Latinx Outside Initiative climbs Telluride’s By way of Ferrata – The Durango Herald


Telluride’s guide service joins the Sheep Mountain Alliance and community partners in taking action for greater natural justice

Mountain Trip is leading a group of 24 Latinx community members on a climb up the Telluride via ferrata earlier this month. (courtesy Bergfahrt)

Mountain Trip led a group of 24 Latinx community members on a climb up Telluride’s via ferrata course on July 17. For most of the participants, it was their first time stepping onto the Telluride via ferrata, despite having lived in San Miguel County for years.

With events like this, Mountain Trip, an experienced expedition leader, supports the Latinx Outdoor Initiative in partnership with the Sheep Mountain Alliance, Tri-County Health Network, Wilkinson Public Library, Collaborative Action for Immigrants and Latinx Community Leaders. The initiative aims to increase inclusion in the outdoors and remove barriers for Telluride/San Miguel County community members to participate in outdoor recreation and environmental education.

The Latinx Outdoor Initiative recognizes the inherent inequalities experienced by people of color, from housing and employment to access to outdoor recreation and environmental education. In affluent communities like Telluride, where open space abounds, individuals also face economic barriers that make it even more difficult to participate in outdoor recreation. For example, at least 30% of San Miguel County identify as Latino/Hispanic and are native speakers of Spanish or Chuj, but this is the most dramatically underrepresented group in the local outdoor community.

Mountain Trip is leading a group of 24 Latinx community members to climb the Telluride Via Ferrata earlier this month and support the Latinx Outdoor Initiative. (courtesy Bergfahrt)

The Latinx Outdoor Initiative works to break down barriers and create equitable outdoor spaces by making events free and open to all experience levels. The initiative also provides opportunities for members of the Latinx community to foster a sense of belonging and inclusion in the great outdoors.

Building on a recent ice climbing trip in March, the Sheep Mountain Alliance approached Mountain Trip to see if they could organize a similar via ferrata event – with a large number of participants.

“They were so helpful and professional, making sure the day ran smoothly and was enjoyable and accessible for everyone,” said Ruthie Boyd, SMA’s VISTA Community Outreach Coordinator. “We hope this program is a small beginning toward justice in nature, and we recognize there is still so much work to be done in our community and in the United States.”

“It was amazing to be able to share one of the beautiful outdoor experiences up in the mountains with members of our community who have never been up there,” said Mountain Trip guide Jonathan Cooper. “It’s a constant reminder of how unique and special our little valley is. We hope our beginners can use this experience and the skills they have learned to help them explore more of our backyard in the future.”

Mountain Trip will continue to support the Latinx Outdoor Initiative, including co-hosting a rock climbing trip for San Miguel County’s Hispanic and immigrant communities on August 7th. More information at

Mountain Trip Leads a Group of 24 Latinx Community Members to Climb the Telluride Via Ferrata in Support of the Latinx Outdoor Initiative This Month (Courtesy Mountain Trip)