The Center for Student Development hosted a snow tubing excursion to Hunter Mountain on Jan. 27. The trip, which ran from 3:30 to 9 p.m., gave first-year students a private session of slippery sliding down a section of the mountain.
“Students who attended last year’s snow tubing trip filled the sign-up in less than two days,” Tara Sestanovich, coordinator of first-year programming, said. “They had great feedback about the trip; it was a very popular activity. The Hunter Mountain staff has also continued to be very helpful with planning the two hours of private snow tubing time just for SUNY New Paltz students.”
The Center for Student Development, which hosts the excursion as part of the “Welcome Back Weekend,” has nearly doubled the number of spots available from last year to accommodate for the popularity of snow tubing. This year, 75 students registered for the event, filling the spots in only two days and overflowing onto a wait list. Orientation Leaders also attended the trip as chaperones.
“It’s cold and beautiful out there,” Patti Morrow, a representative from Hunter Mountain Resort’s reservations department, said. “I know they’ll love it.”
The snow tubing section of Hunter Mountain is a designated area, complete with a log cabin for refreshments and a fire pit off to the side of the parking lot. Two electrical tow lines, built much like the tow lines for children’s bunny slopes, are manned by attendants who attach lines to the tubes. On the way up to the top of the chutes, snow tubers sit back in their tubes, wave to onlookers and enjoy the fresh mountain air.
After hopping off the tow line, participants drag their tube to a chute entrance. There, attendants push or spin the tubes at the top of the chute, and momentum takes care of the rest. Some students choose to link the single-rider tubes together by tucking their feet under the armpits of the person in front of them, sometimes making chains of tubes with several people.
“I signed up to go because during my middle school senior trip, I was able to go snow tubing. I just remember it being so much fun that I decided to go again. The price was also great,” Annette Vera, an undeclared first-year student, said.
Although the event is not part of the First-year Fridays series, which takes place during the fall, Welcome Back Weekend continues the trend of helping students experience what SUNY New Paltz and the Hudson Valley have to offer.
To hold even more programming through the winter, Sestanovich has started a new Movie Night Series, in which feature films “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Skyfall” and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” will be screened in the Lecture Center on select days in February.
Vera speaks highly of other events geared toward first-year students as well.
“It’s been great because you get to meet the other freshmen. It makes me appreciate the school a whole lot more because the events that they’ve organized for us are always a lot of fun, and I just think it’s very thoughtful of them.”