5/18/17

VAUDE CEO Antje von Dewitz Receives Merit Award


Antje von Dewitz, CEO of the outdoor supplier VAUDE, was honored with the Order of Merit from the Minister President of the state of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, on Saturday, May 6th. As the Minister President, Winfried Kretschmann, stated at the Mannheim Palace: "Every community urgently depends on exceptionally committed people, such as those being honored today, because they are so actively involved. Because they think ahead and outside of the box. Because they raise their voices and speak out on the behalf of others."

Antje von Dewitz was one of twenty-two to be honored this year. The judges were clear in their reasons for her commendation: "She has clearly been able to build on her father’s success with innovative spirit and conviction, as well as a sustainable, fair and environmentally friendly business approach. Furthermore, her keen instincts, farsightedness, and great sense of responsibility for society and nature distinguish her." "I am very proud to have received this award," the dedicated entrepreneur stated at the ceremony in Mannheim Castle. As the managing director in second generation of the family-owned and run company in southern Germany, she accepted the order: "Such an award for civic engagement is important and naturally it makes me proud because it validates what we are doing. The ceremony was very touching and I really feel honored to be amongst such interesting personalities, who received the Order of Merit with me."

VAUDE focuses on social and ecological commitment
Under Antje von Dewitz, the outdoor manufacturer VAUDE has consistently pursued a path of sustainability and social management, which has now been successfully implemented in all areas of the company. A leadership culture of trust, a 40 per cent share of women in management positions, an outstanding commitment to refugees within Germany, and the company's own organic canteen are just a few examples of how responsible entrepreneurship becomes visible. VAUDE has received numerous prizes for the company's dedication to sustainable and environmentally friendly business, including the German Sustainability Award in 2015 and the recently received European Business Award.

About the Order of Merit
The Baden-Württemberg Order of Merit – also known as the "Merit Medal" until June 2009 – is conferred by the Minister President for outstanding contributions in the state of Baden-Württemberg, especially in political, social, cultural and economic sectors. The number of people who can receive this honor is limited to 1000 living people.

All sections of the population and all areas of the state are equally considered for the honor. The redesigned Order of Merit is a stylized cross with a medallion in the center, on which the greater state coat of arms with the lettering Baden-Württemberg is depicted. It is worn on a folded ribbon in the state colors. Instead of the order, a black-yellow rosette or a miniature can be worn, which is also awarded. In addition to the insignia of the order, the order recipient receives a Certificate of Award signed by the Minister President.  Prominent awardees of the past have been the soccer player, Sami Khedira, the former Mayor of Ulm, Ivo Gönner, and the cabaret artist, Christoph Sonntag.

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5/17/17

Lessons Learned on Mt. Russell




I got a call from my long-time alpine partner with the news that he was going to be in California for spring break and – in between engagement plans – he had some free time.  He then asked me if I would be down to drive 10 hours to Lone Pine for a shot at a cool summit. This was a no-brainer question for me; of course I was!

Nathan and I have climbed all over together. We have climbed scrappy multi-pitch routes in the City of Rocks, ID, sat in our tent for days at the Cirque of the Towers hoping for good weather, and practiced our drytooling game on the loosest choss pile I’ve ever seen down in Provo Canyon.  Now that Nathan was getting engaged, we wanted to do a last hurrah with the newly discovered free time.  As soon as I left work, I drove 700 miles down to Lone Pine, CA where we planned to meet.

However – like all good adventures – there was trouble.  Due to significant rockfall during the winter, the roads were closed and under construction, which delayed our plans for a day and added an extra 3 miles to our approach.  Neither of us being great backcountry skiers, we fumbled and guessed for a while before getting into a rhythm. And to top it all off, the sleeping pads we relied on to keep us warm and off the snow decided to rupture.  Carefully-arranged backpacks and coiled ropes are a poor substitute for Thermarest pads, sleep was rare that night as we shivered on top of the snow. 


