WATCH: The giant M and a century-long Miners tradition

Colorado School of Mines freshmen have been adding stones to the M in an initiation tradition that spans more than a century.

The Colorado School of Mines M on Lookout Mountain, Aug. 20, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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The Colorado School of Mines M on Mt. Zion, Aug. 20, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) colorado school of mines; golden; lookout mountain; m climb; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty;
The Colorado School of Mines massive “M” on Mt. Zion, Aug. 20, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Ever notice that giant M planted on the mountainside above Golden? It stands for “Mines,” that is, the Colorado School of Mines. The college’s freshmen have been adding stones to the M every year in an initiation tradition that spans more than a century.

The Colorado School of Mines freshman sit on the giant M on Mt. Zion after their initiation climb, Aug. 20, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) colorado school of mines; golden; lookout mountain; m climb; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty;
The Colorado School of Mines freshman sit on the giant M on Mt. Zion after their initiation climb, Aug. 20, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Last Friday the class of 2021 took their turn, joining the hallowed ranks of engineers and stone scientists. New students brought ten-(or more)-pound rocks from home, slogged them up Mt. Zion and placed them inside the massive M. When they graduate, they’ll return to collect a rock as a reminder of their tenure in Golden.

We went along for the hike to bring you this insider perspective.

Correction: This video still says and this original post said that the M is on Lookout Mountain. It’s actually on Mt. Zion.

Kevin Beaty

Author: Kevin Beaty

Kevin Beaty is a media producer with experience in a variety of settings spanning Hollywood film sets to international backpack journalism expeditions. He is on a never-ending quest to meld artful imagery, functional design and intimate storytelling. His biggest struggle in any given moment is whether to shoot stills or video. Find him on Twitter and Instagram at @kevinjbeaty.