Posted inNews, Outdoors, Outsider

Wright Collegiate Challenge enlists Colorado students to solve outdoor business challenges

When the International Ski Federation — or FIS, the governing body of all things skiing — officially banned ski waxes with fluorocarbons last season, Peter Arlein kept getting the same questions from race techs and ski shops: What do we do with all this forever-chemical wax?  “Shops were saying, ‘Well I guess we’ll just put […]

Posted inEducation, News, Outdoors

The new standards for testing outdoor gear are being created by Colorado university students

GUNNISON — In the basement of the new Paul M. Rady engineering school at Western Colorado University, professor Greg VanderBeek directs six students using a horizontal bandsaw to cut 2-inch steel tubing.  “Remember, perfection happens at the welding table,” VanderBeek says as the students measure.  Soon the students are grinding corners and welding a frame […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, Economy, Education, Housing, News, Outdoors

Crested Butte lured an outdoor publication to town as a tourism bid. Now overrun by visitors, the partnership must evolve.

CRESTED BUTTE — The headquarters for Blister, an online publication known for longform outdoor gear reviews, occupies a converted conference room in the Elevation Hotel and Spa at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Built-in racks ringing the room store dozens of skis for reviewers to take out. The slope-side location allows Blister’s editor […]

Posted inColoradans, COVID, Environment, News, Outdoors

Crested Butte’s new camping rules are restoring resources and producing few complaints — so far

CRESTED BUTTE — On a Saturday morning at the end of July, Aaron Drendel, a recreation staff officer with the U.S. Forest Service’s Gunnison Ranger District, walked through Musicians’ Camp, a group camping area along the Slate River. Recent rain seemed to have scared some campers away, leaving several sites empty, but Drendel was focused […]

Posted inBusiness, Economy, Housing, News, Outdoors

Students who kept Colorado’s resort-town economies alive during COVID are now headed back to school

A sign outside Butte Bagels advises customers that this popular breakfast stop, in the alley behind the Crested Butte post office, is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. A gaggle of tourists gathers close to peer at the sign, at the “help wanted” sign next to it, and through the darkened windows before they give up and […]

Posted inEducation, News

Colorado is more diverse than ever, but its college professors are overwhelmingly white

By Jason Gonzales, Chalkbeat Colorado In a state that’s become increasingly diverse, the professors who teach at Colorado’s four-year colleges are overwhelmingly white. Of the 3,500 professors who have tenure, just 15 of them are Black women. Another 38 are Black men. Hispanic students now make up about 20% of the state’s universities. But Hispanic […]

Posted inColoradans, Culture, Environment, News, Outdoors, Wildfire

Matriarch of Colorado outdoor volunteerism stepping down from “mothership of community stewardship”

BRECKENRIDGE — Ann Baker Easley deftly navigates an icy trail that winds past a wooden troll, an ice rink and a railroad park.  “Pretty sure we built this. We worked on a lot of trails around here,” says the chief executive officer of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, which in the past five years has funneled […]

Posted inColoradans, Politics and Government

Black Lives Matter protests in Gunnison County showed people of color they have more allies than they realized

Sun slants through the buildings on Elk Avenue in Crested Butte, turning cottonwood fluff into floating sparkle. The surrounding hillsides glow green and rise up into red-hued peaks, some of which still hold bright, white snow. It’s a real-life snow globe scene, and Chloe Bowman stands at the center of it, suspended in the surreal. […]

Posted inCOVID, Education, News

Colorado colleges want to offer more in-person classes this spring. Here’s what they learned from a tough fall.

Megan Walton would be the first to admit this semester has been hard. Maybe things are difficult because it’s her junior year — notoriously the most difficult one — or because she’s busy as a student athlete in addition to her job as a vice president for the Student Government Association. Maybe it’s because it’s […]