The goal of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School sports program is to provide access for students of all abilities and experiences to develop an appreciation of, and competency in, many different outdoor pursuits. From climbing, biking, and kayaking to skiing, snowboarding, and Nordic, the sports offerings at CRMS are unique to the school's magnificent mountain setting. All students participate in a sport at least two days per week, and regardless of experience, there is a place for each and every student from the very beginner to the advanced competitive athlete. By engaging in these activities, students open themselves up to learning new skills, a physical sense of well being, and developing a lifelong passion for the outdoors.
Students in this program paddle the nearby scenic and impressive Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers, learning the basic skills and techniques to safely navigate flat and whitewater sections of these magnificent rivers. Our canoeing program is designed to introduce and challenge students of all abilities.
BEGINNING, INTERMEDIATE, ADVANCED, COMPETITIVE
The climbing program teaches students of all abilities to develop and hone their skills, beginning in the school’s extensive indoor climbing facility and moving to the outdoors at world-class bouldering and sport climbing areas within an hour of campus. This program has broad appeal for students new to climbing as well as for those who are interested in competing on the championship Climbing Team.
Beginners learn the basics, intermediates stretch their skills, and advanced climbers push their limits. For those who participate, climbing is more than merely an after-school sport — it is a fabric of their life at school.
Students can participate in the climbing program all four quarters during the school year. Afternoons, weekends, and extended trips are opportunities to teach and challenge climbers of all abilities. In the first and fourth quarters, the focus of the climbing program is instructional. During those quarters, CRMS climbers head to the school’s well-equipped climbing gym or the great outdoors two days a week to learn the intricacies of climbing safety. During the second and third quarters, the climbing program transitions its efforts to the competitive Climbing Team, where training, teamwork, and strength become the focus.
In all levels of the climbing program, students are taught all the necessary safety and rope-handling skills to ensure they are well versed and capable in the climbing arena. Once proficient in safety, student climbers learn all aspects of the sport, from bouldering to sport and crack climbing and can explore many different areas that are within a day's reach of school. Plus, they train regularly on the school’s indoor bouldering wall, and the competitive team travels throughout the state for competitions.
Students enjoy a wide variety of climbing designations that offer the best possible training options available. From desert-crack climbing in Utah to the world-class sport climbing area of Rifle to the massive conglomerate boulders of Redstone, CRMS climbers experience firsthand all the different climbing options.
Plus, when the snow flies, CRMS climbers head inside and train on set routes and problems on the extensive competition indoor climbing wall. The CRMS wall was built by students and faculty with help from outside designers and structural engineers. The gym includes 2200 sq. ft. of a well-designed bouldering wall.
The school Climbing Team competes in the Colorado High School Climbing League. Competitions occur throughout the state and climbers will travel to the Regional and State Championships if they qualify. Every year, the CRMS girls’ and boys’ varsity teams compete for first place in the state of Colorado. CRMS always finishes well in these competitions, but what sets CRMS apart from other schools is that CRMS students fall in love with climbing and find passion within the sport.
For those who are dedicated to fitness and running, Colorado Rocky Mountain School offers the Cross-Country team. The competitive team trains 4 days a week. The team competes in Colorado High School Cross-Country meets throughout the region. This is a more intensive commitment than the 2-day fitness offering but provides more thorough coaching, a full racing season, and the camaraderie of a team.
With over 300 pastoral acres that were formerly a working ranch, CRMS has a rich history with horses. The horse program is divided into two sections – a start-up section and an intermediate/experienced section. Both sections follow a “whole horse” curriculum based on the following fundamental values: the horse/human connection; horse care and well-being; groundwork and training principles; fundamental riding skills; and agility series. The overall goal of the CRMS horse program is to develop a rich and rewarding relationship with horses as a way to foster such traits as confidence, connection, and mastery of basic equine skills.
BEGINNING, INTERMEDIATE, ADVANCED, COMPETITIVE
The CRMS campus is nestled at the confluence of two of the most scenic rivers in the West, hence the school’s long-standing kayaking tradition. CRMS kayaking introduces students to the wet and adventurous world of paddling while having boatloads of fun. This program is designed for students of all abilities, beginning on the school’s kayak pond before progressing to local rivers. After gaining more experience, paddlers may choose to take these skills to a competitive level and join the Kayak Team.
Students paddle between two and four days a week in the first and fourth quarters. Competitive paddlers attend weekend competitions in the spring. Historically, the school holds the Crystal River Races, the oldest high school kayaking races in the nation, adjacent to the campus in early May.
Recreational kayakers at CRMS get onto the water as quickly and often as possible. In each situation, instructors provide safe experiences for athletes to learn and receive feedback for further advancement. There is a high emphasis placed on safety and river rescue from beginning to advanced levels. Techniques such as how to roll the kayak and how to perform a “wet exit” are high priorities. Paddlers are taught how to be self-sufficient. They learn how to be aware of river hazards and use proper techniques to deal with them, as well as being aware of swimming hazards and how to perform self-rescues.
