Trucker climbing for a cause forced to withdraw at 20,000 feet

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Matt Hopkins, a Montana trucker who set out to scale one of the world’s highest mountains to raise money and awareness for Truckers Against Trafficking, has been forced to end his ascent due to altitude sickness.

Hopkins reported on his Facebook page on Feb. 13 that he was suffering from a mild case of high-altitude pulmonary edema, also known as altitude sickness, at about the 20,000-foot mark of his ascent of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina – one of the world’s seven highest peaks.

Taking donations and preparing for months, Hopkins had set out to raise a dollar for every vertical foot of his climb – a goal amounting to $22,837 – to benefit Truckers Against Trafficking, an organization that enlists and empowers truckers to report and take action against human trafficking.

As the donation drive ended Feb. 12, Hopkins reported he had raised about $1,300, all of which will go directly to Truckers Against Trafficking to further the organization’s mission.

Hopkins stated that he will post some photos and videos from his adventure once he’s feeling better.

“Thanks to everyone following my climb and donating and please keep helping raise awareness about human trafficking in the U.S.,” Hopkins stated on his Facebook page. He reported that only one of the members of his climbing party was able to make it to the summit of Mount Aconcagua and that everyone else had to turn back.

Matt Hopkins is an owner-operator from Dillon, Mont. He has hauled cattle for the past five years, about the same amount of time he’s been interested in climbing.

He told Land Line in a November 2013 interview that he sets his personal bar very high. One of his goals is to someday scale Mount Vinson in Antarctica.

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