HANWAG BERGPOST – NO. 3 – SUMMER 2012 | 1
News, Stories and interesting Facts about the Bavarian Bootmaker
Edition 3 | Summer 2012 | Free
4 Mountaineers, 4 Boots and a Mountain Paradise
Footwear Testing – Caucasian Style Last year four Hanwag ProTeam members, a mountain guide, an outdoor photographer, a journalist specialising in mountaineering and a forestry engineer, decided to leave the Alps behind them to head out east for three weeks. Expedition member, Jo Stark reports from the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia for Bergpost. Text and Photos: Joachim Stark
t takes us twelve hours to cover the approximately 500 bumpy kilometres from Tbilisi to Mestiya. Apart from being a trip into the mountains, it’s also a journey back in time – at least if the state of the roads and the fortified towers at each village are anything to go by. In Georgia, generous hospitality is one thing both town and country have in common. Guests have always been treated here as if they were sent from heaven – wherever they go. This might be due to tradition, or the sociable and honest nature of the Georgian people. The fact that tourists bring money into the country also has a role to play: tradition and economics go hand in hand.
The impression that most people have of the Caucasus is very different to the reality. Yes, the region was a trouble spot until recently and yes, some areas are still not really stable. However, the wild, lawless days of the Caucasus and the province of Swanetia in particular, are long gone. In the meantime the mountains have become a paradise for mountaineers, trekkers and outdoor enthusiasts – and one that is only just starting to be developed. The region still rates as an insider’s tip – for now anyway. The Georgians are not unaware of the potential their wild mountains have as a tourist attraction. The objective of our small Hanwag ProTeam ex-
pedition was to climb Mount Ushba, the 4,700-meter peak known as the “Matterhorn of the Caucasus” because of its picturesque double summit. It’s late August and the valleys are hot and oppressive. Up among the higher peaks, the icy summits at 4,000 and 5,000 metres beckon. That’s where we’re heading. Everything we need for the multi-day trip is carried in our rucksacks: stoves, provisions, ropes, ice tools, bivouac equipment and crampons. My teammates Ursi, Ralf and Regine are wearing the Friction GTX®, while I have my Sirius GTX®.
Our boots and shoes have always been made in Europe. This has been the case for over 90 years and it will continue so in future. The very highest quality standards assure that our shoes literally last a lifetime. We source our materials carefully and work with local suppliers whenever possible. We have already been working with carbon neutral Terracare Zero leather for two years. And now we plan to take this approach one step further. From Summer 2012, our collection will include four new models with organic leather uppers originating from a tannery in Croatia. However, we don’t just rely on certificates and approval seals. Which is why we sent Peter Wilson, a Hanwag employee, off to take a look at the production process – from the pastures to the
finished product. We also want to give you a further insight into alpine footwear and the technology and materials used to make it. Have fun reading. And enjoy the mountains this summer.
In this issue: Page
Footwear Testing – Hanwag ProTeam in the Caucasus Mountains Start the film: the Making of the Ad Campaign 2012
Boot in Detail: The Bergler BIO
Hanwag Employee Peter Wilson takes a look at where our organic leather comes from
Technology: Its all about the Lasts
Lacing Tips for Additional Comfort
Speciality Retail: Interview with Gregor Schwenk from Bergfuchs (Vienna)
Continued over the page...
Greetings Bergpost Readers,
e’re delighted to bring you the latest edition of the Bergpost. As summer approaches our footwear is going to experience new alpine adventures and mountain hikes. This issue also goes out and up to our most favourite of places – the mountains. But it’s not just the mountains that are important to us; we’re also committed to protecting nature and the environment. This is why we endeavour to use resources as efficiently as possible and keep transport to a minimum.
Photo: Peter Wilson
Jürgen Siegwarth and the Hanwag team
P.S.: We always value your feedback, whether its praise or criticism. Drop us an email at Bergpost@Hanwag.de or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook. com/Hanwag
Friedl’s Boot Basics: What’s better: leather or Gore-Tex®?
The people behind Hanwag: Adam Weger Hanwag ProTeam: Ralf Gantzhorn
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expedition: hanwag proteam
Marketing: The Making of an Ad Campaign 2012
Footwear Testing – Caucasian Style
Lights, Camera... Action!
