William C Slingsby

Bergans have chosen to name their range of extremely lightweight ski touring and mountaineering products after William Cecil Slingsby (1849-1928). The Englishman is a legend in Norwegian mountaineering, and these products form the basis of an excellent experience in the mountains.

The year is 1876. Three experienced mountaineers reach Skagastølsryggen in Hurrungane. On their four-week-long expedition through Jotunheimen they have made as many as five first ascents in as many days. Now the last and greatest challenge looms before them – Store Skagastølstind.

The peak they have dreamed of for years is closer than ever before, but the trek up the steep glacier has drained the climbers’ last strength. Sadly the peak remains just as it has been described by other climbers: unassailable.

Emanuel Mohn and Knut Lykken don’t want to take unnecessary chances. They are desperately weary, and their thoughts turn to those waiting for them at home. They have no wish to risk their lives.

“Two well-equipped climbers could have managed it,” says Mohn with a sigh.
“In that case, I want to try,” says Slingsby and starts out towards the majestic peak.

After intense and careful climbing up the precipitous and at times ice-covered terrain, Slingsby climbs Store Skagastølstind. Alone.

This first ascent still stands as a massive breakthrough in Norwegian mountaineering history, and the attention it attracted resulted in an increased interest in climbing and mountaineering both in Norway and abroad.

Slingsby was also the first to ascend a number of other Norwegian mountains. He crossed many unexplored glaciers and made many traverses between 1872 and 1921. In the first few years, the Jotunheimen peaks were his target, but he also climbed many ‘virgin peaks’ in Møre and Romsdal, Nordland and Troms.

These days the Norwegian peaks and mountaineering are common property. Store Skagastølstind is stilla demanding climb even by today’s standards, but equipment and know-how are in a completely different class from back then. But equipment is still at least as important for a good experience on the mountain today.

Whatever type of mountain-based sport you engage in, the weight and functionality of clothing is a considerable factor, and often crucial. Crucial for comfort and success.

If you are carrying too much, or what you carry or wear is too heavy, you will not be able to enjoy your climb as much, and you will become tired by that last kilometer or the last few meters of height. If the equipment is lightweight, but lacks the right functionality and quality, you often have to turn back before you reach your goal.

We have therefore emphasized the following criteria in the Slingsby range:

Low weight – best function

Low weight is essential in steep mountain terrain. In order to find the perfect balance between weight and function, and to achieve the durability demanded by hard mountaineering, we have tested, weighed and assessed every last feature of these Slingsby products. Features and detailing that could hinder active use have been removed or positioned somewhere else on the product.

Full checking of wind, water and temperature

Slingsby products are made from top-quality materials. Several of the shell products are made with Dermizax®NX membrane, which is windproof, waterproof, and uniquely breathable. The Dermizax membrane adapts its breathability to your level of activity. For high activity levels it has excellent breathability and moisture wicking properties. At low activity levels, breathability lessens in favor of increased thermal insulation. The garments’ other ventilation options have also been carefully assessed and positioned.

Well-thought-out fit

High activity levels in extreme conditions require clothing to offer both freedom of movement and comfort. Slingsby products are made from soft, comfortable fabrics and are tailor-made for movement in demanding terrain. The garments have an athletic fit, with extra width and flexibility where needed.

The range consists of shell clothing, thermal-insulating clothing, softshell, mid-layers and backpacks. All optimized for high activity in demanding weather conditions. The products have been named after the peaks Slingsby climbed.