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Mountain Hardwear Welcomes 7 Newcomers to Global Team Hot

Mountain Hardwear teamFive skiers and two mountain climbers are the newest members of Mountain Hardwear’s Global Athlete team, a group of elite talent in outdoor and mountain sports, the company announced on March 28.

A total of three females and four males were signed – all twenty-something’s – representing France, Canada and the United States. Inking a young, diverse group was part of Mountain Hardwear’s calculated attempt for the brand to appear more youthful and transnational.

Vivian Bruchez, Mike Gardner, Caroline Gleich, James Heim and Drew Stoecklein, all skiers, were targeted because Mountain Hardwear has visions of creating a Freeride Ski Team in the near future.

Each member of this skiing quintet is an accomplished skier in his or her own right, like France’s Vivian Bruchez, who recently descended the 7,134-meter Tilicho Peak in the Himalayas and completed a 4-descent day on the Aiguille du Midi’s North Face.

The young American Mike Gardner was just named one of the top-20 skiers under the age of 18 worldwide, by Powder Magazine and finished second at the North American Championship on the Junior Freeskiing World Tour in February.

Like Gardner, Drew Stoecklein, of Park City, Utah, competes on the Freeskiing World Tour and earned a win at the Chilean Freeskiing Championships in 2010 and a Vivian Bruchez teams with Mountain HardwearVivian Bruchez teams with Mountain Hardwear2nd place finish at the US Freeskiing Championships in 2008 and 2009.  Stoecklein is also involved in philanthropic efforts including the Big Sky Youth Empowerment Program and Billy Poole Memorial Fund.

Salt Lake City’s Caroline Gleich has been skiing since her mother strapped two skis to her feet at 18-months-old. Still enjoying the sport at age 23, Gleich spends her winters skiing powder and steep lines at Alta and Snowbird while partnering with top outdoor and snowsports brands in product development.

She’s also a factor in the environmental movement, volunteering with the organization, Protect Our Winters – an organization focused on reducing climate change's effects on skiing and local mountain communities.

The last skier in the group, James Heim, is a big mountain freeride skier, who also works closely with Matchstick Productions, one of skiing's preeminent ski filming companies. Mountain Hardwear said its excited to have Heim play a role in the development of new freeride-inspired skiwear.

The Mountain Hardwear brand has also sprouted deep roots in the mountain sport disciplines of climbing and bouldering, and is strengthening its commitment to the sector by signing two major icons, Angie Payne and Sasha Digiulian.

Payne, whose hometown is Cincinnati, is the top female bouldering athlete as evidenced by her three American Bouldering Series Championships. She has also ascended two V12 boulders, and in August 2010, became the first woman ever to complete a V13.

At just 18, Sasha Digiulian is already the sport climbing US Adult National Champion and Pan-American Champion. She’s currently taking the year off from the sport prior to enrolling at Columbia University, while also serving as an ambassador for Right to Play and the Outdoor Foundation, two organizations that seek to increase youth involvement in physical and outdoor activities.

Each of the seven newcomers to the Global Team will receive sponsorship and participate in Mountain Hardwear’s corporate strategy that includes its athletes into all aspects of the business, including product development, marketing and sales.

-Ryan O'Leary

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