Nothing is impossible. August 1 marks National Mountain Climbing Day. It was established in honor of Bobby Matthews and his friend Josh Madigan, who successfully climbed the 46 high peaks of New York State’s Adirondack Mountains. Today, we caught up with our very own climbing enthusiast, Matt Hook, to ask all about his mountain climbing adventures and how lost range.® helped him reach new heights.
lr: Hey Matt and happy Mountain Climbing Day! Tell us a bit about your background and how you grew to love mountaineering.
MH: I had been an avid backpacker my whole life and started going on backcountry treks around the world during my 20’s. About 10 years ago, I signed up for a 2-week high-altitude trek in Peru – the Cordillera Huayhuash circuit – and there was an option to climb 2 alpine objectives. No previous technical climbing experience was required so I said ‘why not’. The first climb of Pumarini challenged me more mentally and physically than anything I had ever done before; and the feeling of reaching the summit was unlike any high I had ever experienced. I was also carrying the ashes of my best friend that had passed away which I spread on the summit. It was a very special and emotional experience and from that moment on I was hooked on mountaineering.
lr: What have been some of your favorite spots to climb?
MH: I’ve been extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to climb some of the most incredible places in the world, across 5 continents – the Andes, Himalayas, European Alps, New Zealand Alps, Greenland, Norway, Southeast Asia, etc. Each location is special in its own way but climbing in Nepal and Greenland were unlike any other. The size and scale of the Himalayas is hard to even process when you experience it and the remoteness and raw energy of Greenland left me in complete awe. Both are at the top of my list of places I must return to. That being said, North America has no shortage of world class mountains so I still have a lifetime of exploration ahead of me.
lr: What does it feel like to visit such a different culture coming from the “comfortable” surroundings of Colorado?
MH: I’ve experienced so many different cultures throughout my travels but have found the mountains to be a place that I always feel comfortable, no matter what country I’m in. I’m always fascinated by the similarities of mountains that are continents apart but lie in the same relative hemisphere. You’ll see striking similarities in landscape and fauna despite being so far apart.
lr: How do you feel about the growth and popularity of climbing in the areas you’ve visited?
MH: Climbing continues to gain popularity in the US and all around the world. For me, it’s exciting to see more people getting into the sport and experiencing what I believe is one of the most fulfilling activities one can do. I’ve found the climbing community to be really welcoming in my travels so the rise in popularity has presented me with more opportunities to meet amazing people from different cultures around the globe.
lr: What gear do you take with you on a typical hike?
MH: Geography, weather conditions and objectives play a huge role in what I bring on a typical hike but I pretty much never go anywhere without these essentials – water, rain gear, food/snacks, camera and of course my lost range® muscle & joint rub, skin salve and lip balm!
MH: I literally couldn’t do what I do without my Gold Buckle® Muscle & Joint Rub. I’ve spent about 200 days in the backcountry each of the last 3 years and that much time in the mountains really takes a toll on my body. Thus, I use the Muscle & Joint Rub on a daily basis to mitigate the muscle inflammation and joint pain I get from all my active lifestyle. I also use lost range’s Skin Salve and Lip Balm regularly. It’s so great for protecting my face from the wind, sun and harsh conditions in the Alpine. It’s also great for keeping my skin from drying out, which is something anyone that lives in the mountains out West knows all about.
lr: Where can we expect to see you in the near future?
MH: I just returned to the states 3 months abroad and most recently experienced 2 epic weeks in the Dolomite Mountains, Italy. Thus, I am planning on enjoying the remainder of the summer and fall out West. I’m hoping to visit the Sierra Mountains in California and explore the Pacific Northwest during that time, as these are both areas where I’ve barely scratched the surface.
Thank you for taking the time to share these epic experiences with us, Matt. Be sure to follow his adventures on IG here. Did this Q&A “peak” your interest in lost range.® CBD? Check out our full list of premium products here today.