Mike Libecki – Climber, Explorer, Athlete, Father, and believer in the following:
“Pursue Passion––Why Ration Passion—Dream Big and Live Those Dreams—
The Time is Now––No Excuses––Death and/or Old Age is Coming…
We must Live Sweet––After All, it is Not Only Life, But the Quality of This Life.”
– Mike J. Libecki
Mike Libecki has two major passions: Obeying his obsession/addiction to exploring the most remote, exotic and untouched locations on the planet to climb big walls, towers, or alpine first ascents, traverses and other mysterious adventures, and being a dedicated father to his angel-daughter (he has won Father of the Year Award more than once). Libecki has been on over 40 expeditions and established multiple first ascents in such areas as Afghanistan, Antarctica, Baffin Island, Guyana, Greenland, China, Madagascar, Kyrgysztan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Venezuela, Yemen, Indonesia and Africa, all of these areas multiple times, and many other remote islands around the globe. More than half of these have been solo expeditions and solo first ascents. When Mike is not climbing and exploring Virgin Earth, he is a full time father. You can always find him presenting one of his uniquely entertaining multimedia presentations; he has presented over 450 public shows around the world. He has worked with every major outdoor magazine, tv station, media outlet, etc. Mike lives near the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon in Utah with his daughter, dog, cats, parrot, pot-belly pig, chickens and rabbits.
Mike has received numerous grants and awards: two time winner of the Shipton-Tilman Grant/Award from W.L.Gore & Associates, four time winner of the Mug Stumps Award, two time winner of the Lyman Spitzer/American Alpine Club Award, three time winner of The Polartec Challenge Award, Athlete Ambassador of the Year Award from Clif Bar, The Sharp End Award from The Access Fund, Mountaineering Fellowship Award from The American Alpine Club, The Banff Centre Mountain Grant, The Helly Hansen Mountain Award from The American Alpine Club, winner of the Father of the Year Award at his daughters school more than once.
Get to know Mike Libecki
Mike J. Libecki
- Birth Date:
February 16th 1973
- Place of Birth:
- Current Home town:
Cottonwood Heights, Utah
- Primary Sport:
Climbing. Dreaming Big and CLIMBING Those Dreams…(literally and metaphorically). Pursuing Passion of Climbing: First Ascents; Exploration/Discovery/Recon Expeditions to find Untouched Big Walls, Towers, Rock/Ice, Alpine Routes, etc. From free to aid, to ice and alpine, to jungle mayhem, and all other vertical love-gravity-relationships in the wilderness spanning across all of the continents many times over on more than 40 expeditions…
- Specialties within your sport:
First Ascents, Exploration/Discovery of Unclimbed/Virgin Earth home to Big Walls/Towers, Free/Aid, Alpine/Ice, Jungle, any and every type of Climbing over the last 20 years. Specializing in going completely Solo and climbing Solo, self supported on many expeditions.
- Other hobbies or sports:
Skiing, Snowboarding, Kiting (ski and board), Stand Up Paddling, Fathering (won Father of the Year Award more than once). Photographer, videographer, writer/author, multimedia editor. Recently, starting to get into BASE Jumping. Working with/Inspiring Youth/Future Adventurers in many fields. Brewing beer from scratch for 15 years.
- My favorite Mountain Hardwear products?
For over 12 years now, I have been testing/living in Mountain Hardwear product/test product exclusively, so you will usually find me hammering and beating on new samples as part of the process to perfect the product. Specifically though, I live in my Desna Hoody and Desna Jacket. More favorites/must haves: Quasar Pullover, Jovian and Tunnabora Jackets. Hooded Compressor and Nitrous Jackets. Elmoro Long and Short Sleeve Shirts. Warlow and Tanglewood Pants.
- How were you introduced to your sport?
I received the gift of the obsession and addiction to climbing naturally: growing up in Coarsegold/Oakhurst/Clovis, Ca., an hour’s drive near the Center of the Climbing Universe: Yosemite. Some friends of friends took me climbing, I was about 19, that’s when it all began…
- What inspires you?
My family…My daughter, my mom, my grandmother, my brothers, etc. Friends. People and culture I meet around the world. People from every walk of life inspire me every day.
- Which athletes or other individuals have been your biggest source of inspiration?
Shinichi Pancho Sakamoto, one of the worlds unsung heros in not only climbing and adventure, but wisdom, focus, and mental power. My grandmother. She taught me that ‘the time is now.’ Bob Marley. Peter Croft.
- What advice would you give to newcomers to (your sport) today?
Make sure it is all for Joy, it all equals Joy, the ultimate goal is Joy in the mountains/wilderness/nature.
- What’s your favorite expedition meal?
Complete whole dehydrated bananas. Good beer. Clif Bars/Products, been living on those for 15 years, quite amazing actually. Good coffee. Garlic, lots of garlic.
- What the first thing you look forward to doing after a long expedition?
Celebrating life with my family (especially my daughter) and animals (animals are also family). I love animals and have two dogs, three cats, three chickens, a parrot, a potbelly pig, and rabbit.
- How do you balance your training schedule with your “real” job?
My entire life, every moment is training for training for training so to speak. It never ends. There is not a time I don’t consider that I am training…My real job? This lifestyle and being a father is my entire life, this is my real job. Balance? Simple. Belief, optimism, appreciation, reciprocation and hard work, so very simple.
