The team at ExpedUSA work closely with our counterparts at the main office in Zurich, Switzerland. As Americans we are often surprised and delighted to learn new things about Swiss culture. The difference between our American English and our friends’ Swiss German is always a source of both entertainment and education.
One good example is the German term “ohne schnickschnack.” Ohne means "without" and schnickschnack translates as “frills.” No frills, nothing superfluous or extra. It’s a term you will hear thrown around by Exped people around the world, not just in our Zurich, Switzerland and Tacoma, Washington offices. Exped Sweden, Exped Japan, Exped Korea, Exped UK, Exped Norway and many others will be heard using this term. Why? Because it perfectly describes the key design concept that finds its way into every Exped item of gear. Nothing extra simply for show; nothing on the gear without a purpose (or multiple purposes).
Perhaps the most challenging part of design is to leave things off, but sticking with this clean gear ethos over the years has produced many elegant outcomes. Every Exped product is an example of the ohne schnickschnack credo, but a notable example is the Black Ice pack. It comes in three sizes - 30, 45 and 55 liters. These are “new school” packs for alpinism and they have been reduced to the max! Every mountaineering tool can be attached and the load carries superbly, but there are no superfluous straps dangling in the wind and a minimum number of pockets and other extras. One might think that performance would suffer from this less-is-more approach, but it doesn’t. Exped ambassador and world-class alpinist, Graham Zimmerman, was part of the design from the very beginning and has used the Black Ice on multiple expeditions in Alaska and Pakistan as well as many local western USA climbs, short and long.
Ohne schnickschnack! Less is more. No frills. Reduced to the max. Look for it in any piece of Exped gear!