On September 19, 1975, CU alum Wallace Franze Fiske?s wish ?to build and equip a planetarium for the University of Colorado? was finally realized with the dedication of the eponymous geodesic dome built thanks to his generous bequest. From its inaugural showing of a program detailing supernovae decades ago, the planetarium has upheld Fiske?s vision with an ever-evolving lineup of educational initiatives, engaging events, and outreach activities. Now under the helm of a passionate staff composed of members of CU?s Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, its programs grant the community a chance to explore the wonders of outer space. The skyward dome of Fiske Planetarium, featuring a state-of-the-art 8K theater, one of the first in the nation, acts as a projector screen for immersive, 360-degree educational star shows showcasing the universe's glittering galactic splendor. Laser shows set to jazz, rock, and classical music feature choreographed lasers and special effects that perform a wave-particle Humpty Dance for the audience's amusement. Audiences can catch showings in Spanish as well as English.
A seemingly insurmountable fin of sandstone protrudes 300 feet in the air, challenging all humans to dare conquer its peak. As groups look on in awe of this natural wonder, a Denver Mountain Guiding guide suits up and begins the ascent, leading students of all levels on a thrilling and challenging climb.
Denver Mountain Guiding’s coterie of guides is a motley mix, encompassing passionate climbers with decades of experience, expert weekend warriors, wilderness first responders, and first-aid- and CPR-certified guides. They lead beginners through elite-level climbers on recreational trips around local rock-climbing hot spots such as Clear Creek Canyon. Outings include full-day and half-day climbs of varying levels of difficulty, as well as lessons and camps that teach basics such as rope safety, knots, belaying, rappelling, and anchors.
The Urban Assault Ride challenges cyclists to speed from obstacle course to obstacle course across their city during eco-friendly scavenger hunts that benefit local charities. Teams draft a road map to try to thwart the competition and be the first to complete the race, pausing at a series of checkpoints, where they must surmount such active roadblocks as slip 'n' slides, bike jousting, and reciting the Iliad in Pig Latin. The first team to conquer each challenge and cross the finish line is declared the victor, but all participants celebrate their efforts at a lively after-party stocked with snacks, beer, nonalcoholic drinks, and prizes.
Setting out from its base camp at Shadow Mountain Guest Ranch, the staff at High Country-Trails leads horseback riders through the mountain wilderness on excursions that range from trail rides of up to six hours to hunting trips of up to five days. On each trip, the crew leads riders to views of majestic peaks jutting high into the clouds and of crystal-clear streams rushing along forest paths. Trail rides depart the ranch and hoof it up to the top of the mountain for vistas of Grand Lake, Hot Sulphur Springs, and the clouds' Oreo cookie tops. On overnight pack trips, guides keep guests entertained by hauling camping gear through the Colorado backcountry and organizing activities for up to five days.
In 1996, Jeff Martin left behind his career as a computer software programmer in Michigan to pursue his dream of a more rugged and exciting lifestyle—that of a dogsled musher. After a couple years of studying the trade, he founded Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park in 2000. Today, the outfit’s crack team of 80 Siberian and Alaskan huskies pulls sledders and their knowledgeable guides through the snowy expanses of the Fraser Valley. Covering between four and five miles in 45 minutes, each ride features dramatic views of the Continental Divide and Winter Park Ski Resort. Along the way, the guide relates the rich history of the sport, describes local attractions, and points out wildlife such as moose, coyotes, and herds of roaming landscape artists.
The Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival cultivates an elegant atmosphere full of aromatic and aesthetic attractions. Fragrant clouds encircle guests as they talk shop with representatives from world-class cigar manufacturers such as Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Drew Estate, and Rocky Patel, all the while quaffing samples of Colorado-crafted beers, wines, spirits from Breckenridge Distillery, Peach Street Distillers, Twisted Pine, and Bristol Brewing. The event also includes displays of fine automobiles, firearms, and smoke ring hula hoops, as well as food and live music from Funkiphino.