CMC is accepting applications for a free outdoor leadership course for young people



Students taking part in CMC’s First Ascent outdoor youth course — like Corbin Finley of Breckenridge in 2019 — climb, hike and raft while learning confidence and problem solving.
Matt Lit/Courtesy Photo

The First Ascent Youth Leadership Program is now accepting applications for its free, multi-day course based at the Colorado Mountain College campus in Leadville. Applications will be accepted until April 22.

Although the program has been on hiatus for the past two years due to the pandemic, First Ascent is running again this summer. The course is for students who will be completing eighth and ninth grades this spring. The program will run from Sunday June 19 to Friday June 24, 2022.

Sponsored by Alpine Bank and the J. Robert Young Foundation, First Ascent is available to students living in eight counties: Chaffee, Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Lake, Pitkin, Summit and part of Routt. Recommendations from a counsellor, teacher or other adult must be submitted with each application.

First Ascent brings together students from the Colorado Mountain College District and provides students with the opportunity to develop and learn leadership skills such as problem solving, consensus building, conflict resolution, and communication. Students live in the Colorado Mountain College residence hall in Leadville and build self-esteem through challenges such as rock climbing, hiking Mount Elbert, and rafting the Arkansas River.

This year, First Ascent will accept 35 students who show potential to be leaders. Counselors and staff are former graduates of the program, and students who complete First Ascent can return to work as staff in future summers.

For more information and to apply, go to or contact First Ascent Program Manager Carolyn Larsen at [email protected].

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