Matt Moniz

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Matthew Moniz in June 2015

Matt Moniz Born in February 1998 is an American mountaineer and speaker noted for his ascents of 8,000 meter peaks and several of the Seven Summits.

Early climbs[edit]

In 2007, Moniz climbed to the Mount Everest Base Camp. It was Moniz's first experience with hiking and scaling a mountain. In 2008, following the Nepal trek Moniz summitted Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe. Moniz then climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with his twin sister Kaylee at the age of 10, accompanied by their parents. He also climbed to the summit of Aconcagua, the highest summit in the Americas.[1][2] He was the youngest person to ever reach the summit.[3]

In 2009, Moniz began climbing to raise money for a friend who suffers from Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). He started with a campaign to climb 14 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks in 14 days[4] and completed the task in only eight days. In total he was able to raise over $20,000. This accomplishment was entered into the Congressional Record during a session of the United States Congress on December 11, 2009, by US Congressman Jim Langevin.[5]

50 peaks in 43 days[edit]

Moniz was named a 2010 Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic Magazine, after summiting the highest points in all 50 US states in only 43 days, at the age of 12. It was the fastest time in which the achievement had ever been done (a record he holds with his father Michael Moniz),[1] with an exact time of 43 days, 3 hours, 51 minutes and 9 seconds.[6][7] Moniz is also the youngest climber to reach all 50 high points[8] and the youngest recipient of an Adventurer of the Year award.[6] Moniz authored High Points, a Ladders Reading/Language Arts 4 book with National Geographic Learning on his 50 high points accomplishment.[9] Moniz has made presentations to organizations including the Business Innovation Factory[10] and for a crowd of more than 25,000 in New York's Central Park on behalf of the organization Outdoor Nation.[6]

Pushing Above the High Point[edit]

Moniz was the focus of the 2011 short documentary Pushing Above the Highpoint'', about his attempt to climb to the highpoint of every state in less than 50 days to raise awareness for PAH.[11] The film was the winner of the 2012 Seven Summits award at the Mountain Film Awards, the second place Short Documentary winner at the All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival and an official selection at the Vail Film Festival, Frozen River Film Festival, and Arnold Sports Film Festival.[12][13][14]

8,000 meter peaks[edit]

In 2014 Moniz's father, Michael Moniz, announced a spring expedition to attempt back-to-back-to-back summits of three 8,000-meter peaks, Cho Oyu, Mt. Everest, and Lhotse, in less than 15 days.[15] The expedition was dubbed "The Triple 8" and the team originally planned a first-ever ski descent of the Lhotse Couloir. The team was on Cho Oyu during the 16 April avalanche on Mt. Everest[16] and, out of respect for the Sherpas who lost their lives, reevaluated their plans. On 17 May Moniz successfully summited Cho Oyu.[17] On 24 May 2014, Moniz, his climbing partner Willie Benegas and a small team of Sherpas successfully summited Makalu[18][19] Moniz is the 14th American and youngest climber to summit Makalu.[20]

2015 Everest Expedition and Avalanche[edit]

For his actions in Nepal, Moniz received the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms from the Boy Scouts of America

In April 2015, Moniz and his team left for Nepal for a third expedition: an anticipated summit of Mt. Everest followed by a summit of Lhotse and then an attempt to ski the Lhotse Couloir.[21] As they approached Mt. Everest on April 25, 2015 an earthquake struck Nepal and triggered an avalanche from Pumori into Everest Base Camp. Moniz took cover behind a boulder as a 200 mph powder blast hit the camp. At least 22 people were killed and many injured. Moniz immediately began helping the wounded and with other rescue efforts.[22][23][24] For his actions, Moniz received the Boy Scouts of America’s highest award for lifesaving – The Honor Medal with Crossed Palms.

After the initial earthquake Moniz remained in Nepal to assist with rebuilding efforts. He and his climbing partner Willie Benegas raised enough funds to hire over 800 porters to carry nearly 18 metric tons of World Food Program supplies to the people of the devastated village of Laprak.[25] Moniz stayed in Nepal for month working with a team of international doctors and climbers to care for the injured and build temporary schools and homes in the remote Himalayan mountains.[26]

2018 Mt. Everest and Lhotse Summits[edit]

On May 20, 2018, Moniz and Benegas reached the summit of Mt. Everest.[27] The weather window was solid (dry, low wind speeds) and the team moved quickly. While on the summit, Moniz and his team unfurled the Navy's 7th Fleet flag - a chance meeting with Naval top officers in 2016 inspired the Navy officers to send a signed flag with the team on the expedition[28]. Moniz stated that he was proud to honor the service and sacrifice of the Navy by flying the flag at the highest point on earth. After the Everest summit, the team regrouped and used their acclimatization to become the fourth team to summit Everest and Lhotse within twenty-four hours during the 2018 season[29].

