Montana Mountaineering Association
Established in February 2002 by climber Erin Taylor and his wife Rebecca Hoddkin, Montana Mountaineering Association (MMA) is a Bozeman-based nonprofit organization that strives to promote the values associated with mountaineering, rock climbing, and backcountry travel. The proceeds support empowerment programs designed for at-risk youth and people with disabilities.
Taylor and Hoddkin are long-time climbing enthusiasts who got their start in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The couple moved to Bozeman to create a lifestyle that would coincide with their chosen existence. They had the bug—the climbing bug, that is, and Bozeman was just the place to cultivate it. According to Taylor, "Bozeman is a town of the enlightened few, where the climbing bug is far more prevalent than the flu. Bozeman has a huge resource of qualified climbers and an abundance of uninformed future climbers. Our vision when creating MMA was to connect the two groups."
Taylor and Hoddkin joined forces with a few established local climbers to make that vision a reality. They also sought out members of Gallatin County’s medical community, educational department, and justice department to help introduce MMA programs to at-risk and disabled youths. Taylor and Hoddkin want everyone to have a chance to experience the values, teamwork, self-confidence, and inspiration that being in the wilderness offers.
New program plans continue to advance for MMA. This winter MMA received a grant to take people with disabilities backcountry skiing in Beehive Basin. These are the types of trips Taylor envisioned before he moved to Bozeman. "MMA is growing," he says. "We are excited about what the future holds for our organization."
MMA Mountain School holds ice-climbing clinics for members of the community. Profits go towards MMA Empowerment Programs. For more information or to volunteer, check out their website: www.montanamountaineering.org.