Trip Report: West Slabs of Mt. Olympus

Mt. Olympus, West Slabs and both Summits on July 4, 2017 
Location: Wasatch Mountain Range, Salt Lake City, Utah 
Trip Report by Liberty Mountain Employee Paul Larkin 

My good friend Braden Jenkins and I got off to an early 4:21am start in the darkness. After hiking in headlamps for 1.5 hours, we arrived at the start of the climb at dawn. The wall was intimidating, around 500 feet wide with endless variationsWe decided to free solo (no rope) the 1,500 or so vertical feet of climbing. It's rated at 5.5 and for more comfort people should consider roping up on this exposed climb as falling would have serious consequences. We enjoyed the freedom and speed of climbing ropeless. The first rays of sunlight hit us about three quarters way up the climb, a great way to watch a sunrise! 

The West Slabs climb goes up the rock face shown in the right side of this photo

After achieving the ridge of the north summit, we scrambled east up the ridge and made it to the proper north summit of Mount Olympus. From there we did some route finding and down climbed to the saddle between the north and south summits. We then climbed up a gulley up to the ridge of the south summit where we met up with the trail that originates at Pete's rock and followed it up to the true north summit at 9,026 feet. We took a rest break in the shade and snapped some summit photos. From there we took the trail down 4,100 vertical feet in the 100 degree Fahrenheit weather. It was a great way to spend America's Independence Day. 

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Employee Spotlight: Michael Shaw

My dad was a school teacher before he retired, so when I was younger my family would spend summers taking road trips to different national parks.  By the time I was 16 I had traveled to 48 of the 50 states, and I had seen more than half of the U.S. national parks. The family trips that I took as a kid instilled in me a respect for the scenery across the country and a love for the outdoors. I enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities, and I’ve always dreamed of working in the outdoor industry. When I got the chance to work for Liberty Mountain, I jumped at the opportunity.

Name: Michael Shaw

Time working for Liberty Mountain: 2 years

Job title: Buyer

Short description of what you do at Liberty Mountain:  I’m the buyer for books, knives, and non-climbing imports. The main responsibility of my job is to maintain proper inventory levels through forecasting, reorder points, and purchase orders.

What do you like most about your job?  Forecasting sales for the year based on relevant information is one of the better parts of my job.

Active in the following sports/activities/hobbies: Hiking, Canyoneering, Biking, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Climbing, Unicycling

Favorite activity: I really enjoy most outdoor activities, so asking me to choose one is like asking a parent which child is their favorite, but if I have to pick just one it is probably hiking. My family traveled to a lot of national parks when I was younger, so hiking has always been a big part of my life.

Favorite outdoor areas: Glacier National Park and Banff National Park are two of my favorite places to visit. It’s hard to beat glacial lakes with a backdrop of snow covered peaks.

Piece of outdoor gear you most wish you had: At this point I have most of the outdoor gear that I need, but I wouldn’t mind upgrading my mountain bike in the near future.

Most interesting place ever lived:  I’ve really only lived in Salt Lake City, Utah and South Bend, Indiana. I can tell you with certainty that Salt Lake City is more interesting than South Bend in almost every measure imaginable.

Top-five favorite movies: The Princess Bride, Shawshank Redemption, Guardians of the Galaxy, You’ve Got Mail, Lord of the Rings

Top-five favorite books: Ender’s Game, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Princess Bride, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Harry Potter

First memory spending time Outdoors: Yellowstone is one of the first trips I remember.  My family went there just after the big fire, and I distinctly remember looking out and seeing the charred landscape. Every time I go back I’m reminded that even the most devastating events can create positive opportunities for growth.

Inspirational Hero: My Grandpa. He was a World War II veteran, and one of the most spectacular people I’ve ever met. He lost his eyesight in his 60’s, but he remained active into his 90’s.

Dream vacation: I would love to take a summertime trip to the Swiss Alps.

Favorite food to eat outside: I rarely go on outdoor adventures without having beef jerky in my pack. It’s my outdoor staple food.

Cake or pie:  Neither. I’m a cookie person.

