Born in Silicon Valley California, Mike started Mtn bike riding and racing at the tender age of 14 in the mountains that surround the South Bay area. He hasn’t looked back since. After 4 honorable years in the United States Marine Corps, he spent a year on the east coast chasing fireflies while night riding to avoid the hot and humid days. In December of 1998 he was “going back to Cali” equipped with a 1992 Dodge truck, zero degrees sleeping bag, snowboard and a few grand in his pocket…… let’s just say he never made it!
After spending a considerable amount of time with a snowboard strapped to his back and snowshoes on his feet during those first two seasons, he picked up his first splitboard in spring of 2000 before a west coast road trip.
Mike considers the Gore Range his home range and spends countless hours ski mountaineering, backpacking, trail running, and attempting to call in any elk, bull or cow into his bow range. The last one seems to be elusive despite his efforts for the past 3 hunting seasons.
With splitboarding being his gateway method of travel to the enchanting winter wonderlands that Colorado has to offer, he was forced to learn telemark style turns for the efficiency of travel on his first splitboard in ski mode. That led to a natural curiosity of what telemark had to offer the backcountry traveler! The exact year he picked up his first telemark ski setup is a bit foggy, but confidently says he has been refining his tele turn for at least 15 years. While developing his ski skills, he always fell back on his snowboarding ability to tackle bigger lines such as the north face of
Mt. Democrat one of Colorado’s many 14,000 ft peaks. In 2012 he sold one of his splitboard setups as a way to force himself to not fall back on snowboarding and wait out the evolving market of gear offerings.
It is now 2019 his daughter Luna is 10 years old and has developed a proficient set of ski skills. Mike feels the time is ripe with gear offerings and the time is quickly approaching to start teaching his daughter the beauty and grace of the snowboard turn.
So the journey back full circle is here and he is back on splitboards using his telemark skills to help on his quest for multi-day adventures deep in the backcountry.
Mike also leads moderate trad routes and enjoys ice climbing when the snow is less than ideal. He has a passion for pushing his limits and enjoys finding his boundaries and figuring out how to overcome them. For example summer of 2018, he did a complete N-S single push effort of the Gore Range Trail that took him 19hours or so. He only attempted it one other time in 2003 and failed, So he feels that this is his biggest endurance accomplishment to date and says he has even bigger goals for the future!
Mike completed his first avalanche class with Silverton Avalanche School in 2001 and feels that is the primary reason along with some luck that he has survived his learning curve despite a handful of encounters with slides.
He completed his second avalanche class(AIARE level 1 Rec)in 2016 with Colorado Adventure Guides from Summit County Colorado.
He holds a CPR/First Aid cert and sees the need for ongoing snow science and medical training as his schedule and finances allow.