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 expeditions is outlined below and provides insight into the beautiful places we explore during an HMI Semester.


Fall 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.

Spring Semester:

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.