Ski Day was an annual event at Colby-Sawyer College which began in 1968 and carried on until the early 1980s. The event usually took place in March – classes would be suspended at 10 a.m. and students and faculty would make their way to King Ridge for a day of skiing.
The central parts of Ski Day were the ski races and the obstacle course races.
The ski races, which were usually held on the “Tea Party” slope of King Ridge, were separated into four divisions: Division I for beginners, Division II for one or two years of experience, Division III for three or more years of experience, and Division IV for those with racing experience.
The obstacle course race was a later addition to Ski Day, documented as starting in March 1978. Its purpose was to get non-skiers or inexperienced skiers involved in the activities of Ski Day. Competitors would be teamed up in pairs and required to pull each other on toboggans, run through slalom poles, walk through hoops, go over and under ropes, carry eggs on spoons, and then run to the finish line.
In addition to skiing, the day involved a costume contest. Students were encouraged to don costumes as they went out for their day on King Ridge. The March 16, 1978 issue of the Hilltop Herald, Colby-Sawyer’s student newspaper at the time, reported that students were seen wearing “pajamas, gym shorts, long john legs, and rabbit costumes”. The winner would be selected based on the entire dorm’s costumes instead of individuals.
On certain Ski Days, the college would suggest a theme for the costumes to follow. For example, on the 1982 Ski Day, the theme was “Cowboys and Indians” (March 5, 1982 This Week).
Along with the races and costume competitions, Ski Day was accompanied by an outdoors lunch. This lunch consisted largely of grilled items cooked by the Student Government Association.
Cross Country Races
After students had finished their day at King Ridge, the final stage of Ski Day would be a series of Cross Country races on campus.
- This Week: Colby-Sawyer College, March 5 1982, Vol IV. Box number RG 12.7, Folder Number 15/56, Student Newspaper. , Cleveland Colby Colgate Archives, Colby-Sawyer College.
- The Hilltop Herald: Volume 1. No 6 1978, Box number RG 12.7, Folder Number 15/25, Student Newspaper. , Cleveland Colby Colgate Archives, Colby-Sawyer College.
-  “Ski Day,”Haystack, accessed December 18, 2014, http://haystack.colby-sawyer.edu/items/show/11372.
-  “Ski Day,”Haystack, accessed December 18, 2014, http://haystack.colby-sawyer.edu/items/show/8215.
Student Handbook (1969-1970)
Traditional Events (43)
*So, ski day began in 1968.
The bells rang for ski day Wednesday morning, march 8, on a day that turned out to be clear, beautiful and calm. The sky was brilliant and cloudless, and the warm, spring-like air proved to be a perfect setting for this year’s theme of easer. The Colby-sawyer students headed for the slopes in their crazy outfits, e.g., pajamas, gym shorts with long johnned legs, and rabbit costumes and proceeded to get some nitceably strange looks from area skiers. One girl got a puzzled look while she was renting skis from the binding adjuster who said, boy,
Also highlighting the day were sky races, and obstacle course race and a costume judging.