Snow has been falling in such large quantities that there are three-to-four-foot snowbanks on the sides of the sidewalks. The temperatures last week were falling so low that those very same sidewalks were basically just ice. And all the while the wind is chilling temperatures well below zero.
It sounds like something described from the northern reaches of Alaska, but that’s been the reality here at Castleton University these last two weeks. Temperatures were hovering well below freezing, with a low of -16° on Jan. 22.
On top of the freezing temps, snowfall has been a regular sight as well, with over two feet of snow landing on the ground over the last two weeks.
“To be vulgar, it’s fucking cold,” laughed sophomore Abby Mayo. “At least the ice is getting covered, but it’s still pretty miserable.”
Many students on campus agree with Mayo, that the weather just isn’t enjoyable.
A common complaint is the struggle of getting places on campus. It’s a battle to walk on top of the snow and ice that has accumulated on the paths around Castleton. The occasional slip and tumble to the ground has become a common site around campus. It’s even harder on commuters who need to traverse the dangerous roads.
“I don’t like it, and there’s a lot of it, and it makes it hard to drive to and from school every day,” said Rutland commuter Caitlin Laird.
Of course, it isn’t just impacting students who commute. The weather has been affecting the folks who work at Castleton as well.
“I got here later the other day because of it,” said SGA advisor Matt Patry. “It’s kinda throwing my days off.”
But it’s not all doom and gloom on campus. There are plenty of students who are finding joy in the cold and snowy days. Even Patry, despite the struggles of commuting from Tinmouth, has been embracing the snow. “I really don’t mind it. I’m actually hoping to go ice fishing. I haven’t yet this year,” he said.
“I came to Vermont from Long Beach Island, New Jersey because I love the cold, I love the outfits that come along with the winter and fall season, I love snow. It looks beautiful,” said student Isabel Gogarty.
And those who love skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding are loving the recent winter stretch.
“I just bought snowshoes. I really like snowshoeing,” Gogarty said. “It’s a really great way to be physically active during the winter and everything at Castleton is just so beautiful.”
And it’s not just students who are getting in on the fun. Art department chair Oliver Schemm posted a video on his Facebook of him and his dog having a blast in the snow making snow angels.
Patry said he enjoys snow sculptures, ice fishing and snowshoeing with his son.
“We made a dragon that was 20 feet long one time,” he said with a smile.
Some are happy that the weather seems to be warming up this week, with temperatures expected to climb at least into the 30s. Now people can enjoy the pretty views and snow activities in less brutal temperatures.