Hold on to your hard hats because the 35th International Intercollegiate Mining Games are being held at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), March 13 through 17.
“It’s going to be huge,” organizer, competitor and CSM graduate student Patty Capistrant said.
Forty-one teams, more than 250 participants, representing 16 different schools will be competing. They come from across the U.S. and Canada, and far away as England and Australia.
The Mining Games celebrate historic mining practices, and help create a sense of community between mining students from around the world. The games were first held in 1978 as a way to honor 91 miners who died in a fire at the Sunshine Mine in northern Idaho. Mining schools across the globe take turns hosting the games. Last year’s games were held in Cornwall, England.
“Our co-ed team won the overall there,” Capistrant said.
Each team competes in seven events: track stand (laying ore cart rail), ore mucking (grueling race pushing a 2-ton ore cart), suede saw, gold pan, hand steel (drilling), jackleg (pneumatic drilling) and survey.
Capistrant attended her first Mining Games in 2009 and was hooked.
“It was hands down one of the best experiences of my academic career. You end up with a lot of friends, and maybe some trophies if you trained hard enough,” Capistrant said.
The games will be in Parking Lot Q, the freshman lot. The teams will have a practice day on Thursday, March 14. The competition begins on Friday, with the women’s, Co-Ed and Alumni teams competing. The men’s competition will be Saturday, and Sunday members of the public will have a chance to compete individually.
“We’re hoping for a lot of spectators, because the Golden community is so supportive of the school, and it’s a place where people like to get outside and do stuff,” Capistrant said.
Junior mining major Jordan Oxborrow admits that all his time practicing with the men’s “A” team may have resulted in his grades slipping a bit, “But it’s such a great event, and it really shows you the camaraderie of the mining community around the world.”
Both Oxborrow and Capistrant said CSM should be able to dominate in a few of the events.
“Especially with the altitude, with the mucking,” Oxborrow said.