• Ariane Maria Malfertheiner
  • International
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For mountain guides, by mountain guides. ABS included
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For mountain guides, by mountain guides. ABS included

Mountain guides are a special kind of mountaineer. In general, they spend more time on the mountain than any other target group. That means their equipment is subject to the constant demands of their workday. When they are not guiding a group, they are often involved in their own challenging mountaineering projects. That means their equipment is subject to particularly high demands even on their days off.

This led SALEWA, together with Günter Karnutsch, an Austrian mountain guide with over 30 years experience, and some other guides from the international SALEWA alpineXtrem team, to pose the question: what features does a rucksack need to best meet the demands of a professional mountaineer?

The answer turned out to be quite simple: the rucksack must be trimmed of all unnecessary frills. It must be very practical to use. It must be extremely tough and yet light. And, although featuring only the essentials, it needs to be designed with details which allow each professional to adapt it to his individual needs. An anatomic fit and comfort when carrying are particularly crucial.

The mountain sports specialists from Bolzano, in cooperation with mountain guide Karnutsch and his colleagues, delivered their answer in tangible form. It's called the SALEWA Mountain Guide series.

ABS meets SALEWA, safety meets trust

For the autumn/winter season 2011, the professional climber will have a choice of seven different versions for their daily work on the mountain - six 38-litre and one 32-litre version. The Mountain Guide 38 ABS Carbon is a particular gem. Developed in association with the market leader in avalanche air bag systems ABS, it has quickly established itself as an indispensable item for all who give safety a top priority on trips away from the piste - whether alone or as a guide. The numbers speak for themselves: 97% of skiers who set off their ABS airbag when caught in an avalanche survived – and almost all of those without any injury.

Features at a glance

All models in the Mountain Guide series are made from especially tough materials such as Cordura 500D. That makes them significantly more tear and abrasion-resistant than others made with conventional nylon. The manufacturing process involves respinning and weaving the cut polyamide fibres. The Pro versions boast a plain carabiner clip on a daisy chain system which functions smoothly even under extreme cold and when wearing thick gloves. There are also other features that will nudge a mountain guide's day closer to perfection, at least as regards his/her rucksack. The express draw cord under the lid pocket which enables the rucksack to be fully closed with a simple one-handed tug. The fluorescent zip pullers for comfort at dusk and night. The design details which allow quick instalment of a hydration system. The long, waterproof side zip for direct access without the need to unpack the whole rucksack. The rope holder. Detachable hip fins and ice tool holster. All of these features are carried on the back by the Contact Fit support system, which broadens the supporting zones of the shoulders and hips and thus enhances comfort. The ventilation system has also been optimised.

The Mountain Guide 32 is also available with the innovative Motion Fit support system for those who attach special importance to comfort. This system is based on the interplay of several technologies which together ensure that the back of the rucksack complies ergonomically with each body movement.