by Rick Emert
Avid winter sports buffs or those hitting the slopes for the first time have the tools to take advantage of Colorado’s winter playground right on Fort Carson.
The Outdoor Recreation Complex is a one-stop shop for winter sports tickets, equipment and classes.
Adventure Programs & Education offers classes on a variety of winter sports; Information, Tickets and Registration sells discounted ski, snowboard, ice climbing and snowshoeing passes; and equipment can be rented or purchased at reasonable rates through the Equipment Rental Center and Mountain Post Outfitters, respectively, according to David Bumgarner, APE coordinator.
“They can come here the day before and get their equipment – it’s cheaper than most resorts … and there’s no tax,” Bumgarner said. “Once they get to the mountain, they can just go skiing. They don’t have to sit in line for an hour when they could be skiing. I would say that’s the biggest benefit.”
Customers can visit the rental center any time before the date of the trip and get the equipment fitted for free.
“We keep their information on record so they can come in later and pick up the equipment and go,” said Timica Harrington, recreation aide, Equipment Rental Center. “The cost is lower here, and getting the skis or other equipment is much easier when you do it here.”
The center offers equipment for rent for some of ITR’s most popular trips and packages, including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and ice climbing, Bumgarner said.
A couple of those trips are
Wolf Creek weekend ski trip, which includes skiing at Wolf Creek and Durango ski areas and a pass to the Pagosa Hot Springs; and the Lost Wonder Ski/Snowboard Hut Trip, Bumgarner said.
“There’s great back-country skiing and great snowshoeing in the hut. This year, we’re doing two-night, three-day hut trips,” he said. “The hut is a beautiful cabin out in the middle of nowhere.”
Some new trips were added this year, including moonlighting snowshoe trips and snowmobile trips, he said.
Outdoor recreation has increased its staff and stock of rental equipment
to meet the increased demand in service that resulted from the 4th Infantry Division’s return to Fort Carson, and, although business is good, Bumgarner said he would like to see even more community members taking advantage of the services offered.
“The biggest thing we want … is getting the word out that we are here,” he said. “All those new Soldiers (should) see what we have to offer, because they can usually save a lot of money or get a lot of good information here. Our staff has been doing it a while. There is a lot going on (in Colorado). It can be overwhelming, but we can help.”
For more information or to register for trips, call 526-5366.