The second First Monday of the year gave CC students a taste of some of the unique and interesting jobs acquired by Colorado College alumni. Directing and producing kick-ass outdoor films like Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer is just the tip of the iceberg.

There are scores of CC grads climbing and creating across the world, making a name for themselves in the world of outdoor pioneers.

Ed Webster, who graduated in 1978 with anthropology major, is an acclaimed author, lecturer, publisher, and photojournalist. He has won such awards as American Mountain Foundation’s 1988 Seventh Grade Award for outstanding achievements in mountaineering, American Alpine Club’s 1990 Literary Award, and American Alpine Club’s 1994 David H. Soules Award.

Webster has had photographs published in publications such as Climbing Magazine, Rock & Ice, Popular Mechanics, Rolling Stone and The New York Times Sunday Magazine. He also wrote a popular book titled “Snow in the Kingdom,” describing the first assent expedition up Everest Kangshung Face in 1988.

Class of 1980 graduate Charley Mace also followed the adventure journalism path. He is a photographer and videographer, appearing in such places as Outside Magazine, Readers Digest, and the American Alpine Club Journal.

Mace is currently the chief financial officer of Great Trango Holdings, a company that manufactures and distributes climbing and mountaineering equipmentHe was also a part of the first American team to summit the Abruzzi Ridge of K2 without oxygenAlong with his other achievements in the outdoors realm, Mace runs a unique non-profit called Soldier to Summits, which organizes outdoor adventure trips for wounded veterans.

Renan Ozturk, a well known North Face climbing-team member and nominee for the coveted Piolet d’Or prize, is also a CC alum. A 2002 graduate, he started Camp 4 Collective, an outdoor adventure film company

Named a 2013 Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic, Ozturk is an artist and mountaineer. He was part of the team that made the first assent up the Sharks fin on Meru in India. In the same year, he completed the Tooth Traverse, a five-mile enchainment of peaks in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge. Writing and photographing his travels for National Geographic, Ozturk’s name is quickly becoming a common name in the outdoor community.

Erik Rieger, who graduated in 2012, is now the assistant editor of the American Alpine Journal. This journal features stories and detailed route information covering the year’s most cutting-edge ascents, big new routes, and unexplored areas. Reiger heads the North and South America sections.


Aside from the Adventure Journalism path, Colorado College also has several famous professional climbing alumni. Will Gadd is an ice climber who has established some of the hardest mixed ice climbing lines in the world. He has won three gold medals at the X Games and the Ice Climbing World Cup. Gadd is also a popular public speaker.


Kate Rutherford and Madeline Sorkin are the leading women of professional climbers and Colorado College alumni. Rutherford completed the first ascent of The Washington Route (VI 5.10, A1) in Fitz Roy, Patagonia and the first ascent of 10 Pounds of Tequila (VI 5.12+) in Acopan Tepui, Venezuela With Madeline Sorkin, she notched the first female free ascent of Moonlight Buttress (V 5.12+), Zion National, and the Northwest Face of Half Dome (V 5.12+) in Yosemite, California. Rutherford is also an artist and a jewelry maker

Sorkin herself has made many radical free assents, some of which include the El Corazon (5.13b) at El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, Calif., China Doll (5.13c) in Boulder Canyon, Colo., and an onsite free assent of Heart and Arrows (5.12) at The Diamond of Longs Peak, Colo.

These CC graduates have turned their passion for adventure into careers and are proof of the correlation between doing what you love and success.

Emelie Frojen, Guest Writer

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