As some of you may have noticed, at the top, left side of posts, I have a link to my sponsors. Originally I believed that it would be very easy to get sponsored. However, I kept getting negative reports from all the corporations I tried: Patagonia, The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Gore-tex, First Ascent, REI, EMS, Columbia, Isis, Black Diamond, Outdoor Research, Arc'teryx, Petzl, Scarpa, Nikon........the list continues. My skepticism started to grow, could I actually end up doing this? I had a TON of gear to buy plus the guide fee.
Luckily, a guidance counselor at my school had a sister-in-law who is CEO of Smartwool. I got her email and she was very helpful and kind. She sent me a package that arrived this week with long underwear bottoms, 2 long underwear tops, underwear, and socks. I have to say that after trying on some of their stuff, I'm officially a Smartwooler (if that's a word).
Another connection through my little brothers (go figure) lead me to discover Stoic. Their ski jumping coach's brother works at backcountry.com. Stoic is a new company that was started through backcountry.com. He gave me some awesome soft shells, both top and bottom, and a good hat. For a brand new business they sure can make some great clothes!
I thought that if I connected with Vermont companies then I might have more of a chance. I saved VT for last, was in the VT media..etc. I suppose that this tactic worked because Darn Tough Socks gave me the comfiest socks I have ever worn. Yesterday I went on a 22 mile bike ride and wore them, it was fantastic!
Another Vermont company that gladly helped me out was Julbo. I had never heard of them until this past summer where some of the guides had Julbo glacier glasses. Well, I got 2 pairs of glacier glasses and 2 pairs of regular sun glasses. It's very important to have the best glacier glasses for extended climbs like Denali. I'm very excited that they wanted to support my endeavor.
And last, but NOT least. It turns out that Asolo's North American head quarters (boot company) happen to be in the town next to mine! I sent them an email and their general manager Bruce Franks was happy to help! He is giving me two pairs of mountaineering boots, so I can try the AFS 8000 and the Base Camp GV to see if I like hard or soft boots better. Also, they have agreed to help me get other equipment!
Now that I've got some sponsors lined up, and lots of equipment. I have been working at The Car Store in Norwich as a receptionist and at Umpleby's bakery in Hanover as a counter person. But, I'm taking some time off to go to Hawaii and to climb the penultimate highpoint! Hawaii's highpoint is Mauna Kea, 13,796', and the tallest mountain in the world. It's only the tallest because it goes underwater so much. I'm pretty excited to go to Hawaii!!!