We believe in the value of delicious food that doesn’t harm the environment. The great outdoors of our ‘wild planet’ is one of the greatest resources and privileges we have, which is why it’s so important to protect our environment. Today we’re reminded of that, in this Q&A with Matt Segal, a professional rock climber, National Geographic explorer, and the co-founder of Alpine Start, who fueled his passion for the outdoors into a premium instant coffee brand made for adventurers.
1. We know you’re an avid climber and love the outdoors, when did you first start backpacking and what do you love about it?
I first got a taste for the outdoors at a summer camp in North Carolina when I was about 8. Growing up in Miami, Florida didn’t offer me a ton of time in the wilderness at a young age so I looked forward to my summers in North Carolina. It was there that I first got into Rock Climbing.
2. What was your most memorable moment spent outdoors?
Oh geez! There are so many of them. I’ve been super fortunate to have spent the last 15 years as a professional climber traveling the world on all sorts of adventures. I guess I recently did a trip to the Yukon and Alaska that was pretty special. We rafted to the Tatenshini River early season and skied a few objectives off the river. Was totally insane and neither rafting nor skiing has been my focus over the last few years so I felt like a complete beginner the whole time.
3. In your time spent in nature, have you noticed any changes/threats to our environment?
Of course, it’s hard not to. I’ve spent many summers going back to the same alpine areas in Canada and it’s shocking to see how much less snow there is every year. Because of this, I’ve chosen to work with Protect our Winters and the POW Action Fund to help spread the word about issues regarding climate change and help educate voters about the politics around it.
4. Tell us about Alpine Start.
Alpine Start is a premium instant coffee company I founded over 2 years ago with my business partner Alex Hanifin. I had the idea on an expedition to the Bugaboos in British Columbia. There were so many rainy days and so much coffee it really had me thinking… and at that time there was really only one company that was doing a decent job at instant coffee and I thought we could do better. It’s definitely been a wild ride from having the concept in a tent 3 years ago to having multiple products at over a thousand retail stores. It’s pretty cool what you can do with a little motivation and a rad small group of dedicated team players!
5. What’s your favorite thing about drinking Alpine Start while on climbs?
I think it’s really cool to use a product you created… I mean I started Alpine Start because it was a product I wanted to use so every time I use it in the mountains I’m pretty psyched.
6. Does climbing give you a greater appreciation for nature and the environment? If so, how?
For sure, I mean climbing has taught me so much about life and has brought me all over the world. It’s not only given me a huge appreciation for nature and our planet’s wonders and with all my time spent in the mountains I’ve seen effects of climate change first hand. It has inspired me to not only partner with organizations like Protect our Winters but do everything I can to make a difference, even if it’s small.
What’s your favorite activity in the outdoors and how has it given you an appreciation for the environment? Let us know in the comments below!