Matt Moniz accomplished his mission. After summitting 20,320-ft. Denali, the highest peak in North America on June 3rd, and a quick turnaround in Hawaii, the 12-year-old middle schooler from Boulder, Colo. (who’s sponosored by Mountain Hardwear), with his father, Mike, reached each state’s highest point in the span of 50 days.
“It was a great adventure,” says dad, Mike. “He was a great partner the entire way…and was even hard to keep up with a lot of times.”
In addition to wanting to ‘do something rewarding together,’ the father and son team used their summer adventure to raise awareness for a rare illness, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which Matt’s best friend has. “It has a lot of the same symptoms you get at high altitude,” says Matt. “I wanted a way to help raise awareness for what he’s going through.”
After Denali, the two headed to Mt. Rainier and Mount Hood, the two ominous west coast volcanoes, on July 2 and 4, then headed straight to Billings, Montana, for their 48th high point, Granite Peak. From there, it was straight to Hawaii to hit the trail for the rim of Mauna Kea, their last peak,en route to breaking the standing highpoint record of 45 days, 19 hours and 2 minute, set by Mike Haugen in 2008.
Matt, an Outdoor Nation ambassador, wants to inspire other kids to get outdoors (http://www.outdoornation.org) and with hsi dad has appeared on TV stations and in magazines throughout the country for their efforts. (ABC Denver Channel 7 news piece: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/video/24219580/?taf=den. For more information on Matt’s climb and his fundraising efforts for PAH, visit: http://www.climb7.com/.