(Continued from page 1)
Text: Julia Englhart Photos: Joachim Stark
Photo: Jo Stark
There’s a reassuring “click” as Max locks his boot down securely into the crampon. He checks his equipment one last time. “Everything safe? Can I go?”, he asks. Getting the OK, he climbs the first pitch under careful observation. It’s not just his partner watching; Max’s movements are also being followed by a small film crew – through a lens.
Stunning view of Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak (5,640 metres).
ur new marketing campaign has a special advert for each footwear category, combined with a short image film featuring a member of the Hanwag ProTeam. Max Bolland appears in the film for the category he normally wears: ALPIN. Makes sense, since when he’s not in front of the camera, Max is busy working as a certified mountain guide. For the productions with Max this winter the crew didn’t need to travel far. He has plenty of rock, snow and ice right on his doorstep. Fully geared up and wearing the Eclipse II GTX®, Max headed out with the film crew early one morning to Kampenwand near Lake Chiemgau in the German Alps.
Photo: Jo Stark
Many old defence towers in the remote villages of Swanetia bear testimony to the region’s turbulent history.
The Friction GTX® is in its element on rocky terrain.
The first part of our journey leads us through classic trekking terrain. There is even a (marked!) trail up to the start of the glacier. From here, we make our way over the moraine and the eroded surface of the Ushba Glacier to our first camp. Up until this point, the classic Alaska GTX® trekking boot would be the best choice of footwear. For anyone planning to turn back at the end of the marked path, before the glacier starts (a superb day trip in itself), a lighter trekking model would be more appropriate, such as the Tatra (made of Terra Care Zero leather). For trips earlier on in the year when the snows are melting a Gore-Tex® membrane boot would be more advisable, for example the Altai GTX®. Both of these TREK category models are lighter and more comfortable than the Alaska GTX®, although they are not as robust. Our own ’ALPIN’ and ’ROCK’ category boots were not really put to the test during the approach. But that soon changes after the bivouac. Crampons are required – we’re now entering real mountain terrain. Ursi and Regine both wear prototypes of the next-generation alpine
all-rounder, the Friction GTX®. Weighing just 820 g, it’s a remarkably lightweight performance boot. It provides moderate insulation and has crampon compatibility for crampons with a flexible baskettype toe piece and heel bail. As a result, it’s ideal for summer high alpine mountaineering and technical rock and mixed climbing. Ralf is wearing the previous model. They both share the same characteristics when it comes to stability and versatility, but the newer model has a superior design. We get to see the comparison in action. Ralf sees it somewhat differently, “It’s all just bells and whistles. The old model is superb. I’ve done three seasons and numerous trips to the Western and Eastern Alps in mine. No problem! Although if I’m honest, I wouldn’t say no to a new pair...”
Alpine Footwear for Alpine Terrain On similar terrain with sections of firn and technical rock climbing, but at 1,500 m lower altitude, the versatile Ferrata Combi GTX® would be the perfect choice. It’s
not Hanwag’s bestselling technical rock boot for nothing. But up here for multi-day trips high in the Caucasus Mountains at over 4,000 m, with the glaciers and unstable rock faces, fresh snow and subzero temperatures (in summer too), it’s better not to make any compromises. This is why we left our fast & light footwear at home in the cupboard. In fact, I opted for a heavier boot than the others: the Sirius GTX® is a rigid alpine boot with a stiff leather upper. It has a firm, fully crampon compatible design for automatic crampons with a toe bail wire. However, its upper is slightly lower than on the flagship alpine model, the Omega, which makes it more flexible. It also has less insulation. All in all, it’s an outstanding 3-season boot. I was also really impressed by my Sirius GTX® on a multi-week mountain and trekking expedition in the Himalayas. The Sirius coped with everything up to 6,300 m. I only had to pull on my clumpy expedition boots to go beyond that point. Anyone who values durability over weight and wants to use automatic crampons
with a toe bail wire will love the Sirius GTX®. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the summit. A storm during the night was enough to bury our dreams of reaching it under fresh snow. The change in the weather put an end to the good conditions on the serac zone and the summit ice ridge, making them an incalculable and dangerous risk. Treacherous new snow was covering the crevices and ploughing through the knee-deep drifts was really strenuous. Huge slabs of snow were plummeting down the face too. Unfortunately we didn’t have the two or three days it would have taken to sit it out and wait for the lousy conditions to improve. Our experiences on the mountain were sometimes grue some and sometimes breathtaking, but we certainly won’t forget them in a hurry. During our two remaining days we explored the cultural and culinary delights of Tbilisi and the surrounding areas. There is certainly no shortage of things to see in Georgia. Nature and culture are easy to combine. And for outdoor enthusiasts, Georgia is
a paradise waiting to be explored. Whether climbing in the Caucasus Mountains, trekking in the Lesser Caucasus (for example in the Borjomi National Park) or hiking through the cave monasteries of Vardzia or David Gareja.
