Tag Archive for Alpine Campus

Editorial reflects on Colorado Mountain College’s value to Steamboat Springs

Colorado Mountain College received a thoughtful endorsement in the Steamboat Pilot’s editorial pages this week. The editorial reflected on CMC president Carrie Hauser’s recent visit to Steamboat Springs and the valuable role CMC plays in the Steamboat Springs community. The full editorial is reprinted below.

 Our View: CMC elevates Steamboat’s educational offerings

Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus, which sits high above the western edge of downtown offering spectacular views of Mount Werner and Howelsen Hill, serves as a brick and mortar reminder of the visionary work undertaken by a group of committed community leaders who realized the value of keeping a college in Steamboat Springs and fought hard to save it more than 30 years ago.

The dramatic $20 million campus addition, built in 2011, pays tribute to that effort and has become one of Steamboat’s most iconic landmarks. The architecturally impressive building also is a symbol of the community’s generosity and the willingness of school district voters to tax themselves to support the local Read more

CMC Sky Club’s Crystal Observatory through the lens

The Crystal Observatory, built by the Colorado Mountain College Sky Club, will be open four more days. If you can’t catch the sculpture in person today, Feb.6 through Sunday, Feb. 9, you can now check out this unique ice-and-snow sculpture on video, thanks to CMC student Ben Saheb.

The unique ice and snow sculpture recreates a to-scale model of the solar system sculpted in ice. Visitors are also treated to snow-sculpture version of Stonehenge, views from a telescope and a giant, walk-in, flying saucer carved from snow. The final stop is the crystal observatory, where the tour’s largest telescope is located, surrounded by enormous stalagmites.

The Crystal Observatory will be open for four more days on the CMC campus in Steamboat Springs on Feb. 6, 7, 8 and 9, from 7 to 10 p.m.

Tickets must be purchased on nights when the observatory is open, at the ticket table located on the second level of CMC’s new academic and student services building, where tour guides will lead visitors to the observatory grounds.

Tickets are $10 per person, with all proceeds going to support the CMC Sky Club. Kids under six and students with a valid CMC ID get in for free. Appropriate winter footwear is advised.

For more information, contact Westlake at 970-870-4537.

– See more at: http://enews.coloradomtn.edu/2014/01/29/cmc-sky-club-opens-crystal-observatory-jan-31/#more-16450

CMC Sky Club opens Crystal Observatory Jan. 31

Same group that operates popular Screamboat to showcase celestial wonders

One of the icicle columns of the Colorado Mountain College Sky Club’s Crystal Observatory

One of the icicle columns of the Colorado Mountain College Sky Club’s Crystal Observatory glints in the early morning sun after a frosty night of freezing and growing. The columns are grown by fusing together icicles harvested from local rooftops, then spraying them with water at night to grow and fill in the lattice. The Crystal Observatory – an extravaganza of ice sculptures and telescopes for winter viewing of the stars – will be open to visitors Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 6, 7, 8 and 9 at the college’s campus in Steamboat Springs. Photo Jimmy Westlake

Members of the public and students and are invited to gaze at winter’s stars while strolling through an outdoor structure that’s part ice-and-snow sculpture and part outdoor mandala.

The Crystal Observatory, built by the Colorado Mountain College Sky Club, will be up and running by Jan. 31 and return during the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival weekend.

“To my knowledge,” said Jimmy Westlake, noted CMC professor of physical science, award-winning astro-photographer and Sky Club advisor, “this is the only ice observatory in the history of civilization.”

But the observatory is more than an observatory – you could even call it a Crystal Cosmos.

Participants will follow a circular trail in the snow that leads them through a to-scale model of our solar system sculpted from ice. Along the way, visitors will enjoy views from a telescope and several man-made attractions including a laser light show projected against a snow screen, a snow-sculpture version of Stonehenge (“Snowhenge”) and a giant, walk-in, flying saucer carved from the snow.

