Supporting a lifetime of alpine adventures.
There is no better place for Mountain Sports than Western Colorado University. Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, you can snowboard, run trails, mountain and road bike competitively and recreationally in world-class terrain. This unique opportunity will prepare you for success beyond your time at Western, while supporting your passion for alpine adventures.
Just 30 miles north of campus, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) provides the perfect training ground for alpine skiing. There’s even a free bus between campus and CBMR. Western’s Alpine Skiing Team competes in the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association. Competition in slalom and giant slalom takes the team to destinations such as Jackson Hole, Telluride, Powderhorn and Winter Park.
Need for speed
Tyler Long races in Men’s Giant Slalom (GS) in a race at Crested Butte.
The Gunnison Valley offers dozens of areas where you can hone your skills in bouldering, sport climbing and traditional climbing. Western’s Climbing Team holds regular technique, strength, fitness trainings that focus on athlete growth and improvement. In addition to having access to a variety of local routes, the Climbing Team also travels to iconic climbing areas including Rifle Mountain State Park, Shelf Road and Indian Creek.
A member of the climbing team scales a rockface during a trip to El Rito, New Mexico.
Western’s Freeride Ski & Snowboard Team trains and practices at the Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) just 30 miles away from campus. The “birthplace of extreme skiing,” CBMR’s steep and technical terrain challenges even the most experienced athletes—if you can ski here, you can ski anywhere. Combined with transportation to and from the mountain in team vans and the free community RTA bus on days off, no other school in the nation matches our access to world-class skiing and riding.
Students from Western’s Freeride team compete in the Targhee Collegiate Freeride Series in Wyoming.
In 2018 and 2019, Western’s Mountain Bike Team won DII national titles and runner-up titles in 2017 and 2016. The team travels to the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC) every weekend though early October and caps off the season at the USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships. In recent years, a few small groups have also travelled to off season races including the Sea Otter Classic, Nevada State Gravity Champs and the Big Mountain Enduro series.
Kicking up dust
Students from the Western Mountain Bike team compete in a dual slalom bike race.
Western’s Nordic Team is emerging as a regional and national powerhouse with the men’s and women’s teams both claiming podium spots in Lake Placid, NY at the 2020 USCSA Nationals. Competing in the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) Rocky Mountain Conference, the team attends between 10 and 15 races in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Utah, primarily competing against the University of Wyoming, Colorado Mesa University, Air Force Academy and Colorado College. Members of the Nordic Team have also competed internationally with Team USA at the World University Games.
Members of the Western Nordic Ski Team, Kevin Geisen and Derek Hill at the start of the Stage Coach Classic 15k race.
Ski Mountaineering (Skimo) is a rapidly growing sport that incorporates uphill and downhill skiing into a thrilling race format. Western is proud to host the only collegiate Ski Mountaineering program in the U.S. that provides structured support and coaching for training and racing in this discipline. Skimo includes backcountry ski races like the epic Grand Traverse from Crested Butte to Aspen, the Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup and the local classic Gothic Mountain Tour. Western’s athletes have even competed in the ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Championships.
The perfect combination
Skimo is a rapidly growing sport that incorporates uphill and downhill skiing into a thrilling race format.
The 750+ miles of singletrack trails that surround Western’s campus provide the perfect training ground for Western’s Trail Running Team. The team trains year-round and travels to a variety of competitions—from Crested Butte’s Camp 4 Coffee Cart to Cart Trail Run—to Flagstaff Sky Peaks Mountain Runs and the Moab Marathon.
Trail runner Meghan Forbes competes in the Cart to Cart half marathon in Crested Butte.