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Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

Guide: Washington

Mike is an IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide – certified in the Ski, Alpine, and Rock disciplines. Mike started skiing at an early age and was introduced to rock and alpine climbing in his late teens. He began instructing and guiding in 1993 and has since guided rock, ice, and alpine climbing, backcountry skiing, high altitude glacier mountaineering, and he is an AIARE Avalanche Course Leader. Mike has worked throughout the American West and spends a significant amount of time abroad each year. In his twenties, Mike focused almost purely on rock climbing and accumulated many achievements such as Facile (5.14b), numerous big walls, long traditional routes, and first ascents. Mike lived “on the road” for over a decade working on the YOSAR valley team (Yosemite Search and Rescue), instructing and guiding rock climbing, and managing safety in the Argentine off-Broadway aerial show called De La Guarda.

In his late twenties, Mike found his way back to the mountains and continued his alpine & ski guiding career in the Cascades, the Colorado Rockies, the Tetons, and internationally. Mike has a B.S. degree in Recreation Management, an M.A. in Contemplative Counseling Psychology. Mike enjoys sharing in his guest’s pursuit of challenge and adventure and living life to its fullest. He lives in Estes Park, Colorado.

Significant Ascents

Aconcagua (Direct Polish Glacier – solo, False Polish Traverse, Normal Route)
Chimborazo (ski descent)
Cotopaxi (north and south faces)
Cayambe (ski descent)
Illiniza Norte
Pico de Orizaba
Nanda Kini (Indian Himalaya)
Lamchir (Indian Himalaya)
Volcan Lanin
Laginhorne (Alps)
Nadelhorne (Alps)
Mt. Rainier (DC, Kautz, Fuhrer Finger)
Mt. Baker
Mt. Shuksan & other N. Cascades peaks
Mt. Hood
Mt. Jefferson
Mt. Adams
South and Middle Sisters & other Central Cascades peaks
Grand, Middle, South Tetons (multiple routes)
Gannett Peak
Colorado 14ers (many)
Mt. Whitney
Mt. Shasta (many routes, ski descent)
El Capitan, Yosemite (many routes)
Rainbow Wall (Red Rocks)
Dogma (5.11+, IV, first ascent)
The Diamond (Longs Peak)
Facile (5.14b)


AMGA Certified Rock Guide
AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
AMGA Certified Ski Guide
IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide
American Avalanche Inst. (AAI) Level III
AIARE Avalanche Course Leader
Wilderness First Responder & CPR


  • Food Planning for Mountaineering, Part I: Strategy

    By Mike Hawkins 10 days x 3,000 calories per day = 150 Clif Bars or 60 PB&J sandwiches Planning and packing food for long trips in the backcountry can be challenging and time consuming – but the last thing you want is to eat energy bars for 6 days straight. Climbers need to consider several […]

  • Single Wall Tents – Condensation Factories

    Most tent manufacturers these days offer a superlight, two pound (or less!) tent. These tents are simple to setup, occupy a very small footprint, and again – weigh in at about or under two pounds. When choosing a tent, it’s easy to focus on those factors and arrive at the conclusion that a single-walled shelter […]

  • Alpine Start Breakfast

    When summit morning arrives, it’s important to move efficiently through packing, preparation, and last but not least – breakfast! Mike Hawkins talks through a few of the foods we like to eat for quick fuel on alpine start mornings. Whether it’s midnight or 3:00am, these options are our go-to fast breakfasts.  

Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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