From trail running to bouldering: These are the trends in mountain climbing of 2018

Climbing is the most important discipline in mountaineering.
Climbing is the most important discipline in mountaineering.

The question of the big trends is the beginning of the series on the subject of mountain sports. We ask the questions, mountain sports specialists answer them. This time they are representatives of Edelrid, Petzl, Red Chili, Stubai Sport, Black Diamond, Deuter, Arc’teryx and Haglöfs.

Edelrid: PVC-free and bluesign certified

Edelrid is a German manufacturer of climbing and mountain climbing equipment based in Isny in the Allgäu. Founded in 1863, since 2006 Edelrid has been part of the Vaude group. The company employs 160 employees.

Sebastian Straub, International Marketing & Media: “Our focus is always on making practise easier and above all safer. In addition, the topic of sustainability is increasingly important. Edelrid was the first rope manufacturer to have his ropes bluesign certified. This year, we launched the first rope with PVC-free equipment. In the future, we will constantly question our process in order to manufacture in a more environmentally friendly way without compromising quality and safety.”

Urban trend: Petzl focuses on climbing halls

Petzl is a manufacturer of climbing and caving equipment based in Crolles, France. The company was founded in the middle of the 70s by the cave explorer, Fernand Petzl, and employs 700 employees.

Christoph Driever, Country Manager: “As a very “alpine” brand, Petzl continues to focus on regularly providing innovative solutions and products for key topics such as mountain climbing, alpine tours, Alpine climbing and sports climbing. We have also defined strategic goals to accompany the “urban” development in climbing. Petzl will therefore be presenting new products especially for climbing hall operators as early as 2018. Furthermore, we are constantly investing in the further development of new ideas, which should make climbing safer to a greater extent.”

Red Chili benefits from a boom in climbing and bouldering halls

Red Chili Climbing is a German company, which manufactures climbing shoes and climbing clothing. Stefan Glowacz is the co-founder.

Uwe Hofstädter, Managing Director: “Climbing and bouldering in halls is developing at a rapid rate. Each person can define whether this is still a mountain sport or simply fitness training with the enjoyment of vertical movement. Due to our product portfolios, climbing and bouldering shoes as well as the matching clothing line, we are benefiting from this trend.”

Stubai Sport: Tracking and VR-goggles for climbers

Stubai Sport is an equipment manufacturer in the mountain climbing field that specialises in climbing and ice climbing. The origins of the traditional company go back to 1897.

Daniel de Pretis, Mountain Climbing Product Group Manager: “The development is moving in the direction of “getting lighter”, i.e. products that a mountain climber has weigh increasingly less. Additional future topics are the trend towards individualisation and sustainability has also become an integral part of mountain sports. Here, we see a lot of potential for us. This also applies to the topic of digitalisation. In the future, VR-goggles will play a role, tracking for climbers is just around the corner. There is also a lot happening in the field of security (e.g.: fall simulator). In sporting terms, bouldering is currently on the rise. We can see that, above all, there is a high demand for our training equipment.”


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Black Diamond: Mountain climbing is becoming a popular sport

Black Diamond Equipment is a manufacturer of climbing, skiing and mountain climbing equipment based in Utah, USA. The company was founded in 1954 and also has global offices in Innsbruck, Austria, and Zhuhai, China.

Stephan Hagenbusch, Vice-President of International Sales: “Mountain climbing is increasingly becoming a popular sport. This development can be seen above all in the increasing urbanisation of the typical outdoor sports or the emergence of new training platforms. The climbing hall sport is booming and as a leading climbing equipment supplier it is our aim to offer the ideal products for the special conditions in the hall. At the same time, we at Black Diamond see it as our duty to prepare climbing beginners for the “switch” from climbing halls to rocks – in order to ensure a compatible treatment of nature.”

Deuter: A professional service for alpine climbing

Deuter Sport GmbH is a manufacturer of rucksacks, sleeping bags and accessories based in Gersthofen near Augsburg. The company was founded in 1898. Today, Deuter employs 86 employees.

Martin Riebel, Managing Director: “As a mountain climbing brand, we want to, above all, provide professional service for Formula 1 – alpine climbing – in the future. Firstly, with well thought-out and innovate products with the Deuter quality standard – but also through better care of athletes and mountain guides. We have created a separate job for this purpose from summer 2018.”

Arc’teryx: Community and fun at the heart

Arc‘teryx was founded in 1989 in North Vancouver, Canada. The company develops equipment for mountain climbing, skiing and climbing and employs 500 people. Arc’teryx belongs to Amer Sports.

James Bronson, Product Line Manager Ascent/ Harnesses: “As with every type of sport, there will also be progress at the top here. This requires light and durable products. But even the typical mountaineer wants to go higher, for example in trail running there are clear goals in terms of time and distance. Due to the increasing number of climbing halls, there are a lot more beginners in mountain climbing. The new climbing generation appreciates the community idea of climbing and just want to have fun. The desire for “extreme” nature, as is usual in mountain sports, is not so much in the focus of this target group.

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Haglöfs: Lightweight clothing for new high performance

Haglöfs is a Swedish manufacturer of outdoor equipment and employs 180 people. Founded in 1914. The headquarters are in Järfälla (Kallhäll), Sweden.

Sara Skogsberg Cuadras, Corporate & CSR Communications: “As there is a trend towards faster ascents and descents in mountain climbing, we are also focusing strongly on our L.I.M (Less Is More) concept for mountain climbing clothing. This means lightweight clothing but with uncompromising high performance aspects such as durability, permeability and mobility.”

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