2018 Everest Twin Study[edit]

As part of the 2018 Everest/Lhotse summit expedition, Moniz and Benegas announced that in cooperation with Dr. Christopher Mason, an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City and leader of the NASA gene expression study[30], they will be the lead subjects in the Everest Twin Study. Modeled after the Mason Lab’s recent ground-breaking NASA Twin Study, Moniz and Benegas will be collecting blood samples to compare with their respective twin siblings to research how they genomically adapt to their near-space mission[31]. The goal of the study was to sequence DNA and RNA from the climbers' white blood cells to discover possible changes in gene expression.


In August 2015, Moniz was recognized in front of over 73,000 fans as a Broncos Country Hero at the preseason Denver Broncos versus San Francisco 49ers game.[32] In March 2015, he was honored at the Boulder Citizens' Dinner as the 2015 Boulder Distinguished Eagle Scout. In February 2015, Moniz was presented with the 2015 Outdoor Inspiration Award at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.[33] While in middle school, Moniz received the Winning Attitude award given by CenturyLink, Root Sports and the University of Colorado. The winner is selected from a pool of written essays explaining how their attitude has made a difference in the community.[34]


Moniz is currently a student at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ryan Bradley (2010). "Kid Climber: Matt Moniz climbed to the highest point in all 50 United States in just 43 days". National Geographic Magazine. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  2. ^ Brian Malnes (July 4, 2008). "Twins conquer one of world's highest peaks". Denver Post.
  3. ^ Ryan Morgan (January 11, 2009). "10-year-old's ascent breaks age record". Daily Camera. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  4. ^ "A Higher Calling". CBS. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  5. ^ "CEREAL NIGHT AND RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF PAH AWARENESS – (House of Representatives - December 11, 2009)". United States Congress. December 11, 2009. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Jenn Fields (December 7, 2010). "Boulder's Matt Moniz, 12, one of National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year". Daily Camera. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  7. ^ "VIDEO: Mauna Kea weekly report – 50 in 50 in 50". Big Island Video News. July 29, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  8. ^ Jenn Fields (July 21, 2010). "Boulder 12-year-old Matt Moniz, father Michael Moniz break speed record for states' high points". Colorado Daily. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  9. ^ National Geographic ladders : common core readers. [United States]: National Geographic Learning. 2013. ISBN 9780736293297.
  10. ^ "Matthew Moniz: Standing in a Sea of Clouds". Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  11. ^ "Pushing Above the Highpoint (2011)". Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  12. ^ "2012 Best of Category Award Winners". Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  13. ^ LA Film Festival, All Sports. "2011 Festival Winners". Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  14. ^ Thomas, Ben. "Pushing Above the Highpoint". Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  15. ^ Moye, Jayme. "A Teen Prepares to Take On the Himalayan Triple 8". Men's Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  16. ^ Moye, Jayme. "The Moniz Expedition Reports from Nepal". Men's Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  17. ^ Pokhrel, Rajan (25 May 2014). "16yo Matt ascends Mt Makalu a week after Cho Oyu Feat". The Himalayan. THT Online. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  18. ^ Moye, Jayme. "Matt Moniz, 16, Summits Back-to-Back 8,000 Meter Peaks". Men's Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  19. ^ Lindenberger, Hudson. "Climbing Over Obstacles - Summiting 8000 Meter Peaks the Hard Way". Elevation Outdoors Magazine. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  20. ^ Moye, Jayme. "Matt Moniz, 16, Summits Back-to-Back 8,000-Meter Peaks". Men's Journal. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  21. ^ Arnette, Alan. "Everest 2015 Climbs to Watch". Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  22. ^ Escobedo, Tricia. "Teen Climber Survives Deadly Everest Avalanche". Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  23. ^ Minor, Nathaniel. "Boulder Teen Mountaineer Matt Moniz Witnesses Everest Avalanche, Rescue". Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  24. ^ Lindenberger, Hudson. "Matt Moniz: Entering Everest Base Camp". Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  25. ^ Brennan, Charlie. "Boulder Teen Matt Moniz sets sighs on relief goal in quake-ravaged Nepal". Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  26. ^ Dunlap, Tiare. "After Surviving Deadly Everest Avalanche, Colorado Teen Climber Leads Relief Effort in Nepal". Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  27. ^ Tomer, Chris (20 May 2018). "Matt Moniz summits Everest; next up Lhotse". Fox. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  28. ^ Simkins, JD. "Mountaineer flies 7th Fleet flag on Earth's highest peak". Navy Times. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  29. ^ Nestler, Stefan. "Everest and Lhotse within 24 Hours". Adventure Sports. Deutsche Wells. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  30. ^ Edwards, Monica. "NASA Twins Study Confirms Preliminary Findings". Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  31. ^ Simicevic, Vedrana. "Two mountaineers are trying to recreate NASA's twin study - on Mount Everest". Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  32. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ Lowry, Katie. "2016 Outdoor Inspiration Awards". Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  34. ^ "Sixth 2011-12 Winning Attitude Recipient Announced". Retrieved 31 August 2015.