Edelrid CEO Carsten von Birckhahn dies in accident

The 49-year-old CEO of Edelrid was much-loved in the outdoor industry for his "innovative drive, his tireless commitment, his experience and great love for mountain sports," the company wrote in a statement about his death.
Author:
Publish date:
Carsten von Birckhahn

Carsten von Birkhahn

Carsten von Birckhahn, the CEO and brand manager of Edelrid, died Saturday in a paragliding accident. 

Von Birckhahn was a “pioneer and a hands-on man, a mountain enthusiast and a gear innovator, according to a press release from Edelrid on Wednesday.

He died after a crash landing while paragliding in Val di Mello in northern Italy.

Von Birckhahn developed new rope braiding techniques and led Edelrid to more sustainable production.

"He thought beyond the boundaries of existing business fields and developed opportunities, built up Edelrid North America, brought Tommy Caldwell to Edelrid, expanded the OEM sector, and oversaw the introduction of the latest member of the Edelrid family, Red Chili," the company wrote in a statement. "Carsten lived and loved mountain sports, at work as well as in the mountains."

Von Birkhahn was 49.

Edelrid's statement about von Birckhahn's death detailed the influence he had over the company and its innovations in climbing gear:

He was a “pioneer” and a “hands-on man”, “a mountain enthusiast” and a “gear innovator”. He made his vision–making the world safer and simpler for mountain sports enthusiasts–the mission for a whole company. EDELRID is grieving for its Brand Manager, Board Member and friend Carsten von Birckhahn.

Thanks to his innovative drive, his tireless commitment, his experience and great love for mountain sports, EDELRID is today one of the most successful mountain sports brands on the market.Carsten had deep roots and extensive connections in the outdoor industry, as Brand Manager he was the driving force behind numerous innovations over the past ten years. He was a passionate climber and mountain sports enthusiast with a fantastic overview of the industry and the innovations born at EDELRID. He was an expert strategist with an eye for economic efficiency and finding the best product solutions.

Carsten developed new braiding techniques and continually improved them down to the smallest detail. He moved forward sustainable production and brand development and was able to establish pioneering partnerships. He thought beyond the boundaries of existing business fields and developed opportunities, built up EDELRID North America, brought Tommy Caldwell to EDELRID, expanded the OEM sector and oversaw the introduction of the latest member of the EDELRID family “RED CHILI”.Carsten lived and loved mountain sports–at work as well as in the mountains. In addition to regular climbing expeditions in his native Patagonia, he would recharge his batteries in Val di Mello and had a genuine thirst for action and adventure.

On Saturday, 15 July 2017, he suffered a fatal paragliding accident on the landing approach after spending two days with his family at the Manzi bivouac in Val di Mello.With profound sadness, we mourn for and pay our respects to our colleague and friend Carsten von Birckhahn, who has inspired us and shaped everything we have done for so many years, and who was leading us forward to a promising future.

His vision of a new world of mountain sports will continue to live on in every one of us; also, through our new colleague, Thomas Hodel, who Carsten introduced to the company as a driving force in the brand management.We are grateful for the time we were able to spend with him. Our thoughts are with his family, who we wish every strength for the time ahead.

Related

Hayden Kennedy

Hayden Kennedy dies after avalanche in Montana

Already a legend in the climbing world at 27, Hayden Kennedy chose to end his life after an avalanche killed his partner, Inge Perkins. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that the two skiers were skiing on Imp Peak in the southern Madison Range, about 20 miles southwest of Big ...read more

Happy Birthday Fred

Legendary Climber Fred Beckey Dies

The death of iconic climber Fred Beckey leaves the industry and all who knew him saddened, yet positively reflecting on his full life. Many of Beckey’s 94 years on this planet were spent fearlessly and relentlessly devoted to his beloved sport of climbing. Close, long-time ...read more

Rodney Smith poses in front of pile of prayer flags

Backpacker's Pantry President Rodney Smith dies after ski accident near Boulder

The outdoor community is mourning Rodney Smith, the president and owner of American Outdoor Products who died on Jan. 2 after a tragic ski accident at Eldora Mountain, just north of Boulder, Colorado. He was 57. "He left us all too soon but spent his final days doing what he ...read more

tomzajicek-backcountry-experience-crop-aug-17

RIP, Tom Zajicek

Tom Zajicek, a beloved employee of Durango's Backcountry Experience died on Sunday in a tragic climbing accident on Starlight Peak, in California. Zajicek, an experienced climber, reportedly summited the 14,200-foot peak at 2 p.m. with Laura Scull, an associate professor of ...read more

Sam Coffey

Skier and industry friend Sam Coffey dies at 29

One of the outdoor industry's bright stars, Sam Coffey, died unexpectedly on Monday after suffering a series of strokes last week. He was 29. The Aspen Times reported—and confirmed through Olympic ski racer and Coffey's longtime friend Wiley Maple—that the skier suffered a ...read more

Jake Burton Carpenter in his office

The OG snowboarder, Jake Burton Carpenter, dies at 65

Snowboarding wouldn't be the sport and community it is today if it wasn't for Jake Burton Carpenter. The OG snowboarder and founder of Burton Snowboards died on Wednesday night at age 65 from a recurrence of cancer. Employees learned of his death through an email sent by Co-CEO ...read more

John Bresee, co-founder of Backcountry, in the office

Backcountry co-founder John Bresee dies at 53

Many knew John Bresee as one of Backcountry’s founders, but many more knew him as a man who loved living on the edge. A strong intellect and wit drove him to constantly be seeking the extraordinary, and ultimately led him to his exceptionally successful life. He spent June 28, ...read more

Lama Geshe passes away

An Everest icon dies

If you climbed Mt. Everest in the last several decades, you know about this kind, gentle soul who became the famous blesser of climbers in the Sherpa village of Pangboche, a popular stop on the walk to Everest Base Camp. Lama Geshe studied as a young boy in Tibet, eventually ...read more

ScottKerslake_Prana

Scott Kerslake to leave prAna

Scott Kerslake, CEO of prAna, will step down next week to take on a leadership position in an adjacent industry, the brand's parent company, Columbia Sportswear Company, announced Monday. Kerslake has been CEO of prAna since 2010, and was previously its president. The brand has ...read more