“Jo” Stark spends most of his time out in the mountains. He is a graduated Sports Sciencist and works as a journalist and photographer. www.joachimstark.de
To view the film from the campaign visit www.vimeo.com/hanwag
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shoe in Detail:
TECHNOLOGY & MATERIALS
BERGLER BERGLER BIO
A classic, solid, double-stitched boot Fit: The Bergler is also available in a women’s specific version. We make the Bergler Lady using our women’s last, which is slightly narrower and has different proportions. In addition, on the women’s version the uppers are cut slightly lower.
Lining: Chrome-free leather tanned using chromium salts. It contains no (chromium-based) allergens and is especially skin-friendly and nonallergenic.
Weight: The Bergler weighs 750 g (Size 7.5).
Text and Photos: Peter Wilson
Nubuck: Top-grain leather buffed on the grain side to produce a fine, velvet-like surface. We use robust, high-quality 2.4 - 2.6-millimeter waxed nubuck for the Bergler’s uppers.
Organic Nubuck: The Bergler BIO is made of prime leather from the hides of bulls raised according to certified organic standards.
Genuine double stitching: Genuine double stitching is a technique that few other shoemakers master. Double-stitched footwear has a characteristic double row of stitching that connects the upper and the lining to the insole.
Sole: The Vibram® Tessin sole is extremely hardwearing and has an aggressive tread for back country terrain. Its rigid construction provides the torsional stiffness required for robust footwear.
Insole: The “heart” of a boot – not visible from the outside. The Bergler has a flexible, yet durable compound insole.
Retail: Bergfuchs Outdoor Shop in Vienna
Hanwag Meets Bergfuchs
Source: Bergfuchs, Vienna
Text: Julia Englhart
Gregor Schwenk, alpine enthusiast and manager of “Bergfuchs”, an outdoor clothing and equipment shop in Vienna..
Mountains lie at the core of both our businesses. The difference between us is that well-known retailer Bergfuchs from Vienna already gives it away in its name. In German Bergfuchs literally means “mountain fox”. We met Gregor Schwenk, the company’s CEO and fan of all things alpine.
Hanwag’s Peter Wilson has been out on the road again. This time we sent him to take a look at where our organic leather comes from. Cows are out on pasture all year round. The yellow tags in the animals’ ears help track where they come from.
n these days of overbreeding and factory farming, a cow’s life is by no means a happy one. Hanwag has a longstanding commitment to sustainable production – and often blazes new trails in this respect. Our new organic leather footwear represents a further step in this direction. From Summer 2012, the Hanwag collection will include four new models with organic leather uppers. And we know exactly where our leather comes from – because we’ve been there. Organic thinking influences not just what we eat, but also what we wear. From Summer 2012, our collection will feature footwear made with organic leather uppers. We’ve found a tannery in Croatia near our production facilities that also meets our high quality standards. Viviani is a family-owned company that sources its leather hides from 50 certified organic small farms from the surrounding area and produces high-quality organic leather. So I decided to go and take a look for myself... After loading the photo equipment, I left the Hanwag head office in Vierkirchen, Bavaria and headed for Croatia. Our destination was Rešetari which is near Nova Gradiška in the north of the country. Until now, my only experiences of Croatia are from a snorkelling holiday on the island Krk in the Adriatic Sea. But this is completely different. There are no tourists, no sun loungers and no traffic jams to be seen. It’s idyllic. The beautiful, rolling landscape is interspersed with woods and wide fields. No signs of overdevelopment here.
