Matt Traver is a filmmaker, photographer and creator of content relating to adventure, travel and culture. He originally began pursuing adventurous projects and expeditions including first ascents and reconnaissance trips to alpine peaks along the Kyrgyz-Chinese border, the Tajik-Afghan border, Arctic East Greenland, the Malaysian jungle and exploratory first descents of caves in Austria, China and Spain.
After returning from Mongolia in the winter of 2012, Matt’s focus turned towards creating visual content and stories. His largest project to date is ‘Tales from the Steppe’, a five part film collection on Central Asia which he produced, directed and edited. Over six months he journeyed across Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia to create five independent documentary films which have since screened in film festivals in the USA, UK, France, Australia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Italy and the Czech Republic. As well as receiving an award for the ‘Best Environmental Documentary’ at the Mountain Film Festival 2015 for his film ‘A Portrait of Orozbek’, he and his colleague (Jamie Maddison) also received an award at the House of Commons for ‘Furthering British-Kazakh Relations’ on behalf of the British-Kazakh Society for a 1100km horseback journey across Eastern Kazakhstan to commemorate the centenary of the much-overlooked Anglo-Irish explorer Sir Charles Howard-Bury’s own travels in the area a century before.
His most recent projects include a short film which he directed on ski-mountaineering on Mt. Damavand, Iran commissioned by BMC TV, Trek and Mountain Magazine and Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports. His film ‘The Steppe of Misfortune’ was broadcast on Wild Spirits TV and he is currently in the post-production phase of ‘Crossing Siberia’, which is a web series exploring life from within the world’s largest expanse of wilderness.
His articles and photography have been published in Action Asia Magazine, Sidetracked
Magazine, Geographical Magazine, Open Central Asia Magazine, Trek & Mountain Magazine, The Alpine Journal, Russian Life, American Alpine Journal, Adventure Planet, Rail Riders Clothing, University of Geneva, Nite Watches, Men’s Running, Meter Magazine and Vogel + Natur. He is currently also seeking a publisher for a children’s book called ‘Adventurous Dudley and the Hunt for the Huge Horned Ram’.
In addition to collaborating with forty-five different companies and organisations to realise his projects, he is an Associate Member of the Long Riders’ Guild, Ripcord Travel Insurance Ambassador and represented by the World Explorers Bureau speaking agency. He is also co-founder of The Adventure Fund grant scheme which, in association with Sidetracked magazine, has provided annual grants for innovative adventures since 2013. He also works as the Expeditions and Trekking Manager for Untamed Borders, which specialises in trips to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and other more offbeat destinations.
In addition to film, photography and general content production work, Matthew has also completed a range of expeditions and adventurous trips/projects including:
– Solo 380km circumnavigation of Azas Lake and descent of Toora-Khem and Bolshei Yenisei Rivers by packraft in Tuva, Siberia, Russia (July 2015)
– Ascent of Gora Munkhulik (3600m), Western Tuva, Siberia, Russia (September 2015)
– Solo 220km descent of Grand Yenisei River from Kyzyl to Khemchik River in Tuva, Siberia, Russia (September 2015)
– Solo 150km descent of Little Yenisei River from Erzhey to Kyzyl in Tuva, Siberia, Russia (September 2015)
– Filming a ski-mountaineering expedition to Mt. Damavand, Iran for Hot Aches Productions (April 2015)
– Ski-mountaineering and touring in Scotland including descents of Stob Mhic Martuin and Aodann Chleireig (2015)
– Solo packraft river descents up to class III in Northern Norway (2014)
– 60km five day solo ski tour in Scotland’s Cairngorm Mountains (2013)
– 160km camel trek through Uzbekistan’s Kyzyl Kum Desert (2013)
– Exploration and reconnaisance of the virgin Alichursky Mountains on the Tajik-Afghan border (2013)
– One month living with a hunter-herder in Eastern Tajikistan (2013)
– 1100km and 63 day crossing of Eastern Kazakhstan by horse (2013)
– Winter packraft descent of Western Mongolia’s Khovd River (2012)
– Rock climbing first ascents and attempts in the virgin Kangertittivatsiaq cirque in Arctic East Greenland (2012)
– 200km horseback journey with eagle hunters along the Mongol-Chinese border (2012)
– Various fast & light rock climbing ascents in the Wadi Rum desert region of Jordan (2011)
– Three alpine style first ascents of virgin peaks on the Kyrgyz-Chinese border (2010)
– Connection and discovery of 1km unexplored passage between Ken Dang Dang and Da Wan Dong, China (2010)
– First ascent of the unclimbed 1500ft Dragon’s Horns West Face on Tioman Island (2009)
– 100km ski and on foot traverse of Spain’s Sierra Nevada range (2008)
– Exploration of Burnie’s Pot on Austria’s Dachstein Plateau down to -700m depth (2007/2008)
– Attempt to climb the esoteric Scottish big wall of The Scoop on Srone Ulladale, Isle of Harris (2006)
– Attempt on Grade V big walls: West Face of Leaning Tower and Washington’s Column, Yosemite (2005)
Achieving many of these projects required collaborating with the following companies and organisations:
Drift Cameras, Yak, Rail Riders Clothing, Mountain Hardwear, Gear Contact, Air Astana, Nite Watches, Gore Tex, British-Kazakh Society, Advanced Elements Kayaks, Long Riders’ Guild, Transcend, Hemcon, Equipyourtrip.com, Sugru, Mora Kniv, Berghaus, Lifesaver, DMM Wales, Mountain Fuel, Scott Polar Research Institute, Eschenbach, American Alpine Club, Alpine Club, British Mountaineering Council, REI, Mount Everest Foundation, Gino Watkins Memorial Fund, Wilderness Lectures, Iceland Air, Air Iceland, First Ascent, Global Telesat Communications, Charleville Castle, Just Ropes, Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust, Beast Products, Welsh Sports Association, Mapstor.com, Wild West Beef Jerky, Celtic Paddles, Multimat, Timmissartok Foundation, Lyon Equipment, Murghab Ecotourism Association and Vogel & Natur.
Matthew has spoken at a number of public events on a variety of subjects, from his previous expeditions to Q & A’s on documentary filmmaking. Venues include:
– Royal Geographical Society, Hong Kong – Wilderness Lectures – Kendal Mountain Film Festival: Expedition Roundup – Rotary Clubs – The Outdoors Show – Tales of Adventure – Destinations Travel Show – Alpine Club – Emeritus Club – Night of Adventure – Celebrity Cruises – Telegraph Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show – British Kazakh Society – Multiple Educational Online Sessions in the USA – Explorers Connect – Banff Mountain Film Festival UK & Ireland Tour 2016