Dogs or Cats:  Dogs

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VAUDE Completes Environmentally Friendly Supply Chain Project

The large scale “Environmental Stewardship in the Supply Chain” project has just finished a two-year run and the mountain and bike sports outfitter VAUDE is reporting positive results. The pilot project, which was partially financed with grants, was aimed at educating Asian suppliers on the issues of environmental protection, energy stewardship and emissions management.
Supply chains in the textile industry are often long and complex. An outdoor jacket consists of about 50 different components, which are made by suppliers and delivered to a production facility that then assembles the jacket. These suppliers were the focus of the pioneer project “Environmental Stewardship in the Supply Chain”, which VAUDE launched in 2015 to establish high environmental standards and maximum resource efficiency in this part of the supply chain as well. “We want to create transparency throughout the entire supply chain and, for each individual component of our products, achieve the greatest possible certainty that it was made with fair and environmentally friendly production,” said Antje von Dewitz CEO, describing the motivation for the project.
Together with external experts for occupational safety, quality management and environmental management at Arqum, training and workshops took place over a period of two years under the motto “helping people help themselves.” The project was designed and directed by Bettina Roth, Head of Quality and Chemicals Management at VAUDE. Employees from management and production organization at eight suppliers participated in a series of six units. In addition, individual consultations were carried out on site during 36 factory visits altogether to develop tangible improvement measures.
At the end of May 2017, VAUDE CEO Antje von Dewitz made a week-long trip to Asia to get a firsthand look at the project's successes and to present all participants with a VAUDE Award for goal achievement at a final event. “I am delighted that the project has brought so many measurable results and sustainable improvements for our partners, for us and for the environment. It shows that with collective determination, an ideological goal can be professionally implemented when we succeed in convincing the participants of the importance of the issues.” she concluded.

Tangible Results
Thanks to the voluntary participation of our largest suppliers, 80% by volume of the primary materials and lining fabrics that VAUDE uses are already covered by the pilot project. Participant's appreciation for the project was enormous because they quickly recognized the benefits and specific improvement opportunities on offer in the very practical workshops. In exchanges with other participants, the know-how mediated by VAUDE and the experts at Arqum could be directly put into practical action. “The enthusiasm during the workshops was really contagious and went even so far that, recognizing not only the significance and benefits of sustainability issues within their own processes, the participants also want to raise awareness of their suppliers as well,” said Bettina Roth. Overall, there are already a total of 100 improvement measures regarding technology and organization undergoing implementation. All suppliers were invited to the final event in Taipei (Taiwan) where each of the eight participating companies presented its best practices to a large audience.
These measures have led to the conservation of 550 metric tonnes of waste, 5,500 m³ of water and 18 million kWh of energy. CO2 emissions could be reduced per year by about 5,000 tonnes. Not only did the environment profit, but also the factories themselves – they saved on the cost of energy, resources and materials amounting to an average of 50,000 euros per year. “The results are impressive and show quite clearly that a factory's commitment to sustainability also pays off in financial terms. With this project, we could also demonstrate that with coordinated and partnership-based collaboration, the demanding requirements within the industry can become more efficient and be addressed more effectively than by many isolated, individual measures,” said Jens Haubensak, Managing Director of Arqum GmbH.
Reductions were achieved through measures such as insulating pipes, shutting down hydraulic pumps when not in use, introducing LED lighting, using energy from solar panels and heat recovery as well as modernizing obsolete systems. In addition to an increase in energy efficiency, measures for occupational safety and the improvement of working conditions in the factories ­– such as translating safety instructions into the local languages as well as training on the issues of protective work clothing and chemical handling – were covered. The most important achievement was the introduction of a professional chemicals management system for many of the participating factories. This primarily covered issues such as the automation of processes as well as storage, transportation and disposal of chemicals.

What Will Follow?
“Our goal is to roll out the project over the next few years for all material suppliers,” said VAUDE CEO Antje von Dewitz. “In addition, we want to win over our competitors and industry association so that they’ll work together with us to promote the issue,” Bettina Roth added. But that is still not enough: As a founding member of the “Alliance for Sustainable Textiles” VAUDE is using this project as a role model for best practices which could provide momentum for the entire textile industry. The “Environmental Stewardship in the Supply Chain” project was promoted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and financially supported by the German Investment and Development Company (DEG) under the auspices of the “develoPPP.de” program.
The VAUDE Sustainability Report: http://csr-report.vaude.com
Learn more about the pilot project:


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