You are the trip leader for a group of college-aged outdoor education students. You’ve been teaching a course on outdoor skills through the fall, most of it taught indoors. The group’s weekend trips have been day hikes. Today is the culminating trip, an overnight ski trip where you plan to sleep in snow shelters.
The skiing portion went according to plan; you arrived at the snow shelter site at the time anticipated. Everyone appeared weary, happy, and healthy. You note that it is much colder than any previous trip, with temperatures hovering in the single digits Fahrenheit.
Shelter digging is strenuous, and the dry snow needs time to set up before it can be excavated into a quinzhee. You use this time to check how everyone is doing; it’s obvious some people have gotten sweaty and are tired from the hard work. You decide to be a good model. You sit on a pad, pull off your boots, and look at your toes, asking everyone to do the same. Lo and behold, one of the students has toes that are white. He comments that they were “cold and numb, but I thought I could get by until I got into my sleeping bag.”