Telluride’s Mountain Trip recently announced its support of the Latinx Outdoor Initiative, in partnership with the Sheep Mountain Alliance (SMA), Tri-County Health Network, Wilkinson Public Library, Collaborative Action For Immigrants (CAFI) and Latinx community leaders. This initiative seeks to elevate inclusivity in the outdoors and remove barriers for Telluride and San Miguel County community members to participate in outdoor recreation and environmental education.
The Latinx Outdoor Initiative recognizes the systemic inequities that communities of color experience, from housing and employment to accessing outdoor recreation and environmental education, according to a news release. In affluent communities like Telluride, where open space is plentiful, individuals also face economic barriers that make it even more difficult to participate in outdoor recreation. For example, at least 30 percent of San Miguel County identifies as Latinx/Hispanic and are native Spanish or Chuj speakers, but this is the most dramatically underrepresented group in the local outdoor community.
On July 17, Mountain Trip led a group of 24 Latinx community members to climb the Telluride Via Ferrata. The Latinx Outdoor Initiative is working to break down barriers and create equitable outdoor spaces by making such events free and open to all experience levels. The initiative also provides the opportunity for Latinx community members to foster a sense of belonging and inclusion in the outdoors. It was most of the participants first time on the Telluride Via Ferrata, despite having lived in Telluride for years or even decades.
“It was amazing to share one of the beautiful recreational mountain experiences with members of our community that have never been up there,” said Jonathan Cooper, Mountain Trip guide. “It’s a constant reminder of how unique and special our little valley is. It’s our hope that our first-timers will be able to take this experience and the skills they learned to help them explore more of our backyard in the future.”
Building on the success of a recent ice climbing outing in March, SMA approached Mountain Trip to see if they would be willing to accommodate a similar event on the via ferrata with a huge number of participants.
“They were so helpful and professional and ensured that the day went smoothly and that it was enjoyable and accessible for all,” said Ruthie Boyd, SMA’s AmeriCorps VISTA community outreach coordinator. “We are hopeful that this program is a small start towards equity in the outdoors and we recognize that there is still so much work to be done in our community and throughout the United States.”
Mountain Trip will continue to support the Latinx Outdoor Initiative, including cohosting a rock-climbing outing for San Miguel County’s Spanish-speaking and immigrant community on Sunday. Learn more at mountaintrip.com.
ABOUT MOUNTAIN TRIP
Based out of Telluride, Mountain Trip is the only guide service in Colorado that can take you from the San Juan Mountains to the Seven Summits. Since 1973, Mountain Trip has built a solid reputation by leading more Denali expeditions than any other guide service, climbing Mount Everest and providing homegrown adventures in Colorado’s iconic San Juan Mountains. Mountain Trip is the only Colorado guide service accredited by the AMGA permitted to offer trips on both the Ouray Via Ferrata and Telluride Via Ferrata.
ABOUT SHEEP MOUNTAIN ALLIANCE
SMA is a grassroots organization dedicated to the preservation of the natural environment in the Telluride region and southwest Colorado. SMA protects regional ecosystems, wildlife habitats, and watersheds, and offers outreach and educational opportunities. Sheep Mountain Alliance stands with marginalized communities fighting oppression and is dedicated to the principles of equity, inclusivity, and environmental justice. Learn more at sheepmountainalliance.org.