Last year, everyone wanted to be like celebrity survivalist Bear Grylls. This year, it appears everyone wants to be like alpine speed climber Ueli Steck. You can use the same multi-tool as Ueli, wear the same watch, wear the same boots, and now wear the same clothes. Together with the man himself, Mountain Hardwear created an entire line of alpine gear and apparel, which I am happy to report even includes a women's collection.
Featuring everything from gloves and hats to a specially designed tent, the Mountain Hardwear Ueli Steck Project is all about speed. Lightweight, yet still offering the maximum weather protection required in any alpine pursuit, the core of the line features a few pieces that are similar for both the men's and women's collections.
The Quasar Pullover uses Mountain Hardwear's top of the line Dry.Q Elite waterproof breathable fabric. The hardshell weighs 7.8 oz and will take up little room in your pack. This minimalist hardshell features a low profile, helmet compatible hood, deep waterproof zipper for easy on and off as well as heat regulation, and soft jersey elastic cuffs to help keep out the cold air (handy for nose wiping as well).
The men's and women's Quasar Pullover retails for $375.
The matching waterproof breathable Quasar Pants use the Dry.Q Elite fabric and weigh 13 oz. Full length zippers mean you can easily take the pants off or put on while wearing both crampons and a harness. Abrasion resistant scruff guards on the ankles offer extra resistance from those errant crampon points.
The Quasar Pants retail for $300.
Finally, the 850-fill down Nilas Jacket utilizes a baffle construction for extra loft and warmth. Drawcords on both the hood and hem can be operated with one gloved hand for quick fit adjustments.
An internal stash pocket will keep your camera or energy bar warm as you climb and is even designed big enough to fit a water bottle. The Nilas down jacket uses the same soft elastic jersey cuffs as the Quasar Pullover and provides two front pockets for keeping your hands warm on those belays.
The Nilas down jacket retails for $500.
All pieces from the Mountain Hardwear Ueli Steck Project will be available starting Spring 2012.