Originally, we had planned to summit both Mt Whitney and Mt Russel during our 4 day window.
With the reduced timeframe, we opted for Mt Russell’s East Ridge only.  While normally a 3rd class scramble in the summer, a winter ascent consists of 1,500’of snow and climbing on loose unconsolidated powder, all while facing exposure on the ridge in stiff AT boots, creating a serious outing.  Around 1:00 pm, after a cruxy 5.6 slab, we decided that continuing on the ridge would put us outside of our return window and above our safe climbing threshold, so we made the painful decision to bail.  While frontpointing down bullet-hard snow with loaded packs and ultralight axes, our decision to retreat was reaffirmed. 


After another cold night without pads, Nathan and I were eager to wake up and get an early start on the day.  We jumped the gun a bit in our haste and started skiing down on icy snow.  Although a rough way to start the morning, the snow eventually turned into perfect corn and the views coming down were beautiful.


We ended the trip with a ritual Chile Colorado burrito at Amigos in Bishop, then started the long drive home to Utah.


Gear Used



Vaude Zerum 58: Ultralight, but with a comfy suspension system, the Zerum carried all of my skiing, climbing, and camping gear, even with the lid removed. 

MSR Windburner 1L: We had to melt all of our water from snow, which takes a lot of fuel.  The MSR Windburner is very efficient and works well even in the wind, when you really want hot water quickly.


Grivel Stealth: Superlight helmet with full head coverage; perfect to protect from rock and ice fall while helping to keep pack weight down.

Grivel Haute Route Axe:  The lightest axe that Liberty Mountain carries.  The Ghost or Flame axes from Grivel would have been much better, but they have not arrived yet.

Grivel G12: These are the standard for mountaineering crampons.  I was tempted to use an aluminum crampon like the Air Tech Lights, but the chromolly steel provided better security on the rock scrambles.

Grivel Ares:  Most of the times that we had harnesses on were while walking or scrambling over easy rock.  The open design of the Ares harness allows for a much more comfortable stride.



Edelweiss Discover 8mm: We went with the Discover over the Beal Opera – one of my favorite ropes - as it was slightly thinner and came in a 30m section.  For scrambly ridges like this, 30m was more than sufficient. 

Thule Stir 15L: Comparably light in relation to other summit sacks on the market, but at a much lower price.  I could stuff this in the bottom of my pack and grab it on summit day.

Cypher Logic Approach Shoes: I used these on the hike up to the snow, then stashed them when we switched to skis.  I wish I had brought them up the climb as well, because they would have been perfect on the ridge.


Outdoor Designs Diablo GTT: Perfect gloves for the approach and manipulating tricky ski bindings.


Justin Fisher is a climber, adventurer, and internet sales rep at Liberty Mountain

All photos courtesy of Justin Fisher and Nathan Robinson

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5/11/17

VAUDE Receives European Business Award for Sustainability



VAUDE, the outdoor specialist, was awarded the European Business Award in "Environmental & Corporate Sustainability" on May 4th, and recognized as one of the eleven best European companies. Lisa Fiedler from VAUDE’s CSR team proudly accepted the award at the honors ceremony in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Of the more than 33,000 participating companies, VAUDE was able to win over the jury of experts at the end of a long selection process. As VAUDE CEO, Antje von Dewitz, stated: "This award shows that with our holistic concept of environmental protection and sustainability, we are sending important signals far beyond our industry." VAUDE has already garnered numerous awards, including the prestigious German Sustainability Award in 2015, as Germany's most sustainable brand. That is now followed by this international recognition of the company’s consistent alignment with ecological and social business practices. The award underscores how far the company has proceeded on the path of sustainability and reaffirms its position as Europe's most sustainable outdoor brand.



