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Ski Mountaineering

Mountain Sports

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

Members of the Ski Mountaineering Team find organized training, coaching, travel, competition and endless winter mountains within the Mountain Sports program at Western Colorado University.

Two premier ski areas within 44 miles of campus–Crested Butte Mountain Resort and Monarch Ski Area–in the heart of the Rocky Mountains provide the perfect training ground for ski mountaineering (a.k.a. skimo). What’s more? There’s a free bus between campus and Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Not only that, but the Gunnison Valley is also world renowned for its backcountry skiing.

Skimo is a rapidly growing sport that incorporates uphill and downhill skiing into a thrilling race format. The team at Western is unlike any other in the United States. Western is the only collegiate program 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 has even sent athletes to compete at the ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Championships.

Western’s skimo athletes enjoy the sport for the challenge of the climbs and thrill of the descents, making it a great sport for runners and bikers in the winter. With options like Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Monarch Ski Area and the Elk Mountains—as well as “W” Mountain or Cranor Hill right in Gunnison—there is no shortage of places to train.

If you’re a student who enjoys tests of endurance, travel, mountain landscapes, camaraderie and, of course, skiing, Western’s Ski Mountaineering Team is for you.

Western’s Mountain Sports program welcomes all abilities and recognizes that hard work and dedication, both in the classroom and out on the snow, will allow you to grow and to achieve as a person, as a student and as an athlete. As part of Western Mountain Sports, you will meet lifelong friends and have experiences that you’ll never forget.

Dues: $400

Covers: Coaching, travel, food and race registrations.

Doesn’t Cover: Equipment and ski passes.

Schedule: Dryland training begins in the first week of October and on-snow practice begins mid-November. Competitions start in December and run through early April.

Practice: Two-three weekdays and Saturdays


Questions? Contact a coach

Take the Next Step

Apply to Western

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.

Visit Western

Visit 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.

Alumni Community

Alumni Community

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.