Next week is Earth Week. It’s an outgrowth of Earth Day, the April 22 holiday that celebrates the birth of the modern conservation movement, a cause worth celebrating for anyone who recreates in our mountains, on our waterways, and in our forests. At Eddie Bauer, it’s also our 20-year anniversary of a partnership with American Forests, a 140-year-old outfit focused on forest preservation that is the oldest nonprofit conservation organization on American soil.
During our two-decade partnership, our brand and our customers have funded the replanting of more than 6.5 million trees in 150 unique ecosystems through the American Forests Global ReLeaf initiative. Under this umbrella, we backed an urban forests initiative in ten major markets in 1999, distributed half a million seedlings to our customers in 2000, planted 9/11 memorial groves in 2002, helped launch the wildfire ReLeaf program, and introduced the bag offsetting and add a dollar, plant a tree programs.
Last year alone, the tree-planting total for the partnership was 258,399 for reforestation projects in 13 states, including the Lambert Run Reforestation in West Virginia, the Rio de las Vacas Riparian ReVegetation in New Mexico, the Mile and Mussigbrod Whitebark Pine Restorations in Montana, and the County Line Wildfire Reforestation in Florida. It’s an inspiring report card that emphasizes what a coordinated conservation effort between a brand, its customers, and a longstanding nonprofit can accomplish.
All week long we’ve been tracing the story of Melissa Arnot and Ben Jones ticking a first ascent of 20,600-foot Mustang Himal in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal. First we ran Melissa’s personal reflection on rediscovering a love for high-altitude climbing, then we published parts one, two and three of the Mustang Mystery video series profiling the team’s first ascent the 20,600-foot newly permitted peak. The story and the video series are both spectacular, but we’ve also been transported by Jon Mancuso’s images of the expedition. So for Friday visual inspiration, we’ve picked twenty of our favorite images of the climb and are letting them tell the story one last time.
To find a new perspective on high-altitude climbing, Eddie Bauer guide Melissa Arnot traveled to the beautiful Upper Mustang region of Nepal last fall in an effort to find and climb one of three newly permitted 20,000-foot peaks. With a different definition of success and incredible challenges of routefinding, Arnot, guide Ben Jones and filmer Jon Mancuso pioneered a new route on a self-supported mission aimed at a first ascent in previously unexplored Himalayan terrain. Two recon attempts and fifteen days of struggle later they became the first climbers to stand on the summit of 20,600-foot Mustang Himal, a first, first ascent for Arnot we profile in the conclusion of our Mustang Mystery series. —LYA Editor
Last fall, the Nepalese government granted climbing permit access to more than 300 unclimbed peaks that range from 5,800 to 7,900 meters. Melissa Arnot, co-founder of the Juniper Fund, journeyed to three of these peaks last fall hoping to rediscover her love for high-altitude climbing in the extremely remote Upper Mustang region of the Himalayas. Securing permits for three previously unclimbed peaks with limited beta and poor maps, Arnot tackled an exploratory, self-supported climb with guide Ben Jones and filmer Jon Mancuso. In part two of the Mustang Mystery series, we follow the climb from the tiny mountain outpost of ChungChung to Camp 2 en route to a recon on Mansail Peak.
After the tragic events on Everest last year, Melissa Arnot was feeling disillusioned about high-altitude climbing. Yet her love for Nepal, its people and its mountains remained strong. So, in the fall of 2104, Melissa Arnot traveled back to the tallest range in the world but changed course, journeying to three newly permitted 20,000-foot peaks in the Upper Mustang region with guide Ben Jones and filmer Jon Mancuso on a self-supported journey to see what they could climb. In part one of the Mustang Mystery series we follow this journey, starting with the long and tedious approach just to reach the base of Mansail, Mansail South and Mustang Himal. Yesterday we posted Melissa’s reflection on the journey, today is episode one of Mustang Mystery. -LYA Editor
After the tragic events on Everest last season and her peacemaker role the season before, Melissa Arnot was clearly feeling disillusioned about high-altitude climbing, which is not only her passion but her profession. Yet her love for Nepal, its people, and its mountains remained strong and unwavering. So she changed course last fall, traveling far north and far west to the largely unclimbed Upper Mustang region on a stripped-down expedition with mountain guide Ben Jones.
Their mission was a self-supported first ascent of Mustang Himal, a 20,600-foot, newly permitted, and previously unclimbed peak with extremely challenging access and almost no beta. What she rediscovered was the purity of high-altitude climbing and a different personal perspective on the Himalayas. We will be tracking the steps of her journey on the Live your Adventure blog this week in our Mustang Mystery series, but first, this is Melissa’s long-anticipated story of her climb and her reawakening, deep in one of the most mysterious regions of the Himalayas.
The Eddie Bauer ski team spent an entire week earlier this month at Revelstoke Mountain Resort and Eagle Pass Heli, shredding corn, flying in helicopters, hitting extremely tiny kickers, engaging in Canadian après, and just generally reveling in the fun of our inaugural Eddie Bauer ski week. Part spring ski trip, part professional shoot, ski week turned the serious vibe of most pro trips into a celebratory chance for the stacked roster of our team to connect, shred, and just hang out in a great spring ski destination.
With seven professional athletes, a team manager, a writer, a filmer and a photographer in attendance, it was also a fierce competition, with points awarded for random events such as cat-track race victories (by Andy Mahre), photo-of-the-day posts (by Lynsey Dyer), and backflips attempted with the young shredders of Revelstoke (by KC Deane). But Lexi du Pont came away the unofficial winner by tallying a paragliding flight over Revelstoke Mountain Resort, picking up a heavy après tab at the Rockford Grill and surviving a frightening tumble down the Sickle Couloir in the Monashees unscathed—but capturing it on her GoPro. She parlayed her victory into two more fun-filled weeks in residence in Canada’s epicenter of freeride.