Above Photo: Lonnie Dupre, PrimaLoft Brand Ambassador
Polar explorer and mountaineer Lonnie Dupre is conducting humanitarian efforts supporting the Nepal region while performing recon of unclimbed Himalayan peaks in his upcoming Vertical Nepal Project. PrimaLoft Inc., a NY-based materials science company developing high performance insulations and fabrics, will sponsor Dupre.
Dupre will lead a team of experienced explorers, including Elías de Andrés Martos of Spain and Bridget Schletty of the U.S., to unclimbed Nepalese peaks. Dupre and his climbing A-team will connect the expedition with a multi-phase mission of humanitarian relief work and scientific data collection on climate change.
“Nepal is one of the poorest countries on earth, yet rich in diverse cultures and breathtaking mountains,” said Dupre. “The economic livelihood of the Nepalese often depends on tourism and the climbing industry, which have been severely damaged from the devastating earthquake in April 2015.”
During the first phase of the project, currently taking place October and November, the climbing team will help restore multiple remote mountain communities affected by the recent earthquakes. The team is currently visiting schools and hospitals in the area to assess recovery needs. They are also teaching mountaineering safety to local communities. The team will also volunteer at a school for the visually impaired, provide data on Snow Leopard activity they accumulated during their travels and will collect high altitude snow and rock samples for scientific studies on climate change.
“It is essential to give something back and protect the environment in which we are so active…”
“For the team and me, it’s essential to give something back and protect the environment in which we are so active,” said Dupre. “I am delighted that PrimaLoft supports our meaningful Vertical Nepal project. With the PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Down Blend jackets from Black Diamond, we will be fully protected even in the harshest conditions and can focus on our mission.”
The Black Diamond Hot Forge Hoody features PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Down Blend, which provides the equivalent warmth-to-weight ratio of 750 fill power down. (The fill is comprised of 30 percent high-performance PrimaLoft ultra-fine fibers and 70 percent water resistant premium goose down.) The down is sourced from socially responsible sources and has been treated with PrimaLoft’s patented fluorocarbon-free process.
The first phase of Vertical Nepal also includes reconnaissance and training missions to prepare for the main objective of summiting one of the unclimbed 7,000+ meter peaks, recently opened for exploration by the Government of Nepal. This climb is roughly set for Spring 2016.
A potential candidate is the 7,915-meter high Tenzing Peak, named after Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who along with Sir Edmund Hilary, completed the first ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953. After completing reconnaissance at Tenzing Peak, the team will attempt a climb of Ama Dablam, 22,349ft (6,812 meters), as training for the spring climb.