun being up against the best in the nation, representing Bates.”

  

Ice Climbing Is the Hidden Jem of Winter Sports

Ice-climbing is the type of Bates Outing Club (BOC) activity that has the potential to arouse tremendous fear amongst students. I can not speak for everybody but the thought of being suspended upwards of 30 feet, let alone 80 feet in the air when it is five degrees outside sounds intense but also very terrifying. After talking with BOC members Adam Dohn ‘20 and Sarah Abbott ‘21 about their ice-climbing adventures my perspective on the sport changed. Although Dohn and Abbott come from different levels of experience, they both agreed: “It is safe, fun, and the closest mountain, “The Crag,” is only 25 minutes away. No experience is necessary and everybody is welcome!”

BOC is able to provide equipment to make these ice-climbing trips a feasible possibility for everybody. The most important pieces of equipment that are necessary for a successful ice climb are crampons, which are metal spikes that latch onto your boots, and ice axes, which, in the words of Kohn, are “gnarly looking picks that swing into the ice and allow you to hang on.” Rope, climbing slings, and boots can also be found in the equipment room.

Kohn, from Corning, New York, has been ice-climbing for four years and recently led a BOC trip to the Mount Washington Ice Festival in North Conway, New Hampshire. He started climbing at the beginning of his junior year of high school. Before Bates, Kohn had to scramble to look for different cliffs to climb around the area where he lived and even remembers climbing the Sandstone boulders in the middle of the Pennsylvania woods. Now, as an active BOC member, he enjoys being able to find events that he can lead and undergo adventures with people who share a similar drive to try an activity completely new.

“In the climbing community having people to climb with is really huge because it is nice to have people that know the skills and can help you learn and get better,” says Kohn. “The outing club is just a great place to connect with those kinds of people and if you are not super experienced with climbing, it is a great place to have somebody take you under their wing and teach you all that you need to know.”

One such member of this tight-knit climbing community is first-year Sarah Abbott. Abbott, originally from Chatham, New Jersey, started ice-climbing as an after-school sport when she attended the White Mountain boarding school in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.

“Before I started school at White Mountain, I got a sports list and saw ice climbing. I didn’t know what it was so I checked the box and signed up!” says Abbott. “It is interesting to know people who have the same hobbies but it is also cool to just meet people who want to learn things that you never knew about.”

Among Abbott’s favorite ice climbing spots are “The Flume Gorge” in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire and “The Shagg Crag” in Bryant Pond, Maine. As a busy first-year who wanted to continue to find climbing adventures at Bates, Abbott finds herself at the “The Shagg Crag” at least once or twice a week.

Kohn’s favorite ice-climbing memory happened last year on a BOC trip.

“The trips can be really intimidating to start so we had one person that was coming up to the climbing wall and was absolutely terrified,” Kohn remembers. “Everybody was cheering him on and he went one arm, one leg at a time. He slowly made his way to the top with everybody cheering and was super happy and proud. Just seeing people go through the huge span of challenging emotions of trying to push themselves to accomplish a feat that they have never done before is something that I love to see.”

The peak ice-climbing season is relatively short and currently underway. During one of these cold winter weekends, especially as March lurks around the corner, be sure to stop at the BOC equipment room, contact Adam Kohn or Sarah Abbott, and sign up for an ice-climbing escapade!

 

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