After thirty-five years of skinning his way through Thompson Pass and the Valdez Mountains, Matt retired from guiding after the epic 2014 season. In 1986 he began guiding skiers and has continued to pioneer endless routes endless lines that are simply too numerous to be listed. He is an alpinist first and foremost. In 2010 he skied 140 days, achieving first ascent/descents of Leprechaun Peak (solo), Mummy Couloir and Whistler’s (solo), on telemark gear. In March 2012 he soled the Bowie Couloir. As a year-round Chugach resident, Matt’s customized guide services are available from November through June. Few guides can match his knowledge of and experience in the Valdez mountains. He has traversed the Chugach Range twice and pioneered dozens of ski routes, including Mount Shouplina, Snow Dome and Girls Mountain, long before Valdez was known for skiing. While other skiers are grounded due to flat light or inclement weather, Matt is often skinning and skiing stashes of powder in spruce and willow glades or blue holes.
Matt began producing avalanche and ski forecasting in Valdez over 20 years ago as one of the first backcountry Internet ski report sites in North America. ThompsonPass.com continues to provide critical information to help keep Valdezeans safe along with the hundreds of skiers worldwide who visit Valdez annually. Matt lives in the Valdez all year reflecting a European tradition of mountain guiding. Matt has formal avalanche training and has practiced its application in the field providing public awareness classes annually and of course the world famous Valdez Ski Report. He is a Professional Member of the American Avalanche Association.
In 2006, Matt published Alaska Backcountry Skiing: Valdez and Thompson Pass
As a backcountry ski guide, Matt shared his favorite runs on the forested slopes or the classic wide open terrain that makes Valdez skiing the best in the world. Day after day he put clients on the best snow. He did this by maintaining a high level of training and by skiing hundreds of days each season in some of the most difficult terrain in the world.
Matt and his wife Tabitha live in Valdez. Tabitha is a life long resident of Alaska. His children, Chris and Ashley, both born and raised in Alaska, now live in Seattle and Waikiki.
During summer, Tabitha and Matt enjoy backpacking Alaska and the western States, specifically trekking to Everest Base Camp from Jiri and traversing Yosemite, Zion, and Volcano National Parks. They have trekked extensively in nearby Wrangell-St.Elias National Park and have backpacked routes in the Brooks and Alaska Range. Summits together include Mt. Whitney(CA) and Mt. Dana(CA), Mt. Humphries(AZ), Wheeler Peak (NV) Mauna Kea(HA) Mount Elbert(CO) and numerous other summits in Alaska.