Mike Lohre is a small business owner(Mike’s Mix) and family man with a great plot of land on the Wisconsin river. If you were at our climbing festival in the spring of 2015 you have him to thank for the fantastic spot we had! He’s an avid first ascensionist and has been climbing all over the Baraboo hills for a number of years now.
1. How do you make your living? Mixer of fine food powders.
2. How long have you been climbing? 16 years.
3. What’s your favorite route and why? Gargantua, Old Sandstone Devil’s Lake. I have probably climbed this route more than any other so I must really like it.
4. What’s your favorite boulder problem and why? The Flux Boulder Classic. A nice pure line nestled under a big white pine kind of hidden in the talus. Tricky, technical and fun; I think this problem epitomizes Devil’s Lake Bouldering.
5. What made you want to be a board member of the WCA? I love outdoor climbing and the wild and beautiful places that it takes me. Climbing has gained much popularity in the last couple of decades and I see that trend continuing in the future. I wanted to be part of the WCA board to be a voice in the climbing community that supports access to these natural areas while conducting ourselves with a wilderness ethic keeping areas wild, pristine and relatively unscathed for future generations to enjoy.
6. What excites you the most about the future of climbing in Wisconsin? Anything that gets people outside and developing a lasting and meaningful relationship with wilderness gets me excited. Only individuals that have cultivated a love for natural places will end up fighting to keep them wild when questions arise on how to utilize public lands. Climbers who treat these areas with respect would make excellent stewards and champions for natural areas.
7. What’s your favorite memory of climbing in the Midwest? My birthday, December 20th, I think it was 2006. I had been “climbing” outdoors for a few seasons but treated climbing much like trail running or hiking; an occasional fun pastime that got me outside. It wasn’t until that fall, when I met a couple of climbers at Devil’s Lake, that my eyes were opened to a technical level of climbing I hadn’t realized existed before. That fall, I visited the lake often, and slowly ticked off some of the easier classics like Birch Tree Crack, Calipigenous and Upper Diagonal. My birthday was a particularly beautiful December day and I was amazed that I could climb in a t-shirt, enjoy the solar collecting qualities of the east bluff and still benefit from the friction of extremely low humidity. That year, I had worked Beginner’s Demise several times and hadn’t managed a send. That changed on my birthday when I experienced the elation of putting together a climb that had frustrated me and also marked a new level of climbing for me. It also demonstrated what progression and persistence could accomplish. Upon completion of the climb, I took a few moments to contemplate my greatness at the top while enjoying the beautiful solitude that one can experience only in winter on the east bluff. A noise beneath me snapped my out of my reverie, and I was instantly filled with humility with the realization of what a novice I still was, my friend/belay had soloed up behind me to congratulate me and share the view.