It’s the knowledge gained to advance the cutting edge of science. It’s the rebuilding of communities devastated by natural disasters. It’s instilling a passion for the outdoors in the next generation. It’s promoting awareness of a life-threatening illness to push research to the next-level. The challenge isn’t that the mountain is there, it’s what I can do along the way to serve. Alpine climbing has taught me many important lessons, from perseverance to appreciation of the cultural and geographic diversity of our planet. Every step is a new destination.
Click on the images for more information.
Located in Alaska at a height of 20,310ft, Matt summitted this mountain on June 3rd 2010 as part of his 50 states expedition.
Located in Argentina and part of the Andes mountain range, Matt reached the summit of 22,841ft on December 16th, 2008 with his father Mike Moniz and friend John Banks.
Located in Europe at a height of 18,510ft, Mt. Elbrus is part of the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russa and is also a dormant volcano. Matt Reached the summit of this peak in 2008.
Mt. Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano located in Tanzania with a summit height of 19,341ft. Matt climbed this peak soon after summitting Elbrus along with his twin sister, Kaylee, and mother and father.
At a height of 16,050ft, Vinson Massif is the highest peak in Antarctica and is located 750 miles from the South Pole. Matt has yet to summit this remote peak but it is still on the list as he aims to complete the 7 summits.
Located in the Himalayas on the border of China and Tibet, Mt. Everest is considered the tallest mountain on Earth with a height of 29,029ft. Matt and his team have planned to conquer Everest on several occasions but their attempt in 2014 was cut short after an avalanche that killed 16 sherpas. Their following attempt in 2015 was also cancelled after an earthquake triggred an avalanche through Everest base camp and Matt stayed to assist in rescue efforts.
Also called Puncak Jaya, this peak is the highest on the continent of Australia at a height of 16,024ft. Matt has not yet attempted the summit of Puncak Jaya, but will have to if he hopes to complete the 7 summits.
Everest: 5/20 - 04:59flag
Lhotse: 5/21 - 12:45
After spending almost an hour waiting for the sun at the Hillary Step, Matt and Willie started their final push towards the top of the world and summitted Mt. Everest not long after. This is Matt’s 3rd 8000 meter peak (Cho Oyu, Makalu and Everest) and Willie’s 13th Summit of Mt. Everest.
A day after reaching the summit of Everest, Matt and Willie are now at the peak of Lhotse, the 4th highest (27,940ft) mountain on the planet.
This time for a third summit attempt with new sponsors and a cutting-edge opportunity to expand the horizon of science. As they head to the highest and most extreme point on the planet, Matt and his fellow climber, Willie Benegas, in cooperation with The Mason Lab will be the lead subjects in the Everest Twin Study. Modeled after the Mason Lab’s recent ground-breaking NASA Twin Study, Matt and Willie will be collecting blood samples to compare with their respective twin siblings to research how they genomically adapt to their near space mission. Willie will provide blood samples to aid in NASA's study of the effect of altitude and microgravity on DNA.
The Twins Study was the first study of its kind to compare molecular profiles of identical twin astronauts with one in space and another on Earth.
Matt and Willie will be providing frequent blood samples at varying altitudes on Everest in order to provide the Nasa Twins Study valuable data concerning the effects of altitude on DNA.
The Mason laboratory is working on a ten-phase, 500-year plan for the survival of the human species on Earth, in space, and on other planets.
Boy Scouts of America
In 2012 Matt was awarded the highest honor by the Boy Scouts of America–Eagle Scout status. Matt earned 21 merit badges and demonstrated exceptional spirit through the Boy Scout Oath and Law all the while performing extrordinary acts of service and leadership.
Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Matt gave the keynote address on "PHA tomorrow: Scaling Mountains to Achieve Our Dreams" on the final day of the Pulmonary Hypertension Associaztion's 10th national Conference to an audience of doctors, patients, and caregivers.
Matt was inspired to advance the awareness and activisim surrounding Pulmonary Hypertension because of his long-time friend Ian Hess who suffers from the disease but also remains healthy and thriving partly due to Matt's efforts.
American Himalayan Foundation
Inspired to give back to the people of Nepal, Matt and five of his friends created Teens Against Trafficking and raised $12,800 to prevent girl trafficking in the Himalayas. This event was part of the American Himalayan Foundation's Project: Stop Girl Trafficking Initiative in March 2012.
