7th grader sets 50 states speed record

Mike and Matt Moniz on Mt. McKinley. (Photo: Mike Moniz/ Mountain Hardwear)

Got an outdoor bucket list you've been slowly ticking off? If you're over the age of 12, you should check this out for comparison's sake.

On June 3, Boulder, Colorado, 7th grader Matt Moniz and his father, Mike, summited Denali in Alaska (20,320 feet). Last Friday, July 16, they reached the top of Mauna Kai in Hawaii (13,796 feet) at 1:55 p.m. (Hawaiian time). And in the 43 days, 3 hours, 51 minutes, and 9 seconds in between they summitted all the other 48 state high points in the Unted States, setting a new speed record.

Moniz is no stranger to mountains, growing up climbing and skiing in the mountains around Boulder. At 9 he trekked to Everest base camp and summitted Nepal's 18,501-foot Kala Patar. By 10 he'd climbed three of the world's seven summits (Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, and Elbrus). And last summer he climbed fourteen of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks in eight days to raise awareness and thousands of dollars for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a terminal disease from which his best friend, Ian Hess, suffers.

Wow. I'm not sure if I should be envious, tired, impressed, astounded, or some combination by that list of young accomplishments. I do hope that when other kids hear about super kids like Matt they stop and think, hey, the outdoors sounds cool. Maybe I'll go hiking, climbing, or skiing.

Now I'm going to reflect on my own daring accomplishments from my middle school years, like riding my bike around town (without a helmet!), climbing the tree in my backyard, and...oh wait, I've got nothing.

More info on Matt Moniz: http://climb7.com/


Filed under: People & Organizations, Kids

Comments

noddlehead
0 reviewer rep
263 forum posts
July 23, 2010 at 11:27 p.m. (EDT)

It is great but my dad was working when I was in the 7th grade. He could have never afforded the time, or expense.


Not to be a party poop.

whomeworry
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts
July 24, 2010 at 5:40 a.m. (EDT)

Ultimately the biggest impression this gives me is how much it goes against my sensibilities. No time to smell the flowers, we are in too big of a hurry. No time even to foster a father son bond, we are too busy recovering from exhaustion, jet lag, and rushing about to ponder the greater scheme of things. Not to mention the gluttonous amount of resources expended to facilitate their fifteen minutes of obscure fame. It is an extravagant expression of devotion, but like those over the top $60K sweet sixteen parties, it is way over the top excessive in its own way. Someone should introduce these two to spending a day dangling a worm off a pier.
Ed

GaryPalmer
210 reviewer rep
4,346 forum posts
July 26, 2010 at 7:09 p.m. (EDT)

Must have a lot of frequent flyer miles racked up. 50 states is 43 days.

Bill S
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,445 reviewer rep
5,389 forum posts
July 26, 2010 at 9:21 p.m. (EDT)

Note that they started the count at the summit of Denali, not the start of the climb, much less their arrival in Talkeetna to await clear enough weather to fly onto the glacier. This is the real problem with this kind of "record". In my various visits to Denali, I racked up a total of a bit over 3 weeks sitting in tents at the 17,000 foot camp (the high camp that is only a few hours short of the summit) and a bit over 2 weeks sitting in tents at Genet Basin (the 14,000 foot camp).

I have visited a number of State High Points, and gotten weathered off several - for example, New Mexico's High Point, Wheeler Peak, where I, along with another hiker, turned back in a September whiteout blizzard less than 500 feet from the summit (I have also been on top of two other Wheeler Peaks in other states). Plus, I have driven to the top of several, including twice to the "summit" of mighty Mount Sunflower (High Point of Kansas, close to the Colorado border, a couple miles off Interstate 80). Quite a few of the High Points are drive-ups (including one which is on a road crossing the state boundary - stop right at the border going uphill into the neighboring state).

It is possible to pick off clusters of High Points, in some cases a half dozen in a day (short drive, park and walk 50 to 100 feet, take a picture, run back to the car and head for the next - you do need to consider traffic, though).

