Stephen Swofford
This, friends, looks the kind of class you can slip out of on a killer power day without being noticed. Probably.

Some Colorado days are irresistible.

And on some of them, it would be criminal to stay indoors.

Actually, that’s a lot of them. We supposedly get 300 days of sunshine. Good luck getting through all four years at the University of Colorado.

Plan ahead

For those planning needs, check the usual weather sites, like and the National Weather Service, , which lets you move a map to zero in on a remote area (backcountry!) for a forecast. For a quick and easy look at the Front Range radar, go to .

In the meantime, there’s no law. (Yet.) Your professors will expect you to show up for class — even on the first perfect powder day of the winter. (I know, totally unreasonable.)

So here’s some help for shirking your academic responsibilities on that day when you must get face shots, go on a solo singletrack mission, or take advantage of the crisp morning when the rock on your favorite climb will be at its coolest and grippiest.

1 Plan ahead

Get five weather apps for your smartphone.

Use them with impunity to obsess over the forecast and plan out the absolute best days to cut. Do this while in class.

Also during class, search for a partner in crime on Facebook who is planning just as obsessively as you. Discuss food, gear, distance, time, sunrise, sunset.

Forget most of that if you want to have an epic (see No. 5).

2 Guage your profs

Your truancy days are weather dependent, but if there’s a solid week of glorious weather, you’ll want to know which professors are the most likely to be lenient or understanding or not even notice you’re gone (the best!).

Big class with no attendance sheet? You’re golden.

Tiny class with frequent homework? You’re screwed.

Your only chance for survival in that situation is the rare TA who came to CU for the rock climbing and can’t stand being cooped up, either. Pshaw, like you’ll be so lucky…

Wait, that’s like 70 percent of them… so make friends with your TA and convince him/her that climbing in Eldo today would be a better learning experience for the whole class.

3 Chose your illness well

Of course you’re going to fake sick days.

Silly freshman. So honest.

But be careful what illness you choose. A chronic illness, like a mild case of asthma, can give you more opportunities to ditch throughout the semester than some one-off virus — though if that one-off virus is going around, it will be more believable to the profs, so take note of those, too.

Never choose something that’s horribly debilitating, just in case you run into your professor on the trail (highly likely to happen eventually). Feign miraculous recovery if this happens.

4 Play the wild card once

Some excuses are too outrageous to re-use. But the one-timer played well can save you in a pinch.

Here are some excuses that might work once at CU-Boulder:

“My dog died, so I have to arrange a reincarnation ceremony immediately. I want Moose to have a happy rebirth. I’m transferring to Naropa next semester.”

“My roommate accidentally locked my dreds in the dorm-room door. We’re cool now, but I totally missed your class and my shift at Dr. Reefer, too.”

“Look bra, this is the sickest storm of the century! I’ll buy your lift ticket if you want to chillax, cancel class and join in the freshies…?”

5 Have an epic

If you’re going to blatantly miss class, no excuses, because it’s just too good to pass up, go big — what professor would have the gall to give you a hard time after you had to be rescued?

Follow the basic rules for having an epic: start late, underestimate your objective, forget key gear, don’t take enough (if any) food or water. Make sure you end up in the paper (this one?) so there’s third-party proof of your epic.

A photo of you being hauled out on a litter via helicopter is best, but being carried out by foot is OK, too.

Keep a copy. You might need it to go before some sort of academic review committee.

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