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COVID-19 and Colorado Mountain Club Programming


The Center for Disesase Control issued a statement on February 28, 2020 that it is likely the coronavirus (COVID-19) will spread in US communities.

At the Colorado Mountain Club, the safety of our members and staff is our priority. We are closely monitoring expert sources and will share pertinent developments with our membership. All of our decisions regarding programming at the CMC moving forward will be with the health and well-being of our members and staff top of mind. 

If you have any questions, please do not hestitate to call our office at 303-279-3080, or email us at We are available 10am-6pm Monday-Thursday and 10am-3pm on Fridays. 


Last updated: Thursday, February 25, 2021


**UPDATE: Thursday, February 25, 2021**

As counties move to loosen restrictions, CMC remains conservative with it's protocol. Please continue to move class content online, wear masks, wash hands, socially distance, and monitor symptoms. CMC will re-evaluate protocols after May 1. Some significant changes:

  1. Overnight trips and backpacking trips have been moved to the list of activities that require approval from the Education Department. Please contact if you'd like to get your school or trip approved.
  2. Carpooling is still highly discouraged. However, there is guidance from the CDPHE on how to carpool safely. That is included in the appendix. 
  3. Schools (NOT TRIPS) can have a group size of 10 students, not including the instructors.  

Updated Protocols


**UPDATE: Friday, January 22, 2021**

As counties move to loosen restrictions, CMC remains conservative with it's protocol. Please continue to move class content online, wear masks, wash hands, socially distance, and monitor symptoms. CMC will re-evaluate the protocols for February 2021.


**UPDATE: Monday, December 7, 2020**

As we hit the holidays, cases are spiking here in Colorado. The guidelines remain the same. However, CMC highly encourages it's members and volunteers to tread with extra caution this next month. Please stay safe and stay healthy. The guidelines remain the same, but we are again re-emphasizing the importance of:

  • No carpooling. Although this is a recommendation, we highly encourage you to be extra careful this December
  • Wear masks! Please do your part and wear your mask when on a CMC trip.
  • Practice hand hygiene frequently. More and more people are getting some type of bug. Stay healthy and wash your hands!
  • No overnight trips. This guideline was already in place, but we are re-emphasizing it's importance.
  • Help with Contact Tracing. Please pay attention to your symptoms and your exposure to the virus! More and more people are getting exposed to COVID-19. Google and Apple have just released a contact tracing capability with the iPhone, so add this to your phone if you can:


**UPDATE: Thursday, November 5, 2020**

As Colorado continues to tighten restrictions, CMC will be monitoring the CDC guidelines and state orders closely. We will be continuing to take a conservative approach, as we want to keep our staff, volunteers, and community members healthy and safe. As most counties are now hitting Stage 3 (or Orange Dial levels), we represent an Outdoor Guided Service. So, although "social gatherings and groups" are limited to 5 or 10 people in two or less households, CMC as an Outdoor Guided Service can still have multi-household group sizes of 10 or less, as long as strict social distancing standards are met. The new protocol starting November 1 is not that different compared to this summer. However, we wanted to reinforce some already existing protocols, as well as tighten down some activity allowances. Here are the major changes:

  1. All indoor programs such as classes or events will be required to comply with strict social distancing guidelines. All participants must remain 6 feet a part at all times. Please see the complete protocol document for more information on what activities can safely run.
  2. Since we are an Outdoor Guided Service, we can still run trips and classes outdoors at our multi-household 10-person group limit. However, we are re-emphasizing the importance of masks and social distancing when participating with multi-household groups!
  3. Please pay attention to your symptoms and your exposure to the virus! More and more people are getting exposed to COVID-19. Google and Apple have just released a contact tracing capability with the iPhone, so add this to your phone if you can: We are highly encouraging you to continue to pay attention to your own symptoms and health. 


