First Ascent launches in 183 stores!!

Ed Viesturs on Everest, May, 2009. Photo by Jake Norton.

As most of you know, I’ve been working closely with Eddie Bauer and the First Ascent team for about a year now, helping with product development, marketing, and serving as the expedition photographer for our expeditions to Cotopaxi in Ecuador, Aconcagua in Argentina, and to Mount Everest last spring.

Well, the exciting time has come…While the First Ascent product has been online and in a few select stores for some time now, it will officially launch nationwide in 183 Eddie Bauer stores on October 12, 2009! (Read the official press release here.)

Is the gear any good? Well, I think so…I helped design and test it, using it in my backyard here in Colorado and up to the tippy-top of Everest this spring. In my opinion, it is the best gear out there, period.

But, sure, I’m a bit biased. So, check out what some others have said:

  • Steve Casimiro puts the Hangfire Hoodie in his “Top Performers” list in National Geographic Adventure.
  • Backpacker Magazine gave the Big Tahoma packa thumbs up in their October issue, saying: “This versatile pack is supportive and comfortable enough for a week-long trek, but simple and light enough for tackling big alpine peaks…The (removable) hipbelt never interfered with high-stepping, and two aluminum stays transfer loads up to 40 pounds directly to the hips. And the double ripstop nylon used in the packbag is not only superdurable, it’s highly waterproof.”
  • Backpacker also loved the Downlight Sweater, saying: “This ultra-ultralight insulator nails the essentials: high draftproof collar, grapefruit-size packability, roomy zipped pockets, and light rain resistance–without layering on doodads that add weight or bulk.” And, their Associate Editor, Shannon Davis, loved the warm and functional Peak XV down jacket for her climb of Rainier.
  • And, Outside Magazine’s “Gear Girl”, Stephanie Pearson, recommends the First Ascent BC-100 for climbs in wet weather, like Kilimanjaro, where you need to stay dry but not carry too much weight. Read her recommendation here.

OK…you’re getting the picture. The First Ascent line was built by guides, tested in some of the harshest conditions in the world, and reviewed by some pretty tough critics. And, it came out on top in all situations.

So, on October 12th, waltz into your local Eddie Bauer store and check out the new gear. It’s great stuff, and comes with the legendary Eddie Bauer lifetime guarantee…so you just can’t go wrong!

Jake Norton is an Everest climber, guide, photographer, writer, and motivational speaker from Colorado.

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