ASHFORD, WASHINGTON - JanSport's 36th Annual Rainier Mountaineering (RMI) Seminar takes climbers to new heights. Seventeen fearless individuals made their four-day Summit Climb up Mt. Rainier over Memorial Day weekend, May 26th-31st, lead by Peter Whittaker, world-renowned mountain guide, and five guiding experts. Climbers spanned the globe from Chile to North America, including JanSport employees and field sales representatives, as well as people from the outdoor industry and JanSport retailers.
In preparation for the Summit Climb, the team assembled at Paradise for a day-long training session to qualify for the climb, learning everything from rest-stepping and pressure breathing to the latest ice axe arrest practices. â€œI loved the professionalism of RMI,â€ notes Sebastian Barros, JanSport Sales Rep for Latin America. â€œI felt secure all the time and this is something very important, as Rainier is a challenging mountain.â€
Following training day, climbers hiked nearly 4.5 miles and 3,000 vertical feet, from Paradise (5,400') to Camp Muir (10,060'), traveling through the spectacular alpine region and onto the Muir Snowfield, named after John Muir who climbed the peak in 1888. After a day of acclimation and more technical summit training, climbers carbed-up and hit their tents early to get in a few hours of sleep before the inevitable 2:00 AM wake-up call to begin their summit attempt.
"This year's climb could not have been scripted any better,â€ says John Duran, Equipment Designer for JanSport. â€œIt was apparent in every aspect of this trip, from the planning to the actual climb itself, that the JanSport/RMI relationship is a genuine relationship between friends, strengthened over 36 years." JanSport's involvement with RMI extends beyond the annual seminar. Since 1970, RMI has served as JanSport's on-the-mountain product testing team, providing invaluable insight and critique by wearing and using JanSport packs in real conditions. JanSport's relationship with RMI ensures that all its packs are tough, functional and comfortable.
Thirteen out of the 17 participants reached Mt. Rainier's famed 14,410' Columbia Crest at 10:10 AM. Frank Hugelmeyer, President and CEO of the Outdoor Industry Association, reflects on his experience, â€œAttending JanSport's Rainier Seminar was one the greatest alpine experiences I have ever had. Learning mountain craft from some of the world's best climbers, forging deep friendships with industry colleagues to summiting one of America's most challenging and aesthetic peaks, the RMI seminar answers the question of â€˜why do you climb mountains'.â€
Learn more about JanSport's partnership with RMI at www.jansport.com or visit www.rmiguides.com for additional information about Mount Rainier.
Founded in 1967 JanSportïƒ¢, a division of VF Outdoor Inc., is headquartered in San Leandro, California, and is a leading manufacturer and global marketer of backpacks, travel bags and accessories. The Company offers products for school, business, travel and all outdoor adventures. JanSport products are sold in a variety of retail stores throughout the world. To find additional information, log onto www.jansport.com.
About VF Corporation
VF Corporation is a leader in branded apparel including jeanswear, outdoor products, intimate apparel, image apparel and sportswear. Its principal brands include Leeïƒ¢, Wranglerïƒ¢, Ridersïƒ¢, Rustlerïƒ¢, Vanity Fairïƒ¢, Vassaretteïƒ¢, Bestformïƒ¢, Lily of Franceïƒ¢, Nauticaïƒ¢, Earl Jeanïƒ¢, John Varvatosïƒ¢, JanSportïƒ¢, Eastpakïƒ¢, The North Faceïƒ¢, Vansïƒ¢, Napapijriïƒ¢, Kiplingïƒ¢, Lee Sportïƒ¢ and Red Kapïƒ¢. VF Corporation's press releases, annual report and other information can be accessed through the Company's home page, www.vfc.com.
About Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI)
RMI is the professional mountain guiding service whose industry-recognized standard in guiding excellence began on Mt. Rainier, Washington, in 1969. The staff of highly skilled mountain guides teaches the very latest in modern snow and ice climbing techniques and has been wearing and testing JanSport packs since 1971. Visit www.rmiguides.com for more information.
Public Relations Coordinator