I’m not messing around. I’m going to get this done.
Loveland, Ohio – Matt Brennan is a man who sees a challenge and is only met with one option: surmount. His current hurdle? Climb to the tallest points on all seven continents.
He’s conquered South America’s Mt. Aconcagua, North America’s Mt. McKinley, Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, Europe’s Mt. Elbrus. He’s left with only two more.
Up next is Antarctica.
Loveland Resident Matt Brennan is the owner of Loveland Excavating and Paving and founded the Cincinnati Center for Autism. He has had the climbing bug since he was a child, and has only continued to push himself further with each peak.
“I’m just a typical guy. There’s nothing special about me. If you’ve got a goal, reach out there and work hard and achieve it. It can be achieved,” Matt Brennan claimed in a phone interview with Loveland Magazine.
He has climbed four of the famed Seven Summits– the seven highest mountains on each continent. Less than 500 people have completed the challenge, and less than 150 Americans have summited all seven.
Soon, Brennan will climb Mt. Vinson in Antartica, becoming one of the few to make the trek.
Vinson Massif is one of the most remote places in the world, located 750 miles from the South Pole. At 16,067 feet and located in some of the Earth’s most intense climate conditions, the dangerous ascent has only been attempted by 1,400 climbers since the mountain’s first summit in 1966. From November to January, the sun shines in 24 hours a day and the average temperature is -20° Fahrenheit.
Brennan’s climb will take a minimum of 14 days depending on the weather. He will fly from Puntas Arenas, Chile to Union Glacier, Antarctica and plans to reach the summit of the mountain from November 22 to December 14.
Brennan will be lead by Dave Hahn, one of the most accomplished climbers in the world. He has summited Mt. Vinson more than any other mountaineer– 35 times. Hahn has climbed the mountain in a PBS NOVA documentary and is one of the few frequent and trusted Mt. Vinson guides.
Dave Hahn is also the most prolific western Everest climber, summiting 15 times. He is known for the discovery of the partially mummified body of early Everest explorer George Mallory. According to Brennan, Hahn is one of the most experienced climbers in the world. Brennan previously climbed Denali with Dave Hahn in 2017.
Through a climbing company called RMI, Hahn reached out to Matt Brennan and asked if he would like to accompany him on a Mt. Vinson climb. His climb will once again be sponsored by Horter Investments, a local investment firm.
“It’d be like Tom Brady calling you up and asking you to play on his touch football team,” Brennan claimed.
Mt. Vinson presents unique challenges. Logistically, Brennan will fly to Chile and land at a polar exploration outpost. From there, he will take an AN-132 transit plane that will land on ice. Vinson is blanketed in glaciers and, although the South Pole is considered a desert, inclement weather is still likely. There is about a 30 day period where the mountain is fit to climb within the entire year. Physically, Matt will carry fifty to sixty pounds of gear and necessities on his back and will haul a sled around forty to fifty pounds.
The extreme conditions present their own difficulties– not just physically.
“Mentally, you have to be able to block out being uncomfortable. But from a gear standpoint, the proper equipment is critical. If you don’t have the proper equipment, your chances of making it are not very good,” Brennan said in a phone interview with Loveland Magazine.
Brennan expected to have claimed five of the seven summits by now but will have to return to Asia for another attempt.
The Antarctica trip, along with a milestone in Matt Brennan’s pursuit of the Seven Summits, also serves as preparation for his second attempt at Mt. Everest.
After intense training, Matt Brennan tried to climb Mt. Everest in April of 2018. However, due to an injury, he did not summit. His injuries have mostly healed, and Brennan cannot be kept from climbing. He plans to utilize his upcoming Mt. Vinson ascent to train further for his upcoming second Everest attempt in spring of 2019.
“I think Dave [Hahn] will really dial me in for Everest. I climbed Denali with Dave and he was relentless on improving my mountaineering skills,” Brennan said.
It’s been only a few months since Brennan returned to Loveland from his attempt to surmount Everest, and he already has caught the climbing bug again. Rather than take a year off between Everest attempts, he has opted in the meantime to persevere and take on the South Pole.
“I just don’t believe in quitting. You can’t quit. Everest is reachable, I just couldn’t reach it on one leg. For me it’s always been about goals and reaching those goals[…] If you don’t fail, you haven’t set your goals high enough,” Brennan said.
Matt Brennan must summit Vinson and Everest, and then complete a day hike of Mount Kosciuszko in Australia in order to put his name among the ranks of the few skilled climbers who have conquered the Seven Summits. He hopes to finish the challenge by August of 2019.
“It’s become… not an obsession… but I’m going to do these. I’m very goal-oriented. I’m not messing around. I’m going to get this done,” Brennan concluded.
Follow Matt Brennan on his Facebook Page for updates on his expeditions.
Jarvis Global is an investment advisory firm in Symmes Township, Ohio which offers private portfolio management and retirement services to high net worth individuals.