Take Your First Ascent

Take part in an exciting University of Denver Tradition: First Ascent. With your peers, you will travel to DU’s Kennedy Mountain Campus for a weekend of exploration, adventure, connection and learning.

In the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, you will be immersed in the DU 4D Experience. You will discover the wonder of intellectual growth and curiosity. The confidence to pursue purpose-driven lives and careers. The joy of wellbeing for ourselves, others, and our planet. And the strength of character built upon individual values.

What to Expect

First Ascent is a transformative experience open to all new undergraduate DU students. From challenge courses and guided hikes to cliffside lakes, outdoor climbing, artistic and life design exploration, community campfires, and ample time to simply explore and build the lifelong friends that will define your time at DU.

What to learn more. Be sure to check out these additional resources:

New Fall 2024 students must register for a specific First Ascent experience offered the following weekends during the Fall 24 Quarter:

First Ascent 2024 Trip Schedule and Details
Time PeriodDatePopulationConcurrent Signature Events on Campus
Summer 2024August 23-25Local CO residents or those interested in participating. Note: Students must travel to the University of Denver's urban campus on Friday, August 23 and be picked up on Sunday, August 25. See itinerary for details.None
Discoveries OrientationSeptember 6-8Transfer, Exchange, and Graduate studentsDiscoveries Orientation
Week 1: Fall 2024September 13-15Open to all new undergrad studentsNone
Week 2: Fall 2024September 20-22Open to all new undergrad studentsFraternity Recruitment (IFC)
Week 3: Fall 2024September 27-29Open to all new undergrad studentsSorority Recruitment (PHA)
Week 4: Fall 2024October 4-6Diversity & Inclusion Weekend (SIB-focused). Open to all new undergrad students.Hockey Campout
Week 5: Fall 2024October 11-13First year Pioneer Leadership Program (PLP) and Honors students None
Week 7: Fall 2024October 25-27Open to all new undergrad studentsNone

*There is no First Ascent trip during Week 6 (Oct. 18-20) due to Homecoming

Register for First Ascent!      First Ascent Exemption Form

Student who are not interested in participating in First Ascent must request an exemption.


Disability Services & Accommodations

At the University of Denver, we take accessibility very seriously. If you believe you may have difficulty with access for our Kennedy Mountain Campus Ascent experiences because you use a wheelchair or have other mobility needs, please contact the Disability Services Program as soon possible so they can assist you in planning and accommodating your access. As far as your academic access at KMC, we believe that once you provide your accommodation letter to your instructors, you accommodations will be implemented.

Explore DU Disability Services Program