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. To see our teams in action, check out the Mountain Sports Instagram and Facebook pages.
World-class skiing in your backyard.
Western’s Alpine team has an excellent advantage of training in gates multiple times per week at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The team competes in the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) and travels to races throughout Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. The Alpine season culminates with regionals and a chance to qualify for nationals. Experienced coaching and great time on snow makes Western’s alpine program perfect for athletes looking to take their skiing to the next level and participate in amazing team camaraderie.
Need for speed
Alpine athlete Ella Engelhard competes in a home slalom race in Crested Butte, Colorado
The perfect training ground for climbers.
Just minutes from campus, student-athletes can find excellent locations for bouldering, sport climbing, and traditional climbing. Climbing team members can chase improvement and accomplishments at any level of the sport. Western’s climbing team travels throughout Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico for competitions and to experience some of the most renowned climbing spots in the country.
A member of the climbing team scales a rock face during a trip to El Rito, New Mexico.
Expansive terrain for freeride skiing and snowboarding.
Whether you come to Western with a history of competing in the Junior Freeride Series or are an avid skier/snowboarder looking to dabble in competition, Western’s Freeride team and expert coaches are ready to help you succeed. Training at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, members of the Freeride team have opportunities to travel and compete nationally and internationally, depending on an athlete’s goals and commitment. The team competes throughout the spring in the International Free Skiers Association (IFSA) Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) events.
Students from Western’s Freeride team compete in the Targhee Collegiate Freeride Series in Wyoming.
Train with one of the strongest Mountain Bike Teams in the country.
With multiple DII national titles, Western’s mountain bike team is among the strongest in the nation. The team competes in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC) and practices regularly throughout the season, building for a strong showing at the USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships. Whether you are focused on downhill or cross country, Western’s mountain bike coaches and fellow athletes will help you achieve your goals.
Kicking up dust
A Western mountain bike athlete races down the trail in the local Pagan Pedal downhill race
Join Western’s powerhouse Nordic Team.
Western’s Nordic ski team is among the best in the nation, with both men and women landing spots on the podium at nationals in 2022. The team competes in the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) and attends 10-15 races throughout the season. Along with competing for top spots on a national level, members of Western’s Nordic team have also represented the United States at the World University Games on an international stage. The Nordic team is a great place for dedicated athletes to hone their skills and pursue collegiate skiing with like-minded teammates.
Nordic skier Bria Rickert competes in a Super Tour race in Sun Valley, Idaho
A Ski Mountaineering program unlike any other in the U.S.
Between Monarch Ski Area, Crested Butte Mountain Resort and the surrounding backcountry, Western is in the ideal location for ski mountaineering (skimo). Skimo, a rapidly growing sport that will soon make its Olympic debut, incorporates both uphill and downhill skiing in an incredibly adventurous and gritty race format. Western’s skimo athletes compete on a national level with opportunities to travel and compete internationally as well.
The perfect combination
Skimo teammates Jack Breezley and Sam Burke climb a steep ascent during a race in Kicking Horse, British Columbia
Western is home to America’s most prolific collegiate Trail Running Team.
The Gunnison Valley, located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, provides incredible training grounds for the most prominent collegiate trail running team in the nation. The trail running team is perfect for student-athletes looking to challenge themselves with a variety of goals and support their teammates, whether they are after a podium spot or looking to complete a new distance. The team trains and races year-round, with training trips to some of Colorado’s most sought after trails.
Trail runner Meghan Forbes competes in the Cart to Cart half marathon in Crested Butte.
Mountain Sports News
Take the Next Step
Apply to Western
We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.
The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.
We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.
Want to discover more about Western? Request information today to get in touch with the admissions team.