Originally from California, Michael Covington began as a rock climber and ski racer, and became renowned for his climbing and guiding accomplishments. He has decades of experience doing difficult and committed climbs in Alaska and elsewhere. He was instrumental in the rapid rise in climbing standards in Colorado during the 1970s, and founded Fantasy Ridge guide service at Rocky Mountain National Park and Denali National Park. 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 some of these climbs, but led his clients safely beyond their abilities. Michael eventually moved to live a quiet life in a tipi near Telluride, Colorado.