Mike Dobie spent the first 24 years of his life in the Pacific Northwest of the United States watching people climb before he finally decided to start climbing himself. After successfully tackling small alpine goals, like the North Ridge of Mount Baker, he was introduced to traditional rock climbing. He learned quickly and felt right at home with the local developers who taught him the art and skills of first ascents.
After two years of climbing he got the opportunity to give up his American life and move to China. Since then Dobie has established China's first traditional rock climbing area, a high altitude bouldering and climbing dreamland on the Tibetan plateau, and has authored the guidebooks "Liming Rock" and "Southwestern Sichuan Bouldering and Climbing." With as little as 3.5 years of climbing experience, he is leading the way in exploring, documenting, and opening up new areas for the Chinese and international climbing communities.
Birthday? March 14, 1983.
Year you first started climbing? 2008.
Three climbing achievements you are most proud of? My greatest climbing achievements revolve around establishing traditional routes and new climbing areas in China, including Liming, Yunnan and Dao Cheng, Sichuan. Also, authoring two guidebooks, Liming Rock and Southwestern Sichuan Climbing and Bouldering, as a service to the climbing community in China. Lastly, sharing and bringing traditional rock climbing to China.
Memory/story of the first time you ever went climbing? The first time I went trad climbing a buddy literally dragged me up an off width in Leavenworth, WA. I think it was a 5.7. By the time I got to the top I was basically one big road rash. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone do this?" but for some reason I came back and gave climbing another shot.
Favorite climbing area and why? I absolutely love to climb in Liming, Yunnan, China. The climbing is a great combination of Creek style crack climbing and a Squamish sense of adventure.
Best climbing experience? My favorite climbing experiences are witnessing friends or clients get really stoked about climbing. This could be summiting a mountain, finishing a climb or just having a good time in the outdoors.
Worst climbing experience? My buddy Darryl Kralovic and I attempted an unclimbed 5300 meter peak in Yunnan. At 4300 meters an unexpected wind storm hit us and flattened our base camp. The wind picked me up off the ground and blew me a good five meters down the mountain. We proceeded to evacuate: abandoning all the gear and ultimately learning a bit about mountaineering in some of the most ruthless mountains in the world.
What's your dream trip? Where? With who? Man there is a part of me that still wants to climb and mountaineer in Nepal. Even an expedition up Everest would be a good time.
Guilty pleasure? I LOVE VIDEO GAMES OF ALL SORTS! Even on expedition I will find a way to play video games.
BD gear you use every time you go climbing? Camalot C4, Alpine Draws, HoodWire carabiners, Momentum harness, Vector helmet, Black Diamond haul bags and ATC.
Something that annoys you while climbing? Man, when my rack gets stuck on something...
What/who inspires you in climbing? Probably Fred Beckey, because he has taken the time to document the routes and areas he has developed and made it available for everyone!
Favorite après-climb meal? When I am in North America it is Red Robin. In China I eat stir-fried something and on a good day I might have chocolate.
Favorite climbing flick? I haven't seen very many, but I really like the Return To Sender flick, especially the segment about Indian Creek.
What's in your iPod? Really cheesy electronic music. Depeche Mode, Mind in a Box, Apoptygma Berzerk, Seabound and other bands that no one has heard of.
Strangest place you've ever woken up? A long time ago, when I used to drink, I woke up in bed with my friend Seth. We had no idea what happened the night before or how we got there. We had our clothes on...so that was good.
Strangest person you've ever woken up with? Again, waking up next to Seth.
Three things you'd never roadtrip without? I never go anywhere without my insulated mug. Coffee. Coffee filter.
What's your dream job? Climb all around the world, develop routes, and get paid for it.
How are you training when you are not climbing? I do lock off pull-ups, go jogging and every other day is core day. I just started doing a little bit of work on the hang board.
If you could steal one thing and not get caught, what would it be? Enough money to pay off my student loans.
If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive) who would they be? Jesus Christ, Magellan and The Iceman (the really old mummy found in a glacier in the Alps).
Do you have any tattoos or piercings? No piercings, but I do have a tattoo on my right shoulder blade. There are two Norwegian symbols that I put together that mean heavenly power. Unfortunately, it kind of looks like the Mitsubushi symbol.