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PHOTOS/VIDEO: Leadership in the outdoors

Students Nicole A, Jackie B. and Joshua T. get instructions from Desert Mountain Medical instructor Korinne Krieger during a wilderness first aid training scenario where students practiced what to do when coming up on an injured person in the field.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Students and mentors in the LEAD Outdoor Leadership Program took part in a 2-day, 16 hour wilderness first aid training course last weekend at the Rifle CMC Campus. Outdoor Leadership is a year-long, school-day course designed and taught by Buddy Program LEAD staff members at Basalt High School and Roaring Fork High School.

LEAD stands for: Leadership through Exploration, Action, and Development at both middle and high school levels and is designed to introduce students to the outdoors before teaching them in depth about wilderness ethics, orienteering, backpacking, climbing, hiking, wilderness first aid and many other outdoor skills.

Outdoor Leadership was designed in hopes of attracting middle and high school aged students to the Buddy Program’s offerings in a unique way creating an opportunity to mentor youth through the lens of backcountry travel.

The wilderness first aid training course was lead by Desert Mountain Medicine Instructor Korrine Kreiger and took place both indoors and out. Students trained and were instructed in real life wilderness scenarios in which injured victims were found in the field.

Jackie B. watches closely while other students perform CPR to a dummy during an outdoor wilderness first aid training course.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Korinne Krieger, a Desert Mountain Medical instructor, shows the class how to approach and assess an injured person in the field.
Students and mentors took part in a 16 hour wilderness first aid training course over the weekend at the Rifle CMC campus.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Nicole A. assess her partner Jackie B. during a learning exercise in which an injured victim is found in the field.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A student does chest compressions on a dummy during a wilderness first aid training scenario.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Rifle High School Anatomy and Physiology teacher Anthony Rossilli plays the injured victim during a training exercise.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Korinne Krieger, a Desert Mountain Medical instructor, gives instructions during an outdoor training exercise where students trained in real life first aid scenarios.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

PHOTOS: 36th annual skier appreciation day at Sunlight

It was a clear, Colorado bluebird day for the 36th annual skier appreciation day at Sunlight Mountain on Friday. The annual event put on by United Way sold out early this year with a cap of only 1,000 lift tickets available. Though the event usually sees around 1,300 skiers and snowboarders, the ticket cap this year was lowered due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The promotional event that started in 1986 donates proceeds from ticket sales to United Way Battlement to the Bells not only gives skiers and riders a day on the mountain at only $20 a lift ticket but brings games, auctions and contests.

All 1,000 tickets for the 36th annual skier appreciation day at Sunlight Mountain were sold out this year. An event that usually sees around 1,200 people was cut by a couple hundred tickets this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A snowboarder smiles as they ride at Sunlight Moutain Resort during the 36th annual skier appreciation day.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A skier leaves a trail of snow in the air while riding under the lifts at Sunlight Mountain Resort during the 36th annual skier appreciation day.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A skier wearing butterfly wings makes their way down the mountain at Sunlight mountain Resort during the 36th annual skier appreciation day.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A snowboarder flies down the mountain at Sunlight Mountain Resort during the 36th annual skier appreciation day.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Skiers and snowboarders wait in the lift line at Sunlight Mountain Resort for the 36th annual skier appreciation day.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A skier takes their skis off outside of the lodge at the base of Sunlight Mountain Resort during the 36th annual skier appreciation day.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
People eat lunch and relax outside of the lodge at Sunlight Mountain Resort during the 36th annual skier appreciation day.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A skier catches some air while skiing at Sunlight Mountain Resort for the 36th annual skier appreciation day.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Skiers and snowboarders make their way down the mountain at Sunlight Mountain Resort during the 36th annual skier appreciation day.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

PHOTOS: Winter wonderland

A winter storm moves into West Glenwood before an early morning snowstorm.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Low hanging clouds drape over the mountains surrounding Glenwood after a heavy snowstorm hit on Tuesday afternoon.
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A woman walks down 9th Street during a heavy snowstorm in downtown Glenwood on Tuesday afternoon.
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A pretty white cat soaks up the sunshine while resting on a fence at a home near Harvey Gap.
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Snow blankets the scenery along Grass Valley north of Silt.
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A black horse nibbles on grass in a field in Grass Valley on a chilly afternoon near Silt.
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Snow covers field after field on a cloudy afternoon in Grass Valley.
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An irrigation system sits dormant along a snow covered field in Peach Valley.
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PHOTOS: Our top 20 photos of 2020

