Some of his ascents include:
One of his hardest ascents is the Cartwright Connection (ED4, M6, AI6, 5.8, A2) on the North Buttress of Mount Hunter in Alaska. Along with Jon Bracey it took six days including a storm, running out of food and a big final 36-hour push which Matt described as the longest and hardest climb of his life.
Matt is currently living in Chamonix and he is an IFMGA mountain guide.
Matt and Jon recently climbed the Citadel, also known as “The Mountain God”. The Citadel is a 3000m peak in the Neacola Mountains, in Alaska. Matt and Jon embarked on a journey to make the first ascent of the 1200m long north-west ridge. Adventure film maker Alastair Lee joined them in this adventure, in order to capture alpine climbing like never before.
“Employing the latest cineflex technology combined with an innovative vision the final results are truly incredible; the next dimension in mountain film. ‘Citadel’ is a stunning visual experience. To match its visual prowess ‘Citadel’ is laced with a strong sense of narrative. Like all good stories it is character driven and centres around one of the most unlikely yet successful partnerships in world alpinism. That of Matt Helliker and Jon Bracey.” (Posing Productions)
We asked Matt some questions:
I started climbing aged 12. Where I grew up is a really amazing area for rock climbing in the South West of England, beautiful sea and inland cliffs on the moors. So I would always see climbers out and as a young boy this was really inspiring to me, so I just had to try it. The UK is one of the only places where you can enjoy all aspects of sport, so I feel that I was very lucky to experience this.
I had a friend who was a mentor to me, this was important. I think when you’re young and inexperienced, it's important to explore your limits yourself but to also be given a guiding hand. Rock climbing to winter climbing to alpinism has many aspects that needed to be learnt, so having someone there really helps with this progression.
Well, sometimes I guide clients on hard routes like the Matterhorn and Les Droites North Face, but for sure this work doesn't come up all the time. I'm lucky enough to make most of my income with sponsors, so I guess I'm climbing 80% full time, so thankfully I've got time to train and do my own projects.
I get so much satisfaction from being first, the feeling of not knowing whether a route will go or not adds to the buzz factor. I also really enjoy the research looking into new lines, to see what’s possible or not. I think I've got a good eye for a line. I still enjoy repeating classic hard routes, but most of the time I would rather fail on a new line than going and climbing routes that have been smashed to bits by hundreds of teams before me.
For sure, but it's "controlled" scared!! I think......
I have loads of projects in my black book! But I keep these to myself, careless talk costs routes.
To be honest I don't feel like I have much spare time in between training and climbing as this takes up most of my time, but hanging out with my girlfriend, skiing, family, traveling is also very important to me.
Steady on I'm not done yet.... totally and loads more I hope.
Being happy and able to live the life I choose, for so many other people this is not possible and I'm aware of this.
Nothing, I feel very lucky.
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Surging glaciers are one of the biggest enigmas in Glaciology. These are glaciers that can quickly accelerate and reach speeds over 5-10 m per day over several years.
Back from two months of adventures on the new continent full of powdery snow and bloody cracks.