Exploring Caves with Outdoor Ed

Somewhere in the mountains, between the colorful city of Manitou Springs and the deep chasm that is Williams Canyon, a cohort of Colorado College students drove up a winding road, looking for adventure. They headed to Cave of the Winds, where the students took a lantern tour through pitch black limestone caverns and heard tales of the haunted caves’ strange occurrences.  

They were led by two of CC’s finest: Outdoor Ed leaders Jack Tolzin ’24 and Gracie Roe ’25. On the way up, both oozed about Outdoor Ed, the CC program that runs over 200 trips similar to this one to encourage students to take advantage of the great outdoors. Tolzin and Roe, who have gone on many trips through the program and now lead them, confirm that Outdoor Ed lives up to its reputation at CC — it’s inclusive and accessible. The programs’ leaders don’t want costly gear or the intimidation of a new sport to hold students back. 

The goofy mood developed on the drive up turned serious (ok, still a little goofy) once everyone was inside the caves. The tour guide, Jeremy, recounts the harrowing story of a Colorado Springs native who discovered the cave, turned it into a tourist spot, and then fell into ruin as tragedy after tragedy ensued. The stories were grim. The caves were pitch-black with only a dim lantern to navigate with, and Jeremy generated more than one shriek with his animated storytelling. Jeremy was convinced it was a haunted spirit that kept blowing out the flames of two CC pals’ lanterns. 

When the cohort emerged from the caves into the sunlight, the reality of physics homework and extracurricular obligations struck. Posts to BeReal — a social media platform that spontaneously asks users to share a photo of their current situation — were made on the drive back down the mountain. Photos of the aesthetically lantern-lit tunnels were exchanged. It was another successful trip to add to the book of CC Outdoor Education history. 

Report an issue - Last updated: 10/28/2022