All the lat­est in the ad­ven­ture world

Cel­e­brat­ing 50 Years of Ex­plo­ration

Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Contents -

IN 1966, A driven young climber (the late Dou­glas Tomp­kins) tired of scav­eng­ing for qual­ity gear from mail or­der and army sur­plus, took a few thou­sand dol­lars and cre­ated a global cul­tural in­sti­tu­tion.

The North Face re­tail store at 308 Columbus Av­enue in San Fran­cisco’s bo­hemian North Beach neigh­bor­hood was a tiny space be­tween blue-col­lar bars and Beat hang­outs, but it was from here that the brand first re­ally came to life. It’s not ev­ery re­tailer that has an open­ing event that in­cludes the Grate­ful Dead play­ing a live gig while mem­bers of the Hells An­gels acted as door­men to the open­ing event, but it cer­tainly can be classed as mem­o­rable!

From the start,The North Face store served as a meet­ing ground for the day’s best climbers and ad­ven­tur­ers. With an in-house mu­seum of his­toric hard­ware do­nated byYosemite’s leg­endary climbers and a who’s who of Amer­i­can alpin­ism drop­ping by any day of the week, the store took on a life of its own.

It was this in­trin­sic tie with climbers and other ad­ven­tur­ers that saw, in 1977,The North Face in­tro­duce the tagline “Ex­pe­di­tion Proven,” ref­er­enc­ing 10-plus years of the world’s top ex­plor­ers push­ingThe North Face gear to higher and higher per­for­mance.

From Ned Gil­lete’s 1972 ex­pe­di­tion of the Brooks Range Ski Tra­verse to Con­rad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Re­nan Oz­turk’s be­com­ing the first to scale the Shark’s Fin of Meru in 2008, The North Face ath­letes have pushed the bound­aries of hu­man en­durance and com­pleted some amaz­ing out­door chal­lenges.

In 2016,The North Face still holds to its pri­mary be­lief in moun­tain sports – from moun­taineer­ing, hik­ing, snow sports to climb­ing, and con­sid­ers these sports the nu­cleus of the brand. Be­yond these sports,The North Face sees moun­tain athletics and moun­tain cul­ture as other sig­nif­i­cant places where its con­sumers pre­pare for their best ad­ven­tures through count­less hours of train­ing to the “camp­fire mo­ments” once those ad­ven­tures have been com­pleted.This be­lief is re­it­er­ated byThe North Face Pres­i­dent, Todd Spaletto.

“Start­ing about 10 years ago, ev­ery­one was re­ally get­ting con­cerned that cell [mo­bile] phones and tech­nol­ogy were go­ing to swallow up the time peo­ple would oth­er­wise have out­doors. But what we’ve found is that ex­plo­ration be­comes a coun­ter­point to all of that.That the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing out­side is so pow­er­ful and so large that it can’t be ig­nored,” says Spaletto.

It’s a bril­liant sen­ti­ment and one that AG Out­door has ad­hered to in its 21 years of pub­li­ca­tion; en­cour­ag­ing the pop­u­la­tion into the out­doors, whether that be a fam­ily camp­ing trip or a group of friends plan­ning a big trek or bike ex­pe­di­tion, is the main fo­cus of the mag­a­zine.

The North Face brand has al­ways been pop­u­lar in Aus­trala­sia, and is keen to keep its pro­file high in this mar­ket.Through ini­tia­tives and events likeThe North Face Ad­ven­ture Grant (sup­ported by AG Out­door),The North Face Fron­tier, and sup­port­ing other grass­roots com­mu­nity events, the brand con­tin­ues to help fuel ex­plo­ration for Aussies and Ki­wis. It’s a big oc­ca­sion, turn­ing 50, and The North Face is keen to cel­e­brate here in Aus­tralia with a three-day pub­lic ex­hi­bi­tion in Sydney, show­cas­ing the brand’s his­tory and screen­ing some awesome The North Face ath­letes’ doc­u­men­taries, in­clud­ing the award-win­ning Meru.

Mem­bers of The North Face Her­itage Ex­pe­di­tion near the sum­mit of Ever­est.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.