VAUDE has consequently focused its operating procedures and business activities on promoting environmental friendliness and sustainability throughout the company. Since this decision, it has proven that socially and ecologically responsible business principles can also be economically successful. The company's sales performance is consistently above the industry average. Products are manufactured under strict environmental and social standards according to the Green Shape label. VAUDE publishes an annual sustainability report in accordance with GRI guidelines and is climate-neutral at the company's headquarters on Lake Constance. "Through the EBA, we have been able to once again confirm that our philosophy of sustainability is an economic success factor.” Antje von Dewitz, proudly commenting on receiving this accolade from such a high caliber, international panel of judges stated: “I am very pleased to have been chosen for this award among such a strong international group of candidates. The award for this outstanding performance goes to our whole team, because sustainability is teamwork and a lot of people in the company are involved in this effort.”

VAUDE directs the course in the selection process
Of the 33,000 participating companies from 34 countries, 636 were nominated as "National Champions". In addition to VAUDE, 30 other companies representing Germany were included. In the next round, each national champion submitted a video presentation in a Public Voting process. VAUDE presented itself with the English version of the film "Der Grüne Faden" (The Green Thread). In the subsequent procedure, the company made a personal presentation before an expert panel of judges, which was extremely interested in VAUDE’s sustainability strategy and its practical implementation. At the same time, an independent jury selected 110 companies among the European Champions that were honored with the "Ruban d'Honneur" award. VAUDE also received this award.



About the European Business Award
The European Business Awards (EBA) recognizes and rewards best practices and innovation in excellent companies across Europe. The main objective of the largest European competition is the development of a successful economic community in Europe. Leading representatives from business, academia and politics from all over Europe sponsor the awards, which were awarded for the tenth time this year.
Adrian Tripp, CEO of the European Business Awards, explains: "These companies show innovative spirit, ethical behavior and financial success, and are brilliant examples of the growth potential of European companies in a competitive global marketplace."

Further information on the European Business Awards:
http://www.businessawardseurope.com
Link to the video "The Green Thread" (VAUDE Philosophy)

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5/9/17

Liberty Mountain Partners with OverBoard



Liberty Mountain is excited to announce its partnership with OverBoard, the UK Based Global Waterproof Sports Manufacturer with a wide range of market leading waterproof accessories including backpacks, Duffel Bags, Dry Bags and Technology Cases. As the exclusive US distributor for OverBoard products, Liberty Mountain will make them available to its vast network of shops, stores, and prodeal customers. The lineup of OverBoard products has received awards globally from reviewers both large and small in the outdoor, cycling, and marine industries. 




OverBoard products are some of the best in the industry and are tested to a very high standard, assuring that they will stand up to the abuse of exposure to water, snow, sand, and dirt. Some of the tests that the products go through include: 

  • Temperature Test
  • Depth Test
  • Strength Test
  • Dust, Sand, and Dirt Tests
  • Dunk Test
  • Weld Pressure Test
  • Load Break Test
  • Repetitive Stress Test 

More information can be found on the product testing process here.

About OverBoard



It all began on the beaches of Thailand and Australia - back in 2006. Having been friends since uni, Dan and Joel had quit the rat race and slipped on their flip-flops to spend six months on an epic beach, boat, surf and scuba holiday.
For weeks they fought to keep their technology, valuables and clothes safe from the impact of water and sand. And finally light dawned – what they needed was a totally trustworthy waterproof bag that guaranteed them peace of mind without slowing them down. More than that, if this was their need it had to be true for thousands of others too.
Back home, even before their tans had faded, they were researching, designing, innovating and producing their first prototypes – the perfect dry bags. And the bags became their first OverBoard products.
The response from friends, family and a growing band of highly satisfied customers spurred them on and so the range had to grow. More colors, sizes and solutions to protect everything from phones and iPads to emergency supplies – from the ravages of water, snow, dirt and sand.
Fast forward and today they are leaders in waterproof bags and cases, with customers and distributors in over 70 countries. Sure, it’s been hard work – but there are perks. Not only do they test everything in the factory, the ultimate trial is in real life situations, ideally with the sun beating down. And somebody has to do it!
Wherever you go, whatever you do, there’s an OverBoard 100% waterproof product for you.

