Thursday, 07 December 2017 21:49

Innovation by Blue Ice Featured

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Blue Ice are a young mountaineering equipment company based in Chamonix. They have a small and well formed group of products they provide to the mountaineers and alpinists. They pride themselves in the ability to innovate, we asked them to define it so have a read at their journey.

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What does this word actually mean?

First, we need define “Innovation.”  It’s possible that innovation is simply an invention (sometimes a small one) with commercial success. Typically, brands innovate their products with their functions and forms, but innovation can also be commercial or marketing in nature. 

How to innovate?

As a “young company”, Blue Ice designs mountaineering equipment with new ideas and products. This innovation process is the result of a creative impulse held inside the company. Every Blue Ice employee pursues a mountain lifestyle sport like climbing or skiing or alpinism. Through these pursuits, we create or encounter innovations to resolve problems within our activities. As the problem is found, the process to find solutions is developed. Solutions are conceptualized, developed and field-tested by our employees and friends.

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Occasionally these solutions are selected because they meet all the criteria: innovative, functional and commercializable. Often, there are solutions in search of problems. Other solution appear later to be self-evident.

The Choucas harness: an example of innovation

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This was the genesis of ice screws keepers on the Choucas harness, which keep the ice screws safe while you ski. It was a small invention coming from the field and simple to implement. It was quickly copied by our competitors.

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Recently, the Choucas light harness was awarded the prestigious Outdoor Industry Award at Friedrichshafen Outdoor Show 2017 as the lightest harness (<90 g) you can put on with your skis still on. Its innovative buckle system allows for easy and safe usage in the mountains.

Our will is strong to keep on moving the lines on the difficult - but exciting - innovation field. Stay tuned, as we'll come with more inventions in the near future, which could become nice practical & handy innovations for climbers.

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Thanks to Blue Ice for their insight into their techniques, they continue to drive forward and we will be reviewing a couple of their products on the pages of My Outdoors, which we are really looking forward to.

Davy Wright

Most at home in the outdoors, preferably on top of something big and pointy. Scotland is Davy's playground, which is why he doesn’t mind getting wet. But winter is where it’s at. Hiking, scrambling, camping and a bit of climbing when I can. Sucker for a ridge. At a lower altitude he try getting out on his bike and run if he has to.

Davy describes himself as "a bit of a gear geek, maybe less of the bit. I like to see how things work or don’t!" In following this line Davy has become a respected and authoritative blogger over the last few years, working with many of the UK's major manufacturers and retailers.

Preferred activities: Hillwalking, camping, scrambling, trying to get better at climbing/ice climbing, cycling/mountain biking

Areas commonly visited: Lochaber, Cairngorms, Lake District

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