Photo: Austiin Siadac
Exped's USA subsidiary, based in Seattle, WA, recently began a collaborative relationship with alpinist Graham Zimmerman. Exped will supply gear and other forms of support for GZ's climbs in exchange for testing, product development consultation and inspiration.
"Graham's ethical and innovative approach to his craft is impressive and has intrigued us for years - and it's a perfect fit with Exped's way of doing business" said Kaj Bune of Exped in Seattle. "He's a Seattle local and so is Exped's USA team, so we can deliver beer to Graham on the way home from work. This is particularly important right now because he's begun his rehab after knee surgery and hop therapy is critical to his complete recovery and return to the big mountains of the world."
Here's how Graham describes himself on his blog, Nomadic Wanderings of a gZ (www.grahamzimmerman.com):
“Climbing is what I do. I work hard to perpetuate the dreams of personal progression on the mountains and crags of the world with excellent style and ethics. My grail lies in the unclimbed terrain of the greater ranges. I'm a lover of people, music, peace, harmony and our amazing mother earth. Please feel free to contact me with questions or beta requests.”
2014 has been a year of contrast for GZ. Early in the year he and climbing partner Mark Allen were nominated as finalists for the coveted Piolets d'Or juried award, given each year to alpinism's best. Their May 2013 first ascent of the northeast buttress of Mt. Laurens (10,042') in Alaska put them squarely on the list of outstanding ascents in 2013.
The alpinists put the economy of means as their first priority, and it was small teams that were confronted by walls technically always difficult, assuming in this way an engagement often extreme, in a total respect for the mountain. In this game, success is rare, which has more value. It puts into evidence the boldness, the curiosity and the talent of the alpinists. - www. pioletsdor.com
Photo: Clint Helander
[Above: GZ on the sharp end with the Exped Core 25 pack]
Shortly after returning from the awards ceremonies in Chamonix and Courmayeur, Graham joined climbing partner Clint Helander and headed back to the Revelations Mountains of Alaska, where they made the first ascent of the west face of the aptly named Titanic Peak in a 22.5 hour push from camp. Two days later, while on reconnaissance, Graham fell into a hidden crevasse and badly injured his knee. After an early June surgery to rebuild a torn ACL, GZ is now in full rehab mode.
“Knee surgery has allowed me time to focus on projects other than expedition climbing which has been super positive. Part of this has been learning more about my body, another element has been developing my creative skill set, both of these are going to allow for some excellent progress in my athletic career and my life in general” states Graham. “I am extremely excited to be working with Exped. We continually find ways that our attitudes coincide beautifully, both in terms of how to approach marketing and design, as well as how we like to engage the outdoor settings that we love. I’m looking forward to a long fruitful relationship with these guys. I am also very much looking forward to getting back to the mountains.”
Photo: Graham Zimmerman
[Above: spring 2014 line on the west face of Titanic Peak, AK]
Graham began work immediately with the Exped product development team based in Zurich, Switzerland. "The Exped pack line is growing rapidly right now and adding Graham to our group of regular advisors is exciting. His big mountain experience and direct style of climbing is already having an influence on future designs." said Ted Steudel, director of sales at Exped in the USA. "GZ's influence certainly won't stop at packs though - we will mine him for those tiny details found only at the cutting edge of the sport. It's going to be fun!"
Graham's thoughts on the world of alpine mountaineering will be found often at Exped's blog at www.exped.com.