Glenwood Springs Demon Hadley Yellico dribbles the ball down the court with other teammates during Tuesday a Jan. 14 home against against the Summit Tigers.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Glenwood Springs Firefighter Harlan Nimmo heads back to the firetruck while battling a mobile home fire on Three Mile Road just outside of Glenwood Springs City Limits on the morning of Feb. 25.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Glenwood Springs Demons Patrick Young and AJ Adams celebrate after defeating the Green Mountain Rams during a playoff game on March 4.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool sits drained and empty after a full closure on Sunday, Mar. 15 in response to COVID-19.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Glenwood Springs Police officers Rusty Slater and Evan Wagstrom get puffs of smoke around their mouth and nose to test that their personal N-95 masks fit properly on their faces during a fitting on Tuesday, Mar. 24.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Glenwood Springs Middle School Secretary Vreni Diemoz walks back to the supply table after giving a student and family a poster and markers to decorate and display for Better World Day in April.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Protest organizer Joanna Gibson from Parachute addresses the crowd at the closing of the Black Lives Matter protest that took place in front of Glenwood Springs City Hall and the Garfield County Sheriff's Office on the evening of June 1.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Westbound Amtrak California Zephyr passengers arrive at their destination at the Glenwood Springs station on the afternoon of June 29.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Glenwood Springs police officers Evan Wagstom and Alicia Hampton walk across Cooper Avenue while on foot patrol in downtown Glenwood on July 2.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Members of the Craig Interagency Hotshot Crew take a moment to catch their breath and look at the memorials at the top of Storm King Mountain on the 26th Anniversary of the Storm King fire that took that lives of 14 firefighters in 1994.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A type I fire helicopter heads back to take water from the Colorado River after a fire broke out on the hillside of I-70 at MM 113 in South Canyon on Aug. 5.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Colorado River Fire Rescue engineer Gene Robertson plays the bagpipes outside the fire station in New Castle.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A man watches from the Grand Avenue Pedestrian Bridge as smoke billows from the Grizzly Creek Fire in Glenwood Canyon on the afternoon of Aug. 10.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Fire crews work to battle the Grizzy Creek Fire as it shoots down the ridge into No Name Canyon on Tuesday, Aug 11 afternoon after the fire initially started on Interstate 70 on Monday, Aug. 10 at MM 120.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
An airtanker flies around the smoke plume billowing from the Grizzly Creek Fire as it explodes on the south side of the Colorado River above Glenwood Canyon on Aug. 11.
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Embers from the Grizzly Creek Fire illuminate the mountains above Glenwood Springs on the evening of Thursday, Aug. 13The Grizzly Creek Fire initially broke out along interstate 70 at MM 120 in Glenwood Canyon just east of Glenwood Springs.
Spoke hangs low in the cliffs near the Hanging Lake rest area due to the Grizzly Creek Fire on the afternoon of Sunday, Aug. 16.
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White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams and other forest personnel stop at the Hanging Lake rest area to assess progress of the Grizzly Creek Fire on Sunday, Aug. 16.
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Glenwood Springs Firefighter Dillon Robinson walks down the tower ladder during a training session at the fire department on the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 31.
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A nurse walks paperwork out to a patient in a car at the free drive-up COVID testing site in Glenwood Springs, Colo on Monday, Nov. 23.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

PHOTOS: The last snowstorm of 2020?

A man shovels snow away from CO Ranch House in Bethel Plaza in downtown Glenwood after a snowstorm hit the area.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Treadz owner Jon Zalinski shovels snow in front of his downtown shop after a snowstorm left multiple inches early in the week.
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Madix O'Driscoll, visiting from Utah with his family, enjoys an ice cream cone while dining outside in downtown Glenwood after an overnight snowstorm left multiple inches in the area.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A family and their dog trek through the snow in downtown Glenwood after an early week snowstorm left multiple inches.
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People dine in the outdoor dining area under Bethel Plaza on a chilly and snowy morning in downtown Glenwood.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

The need for normalcy: a year with COVID-19 Santa

Fred Andersen shows off the belt he made for his 100% handmade Santa outfit.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

2020 is Fred Andersen’s — also known as Santa Fred’s — third season working as a professional Santa. The role sort of found him — not in a Tim Allen knocks real Santa off the roof kind of way, but a simple decision to grow out his beard caused a domino-style chain of events.

“I started growing my beard out, it was the first time growing my beard in about ten years and it started coming in mostly white, to my surprise. Everybody kept commenting that I looked like Santa … and I have round cheeks and twinkly blue eyes you know the whole bit so it makes sense that I look like Santa,” Andersen said.

