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/