From Bavaria to Croatia
Summer’s just round the corner. What’s the most important trend this year for trekking’s high season? Trekking per se is a trend and one that’s booming, especially where young people are concerned. However it’s not a new sport, but one that has a long tradition. But we can still spot new developments. In general, technical apparel and equipment are more and more in demand. People also take their time when buying footwear to ensure they select the perfect style. Of course, those aren’t really trends, just necessities to get geared up appropriately. When was Bergfuchs founded and since when has Hanwag footwear been part of the range?
Bergfuchs opened in April 1983 and I believe we stocked Hanwag from the beginning. Do you remember when you heard of Hanwag the first time? Yes I do – when I was on the opposite side of the sales counter, as a Bergfuchs customer. About two years after the store opened, I bought some trekking boots. The Hanwag Super Friction was on my short list. Spill the beans – which style did you end up choosing? I’m not just saying this to be diplomatic, but I really can’t remember. You’re in tune with what customers want. What are some of the things they would
like when purchasing trekking or alpine footwear? Most customers want it all – a perfectly fitting, extremely lightweight, robust, long-lasting and easy-care boot. And if at all possible it should walk by itself. Seriously though, most of our customers are realists and experienced. They’re looking for first-rate advice and a good selection and this is where we really score. Tell us an anecdote from dayto-day business. I’ve sold plenty of footwear in all sorts of categories. Situations often occur that make us smile, or have a bit of a chuckle. But nothing’s ever happened to make us really laugh out loud. I’ll let you know if it does...
First stop is the Viviani Tannery. The director, Ivan Ljubic´, welcomes me with a warm “Dobar dan!” and then gives me a tour of the factory, which has been operating since 1932. Ivan talks me through the strict controls and regulations that govern production. “In Croatia, we’ve been working to EU standards for years; after all we’re going to join the EU in 2013. Our legislation already complies with EU standards. And we’re hakkap certified.” I think I must have misheard him... “What’s hakkap?” Ivan is happy to explain. It’s not “hakkap” but HACCP – ‘Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points’. HACCP is a system to control food-related hazards based on guidelines drawn up by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It was originally conceived in the 1960s when NASA wanted carefully-controlled foods for the first meals on space flights. Today, the internationally-recognised guidelines have become particularly important since BSE. When it comes to cattle breeding, each animal is monitored from the day it is born. This is done with the
help of a yellow tag in their ear. “In the past, all the hides were just thrown together in a pile; after all it was the meat that was important. Nowadays, we sort them into organic and non-organic. Hanwag knows exactly what it’s getting from us,” adds Ivan. He also points to the tannery’s annual certification: EN ISO 9001:2008, monitored by TÜV Nord. “Were inspected by the Germans.” he announces proudly.
Happy cows Having seen the factory, it was time to take a look at the cows. Ivan drove me to some of the farms were they are raised. You don’t need to be an agricultural expert to see that the cows have it good here. It’s a bovine paradise: small farms, wide, open pastures, trees, coppices and woods – the animals certainly have plenty of space to graze and roam. Ivan explains the area’s traditional methods of animal welfare: “North Croatia has a low population density. There isn’t much industry, but there’s plenty of open land. Factory farming has never been practised; in fact the farmers have been using organic methods before the concept even existed. The only difference now is that they are accredited. In economic terms this is good news for all parties concerned – the demand for organically produced products (dairy and meat) is on the increase here too.” And this also applies to organic leather. Viviani sources its hides from 50 small organic farmers from North Croatia. At each farm the animals live outdoors all year round. They are raised according to certified organic standards, i.e. their feed is free from chemical additives and no concentrate feeds are used. Now I’ve seen where our organic leather comes from – from the pasture via processing at the tannery to the finished product. Three days later, armed with new information and fascinating impressions I get into the car to head back to Germany. I’ve seen a very different side of Croatia than the one you see in the tourist brochures. Back home in Bavaria, I’ve got a new summer holiday destination for the family. And I’ve ordered myself a pair of Loferer BIO.
As third-generation organic farmers, the Vrbanic family in northern Croatia looks after 60 cows on their farm.
The animals can roam freely between meadow and shelter. Their diet is completely natural – without any chemical additives or concentrated feed.
