Mountain Equipment Promo Flick is Worthy

Post by blogger | August 19, 2011      

Backcountry skiing and mountaineering videos and movies.
The amount of video content available these days is like the Sargasso Sea. You can sail it, but you might get stranded in the weeds and never return. Thus, challenge for companies these day is to come up with something that won’t get tangled in the “sargassum.”

Mountain Equipment of the UK is pushing to sell their line of storied gear in the North American market. Along with their NA launch, ME is celebrating their 50th anniversary as a company. To honor their heritage, Mountain Equipment created the 19 minute flick we show above, comprising a bundle of interview clips from past generations of (mostly UK) extreme alpinists.

What I like about the flick is they slanted towards the philosophical side, and actually tackle the question of if and why alpinism is more than just selfish recreation (though it is frequently that, and often ok to be so as far as I’m concerned). More, they managed to convey their branding message in a tasteful way. Check it out and let us know if they got stranded in the sargassum, or managed to hack out a clear spot and put together something worthy. Personally, I found it nicely done and a good look back at climbing and mountaineering from a UK view, logically divided into eras based on decades, e.g., 60s, 70s and so forth.

Best quote from the vid? When asked “why do you climb?” Pioneer alpinist Doug Scott answers, “I get grumpy when I don’t.”

Incidentally, at the OR show I did go through the ME line of gear. Nice stuff, we’ll probably review some.


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10 Responses to “Mountain Equipment Promo Flick is Worthy”

  1. Scott Nelson August 19th, 2011 8:56 am

    I think a lot of athletes get grumpy when they don’t / can’t do what they love or they have a poor showing (a least in their minds). I’ve always thought that being athletic ( be it climbing, running, skiing or whatever gets your adrenaline flowing) is the best anti-depressant out there. But that means that you gotta keep getting the fix to stay up, not much different than a drug addict. Choose your addiction, I guess…

  2. Lou August 19th, 2011 9:09 am

    Scott, scientifically speaking, how long do the endorphins last after exercise?

    Beyond that, the feelings of physical fitness as well as mental satisfaction of accomplishment are ongoing antidotes.

  3. greig August 19th, 2011 12:59 pm

    Sweet video. I have an old ME K2 Jacket and down bag that have served me well climbing, ski-iing and hanging out in the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland for many years. It is generally bombproof gear.
    I saw Doug Scott, Tom Hornbein, Peter Habeler, Tut Braithwaite and Hamish McInnes speak last year, really cool to see such a cast of old skool heroes relating their adventures from the 70’s and 80’s. The art of adventure.

  4. Andy August 19th, 2011 4:13 pm

    I’d suggest that very little of the heritage of ME is found in their products today after multiple changes of ownership.
    You need to go directly to the source to get the real deal, so to speak.

  5. Eric August 19th, 2011 4:19 pm

    I laughed when I read the comment about being grumpy. Back 10 years or so ago when I was seriously racing motorcycles, I had to skip a weekend for some family function. I was such a grump that my wife didn’t want me around any more and finally told me to leave the house and go racing. I couldn’t have planned it better had I tried. 🙂

  6. Lou August 19th, 2011 4:37 pm

    Andy, point taken, but that sounds a bit grumpy. Their stuff looked pretty good to me, whatever the financial situation behind the brand.

  7. Andy August 19th, 2011 6:30 pm

    Sorry Lou, you’re right, that was a little too grumpy.
    As someone from Marple, the next village to the original home of ME (its on the road sign at 2:24!) I’ve worn three of their down jackets to destruction (takes a long time of hard use), have several of their bags under the bed (one of which is badged with ME celebrating 35 years…) and my “go-to’ jacket when I want to stay dry is a still a 5 year old Changabang I can honestly say this company has had some up and down over the last couple of decades but are producing good stuff at the moment. I hope that I won’t be the only person turning up at the Boulder Rock Club in a ME jacket this winter and I wish them as much luck as Rab (another iconic British brand) seem to have enjoyed here in the US over the last 18 months.
    Now, I wonder what I did with the poster of Andy P on Broad Peak which adorned my teenage-self bedroom wall and is the still at the start of the video above, it really is a great image.

  8. Gregg Cronn August 19th, 2011 7:11 pm

    Great video. Brought back some good memories of some very accomplished climbers. Isn’t that Roger Baxter-Jones in the first photo in the post? Killed guiding in the alps soon after. I remember being so excited to get my custom fitted ME down suit for an expedition to K2. Super warm and excellent craftmanship. I think I traded it for a rug in Thamel. Wish I still had it.

  9. Scott Nelson August 19th, 2011 8:25 pm

    Yeah, I wish I would have become an exercise physiologist in the past. For me, I feel like I “come down” pretty quick. I wonder if its better to be more moderate in how you approach fitness, more like a little a day, rather than constantly trying to be so intense. There must be some studies out their dealing with this stuff, like depression amongst elite athletes or something, or just regular get after it recreational athletes. If not, I’d love to volunteer, as the latter, not the former.

    But I’ve also had some of my biggest meltdowns after real intense efforts too. Just don’t ask my wife to get into any details….

  10. Trevor H August 19th, 2011 8:41 pm

    Reminded me why my favorite mountain literature is often British (I’m Canadian). They seem to describe mountaineering in a gripping yet humble way:
    Joe Tasker’s ‘Savage Arena’
    Dougal Haston’s ‘In High Places’
    Doug Scott’s ‘The Shishapangma Expedition’
    Peter Boardman’s ‘The Shining Mountain’
    among others . . .

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