Keep it dry!

For more information, visit over-board.com

About Liberty Mountain



Liberty Mountain is one of the largest wholesale distributors of technical outdoor products and climbing gear in the U.S. In other words, Liberty Mountain is your one-stop-shop with everything for the outdoors. Since 1952, Liberty Mountain has been making outdoor gear stores profitable by reducing holding costs, keeping shelves stocked, and providing the most intuitive products on the market.

As a wholesale distributor, Liberty Mountain carries thousands of products from over 900 different brands and is the exclusive U.S. distributor of the following brands: Beal, Edelweiss, Equinox, Grivel, Kong, Singing Rock, Stram, Trangia, Valandre, Vaude and many more. Liberty Mountain also manufactures its own brands including Peregrine, Olicamp, Cypher, Outdoor Designs and others.


Where We Are
Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and reaching into the roots of the Appalachians, Liberty Mountain operates out of two major warehouses in Sandy, UT and Montoursville, PA. With these two locations, Liberty Mountain is able to offer 1-2 day ground shipping to most of the United States.

How We Do It
Liberty Mountain is committed to great customer service, unrivaled in-stock percentages, on time error-free shipments, and easy-to-receive packages.

Great Customer Service
Fast, dependable service is more than just a goal – it’s the standard. Liberty Mountain’s experienced and knowledgeable sales staff is ready to help with all your outdoor product needs. As proof of this, in 2016 the Liberty Mountain sales team made around 600 shop visits and was present at nearly 40 trade shows throughout the year.


In Stock and Ready to Ship
Liberty Mountain is committed to having both warehouses stocked with the products you need. When your customer needs it tomorrow, it’ll be out of our door today and usually to your shop within two days. The moment your shelves get low, visit LibertyMountain.com, email, or give us a call.

Getting You the Product…When You Need It
Liberty Mountain’s two locations in Pennsylvania and Utah enable fast shipping—within two days via ground to almost everywhere in the lower 48. Order by 1:00pm Mountain Time and your package will be shipped that very same day. Most of the time even orders placed later in the afternoon will ship the same day.


Keeping Shops Profitable
Liberty Mountain’s goal is to help shops become more profitable and increase sales. Liberty Mountain keeps products in stock and available, eliminating the need for shops to keep stacks of product on hand. Because it’s so easy to top off inventories, shops can achieve faster turnover and increase their margins. In addition, Liberty Mountain’s freight allowance helps keep costs down and margins high. See our terms & conditions for all of the details.

No Order Minimums
With no order minimums at Liberty Mountain, shops can get exactly as much or as little as they need, every single time.  


Consolidation of Orders
Because Liberty Mountain carries so many products, you are able to purchase from hundreds of brands on the same order. This means fewer orders and an easier time keeping products in stock.

Custom Silk Screening
Liberty Mountain offers customized printing on six brands of water bottles, Zippo lighters, Voile ski straps, Kershaw knives, and much more. Contact us about ordering custom Nalgene bottles or other products with your shop’s logo.

Reduction of Carbon Footprint
Ordering from multiple brands at once rather than from each company separately can lower the environmental impact of your business. Your entire order will ship together and eliminate the need to place several orders.

Vendor Specific Benefits


Sophisticated Tools
Due to the ever-changing online retail landscape, Liberty Mountain has developed software that can target or block specific customers and segments. Your product will only be sold to the shops and segments that you approve. The software also allows strict enforcement of MAP and provides the option of blocking habitual MAP violators.

We work with all the larger specialty retailers in the US. We are fully EDI compliant and are setup to meet retailer shipping and labeling requirements. Being a vendor, we make it easier for larger chains to pick up your products without the need to expose yourself to chargebacks and other compliance costs.