The final stop is the crystal observatory, where the tour’s largest telescope will be located. Surrounding it, enormous stalagmite icicles will create a curved wall of Read more

When snow gives way: The most dangerous snowpack in the world

Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Spring’s avalanche awareness class was featured in Sunday’s Steamboat Today newspaper, great coverage of a class that could save your life. The college still has open slots for late-starting avalanche courses. Click here to search for courses in Webadvisor. Select “Search for Credit Classes,” select “Spring 2014″ for your term and plug “avalanche” into a keyword search.

Student Blake Peters digs as his classmate watches during an avalanche rescue scenario at the top of Buffalo Pass. The students were taking part in an avalanche awareness class offered by Colorado Mountain College.

Student Blake Peters digs as his classmate watches during an avalanche rescue scenario at the top of Buffalo Pass. The students were taking part in an avalanche awareness class offered by Colorado Mountain College. Photo by John F. Russell.

Steamboat Springs — It’s Day 1 of Outdoors 168 at Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs, and inside Room 213 of the campus’ newest building, 12 students and one professor begin introducing themselves, one by one.

It’s a typical first-day procedure for a not-so-typical college course.

Around the semicircle they go, students stating their names and explaining what motivated them to sign up for Avalanche Awareness and Safety Level I. Only half of the students have the chance to introduce themselves before CMC instructor Cody Perry gets serious.

Really serious.

“I just want to be safer when I do get alone out in the backcountry,” the sixth student says. “I’ve fallen into a couple tree wells up there. I just think this is a necessary class if you want to live in Colorado click for full article

CMC Sky Club heads to Alaska

Jimmy Westlake photo of the Northern Lights over Rabbit Ears Pass in Colorado

CMC professor Jimmy Westlake captured this rare appearance of the northern lights in Colorado at Rabbit Ears Pass on March 17, 2013. Westlake will head to Alaska with 22 CMC students, faculty and staff on Thursday to view and study the northern lights in the Arctic Circle.

CMC professor Jimmy Westlake and 22 CMC students, faculty, and staff — all members of the CMC SKY Club — are embarking on a five-day Alaska Northern Lights Expedition. The trip commences Thursday and includes stops in Anchorage, Denali National Park, Delta Junction, and Fairbanks. Westlake hopes the group of CMC astronomy buffs will be able to “experience, photograph and study the northern lights up close and personal from their Arctic home.”

The northern lights make an occasional appearance in Colorado and regions further south. Follow the NASA-sponsored website www.spaceweather.com for aurora borealis forecasts and updates. Spectacular real time photos from sky watchers around the world can be found on the site’s photo gallery page. If weather and timing allow the Sky Club to catch some spectacular displays, Westlake promises to share more stunning photos with viewers upon the group’s return from Alaska. Stay tuned!



Steamboat Springs student Dustin Eldridge has worked as a blogger and photographer for Colorado Mountain College for two years, sharing his insights and vision about CMC’s outdoor programs and the Steamboat community. Dustin recently graduated with an AA in Outdoor Education and is moving on to Jackson Hole to explore new adventures. Dustin’s last post, shared below, shares his thoughts on the value of his time at CMC.  We’ll miss his fine writing.


Learning from those who inhabited the land before us.

This past Saturday marked my graduation from CMC’s Steamboat Springs campus.  I received an Associate of Arts with an emphasis in Outdoor Education and also Ski/Snowboard Guide Certification.  While some may chuckle at job prospects for someone with a specialty in Outdoor Education, they might not realize that an AA from CMC guarantees a transfer to and junior status at any of Colorado’s public higher education institutions.  I also shared my graduation with the inaugural class of Bachelor’s graduates from the Steamboat Springs campus; who earned degrees in Business and Sustainability.  In the current age of astronomical tuition costs, Colorado Mountain College offers affordable degree options coupled with the benefits of small class sizes and the intangible beauties of Read more

Social justice and sustainability talk at CMC in Steamboat Springs

 Free dialogue on “Partnering Social Justice with Sustainability”

Jordana DeZeeuw Spencer, Ph.D, will lead a discussion on partnering social justice with sustainability. The talk will start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, at Colorado Mountain College’s Allbright Family Auditorium in Steamboat Springs.

