First Ascent enrolling now, applications due April 28

At the 2019 First Ascent Youth Leadership course, participants climbed near Camp Hale. Students also hike Mount Elbert, raft the Arkansas River and participate in group leadership exercises during the five-day course based at CMC Leadville. Photo by Matt Lit

The First Ascent Youth Leadership program is now accepting applications for its free, five-day residential course at Colorado Mountain College Leadville. 

 This outdoor experiential course, now in its 25th year, is for current eighth and ninth graders. The course takes place Sunday, June 20 through Friday, June 25, and will follow state and CMC guidelines for COVID-19 precautions. 

First Ascent is designed to help young adults from various social and economic backgrounds develop leadership skills and confidence for personal, academic and social growth. During the program, students live at Colorado Mountain College’s residential hall in Leadville and build self-esteem through challenges such as rock climbing, hiking Mount Elbert and rafting the Arkansas River.

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

Students living in the seven counties of the Colorado Mountain College district – Chaffee, Eagle, Garfield, Lake, Pitkin, Summit and part of Routt – are encouraged to apply. To be considered for this summer’s program, students need to complete priority applications on the First Ascent page of the CMC website by April 28. 

First Ascent is sponsored by Alpine Bank and the J. Robert Young Foundation. For more information and to apply, visit our information page or contact, 800-621-8559.