Ski Program at Gunnison High School


Photo taken by Cielo Gonzales

Jackson Dalleck, Editor

Not many high school students have the chance to take one day a week to ski at a world class ski resort like Crested Butte, and earn credit for it, but students at Gunnison High School can do just this.  The GHS Ski Program has hit its all time high participation with a total of 18 students skiing or snowboarding this year. The program is steadily growing back to its regular size, after covid  impacted the number of participants negatively. Austin Gibney, counselor at the Pathways program,  took over the ski and snowboard program three years ago, and has had increased students every year. The program has been successful every year, and Gibney has no intention of slowing down. Based on the growth of the ski program, he  plans on expanding the outdoor program to what it was before covid struck. Gibney would like to add in climbing, ice climbing, hiking, and many more outdoor activities in addition to skiing and mountain biking. 

The ski program itself takes place every Tuesday for six weeks in the middle of winter, and students earn .25 credits for their participation.. Gibney says it’s a good way for students to take advantage of the opportunities and resources that surround them. He says he is proud that the program does not require you to know how to ski or snowboard, and that he actually has quite a few students just learning how to ski and snowboard.  After taking school vehicles to CBMR, students are grouped by ability and placed with an instructor for the morning.  After lunch they are free to ski or ride with other students.  Some students take the school transportation back to school while others stay late and utilize the RTA.  

This season students have already been to CBMR twice, and have lucked out big time with massive powder days. “It is fun to ski in powder, and to skip school while having fun and earning a credit.” Says Burk O’Rourke. This program is a good way for Gibney as a counselor to connect with students outside the classroom. Mr. Leo Malloy started the program many years ago, and then when he retired, Gibney stepped it.