Organic leather – committed to sustainable production
Four new organic leather models are now available from selected retailers: Lima BIO, Loferer BIO, Waxenstein BIO and Bergler BIO. Each shoe bears a number code. By using this code at www.hanwag. de/bioleder you can see exactly which region of Croatia the leather used to make your shoe comes from.
Peter Wilson (Left) is English and a graphic designer/photographer. He works for Hanwag in the marketing department in Vierkirchen. We sent him to Croatia to see where our organic leather comes from and to visit the pastures and the tannery.
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It‘s all about the lasts
Friedl’s Boot Basics
A Closely Guarded Secret
What’s better: leather or Gore-Tex®? Text: Johann Friedl
You are in the outdoor shop to buy some new footwear, but where do you start? The lining is a key issue when buying outdoor footwear. Should you go for Gore-Tex® or leather? Friedl is your man to explain the difference.
e call it the Alaska last, because it was first used for our Alaska boot. Outside the company we refer to it as the trekking last. It was designed for greater wear comfort, ensures that the heel fits firmly and has a toe box that provides more space for the toes to move, including up and down. We use it for our ’TREK’, ’TREK LIGHT’ and ’TRAIL’ categories.
The Alaska last also forms the basis for almost all our other lasts. These different versions are then adapted to meet the specific requirements of their area of activity.
Our climbing last was specifically developed for the boots and shoes in our ’ROCK’ category. It is our narrowest last and provides maximum precision for climbing on rock. In addition it has greater power transfer and less flexibility. The Hanwag alpin last is similar in shape to the climbing last, but has more room (for thicker socks) and allows the toes more space to keep the feet warmer in the higher mountain ranges. Additional padding (under the ball of the foot) and an increased toe spring (the upward curve at the front of a sole) ensure that our ’ALPIN’ boots remain comfortable despite
their rigid, crampon-compatible design. Our StraightFit last is also modelled on the trekking last, but has an asymmetric toe box that allows the big toe to assume a straighter position and also provides more space for all the toes. It is ideal for urban use, for example walking about town, visiting museums or window shopping. The trekking last also provides the basis for our wide last. This last has a standard heel section, but is wider at the forefoot and ball of the foot. All our best-selling models are available with a wider last, regardless of their category.
Our ’TRAIL’ and ’TRAVEL’ categories also feature a number of different hiking lasts. They tend to be variations on our trekking last modified for low-cut or mid-cut footwear. That’s a lot of lasts. But it doesn’t stop there... Men’s and women’s feet are anatomically very different, which is why all our lasts are available with a specific women’s version. And we have separate lasts for TG our kids’ and teenagers’ footwear.
Photo: Peter Wilson
A shoemaker’s last is the smooth model of the foot, around which a shoe is made. It determines the shape of the shoe – and the fit. This is why shoemakers’ lasts are such a closely guarded secret. Hanwag has over 90 years’ expertise in handcrafting high-quality mountain boots and hiking footwear. During this period we have used our experience to create one last in particular that provides an outstanding fit.
Friedl knows everything there is to know about bootmaking. His full name is Johann Friedl, but at Hanwag everyone calls him just Friedl. He comes from Austria and he’s been with us as a footwear developer since 2009.
igh tech or old school? Textile engineering or the tannery? Let’s get one thing straight, both materials have their advantages and disadvantages and therefore neither is better. The key issue is: what do you want it for? If you plan to use your boots on longer trips, where there might be few opportunities to dry them out (e.g. high-alpine projects, multiday treks with a tent, winter trekking or in wetlands) the answer is an easy one: go for Gore-Tex®. The expanded PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) membrane is durably waterproof, yet breathable and engineered to promote a pleasant wear climate for the feet. You can’t see the membrane itself, what you see inside a shoe is a polyester textile inner lining. This lining ensures that footwear with a Gore-Tex® membrane is fast drying. It is also very durable. The manufacturer, W.L. Gore, insists on very high standards from its partners. Companies who don’t meet their rigorous specifications are not allowed to use the membrane. This applies not just to the lining but also to the other materials used, i.e. the padding, the stitching and even the laces. At Hanwag we use nothing but high-quality materials – whe-
ther for our Gore-Tex® or our leather models. And we’ve been in the business for a fair while – in fact we’ve been working with Gore-Tex® since the fifties. I know plenty of mountaineers and walkers who prefer their leather boots. When asked, they normally tell you how amazingly comfortable they are. Of course, this is perfectly true. Leather boots mould themselves to the shape of the foot and have a natural wear climate. They also feel good on – and hold the foot more firmly in place. The drawbacks: the soft leather lining is not as hardwearing, they take much longer to dry out, and leather footwear is not durably waterproof. On longer trips (longer trips = sweaty feet) where the feet sweat profusely they do not remain as comfortable. Leather footwear is more suited to day trips, drier regions and trips where you can dry it out overnight. I should also mention the 15 models we make from chromefree tanned leather, for example our TREK LIGHT Canyon II boot. This leather comes from our longstanding partner, the Heinen Tannery, and is produced without using chromium salts. We use it because a large number of people are allergic to chromium compounds.
