Wilford graduated from Poudre High School in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1977 and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for one semester. He began climbing in 1970, and became a leading rock climber while still in high school, gradually adding bold ice climbing, alpine rock and alpine mixed routes to his accomplishments. Wilford is considered a staunch traditionalist when it comes to the style and ethics of climbing.
He was married in 2002 and lives in Fort Collins with his wife and two children.
- 1976 Diagonal Direct, (V 5.9 A4 800'), Longs Peak, RMNP, Colorado, USA. First winter ascent with Ken Duncan.
- 1981 Hypertension (5.12b) and Remote Control (5.12c) Vedauwoo, Wyoming, USA. First ascent with Skip Guerin.
- 1983 Gray Pillar/D7, (V1 5.9 A4 1500'), Longs Peak, RMNP, Colorado, USA. Winter solo enchainment.
- 1984 Risky Business, (IV 5.11+ R/X 800'), Chiefs Head, RMNP, Colorado, USA. FA with Jeff Lowe.
- 1985 Bird Brain Boulevard, (IV WI5 M6, 1000'), Ouray, Colorado, USA. FA with Jeff Lowe (climber) and Charlie Fowler.
- 1988 Original Route, (ED2), North Face of The Eiger, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland. First American solo ascent.
- 1991 North Face/North Ridge, (VI 5.9 A3), Mount Alberta, Canadian Rockies, Canada. Solo ascent.
- 1992 Run for Cover, (VII 5.11 A3, 1000m), Trango Tower, Karakorum, Pakistan. FA with Greg Child.
- 1999 Pugilist at Rest, (VI 5.10 A3 M5, 1000m), Mount Alverstone, Saint Elias Mountains, Canada. FA with Barry Blanchard.
- 2000 The Southeast Face (VI 5.10 A1, 1050m), The Battleaxe, Kangikitsoq Fjord, Greenland. First ascent with Mark Richey, Aug 8-9, 2000.
- 2000 The West Pillar (V 5.11 R, 575m), The Warrior, Kangikitsoq Fjord, Greenland. First ascent with Mark Richey, Aug 15, 2000.
- 2001 Barbarossa, (VI 5.9 A2 M5), North Face of Yamandaka, Karakorum, India. FA with Mark Richey.
- 2018 "Old Man of Stoer"
- 2019 “Picu Uriellu”
- Alone on the North Face of Alberta, in The High Lonesome, Epic Solo Climbing Stories edited by John Long, Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT, USA, 1999.
- "Mark Wilford curriculum vitae". Alpinist. Jackson, Wyoming, USA: Alpinist Magazine. 2007 (19): 10–11. March 2007.
- "Patagonia Alpine Climbing Ambassador Mark Wilford". Patagonia website. Patagonia. Retrieved December 7, 2008.
- Carpenter-Ogden, Kristin (June 4, 2007). "Mark Wilford Joins Metolius As Sales Representative For The Midwest". OIA Industry News. Outdoor Industry Association. Retrieved December 7, 2008.[permanent dead link]
- Ritchey, Mark (2001). John Harlin III (ed.). "In the Footsteps of Vikings". American Alpine Journal. Seattle, Washington, USA: American Alpine Club / Mountaineers Books. 43 (75): 98–105. ISBN 0930410890.
- Richey, Mark (2002). John Harlin II (ed.). "Barbarossa". American Alpine Journal. Seattle, WA, USA: American Alpine Club / Mountaineers Books. 44 (76): 156–165. ISBN 0930410912.