- Do you have any pre-expedition rituals?
Huge adventures/road trips/mini expeditions with my daughter. There really is only one difficult thing about going on expeditions: missing my daughter.
- In 10 years I hope to be…
Surrounded by utter Joy, with family and friends. Oh, and planning my 60th or 70th expedition at least…
- Six-word bio:
“DREAM BIG…AND CLIMB THOSE DREAMS.”
- When singing karaoke, what song do you sing to bring down the house?
Admittedly, and important to note, this is thanks to my daughter: Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber…
- What music gets you fired up?
Bob Marley. Blue Grass. I am already fired up to the tune of life!
- Indonesia: First Ascent, Solo, Southeast Face Batu Daya Tower, Borneo.
- Afghanistan: First Ascent, Solo, of the Ibex Horn Tower, Koh-e-Baba, Bamyan.
- China/Kyrgyzstan Border: First Ascent, Solo, Peak 5253, 5020, West Kokshal Tau/Tien Shan.
- Guyana: First Ascent, Solo, Morangma Tepui, borders of Brazil/Venezuela/Guyana.
- Afghanistan: First Ascent, Solo, Ibex Ear Tower East, Koh-e-Baba, Bamyan.
- Afghanistan: First Ascent, Solo, Ibex Ear Tower West, Koh-e-Baba, Bamyan.
- Guyana: Exploration/Reconnaissance, Solo, new area of jungle walls, Wayalaleng.
- Yemen: First Ascent, West Face Mt. Mashanig, Socotra Island, Sakant Highlands.
- Yemen: First Ascent, South Face, Mt. Mashanig Daughter, Socotra Island, Sakant Highlands.
- China: First Ascents, Solo, Kara Tagh, Shipton’s Arch and connected towers.
- Greenland: First Ascent, East Face, Discovery Wall, Skjoldungen Fjord, Thor’s Land.
- Antarctica: First Descents via Snowboard, Exploration/Reconnaissance, Antarctic Peninsula.
- Papua New Guinea: First Ascents/Exploration/Reconnaissance, Solo, Ferguson/Goodenough Island.
- Africa: Exploration/Reconnaissance, Solo, Towers of Gabon, Sao Tome, West Africa.
- Venezuela: New Route, Acopan Tepui, North Pillar, Gran Sabana, Yune-Ken area.
- Kyrgyzstan: New Route Variation, Alperian Route, Asan, Kara-su Valley, Karavshin.
- Tajikistan: Exploration/Reconnaissance, Northern area bordering Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
- Uzbekistan: Exploration/Reconnaissance, Eastern area bordering Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
- Antarctica: First Ascents, Solo, WindMill Spire, Dragon Ridge, Queen Maud Land.
- China/Kyrgyzstan Border: First Ascent, Tombstone Tower, West Kokshal Tau/Tien Shan.
- Russia: Exploration/Reconnaissance, Solo, Franz Josef Land, Northern Russian Arctic Islands.
- Antarctica: First Ascent, Fenris, West Face, Orvinfjella, Queen Maud Land.
- Greenland: First Ascent, Mount Queen Lilliana, Skjoldungen Fjord, Thor’s Land.
- Venezuela: Exploration/Reconnaissance, Acopan Tepui, Gran Sabana, Yune-Ken area.
- Greenland: First Ascent, Solo, Viking’s Shield, Skjoldungen Fjord, Thor’s Land.
- China: First Traverse/Desert Crossing, Solo, West to East, Taklamakan Desert, Xinjiang.
- Baffin Island: First Ascents/Descents/Exploration/Reconnaissance, Sam Ford Fjord/Eastern.
- Greenland: First Ascent, Solo, Fox Incisor, Fox Jaw Cirque, Tasiilaq Fjord.
- Baffin Island: First Ascent, The Fin, Chinese Wall Massif, Sam Ford Fjord, Nunavut.
- China/Kyrgyzstan Border: Exploration/Reconnaissance/New Routes, West Kok-Shal Tau, Tien Shan.
- Madagascar: First Ascents/Exploration/Reconnaissance, Karambony, Tsaranoro, Andringitra Range.
- Baffin Island: First Ascent, Solo, The Ships Prow, Scott Inlet, Eastern Fjords, Nunavut.
- Greenland: First Ascent/Exploration, Fox Molar, Fox Jaw Cirque, Tasiilaq Fjord.
- Baffin Island: First Ascent, Walker-Citadel, Walker Arm, Sam Ford Fjord, Nunavut.
- Baffin Island: First Ascent, Weeping Wall, Pangnirtung Fjord, West Fjords, Nunavut.
Other Notable Achievements
- Four time winner of the Mug Stumps Award
- Three time winner of the Polartec Challenge Award
- Two time winner of the Shipton-Tilman Grant/Award from W.L.Gore & Associates
- Two time winner of the Lyman Spitzer/American Alpine Club Award
- The Athlete Ambassador of the Year Award from Clif Bar
- The Sharp End Award from The Access Fund
- The Mountaineering Fellowship Award from The American Alpine Club
- The Banff Centre Mountain Grant
- The Helly Hansen Mountain Award from The American Alpine Club
- Winner of the Father of the Year Award more than once, my most proud of course.