At the end of the day, to decide whether it’s to be Gore-Tex® or leather, you just have to be clear about what you want your boots for. I make sure I have a pair of each, to cover all eventualities. And anyway, the final decision is normally not up to me – it’s generally the weatherman who calls the shots!
Not to be confused: membrane, upper and lining Remember, the Gore-Tex® membrane should not be confused with the upper or the lining. Our Gore-Tex® footwear is available with a variety of different uppers, e.g. leather, Cordura® or Air-Mesh. The membrane is laminated to the lining. See for example, our Arrow GL hiking shoe, which has leather lining with a Gore-Tex® membrane.
Lacing Tips for Additional Comfort
Three tips that make a difference
Illustration: Franz Scholz
lacing tricks that can help you get the best out of your footwear. Search the internet and you’ll be amazed by the number of weird and wonderful suggestions. Most of them are just for show. But there are few lacing tips that really make a difference. Here are three that we think are worth knowing.
1. Fix the heel more firmly:
2. Alleviate pressure at the instep: Many people have an uneven instep
All HANWAG footwear is fitted with a high-quality, anatomically-shaped heel counter (many manufacturers like to cut costs, especially when you can’t see the component concerned… not HANWAG). We’re proud to say that heel fit is one of the outstanding features of our footwear. But there’s also a way to give your boots even more support at the heel using a lock lacing arrangement. Lace your boot until the laces reach the lowest lace hooks – but don’t cross them over. Instead, thread the laces up vertically to the next lace hook. Now feed each lace back across under the vertical section connecting the two lace hooks on the opposite side. This lacing arrangement fixes the heel more firmly in the boot and provides extra ankle support.
(the midfoot section between the toes and the ankle) or even bumps or ganglions on the top of their feet. If your boot rubs uncomfortably at such areas, simply run the laces through two eyelets on the same side at the pressure point instead of crossing them over as normal. This alleviates pressure at the instep and leaves more room to accommodate any unevenness.
3. Two zone lacing: Here’s a simple trick to set different lacing tensions at different sections of the foot. First, tighten the laces as required at the lower forefoot. Then, simply cross the laces over one another and pull them tightly so that they cannot work loose. This allows you to lace the next section of the boot with a different tension. It is generally recommended to alter lacing tension for ascents and descents. For ascents, lace the lower zone tightly so that the heel sits firmly in the boot, and leave the upper zone above it somewhat looser – to increase agility and ensure that the upper does not rub against the shinbone. On descents, lace both zones up tightly, to stop the foot from sliding forward within the boot. This is also why our stiffer mountain and trekking boots have an integrated Click-Clamp or LockLoop laceclamping device to enable two-zone lacing, while other models have Deep-Pull lacing to effectively hold the foot in place and ensure ideal ankle support.
