Winter 20/21 Educational Opportunities

2020 has obviously looked much different than years past, both in the FDRD community and around the world. COVID-19 has forced everyone to be flexible and roll with the punches. We will not be able to have a normal winter speaker series this year because of COVID, but that does not mean we can’t get together as an FDRD community and learn, virtually. Instead of our usual speaker series, we will be hosting an online webinar series through Facebook Live. In addition, we will continue with our educational snowshoe tour, COVID permitting.

Below is our winter educational lineup of online webinars as well as educational snowshoe tours. More information and registration can be found on our Calendar page. To view our Facebook Live webinars, log into Facebook and go to the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District Page at the time of the webinar to tune in live. All webinars will be available to watch on our Facebook page and YouTube channel after the initial screening, but we would love to have you tune in live and ask questions.

I speak for all of the staff when I say that we so terribly miss being able to do large community events. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization and not being able to see everyone together sucks, but we are doing what we can. Hope to see you all this Winter virtually or in person. Please stay tuned and check the FDRD calendar on the website for additional educational offerings this Winter.

Backcountry Film Festival (Virtual): Thursday, January 7th at 6pm – Thursday, January 14th

Calling all winter sport enthusiasts and fans of freeing the heel! Get ready to take your stoke levels all the way to 11 while watching this collection of short films highlighting the importance of our winter wildlands. For the 16th annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival, FDRD will be going virtual. Watch this incredible collection of short films themed around human-powered experiences in the backcountry from the comfort of your own home.

The film will become available at 6pm on Thursday, January 7th. Can’t make it then? You will have until 11:45pm on Thursday, January 14th to watch the film series. The cost is $20 for an individual and $40 for a household, and all proceeds benefit Friends of the Dillon Ranger District’s programming.


Winter Survival in the Backcountry – Learning from Early Inhabitants & Wildlife Snowshoe Hike: Thursday, January 21st at 9:30am

Animals and people have been living in Colorado’s high country for thousands of years. Turns out both of these groups were pretty good at surviving in this harsh alpine, winter environment. Join us for a snowshoe up scenic Corral Creek to learn what made animals and early inhabitants so good at backcountry winter survival and how we can learn from them.

Signing up on the Calendar page is mandatory for this educational snowshoe. We will be following the COVID restrictions put in place by the county government religiously. If we feel these restrictions cannot be safely followed, we will cancel the hike.

February Speaker Series Webinar TBD

Check back on the FDRD calendar page on the website to get an update on this webinar.

Modes of Backcountry Travel with Eric Erslev: Wednesday, February 10th at 9am (Beginner), Wednesday, February 17th at 9am (Intermediate)

FDRD is doing its first educational backcountry winter tours! Join geoscientist and life-long skier Eric Erslev on a tour focused on using and understanding the science behind the snow travel strategies of Colorado wildlife to safely access the pristine beauty of our backcountry. By using a diverse array of ski, snowshoe and split board gear, we will experience their advantages and disadvantages in snow’s infinitely variable conditions. Let your mind expand, all while taking in the incredible views and quiet serenity that Winter has to offer.

These tours are open to snowshoers and backcountry skiers/boarders. Participants are expected to be self-sufficient.  While all participants will be provided with a suggested gear list and some general guidelines (e.g., why cotton is often called “death cloth” in the winter), you will be responsible choosing and preparing your own gear. If you do not have any snow gear, FDRD has snowshoes that you are welcome to borrow. We will be overly-cautious regarding all terrain choices, so participants need not bring protective avalanche gear, although it is always encouraged.

The only difference between the beginner and intermediate tours is their length, with a 1.5-2 mile round trip on the beginner tour and a 3-4 mile round trip on the intermediate tour. You must sign the FDRD waiver and sign up on the Calendar page for these tours. We will be strictly following COVID protocol from the county government.

Snowshoe Through History with Scott Dazey: Thursday, March 11th at 9:30am 

Join longtime FDRD member and Ski Ranger Scott Dazey on a snowshoe tour of the old mining town of Saints John in Montezuma. We will stroll at a leisurely pace the 1.5 miles from the Town of Montezuma up to the old mining site. Learn interesting facts about wildlife, forests, geology, and mining history of the region. Hear stories, some fun-filled and some harrowing, about the early settlers/miners lives, how they lived and how they survived in the Colorado mountains.

After our trek up to Sts. John, we will get a tour of the historic schoolhouse in the Town of Montezuma. This is a unique look into the lives of the mining inhabitants in the late 19th century and is not a snowshoe tour to be missed.

Signing up on the Calendar page is mandatory for this educational snowshoe. We will be following the COVID restrictions put in place by the county government religiously. If we feel these restrictions cannot be safely followed, we will cancel the hike.

The Ski Troops – 10th Mountain Division Webinar: Thursday, March 11th at 6:00pm

Join us for an evening with Colonel Tom Duhs USMC (retired) to hear the incredible story of “The Ski Troops”. “The Ski Troops” is the story of the 10th Mountain Division soldiers, who trained at Camp Hale Colorado, and were deployed to Italy. They pushed the German Army out of Italy bringing about the end of the war in May of 1945. The unique nature of the only US Army Mountain Division, it’s recruitment, training, employment, and work after WWII makes the fascinating story of “The Ski Troops.”

This webinar will be available on Facebook Live. To view this webinar, log on to Facebook at the correct time and go to the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District page to view the live broadcast:

Recent Posts