Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Michael Covington

Michael Covington Michael is the founder of Fantasy Ridge guiding service and is renowned for his climbing and guiding accomplishments. He has decades of experience doing difficult and committed climbs in Alaska and elsewhere. Long before the ascendance of "adventure tourism," Michael was putting together guided trips that pushed the envelope of the possible. While the West Buttress route was becoming the standard "milk route" up Denali, Michael was challenging his clients with risky climbs on the West Rib and the Cassin Ridge. Even Michael's peers seem to marvel that he has not only survived but led his clients safely beyond their abilities. Michael shares some truly astonishing stories of epics and near misses, and the philosophy that sustains him. He reflects on his gradual disenchantment with commercial guiding, and wonders aloud about how places like Talkeetna can keep their pioneer character in the face of rapid development.
Michael Covington appears in the following new Jukebox projects: