Mountain Hardwear Test Team Launchs Exodus Packs on National Trails

Mountain Hardwear revives its Test Team for the Exodus Pack launch. Finalists will receive a free Exodus Pack to hike one of the three continental north-south trails. They will send dispatches back to be posted on Mountain Hardwear's website.

RICHMOND, Ca. (February 1, 2006) – Mountain Hardwear Inc., a leading mountaineering and outdoor equipment and clothing company, announced today that it has partnered with three continental north-south trail organizations to help promote some of the nation's most cherished long-distance hiking trails. The partnership marks the launch of Mountain Hardwear's new Exodus Pack line. Exodus Backpacks, which will be available in specialty outdoor stores February 1st, incorporate a revolutionary new frame system that moves with the user's body, resulting in a comfortable fit, even when hiking on uneven terrain.

Mountain Hardwear has partnered with non-profit organizations affiliated with the most revered long-distance hiking trails: The Appalachian Trail (2,144 miles, from Maine to Georgia); The Continental Divide Trail (3,100 miles from Montana through Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico) and the Pacific Crest Trail (2,650 miles from Washington through Oregon and California). The agreements include providing funds for trail construction and maintenance to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Continental Divide Trail Alliance's Explorers Program, and sponsoring the Pacific Crest Trail Alliance Trail Fest held March 31-April 2 in Riverside California, an event to increase awareness of the trail. In partnership with Mountain the Test Team program to their membership base.

Those chosen to be part of the Exodus Test Team will hike portions of the three trails during the spring or summer of 2006. Mountain Hardwear will provide each participant with an Exodus pack. In exchange, Test Team members will document their trips with stories and photos for posting on Mountain Hardwear's website. Participants are also encouraged to conceive and execute a trail stewardship project associated with their trip.

“As an outdoor gear company, we care deeply about the preservation and responsible use of these great American trails. Our Exodus Pack launch has provided an excellent opportunity to promote these worthy organizations as well as put our packs on the backs of passionate users,” said Ryan Hodgkin, Mountain Hardwear's marketing manager.

More information about the Exodus Tester Team and an application can be found at The application deadline is March 1. The Test Team will be announced April 1.

Mountain Hardwear designs, sources and markets high-end mountaineering and outdoor equipment, apparel and accessories. Mountain Hardwear was established in 1993 by a group of outdoor industry veterans and is based in Richmond, Calif. The company distributes its products through specialty outdoor and sporting goods retailers in the United States and 25 countries worldwide. Mountain Hardwear has won numerous product and customer service awards since its inception. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company. For more information about Mountain Hardwear, visit the company's Internet home page at