Westcomb athlete Don Bowie heads back to the Karakoram
Bowie keeps options open, shooting for summits of Gasherbrum I-IV, depending on route/weather conditions.
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VANCOUVER, B.C. â€“ Canadian alpinist and Westcomb athlete Don Bowie is back in the Himalaya this month for his ninth expedition to the Himalayas. Along with shooting for several 8,000-meter summits, Bowie will provide real-world feedback to the Westcomb apparel design team from world’s best testing grounds for technical outerwear.
During their expedition in the Karakoram region of Pakistan over the next two months, Bowie and climbing partner Alexey Bolotov have permits for routes on Gasherbrum I, II, III and IV, allowing them to keep options open based on weather and route conditions.
As part of his work for Westcomb, Bowie will be testing a number of current and yet-to-be-released outerwear and insulation layers during the trip, providing real-world feedback on design and function. Among the pieces Bowie will be using are the Revenant Bib and Jacket, the Specter LT Hoody, the Himalaya Hoody, the Chief Bib-Pant, the Skeena Hoody, the Rebel Jacket, and Sphere base layers.
â€œI’ve used Westcomb apparel for years, so it’s exciting to be deepening my relationship and commitment to the brand, and moving sponsorship into an advisory role,â€ Bowie said. â€œI only use gear I really believe in, and knowing how well Westcomb delivers in extreme conditions, like those we got summiting K2 in 2007, I’m excited to have a more formal role in helping evolve the line.â€
Along with design feedback, Bowie, during down days in base camp, will be developing video clips discussing what makes particular Westcomb pieces so well suited to extreme weather conditions. Westcomb will use that content via its social media channels, including its Facebook page. Once Bowie returns, he will present slide shows on his trip as a Westcomb ambassador at retail venues.
Bowie and Bolotov recently arrived in base camp on the Baltoro Glacier. They’re currently acclimatizing and scoping possible routes. For updates on the expedition, visit Bowie’s web site at www.donbowie.com or visit Westcomb’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/westcomb.
Bowie, who is now based in Bishop, summited K2 without supplementary oxygen in 2007, making Bowie the 4th Canadian to ascend the notorious peak. In 2009, he endured 75 grueling days on a Broad Peak winter expedition before resigning to high winds and extreme cold. For his part in the rescue attempt of Inaki Ochoa on Annapurna, Bowie received the Spirit of Mountaineering Commendation at the 2009 Piolets d’Or Awards, and the Gold Medal of Merit in Sport from the Government of Navarre, Spain.
With 100 percent of design and manufacturing based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Westcomb uses its â€˜True Form’ design philosophy to create functional, uncomplicated gear of the highest quality workmanship. Each and every Westcomb piece is a product of precision thinking, thoughtful design, extensive development and constant refinement. The company, founded in 2004, partners with the world’s leading material innovators â€“ names like Schoeller, eVent, Polartec and Pertex â€“ to engineer technically advanced gear constructed with the most cutting-edge materials available, often creating industry â€˜firsts’ in the process. Westcomb’s offices are located steps from its manufacturing facility, which has decades of experience building outdoor clothing of the very highest quality. The company’s design philosophy and unique manufacturing arrangement has led it to international accolades, including a Backpacker Editors’ Choice Award, a Skiing Magazine Best in Test Award, four APEX Design Awards from Polartec as well as an ISPO â€˜Brand New’ award. For more information about Westcomb, visit www.westcomb.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/westcomb.
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