October 29, 2021 | SPORTS | By Claire Barber | Photo by Oliver Kraft
Popular Colorado College skiing destinations, like Arapahoe Basin and Keystone, have unveiled their ice and thin base cover, complete with mediocre kickers and sketchy rails. Skiing from now until December will likely be replete with summit beers, sunburns, and gouges in supple cores. Thigh deep pow days are reserved for the lucky few; slush will do for now.
Still, a spinning lift is hardly a promise that someone will be able to make the trek to the mountains. Pass prices are steep, not to mention transportation, gear, and a trustworthy mentor are hard to come by.
This year students should expect to see the return of some winter sports staples, along with additions to make the whole experience more inclusive and affordable to CC students.
The iconic Freeriders Union of Colorado College (F.U.C.C.) bus will run once again. Beginning Block 5, the bus will “alternate between an Ikon pass and an Epic pass destination each week,” said Drew Manning ’23, Co-Chair of the Freeriders Union. The bus costs five dollars roundtrip and leaves early in the morning on Saturdays.
This year, F.U.C.C has also been selling discounted Ikon passes to students through a special link. While the prices are still steep, the deals remain until Nov. 10. If you can swing the price, every pass sold goes towards a free pass for a student who might otherwise not be able to head to the mountains.
F.U.C.C recently released a SUMMIT portal in collaboration with Colorado College Outdoor Education. The raffle is open until Sunday, Oct. 31 to raffle off the fundraised tickets to students who express need.
“We’re hoping that’ll get some folks onto the resorts that want to ski that wouldn’t usually be able to afford a pass,” Manning said.
“We’re really looking to focus hard on inclusion this year,” said Jack Domeika ’23, Winter Sports Coordinator for CC Outdoor Education.
Domeika has been working to coordinate with resorts to secure the best rental and pass deals for students. These deals help to create trips where all the gear, travel, and tickets are subsidized. In years past, this has included trips to Ski Cooper where student instructors (trained through CC Outdoor Education) tag along to teach students how to ski or snowboard.
“We’re really focused on getting a lot of people out and getting as many people as we can outside,” Domeika said. Particularly, this includes Colorado College’s Snow Day.
Snow Day began as an event back in 2020 in collaboration between the ORC, the Butler Center, F.U.C.C, Campus Activities, and the Office of Sustainability. In 2020 the event covered costs for 75 students and 15 outdoor education leaders to have a ski day at Monarch Mountain.
Activities included skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, inner tubing, and snowball fights. Last year, the event was put on in a virtual and remote format, but hopes are up for the Snow Day’s return to its full, in-person glory.
“Skiing and snowboarding primarily because of cost, but also because of culture, is a really sexist, racist kind of sport. That’s not what we want to see continue. So, my goal as Winter Sports Coordinator is just creating a safe, inclusive environment,” Domeika said.
Outside of trips to the mountains, students should be prepared for on-campus programing promoting winter sports and access. F.U.C.C plans to host several film screenings this year and once snow falls, opportunities for snow forts and laps down Preserve Hill abound — remember, you can find most winter layers to rent for free from the Ahlberg Gear House, so a student should never be chilly.
“Whether it be on mountain, on campus, we want people who are interested to be able to engage in snow sports in some sort of way,” Manning said.