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Matt Leidecker - Biography


Erik climbing at the fins

Matt Leideker grew up ski racing in the mountain town of Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho. Through an active family (Matt's mom has climbed several 5.12's at sixty years old) and an excellent high school outdoor program, Matt developed a fondness for working and playing outside. He started climbing sometime during his junior year of high school, and honed his skills on the granite in the City of Rocks of southern Idaho. He and his brother Erik have teamed up for several wilderness climbing adventures in the Sawtooth Mountains of central Idaho and in Chilean Patagonia. He became certified as a Technical Climbing Guide for Sawtooth Mountain Guides in the summer of 1998.

In 1991, Matt began working as white water rafting guide on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in central Idaho. He has sixteen seasons and over 100 trips down Idaho's famed Middle Fork. He was the lead guide for Sevy Guide Service from 1999 until 2003 when the business sold. He graduated with an undergraduate Geology degree from Middlebury College in February of 1997. After college, Matt returned to his skiing roots and worked as a backcountry ski guide with Sun Valley Heli-Ski from 2000 to 2005. Matt guides custom backcountry ski trips with Sun Valley Trekking and Sawtooth Mountain Guides.

Inspired by the stunning scenery of the Middle Fork, Matt began shooting photographs before a climbing trip to Chilean Patagonia in the winter of 1998/99. He fell in love with taking pictures and started his own photography business, Matt Leidecker Photography, in 1999. Matt has published photos in several outdoor magazines including Backcountry, Powder, and Travel and Leisure. In December of 2002 Sun Valley Press published a book of Matt's Middle Fork images called "Impassable Canyon - Journey Down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River." He followed that with a second, self-published title Middle Fork of the Salmon River - A Comprehensive Guide in the spring of 2006.

Matt currently resides with wife girlfriend Christine Bolton in a restored 80 year old mining cabin in the historic mining community of Triumph, ID (southeast of the Sun Valley resort). He fills his year running his photography business, writing, and guiding river and backcountry ski trips.