Note: Please see this guide for information on how to schedule trips on the website (Updated September 2018).

The Colorado Mountain Club was founded by hikers and climbers who wanted to share with others their love of the Colorado mountains. That purpose remains today as the core of the Club’s success and longevity.

Leading trips can be a CMC member’s most important and rewarding activity: important because it is the heart and soul of the Club, rewarding because no CMC activity serves better purposes.

Nothing is more important than bringing a group home from a hiking or climbing trip without accident or incident. It’s not that the risks in the mountains are so high, but that the consequences are too severe to risk untrained, unprepared or unknown trip leaders.

The knowledge and skills of CMC trip leaders are known to us because we train them ourselves. The Denver Group alone offers 25 schools, from Wilderness Trekking School to highly technical mountaineering schools, taught by some of the most experienced and capable instructors in Colorado.  We also support our trip leaders and aspiring trip leaders by offering scholarships to cover the cost of their training.

The rewards of leading trips are huge. Trip leaders not only get to share with others the knowledge and skills they’ve learned, they get to hike or climb when and where they want, and set their own pace.

Trained and experienced trip leaders are the most vital resource and valuable asset the Club has to offer. What motivates us to lead in the first place is that we get so much in return.

STEPS TO BECOMING A TRIP LEADER – Anyone can become a trip leader. This section outlines the specific steps and how to go about taking them.

MAINTAINING TRIP LEADER QUALIFICATIONS – It is important for practicing trip leaders to maintain their qualifications; this section outlines those general requirements. Non-practicing trip leaders will eventually be retired.

TRIP LEADER SUPPORT – Resources for current trip leaders can be found here including rules, contacts lists, forms, etc. The most commonly required information is listed below:

SAFETY & LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE – This is the list of standing members on Denver’s Safety and Leadership Committee.

DENVER LEADER NEWSLETTERS ARCHIVES – Leadership and Safety sends out a newsletter to all Denver leaders every month. Previous editions are available here.


Trip Leader Compliments and Complaints

We would like to hear your thoughts about our leaders. If someone has done a particularly good job handling a difficult situation, let us know. We recognize outstanding leaders at Denver Group’s annual “Leader Appreciation Night,” and we need your favorable inputs to help in our selections.

On the other hand, if you had a particularly poor experience with a trip leader we need to know that, too. Complaints are handled discretely and professionally for both the reporter and the leader. We let the leader know that an informal complaint was received, but we do not investigate it as an formal incident. Please state if you wish to remain anonymous. Email your compliment or complaint to

Note: This is not the place for filing accident, incident or near miss reports. An “accident” report is required if someone on a CMC trip is injured and professional medical care is sought. An “incident” is an alleged violation of jurisdictional law or CMC policies, including the CMC Code of Conduct.  A “near miss” is an accident or serious near-accident in which professional medical care is not required. Accidents, incidents and near misses require a written report and are formally investigated for the lessons learned and to help prevent similar accidents/incidents in the future. This can be done with the Incident/Illness/Injury Report Form.