Adventurer of the Year: Mike Libecki


Mike Libecki
Mike Libecki’s first ascent of Greenland’s Ataatap tower, 4,610 feet, free solo.
At first glance, Mike Libecki is exactly the kind of explorer I always wanted to be growing up. Passionate, buoyant, endlessly curious and willing to employ any skill, any sport, any amount of travel to get to the most remote corners of the earth. And I mean REMOTE.

As Fitz Cahall notes in his interview with Mike for Nat Geo, Mike has undertaken 39 expeditions so far. (Actually, he’s on number 40 in Antarctica as I write this) and very few of them look the same.

Some guys go for mountains. Some guys go for powder or rivers. Libecki goes for what everyone else has forgotten. Or probably never heard of. Or couldn’t find on a map if you paid them. Glaciers in Greenland? No problem. Jungle outcroppings in Borneo? He’s done that. Kite skiing in Afghanistan? Check. Climbing in Antarctica? 4 times. You get the picture. The man gets around.

And how do you not like a guy who brings along a different mask for each year in the Chinese Zodiac. And wears it for the every summit?

A look at his “Around the World” video (14 min) gives you a pretty good idea, not just of the roads he’s taken, but the ebullient personality he brings. There’s an exchange in there with some Mongol herdsmen which is classic. You show me your dance, I’ll show you my banjo. Honestly, if more Americans traveled this way – eager to learn, help, charm, and disarm – we’d have a lot more cred with the rest of the world. Check out more Libecki at MikeLibecki.com. And don’t forget to vote on Nat Geo’s blog.

Mike Libecki
Mike Libecki’s passion for exploring is infectious!
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