Matt Moniz, 16, Summits Back-to-Back Peaks
The Feat: On May 25, Matt Moniz, a 16-year-old Eagle Scout, became the youngest person to summit 27,766-foot Makalu, the fifth tallest mountain in the world. And he did it one week after summiting 26,905-foot Cho Oyu, the sixth tallest. The back-to-back peak bag was actually Plan B — Moniz and his father Mike, also an accomplished mountaineer, were originally in the Himalayas to summit Everest, along with Cho Oyu, and Lhoste, an expedition they dubbed “The Triple 8,” referring to the three eight-meter peaks. But the deadly April 18 avalanche on Everest forced them to choose another mountain.
Previous Record: No teenager has ever summited Makalu or even attempted to summit the notoriously sketchy peak. A 20-year-old from India tried and failed in 2012, and again in 2013.
The Near-Miss Moment: The April 18 avalanche on Everest killed 16 Sherpa and wiped out the route the Moniz team had planned to take up both Everest and Lhoste. More than 300 climbers abandoned their goal of summiting Everest, and the elder Moniz nearly cancelled their trip.
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