Increasing Sales
Liberty Mountain’s goal is to help vendors become more profitable and increase sales. Liberty Mountain keeps products in stock and available so that shops won’t need to carry as much inventory, and won’t need to place as many small orders with the vendor. 

When a shop runs out of one or two items but cannot meet vendor minimum orders, both the vendor and the shop lose out on sales. Liberty Mountain keeps your products in stock and with no order minimums, shops can order exactly what they need to keep their shelves stocked and your products selling.

Shops view us as the one-stop shop, everything for the outdoors. Working with Liberty Mountain opens up thousands of smaller shops to your products without the additional sales costs of maintaining thousands of small accounts. 


Large Prodeal Presence
Liberty Mountain will expose your product to its network of over 10,000 Outdoor Industry professionals who qualify for personal prodeals. These customers are very valuable as they often influence purchases made by friends and family members. Unlike other prodeal providers, there are no additional fees on pro orders. Liberty Mountain can also manage pro purchase requests for your entire brand.

To learn more about Liberty Mountain, visit our website or contact us here
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5/1/17

Employee Spotlight - Jessica Powell


I grew up outdoors. My dad is a giant gear head, and I grew up following him around in the mountains on dirt bikes, four wheelers, and snowmobiles. After I moved to Utah for college, I realized there was an entirely different way to enjoy being outside that didn’t have anything to do with engines or gears, and I jumped right in. Since that point, the outdoors has kind of swallowed most aspects of my life; my work, my free time...and most of my paycheck. While I was in school studying recreational therapy, I worked at a local gear shop selling backpacking and climbing gear. I fell in love with the outdoor industry in that shop, and am so grateful to be able to continue being a part of it here at Liberty Mountain.




Name: Jessica Powell
Number of years working for Liberty Mountain: 1 year
Job title: Sales Rep
Short description of what you do at Liberty Mountain: I work with the brick and mortar shops in Colorado and the Midwest.
What do you like most about your job? I love getting out and visiting the shops-especially when we have time to get out and climb!
Active in the following sports/activities/hobbies: Climbing of all types, Canyoneering, Backpacking, Biking, Splitboarding, Trail Running, playing the guitar, reading
Favorite activity: Climbing!


Favorite outdoor areas: Red Rocks National Conservation, The Uinta National Forest, The Wasatch, St George, Utah
Piece of outdoor gear you most wish you had: SUP or Kayak-I don’t know how to do any water things.
Most interesting place ever lived: Tavua, Fiji
Top-five favorite movies: Tommy Boy, Home, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Sixth Sense, Baby Momma

Top-five favorite books: This question is too hard. The 5 most recent were A Dog’s Purpose, The Wilderness Essays, The Light Between 2 Oceans, Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, and Alone on the Wall.
First memory spending time Outdoors: I come from a family of 5 girls, so my dad gave up on having a boy to take on “man adventures” and started hauling me around instead. My first real “outdoor” memory is of a hunting trip we did. He made me pick up deer poop and pinch it between my fingers to see if it was fresh. It was an interesting daddy-daughter bonding experience for a 6 year old.
Inspirational Hero: Steph Davis. She’s so hardcore.
Dream vacation: A climbing trip to Thailand.


Favorite food to eat outside: Those peach cup things. But with fruit juice not syrup.
Cake or pie: Popsicles.
Dogs or Cats: Dogs. Specifically my dog, Ande.



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4/3/17

Employee Spotlight - Matthew Bowe



"I’ve always been the stereotypical nerd. My dad has worked as a network systems engineer for HP my entire life. He’d always bring home broken computers and hardware for my brothers and me to fix.  I built be first PC from discarded components when I was 6. My mom is a classically trained concert pianist and passed her musical ability on to her children. I attended college on a full scholarship for instrumental music. In recent years, I’ve begun semi-professionally competing in cosplay contests at comic conventions. My costumes have been highlighted several times in local news publications.

