Winter School 2024
Do you enjoy being outdoors but don’t know what to do when the temperature drops? Do you live for summer but suffer in winter? Are you cooped up from November to March? Don’t hide from the cold — celebrate winter! During IAP, participate in MIT Outing Club’s Winter School, where you can have fun learning skills like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing and more. Winter School is MITOC’s crash course in cold weather activities.
What is Winter School?
Winter School is an annual IAP course presented by the members of MITOC. Its goal is to teach the skills one needs to enjoy outdoor sports in the winter. During the month of January, participants attend lectures every Tuesday and Thursday evening and spend time outdoors during the weekends. Trips are offered at various levels of intensity and include hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, back-country skiing, ice climbing, winter camping, orienteering, and mountaineering.
What is the format?
During IAP, we hold Lectures during the week on Tuesday and Thursday, and go on trips during the weekend.
Lectures are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 19:00 - 21:00 (7pm - 9pm). 2024’s lecture schedule is as follows:
- Mandatory Lecture 7pm-9pm Tuesday Jan 9th. Mandatory safety lecture in 26-100
- Mandatory Lecture 7pm-9pm Thursday Jan 11th. Mandatory safety lecture in 26-100
- 7pm-9pm Tuesday Jan 16th. Optional instructional lecture. 6-120
- 7pm-9pm Thursday Jan 18th. Optional instructional lecture. 6-120
- 7pm-9pm Tuesday Jan 23rd. Guest lecture. 6-120
- 7pm-9pm Thursday Jan 25th. Guest lecture. 6-120
- 7pm-9pm Tuesday Jan 30th. Guest lecture. 6-120
- 7pm-9pm Thursday Feb 1st. Guest lecture, Winter School Stories & Recap. 6-120
Outdoor trips are held every Saturday and Sunday, and often involve travel to New Hampshire’s White Mountains. These trips include hiking, ice climbing, skiing, overnights, and fat biking. Trips for each weekend are announced the week prior. Gear ranging from ice axes to winter boots is available for rent at-cost.
What is required to participate?
In order to participate you simply need to complete three things.
- Make sure you are a current MITOC member
- Make sure you have signed the MITOC waiver
- Attend the two mandatory lectures (sign up in advance here and here; we’ll give additional sign-in instructions during lectures).
I’m going to miss one of the two mandatory lectures. May I still participate?
Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to the first week lecture attendance rule. Because very important safety information is covered, we require that all participants be present at the first two lectures.
I have done Winter School in the past. May I participate again this year?
Yes, returning students are welcome to come learn more skills. Remember that the first two lectures are mandatory, even if you’ve attended them before.
How much does Winter School cost?
The weekday evening lectures are free! For weekend trips, participants are typically responsible for paying a trip fee and gear rental costs (the combined trip + gear costs are capped at $20), along with rideshare costs ($10~$40, depending on the destination). Depending on the activity, trips may also include additional costs allocated to non-MITOC affiliations (e.g., ski passes).
What gear do I need?
You can rent most of the gear you need (such as microspikes, snowshoes, and crampons) from our office. Some winter clothing items are available for rental (such as hard-shells, mittens, and winter boots), but you may have to prepare other items like base layers, hats, and gloves. The mandatory lectures will include clothing tips on where to find what you will need at a number of price points.
For more information, contact the Winter School chair.