Foundation Support Means Upgrades for the Leadville Mountain Center

Foundation Support Means Upgrades for the Leadville Mountain Center

April 14, 2014–

When you look at the Rocky Mountain Program basecamp (the Leadville Mountain Center), the deep roots of the school are evident: the iconic wood dormitories built lovingly in the 1970s, the beaver pond circumnavigated by well-worn footpaths, and the longstanding “Burma Bridge” high ropes element which crosses the stream 30 feet below it.

The roots that lay below the surface are harder to see: the incredible relationships and community of support that has wrapped around COBS and this campus for decades. It is this web that is helping the school re-envision and redesign the campus so that COBS can serve students for another 50 years to come.

interior renovationTwo foundations whose Colorado ties predate COBS, El Pomar Foundation and the Helen K and Arthur E Johnson Foundation, are the catalysts for this campus initiative. With an $80,000 grant from the trustees of El Pomar Foundation and a $75,000 grant from the trustees of the Johnson Foundation, COBS is updating two dormitories, Ice and Cloud, which have not seen significant updates since the students of the 1970s to open them up and create living and working spaces for today’s needs (not that we didn’t love the original plywood from the 1970s!). A student bathhouse will be built this spring and the Rocky Mountain Program warehouse will see two new offices and two new orientation spaces for courses.

This project is special for El Pomar Foundation, whose fellowship program joins COBS Professional each summer for leadership development courses in the Rocky Mountains or Utah rivers. These two grants kick off a $1.2 million campus initiative in Leadville. COBS is so grateful for the support of the trustees and staff of both El Pomar Foundation and the Johnson Foundation. They help us serve all of our COBS students better.

For more information on what is going on in Leadville, contact Darcy Struckhoff, director of development, at