Wednesdays at Western - Summer 2015

The Summer 2015 "Wednesdays at Western" Lineup

Wednesdays at Western provide opportunities for Gunnison visitors and residents to spend a Wednesday enjoying and learning about the
area. The single-day courses are as diverse, engaging, and entertaining as the instructors who are leading the courses. Western Extended Studies invites you to experience a great Wednesday at Western. Sign up today!

PAYMENT & REGISTRATION INFO:Pre-payment and pre-registration are required for all programs. Space is limited for most courses. Sorry, no discounts are available for Wednesdays at Western programs. No refunds after registration deadline. All programs run rain or shine. Campus parking is free; no permit required.

Exploring Hartman Rocks by Mountain Bike

Jenny Smith
Wednesday, June 17, 9:00AM-Noon
Meeting Location: Hartman Rocks picnic table area
Registration Deadline: Monday, June 12.
Cost: $20
Join Jennifer Smith, accomplished mountain biker and coach of Western’s cycling program, for an introduction to the trails at Hartman Rocks. This program is for the beginner and casual cyclist. Smith guides riders on jeep roads, double-track and easy single-track trails at Hartman Rocks. The purpose of this program is to help the rider learn the trail system at Hartman Rocks while building confidence riding on dirt roads and trails. Participants need to have their own mountain bike in good working order, a puncture repair kit including replacement tube, tire iron and pump and wear cycling appropriate clothing (shorts/jersey/socks/shoes) and safety clothing (sunglasses/helmet and long fingered gloves). Please wear sunscreen and bring a water bottle/hydro pack and snacks for a 2.5 hour ride. Mountain bikes are available for rent through Western’s Wilderness Pursuits office. Call 970.943.7051 and mention the Wednesdays at Western program.

South Baldy Mountain Summit Hike

Karen Immerso
Wednesday, June 24, 7:00am-4:00pm
Meeting Location: University Center parking lot
Registration Deadline: Friday, June 19.
Cost: $30
Each month this summer, Karen leads a full day hike to the summit of local peaks. The group’s primary objectives are to experience a high point with great views (weather dependent), a sense of accomplishment, a shared adventure and a greater understanding of the local topography and surrounding wilderness areas. Each hike includes an elevation gain of up to 3,000’, on and off trail travel, and is considered strenuous. West of Gunnison, in the West Elk Wilderness, the first hike in her series is planned for a summit of South Baldy reaching 12,385’. Weather permitting, the climb continues to the top of Middle Baldy at 12,592’. Participants should bring a daypack containing one to two liters of water, appropriate footwear for hiking, wind and rain jackets, warm hat, layers of clothing, additional snacks, camera, and sun protection. Trekking poles recommended. Participants must be able to hike uphill at altitude without difficulty and be comfortable with round-trip distance of eight miles and 3,000’ elevation gain. Transportation and sack lunch included.

Basic Digital Photography

Gregg Morin
Wednesday, June 24, 9:00AM-Noon
Meeting Location: Taylor Hall room 101
Registration Deadline: Monday, June 22.
Cost: $20
This course covers basic digital photography, including: types of digital cameras and how they work, basic shooting functions, and image processing. Composition, use of light, and other techniques are also discussed. The second half of the class is spent outside on the Western campus taking pictures, with time for students to get feedback on their images from the instructor. Participants need to bring a digital camera, memory card, and camera instruction manual.

The Highest Fire Lookout in North America: Fairview Peak

Justin Lawrence
Wednesday, June 24, 7:30am-4:00pm
Meeting Location: University Center parking lot
Registration Deadline: Friday, June 19. Cost: $30
Explore the Fairview Peak Fire Lookout, perched at 13,214’, and constructed of stone in 1912. Discussion of the historic restoration work occurring at the lookout, along with Forest Service and fire lookout history, are covered while overlooking much of the Gunnison Basin. Participants should bring a daypack containing 1-2 liters of water, appropriate footwear for hiking, wind and rain jackets, warm hat, layers of clothing, additional snacks, camera, and sun protection. Trekking poles are recommended. This is a strenuous hike up steep terrain above 13,000’. Participants must be able to hike uphill at altitude without difficulty, and be comfortable with round-trip distance of four miles. Transportation and a sack lunch are provided.

