Checklist & Miscellaneous Information Summer Term 2022

Things to do

  • Arrange to get your Health Care Provider Physical Form completed (Physical exam must have been completed within 12 months of the start of the HMI Summer Term)
  • Carefully read the assorted forms and sign them (digitally, via our online enrollment portal, and on our For Enrolled Students page)
  • Make travel plans (please review the Arrival and Travel sections of this document first)
  • Review the equipment information carefully and make a list of items that you need 
  • Get in shape! (Start by reading the Pre-Summer Physical Fitness page)
  • Pack!

All paperwork and the tuition balance is due by May 15. Please use our online enrollment portal to fill out all paperwork in a timely manner.

Mail & Technology Information


All mail can be sent to the students at the following address:

Student’s Name
c/o HMI
531 County Road 5A
Leadville, CO 80461

If you plan to ship some items before the start of the Summer Term, please do not send them until after June 1. If you own a backpack, check it as luggage, filled with all of the items that you might need for the first expedition. 

Phone Calls

Students are welcome to receive phone calls during the days that we are on campus. When a student is unavailable, callers may leave a message with the faculty member who answers. 

To reach students directly, please call 719-486-8200 and then one of the following extensions when prompted: 201, 202, 203, or 204. There are times when all four of those lines are busy or all students are in class. If no one answers those extensions you can reach the faculty on duty (the operator) by calling back and dialing “0”.

Students may bring their cell phones for use on travel days. The rest of the time, they are kept in the administrative office. This includes smart phones, so please do not plan on using your smart phone as your camera or for music. We do this entirely because we want students to be focused on the Summer Term experience and all that the program offers.

Internet Access, Music, and Internet-Enabled Devices

In order to promote the type of community we hope to build, we ask that the only Internet-enabled devices brought to HMI be a laptop which can be used throughout the day in classes and free time. Students will have access to the Internet via HMI’s wi-fi network. Students are welcome to continue to use iPods or MP3 players at night or while studying but not in the backcountry. We place great emphasis on building a strong, cohesive community and have found that the use of electronics detracts from our ability to “be present.” Examples of Internet-enabled devices that we ask you not to bring are iPod Touches, Kindle Fires, iPads, and other similar items that store movies, video games, and allow for texting functions. Students are welcome to bring acoustic musical instruments!

Pre-Summer Term Physical Fitness

The HMI Summer Term does not require any previous backcountry experience. However, it is required that you arrive at HMI in good physical condition. Shortly after students arrive, we head out on our first expedition. You will not have time to “get into shape” at HMI before we leave on the first expedition.

The vast majority of injuries that happen, especially in the first three weeks, are direct results of individuals not being in good physical condition. The likelihood of sprains and strains is dramatically increased by poor fitness. In addition, the HMI campus is at 10,000 feet above sea level. Poor physical fitness increases the chance that an individual will experience the deleterious effects of high altitude. Again, good basic fitness can decrease the likelihood of injury and assist in acclimatization.

There are two important aspects to physical fitness. The first is cardiopulmonary efficiency. This simply requires that you be physically active for extended periods of time (30-45 min) 4 or more times per week, for several months. This level of activity will greatly improve your general endurance. If you are not currently active, you should begin slowly and gradually increase the intensity of exercise. A good rule of thumb for endurance training is that you should be able to talk freely as you exercise (bring a friend to talk with).

The second part of physical fitness is task-specific strength. Most of the activity during the HMI Summer Term centers on hiking. Swimming will help to increase your cardiopulmonary efficiency, but will not strengthen your legs appropriately for carrying a backpack. At least half of your training should be task related; i.e. training that uses your legs over uneven terrain. The ideal is to go for fast paced hikes on trails carrying a daypack (with lots of water!) 2-3 times per week for 30-45 minutes. If trails are unavailable near your home, use a combination of roads and athletic fields.

Your fitness training should begin at least 6 weeks before attending the Summer Term. If you are playing a sport, that may help your cardiopulmonary efficiency but you will also need to get out and do task-specific activities several times a week. Remember that trail hiking is a great way to break in your hiking boots!

Our expectations of physical fitness are not intended to scare you. We simply want you to know that physical training before your arrival will greatly increase your enjoyment of the beginning of the HMI Summer Term in particular. It is much easier to enjoy the view or study the map carefully if you are not gasping for breath. If you have questions or would like assistance creating a training plan, please call us anytime 719-486-8200 or contact our Physician Advisor, Dr. Lisa Zwerdlinger at 719-486-0500.


Non-Prescription Medications

Please do not bring non-prescription medications. In order to monitor your health, we need to have our faculty administer all medications. We have a full medicine cabinet here, and are happy to provide you with ibuprofen, cold medication, Pepto-Bismol, and similar over-the-counter medications as need be.

Prescription Medications

Please think about how you would like prescription medications refilled during the Summer Term. There are several options:

  1. You can fill the prescription at home for 37 days and bring enough to last the whole time. (Due to legal restrictions and insurance requirements, this may not always be possible).
  2. Your parents can refill the medication and send it to you (unless it is a controlled substance, see below).
  3. You can ask your physician to call the prescription into our pharmacy or send the prescription (necessary for anything labeled a controlled substance) to our local pharmacy at Safeway. Their address is 1900 Hwy 24, Leadville, CO 80461. Their phone number is 719-486-1846. Then, please email or call the Director of Summer Programs to request a pick-up (719-486-8200 x107).
  4. We can take you to our physician-advisor, Dr. Lisa Zwerdlinger, and she can write a new prescription.

Starting New Medications

Please do not begin new prescription medications just before the Summer Term begins. It can be difficult for people to judge whether or not they are experiencing side effects from new medications while they are in a new environment (especially one as taxing as ours). Therefore, our physician-advisor strongly recommends that students not begin new medications just prior to the beginning of the Summer Term or during the summer. If it is important for you to do so, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can discuss any new medications with our physician-advisor.


Student Accounts

We ask that each student establish a $500 student account at HMI. This account will cover expenses such as: 

  • Class materials
  • Purchases from the HMI Bookstore (e.g. pens, HMI t-shirt)
  • Personal wilderness gear rentals and purchases
  • Activities such as bowling or a trip to the hot springs
  • An HMI Summer Term sweatshirt, if you choose to purchase one
  • Shipping of personal belongings home at the end of the summer (as necessary)
  • Doctor visits and prescriptions

At the end of the summer, you will be given an invoice that lists all purchases. If there is money left in the account, it will be refunded to the person who made the deposit. If there is a balance due, HMI will send you an invoice. 

Spending Money

You will want to have some spending money available for these expenses: 

  • Trips to local businesses such as the coffee shop, thrift store, and Safeway
  • Snacks when in town
  • Money while traveling to and from HMI
  • Airline Baggage Charges (if they have not been pre-paid) 

You can bring an ATM card or a Debit Card. Alternatively, you can have your parents send a check to HMI, we will cash it and have the money available for you to draw. At the end of the summer, any money left will be given to you.  

You will not be allowed to withdraw cash from your Student Account. 

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