During winter break, Montclair State’s Student Recreation Center offers students and faculty the opportunity to attend the trip of a lifetime. The Adirondacks Variety Trip gives individuals the chance to head to Upstate New York to experience the snowy mountains of Lake Placid.
“[The trip] is open to anyone, although students pay significantly less than non-students,” stated Alexander N. Sperling, the trip’s coordinator, when asked who could sign up for the low-cost excursion.
Each year, the trip evolves and changes by adding different activities from new ideas that emerge from the last trip.
“This is the third time it has been run and yet each year offers something new,” said Matthew Rivas, director of Outdoor Adventure, a organization that offers faculty and students a variety of trips.
On Jan. 5, a group of roughly 15 people gathered at the Student Recreation Center and traveled in white vans to their destination. Participants brought heavy jackets, scarves, hats, warm blankets and teddy bears to cuddle during the cold temperatures. But the cold didn’t stop anyone from having a fantastic time with the various types of activities that were in place for participants.
On the second day of the trip, everyone was transported to Whiteface Mountain. Once they arrived at the massive mountain, the group traveled down the hill by skiing and snowboarding together.
They spent the night at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, where they peacefully skated before heading back to their lodge at T-Max -n-Topo’s Hostel.
On the third day, the group decided to take a few hours of their day to hike up the High Peaks, a quiet and relaxing mountain near their lodge.
“My hair even started to freeze at the top of the mountain,” Rivas recalled after participating in the long hike.
Afterward, the group went dog sledding nearby. Pairs of three sat in a sled driven by six enormous huskies and a professional. This experience allowed them to get another beautiful view of the snowy mountains, but from a different angle than before.
Upon leaving for their next activity, the group was allowed to play around with the dogs that were more than willing to roll around in the snow with their newfound friends.
On their last day before heading home, the group went on one final adventure together: cross-country skiing. Everyone spent the day skiing up a long and snowy terrain, enjoying their last couple of hours together. When night rolled around, the group relaxed and headed to their lodge to pack their belongings. In the morning, the group parted ways after arriving back at the recreation center, sad to be saying goodbye and extremely tired after their exciting trip.
“The trip is intended for students that don’t have much experience doing winter activities, which is why there are so many options,” Sperling said. “This lets them try out a variety of different activities and get lessons and rentals with the trip, so they don’t have to spend a lot to try these new things.”