Title: EE Party
Informant Info: Josie Nordrum is a 20 year-old junior undergraduate at Dartmouth College. She has been climbing for two years and is heavily involved with the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club. Josie was born in San Francisco, CA and still lives in Corte Madero, CA. She first learned to climb on her DOC Freshman Trip. Josie’s biggest climbing phobia is exposure. She loves the feeling of satisfaction after a good climb.
Date Collected: 5/15/16
Place Collected: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
Type of Lore: Customary, Celebration
Country of Origin: United States
Social/Cultural Context: The EE party stands for the exotic and erotic party thrown by the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club at the end of winter term every year since 1995. It is a celebration of the last day of winter term and the beginning of spring climbing. This is especially important for climbers because in the winter climbers are only able to ice climb (ice climbing is not nearly as fun and much more dangerous than rock climbing).
Lore: Due to the informant’s concerns, the specifics of the party were asked to be held secret. However, the party involves a pre-party ritual meant to bring every member into the right mindset for the night. Most members show up to the party drunk and wearing bizarre costumes made from any item but actual clothing. The party has no sexual undertones; it is simply a way to embrace oneself and have strictly platonic fun with friends.
Informant’s Comments: The EE party is a fun way to kick off the spring climbing season. It involves nudity and drinking, but is all in the spirit of fun, embracing oneself, and beginning the spring term. Celebration traditions include a email sent out every year to explain the party to the freshman and creative costumes. Some examples of the costumes worn to the party each year are just climbing rope and hallowed out pineapple shells.
Collector’s Comments: The EE party is an example of a ritual marking the end of something, this time the end of a winter. This a theme which is consistent throughout the majority of rock climbing folklore collected. The EE party is a celebration during the transition period between seasons. The absence of full clothing is related to the DMC’s willingness to embrace nudity and their own bodies. DMCers tend to view nudity as less of a taboo as mainstream society. Instead, they view it as a freedom of expression and a way to embrace their true selves. More than being just a fun celebration, the EE party helps welcome in the spring term and return of rock climbing.
Tags/Keywords: EE, erotic, exotic, party, nudity, DMC, spring, initiation, celebration