Mineral Triangle Tour - Gunnison, Crested Butte, and Taylor Park

Duane Vandenbusche
Wednesday July 1, 7:30am-5:00pm
Meeting Location: Kelley Hall, Room 121
Registration Deadline: Friday, June 26. 
Cost: $40
Take a historical journey through Gunnison Valley’s Mineral Triangle: Gunnison, Crested Butte, and Taylor Park, with renowned local historian Duane Vandenbusche.  First, enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Almont Resort while hearing the highlights of Almont’s beginnings.  Next, travel to Crested Butte and take a chairlift ride to the top of the ski area. At 11,000’, Dr. Vandenbusche presents the history of Gothic, Crested Butte, and the East River Valley. Stop at the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum followed by lunch in the park in Crested Butte. Then, journey over Jack’s Cabin Cutoff on the way to Taylor Park Dam. A final stop is made at Harmel’s Ranch Resort in Taylor Canyon for more story-telling before returning to Western. Participants should bring additional snacks and drinks. Wear appropriate footwear for light hiking and clothing for inclement weather. Participants must be able to walk and travel at elevations of over 11,000’.  Transportation, breakfast, chair lift ride, admission to the museum and a sack lunch are provided.

Backyard Astronomy

Suzanne Taylor
Wednesday July 1, 7:00pm-11:00pm
Meeting Location: Gunnison Valley Observatory, 2804 Gold Basin Road (across from Hartman Rocks)
Registration Deadline: Monday, June 29. 
Cost: $15
Gunnison has some of the darkest night skies in the country and is also home to a world-class public observatory!  Make the most of this exceptional location by becoming familiar with the night sky in your backyard.  This course involves learning to use star charts, identifying constellations and finding several naked-eye and binocular objects.  We begin the evening by learning some of the basic principles guiding daily and seasonal changes in the night sky, and then apply our knowledge to observing the sky with the naked-eye, binoculars, and telescopes. This course includes an opportunity to observe through the Gunnison Valley Observatory’s trademark 30” telescope.

Relaxation: Letting it go so You can Hang on

Barbara Klingman
Wednesday, July 8, 7:00AM-4:00PM
Meeting Location: University Center parking lot
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 3.
Cost: $30
Whether you are working, retired, or on vacation you know there are benefits to learning and practicing some basic relaxation exercises. Relaxing your mind and your body releases stress and allows more space, openness and movement in both areas. Come and learn something new and share what you know with us. Discussion is encouraged. The class begins with specific stretches designed to release tension. Three or four meditation styles are introduced and the class is guided in their practice. The session ends with a few more stretches and a short relaxation period. Participants should wear loose clothing and bring a towel, if desired. Mats will be provided. If enough students express interest, we can meet again the following two mornings at 7:30am to reinforce the practice.

Carbon Peak Summit Hike

Karen Immerso
Wednesday, July 8, 7:00AM-4:00PM
Meeting Location: University Center Parking lot
Registration Deadline: Friday, July 3.
Cost: $30
Each month this summer, Karen leads a full day hike to the summit of local peaks. The group’s primary objectives are to experience a high point with great views (weather dependent), a sense of accomplishment, a shared adventure and a greater understanding of the local topography and surrounding wilderness areas. Each hike includes an elevation gain of up to 3,000’, on and off trail travel, and is considered strenuous. From the Ohio Creek Road just beyond Swampy Pass, this day is spent on Carbon Peak in efforts to reach its summit at 12,079’.  Participants should bring a daypack containing one to two liters of water, appropriate footwear for hiking, wind and rain jackets, warm hat, layers of clothing, additional snacks, camera, and sun protection. Trekking poles recommended. Participants must be able to hike uphill at altitude without difficulty, and be comfortable with round-trip distance of eight miles and 3,000’ elevation gain. Transportation and sack lunch included.