Amani Children's Home
Amani Children's home is dedicated to the protection of Tanzania's most vulnerable population: street children and AIDS orphans. Since its founding in 2001, Amani Children's Home has rescued over 290 children from the perils of life on the streets where shildren face a high risk of HIV transmission and malnutrition.
Edmund Hillary School. Khumjang, Nepal
Education is one of Himalayan Trust’s prime projects. The first education project began with the building of its first school in Khumjung village in 1960 and after that, more than 27 schools have been built and continued to support them. Today, there are total 63 schools in the same area where the 27 Himalayan Trust schools are located. In order to provide equal opportunity of quality education in the same area, Himalayan Trust has taken the responsibility to support all these 63 schools including the 27 schools.
Joel turned his childhood obsession with snow and weather into a career focused on recreational weather forecasting. Joel received a degree in Meteorology with highest distinction from Penn State in 2003 and Masters in Environmental Studies and Business from the University of Colorado in 2006.
After a few years weather forecasting for a hurricane insurance company, Joel jumped ship to focus fulltime on his hobby-turned-business, the Colorado Powder Forecast. While winter is spent forecasting big powder days, summer is the time for forecasting afternoon lightning storms to help bikers and hikers stay safe. When his eyes aren’t locked on a computer screen with weather data, Joel loves to ski (resort & backcountry), bike (road & mountain), hike, and head east to chase the occasional tornado and severe lightning storm.
Charley lives in Colorado and has been climbing all of his life. He is one of Americas most respected and successful Himalayan mountaineers with ascents of four 8000 meter peaks; Everest, K2, Manaslu, and Gasherbrum II. He began guiding in 1993 and loves to share his passion for the mountains on trips all over the world while focusing on participant enjoyment and safety.
In 2001, Charley was hired as a guide and cameraman for The National Federation of the Blind’s Everest Expedition which put the first blind man on the summit of Mt Everest. He loves sharing the challenges and rewards of Himalayan peaks but is just as pleased to introduce folks to the pleasures of warm sunny rock climbing in the lower 48. Charley has climbed on every continent; successfully guiding Everest, Kilimanjaro, Mt Kenya, Mt Vinson, Mt Elbrus, Thailand rock and Ouray ice.
Charley is an avid rock and ice climber as well as a strong backcountry skier and trail runner. He has a B.A. in Geology, an MBA in Energy Finance, and is a Certified Wilderness First Responder.
Special Medical Advisor
Mindy received a bachelor's degree in biology from Mississippi College in Clinton and completed her medical training at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, as well as her infectious disease fellowship. Dr. Prewitt is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease Society of America, American Medical Association and Mississippi State Medical Association.
M.D. Emergency Medicine
Dan is an Emergency Physician in Boulder, Colorado with an active interest in Sports and Environmental Medicine. He has also served as a Flight Physician with UMASS Memorial's Life flight helicopter service.
He has multiple marathon, Ironman, and ultramarathon finishes including the Leadville Trail 100 (5 times), the Leadman Race Series, and was the winner of the 24 Hours of Boulder in 2006.
Dan rode on a four person relay team in the 2007 Race Across America, and recently completed a four day, self-supported swim around Isla Espiritu Santo in Baja, MX.
He had the most fun, though, summiting Denali with the Matt and his father Mike.
Outdoor Educator and Industry Expert
Gareth, a Welshman, has been involved in the outdoor industry for over 20 years. He has taught and guided in many wild parts of the world including the French and Swiss Alps, the Pyrenees, Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, South America, Asia and many corners of the US. Gareth directed Cornell University's Outdoor Education Dept, was a lecturer with Prescott College's Adventure Education Dept., a guide at The National Outdoor Leadership School, before venturing into the business world. Most recently he is the National Sales Manager for Ryders eyewear in the US, and is co-owner of OutdoorProlink.com an on-line ecommerce outdoor equipment website. Previously he has held positions with PlanetOutdoors.com, Circadence Corp., was the VP Marketing and Sales for Lowe Alpine in the US and also the VP Sales for Mountainsmith in the US.
Gareth has lived and worked full-time in the US since 1988. He is an accomplished kayaker, climber, mountaineer and telemark skier. He recently started his own company called OutdoorProlink.com which sells equipment to outdoor professionals.
Gareth has been to altitude many times, has climbed Denali in Alaska, Mount Everest, Nepal via the South Side, also high altitude peaks in Ecuador, and Mexico.