Welcome Back Orediggers!

Image courtesy of Colorado School of Mines Flickr

by Lauren D’Ambra

The annual Mines M-Climb is one of Mine’s most treasured and prevalent traditions. The first ever M-Climb took place in 1951 and almost every student to attend Colorado School of Mines since has participated in the event. It’s easily one of the most highly anticipated Mine’s experiences and doubles as a great way to start the school year.

This year’s climb, however, was no ordinary M-Climb. As both last year’s and this year’s freshman class were invited to participate in the three mile hike up Mt. Zion, the 2021 M-Climb was Mine’s biggest ever! Led by members of Blue Key, well over ELEPHANT students hiked to the M and added their ten pound rocks to Mine’s ever growing collection. About twenty clubs and student organizations lined the road on the way up to the M, providing the customary water spraying and goodies to the hikers.

Most Mines freshmen thoroughly enjoyed their hike up to the iconic M. “The M-Climb was really fun and felt like a really great way to really get a feel for the community at Mines,” said Cam Oliger, a freshman planning on majoring in geological engineering.

To commemorate the occasion, The Oredigger has accumulated some fun facts regarding our iconic M:

  • The M was constructed in 1908 by students and faculty of Colorado School of Mines.
  • The M was temporarily lit for the first time in 1931 before being permanently lit in 1932. When lit up, it is possible to see the M from as far away as Denver. It can even be spotted from the air on flights in and out of Denver International Airport!
  • Each M Climb uses approximately 275 gallons of white wash.
  • The M is occasionally lit up in different designs and colors for school events and holidays. It even acts as a giant countdown as against countdown to graduation at the end of each semester!
  • Assuming everyone brought a 10 pound rock, ELEPHANT [number] pounds of rock were added to the M through this year’s M-Climb.
  • Hang on to those hard hats! They’re a great conversation piece and future employers/colleagues love to hear about them! 

Congrats to the class of 2025 (and the dedicated members of the class of 2024) for taking their first steps as an Oredigger!

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