One of the many good things about running an outdoor clothing company is the close relationship between work and play. It’s impossible to design and create good gear if you don’t actually practice what it is that each item is designed for and it’s equally unfeasible to bring something to market that you haven’t actually tested yourself. So the opportunities for work-related playing are many. It’s also a fact that we’re in the privileged position of being able to support others and that this exposes us to a wide and interesting variety of sponsorship opportunities.
One in particular that stood out was the opportunity to equip an expedition to Iceland this coming February, the team comprising of British climbers Adam Crook, Si Frost, Dave Garry and Neil Griffiths. We were acquainted with Dave already but even still, the strength of the team was obvious, their plan was compelling and the destination – Iceland – quickly aroused interest.
Dave explains where the idea originated:
‘On visiting Iceland this summer Adam Crook’s initial reaction to the sheer beauty and wildness of this island was a little overwhelming but once used to the strange land he soon began to see the potential for winter climbing. There seemed to be waterfalls everywhere he turned and it wasn’t long before he was searching out bigger and more remote falls (much to his wife’s annoyance). Each day would find him driving up dirt roads into potential ravines that may hide hidden gems of vertical water. It was not just these the occurrence of this endless falling water that caught his eye, the crags and mountains were covered in turf and rock lines just begging for a winter mixed climber to come and play. He vowed to return soon with a strong team of fellow winter activists, a team who shared his joy of the remote and unexplored lines.
‘As expected we were all enthused by the reports he gave on his return and before long a plane was booked and the research had begun. Iceland has of course had visits from UK climbers before, but having now made contact with several key players in the Icelandic Alpine Club it has become apparent that most have honey-potted to the well documented areas such as Kaldakin. Our aim is different, our aim is simple: visit new places, climb new lines, do it some place wild, out of the way and to borrow James T. Kirk’s immortal line, ‘where no man has been before’. So far the East is looking good.’