**UPDATE: Thursday, June 18, 2020**

As Colorado continues to loosen restrictions surrounding COVID-19, the Colorado Mountain Club will also be loosening some of our protocol given state orders and industry guidelines. Starting July 1, we will be updating our protocols with the following changes in place: 

  1. We will be expanding our activities to include overnights, backpacking trips, climbing, & Scrambles.
  2. We will be eliminating the requirement for "trip/class approval" from the designated trip/school monitor. 
  3. We will be increasing the group size to 10 (including trip leaders/school instructors).
  4. We will still be requiring masks at the trailhead pre-trip, when passing other recreators, and at the trailhead post trip. Breaks may be taken from the mask, as long as a distance of 6 feet or greater is kept between other recreators including CMC participants. 

​Please refer to our website for the official document and to keep up to date with any changes. The protocols for July can be found below here:


**UPDATE: Thursday, May 28, 2020**

In accordance with a recent amendment to Governor Polis' Executive Order D 2020 044, Colorado Mountain Club has decided to open up our radius for outdoor recreation from a 10-mile radius. The amendment states:

"Travel to within their local community or as necessary to access outdoor recreation areas. If travelling outside their community, Coloradans are urged to honor all restrictions in place at their destination and avoid travel to counties or municipalities that issue travel restrictions."  

As CMC Trips resume, please consider smaller mountain towns when deciding where to recreate, adhere to all local and county level closures, and be safe out there while following our protocols, which were created following expert advice from CDC, state and local public health departments, and guidance from our elected state and local officials. We also consulted Golden Fire Department, first responders, land managers, CMC volunteer leadership, and our members. 

Furthermore, starting Monday, June 1, the CMC offices will be open Monday - Thursday, 10am-6pm. Staff & guests must follow our new protocols for in-person interactions in the office. Most staff will continue working on a remote schedule. These include, but not limited to:

  • Personal check-ins prior to arrival, including taking temperature, assessing how one feels, and not coming in if feeling ill
  • Wearing a mask while in the building
  • Maintaining social distancing: no more than four staff in a meeting, and if there are more, moving the meeting outside for proper distance
  • Washing hands upon arrival and throughout the day
  • Wiping down all surfaces used upon arrival, and again when leaving, with antibacterial wipes
  • Only working in the office if necessary for job duty. Only two membership services staff will be allowed to work in the office at the same time

Read the full CMC staff and guest protocols here

We will be working with the American Mountaineering Center to create protocols for our volunteers to use the building. Stay tuned. We will have those soon. 


**UPDATE: Tuesday, May 19, 2020**

After careful review of our revised budget forecast, we are making some difficult decisions to keep the organization moving forward while continuing to serve the membership and support our staff.  
As such, effective May 18, 2020, CMC will reduce our hours of operations by 20%. Our operating hours, including for Member Services, will be Monday-Thursday, 10am-6pm.

Staff will continue working remotely, with a partial return to the office for some staff starting June 1 in accordance with state, local, and CMC guidelines. We have been approved for Colorado’s Work-Share Program so our staff will have access to supplemental support during this time, and will maintain full medical benefits.
This was not a decision that we arrived at lightly. Safety is a core value of the CMC – protecting each other, our lands, our partners while out recreating – and the safety of our staff is paramount. A reduction in operating hours across the board now means that we can conserve funds while we retool some programs and assess the path forward. Our full staff will continue working to fulfill the mission of the Colorado Mountain Club for you, the members.    

Read Keegan's full letter to membership here

If you have any questions, please contact the us at Thanks for your membership, support, and dedication to our community. 


**UPDATE: Friday, May 8, 2020**

Full protocols for planning and attending both CMC Trips and CMC Schools after June 1, 2020 can be found below. These protocols are subject to change, postponement, or cancellation owing to evolving COVID-19 guidelines set forth by state and local government officials and public health departments. 

These protocols were created following expert advice from CDC, state and local public health departments, and guidance from our elected state and local officials. We also consulted Golden Fire Department, first responders, land managers, CMC volunteer leadership, and our members. 

