At this point, I’m alone in the office, gazing out as wind chases leaves around campus and sun shines off the snow-covered peaks surrounding campus.
Winter break is always a lovely time for Quest students. After spending four blocks studying hard, they get several weeks to take a break, enjoy some time off, and see friends or family. Typically only the international students spend time on campus during the break, but many of these students go home with their friends from North America. This is a great opportunity for students to spend time celebrating each family’s unique holiday traditions in a home away from home.
Back in Squamish, the sun is shining but the wind is blowing. We got a light dusting of snow a few days ago (not quite early enough to have a white Christmas though!), but are currently experiencing an “arctic air outflow warning,” according to Environment Canada. This means we are experiencing a lot of really cold wind, which means that outside in the evening, it will feel like -16 degrees Celsius!
Winter in Squamish is typically pretty mild, hovering between +5 degrees and -5 degrees, but once in a while we get some really cold weather. The last time I remember a storm like this was in January of my second year, during Question Block. Our class had decided that we needed some Adventure Pursuits activities to get our creative juices flowing for developing our Questions, so we asked Toran, our Vice President, to lead us in some team building activities. This turned out to be the coldest day we’ve experienced in the past few years in Squamish, with a wind chill at -25 degrees Celsius. However, we braved the cold, worked as a team, and were able to complete the series of tasks Toran had set out for us, all while having a lot of fun. While the cold was not the most ideal weather, it certainly made the team building activities interesting, and gave me some memories that still make me giggle.
Squamish in Winter is pretty magical, and this one is no exception. Over the years we’ve had amazing ski days, Snow Kermodes built on campus, some school-wide snowball fights, and some days where it’s been so warm we thought it was Spring (I was hiking in a t-shirt this year on Christmas day). I’m looking forward to the new year, the arrival of our January class, the chance to visit a few more schools, some epic winter hiking, and to working with the future students of the class of 2019!
Here’s to a great new year!