- Summer Term
- Apprentice Program
- High Peaks Adventure
- Adult Programs
- Educators Expedition
- Lake County Backpacking Trip
HMI was truly the most life-changing experience for me. It forced me out of my comfort zone, but with the constant support of the HMI community I was never scared of the new things I knew would come every day. My experiences there opened up a world of adventure, excitement, and happiness I will never forget.
Dana Hall School, Colorado College
Wilderness expeditions are the backbone of the HMI Semester
All experience levels are welcome, as students arrive at HMI with varied wilderness backgrounds–the key to success is bringing the willingness to laugh, learn, and take risks. Five weeks on expedition each semester, serve to teach backpacking and leadership skills, and to enrich our academic curricula. The progression of our wilderness expditions is outlined below and provides insight into the beautiful places we explore during an HMI Semester.
1st Expedition: In the Colorado Rockies surrounding the Leadville campus, learn the basics of backpacking from setting up a tarp to cooking calzones on a one-burner stove to reading a topographic map.
2rd Expedition: In the canyons of Utah, navigate through slot canyons, find water sources, and investigate an entirely different ecosystem.
1st Expedition: In the canyons of Utah, learn the basics of backpacking in the canyons from navigational skills to cooking cinnamon rolls on a one-burner stove.
2nd Expedition: On telemark skis in the snowy Colorado Rockies, build a comfortable quigloo (snow shelter), ski through fresh powder, and study the science of snow.
3rd Expedition: Back in the canyons of Utah, choose between a technical route that rappels into steeper sections of the canyons or a mellower route with more Independent Student Travel.
Typical Day on an Expedition
Typical Day on an Expedition
Rise as the sunlight peeks over the canyon wall. The first order of business is breakfast. If you have time, cinnamon rolls might be in order; pancakes are the choice if time is short. A cup of tea or hot chocolate complements the breakfast.
Take your turn as the Leader of the Day who works with the faculty to plan and lead the day’s hiking route. You will use these leadership skills all the time on campus and back home.
By 9:30, the first hiking groups leave camp. Arrive at your next camp on the mesa above the Colorado River by 2:00 and take an hour to set up camp and eat snacks before meeting for an afternoon class.
At 3:00, discuss the English assignment: an Edward Abbey novel set in the Utah desert. The 1,000-foot canyon walls tower above you. It is your turn to lead the discussion.
After class, spend a few hours hanging out around the stove and cooking a great dinner.
In the early evening, get together one more time to debrief the day, plan for tomorrow, play games, and tell stories. As the stars come out, it is time for bed.