Matt Moniz summits Everest; next up Lhotse

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Matt Moniz.

MOUNT EVEREST, NEPAL 29,029ft – Boulder resident Matt Moniz stood on top of the world on May 19.  Moniz climbed with close friend and professional mountain guide Willie Benegas of Salt Lake City.

During the summit push Moniz and Benegas moved quickly in good weather (dry, low wind speeds).  Matt texted on his Delorme inReach, “We went way to fast, we are burrowed in at south summit waiting for the sun.”

Matt Moniz GPS Track.

This marks the 3rd 8,000meter peak for 20-year-old Moniz including Everest, Makalu, and Cho Oyo.  It’s the 12th Everest summit for 49-year-old Benegas.

Moniz was stopped twice before on Everest.  First, in 2014 by an ice serac falling onto the Khumbu Icefall, and 2nd by the 2015 earthquake.

Next up, Moniz and Benegas will use their acclimatization from Everest and attempt Mount Lhotse the 4th highest peak in the world at 27,940ft/8516m.  Geographically, Lhotse sits next to Mount Everest.

Skiing the Lhotse Face

On May 2, Moniz and Benegas skied the Lhotse Face.  The ski descent was ruled illegal without a ski permit by the Department of Tourism and their permit to climb Everest and Lhotse was put in jeopardy.  The government later decided against any legal action and the two were allowed to climb.  Click here to read the full story as reported by the Himalayan Times.

NASA Twin Study

Moniz and Benegas are trying to recreate NASA’s Twin Study while on Everest.  It involves drawing samples of their blood, saliva, and feces.  Moniz affectionately refers to it as the “Vampire Kit”.  It’s a fascinating story and is reported in-depth by mountaineer Alan Arnette in his blog.

Matt Moniz is a sophomore at Dartmouth College studying Biomedical Engineering.

Matt Moniz and Willie Benegas.


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