Jordana DeZeeuw Spencer, Ph.D, will lead a discussion on partnering social justice with sustainability.

Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs will hold a free dialogue titled “Partnering Social Justice with Sustainability” at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, in the Allbright Family Auditorium on campus. The evening of exploration will center on social justice, sustainability and the challenge to expand the understanding of inclusivity, and will be led by Jordana DeZeeuw Spencer, Ph.D.

DeZeeuw Spencer teaches at the college level and has taught at both public and private colleges, nationally and internationally. Her work explores human capacities to connect in solidarity across “difference.”  Her passion lies in social justice education and she focuses on gender and sexuality as well as anti-racism studies.

The discussion is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Tina Evans at 870-4517.


Colorado Mountain College students studying abroad in Cuba

This article first appeared in the Steamboat Pilot. By Matt Stensland.

Old car and mechanic on streets of Havana, Cuba.

A group of Colorado Mountain College students will take in the sights, culture and history of Cuba when they travel there in March during a study abroad trip. Photo: Matt Stensland.

Steamboat Springs — A group of Colorado Mountain College students is preparing to travel to Cuba on a trip that was forbidden just a couple years ago.

President Barack Obama’s administration in January 2011 eased travel restrictions that made it possible for educational groups like CMC’s to visit the country. American tourism to the country since has rocketed, and an estimated 400,000 Americans visited Cuba last year. Cuba, though, remains the only country in the world where U.S. citizens are forbidden to travel to for leisure. Before the Obama policy change, about 50,000 Americans visited the country each year, often times illegally.

CMC Social and Behavioral Sciences Professor Bob Gumbrecht jumped at the opportunity to take a class legally.

“Cuba was always on my list,” Gumbrecht said.

During summer 2011, he went with a group of about 20 educators on click for full article

2013 Cosmic Calendars are here!

The cover of the ‘Year of the Comet” 2013 Cosmic Calendar. The calendars, created by CMC professor Jimmy Westlake, showcase Westlake’s renowned astrophotography along with information on key celestial events of 2013.

It’s that time of year again.  CMC professor and astrophotographer Jimmy Westlake has created another edition of his annual Cosmic Calendar.  The 2013 version, titled the “Year of the Comet,” is now available for purchase.

Chock full of Westlake’s unique and beautiful celestial images, the calendar also keeps you alerted to the cosmic highlights of 2013. It’s full of intriguing facts about meteor showers, eclipses, comets and other celestial events. Two highlights include March’s Panstarrs comet, and November’s recently discovered Ison comet, which may, according to Westlake, possibly be the brightest comet in centuries.

Westlake’s full color calendar is printed on heavy cardstock and measures 11 x 8.5 inches. Best yet, three dollars from each calendar sold goes directly to the CMC SKY Club, an astronomy club based at the Steamboat Springs Colorado Mountain College campus.

If you are interested in ordering a calendar, send professor Westlake an email at jwestlake@coloradomtn.edu and let him know how many calendars you’d like to order.  The calendars are priced at $19 each if you order 1 – 4 calendars, $18 each if you order 5 – 9 calendars, and $17 each if you order 10 or more.  You can also order calendars directly through Westlake’s astrophotography web store at www.jwestlake.com.



CMC’s entrepreneurship center gets fresh start in new professional digs

This article first appeared in the Steamboat Pilot & Today.  By Tom Ross.

Student Logan Banning, showing off one of his custom hoodies in the new Entrepreneurship Center in Steamboat Springs

Lowell Whiteman School student Logan Banning, owner of Parka, shows off one of his custom hoodies this week in his office at the new Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center at Colorado Mountain College. Photo: Tom Ross.

Steamboat Springs — Seemingly every office in the new academic center at Colorado Mountain College has a great view of Steamboat Ski Area, and the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center is no exception.

The message scrawled there on a dry-erase board in one of eight new gleaming offices Wednesday read: “Stop looking at the mountain and get some work done!”

The message was intended to amuse guests at an open house for the new facility. The expectation is that new tenants of the offices will find it to be an Read more