Honoring Chason's Legacy

Telluride Academy is honored to play a role in the establishment of an annual scholarship fund designed to celebrate the legacy of Chason Russell. Through continued and sustained fundraising efforts from Chason's extensive community of friends, family and kindred spirits a fund will be created designed to allow interested students to pursue a passion, celebrate the natural world and immerse themselves in a pursuit rooted in adventure and exploration! Applicants can apply the scholarship towards a Telluride Academy program or any approved program that exemplifies the values and ethos embodied by Chason throughout his lifetime. 

Applicants will be invited to apply for an Adventure Assist scholarship in January each year, with decisions made in mid-February. Once the fund is established, applications will be reviewed by a panel of Chason's friends, family and kindred spirits in adventure. 



Telluride Academy is mourning the loss of our former student and long time instructor Chason Russell.  Chason grew up in Telluride and within the community of Telluride Academy. He has been an integral and deeply cherished member of our organization for decades. Our hearts are broken and his loss has shaken us to our core. We are finding strength in the mountains of memories we have of Chason as both a boy and as a man and the sharing of stories amongst the dynamic and extensive community he created as a member of our family. 


Chason joined his first Academy program in the mid 1980's at the age of 7, was hired as a junior instructor at age 15 and a Field Instructor at age 21. He was an instructor up until 2010.

Chason was a dynamic and passionate advocate for adventure and went on to lead numerous expedition-based programs for our students.  Chason's programs varied in focus between backpacking and mountaineering, mountain biking, hard shell kayaking clinics, whitewater river trips and international travel. Chason has influenced so many Telluride Academy students over the years and his legacy will carry forth every time those now adult students scale a rock wall, summit a peak, paddle a river and sleep under the stars. 


Whether you knew Chason or not, know that he was the embodiment of everything Telluride Academy stands for. Chason was a selfless teacher and mentor who inspired our students to pursue their passions, to overcome challenges with grace, perseverance and humility and to celebrate the beauty and power of the natural world. Chason is known as many things to many people; son, brother, husband, leader, friend, athlete and explorer. For us, he will always be a Hero. 


In Love, 


Team Telluride Academy