I’ve never been a person capable of doing only one thing at a time. I frequently have more than one employer in order to round out my life. I came to Liberty Mountain after a year of working at my full-time job where I monitor and support media streams to and from a myriad of customers and companies. I nearly never actually see the computers I’m logged into or even meet face to face with the customers I’m supporting. Liberty Mountain affords me the opportunity to get back into working with physical hardware and friendly faces."


Name: Matthew Bowe
Time working for Liberty Mountain: 5 months
Job title: Part-time IT Help Desk / SysAid
What you do at Liberty Mountain: I fix all the things. I set up workstations, install network hardware, fix software installations, and educate users.
What do you like about your job? I love being hands-on with the things I fix.
Active in the following activities: I teach violin and viola. I perform chamber music with my family. I maintain my hobbled-together networks of self-built servers and IoT devices, I fly fish, and I cosplay.
Favorite activity: Eating Red Wagon corndogs and Dole Whips in Disneyland.


Favorite outdoor areas:  Quiet, shallow streams full of hungry brook trout… or Disneyland.
Most interesting place ever lived: Cologne, Germany
Top-five favorite movies: Galaxy Quest, Pete’s Dragon (1977), Wall- E, Sneakers, Guardians of the Galaxy
Top-five favorite books: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (series); Ready, Player One; Seveneves, The Martian, Dragonsong


First memory spending time outdoors: I remember spontaneous day picnics in the canyon on hot summer days.
Inspirational Hero: Adam Savage
Dream vacation: Adventures by Disney: Germany- Heidelberg, Alsfeld, Waldeck, Rothenburg, Munich
Favorite food: Tortellini Alfredo
Cake or pie: Pie

Dogs or Cats: Cats

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3/31/17

VAUDE Receives Soul@Work Award


On March 20 the mountain sports outfitter, VAUDE, was honored with the “Soul@Work Award” for its success in putting into practice the company’s culture of trust. Each year, individuals or companies who take preventative measures to ensure psychological wellbeing in the work place are honored with this award. At the award ceremony in Kloster Eberbach, Pater Anselm Grün presented the award to Miriam Schilling, VAUDE Personnel Manager.
VAUDE was selected by the panel of experts in the category, "Mid-size companies up to 5,000 employees". The culture of trust at VAUDE is based on a positive view of humanity and the belief that people are inherently motivated to contribute their skills and achievements. "This way of working creates a good climate in which you feel comfortable and can develop freely. It also helps that we have very dedicated employees who enjoy taking on responsibility. This benefits all of us as a company," said Miriam Schilling. One sign of the high level of employee satisfaction at VAUDE is its low turnover rate, which is far below the national average.

Culture of trust as a factor of success
To remain successful in the dynamic competition of the outdoor industry, VAUDE counts on its employees seeing themselves as able to take action and developing a willingness to make decisions. To promote these skills, VAUDE offers a variety of training courses and workshops for all employees. Through all levels of its hierarchy, VAUDE motivates employees to take on responsibility, to reassess existing structures and contribute their own ideas.
"Our culture of trust requires a great deal of dialogue, which often means putting effort into building relationships. But it's worth it. We are creating the basis for collaboration which is appreciative and creative," said Miriam Schilling. At a time when companies must respond more quickly to new challenges, innovative and flexible employees are an important success factor.

About the "Soul @ Work Award"
The "Soul@Work Award" is given out annually by the initiative "Stark wie Bambus" (Strong like Bamboo), which is made up of individuals and companies. Founded by the author Katharina Maehrlein, the initiative’s goal is to raise awareness of senior executives, human resources managers and those responsible for health promotion in terms of mental health in the workplace. With the "Soul@Work" Award, businesses or individuals are honored in five categories for their innovative approaches to the development of health-promoting measures by a panel of experts consisting of representatives from politics, business, church, sports, philosophy and other fields.

More about VAUDE as an employer:


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