Polartec Scufoneda Balderdash Giveaway

Happy Holidays Polartec fans! Seeing as everyone has their own DEFINITION of holiday traditions and how they ring in the winter season, we figured it was only fitting to play a little game of Balderdash as this week’s giveaway. For those of you unfamiliar with the game- you make up a definition for a gibberish word and the best definition wins.

This week, Polartec partner, Land’s End, gave away a trip to the Polartec Scufoneda ski event in Italy. The true definition stems from Moena, Italy and a love for freeriding and is celebrated by locals and all types of skiers and snowboarders annually in the Italian Dolomites.

So- this week’s contest is to come up with a new definition of ‘Scufoneda.’
Post your entry into a comment below this post on the Polartec Facebook page and we will announce a winner on Monday, November 26th at Noon MST.

The winning definition will win A Land’s End AirCore 100 1/2 Zip (winner’s choice of either one men’s medium or one women’s small to give away)
The Polartec® Aircore® series of fabrics developed for Lands’ End set a new standard for lightweight warmth and breathability. The fabrics use hollow core yarns that improve the warmth to weight ratio, making them 20% warmer.


Polartec First Snow Patagonia Giveaway

The first snows are falling all over the country in the past couple of weeks, ski resorts in Colorado are already opening and it is officially time to pull the winter gear out of mothballs and see what needs replacing (or washing). So we figured we would help a few of you upgrade your winter gear for free.

This week we are giving away a Men’s and Women’s edition of Patagonia Piton Pullover- The new Piton Pullover keeps things simple: it’s a thermal, no-frills, wicking baselayer. Or midlayer. Either way, it gives stretchy warmth whether worn alone on low-wind days, or layered under a shell. The Power Dry poly/spandex blend feels soft next-to-skin, wicks moisture and is highly breathable, while the smooth jersey face slides easily under layers. The chest-deep front zip allows easy on/off and ventilation, and nylon elastic cuffs and hem seal out weather.

The Piton features Polartec Power Dry fabric- superior stretch, warmth and moisture management in the main body; durable, smooth jersey face slides easily beneath layers.

- simple, versatile baselayer/midlayer
- designed to keep your skin dry when you sweat
- highly breathable
- quick drying
- comfortable next to skin

So- how can you get this great new jacket, you ask?

To enter:
1) Head to the Polartec Facebook page and find the First Snow Giveaway post.
2) Answer this question in a comment below that post- “Instead of snow, what would be your #1 choice for things falling from the sky?”

We will pick a winner at random on Wednesday the 31st at noon (Halloween). GOOD LUCK!

Polartec Sponsors Soldiers to the Summit & Chad Butrick

In support of Soldiers to the-Summit, Polartec is sponsoring U.S. Army veteran and disabled mountaineer Chad Stone in his 2012 attempt up Cotopaxi, a 19,347-foot peak in Ecquador. Chad was kind enough to tell us his story:

I’ll first preface my story with a brief background on my childhood. Originally from Arvada, CO, my family moved to northwest Montana when I was 11, and I grew up feeling drawn to the outdoors. In those years, I spent a lot of time in the mountains – hiking, hunting, fishing. I’ve always felt at home in the outdoors. I also grew up working on a ranch, playing football, and wrestling. Coming from a family of big guys, I grew to be a big dude as well.

I joined the Army out of high school to pay for college. I knew that would be my only path to college, so after graduation I joined the Army as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle systems mechanic. (Note: Bradley Fighting Vehicles are modern tanks.) I was sent to South Korea as a peacekeeper on the North/South border after basic training and advanced individual training. Strangely enough, I was assigned to a unit that didn’t have a Bradley fighting vehicle or any other track vehicle. I was assigned a driving position instead, and split time between driving a Colonel and a 5-ton wrecker. I was really in my element there, loved my unit and my job. Compared to others in the military I had a lot of freedom and living in South Korea. I was able hiked Hallasan on the island on Jejudo (a volcano and the highest point in South Korea), and found some stellar rock climbing as well. All things considered, my time in Korea was an amazing experience.

In October 1998, I finished my deployment in South Korea and was sent to Ft. Steward, GA – or as I like to call it, Swamp Stewart. I was only there for a short time – we were hearing rumblings of a deployment to Kuwait to support continued peacekeeping in the region following the first war with Iraq. To prepare for the Middle East environment, we were sent from Georgia to the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, CA. Even though things were relatively quiet in Kuwait, I was apprehensive about the upcoming deployment. Still, I never even considered staying behind.

Near our final days of training at Fort Irwin, our unit was preparing our vehicles returned and reused for the next training unit. One of our Bradley vehicles had a problem with its “deck.” Think of the deck like it is the hood of your car only it weighs hundreds of pounds. They are spring-assisted, as one person cannot lift it alone. The spring on this particular deck was broken so the deck had to be removed with a crane. This is normally a fairly simple process – remove about 20 bolts, and lift with the crane. The last two bolts were jammed on my unit’s Bradley, so I was summoned as the biggest guy in the platoon to assist.

