Winter School 2009 Information
Winter School starts February 2nd and runs through March 1st.
What is Winter School?
Winter School is an opportunity to learn about winter outdoor recreation
including hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, ice climbing, and mountaineering, from
fellow members of the Yale community. You will also learn how to survive in cold
weather (and enjoy it), how to make snow anchors and snow angels, what to wear,
what to eat, how to be warm sleeping in a snow cave, the list goes on...
What is the format?
Lectures every Monday and Wednesday from 7:30pm to 9:30pm through the month of
February (Dunham Lab 220). Topics covered will include food, clothing, snow
camping, snowshoeing, ice axe and crampon use, cross-country and backcountry
skiing, ice climbing, and more. Guest lecturers include faculty from the Geology
Department and an alpine expedition doctor.
Each weekend Winter School trips around New England will focus on specific
skills covered in lectures, such as using ice axes to arrest a fall on steep
snow or building secure snow shelters for camping. Trips ranging from day
snowshoes to winter camping to backcountry skiing and ice climbing will be
offered throughout the month, varying in intensity level and distance from
Trips are optional. You can attend the lectures as you see fit (attending more
is encouraged), but in order to go on any weekend trips, you need to attend the
first two lectures on Feb 2nd and Feb 4th when we will cover important safety
If you are unable to attend these lectures:
review the presentation PDFs
below and complete
these make-up questions
to remain eligible to go on trips. We need to all be
on the same page safety-wise.
Is previous winter experience necessary?
No, none at all. We want to teach you how to have fun safely in the
winter--regardless of experience or fitness level.
Do I need to register?
No, but to go on any trips, you need to attend the first two lectures Feb 2nd
and Feb 4th. See the make-up
above if you are unable to attend the first two lectures.
Where do I show up?
What does it cost?
Lectures are free. For trips, we will charge a nominal trip fee and will rent
winter gear as needed. You will also need to join the outing clubs
($10/semester) to go on any trips. Remember to bring your checkbook at that
time. You will need at least one check for a deposit each time you rent gear,
and then when you return gear you can pay rental fees by cash, check, or card.
Gas will be split by trip participants.
What do I need if I want to go on trips?
You can rent most technical gear from the outing clubs, but you will need your
own winter clothing. And you will need a few pieces of gear: A compass, whistle,
flashlight (headlamp preferred), and water bottles (at least 2 liters worth).
See a full list of clothing and gear here
What are the lecture topics?
- Feb 2: Essential Skills
- Feb 4: Basic Winter Travel
- Feb 9: Backcountry Safety and Climbing
- Feb 11: Multi-Day Trips
- Feb 16: Advanced Winter Travel
- Feb 18: Skiing and Glaciers
- Feb 23: Expeditions
- Feb 25: What's Next?
Anything else I should know?
The third week of Winter School—the lectures on glaciology, avalanches, and snow
and ice travel—are being held in conjunction with the Yale Student Environmental
Coalition's "Water Week."
And the final weekend of Winter School (Feb 31 - Mar 1) Yale Outdoors is
offering a Wilderness First Aid course—training required for leaders of the
outing clubs (and future Winter School leaders). E-mail
.edu for information.
How do I get more information?