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"