CMC, Monarch Ski Patrol Provide Avalanche Safety Scholarships for Local High School Students

Andy Limoncelli and Keagan Cox were the recipients of the Friends of Monarch Ski Patrol CMC Avalanche Safety Scholarship.
Andy Limoncelli and Keagan Cox were the recipients of the Friends of Monarch Ski Patrol CMC Avalanche Safety Scholarship.

CMC and Friends of Monarch Ski Patrol partner to promote avalanche education for high school students.

Thanks to a successful collaboration between Colorado Mountain College and Friends of Monarch Ski Patrol, two Chaffee County high school students were able to expand their backcountry skills and avalanche safety knowledge this winter. Keagon Cox (Salida High School) and Andy Limoncelli (Buena Vista High School) benefited from this unique partnership as CMC scholarship recipients. The scholarship, provided by Friends of Monarch Ski Patrol, allowed Keagon and Andy to enroll in CMC’s OUT-168 Level 1 Avalanche Safety Course that was conducted in Salida and on Monarch Pass over three days in late January.

“The students had to submit a short application,” says Zach Moore, Director of Ski Patrol at Monarch Mountain, “with either an essay, drawing, or multi-media piece on why they want to learn more about avalanches and what they hope to do with that information. From those applicants, we chose the two award winners, Keagon and Andy.”

Friends of Monarch Ski Patrol paid for the student’s tuition, Colorado Mountain College covered the course fees, and Salida Mountain Sports generously provided touring gear for the students.

“It’s wonderful to provide new (and some experienced) backcountry users some real information that they can use,” says Roger Coit, avalanche faculty at Colorado Mountain College, “We provide a great model for recreational safety practices and trip planning that students can use for the rest of their backcountry travel career.”

With more and more people seeking solitude and powder turns, avalanche education is becoming a critical resource for backcountry users. Colorado Mountain College provides a variety of avalanche safety courses, for recreational and professional applications. Courses typically cost between $200 – $600, and provide vital information to allow someone to travel and explore the backcountry in a safer manner. CMC courses tend to be reasonably priced, especially for residents of CMC’s service area.

“We at Monarch Ski Patrol are seeing more and more young adults traveling in the backcountry and asking questions about backcountry safety,” says Zach “We wanted to provide an opportunity for students to get their own avalanche education so they can make informed decisions for themselves when touring. We were very excited to have been able to partner with CMC to help provide this invaluable education.”