MtnHaus senior innovation designer James Hodgson and Mick Fowler discuss new Extrem developments
Since it was first introduced, Extrem has consistently been the range that features the most technical and innovative Berghaus products. Over the years, many developments have directly involved sponsored athletes and serious activists, who have worked closely with the product team. This approach continues to this day, with the likes of Leo Houlding, Mick Fowler and others playing a vital role in the concept, design and testing of new kit.
The Extrem team attracts many Berghaus staff who have a wealth of experience in the outdoors. Between them, the seven team members have worked for over 50 years in the outdoor sector. Extrem category manager Paul Cosgrove is well known in the trade and has over 16 years of outdoor experience, ranging from climbing, trail running, backpacking and bikepacking, to exploring remote Arctic regions of Canada and Greenland.
Senior Extrem designer, mountain enthusiast and snowboarder, Kate Ablett has been with Berghaus for eight years, while designer Dan Smith is a climber and ultra-distance trail runner. The category’s senior developer is Laura Brocklehurst, a hiker and trail runner, while developer Gabriel Boulton-Oliver is a climber and mountaineer who is currently on an expedition in Kyrgyzstan, exploring un-climbed peaks. Extrem marketing is headed up by Matt Hickman, who has been working at Berghaus since 2008 and is a climber and triathlete. Extrem marketing executive Angela Foster is a mountain biker, trail runner and general outdoor fanatic.
At the newly refurbished Berghaus HQ in Sunderland, materials and trims are tested in an industry leading lab while in house technicians work in high quality pattern cutting rooms to support the product developments.
Paul Cosgrove comments: “We have technicians here who worked on the original Extrem Trango Jacket and Yeti gaiters. That kind of experience, working with our latest generation of talented designers, is compelling.”
Leo Houlding and his team used prototypes of new styles during their epic Mirror Wall expedition this year, while Mick Fowler has tested kit in Scotland and the Alps and will do so again when he heads to Nepal at the end of September. The Extrem team also use other guides, activists and staff to test products, and the kit has been put through its paces on an almost daily basis for the past year. On top of the dedicated team of seven, Extrem benefits from significant input from the MtnHaus™ innovation team at Berghaus and the guides at Chamonix based Mountain Tracks also play a crucial role. The AW16 Extrem collection has been developed with input from all of them.
The new Extrem collection will feature complete shell, down, synthetic and fleece ranges, all intended to take product design and performance in each area to another level.
Matt Hickman comments: “There are some really stunning surprises in this range. We are introducing designs and usage of materials that haven’t been achieved before, all of which is absolutely in the spirit of Berghaus and its founders.”
Paul Cosgrove adds: “Everyone who works on the Extrem project is acutely aware of the phenomenal heritage that comes with the name. We only have to glance at the Berghaus archives from the last 30 years to see that the kit has been used on some incredible expeditions. There are some Extrem products that are genuinely revered, both here at Berghaus and by many others in our industry. I’m constantly amazed by how many serious mountaineers and explorers I meet who have used Berghaus Extrem kit over the years. The next range has a lot to live up to, but I’m confident that it more than does that. It’s been an extraordinary experience working with this talented team to develop a new collection that I believe will launch Berghaus Extrem into another 30 years of success.”
The AW16 Berghaus Extrem collection will be launched to the trade at the end of 2015.