Mark and Drew from our Covent Garden store have recently helped a rather unusual team get kitted out for an equally unusual event - Everest in the Alps.
Everest in the Alps is a physically and mentally tough ski-touring challenge in which a team of 14 amateur ski-tourers will ascend the height of Mount Everest (8,848m) but in the Swiss Alps.
With just a month until the launch, the experts at Ellis Brigham have been helping the team get suited and booted into the very best equipment, including the most important piece of kit – boots.
What is ski-touring?
Ski-touring is a tough, largely uphill-facing activity, in which long distances are covered on skis. Specific ski boots and bindings allow free heel movement and 'skins' are attached to the base of the skis to allow the skiers to walk the uphill sections.
Each day, the ambitious Everest in the Alps team will make three or four exhausting ski-tour ascents (followed by well-earned descents) before attempting to grab some overnight rest in basic, high altitude mountain huts.
They will endure 28 hours of uphill ski touring, with 13 ascents and just 2 hours of downhill skiing throughout the whole challenge. Getting the right boots is absolutely essential, so the team went straight to the experts at Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports who shared their knowledge and passion and been invaluable when it came to finding the perfect fit.
Ski Touring Boots
Designed for the hard work of walking uphill rather than the easy work of skiing downhill, ski touring boots have to be lighter and more flexible than those normally worn when skiing.
Only 10 years ago ski touring boots offered little in the way of choice in fit, function and performance. The explosion of interest in getting away from the pistes has changed that dramatically. There are now boots for every conceivable type of skiing beyond the marked runs.
The Brain Tumour Charity
The driving force behind the challenge is team member Rob Ritchie. Last year Rob's son Toby was diagnosed with a brain stem tumour. Now aged six, Toby is pushing through his first 18 months of chemotherapy.
Toby is not alone - brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and young adults in the UK, with just 2% of the UK's £500m+ cancer research spend going toward research.
The Everest in the Alps team has initiated a specific research programme into the tumour type that Toby and thousands of other children suffer from in the UK, with all money raised benefiting The Brain Tumour Charity, which is leading the charge in the field of brain tumour research.
With Toby battling his own personal Everest, the Everest in the Alps team will be completing their own unique, exhausting and technical challenge that hasn't knowingly been undertaken before. With the support of the team Ellis Brigham, the Everest in the Alps ski-tourers will be setting off with the best possible kit – thanks guys!
Find out more about the Everest in the Alps challenge.
Support the team with a donation to The Brain Tumour Charity.
Follow the team:
This event is managed by Secret Compass. Ever wanted to ski-tour volcanic Kamchatka or snowboard in Afghanistan? Secret Compass can organise unusual and one-off ski, ski-tour and snowboard trips and projects for individuals and groups, bringing your unusual winter ambitions to life.