“Retire, me? I haven’t got the time!” Text: Julia Englhart
ithout him, many important Hanwag footwear models just wouldn’t exist… Adam Weger’s a footwear designer – and has been for a very long time. He started at Hanwag in Vierkirchen in 1968. Initially he managed the department where the uppers are stitched. He also developed footwear, creating designs, prototypes and getting them ready for industrial production. Adam noticed early on that creative work was what interested him most. So he began to develop more and more designs for new models. In the end it wasn’t just his interest in design that won over the owner at the time Sepp Wagner, but much more that Adam had the talent required. Actually Adam Weger had learned the trade of finishing uppers. But on the side he completed a degree in footwear design and product engineering – and became an official footwear design-er as a result. When asked what he likes most about the profession, he says, “I enjoy designing and developing the most. I’m a very curious person. The key issue is how to improve the fit and function of footwear.” The quest for improvement influenced various developments, such as climbing shoes or ski touring boots. Adam produced important designs in both of these areas. Hanwag decided to concentrate on mountaineering and trekking footwear, and does so to this day. Adam worked on the pro
totypes for the Futura, the first trekking boot with a tongue fixed on one side, and classic footwear such as the Alaska and the Tatra. And it was no surprise that he was often first in line to test the designs. As a young boy and a teenager he became interested in rock climbing. Later on, he headed into the mountains almost every weekend for 40 years – always with new products to test on his feet. “I was able to judge the product immediately and make changes the next day at work,” says the 68-year-old. Hang on a minute ... 68 and still working at Hanwag? That’s right – Adam has no plans to retire. Whenever he starts to ponder on all the free time he’d be left with, he comes up with an even better boot or shoe and the idea of retiring for good gets discarded. Today, he’s one of only a few footwear designers to work on his designs by hand. His colleagues claim he’s better than any computer and can ingeniously draw not just a whole boot, but also each part. His two-dimensional pieces of leather combine after cutting and stitching to produce perfect three-dimensional boots. When drawing, he takes into account everything that’s vital to production later on. “I’m familiar with every stage of production and all materials. This means that when I’m at my desk working on a new model, I know exactly if it’s realistic or not”. In fact, he could even make his
Photo: Peter Wilson
ou just need to wear them in a bit longer…” In an era of anatomic lasting, ergonomic footbeds and modern construction techniques, sayings like these are thankfully a thing of the past. Most modern footwear does not need to be broken in. However, there are a couple of
The People behind Hanwag: Adam Weger
own shoes if he wanted because he knows his way round every piece of equipment we have. When asked what the best thing about his profession is, he replies: “When the boot’s finished and it’s clearly a success”. That’s the pride of a craftsman talking.
Hanwag pays tribute to Adam Weger by putting his initials in the sole name. The AW sole unit is used on various popular trekking boots.
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HANWAG Footwear Test Centre – at the Taschach Hut in Pitztal, Austria
Testing Starts at 2,434 Metres
Tatra GTX® wins Outdoor Magazine Award Readers of Germany’s Outdoor magazine chose the TATRA GTX® as their second favourite boot in the annual Readers’ Choice ranking of top gear in the Hiking and Trekking Boots category. This accolade confirms that our philosophy and developments are on the right track. And we’ll continue to pull out all the stops to ensure our customers are satisfied with our products.
Photo: Sektionen München und Oberland
or hut wardens Barbara Klingseis and Christoph Eder, high season is in full swing from 15 June to 23 September. That’s because the German Alpine Club (DAV) Taschach Hut in Austria’s Pitzal is a favourite and well-known destination for high alpine mountain treks, glacier trips or hikes. It’s also the ideal starting point for Wildspitze, the highest peak in Northern Tyrol (3,770 metres). In summer 2012, Hanwag is once again running a footwear test centre at the 2,434-metre (DAV) hut. Visitors will find the model Omega GTX® in different sizes for testing free of charge. If the desired model is available in the appropriate size, anyone is welcome to try it out. Enjoy the mountains and have fun testing. For more information about the Taschach Hut, visit http://www. taschachhaus.com.
The Taschach Hut is a fantastic starting point for glacier tours in Pitztal, one of Tyrol’s alpine valleys.
2011 Gear of the Year
2. PLATZ Wander-/Trekkingstiefel HANWAG TATRA GTX
More Girl Power on the ProTeam They’re young and often hanging from some rock face or other: Charlotte “Charly” Gild and Yvonne Koch will be wearing Hanwag footwear on their adventures, be it rock, ice climbing, mixed terrain or alpine mountaineering. We look forward to hearing more of their high-climbing projects. Together with Ursi Wolfgruber, three women from the DAV Expedition Team are now wearing Hanwag boots. For more information, visit their blog at: http:// davexpedfrauenteam.wordpress.com/
Hanwag ProTeam: RALF GANTZHORN New Website with Shoefinder
e choose not to sponsor celebrities to act as the face – or in our case – the feet of Hanwag. Instead we work with 20 dedicated enthusiasts who spend extreme amounts of time in the mountains and outdoors. They enjoy putting our footwear through its paces and provide important input. Their feedback tells us what we’re getting right, what could be better and most importantly what needs improvement. In each issue of the Bergpost we’ll be introducing a team member. For more information about the ProTeam, visit www. hanwag.de/proteam.
