Matt Brooks, President Of Brooks-Range Mountaineering Equipment, Awarded The “Lifetime Achievement In Mountain Guiding Award” From AMGA

This is pretty timely. My review of the Brooks-Range Isto jacket will be published shortly. They make really nice gear, and Matt’s efforts certainly make him worthy of this award.

– Brian

FREMONT, CALIF. -Matt Brooks, president and founder of Brooks-Range Mountaineering Equipment, has just been awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement in Mountain Guiding Award by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA).  This honor was bestowed on the longtime guide and alpinist during the 2012 AMGA Annual Meeting that took place in Red Rocks, Nevada on October 20, 2012.

The Lifetime Achievement in Mountain Guiding Award honors an outstanding American, who by their efforts over a period of years, has made contributions of significant value to the profession of mountain guiding, and has reflected credit upon America and himself. The Lifetime Achievement in Mountain Guiding Award is second only to the AMGA‘s Presidential Gold Medal, which was awarded to Brooks by the AMGA in 2010.
“It is because of Matt Brooks‘ longstanding and unwavering commitment to the AMGA and the mountain guide profession that he was selected to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement in Guiding Award”, said Betsy Winter, Executive Director of AMGA.  “Matt’s involvement spans over two decades and ranges from volunteering his time on the AMGA’s Board of Directors and as an Officer to mentoring aspiring guides. His dedication is unparalleled and there is none more deserving than he of this award.”
In the late1980s Brooks was part of a group of mountain guides that realized that American guiding, while growing, was also in danger of self-destructing for lack of standards. A cowboy attitude dominated guiding in America. Brooks, with a considerable background climbing in the European Alps, came to feel that if guides were to be taken seriously as professionals, they needed to adhere to standards like those mountain guides in Europe. That recognition led Matt to work with other guides in the AMGA to create a certification program, one that would be acceptable at an international level. Brooks presently serves as the Chair of the AMGA‘s Presidents Council.

Commenting on the award, Bela Vadasz, co-owner with his wife, Mimi, of Alpine Skills International in Truckee Calif., and 2008 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement in Mountain Guiding Award said, “Matt is the epitome of passion when it comes to mountains.”

Matt Brooks founded Brooks-Range Mountaineering Equipment Co. in 1995 in his garage.  Prior to that, Brooks worked as a certified mountain guide through his guiding company, Adventures In High Places. He did many first ascents in the U.S. and the European Alps, including Yosemite‘s Galactic Hitchhiker, the longest technical rock climb in North America.  During his career as a mountain guide, Brooks developed solutions to common backcountry issues and problems, designing products for his own use.  When other guides took an interest in his home made ski guide cards and rescue sleds, he established the company that is now known as Brooks-Range Mountaineering Equipment Co. Today, Brooks-Range is headquartered in Fremont, Calif. where Brooks and his team works tirelessly to design innovative, top-quality backcountry and outdoor gear for professional guides and recreational travelers alike. Most products are made in the USA and are sold at outdoor retail shops nationwide, and on the web at:

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