Fred Andersen applies white mascara to his eyebrows during preparation for his evening as Santa.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

The blessing of an all-natural beard was his foot in the door but what kept Santa Fred coming back to the job and pursuing it further was the joy he saw in children’s eyes when he would show up dressed in his suit with presents in hand.

“They’re jumping up and down and happy … no hesitation, no suspicion, no negativity at all … and that set the hook. That is the best part that is absolutely the best part … little kids who would normally look at a stranger and say ‘ooh I don’t know’ – they see Santa and they want a hug,” Andersen said.

Fred Andersen looks in a mirror to check his mustache and beard which is bleaches white every year before playing Santa.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Work for Santa Fred during a pandemic year is peculiar in more ways than one. Andersen considers himself lucky to be relatively young compared to other Santas and in good health since that makes the chance of catching a virus of any kind on the job unlikely to take him off the job permanently.

“I’m still relatively young and so I’m not near as worried about it as these old guys would be. I mean it would ruin the rest of my season obviously if I came down with it … I’m still young and healthy and pretty much as strong as a horse, so I think I’d probably get through it,” Andersen said.

Fred Andersen slips on his boots before an evening as Santa at Winter on the Mountain at the adventure park.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
100% of Fred Andersen's Santa outfit was handmade and custom.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Requests from kids who chat with Santa Fred are similar to what he’s heard in the past, but these days there are many mentions of not wanting to wear a mask any longer or wishes for life to return back to normal.

“Biggest mention I get is the kids wish they don’t have to wear the mask anymore. Like everybody else, they’re so tired of the mask, they are so tired of the social distancing, they just want it to stop … If somebody asks something that is beyond Santa’s abilities, you basically just have to remind the kids that ‘hey, I’m just a toymaker, there’s only so much I can do,’” Andersen said.

Fred Andersen makes sure his hat will fit over his protective face shield before dressing up as Santa at Winter on the Mountain.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Santa Fred said this year wasn’t easy for people of all ages and backgrounds. Preserving the tradition of sitting on Santa’s lap is his gift to the community. Taking safety precautions like visiting outdoors and socially distanced with an immuno-compromised child or wearing a face shield over his perfectly curled beard he said are all worth it if it helps children believe.

“That’s the best part it really is. I figure if I can help a kid believe in Santa for one more year, just keep that magic alive for one more year, then I did my job,” Andersen said.

Andersen takes his job as Santa very seriously in an almost perfectionist approach. Santa Fred made his own suit, with experience from sewing during his time in the Navy and costume-making for a Viking age reenactment hobby. It wasn’t a quick and easy process by any means, but compared to purchasing a professional custom suit which can be priced anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, it made a lot more sense for him to create it himself.

Fred Andersen prepares for an evening as Santa at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park's Winter on the Mountain.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
"I could never be a short sleeved Santa," Fred Andersen said while getting ready for an evening playing Santa at the Glenwood Canverns Adventure Park Winter on the Mountain.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

When he first started his Santa gigs it would take him close to two hours to get ready, but these days he can complete the look in under an hour if he happens to be in a pinch. Santa Fred said he wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season, and to remind people the importance of preserving traditions, particularly ones that spark happiness.

Mila Rios smiles with pure joy and excitement upon seeing Santa at Winter on the Mountain.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Fred Andersen attemps to interact with kids while wearing a fogged up protective face shield while playing Santa at Winter on the Mountain.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

“Well, just that it’s temporary. I mean Covid will probably be out there forever but we’ll get a handle on it. It will no longer be determining how we live anymore. Just don’t forget tradition, don’t forget the important stuff … Years like this are when you need a Santa, you really do. You need that normalcy, you need something that’s just good. Don’t let it go.”

jpeterson@postindependent.com

PHOTOS: Opening day for Sunlight Mountain Resort’s 54th season

Sunlight Mountain Resort opened for its 54th season on Friday, Dec. 11 after receiving roughly 3 inches of snow overnight, and more Friday and Saturday.

Though conditions only allowed for the opening of the lower Tercero lift, roughly 100 skiers and riders came out for first chair to have the first runs of the season down Midway.

Sunlight’s Midway run is now open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. serving about 500 vertical feet with about an 8-12 inch base.

