Mike Gardner

Sport

Climb

Hometown

Ridgway, Colorado, USA

Hometown

Ridgway, Colorado, USA

Sport

Climb

Mike Gardner has never had a garden, and he’s not likely to. As much as he appreciates the sentiment of closing the loop between farm and table, the mountain guide and former pro freeskier is most at home if he’s moving – he’s never spent 12 consecutive months in one place. He’s drawn continually to the wild reaches of the planet – Antarctica, the Himalayas, Alaska, the Grand Tetons. His guiding apprenticeship began informally, with his first mountaineering trips, age eight, with his Exum Mountain Guide father and saw him become one of the youngest guides Exum has ever hired. Named one of the best skiers under 18 by Powder magazine, he moved on from the competitive freeski scene to seek more personally testing objectives in the biggest mountain ranges on Earth. Industry veterans have rated Mike’s ascent on Father and Son’s Wall as worthy of a Piolet d’Or award, but for Mike, the bigger question is not how to be gracious about your successes, but who you are when you’re not on top of the game. Even as a nomad, he’s found a way to cultivate growth: Mike has an education degree and supports his own alpine habit “holding space for other people to flourish” in the mountains, in between his own epic missions.

Achievements

  • 4th Ascent of Father and Son’s Wall via a new route, Denali (2200 meters) (Alaska Grade V Scottish Grade VI ) over 73 hrs
  • 2nd Ascent of Light Traveler, South Face of Denali (3,000 meters, VI M7 WI6) over 36 hours from camp at 7,800 ft to summit
  • New Route on Peak of No Return, South Buttress of Denali, M5 AI4
  • Ascent of Infinite Spur on Mt. Foreaker, While wearing ski boots and carrying skis in order to ski back down the Sultana ridge, all done in a 48 hr single push from Denali BC
  • Spent 5 seasons competitive freeskiing with several podium finishes
  • Made skiing and climbing expeditions on every continent