• Ariane Maria Malfertheiner
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Bolzano (IT), December 2010: In this age of innumerable self-appointed experts, you have to be careful about applying the moniker "living legend". But there are people who genuinely deserve this description and one of them is Glen Plake.

"POWDER Magazine" (a US special-interest publication for skiers) named him their "Most influential skier of the past 35 years". Skiers across the world know him for the unforgettable display of his skills in cult ski films such as “The Blizzard of Aahhhs”, “Fistful of Moguls”, “License to Thrill”, and “The Edge of Never”. In October 2010, the US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame named him in its class of 2010. The three-times World Hotdog Ski Champion has been skiing professionally for over twenty years and has left his mark on the free skiing and big mountain skiing scene. He is a unique ambassador for ski sports thanks to the frankness, friendliness and boundless enthusiasm he displays wherever he goes. That may be the Indian Himalayas, or in his adopted home region of Chamonix, or at home in the USA where his instantly recognisable Mohawk adds a dash of colour to many local ski spots during the annual "Down Home Tour”.

Glen gets on his skis every second day of the year. Therefore, he needs uncompromisingly reliable apparel. That's why he demands a standard of functionality, low weight and durability which is otherwise only seen in products for high-altitude extreme tours or expeditions. Glen knows numerous worthy ski areas like the back of his hand. But, more and more, he is seeking out summits and descents that cannot be reached by cable car, snow mobile or helicopter. In keeping with the climb2ski philosophy, he and the other free ski mountaineering members of the SALEWA alpineXtrem team focus on the overall mountain experience: make the ascent through challenging mountain terrain using crampons, ice tools and appropriate safety systems. Descend through untouched - and in places never-before skied - flanks, gullies and steep faces. Off-piste skiing at its best.

The mohawked skier from California has selected exactly one jacket, one pants and one pair of gloves from the SALEWA alpineXtrem collection to stamp with his seal of approval: "Glen Plake’s Choice". The hangtags on these products, which will appear on the shelves of selected SALEWA retail partners in winter 2011, will each contain a personal greeting from the ski legend to the future owner: "I have chosen these pieces for my own personal use, I know they will work for you too. Ski ya, Glen“.

VEDA 3-layer Powertex® jacket

The all-terrain jacket

Glen Plake, the legendary mohawked skier from California, is one of the foremost sportspersons in free ski mountaineering. His nomination to the 2010 US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame as well as descents of up to 60° on steep compacted snow flanks in the Indian Himalayas make a bold statement of his values.  When it comes to his equipment, he again makes a bold statement.

Glen’s jacket choice: the VEDA. A highly functional, stretchable weatherproof jacket made of triple layer Powertex®. The jacket's ample pit-zips provide excellent ventilation even on long, strenuous ascents. Other practical details include: storm hood can be fully adjusted with a single tug, snow gaiters at waist and cuffs, large interior net compartment for ski goggles and other items, and an MP3 player compartment with cable guides. Ready to rock!

VASAKI 3-layer Powertex® pants

The all-terrain pants

As a SALEWA alpineXtrem team member and someone who has made Chamonix his home, Glen lives the free ski life like nobody else. Clambering up through ice and rock, with rope, ice pick and crampons, skiing down through remote terrain and steep slopes of untouched snow.

Plake’s choice in pants: VASAKI. The triple layer of Powertex® Ultimate makes them soft and stretchable, yet robust. It sets a high standard in flexibility, breathability, and windproof and weatherproof capabilities on demanding ascents and extreme descents. The pants have a number of other noteworthy features: full-length side zips, well-ventilated, adjustable waist with snow barrier, elastic inside gaiter, edge protection on inside legs and zip-adjustable leg width. Go big!

KONGUR Powertex® glove

The all-terrain glove

Durability on the one hand, dexterity and tactility on the other. Free ski mountaineering requires a glove with perhaps the broadest range of capabilities. Screwing in an ice screw with one hand must work just as quickly and smoothly as chafing and scuffing a thousand times on hard surfaces such as granite, limestone or snow crust. Guided by these criteria, the Kongur are Glen's choice in gloves. The SALEWA Powertex liner makes them waterproof, windproof and breathable. The PrimaLoft Sport padding ensures an adequate level of warmth even in exceptionally cold conditions. The tough goatskin inserts on the heels of the hands, reinforced palm, and protection on the outsides of the fingers all ensure that these gloves never let you down - even after hours of working with climbing gear in extreme terrains in cold or wet conditions. Ski ya!