The Mountain Sports Program
Academic excellence framed by all season competition in natural, rugged Colorado landscapes. Small class sizes – your professors will actually know you – compelling degree tracks and authentic mountain sports competition, all in a small, friendly and safe mountain town environment – Gunnison, Colorado.
Founder of Mountain Sports: Dave Wiens
Dave Wiens is a 1990 graduate of Western State Colorado University and has been racing mountain bikes for over 25 years. He has won the Leadville Trail 100 six times, is a two-time US National Champion, has won World Cup races and is a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. He chose Western due to its proximity to world class skiing and whitewater kayaking.
In 2012 Dave created the Mountain Sports Program to bring together various campus entities and support Western athletes pursuing competition in mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding, and Trail Running.
The Sports and Disciplines
Skiing and Snowboarding
We compete in Alpine, Freeride, Nordic, and Endurance Ski. Western’s Mountain Sports skiers compete on the most competitive circuits, as well as in local and regional competitions, where up and coming athletes can cut their teeth and hone their skills. The Mountain Sports Ski Team defines modern competitive skiing – no other collegiate program offers its diversity of disciplines.
The Mountain Bike Team focuses on competition in gravity and endurance mountain biking. We compete in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC) with the best schools in the nation, including Ft. Lewis College and the University of Colorado. Cyclocross and road racing are also in the mix but winter in the Gunnison Valley is very real and Mountain Sports cyclists are stoked to put their bikes away in the late fall and get out the skis and boards.
The Trail Running Team focuses on training and racing on world-class singletrack. From 5k sprints to epic tests of endurance like the Sage Burner 50k and the Leadville Trail 100, the Mountain Sports Trail Running Team is a pioneer in the fledgling discipline of collegiate trail running.
Media, Industry and Support
Mountain Sports is not solely for competitors and there’s a whole world behind the scenes and behind the athletes. Mountain Sports Media, Industry and Support involves students in all aspects of the program. There are opportunities for students in film and video production, photography, graphic design, journalism, public relations, exercise and sports science, team logistics management and support, events, event production and execution and much, much more.
Fees and Expenses
The Mountain Sports Program covers all costs associated with travel, lodging, uniforms, coaching and any entry fees for intercollegiate competition. Athletes are responsible for their own food, lift tickets, non-collegiate entry fees and individual licenses (i.e. FIS, FWT, IFSA, etc.). Media team members on assignment will have all expenses covered with the exception of food.