Skiers and snowboarders make their way down Midway on Friday, Dec. 11 for opening day at Sunlight Mountain Resort for its 54th season.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A pair of snowboarders head up the mountain on the lift during Sunlight Mountain's opening day for its 54th season on Friday, Dec. 11.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A woman heads up stairs to the deck of Sunlight Mountain Lodge on Friday, Dec. 11 for opening day of Sunlight's 54th season.
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A snowboarder tail presses through fresh powder at Sunlight Mountain Resort on opening day of its 54th season.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A snowboarder makes their way down midway at Sunlight Mountain on Friday, Dec. 11 for the opening day of its 54th season.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Skiers and snowboarders make their way down Midway on Friday Dec. 11 for opening day at Sunlight Mountain Resort for its 54th season.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A sunlight ski patroller walks up the hill to place a slow sign near the base of the mountain on Sunlight's opening day on Friday, Dec. 11.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A trio of skiers head up the mountain of the lift during Sunlight Mountain's opening day for its 54th season on Friday, Dec. 11.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A pair of skiers head up the mountain of the lift during Sunlight Mountain's opening day for its 54th season on Friday, Dec. 11.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

 

PHOTOS: Happy 100th Birthday to Robert Harper

Robert Harper was born 100 years ago on Dec. 2, 1920, in Pennsylvania. To celebrate this major milestone, friends, family and the Rifle Fire and Police Departments made a special drive by appearance at the Colorado Veterans Community Living Center in Rifle to wave and wish Harper a happy 100th.

Members of the Rifle Police Department, Colorado River District and friends and family of Robert Harper drive by the Rifle Veterans home on Sunday to celebrate Harper's 100th birthday.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Robert Harper waves as friends and family drive by to celebrate his 100th birthday on Sunday morning.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Friends and family of Robert Harper drive through the entrance of the Colorado Veterans Community Living Center in Rifle to celebrate his 100th birthday.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Robert Harper waves as friends and family drive by to celebrate his 100th birthday on Sunday morning.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Friends and family of Robert Harper drive through the entrance of the Colorado Veterans Community Living Center in Rifle to celebrate his 100th birthday.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A friend of Robert Harper drives through the entrance of the Colorado Veterans Community Living Center in Rifle to celebrate his 100th birthday.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Rifle resident and veteran Robert Harper turns 100 on Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
A nurse speaks with Robert Harper after his friends and family drove by the Colorado Veterans Community Living Center to celebrate his 100th birthday.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

 

PHOTOS: Setting up for the holidays at West Canyon Nurseries

This will be Amy and Derek Anglemyer’s second year selling live Christmas trees after taking over West Canyon Nurseries just east of New Castle in September of 2018. This year they hope to have 130 live trees ranging in size from 3 to 10 foot, an assortment of wreaths, garland and decorative table arrangements after collaborating with florist Bramble and Vine. Christmas tree sales start the Friday after Thanksgiving and they will be open 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday until all trees are sold.

Derek Anglemyer checks light bulbs on the red barn at West Canyon Nurseries in preparation for the Christmas tree sales.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Derek and Amy Anglemyer string lights around the railing while setting up for Christmas tree sales at West Canyon Nurseries.
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Maeve Anglemyer helps her sister and mom decorate a Christmas tree at West Canyon Nurseries.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Derek Anglemyer strings lights around the railing while setting up for Christmas tree sales at West Canyon Nurseries.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Christmas tree sales are set to begin at West Canyon Nurseries on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Amy and Derek Anglemyer move Christmas trees around in preparation for sales to begin at West Canyon Nurseries the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Derek and Amy Anglemyer string lights around the railing while setting up for Christmas tree sales at West Canyon Nurseries.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

 

 

WATCH: It’s beginning to look a lot like ski season at Sunlight

Sunlight Mountain Resort rolled out and dusted off the snow machines last week and have started the process of blowing snow on the slopes in preparation for the 2020/2021 ski season.

Skiers and snowboarders will have to wait a while longer before they can hit the slopes, however. Sunlight’s 54th season is slated to kick off Dec. 11.

Sunlight Mountain Resort Mountain Manager Mike Baumli opens the hatch to the underground water hydrant valve before turning on the water to one of the snow machines.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
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A snow gun machine is kicked on in the early evening hours at Sunlight Mountain.
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WATCH VIDEO

Video by PI Staff Photographer Chelsea Self
Sunlight Mountain Resort Mountain Manager Mike Baumli checks the direction in which the wind is blowing and placing the snow near the base of the mountain.
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Sunlight Mountain Resort Mountain Manager Mike Baumli radios in with a coworker while firing up the snow machines near the base of the mountain.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
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Snow begins to cover the slopes at Sunlight Mountain Resort.
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Sunlight Mountain Resort Mountain Manager Mike Baumli changes the position of the snow machine to ensure it is placing snow in the correct location.
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Sunlight Mountain Resort Mountain Manager Mike Baumli looks up to one of the snow machines after firing them up near the base of the mountain.
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The snow machines are typically fired up late in the afternoon and run over night until mid morning the next day.
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