Polartec is pleased to announce the recipients of its 21st annual Polartec® Challenge Grant. Six separate expeditions will receive funding and support from Polartec for 2012: a first ascent attempt in the Indian Karakoram, an attempt of a climbing double header in Pakistan, a first descent attempt in Alaska, a new route attempt in Alaska, a first ascent attempt in Alaska, and first ascent attempts in Antarctica.
“The Polartec Challenge encourages the spirit and practice of outdoor adventure,” states Polartec North American Marketing Manager, Allon Cohne. “The 2012 Polartec Challenge Grant recipients exemplify Polartec’s commitment to expanding our perception of what’s possible, and we’re proud to help them.”
1. Malcolm Bass, Paul Figg, Simon Yearsley and Rachel Antill will attempt to make the first ascent of the southwest face of Rimo III. The Rimo group is a remote and rarely visited area in the Indian Karakorum, and Rimo III’s face is considered by many to be one of the last great challenges.
2. Kyle Dempster and Hayden Kennedy will attempt a Pakistani double header. They plan to complete their 2011 attempt on the east face of K7 and attempt the first ascent of the north face of the Ogre 2 on the Choktoi glacier. The Choktoi glacier has a rich climbing history, containing some of the most impressive mountains in the world, and has a zero percent success rate.
3. Polartec Athlete Advisory Board member Nick Devore, Will Cardamone, Jake Sakson and Andy Jacobsen will attempt to climb and ski the unskied northwest face of Mt. Seattle in Alaska. The group plans to kayak from Yakutat to the Hubbard Glacier, where they will begin the glacial traverse to Mt. Seattle. Andy Jacobsen will shoot the trip for a segment in PowderWhore Productions’ new film next year.
4. Peter Doucette and Silas Rossi will attempt a new route on the southeast face of Mt. Bradley in Alaska. On their proposted route, the two-man team expects to find significant mixed climbing for the duration of the 4,500′ ascent.
5. John Frieh, Dave Burdick and Zac West will attempt the first ascent of Middle Peak in the St. Elias range in Alaska. Middle Peak’s 5,000′+ wall offers a unique opportunity for the team in a very remote region.
6. Freddie Wilkinson and Mike Libecki will travel to an area in Antarctica previously unexplored by climbers to climb first ascents on the Earth’s southernmost and most remote spires and big walls. Wilkinson and Libecki will take advantage of the continuous daylight during the winter solstice and attempt first ascents of as many spires as possible during the expedition. Libecki also recieved a Polartec Challenge Grant in 2011 for a climbing expedition to Franz Josef Land in Russia, which has been extended to 2012.
In addition to the grant money, all of this year’s Polartec® Challenge winners will be fully outfitted with Polartec® garments, designed to keep them warm, comfortable and dry in the harshest of climates.
About the Polartec® Challenge Grant
The annual Polartec® Challenge Grant seeks to assist frugal, low impact teams who respect the local culture and environment and serve as role models to outdoor enthusiasts worldwide. Applications are evaluated on the basis of their vision, commitment and credibility. Past recipients of the Polartec® Challenge Grant include outdoor pioneers and adventurers such as Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, Steve House, Jon Turk, Marko Prezelj, Andrew McLean and John Shipton.