Mountain Sports

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.

Alpine

World-class skiing in your backyard.

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.

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Need for speed

Tyler Long races in Men’s Giant Slalom (GS) in a race at Crested Butte.

Climbing

The perfect training ground for climbers.

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.

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Climbing higher

A member of the climbing team scales a rockface during a trip to El Rito, New Mexico.

Freeride

Expansive terrain for freeride skiing and snowboarding.

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.

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Fresh air

Students from Western’s Freeride team compete in the Targhee Collegiate Freeride Series in Wyoming.

Mountain Biking

Train with one of the strongest Mountain Bike Teams in the country.

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.

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Kicking up dust

Students from the Western Mountain Bike team compete in a dual slalom bike race.

Nordic

Join Western’s powerhouse Nordic Team.

Western’s Nordic Team is emerging as a regional and national powerhouse with a men’s national title and a women’s runner-up title in 2018. 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, New Mexico and Utah. Members of the Nordic Team have also competed internationally with Team USA at the World University Games.

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Endurance matters

Members of the Western Nordic Ski Team, Kevin Geisen and Derek Hill at the start of the Stage Coach Classic 15k race.

Road Cycling

Enjoy endless miles of county roads and mountain passes.

The areas surrounding Gunnison and nearby Crested Butte provide the perfect training ground for road cycling. Western’s Road Cycling Team competes in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference and travels to events in Fort Collins, Boulder, Golden and Colorado Springs. If you’re passionate about cycling, welcome physical challenges and seek team camaraderie, you’ll find your place on Western’s Road Cycling Team.

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Touring beautiful Colorado

Racers ride through Black Canyon National Park in Crested Butte during the West Elk Bike Classic.

Ski Mountaineering

A Ski Mountaineering program unlike any other in the U.S.

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.

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The perfect combination

Skimo is a rapidly growing sport that incorporates uphill and downhill skiing into a thrilling race format.

Trail Running

Western is home to America’s most prolific collegiate Trail Running Team.

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 and Cart Trail Run—to Flagstaff Sky Peaks Mountain Runs and the Moab Marathon.

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Trail blazing

Trail runner Meghan Forbes competes in the Cart to Cart half marathon in Crested Butte.

Mountain Sports News

Western adds Climbing Team for Fall ‘19 semester

Western adds Climbing Team for Fall ‘19 semester

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Western trail runners to compete in Europe for 2nd straight summer

Western trail runners to compete in Europe for 2nd straight summer

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Western celebrates 10th annual Rail Jam

Western celebrates 10th annual Rail Jam

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Western offers unique Trail Running Team

Western offers unique Trail Running Team

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2019 season for Western Alpine Ski Team starts swimmingly at Winter Park

2019 season for Western Alpine Ski Team starts swimmingly at Winter Park

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Western Mountain Bike Team claims 2nd straight national title

Western Mountain Bike Team claims 2nd straight national title

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Mountain Sports sending two to Youth Skyrunning World Championships

Mountain Sports sending two to Youth Skyrunning World Championships

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Western Mountain Bike Team wins nationals, takes the antlers

Western Mountain Bike Team wins nationals, takes the antlers

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Mountain Sports adds road biking to roster

Mountain Sports adds road biking to roster

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Western Nordic Skiing men take 1st, women 2nd at 2018 USCSA National Championships

Western Nordic Skiing men take 1st, women 2nd at 2018 USCSA National Championships

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