We hear a lot about young people climbing big mountains. However, we rarely hear about the steady-handed partners climbing alongside them and keeping an eye out for them.
In 2010, I covered 12 -year-old Matt Moniz as he set a High Pointer record by standing on the highest point of each of the 50 states in under 50 days. His dad Mike was with him on every climb, from Florida's 345-foot-high Britton Hill to the summit of Denali. Now, Mike is setting out on his own. This spring, he plans to climb Everest, Lhotse, and Cho Oyu—all in a single push.
Mike is not a guide: he is a regular father with a real job. So attempting three 8,000-meter peaks during the same expedition is ambitious, especially considering that his highest thus far is 6,962-meter Aconcagua. But Mike is a case study in preparation and training, and is approaching this summit with a meticulous attention to detail. Not be left out, Matt is going back to Everest Base Camp too.
How is Matt these days? Any recent climbs?
Matt is doing really well – his latest climbing project was in the Bolivian Cordillera Real, attempting three 6000-meter peaks in 6 days, summit to summit. Always thinking ahead, he’s been looking for a possible “first ascent” or something ambitious. I’m not sure what he has in mind but he’s creative. This summer he’s planning a trip to Spain to connect with his climbing hero Chris Sharma for some rock climbing and Spanish lessons.