On Saturday, Sept. 26, disk-golf discs soared at Cuchara Mountain Park’s inaugural Fall Colors Disk Golf Tournament with 28 people who participated in both the competitive and recreational divisions. Like regular golf, the game is played by throwing discs at a basket serving as the hole, with 18 holes total and different sized discs for different distances and purposes.
Organizers for the tournament Jim Swenson, the tournament director, and John Galusha expressed they were pleased with the turnout and thanked everyone for coming up to play. Swenson said he hoped they could make the park’s disc golf course a prime destination for professional players.
“I want to bring championship disc golf to Huerfano County,” said Swenson. “I would love to see people from all over the nation eventually see this as the place to go for the sport. I’d also like to have Huerfano be the first county in the United States to have an 18 hole disk golf course in every park.”
In the competitive division, Brad Fiala won first place and echoed what other players had voiced throughout the day.
“You guys have a great thing going here,” said Fiala during the closing ceremony. “This is an amazing place and hanks to everyone who made this happen. I’m looking forward to more.”
Adding to the enjoyment of the event, Cuchara Mountain Adventure and Mercantile owner Chris Smith opened the doors of one of their buildings to show off some of the progress that’s been made on renovating the old ski resort center, now a community center available to rent. They also loaned out putting clubs and golf balls for visitors to take advantage of their nostalgic forest putt-putt golf course.
“It’s so great to see people coming out to enjoy the disk golf,” said Swenson, “but it is so much more than disc golf.”
Along with disk golf and putt-putt, the park boasts some great hiking opportunities, wildlife and bird viewing, a great area for sledding once snow starts to stick, and an event center for weddings or other events. There are also plans to refurbish a rock climbing wall on one side of the events center and volunteers are hoping to get some trails established for mountain biking so the park is a blast with or without snow.
With one of the lifts having just passed their Colorado Tram Board inspection, work continues to move forward on getting it up and operational as quick as possible. But with COVID-19 difficulties slowing down the process, plans to open the lift for this winter may have to be pushed back, Smith said.
“We were hoping to have it up and operational this winter but it’s looking like it may be next year when we finally get it fully operational,” said Smith. “But that still doesn’t stop a lot of people from coming up here and sledding or things like that. We also have two Snow Cats that will help keep the park going in the winter.”
Currently, fall colors abound at the park and there’s still time to catch the bright yellow and orange aspen that adorn the mountainsides throughout the park and surrounding countryside.
The park, with staff and volunteers continuing to use funds to get the lift going and trails refurbished, is still accepting donations. There are also still ski lift chairs that can be sponsored for $500 each, which include having your name or organization placed on a chair of the lift once it’s back in operation.
To keep abreast of what’s happening in the park, such as the progress on the lift or the next disk golf tournament, visit their website TheCucharaMountainPark.org, or visit their Facebook page.
Competitive Division Score Payout
1 Brad Fiala 53 $190
2 Jason Frank 55 $76
3 Robert Anderson 57 $57
4 Lucas Mendez 57 $38
5 Matt Dobbs 58 $19
6 Moises Ortiz 58
7 Richard Pintor 58
8 Thaddeus Cox 58
9 Ethan Russel 59
10 Joey Sandoval 63
11 Ryan Sappington 64
12 Brian Howe 66
13 Kraig Carlson 66
14 Daniel Swenson 67
15 Jonathan Kellams 67
16 Jim Swenson 68
17 Brayden Dobbs 70
18 Nick Moore 71
19 Steven L Matthias 78