Winter on the brain, all summer long

By Beth Ebisch
Backcountry Snowsports Initiative Summer Intern

I am thrilled and honored to have gotten the chance to work as an intern with the Colorado Mountain Club’s Backcountry Snowsports Initiative (BSI) program this summer. My time with the Club is not quite over, but up until now I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects that have all been challenging, enlightening and very fun!

First, I am helping to coordinate and plan the Backcountry Film Festival, which the CMC will host around Colorado this winter. The two-hour showing of rad films from independent filmmakers will inspire outdoor junkies and stimulate plenty of stoke right in the heart of ski season!

I have been researching and contacting venues to reserve spaces to show the films in smaller mountain towns throughout Colorado, as well as attempting to make sure that the event at each location will run smoothly with plenty of food, drink, and technical support. Make sure to keep your eyes open for the Backcountry Film Festival, coming to a town near you.

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In addition to BCFF, I have also been getting the opportunity to practice my GIS (geographic information systems) skills. The biggest project for the summer has been finding and downloading GIS data that will affect winter travel planning on various national forests around Colorado.

I am mapping backcountry ski areas, winter trails, snowmobiles routes and more and comparing them to existing wilderness data, travel plans, and tentative future travel plans laid out by the forest service. It has been a challenge, hunting down all the necessary data online and with partner associations, as well as working with detailed data on such a large scale as the entire state of Colorado.

I am grateful for this challenge because it has pushed me weekly to learn new techniques in GIS, get to know a lot of outdoor recreation organizations, and even find new backcountry ski lines that I can’t wait to try for myself come winter time.

I have learned so much thus far from working with the Colorado Mountain Club, and can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer holds!

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