It is funny how the smallest of decisions can have a huge impact on your life. While removing the final bolt, something in the deck snapped and sent my wrench, the bolt, and the deck flying through the air, directly into my right cheek and jaw. All I remember is feeling like I had been electrocuted.

The medical term for my injury is TBI – traumatic brain injury. This trauma to my brain will be something that will impact me my entire life. After several surgeries and months, I was on the mend, but the Army had decided that my injury was serious enough that I didn’t need to be in the military any longer. I received an honorable discharge and left for college as my unit deployed to Kuwait without me.

Some time later, I remember walking out of an early morning Algebra class on September 11, 2001. I turned on the radio and realized that our country was at war. My mind flashed immediately to the guys who I had served with – they were going to have to this fight to to the terrorists who have impacted all of our lives so significantly. My heart was heavy with the realization that the men I knew could and would perish for their country and the defense of freedom.

I went on to graduate with honors from Evangel University with a degree in Criminal Justice. Following my passion for private investigation (I think this sprung from my Army reconnaissance training), I began to work after college for the largest PI company in the United States. I was placed on several high profile investigations and enjoyed my early career.

On September 12, 2005, about three years after 9/11, I was attending a conference in Kansas City, MO. Things were going well – my boss had just awarded me a promotion, and promised that that if I kept working like I was, the sky was the limit for me in the industry. I was to start a new investigation in Boonville, MO early the next morning.

On September 13, I got an early 3:30 am start from my hotel and began driving to my new investigation. I would not make it there. Around 5:00 am, I was involved in a motor vehicle collision on Interstate 70. Another driver lost control, spun his vehicle, coming to rest across both lanes of traffic, completely blocking the road.

I can remember somehow the moments just before the collision. I thought that at 28, I had lived a pretty good life and even though I didn’t want to die that day, I was prepared to. The next thing I remember was pain and spinning. When my car stopped, I could see that my right foot was seriously broken. I felt a lot of pain but was happy to be alive. I was eventually removed from my vehicle by emergency personnel, and remember insisting that someone bring me my phone so that I could call in sick to work. I told my boss that I had broken my leg and I would be back out at the investigation the next day.

I was in much worse shape that I realized, and was flown by helicopter to the closest hospital where I underwent seven hours of surgery. Three broken ribs, 50+ staples to reattach my scalp, numerous lacerations, and a terribly broken broken leg and ankle. This was a life-changing day. I would never walk with my right foot again after. By January 23, 2006, I had more surgeries than I can really remember and was being wheeled into an operating room to have my right leg amputated below the knee. I had also gained 100 pounds this time, less than five months. I couldn’t move, and the drugs I was on just made me want to eat.

I briefly returned to private investigation after my amputation, but I couldn’t really do it any more. One of the “side effects,” if you will, of my amputation is severe phantom pains. I have a hard time sitting still for long and am never comfortable. This affected my ability to do the job. Eventually I felt that I just needed to get better and moved in 2008 to Colorado to do just that.

As I had in my childhood, I turned once again to the outdoors for inspiration. I began hiking the 14,000+ foot peaks in CO and walked that 100 pounds right off. I began learning new skills like ice climbing and relearned how to rock climb with a prosthetic. I was able to go to Alaska to attempt Mooses Tooth with Chad Jukes, a fellow disabled veteran and Soldiers to the Summit mentor.

Shortly after returning from Alaska, I was contacted about a project in Nepal called Soldiers to the Summit. It was an attempt to climb the 20,075-foot Lobuche Mountain and sounded like exactly the trip I needed. It was a chance to connect with other veterans and have a goal. The opportunity really didn’t seem real until I got on the plane. The movie High Ground documented that project – I encourage you to check it out – www.highgroundmovie.com

I am honored and proud to be back for the 2012 Soldiers to the Summit program, which will culminate with an attempt at Cotopaxi (elevation 19,347 feet) in Ecuador. I have met an amazing group of people though this program, and believe that it can help veterans overcome barriers. The greatest threat to our veteran population is suicide. Every day, 18 veterans make that choice. That is 6,570 per year. Soldiers to the Summit and programs like it help veterans become true heroes by reclaiming their lives.

Six years later after my amputation, I am still trying to learn how to be a one legged guy in a world of mostly two legged people. I have to credit Soldiers to the Summit with helping me on the path to figuring that out.

We want to thank Chad for being a true inspiration to all of us here at Polartec. We will be following his Cotopaxi expedition here on JAZ. You can learn more about Chad on his website: www.chadbutrick.com.

Laurent Valette Finishes the 2012 Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc

Polartec Athlete Advisory Board Member Laurent Valette competed in the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in the Alps last month. Here’s his story:

UTMB. The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc – the epitome of ultra-running. More than 2,000 runners enter UTMB each year, typically representing over 75 different nations. Widely regarded as the most difficult foot race in Europe, it reportedly has an attrition rate that hovers above 50%. I entered and finished in 32 hours to earn 144th place in 2009 and decided to test my luck again this year in Chamonix, France.

