The 10 Best Colleges For An Awesome Winter Experience

While climate shouldn’t necessarily play into a student’s decision as to where to attend college, there’s a lot to be said about the classic beauty and serenity of the snow-covered campus.

Of course, there are also downsides to a school that has more traditional seasons — mostly the cold temperature. But things like snowball fights and ski slopes should more than make up for a little chilliness.

From easy access to top slopes to great winter traditions, here are the 10 best colleges to get a true winter experience.

Reed College -- Portland, Oregon

While the slopes may be over an hour away, Reed students can take advantage of their college's exclusive ski cabin on Mt. Hood -- open for any student, faculty member, or alumnus to reserve.

The recently refurbished cabin is maintained by Reed's physical eduction department and its amenities include a full kitchen and sauna.

Virginia Tech -- Blacksburg, Virginia

One of the oldest traditions at Virginia Tech is the annual civilian vs. cadet snowball fight -- an event that draws more than 1,000 students.

At the first big snowfall of every year, 'a fire alarm sounds indicating the immediate start of an all campus snowball fight on the Drill Field,' according to IvyWise.

University of New Hampshire -- Durham, New Hampshire

UNH students seem to love the winter -- the school's Ski and Board Club is the largest registered club team on campus, according to ESPN.

Besides running weekly trips to nearby mountains every Saturday, the club also hosts skiing-related movies throughout the year, including the warmer months.

Sierra Nevada College -- Incline Village, Nevada

Sierra Nevada offers its students a unique opportunity as the only school in the country with a major in Ski Business and Resort Management.

Outside of the classroom, the Sierra Nevada Ski & Snowboard Team has long been a powerhouse -- especially the snowboarders -- and the team's home mountain is only two minutes from campus.

University of Utah -- Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah student skiers have two big perks -- 'the campus is within 40 minutes of seven ski resorts, and the powder is considered some of the best in the country,' according to about.com.

Additionally, ESPN points out that Salt Lake City has an international airport for easy access to mountains around the world, something that other collegiate ski towns lack.

Middlebury College -- Middlebury, Vermont

Middlebury students act as patrols at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl, a ski facility with 17 trails that is owned and operated by the school.

Middlebury also has a special tradition for its February graduates -- called 'Febs' -- where students ski down the Snow Bowl before receiving their diploma.

Michigan Technical University -- Houghton, Michigan

Years ago, Michigan Tech held the Guinness World Records for three wintery feats -- the largest snowball fight, most consecutive snow angels, and largest snowball.

While each record eventually was beaten, MTU students recently retook their top spot in one, banding together to roll a snowball with an almost 33-foot circumference.

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