Plein Air Watercolor Workshop

Gail Sovick
Wednesday, July8 , 10:00AM-12:30PM
Meeting Location: Gunnison Valley Art Center at 9:45AM
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, July 6.
Cost: $25
Barns, old fences and ranching scenes serve as inspiration in this workshop where participants follow a simple progression of steps to complete a unique and easy watercolor painting. No experience necessary. All supplies included.

The Three Passes of Monarch

Bruce Bartleson and Dave Primus
Wednesday, July 15, 7:30AM-4:30PM
Meeting Location: University Center Parking Lot
Registration Deadline: Friday, July 10.
Cost: $35
Most people know that there is an old Monarch Pass besides the modern one on Highway 50. However, did you know that there is also an old, old Monarch Pass over the Continental Divide, dating back to the early 1880s, when it was a stagecoach road? This tour follows the historic route over Monarch Pass (sometimes called the Rainbow Route), used by early automobiles. Stops are made at various places to discuss historic and geologic features. Evidence is seen of construction that is over 130 years old and participants can see where Old Monarch Pass joined the original stage coach road and the original road into Gunnison from the east. Participants must be able to moderately hike at high altitude and be comfortable traveling in elevations of over 12,000’. Participants should bring a daypack containing water, wind/rain jackets, and sun protection. Transportation and a sack lunch are provided.

The Alpine Tunnel and the Race to the Gunnison Country

Justin Lawrence
Wednesday, July 15, 8:00AM-5:00PM
Meeting Location: University Center Parking lot
Registration Deadline: Friday, July 10.
Cost: $30
Travel to the Alpine Tunnel outside of Pitkin, Colorado, near the Continental Divide.  Along the historic railroad route, the group stops to discuss the construction and operation of the rail line which ran intermittently from 1882-1910. Upon arriving at the top, the group explores the structures related to the Alpine depot, with a short walk to the tunnel itself.  For those with a bit more stamina, a short trail goes to the top of the Continental Divide where participants can take in the views and see the eastern side of the rail line as it descends Chalk Creek towards Mt. Princeton.  Participants must be able to hike at altitude for ½ mile on level ground.  Proper footwear and backpack with warm clothes, raingear, water, snacks, camera, and other essentials for hiking at high altitudes. Transportation and a sack lunch are provided.

Wild Edible Plants of the Gunnison Valley

Briana Wiles
Wednesday, July 15, 9:00AM-Noon
Meeting Location: University Center parking lot
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 13.
Cost: $20
Take a walk with Briana through open meadows, wooded forests and creek sides, learning to identify wild edible and medicinal plants. This trip explores the plants around the Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery in Almont, CO. This instructor shares information she has gathered for the book she is currently writing, Foraging for the Mountain States, set for release in 2016 by Timber Press. The publication covers 120 wild and edible plants that are found throughout Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. Participants should bring water, a rain jacket, sun protection, snacks, and wear hiking shoes or boots.

Pastel Wildflowers

Gail Sovick
Wednesday, July 15, 1:00PM-3:30PM
Meeting Location: Gunnison Arts Center Adult Art Studio
Registration Deadline: Friday, July 13. Cost: $25
This pastel workshop is a Colorado spin on the Georgia O’Keefe style. Learn how to layer chalk pastels to create a gorgeous wildflower picture. Participants learn about local wildflowers and leave the class with a finished painting. No experience is necessary. All supplies included.

The Rainbow Route: Gunnison, Monarch, and Marshall Pass

Duane Vandenbusche
Wednesday, July 22, 8:00AM-5:00PM
Meeting Location: University Center parking lot
Registration Deadline: Friday, July 17.
Cost: $40
Follow the famous Rainbow Route: Highway 50 from Gunnison over Monarch Pass to Poncha Springs.  Stops include the historic Sargents’ schoolhouse, Monarch Crest, the historic Maysville School, and the Mountain Spirits Winery.  From Poncha Springs, the class returns to Gunnison via Marshall Pass where the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad first entered the Gunnison Country in 1881.  The trip covers mining camps, ranching, narrow gauge railroads, skiing and social life.  Learn about Parlin, Doyleville, Sargents, White Pine, Monarch, Garfield, Arborville, and Maysville.  Participants should bring additional snacks and drinks. Wear appropriate footwear for light hiking and clothing for inclement weather. Participants must be able to walk and travel at elevations of over 11,000’.  Transportation, continental breakfast, and a sack lunch are provided. hour ride session.

