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Extended Studies

Wednesdays at Western

June 30, 2021 – Aug. 11, 2021

Crested Butte and the North Country

  • Instructor: Dr. Duane Vandenbusche
  • Time: 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Start and End Meeting Location: Western University Center parking lot
  • Cost: $90

Take a fabulous journey through one of the most famous areas of the Gunnison Country. Start in Gunnison and then on to the Almont Resort for breakfast and a history of Almont and the East River Valley. From there it is on to the Crested Butte Ski area and a chairlift ride to a stunning lookout of Crested Butte and the East River Valley along with a talk on the North Country camps of Gothic, Schofield, Crystal and Marble. The class will eat lunch at 11,000 feet and will be entertained by Pete Dunda and his polka music. The class then continues to Lake Irwin and the great silver camp of Ruby-Irwin. From there it is over Ohio Pass, down Ohio Creek with its great ranching heritage and back to Gunnison.

*Breakfast at the Almont Resort is not included in the cost of this course.

June Summit Day Hike

  • Instructor: Karen Immerso
  • Time: 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Start and End Meeting Location: Western University Center parking lot
  • Cost: $75

Join in on a local, full-day hike to the summit of South Baldy (12,380’) and Middle Baldy (12,598’) Mountains in the West Elk Wilderness. The group’s primary objectives are to experience great views, a sense of accomplishment, a shared adventure and a greater understanding of the local topography and surrounding wilderness areas. The hike includes an elevation gain of 1000-1500’, includes off trail travel and is considered strenuous.

*Participants should bring their own daypack containing one-two liters of water, appropriate footwear for hiking, wind and rain jackets, warm hat, layers of clothing, additional snacks, camera, and sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat) as well as a walking stick or trekking poles.

Cochetopa Park Trip

  • Instructor: Dr. Bruce Bartleson
  • Time: 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Start and End Meeting Location: Western University Center parking lot
  • Cost: $80

The Cochetopa Park trip explores some of the less well-known aspects of the Gunnison Country geology. Discuss a little-known precious metal mine, the Maple Leaf, and visit one of the largest uranium mines in the country for its time, the Los Ochos.  We will explore some of the very ancient history of the Gunnison area, dealing with a time when Gunnison was off-shore and not even a part of the North American continent. We will also visit an unexplained historical mystery that occurred many years ago.  Later in the trip, we will examine the volcanic history of the Cochetopa Park area, and then, if time, drive back on the famous Doyleville Cutoff Road and see other features such as volcanic necks and great views of Tomichi Dome and Fossil Ridge.

*Bring extra water and snacks. Some hiking up roads and slopes is required, but less-mobile people can still enjoy most of this trip.

July Summit Day Hike

  • Instructor: Karen Immerso
  • Time: 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Start and End Meeting Location: Western Colorado University Center parking lot
  • Cost: $80

Join in on a local, full-day hike to the summit of Mount Axtell, elevation 12,055’. The group’s primary objectives are to experience a high point with great views (weather dependent), a sense of accomplishment, a shared adventure, and a greater understanding of the local topography and surrounding wilderness areas. The hike includes an elevation gain of approximately 2,000’, includes off trail travel and is considered strenuous.

*Participants should bring their own daypack containing one-two liters of water, appropriate footwear for hiking, wind and rain jackets, warm hat, layers of clothing, additional snacks, camera, and sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat) as well as a walking stick or trekking poles.

The Rainbow Route: Gunnison, Monarch and Marshall Pass

  • Instructor: Dr. Duane Vandenbusche
  • Time: 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Start and End Meeting Location: Western University Center parking lot
  • Cost: $80

Follow the famous Rainbow Route: Highway 50 from Gunnison over Monarch Pass to Poncha Springs. Stops include the historic Sargent’s Schoolhouse, Monarch Crest, the historic Maysville School and the Mountain Spirits Winery. From Poncha Springs, the group returns to Gunnison via Marshall Pass where the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad first entered the Gunnison Country in 1881. This tour covers mining camps, ranching, narrow gauge railroads, skiing and social life. Learn about Parlin, Doyleville, Sargents, White Pine, Monarch, Garfield, Arborville and Maysville, and enjoy Pete Dunda and Polka music.

Geology of Taylor Park

  • Instructor: Dr. Bruce Bartleson
  • Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Start and End Meeting Location: Western University Center parking lot
  • Cost: $80

Travel through Taylor Canyon and Taylor Park with distinguished local geologist Bruce Bartleson to learn about the incredible geology of the area. The tour takes the group to Taylor Park with numerous stops along the way where Dr. Bartleson explains the area’s physical and historical geology. Discussion centers on the glacial and structural geology of Taylor Park. Why is Taylor Park a large basin? How far, where, and how long did glaciers extend in the region? Were there ever great glacial breakout floods coming down Taylor Canyon? The answers to these questions are given and more.

*Participants should bring a daypack containing water, wind/rain jackets and sun protection if desired.

Wednesday Night at 10,000 Feet

  • Instructor: Tenderfoot Outfitters- Fred Stinson & Kendall Butts
  • Time: Start – August 11, 12:00 p.m.; End – August 12, 2:00 p.m.
  • Start and End Meeting Location: Western University Center parking lot
  • Cost: $250

Experience a Western-style horseback tent camping experience in the spectacular West Elk Wilderness on this overnight adventure with Tenderfoot Outfitters. On your two hour/6.5 mile ride to the 10,000’ base camp, enjoy bubbling mountain streams, scenic high mountain lakes, breathtaking views, wildlife and magnificent summer wildflowers. At camp, delicious cowboy-style meals are prepared and served in a spacious dining tent. The first-class camp includes a latrine facility as well as roomy 12×15 wall tents equipped with cots, mattresses, pillows and solar lighting.

*A sack lunch is not provided by Western for this course.

* This trip is all-inclusive, but participants may bring their own sleeping bag. All meals are included and there is fresh spring water in the camp. Bring water and snacks for the ride in. Participants should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, and bring gloves, jacket, hat, insect repellent and sunscreen. Bring extra layers for cool mountain night temperatures and any inclement weather. Participants must be able to sit on a horse for two hours at elevations of 8,000-10,000’. A current fishing license is required for those that desire to fish. Participants may bring their own rods and must bring their own lures or flies. A limited number of spinning rods and reels and a couple of fly rods are available at camp. A detailed gear and packing list is available through Extended Studies. Participants are asked to complete a Client Biography and Tenderfoot Outfitter’s Liability Release.

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