Polartec announced the recipients of its 23rd annual Polartec Challenge Grant, an international grant program encouraging the spirit and practice of human-powered outdoor adventure. Four separate adventures will receive funding and support from Polartec in 2014: a ski mountaineering expedition on the largest glacier in the world outside of the polar regions, a solo journey from Bucharest to the summit of Khan Tengri in Kygyzstan, a traverse of the Southern Patagonia Ice Cap documenting glacial retreat, and a sail and ski trip in and around Iceland and Greenland.
“Since 1991, Polartec has assisted some of the world’s greatest athletes and explorers who rely on our products and put them to the ultimate test,” says Polartec Global Director of Marketing, Allon Cohne. “Polartec engineers fabrics designed for performance in all climates from lightweight next-to-skin layers, to innovative insulation, and breathable waterproof protection. The 2014 Polartec Challenge Grant recipients exemplify Polartec’s commitment to expanding our perception of what's possible, and we're proud to support them.”
Holly Walker, Marcus Waring, Emilie Stenberg and Vince Shuley will follow the flow of the Fedchenko, the largest glacier in the world outside of the polar regions, on an unsupported six-week ski mountaineering expedition in Tajikistan
Diaconescu Radu will embark on a nine-month roundtrip human-powered solo journey from his home in Bucharest to the summit of Khan Tengri, a 7000-meter peak in the Tien Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan.
Jim Harris will cross the 350-mile length of the Southern Patagonia Ice Cap by ski, traction kite and packraft while documenting the remote landscape's deteriorating glaciers.
Meghan Kelly, Pip Hunt, Nat Segal, McKenna Peterson, Karissa Tuthill, and Martha Hunt will attempt to ski first descents in Greenland via a sailboat from Iceland. (Awarded in 2013.)
In addition to the grant money, all of this year’s Polartec Challenge winners will be fully outfitted with Polartec® garments, designed to keep them warm, dry and comfortable in the harshest of climates.
The annual Polartec Challenge Grant seeks to assist frugal, low impact teams who respect the local culture and environment and serve as role models to outdoor enthusiasts worldwide. Applications are evaluated on the basis of their vision, commitment and credibility. Past recipients of the Polartec Challenge Grant include outdoor pioneers and adventurers such as Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, Steve House, Jon Turk, Marko Prezelj, Andrew McLean, Greg Hill, Mike Libecki, Kyle Dempster, Hayden Kennedy, and John Shipton.