Antracite Ridge, Ohio Peak Hike

Barbara Klingman
Wednesday, July 22, 7:00AM-4:00PM
Meeting Location: University Center parking lot
Registration Deadline: Friday, July 17.
Cost: $30
Hike to the top of the Anthracite Ridge and look down the Ohio Creek drainage towards Gunnison. The next time you drive to Crested Butte you can point out the ridge line you stood upon. This hike travels along trails in the area that are not always well defined or easy to locate. Participants should be able to hike uphill at altitude without difficulty and be comfortable with a round trip distance of 6-10 miles and an elevation gain of approximately 2,500’. Participants should be prepared for a strenuous hike. Ohio Peak, 12,271’, will be our goal, which is the higher peak on the east side of the ridge. If weather and group are agreeable, the hike can continue along the ridge for two more miles toward the highest point of the Anthracite Range, UN12,385’. Participants should bring a daypack containing 2 liters of water or a hydration system of similar size, appropriate and comfortable hiking boots for on and off trail, wind and rain jackets, warm layers of clothing including a warm cap, additional snacks, camera, and sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat) Trekking poles are also recommended.

Watercolor Pencil Landscapes

Gail Sovick
Wednesday, July 22, 10:00AM-12:30PM
Meeting Location: Gunnison Arts Center at 9:45AM
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 20.
Cost: $25
Watercolor pencils offer the ease of control and predictability of colored pencils combined with the soft and organic look of watercolor paints. Join this workshop to explore this medium and create a finished piece while using local landscape scenes as inspiration.  No experience necessary. All supplies included.

Geology of Taylor Park

Bruce Bartleson
Wednesday, July 29, 8:00AM-5:00PM
Meeting Location: University Center Parking Lot
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 20. Cost: $30
Travel through Taylor Canyon and Taylor Park with distinguished local geologist Bruce Bartleson to learn about the incredible geology of the area. The tour takes the group to Taylor Park with numerous stops along the way where Dr. Bartleson explains the area’s physical and historical geology. Discussion centers on the glacial and structural geology of Taylor Park.  Why is Taylor Park a large basin?  How far, where, and how long did glaciers extend in the region?  Were there ever great glacial breakout floods coming down Taylor Canyon?  The answers to these questions are given and moreParticipants should bring a daypack containing water, wind/rain jackets, and sun protection, as well as some cash for delicious pie at Frenchie’s in Tincup, if desired. Transportation and a sack lunch are provided.

Climb a 14,000' Peak

Barbara Klingman
Pre-Trip Meeting (Mandatory): Monday July 27, 7:00PM, Taylor 101
Wednesday, July 29, 5:00AM-7:00PM
Meeting Location: University Center parking lot
Registration Deadline: Friday, July 24.
Cost: $55
Join a full day hike to attempt the summit of Sunshine Peak - 14,001’, which is located SW of Lake City. The group’s primary objectives are to experience the local topography, a sense of accomplishment, and a shared adventure. The group is expected to stay together and support each other. The hike is both on and off trail, includes an elevation gain of approximately 3,800 feet and is approximately 9 miles round trip. This outing is considered VERY, VERY strenuous. Participants should be able to hike uphill at altitude and be acclimatized to elevations above 12,000 feet. Call or email leader if you have questions. The pre-trip meeting on Monday is mandatory. Transportation, sandwich/snack for trail and post-hike lunch in Lake City are provided. Participants should bring a daypack containing 2 liters of water or a hydration system of similar size, appropriate and comfortable hiking boots for on and off trail, wind and rain jackets, warm layers of clothing including a warm cap, additional snacks, camera, and sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat), Trekking poles are also recommended. This hike is subject to favorable weather conditions. A summit is not guaranteed and all participants are expected to descend at the discretion of the leader in the event of storms, lightning and/or high winds.

