16-year-old Matt Moniz from Colorado, USA, was busy with his ‘homework’ at a hotel in Kathmandu on late Wednesday afternoon. The ‘homework’, here, does not denote a school assignment. His concerns transcend the teenager’s age. Already a conqueror of the Mt. Cho-Oyu (8,201m), the homework Matt was found carrying was for a yet another feat. The next destination of the young climber is Mt. Makalu (8,463m).Matt, the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2012, left for an alpine ascent of Mt. Makalu on Thursday morning with a senior climber Willie Benegas and four Sherpa staff. While the team scales heights, Mike’s dad Michael (Mike) and fellow climbers Jim Walkley and Charley Mace will be eyeing for a feat even bigger for the next time.Mike said adding Jim and himself are still working to obtain permit from the Chinese authority to summit Mt Everest from north Col this season. “CMA issues are being discussed and we are optimistic,” daddy Mike said, expressing hope that Matt and his team would make it to the Mt Everest as well.
According to Mike, Matt is an ambassador for Outdoor Nation, Mountain Hardwear and Zamberian Athlete. “Matt and the team have set target for May 25 to summit Mt Makalu,” he said, adding that the team has already reached at the Makalu Advance Base Camp on Thursday afternoon.An alpinist, an adventurer, an advocate and an ambassador, Matt’s passion for outdoor activities include sports including skiing, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking. A step further, the concerns of the young sportsman are also for the protection of land that makes these activities possible.Matt who holds the speed record for completing the 50 High Points in the 50 States, starting from the summit of Denali in Alaska to the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii in 43 days, 3 hours and 51 minutes, says he is climbing his way through the Seven Summits having summited Aconcagua (22,841 ft) in South America, Denali (20,237 ft) in North America, Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft) in Africa and Mount Elbrus (18,510) in Europe.
“I’ve ice climbed and trained in the Alaska Range, I’ve raised awareness for Pulmonary Hypertension by climbing 14 of Colorado’s ‘Fourteeners’ in eight days and I’ve led a trek to Everest Base Camp with a summit of Kala Patthar (18,550 ft),” Matt described his feat in a web post.
As the expeditions at the Mt. Everest were halted for this season owing to the deadliest ever avalanche in April this year, Mike said that his team will also try the world’s highest peak next year from Nepal side.