Kid climbers are making a mockery out of adults these days. 11-year-old Jordan Romero's gunning for the Seven Summits, 13-year-old Max Ashton became the youngest blind person on Kilimanjaro, and now 11-year-old Matt Moniz, who became the youngest person to top out on Aconcagua in December, will climb 14 Colorado 14ers in just 14 days.
But he's not doing it for personal glory or to boost his hardman (hardboy?) bonafides: Instead, he's doing it to help defray the astronomical medical costs levied on his ailing best friend. Ian Hess, 9, suffers from pulmonary arterial hypertension, and needs about $100,000 a year for treatment and medicines.
"Basically, he's my best friend," said Matt, who grew up next to Ian in Boulder Canyon."Ian is always struggling for oxygen because of his illness," said Matt, who conceived of this latest climbing project to redirect attention from his success on Aconcagua to his friend's illness. "What I feel on top of mountains is what he feels every day."
OK, no tears, guys. Let's just let it out together: 'Awwwwwwwwwww! That is so sweet!'
10 fellow climbers, including other kids from his school will join him starting tomorrow on planned ascents of Grays, Torreys, Democrat, Lincoln, Bross, Shavano, Tabeguache, Antero, Belford, Oxford, Missouri, Elbert, Bierstadt, and Evans. So far, Matt has raised $14,000 dollars. If you'd like to learn how you can contribute, visit Matt Moniz' site.
Not bad, little dude—not bad at all.