Emilie Rusch

With 10-pound rocks in hand, incoming Mines students to kick off 2021-22 academic year with M Climb

After 1-year hiatus, 2021 M Climb is scheduled for the morning of Friday, Aug. 20
Mines students walk up 19th Street during 2019 M Climb

Colorado School of Mines students walk up 19th Street at the beginning of the 2019 M Climb. After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the M Climb is back this year to mark the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

The traditional M Climb up Mount Zion returns this week after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Incoming Colorado School of Mines students will carry 10-pound rocks from their hometowns up Mount Zion in Golden before placing them on the mountainside emblem.

Joining this year’s first-year students on the climb will be members from last year’s incoming class, who placed their rocks on a temporary M on campus following a revised M Climb in August 2020.

The 2021 M Climb is scheduled for the morning of Friday, Aug. 20. Fall classes begin Monday, Aug. 23.

Mines received 12,660 applications for the 2021-22 academic year and will welcome about 1,580 new freshmen and transfer students this fall — the largest incoming class in Mines history. Due to the pandemic, test scores were optional for all applicants, a policy that the university will continue moving forward following a change in Colorado state law.

New Mines students: By the numbers, 2021-22 edition 

1,580                          New first-year and transfer students

32.2                            percent women

27.7                            percent underrepresented domestic ethnic or racial groups

17.6                            percent first-generation college students

2.5                              percent international students

3.72 to 3.98               middle 50% high school GPA (on an unweighted 4.0 scale)

1340 to 1470             middle 50% SAT composite score

48                              states and U.S. territories represented

14                              countries represented

Top 3 U.S. states outside Colorado: Texas, California, Washington

Top 3 countries outside U.S.: Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, China

M Climb logistics


The M Climb will kick off around 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 20 on the Intramural Fields (1651 Elm St., Golden, CO). Students will depart in two waves, based on their housing assignments and class year.


Students will walk from the IM Fields to 19th Street, cross over U.S. 6 and then climb up Lookout Mountain Road to the M on Mount Zion. After the climb, students will walk back to campus for a cookout and additional Fall Kickoff activities.

Note on Access

During the M Climb, Lookout Mountain Road will be closed to the public above the arches until 3 p.m. Friday.

Emilie Rusch

Emilie Rusch

Director of Communications
About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.