**Below protocols are from Friday, May 8. On May 28, we amended the below documents following a new amendment from Governor Polis ending the 10-mile radius. For the May 28 protocols, please scroll up to the May 28 update, or click here.**

If you have any questions or concerns, please email If you are a trip leader or school director, please email Maddie Miller, Trip Leader Support Coordinator, at


**UPDATE: Wednesday, May 6, 2020**

Update on reopeing the Colorado Mountain Club for trips, courses, and gatherings. Read Keegan's full letter here

As with the onset of all this weirdness, we’ll provide a social distancing rubric to guide trips, classes, and gatherings that we created after consulting Golden Fire Department, first responders, land managers, trip leaders, and our members. Some of the measures we’ll be taking to minimize risk on these offerings include:

Basic protocols for reopening

Please read the full handout or download the PDF here

Fully detailed protocols and checklists for trips and schools will be published on this site by Saturday morning, May 9, 2020. 

If you have any questions about these protocols, please contact our office at

If you are a trip leader, school director, or instructor with questions, please email Maddie Miller, CMC Trip Leader Support Coordinator, at


**UPDATE: Friday, March 27, 2020**

Update on programming, responsible recreation during a pandemic, and how to support CMC during this crisis. Read Keegan's Full letter here.

CMC Staff and Volutneers have created a new Outdoor Online University so that we can learn new skills and brush up on old skills while at home. We are dedicated to continuing our mission and there are several ways that you can help us out in these trying time:

  • In lieu of a refund, you can credit your tuition or event registration to a future trip or event. Or, you can consider your tuition a donation to the Club during this difficult time. We will provide a tax donation letter for you. Contact membership services at to talk through how to do this. 
  • Join or Renew: all memberships are 20% now through April 30 to help us get through the crux of this climb. If you already renewed this year, take advantage of this deal and we will push your expiration date out until 2022!
  • Shop Amazon Smile
  • Enroll in King Soopers Community Rewards
  • Donate to the CMC online or on Venmo (@CMCDonation)

Thank you for your support!


**UPDATE: Tuesday, March 17, 2020**

To ensure you are getting all of our updates on how the novel coronavirus is impacting Colorado Mountain Club, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter. If you have previously opted out, you can opt back in at anytime by clicking the button below to get emails directly to your inbox. We are also posting updates on social media, so you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

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**UPDATE: Monday, March 16, 2020**

Colorado Mountain Club staff are now operating on a remote work schedule. We are still answering phones and responding to emails. Please contact us via phone at 303-279-3080 or email us at and we will respond during our normal office hours, which are 10am-6pm Monday-Thursday, and 10am-3pm on Friday.  A full list of staff emails can be found on our Staff Webpage if you need to contact someone in particular. 

The office at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden is closed while we work remotely. Further, the American Mountaineering Center is closed, effective immediately, to the public, our members, and volunteers as we continue to do our part to "flatten the curve" and protect the public health in our community. Thanks for your patience and understanding! 


**UPDATE: Sunday, March 15, 2020**

With a focus on the safety of our members, volunteer leaders, staff, and the larger outdoor community, the Colorado Mountain Club has made the difficult decision to postpone all official CMC gatherings, including events, trips, and schools for the time being, effective Monday, March 16, 2020. 

Read Keegan Young's, CMC Executive Director, full letter here


**UPDATE: Friday, March 13, 2020**

Colorado Mountain Club staff will take their temperature each morning before coming into the building or interacting with members or guests. Staff whose temperature exceeds 100, or who have a cough or shortness of breath must stay home. Volunteers should follow the same protocol.

Several upcoming social events have been cancelled out of an abundance of caution for our staff and members: 
  • Backpacking Section Kickoff Party on Wednesday, March 18 has been cancelled
  • Fly Fishing School has been cancelled
  • Pretty Strong Film Event on Thursday, March 19 has been cancelled
  • Backcountry Film Festival in Estes Park has been cancelled

As you can imagine, the impacts of COVID-19 on the Colorado Mountain Club are significant. Your generosity and support are more critical now more than ever in this time of uncertainty. If you can, we would be extremely grateful if you would consider your ticket purchase to the above events as a donation to the CMC in lieu of a refund. 

