A natural explorer, Matt Segal, 34, has an innate ability for finding rugged, obscure places around the world to establish difficult trad climbs and finding partners to join him. Even in a community of highly motivated vagabonds, Matt’s enthusiasm for climbing and adventure rises above. He’s traveled the world, but many of his proudest routes were climbed near his home in Colorado, like The Iron Monkey (5.14) in Eldorado Canyon and The Orangutan Overhang (5.14) on Independence Pass.
Matt left his native Florida for higher ground and higher education in Boulder, where he started climbing and studied psychology and Tibetan Buddhism at Naropa University. His climbing career started indoors, where he racked up several successful comp seasons. He ventured outdoors and racked up many 5.13s, like a hat trick in Squamish in 2006 of all the hardest lines on the Chief, all free, and in 24 hours, before establishing Iron Monkey, CO’s hardest traditional climb. Then he went on to alpine climb, attempting and almost succeeding at free climbing the Tom Egan Memorial Route in British Columbia. In 2014, he traveled to China and established China’s hardest traditional pitch; Air China 5.13+ in Liming. He’s part of the elite group who has free climbed El Cap.