The western High Points are a bit harder. Alaska (Denali), Washington (Rainier), Oregon (Hood), Idaho (Borah), Montana (Granite), and Wyoming (Gannet) are all technical climbs (Class 3 or 4, with Denali Alaska Grade 2). California (Whitney), Nevada (Boundary), and Utah (Kings) are either long day hikes or require a backpack camp. Arizona (Humphreys), New Mexico (Wheeler), and Colorado (Elbert) are moderate day hikes. All of these are a full day's drive apart, and all are subject to significant weather.

Point is, luck with weather plays a part.

Now, the other question is - is it fair to drive to the top of the peaks you can drive to (16 of them are considered "drive-ups")? In other words, is it fair to take the toll road to the top of Washington (New Hampshire) or drive to the top of Mitchell (North Carolina), when there are really nice hiking trails? Mauna Kea (Hawaii, ok, you have to walk almost a quarter mile from the car, which removes it from the "drive-up" list) is only accessible as a drive, so that's probably fair, as are Sunflower (Kansas), Panorama Point (Nebraska), and Indiana's unnamed high point (but you need to call the landowner, a very nice lady who invited me to stop by for refreshments). Many of the eastern US high points are either driveups or within 100 feet of the parking lot.

Lest anyone think I am a "High Pointer", far from it. I have visited 12 of the 50 (and still lack one state of having set foot in all 50 states - somehow, I have never been in North Dakota).

noddlehead
0 reviewer rep
263 forum posts
July 27, 2010 at 11:35 p.m. (EDT)

Note that they started the count at the summit of Denali, not the start of the climb, much less their arrival in Talkeetna to await clear enough weather to fly onto the glacier. This is the real problem with this kind of "record". In my various visits to Denali, I racked up a total of a bit over 3 weeks sitting in tents at the 17,000 foot camp (the high camp that is only a few hours short of the summit) and a bit over 2 weeks sitting in tents at Genet Basin (the 14,000 foot camp).

I have visited a number of State High Points, and gotten weathered off several - for example, New Mexico's High Point, Wheeler Peak, where I, along with another hiker, turned back in a September whiteout blizzard less than 500 feet from the summit (I have also been on top of two other Wheeler Peaks in other states). Plus, I have driven to the top of several, including twice to the "summit" of mighty Mount Sunflower (High Point of Kansas, close to the Colorado border, a couple miles off Interstate 80). Quite a few of the High Points are drive-ups (including one which is on a road crossing the state boundary - stop right at the border going uphill into the neighboring state).

It is possible to pick off clusters of High Points, in some cases a half dozen in a day (short drive, park and walk 50 to 100 feet, take a picture, run back to the car and head for the next - you do need to consider traffic, though).

The western High Points are a bit harder. Alaska (Denali), Washington (Rainier), Oregon (Hood), Idaho (Borah), Montana (Granite), and Wyoming (Gannet) are all technical climbs (Class 3 or 4, with Denali Alaska Grade 2). California (Whitney), Nevada (Boundary), and Utah (Kings) are either long day hikes or require a backpack camp. Arizona (Humphreys), New Mexico (Wheeler), and Colorado (Elbert) are moderate day hikes. All of these are a full day's drive apart, and all are subject to significant weather.

Point is, luck with weather plays a part.

Now, the other question is - is it fair to drive to the top of the peaks you can drive to (16 of them are considered "drive-ups")? In other words, is it fair to take the toll road to the top of Washington (New Hampshire) or drive to the top of Mitchell (North Carolina), when there are really nice hiking trails? Mauna Kea (Hawaii, ok, you have to walk almost a quarter mile from the car, which removes it from the "drive-up" list) is only accessible as a drive, so that's probably fair, as are Sunflower (Kansas), Panorama Point (Nebraska), and Indiana's unnamed high point (but you need to call the landowner, a very nice lady who invited me to stop by for refreshments). Many of the eastern US high points are either driveups or within 100 feet of the parking lot.

Lest anyone think I am a "High Pointer", far from it. I have visited 12 of the 50 (and still lack one state of having set foot in all 50 states - somehow, I have never been in North Dakota).

You missed out on feed corn in North Dakota.

Edited for Language, in accordance w/ Trailspace community rules and Guidelines - F-Klock

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