Kayakers get to paddle right here on campus. CRMS is home to its own kayaking pond. The pond provides calm water for kayakers to practice and perfect techniques and safety procedures. Kayakers can then take these skills to the next level on the rivers adjacent to campus – the Crystal and the Roaring Fork. With these two rivers skirting campus, CRMS has three miles of river to practice on within walking distance so paddlers can get on the water as frequently and efficiently as possible. Within a 30-mile radius of campus, CRMS kayakers can paddle on a total of 150 miles of river. The Glenwood Whitewater Park also provides another outlet for training and practice.
Competitive kayaking is for those interested in training for kayaking competitions who can demonstrate a base level of competence in all areas of kayaking – slalom, down-river, freestyle, river running, instruction, and river rescue. Kayakers will compete across the state, with most competitions held near campus and in Golden and Durango, Colorado.
BEGINNING, INTERMEDIATE, ADVANCED, COMPETITIVE
CRMS is at the heart of a network of scenic mountain trails and progressive bike paths, providing students with the opportunity to adventure on beautiful mountain and desert trails just minutes from campus and throughout the spectacular surrounding areas. Students in the program learn about safety and how to ride, in addition to using their equipment and developing bike-handling skills. Riders of all abilities can learn, and master, mountain biking and road biking in a recreational to competitive setting.
Recreational mountain bikers will find themselves out on the trails between two and four days a week in the first and fourth quarters. During the fall and spring competitive seasons, cycling athletes will have the opportunity to compete in four to five high school races throughout Colorado.
The bike program is based on improving both the students’ skills and endurance. Riders will work on pump tracks to learn how to control their speed and work with their environment. They will then apply these skills with hands-on experience on a variety of different trails and paved tracks. Students also pursue aspects of contemporary mountain biking, such as trail rides that involve hopping, jumping, and riding over obstacles.
Most disciplines of cycling are supported within the program, including cross-country and road-based disciplines. CRMS understands that students will most likely lean toward a single discipline, but the school encourages the development of well-rounded riders who can excel in multiple disciplines at all levels from beginner to competitive.
When it comes to riding, students in the bike program experience beginner to moderate to difficult terrain on world-class trails and also have an opportunity to ride paved roads in the area. Just a stone’s throw away, students regularly ride the renowned trail systems of Red Hill and Prince Creek. For paved trails and long climbs, riders head up to Missouri Heights or down the Rio Grande Trail (paved all the way between Glenwood Springs and Aspen). Bikers also venture out of the valley to ride in world-class destinations such as Fruita, Colorado, and Moab, Utah.
In the fall, there are typically four races a season for mountain bikers. In the spring, athletes compete in Aspen Cycling Club events and travel to mountain biking races nearby. The Aspen Cycling Club is a high school league that puts on four races a season with 17 teams, and these events draw up to 200 to 300 athletes. In 2014, CRMS placed third overall with 150 student participants.
Offered in the fall, the CRMS recreational tennis program is for players of all abilities. Students receive instruction in all aspects of the game, including technique, strategy, tactics, and rules, and enjoy practicing and playing on campus courts in a beautiful setting.
CRMS is synonymous with winter activities, being located just 30 miles from the world-renowned Aspen-Snowmass ski areas and only seven miles from the extensive Spring Gulch Nordic trail system. From alpine and snowboarding to Nordic and telemarking, there is no better place for the beginner to learn a new snowsport or for the advanced winter athlete to experience such a vast array of terrain. Find out more about our Winter Sports here.
The Colorado Rocky Mountain School boys’ and girls’ soccer teams play in the Colorado High School 2A League. When possible, varsity and junior varsity teams are fielded. Practices consist of skill-building drills, conditioning, and scrimmaging. Practices are held at least four days per week, in addition to games. The boys’ season starts a week before school with an intensive preseason training camp and culminates in playoffs at the end of October. Practices for girls’ soccer begin in early March, and their season ends in playoffs in mid-May.
Lap swimming is an activity designed to motivate and inspire students to excel in a full-body muscular and cardiovascular workout twice a week. As a conditioning activity, swimmers are encouraged to work up to at least a one-mile swim. Instruction in basic strokes is provided, as are interval training and basic life-saving maneuvers.
Trail running provides an opportunity for students to develop their physical fitness while exploring many of the trails in the Roaring Fork Valley. The focus is on proper preparation for running, including warming up, stretching, and different techniques for running on various types of terrain (flat, hilly, rocky, paved, etc.). These skills are then applied during bi-weekly runs to develop a sense of pacing and allow students to run for longer periods of time.
Yoga engages in the practice of postures as they are taught in three different traditions: Ashtanga, Anusara, and Bikram’s. Students work on alignment and flow, as well as meditation and Yoga philosophy.