Traying Down Libe Slope
Memories of Wilder, Crazier Days
The winter sports topic reminds me of a certain activity we used to do in college - traying down Libe Slope. For those of you unfamiliar with this uniquely Cornellian experience, allow me to enlighten you.
Traying - the use of a cafeteria tray, usually obtained illicitly from University Dining Services, as a sledding device
Libe Slope - this 480 foot long hill located on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, leads from the West Campus area (freshman dorm area) up to the Arts Quad and the Library. The hill is quite long and steep, an 18 degree angle or so.
- the upstate New York location of Cornell University. It is said there
are only two seasons in Ithaca: July and winter. The place gets slammed
by lake effect snows each winter.
So, when the first big snow of the semester falls, we students would go traying down Libe Slope. This was a treacherous activity, due to the following factors:
- No brakes or other effective methods of slowing a speeding cafeteria tray
- Plenty of bumps, trees and other people to run into on the way down
- Usually some alcoholic beverage consumption involved, impairing what little judgement we had
- Usually done in the dark of night with little lighting
- Threat of hypothermia
Nevertheless, college students will do what they will do. I survived three years at this place, so I can look back and laugh at it. But I'll never move somewhere with a cold winter like that again...
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