Five years ago this week, I started Mike Off the Map. It was a blog that was simply meant to record some of the places I’d been to, a budding outdoor life, and just generally a way to get some thoughts out. I gave it a month, tops, before I’d probably forget about it. Five […]Read more "Five Years"
For my entire climbing career, I wanted to climb Castleton. That was my tower, it was my goal. Castleton Tower is a majestic 400-foot spire of magnificent Wingate Sandstone that sits proudly on a 1,000-foot cone of loose, rotten, decaying boulders. When I first came to Moab in 2011, my first time climbing outside, I […]Read more "Castleton Tower: The North Chimney"
I’ve been challenged before. By friends, family, coworkers, and by myself. But when my city issues me a challenge, then I have to take it up. Every challenge is the same: Take an idea that you’ve never tried before, go out, accomplish it, and document the results. This week I was contacted by the folks […]Read more "#2DaysInSeattle: Seattle Has Issued A Challenge – I’m Taking It."
Today I’m launching into the second part of my four-peak project. Forbidden Peak is one of the crown jewels of North Cascades National Park. An 8,000+ foot wall of ice and stone piercing the sky above the Boston Glacier. It’s everything that a great alpine ascent should be: a glacial approach, a moderate grade but […]Read more "Breaking The Forbidden Ridge"
Admittedly, as a child, I had very little personal interest in the outdoors. It’s shocking to look back on but growing up, I was very much an introvert and a homebody. Until I was 11 years old, I was so used to creature comforts like electricity, hot food, and a warm bed. Looking back today […]Read more "Reuniting Family In the National Parks"
Adventure is best when it’s off the grid, completely improvised, imperfect, and when it comes with a big surprise at the end. My friend Anh, who up until now I’d only known through the online #HikerChats asked me if I wanted to fly out to Moab and hike a 22-mile loop around Canyonlands National Park. […]Read more "Lost and Found In The Canyonlands"
When I was 11 years old, my mother took me to see “Everest”, the extravagant IMAX film which followed a group of climbers as they scaled the peak in the face of overwhelming tragedy. As I walked out of that theater, with images of triumph and conquest in my head, I knew I wanted to […]Read more "Everest Through My Eyes: Why The Mountain Still Matters"
I’m finally back, and I finally re-found the motivation to give this site the attention that it deserves. Admittedly the last few weeks have not yielded my most productive blogging time, and the transition from Miami to Seattle has had it’s rough patches. Things are starting to clear up and I don’t have any excuses […]Read more "Coming Together: Seattle So Far"
Tonight I am proud to be a guest of In Ice Axe We Trust, a mountaineering podcast where i’m telling my story of our Mt. Elbert winter attempt in which we faced wolves, freezing temperatures, and snow which resulted in a turn around just 1,000 feet under it’s 14,400 ft summit. As a companion piece […]Read more "Mt. Elbert: A Climb Told In Photographs"
This Veterans Day weekend, November 10-12 marks the final free national park day weekend of the year. It’s an excellent opportunity to get outside, enjoy the last days of pleasant fall weather before the winter chill hits, and get lost in the wilderness. It’s also an opportunity to teach the responsible care of our national […]Read more "Save Our Land: Three Endangered National Parks"