CV Mountain Climber Schmidt Returns to Share His Experiences | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:02

 

03132013CVMCS

“Climbing and skiing the world in one lifetime,” is international mountain climber Marty Schmidt’s motto.



By Terry Liebowitz
SPECIAL TO THE FORUM


International mountain climbing guide, Marty Schmidt (CVHS Class of ’78) returns to his hometown Friday night, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Castro Valley Center for the Arts to give audiences a glimpse of his life atop the world’s highest peaks.

 

A slide show of such destinations as K-2, Mt. Everest, Kanchanjunga, and others will accompany Marty’s talk. Scaling mountains is only part of his personal challenge: Marty holds world records in speed climbing with ski descents and ascents without the help of Sherpas, huts, helicopters or supplementary oxygen.

 

Marty grew up with his parents Leo and Mathilde Schmidt and 3 siblings in the family home on Walnut Road. Mom Mathilde describes her youngest child as “a free thinker,” always insisting on “walking his own walk.”

 

At 12, he would rise at 4 a.m. and take four buses on a four-hour commute to Indian Rock in Berkeley where he would begin to hone his skills.

 

Never professing to be a scholar, Marty was strongly influenced by his math and arts teachers at the high school who encouraged him to pursue his passion for mountain climbing. By age 15 he was leading people through the Sierra Nevada on treks.

 

After high school Marty married a woman who had a passion for dolphins. Joining her in her project, they moved to Australia.  Later the couple had two children, Denali and Sequoia, and moved to New Zealand. There, Marty is known as the premier climber. He runs his own climbing company, MSIG, Marty Schmidt International Guiding, and works with Peak Freaks in the Himalayas.

 

Mathilde reports that the family spent summer vacations hiking and backpacking. She is sure he got “the adventure gene” from her side of the family.

 

“One of our ancestors discovered a waterfall in Africa!,” she shared enthusiastically. She also described the tale of their mother/son Mt. Diablo climb when she got stuck on a precipice, “...hanging there like a cat up in a tree.” Luckily, Marty practiced his coaching skills and got his mom safely returned to terra firma.

 

As one might imagine, climbing is more than a job to extreme sportsman, Marty Schmidt. He readily addresses the question “Why mountain climb?”

 

“The mountains,” he says, “bring balance to the hearts and souls that venture into them. Away from the mountains many of us strive to work on being in balance. No one can stay in the mountains forever; we all must come back to our other lives, with our partners, our families, friends and co-workers.

 

“It is in these times that we can grow to new heights from the knowledge and wisdom we learned from the mountains. To share this with others is the magic.”

See A & E Calendar on page 4 for ticketing information.

 

 

Terry Liebowitz is a founding member of the Castro Valley Arts Foundation.

 


 

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