George Gardner Scholarship Fund


George in one of his many couzipatas (happy high place).

We believe that profound learning is often facilitated by time spent in the mountains, canyons and rivers to oceans of the world.  These experiences give leadership and other life skills an arena in which to develop and flourish.  Examples of programs that will be supported are Outward Bound, National Outdoor Leadership Programs, accredited avalanche and guide programs, etc.

The GGSF scholarships are available to Ouray County teens ages 14 to 19. In addition, this fund has and will continue to offer scholarships for the Ridgway High School Senior Outward Bound river trip along with the Ridgway School Learn to Ski Program.  There are scholarships available for graduating seniors from Ouray County Schools for alternative/non-traditional educational opportunities or self-designed adventures.

The GGSF is an all-volunteer organization that aspires to carry on George’s visions and educational philosophies. The GGSF is a non-profit organization affiliated with the Telluride Foundation. Those wanting more information please go to the website:

George’s Biography

George was a friend, mentor and teacher for over 35 years to kids of all ages. He earned a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Chicago and taught from the inner city of Chicago to Boulder, Telluride, Naturita and the Ridgway School systems. His myriad of skills allowed him to teach a variety of subjects from the elementary level through college.

He was a mountaineer and guide for various programs that included Exum Mountain Guides in Wyoming, Colorado Outward Bound School and Sterling College in Vermont. He created his own school, the Tabor Mountain School utilizing the local San Juans for his summer classroom.

Throughout all of George’s educational and teaching experiences his enthusiasm for learning was contagious and he was a master at bringing out the best in his students. Kids felt comfortable to try new experiences by his ego-less and loving approach to all things.  Most importantly he believed that students “learned by doing”.  He taught kids teamwork and interpersonal skills that carried over into everyday life.

This fund was started after his death in a mountaineering accident in the summer of 2008 on the Grand Teton.  Many friends and family wanted to help support the continuation of experiential programs that George initiated or supported.

4 thoughts on “George Gardner Scholarship Fund

  1. The passing of this great guy represented a huge loss. We shared a bit of time and climbing together but not nearly enough.

  2. ah, george. one of the kindest most enthusiastic men i’ve ever met. his joy for life was contagious. you always wanted to spend more time with him. bless his soul

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