M Climb

M Climb

Carrying a 10-pound rock up Mt. Zion 

At Mines, the hard work starts on day one. But the climb makes the views even better. 

Got a 10-pound rock from your hometown? How about your hard hat? Good. Now you’re ready to make the trek up to the hillside M overlooking the Mines campus like every Oredigger before you. All new students add their rocks to the famous emblem and cover the symbol in a fresh coat of whitewash, all while making new friends and getting to know the Mines spirit. And if you don’t know the Mines fight song at the start of the climb, not to worry—your fellow Orediggers cheering you on along the way will make sure you know it by the time you reach the M. 

What you’ll do

The hike up Mt. Zion is an unforgettable experience that kicks off each school year. With a path lined with fellow Orediggers from various student organizations cheering you on (and providing a refreshing splash of water here and there), new Orediggers don a hard hat and spend the morning trekking up to the hillside M, singing the Mines fight song, and getting inducted into the Mines community. And the best part? The people you hike up with will likely become some of the best friends that you’ll have for life. 


Receive your Mines hard hat

two people high-fiving

Make new friends on your hike up


Enjoy the beauty of  Golden

Beloved Mines tradition that began in 1908

First on-campus activity with your fellow classmates

Amazing view of Golden from the top of Mt. Zion

Open to

All Orediggers


At the start of each fall semester


Golden, Colorado

Student holding out their hard hat before climbing up to the M to get their hat spray painted.
Students posing for a picture with their rocks while climbing up to the M.

Rock? Check. Hard hat? Check. Some new friends? Check. You’re ready to head up Mt. Zion and start your Mines journey. Where will your path lead?

starOredigger reviews


Kassidy, Geophysics, California

“The M Climb is so much fun! You get to meet so many other new Mines students! The people I met during the M Climb are to this day some of my best friends. It feels so amazing to have tons of current Mines students cheering you on and welcoming you into the Mines community!”


Wan Jun Aida, Petroleum Engineering, Malaysia

“Being just a freshman at the time, I was so excited to be part of one of the oldest traditions at Mines. I only brought a few decent clothes to Golden, so I got an old shirt from a friend for the climb after hearing what they do to you up there… I think it’s only fair if you experience it yourself, but here are some clues: white paint, water buckets and lots of fun!” 


Dylan, Civil Engineering, Larkspur, Colo.

“The M Climb remains one of my favorite experiences at Mines—you feel like part of a secret club or something when you’re done. If you bring the biggest rock, you might win a prize!” 


Benjamin, Mechanical Engineering, Rochester, N.Y.

“A great bonding experience for you and your fellow classmates where you get to experience many of the clubs and organizations on campus as you get drenched on your way to the M.” 


Leah, Mechanical Engineering, Oklahoma

“The M Climb is one of best things you can do coming into Mines. It is so much fun to climb up to the big M with all the incoming freshmen and have almost every school organization cheering you on, drenching you with water and handing out popsicles!” 


Luke, Computer Science, Littleton, Colo.

“The M Climb really gets you in the Mines spirit. Getting to see numerous clubs and organizations all there ready to welcome you in on the next step in your life is the perfect step onto the school year, even if it means getting a bit of water (or whitewash) on you.” 


Brenna, Civil Engineering, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Oh my goodness, I could never forget the M Climb! Make sure you wear tennis shoes, sunscreen and clothes you can get wet in. Don’t worry—you’ll make friends on the walk up.” 


Matthew, Computer Science, Berthoud, Colo.

“The M Climb was a great way for me to be immersed in the Mines culture. It was awesome to see all the clubs out there to cheer the freshmen on and also get a little wet along the way. Bring a pair of shoes you don’t care about getting covered with paint!” 


Kejun, Chemical Engineering, China

The M Climb was the most exciting event when I first started at Mines. Even though I’m a graduate student, I still participated with all the incoming students, and it was tons of fun. Everyone got a mining hat with spray paints and walking to the top of the mountain while trying to avoid being attacked by organization throwing water at you is a memory I will remember forever. Another cool thing is that everyone sits inside the M shape, and we got very cool drone picture for all the students who participated! Highly recommend for everyone who wants to experience Mines’ traditions and spirit.” 


Isabelle, Chemical Engineering, Arvada, Colo.

“The M Climb was such a fun experience! I remember getting our hard hats as we lined up waiting for the anticipation to do the climb in the morning. Once we started making the trip up the mountain, people were cheering us on. Clubs were lined up and they would either douse us in water or give us some snacks as we chanted the fight song. I would suggest on a practical standpoint, don’t wear shoes or clothes you like, because you’ll probably get paint on them.”