THE NEED FOR A NEW LODGEMoosilauke Ravine Lodge has stood many years longer than its builders ever expected. Its age is showing. The building’s floors need shoring-up each summer before Trips, and crews must chip out a thick sheet of ice from the lodge’s lower level every spring.
In consultation with members of the Dartmouth Outing Club, current and former lodge managers, and others, Dartmouth is now planning a new lodge that will maintain the spirit and character of the current building.
To maximize energy-efficiency, sustainability, and durability, the new lodge will be a heavy-timber structure. Although Dartmouth isn’t planning to operate the lodge through the winter, it will be “super-insulated” to protect timbers and systems from the impact of freezing and thawing, thereby lowering maintenance and operational costs and extending the building’s life.
The new lodge will feature a central chimney, expanded dining and kitchen spaces, an extended porch, and improved accessibility. It will incorporate design elements of the existing building, and its walls will be lined with the familiar lodge memorabilia collected over the decades.
ABOUT SKIP BATTLE
Dartmouth set my life’s trajectory, and Moosilauke helped me get over the huge interruption I felt going from a very, very small high school, where not all that many kids graduated or went to college, to a place where the thinking and the people were sophisticated. My trip to the mountain eased that transition.
When students come to the mountain, they have a chance to be with a world much like it was 100, maybe 1,000, years ago. It’s lovely knowing that, regardless how much the world shrinks and time moves faster, it’s still matched by this thing measured in millennia.
The new lodge will be different in some respects, but it will have all the functions of the existing lodge—and dramatically more. It will preserve the incredible sense of community, character and traditions that make it such a special place. It will also be more accessible for all generations and guests with disabilities, so that everybody in the College can use it easily. That's huge.
But all the things about it—the mountain, the hike, the traditions, that one night that students spend here on their way back from their trip—those won’t change at all.