Ralf Gantzhorn – The North German Mountaineer Ralf says he has never really been into beaches. The ProTeam member is more at home in the mountains. However, the geologist, author, photographer and mountaineer still lives in the city he was born in – Hamburg (which has hardly any hills, let alone mountains). So how does he do it? Well, Ralf is often off travelling, preferably mountaineering in Patagonia or climbing in Scotland. He has been to the Andes an incredible 21 times. In March and April 2012 he was back in Patagonia with his climbing partners Robert Jasper and Jörn Heller. Their objective: the first ascent
merous illustrated books and walking guides. “Dolomiten Vertikal” which is planned for publication in autumn 2013. For more information, visit http:// www.ralf-gantzhorn.de.
Photo: Ralf Gantzhorn
Ralf Gantzhorn, Hamburg mountaineer and geologist.
of Monte Giordano, by a difficult route on its west face. The mountain might not be that high (1,517 meters), but it starts from sea level. And the climbing is tough... The three mountaineers made use of the only spell of good weather during almost two months of poor conditions to reach the summit of the Monte Giordano around midnight. During the descent, they had to climb back up the crux (a short abseil on the ascent) at three in the morning and in worsening conditions. Four hours later, after 25 hours of climbing, they made it back to their bivouac tent. Ralf wore the Hanwag Eclipse GTX® for the expedition. They kept his feet warm and dry, despite the storms and heavy rains. They named the route Shark’s Fin Ridge and estimated it at M7. The Hamburg mountaineer is currently working on a presentation of the first ascent of Monte Giordano and other Patagonian adventures, including his ascent of Monte Sarmiento in Tierra del Fuego. When he’s not climbing mountains around the world, Ralf is working to bring them closer to the rest of us. He has already published nu-
Which boot is the right one for me? Simply enter your requirements in our new Shoefinder and a selection of appropriate styles will be listed. But that’s not all – we’ve also made lots of improvements to our website and given it a little more polish. Take a look at: www.hanwag.de
Successful first ascent: Ralf Gantzhorn, Robert Jasper and Jörn Heller on the summit of Monte Giordano.
24 Hours – 2012 in the Alps Together with the Bavarian Tourism Offices, we’d like to announce the 4th annual All-Day-All-Night Trek, “24 Stunden von Bayern” (24 Hours of Bavaria). For the first time we’re heading for the mountains. The annual classic trek begins on 16 June 2012 in the Bavarian town of Inzell and will take 444 participants through the Chiemgau and Berchtesgaden regions near the border of Austria. Find out more at www.24h-von-bayern.de.
For more news and events, please visit www.hanwag.de
An outdoor paradise with views over the Magellan Straits– the border between mainland South America and Tierra del Fuego.
masthead Hanwag Bergpost is the customer magazine from Hanwag GmbH and is published twice a year. Publisher Hanwag GmbH, Wiesenfeldstraße. 7, 85256 Vierkirchen, Germany, +49 – (0)8139 – 9356 0, Jürgen Siegwarth, www.hanwag.de, firstname.lastname@example.org (The contents are the sole responsibility of Hanwag.) Printing by Offsetdruckerei Gebr. Betz GmbH, 85258 Weichs Print circulation: 5.000 copies Editorial and Conceptual Development Kern Gottbrath Kommunikation GbR, Ungererstr. 161, 80805 München, www.K-G-K.com Photo: Ralf Gantzhorn
Photo: Ralf Gantzhorn
Always on the Move
Editorial Team (Text, Photography, Graphic) Julia Englhart, Till Gottbrath, Peter Wilson, Joachim Stark, Jürgen Siegwarth, Johann Friedl, Franz Scholz Marketing manager Mareike Lehmann