Michal Watson

ACA level I SUP instuctor

I grew up in North Texas with my mom, dad, little sister and our dog. I was homeschooled my elementary years and because of that, spent a lot of time outside exploring the “wilderness” behind our suburban home. My parents weren’t interested in sleeping outside, so much of my outdoor experiences depended on friends and girl scouts and 4H. Some of my most memorable experiences were canoeing portions of the Rio Grande, backpacking in Colorado, and earning a girl scout badge every summer for sleeping outside in temperatures over 105 degrees. Throughout my childhood, we frequented my grandparents’ homes in Alabama and New Mexico. I still feel nostalgic when I feel the humidity and smell the salty air of the gulf or see the arid and flat landscape of southern New Mexico. 

After graduating high school, I chose a college in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. I graduated with a degree in Math and Science Education. I spent many weekends during those four years camping and hiking. Despite Arkansas being home to some great climbing, I didn’t get interested in the sport until my move to Madison.

In 2011, I first visited Devils Lake as a climber. I loved my first experience and quickly joined the climbing gym to build my climbing skills. After a year, I joined Devils Lake Climbing Guides as an assistant guide. I have been working as a lead guide since 2016 and love sharing my passion for climbing with others.