Leaders: When you make a decision about an upcoming program, even if it is to carry on as planned, please take the following communication steps:

  • Notify participants via email
  • Summarize the decision at the top of your activity/event's website page. This not only helps participants but also the Member Services team when they receive phone calls.
  • Notify CMC Staff if they need to update any social media pages or webpages


**UPDATE: Tuesday, March 10, 2020**

Governor Polis Declares State of Emergency in Colorado with 15 Positive Cases in Colorado as of Monday, 3/9/2020

We will continue to monitor what this means for Club activities. The Declaration from the Governor's office gives them more leeway and executive power to make decision across the state to protect the Colorado community and respond more quickly to this ongoing issue. At this time, it does not change how the CMC is proceeding with Club outings and procedures. Please continue to consult expert sources and use the below rubric to help you make the best decisions about your health. 



Colorado Mountain Club Actions Prior to March 16, 2020


The health and well-being of our Colorado Mountain Comunity is our highest priority. As the new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, we wanted to share some actions we are taking to protect our CMC community. The Colorado Mountain Club is continually monitoring expert sources, such as the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, which covers the situation in Colorado.

All of us at the Colorado Mountain Club understand the concern and anxiety that this issue is causing, and our deepest sympathies go out to those that have been affected. If you are uncomfortable about attending an upcoming event or course with the Colorado Mountain Club, we will offer full refunds on those courses, events, and activities that we can. 

For Trip Leaders, School Directors, and School Instructors around the state, we suggest using this protocol to decide whether to run their courses or trips. Members, please contact your Trip Leader or School Director for more information. You can also click the button below to find other resources about COVID-19 and CMC programming.


COVID-19 Rubric & CMC Resources


Actions we can all take to protect ourselves and each other, as suggested by CDC and Colorado Department for Public Health and Environment:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds regularly, especially after using the bathroom. We understand that soap and water is not available on the trail, so at a minimum, please use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.How to wash your hands
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with tissues and throw them away (or put in a ziplock bag to dispose after you get off the trail). If no tissue is available, use your elbow/arm and wash your hands. 
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • With respect to our fellow Club members, if you are feeling sick, stay home - do not lead a trip, go on a trip, or attend any courses or events.
  • Limit carpooling with people that you do not interact with regularly. While this goes against our conservation ethos, the immediate public health benefits are more important at this time.  
  • While we are all into sharing the stoke, let's limit the high-fives to air high-fives or fist bumps, and avoid shaking hands. Elbow bumps, hip bumps, or even foot-fives are all good to go!
  • Wipe down commonly and frequently used items/areas with disinfecting spray or wipes.



At the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, we have instituted the following policies:

  • Common areas are being wiped down and disinfected multiple times a day (including handrails, door handles, armrests on chairs, etc.)
  • Hands-free, stand alone hand sanitizer stations have been ordered and will be installed at every building entrance by early next week
  • Wellness reminders will be posted throughout the buildingCleaning more frequently at AMC
  • Prevention Guide Packets have been given to every office
  • Outside events are being made aware and to be mindful
  • The AMC office has the following supplies available to the building for use:
    • Anti-bacterial wipes
    • Simple Green spray bottles
    • Other disinfectant spray bottles and rubber gloves




Expert Resources


There is a lot of information, both good and bad, floating around about COVID-19 right now. It is essential that you follow expert sources, such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, to get the correct information and up-to-date analysis. Please consult those expert sources to help you in making decisions about your health during this time. 


Center for Disease Control



Colorado Dept of Public Health & Environment


Stay up to date on all of our events by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you always know what's happening at the CMC! 

If you have questions, contact our front office at (303) 279-3080 or email