Marty Schmidt: 1960-2013

Marty Schmidt: 1960-2013

Posted on 7th Jun 2016

On July 27, 2013 one of New Zealand’s top climbers was tragically killed alongside his son Denali when an avalanche struck their camp on K2.

In 1993, the Schmidt family moved to Christchurch where Marty quickly set up base for his guiding business. However, the following year, they moved once again to New South Wales, and soon back to the U.S. In 2000, Marty and Joanne separated, and by 2001, they had all relocated back to New Zealand where Marty later married his second wife Giovannina Cantale.

A popular guide, Marty often ran climbing trips to Alaska, Argentina, Europe and the Himalayas. Throughout his career, he climbed Aoraki Mt Cook 19 times, and Denali 27 times, quickly becoming regarded as one of New Zealand’s most knowledgeable and experienced climbers. He also made another attempt to summit K2 in 2000, but was once again unsuccessful due to 100mph winds.

“I’ve climbed a lot of the world’s biggest mountains, but K2 is the one I respect the most. I’ve been on it twice without summiting. I’m just called to it all the time,” he once said.

Marty joined the Macpac team in 2007 after the company took over iconic Kiwi outdoors brand, Fairydown. He took on the role of testing our gear in some of the world’s toughest mountainous environments. The team fondly remembers Marty’s regular visits to the Macpac head office, bursting with ideas, and always with a story to tell.

“Marty was unique in many ways”, says Macpac Design Manager, Gavin Davidson.

“His vast experience as a guide meant he was a real asset to the design team in terms of sharing ideas and passing on feedback, and his boundless energy was infectious – it was impossible to leave Marty’s company without feeling uplifted”.