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Ski Beach

Only in Southern California would a tradition like Ski-Beach Day be possible. But then, that's the whole point.

Certainly, Ski-Beach Day is high on the list of students' favorite Pomona traditions -- perhaps because it gives them such a unique set of bragging rights over friends who attend college elsewhere. After all, how many places are there in the world where you can, without straining yourself, spend the morning on the ski slopes and the afternoon frolicking on the beach?

And that's exactly what Pomona students do once a year. In February or March, a busload of adventurous students dons parkas and gloves to try their skills on slopes of the nearby Mountain High resort. Then in the afternoon they board the bus once more for the ride to Newport Beach, or one of the other local beaches, to end the day with a cook-out by the sea, complete with swimsuits and boogie boards.

"We had plenty of snow in the mountains and warm weather and sunshine at the beach -- a uniquely Southern California combination," said Phil Kopszynski, a student organizer of one of the recent Ski-Beach days. "The biggest problem anyone faced all day was watching their marshmallow catch fire while making s'mores."

Why go to the trouble of doing both in a single day? The usual answer seems to be: "Because we can."

"Whenever people unfamiliar with Southern California ask me what the area is like, I like to say it's one of the few places in the world where you can wake up in a desert and experience something like Ski-Beach Day," says Katie Spielberger '05. "I suppose it is rather surreal to leave the snow and run into the waves, but most of my favorite memories of Pomona have been surreal moments like that. I recommend it to anyone. You don't get a lot of chances to have a day like this!"