Mountain Hardwear is thrilled to announce the addition of seven new athletes to the Global Athlete Team for 2011. The new signings demonstrate Mountain Hardwear’s dedication to working with the top talent in outdoor and mountain sports while infusing the athletes and their talents into all aspects of the business, including product development, marketing and sales. With the goal of creating a Freeride Ski Team and aligning the brand with young athletes at the top of their sport, Mountain Hardwear has signed five skiers, Vivian Bruchez, Mike Gardner, Caroline Gleich, James Heim and Drew Stoecklein, and two climbers, Sasha Digiulian and Angie Payne.
“Mountain Hardwear is honored to be working with such talented athletes and exceptional human beings who are passionate about the outdoors. Serving as leaders within their tribes and communities, these athletes will help Mountain Hardwear to develop technical outdoor apparel and equipment that will enable them, and all of our customers, to push the limits of their potential in the mountains,” said Athlete and Promotions Manager Chris Strasser.
Caroline Gleich spent her childhood in Minnesota, but it wasn’t until she moved to Salt Lake City at age 15 that she could pursue her childhood dream: making a living as a skier. Caroline seeks to live a low impact and action-packed lifestyle, but remains one of the hardest working young athletes in the business. She spends the bulk of the winter skiing powder and steep lines at Alta and Snowbird while and working in design with top outdoor and snowsports brands. Passionate about the snow and mountain lifestyle, Caroline also finds time to volunteer with shejumps.org
Drew Stoecklein, also a big mountain freeride skier, lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and makes his living in the Wasatch as a professional skier and photographer. Competition in the Freeskiing World Tour over the past few years has earned Drew a win at the Chilean Freeskiing Championships in 2010 and a 2nd place finish at the US Freeskiing Championships in 2008 and 2009. Drew has filmed with Warren Miller and Sweetgrass Productions and has appeared in numerous ski publications.
Vivian Bruchez, a big mountain skier from France now living in Chamonix, is a professional guide and ski instructor with a background in alpine racing. Having spent his entire life on skis, steep skiing is a lifestyle to which he brings passion, patience, engagement, precision and concentration. Some of Vivian’s recent highlights include a ski descent of 7134-meter Tilicho Peak in the Himalaya and a 4-descent day on the Aiguille du Midi’s North Face.
Sasha Digiulian is quite possibly the best American sport climber/boulderer under the age of 20 and she has the score card to prove it. She’s currently the sport climbing US Adult National Champion and Pan-American Champion. Last summer, Sasha became the youngest American female (at age 17) to ever climb 5.14b (8c) with her redpoint of Welcome to Tijuana in Spain. This year, she’s taking a year off to climb before starting college at Columbia. She plans to compete in Europe at the World Cup competitions and attempt a few 5.14c sport routes – and already finding success on Southern Smoke (5.14c) at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. When not climbing, Sasha is an ambassador with Right to Play and the Outdoor Foundation, two organizations that seek to increase youth involvement in physical and outdoor activities.
Mike Gardner was born and raised skiing and climbing in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and the Teton Range in Wyoming. His father George Gardner was a mountain guide and instilled in Mike an unstoppable passion for the mountains. Mike skied competitively for a few years as a member of the Telluride Freestyle Team. He began to spend more time skiing in the backcountry and scoping lines in and around Telluride and Silverton, leading him to compete on the Junior Freeskiing World Tour. In his first year, Mike racked up two first and one second place finish at the North American Championship to earn him 2nd among the top 20 skiers in the world (18 and under) by Powder Magazine, you can expect to hear his name often in the years to come.
James Heim is a big mountain freeride skier living in Whistler, BC. Working as a carpenter in the summer, James has the opportunity to ski all winter filming with industry-leading Matchstick Productions (MSP). In 2011, James will again star in the MSP feature film and will take trips throughout British Columbia, and possibly Asia. James will help lead Mountain Hardwear into the freeride segment playing a role in the development of new freeride-inspired skiwear.
Angie Payne, born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, started climbing indoors at age eleven. Now residing in Boulder, Colorado and after years of training and competition, Angie has won ABS Nationals three times, establishing herself as a top female bouldering athlete, indoors and out. Angie has climbed first female ascents of 17 boulder problems, including two V12s. In August 2010, Angie completed The Automator and became the first woman in the world to climb a confirmed V13.