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Skiing with the Big Diehl

Publication Date: 2/3/2014

By Caroline Ponseti ′15

One of the many perks of transitioning from high school to college is the older you get, the grander the field trips become. At Rhodes, some of those field trips come courtesy of The Big Diehl.

The Big Diehl is a Rhodes initiative that allows students to enjoy some of the things Memphis and the Mid-South have to offer, but at little to no cost. Rhodes Student Associate Winn Decker ’15 runs The Big Diehl and organizes up to 10 events every semester, including tickets for the Memphis Grizzlies and trips to Six Flags.

On a recent three-day weekend, the Big Diehl provided the chance to ski the snowy mountains of North Carolina—for a mere $30. The first 53 students to sign up traveled to Sugar Mountain Ski Resort in Beaver Elk, North Carolina, for a full day of skiing on fresh powder. While some students queued up an hour before ticket sales began, more ambitious students pitched a tent the night before to guarantee themselves a spot. The cost included lift tickets, ski rentals, hotel rooms, and transportation and enabled both bunny-slope novices and black-diamond daredevils to hit the slopes.

The trip was a great success. According to Decker, the bus ride home was completely silent, since everyone was exhausted from a weekend of great skiing in the mountains. Caroline Reed ’16 concurs. “This was the first time I had ever gone skiing or even seen snow. I had a fantastic time!” 

(Top: Caroline Reed ′16
Bottom: Rob Semmes ′14 and Aaron Banks ′15)