Alex Hager (‘15) climbing New Era in Garden of the Gods. Fondly called The Garden, many CC climbers get their first taste of soft stone in this municipal park. Niels Davis (’15) CC


Into the Abyss. Jon Schaffer approaching East Creek Basin with Pigeon Spire in the background. With four grade V or longer first ascents, their 2012 trip to the Bugaboos contends to be one of the most successful of all time. Tim Gibson (’10)


The 2015 CCAJ is in the mail! Get a digital version at the "inside the journal" tab.



A typical block break scene. Hannah Trim (’14) and company wake up to two stunning desert towers: Washerwoman and Monster Tower. Erik Rieger ('12)

Our Mission

The Colorado College Alpine Journal strives to unite, inform, and inspire both our climbing community and others by showcasing the climbers and climbs of Colorado College–past and present– through writing, photos, and artwork in our annual free publication.


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Jonathan “JD” Merritt (’15/16)


Born in Idaho. Grew up Nordic skiing and cycling. Found climbing as a kid in Lander, Wyoming. Physics Major. Fully nocturnal. Mostly functional. Somewhat literate.


The Desert Beckons

Dirt, sweat and blood. Three elements that run unimpeded in the desert. Blood from battling up off-widths and squeezes reminds me that I still have much to learn. Sweat from the steep approaches and unrelenting sun which I track as it moves across the sky. And dirt. That red dirt is everywhere. The wind carries […]

David Fay on the FA of The Gold Card. Photo Hannah Trim

The Tiger Cliff: An Elusive Wall Pioneered in the Heart of the Rockies.

There is a saying around Leadville that if it weren’t for just one thing each climbing area would be world class. For example if the routes at Granite were longer than 15 ft, it would be mega-classic. Or if the Cecilville Slab was 10° past vertical, instead of 10° less than vertical it would be […]

Upcoming Events

Just Finished! Paper copies will be in the mail soon. Email with your address if you’d like a copy. Download a digital version with the “Inside the Journal” tab.

I love bad pitches, that’s my problem

- Niels

The desert beckons.

- Hanson