Trucker plans to climb Mount Aconcagua for Truckers Against Trafficking

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In less than a week’s time, Matt Hopkins will be parking his tractor-trailer for a month in preparation for his climb Mount Aconcagua, one of the seven tallest summits in the world.

Hopkins, a cattle hauler from Dillon, Mont., along with another climber from his hometown, will leave on Monday, Jan. 27, from Bozeman, Mont. The pair will then meet up with two other climbers on their team, one from Italy and one from Greece, once they arrive in South America. He said all four are experienced climbers.

Photo courtesy of Matt Hopkins

Cattle hauler Matt Hopkins of Dillon, Mont., plans to scale one of the seven tallest summits in the world to raise money for Truckers Against Trafficking. He leaves for South America on Monday, Jan. 27.

“Everything’s going pretty good,” Hopkins said. “We got most of our logistics stuff taken care of. Now it’s just crunch time, the last week before we take off, so we are just excited and nervous.”

The Seven Summits are the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. Aconcagua is the second tallest with a vertical height of 22,837 feet.

He has set up a Facebook page, titled “From Miles to Mountains: A Truck Driver’s Journey of a Lifetime” for those wanting to follow his progress. Hopkins said he hopes to reach the summit of Aconcagua around Feb. 12.

His hope is to raise at least $22,837, which is the same number of vertical feet he will climb to reach the summit. The money he raises will go directly to the nonprofit group, Truckers Against Trafficking, to further its mission to “educate, equip, empower and mobilize” the trucking industry about human trafficking. Click here to donate or find out more about Hopkins’ journey.

Hopkins said he was further inspired to use his passion for climbing to raise money to help fight human trafficking after hearing an advertisement about Truckers Against Trafficking on Sirius XM’s Road Dog Trucking channel. Another climber on his team is on a humanitarian expedition to help raise money for the children of Greece.

That’s when he realized he could use his love of climbing to help others.

“Human trafficking has always been something that’s bothered me since I understood and learned what it was about six or seven years ago.”

Hopkins said he plans to document his journey with his GoPro camera. He will have Internet access through Feb. 1, but then will be off the grid until late February.

“I am going to try and keep up with as much as I can on the Facebook page so everybody can follow along,” he said.

It will take his team around 13 days, stopping at three base camps along the way, to reach the summit of Mount Aconcagua. He said descending the mountain should take the climbers about three days.

“Once we get to the top, there’s only one way to get back down, and our bodies will want that oxygen,” Hopkins told Land Line on Monday, Jan. 21. “I am going to have a blast no matter what.”

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