Due to rough weather, organizers decide to shorten this year’s race. They didn’t consider cancelling it, but shortened it to a mere 104 kilometers with 6,000+ meters of elevation gain, rather than the originally planned 166 km and 9,800+ meters. A little bit of weather wasn’t going to spoil all of the fun.

All 2,400 runners started at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 31 in Chamonix under an intense and foreboding rain. It would rain and snow from that moment until 7 a.m. the next morning, giving us 12 brutal hours of continuous wet and cold (-5C to +7C) conditions.

Right from the start, I donned my Polartec® Neoshell® jacket to protect from the rain. I was relieved to find that the jacket repelled water the entire night, allowing me to stay dry and stay moving.

After just 30 kilometers, I lost my footing and slammed my knee on a rock, hard. The pain was intense, and I had to take several moments to register the severity of my injury. With 74 km to go, I decided to press on through the pain. After the injury, the most important thing for me was to finish – my ranking no longer had any significance. Staying dry in the NeoShell jacket – perfectly suited for effort in harsh conditions – helped keep my spirits up.

As the grueling race dragged on, it became more of an internal, mental battle to keep moving than a physical struggle. I was absolutely ecstatic, albeit exhausted, when I finally crossed the finish line. Despite my injuries, I finished 383rd out of 2,400 total participants.

Polartec Athlete Advisory Board Member Laurent Vallete is an ultra-runner and adventure racer. He placed 17th in the Mauritius Island Ocean Classic 2012 and will compete in Argentina’s Race World Cup Series and the Rodrigues Trail Race in the Indian Ocean this year. Stay tuned!

2012 Rimo III South West Face Expedition

British climbers Malcolm Bass, Paul Figg and Simon Yearsley will leave for India in early August to attempt this impressive unclimbed objective. They will be accompanied by artist, Rachel Antill (who will be producing artwork and an independent film, inspired by the landscape and overall environment), and by the Indian expedition leader, renowned explorer and mountaineer, Satyabrata Dam.

The South West Face climbing team is (from left to right): Paul Figg, Simon Yearsley, Malcolm Bass.
Photo: Simon Yearsley

Rachel Antill-Climber and artist
Photo: Paul Harris

The Rimo Group lies in the remote area of the Indian East Karakorum, and whilst Rimo III was first climbed in 1985 from the north by British climbers Dave Wilkinson and Jim Fotheringham, the beautiful South West Face remains unclimbed. It is considered by many to be one of the great longstanding challenges of the Karakoram.

The imposing South West Face of Rimo III (7233m) dominating the approach up the North Terong glacier, Indian East Karakoram.
Photo: Doug Scott

The 2012 Rimo III Expedition is sponsored by Polartec, Montane, Lyon Equipment and High5; and supported by grants from The Alpine Club, The British Mountaineering Council, and The Mount Everest Foundation. The expedition is also supported by Needlesports and Swaledale Outdoors.

Polartec Summertime Giveaway

Whether your summer sport is mountain biking, climbing, hiking, stand up paddleboarding or just some good ole car camping, there are two things that probably come with you every time. 1) Good Tunes and 2) Your Baselayers. So, to kick off summer, and as always, say thanks to our Facebook fans, we are giving you a little bit of both to help you upgrade your playlist and your gear closet with a not-yet-available Fall ’12 product sample.

Polartec’s Top Ten Summer Songs:
1. Summertime- DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
2. School’s Out- Alice Cooper
3. Anything by the Beach Boys
4. Summer of 69′- Bryan Adams
5. Summertime- Kenny Chesney
6. Knee Deep- Zac Brown Band
7. Glory Days- Springsteen
8. Under the Boardwalk- The Drifters
9. Jimmy Buffet- Margaritaville
10. Alan Jackson/Eddie Cochran- Summertime Blues

Fall ’12 Marmot Lightweight Baselayers

Made with a recycled Polartec® Power Dry® fabric with a smooth face for easy on and off with no-bind layering, the Marmot Lightweight Baselayers feature stretch for increased range of motion, flat-locked seams for added comfort, and mesh panels for increased mobility. The quick-drying, ultra breathable, and fast-wicking recycled Polartec® Power Dry® fabric makes them versatile for a range of applications and conditions.

To WIN:1) If you haven’t already, and if you feel so inclined, head to the Polartec Facebook Page and ‘Like’ us.
2) Find this giveaway post on the Polartec Facebook page
3) In a comment below the post, tell us: In your opinion, what is the greatest summer song?

We will choose a winner at random on Friday, June 29th at 12pm MST.

Disclaimer: We only have a women’s medium Lightweight 1/2 Zip LS.

2012 Polartec® APEX Design Award Winners

We are excited to announce the 2012 Polartec® APEX Design Award winners! These APEX awards honor the finest Polartec-based garments available to consumers this coming fall. Garments and accessories are judged on innovation, design, style, workmanship, fit, and functionality.

Out of dozens of garments submitted, a panel of judges selected 12 North American winners and 13 European winners. The winners range from highly efficient next-to-skin layers, to diving-specific insulation layers, to the latest extreme weather protection garments and accessories.

NA press release

EU press release