Linoleum Cut Print Making

Gail Sovick
Wednesday, July 29, 1:00PM-3:30PM
Meeting Location: Gunnison Arts Center Adult Art Studio
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 27.
Cost: $25
Choose from a variety of locally inspired landmark designs or create your own and learn how to transfer and carve your design to create a beautiful handmade stamp. Participants go home with a finished print. All supplies included.

Three Passes of Monarch

Bruce Bartleson and Dave Primus
Wednesday, August 5, 7:30AM-4:30PM
Meeting Location: University Center parking lot
Registration Deadline: Friday, July 31. 
Cost: $35
Most people know that there is an old Monarch Pass besides the modern one on Highway 50. However, did you know that there is also an old, old Monarch Pass over the Continental Divide, going back to the early 1880s, when it was a stagecoach road? This tour examines and explains the history of all three passes as well as discusses the geology of the area. We travel the historic route to Monarch Pass, following the Rainbow Route used by early automobiles. Stops are made at various places on the way to the passes to discuss places of historic and geologic trail. Evidence is seen of construction that is over 130 years old and participants see where Old Monarch Pass joined the original stage coach road. Participants should bring a daypack containing water, wind/rain jackets, and sun protection.  Transportation and a sack lunch are provided.

Garfield Peak Summit Hike

Karen Immerso
Wednesday, August 5, 7:00AM-4:00PM
Meeting Location: University Center Parking lot
Registration Deadline: Friday, July 31.
Cost: $30
Join Karen Immerso on a local, full-day hike. The last installment in a series of summit hikes, participants hike to the summit of Garfield Peak. Via the high point of Scarp Ridge at 12,212’, the trail goes over Star Pass to the Garfield Peak summit at 11,888’ in the Raggeds Wilderness area of the Elk Mountains. Participants should bring a daypack containing one to two liters of water, appropriate footwear for hiking, wind and rain jackets, warm hat, layers of clothing, additional snacks, camera, and sun protection. Trekking poles recommended. Participants must be able to hike uphill at altitude without difficulty, and be comfortable with round-trip distance of eight miles and 3,000’ elevation gain. Transportation and sack lunch included.

Horsemanship and Riding

Tenderfoot Outfitters 
Wednesday, August 12, 9:00AM-2:30PM
Meeting Location: University Center Parking Lot. Carpool personal vehichels to Mill Creek.
Registration Deadline: Friday, August 7.
Cost: $65
Saddle up with experienced guides to explore the West Elk Mountains. Participants are introduced to the grooming and saddling of their horses. Then they journey into one of the most spectacular areas of the Rockies on a scenic two-hour trail ride. Participants should wear long pants, closed toe shoes, and bring gloves, jacket, hat, insect repellent, sunscreen, water bottles, and snacks. Participants must be able to sit on a horse for two hours at elevation of 8,000-10,000’. Sack lunch provided.

Black Canyon Road Bike Ride

Jenny Smith
Wednesday, August 19, 8:00AM-2:00PM
Meeting Location: University Center Parking Lot. Carpool personal vehicles to the dam.
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 24.
Cost: $25
This program is an instructor-led road ride on scenic Highway 92. The ride starts at the Blue Mesa dam with the intended goal of riding to the top of the Mesa. The ride is an out and back.  It is approximately 40 miles round trip. This ride is designed to be a ‘no drop’ ride with riders climbing at their own pace; however, participants meet up and regroup two times on the ascent and two times on the descent.  This ride is intended to share the beauty of one of Gunnison Valley’s classic road rides.  Participants need to have their own road bike or mountain bike in good working order, a puncture repair kit including a replacement tube, tire iron and pump. Wear cycling appropriate clothing: (shorts/jersey/socks/shoes) and safety clothing (sunglasses/helmet and long fingered glove). Please wear sunscreen and bring warmer layers for higher elevations and descending. Please bring a water bottle/hydropack and snacks for a 4 hour ride session.

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