AIMED SQUARELY AT "the core mountaineering and climbing community", The North Face's AW16 Summit Series collection – relaunched and rebooted for the first time since its initial release back in 2000 – will be available for a limited time (and quantity) in Australia and New Zealand this autumn and winter.
This pared-back, hardcore line of outdoor gear was tested in top-secret conditions in Langtang National Park, Nepal, in February 2015 by pro mountaineers and rock climbers Conrad Anker, Hilaree O’Neill, David Gottler and Renan Ozturk.
“We went directly to our mountaineering and climbing athletes to ask them what their essentials are, and the responses from everyone were very clear: they needed six essential layers that they would be able to utilise in the various conditions one finds during high-alpine winter pursuits,” said Joe Vernachio, The North Face's Vice President of Global Product.
The monochrome colours of the new, pared-back line is designed to be "in harmony" with the alpine environment. (Image courtesy The North Face)
The result is this new refined line of advanced gear, with the brand's iconic Summit Series shedding nearly 75 items, leaving just eight men's and eight women's pieces, each designed to coordinate and work together. Even the colouring is pared-back, all monochrome, with the idea of allowing the wearer to blend in with an alpine environment.
The items are named for the intended layer, L1 through to L6 - with L2-L6 only available here. You won't find any GORE-TEX in this collection, instead the Summit Series uses The North Face's own patented new technology, DryVent 3L which the company says is the most waterproof and breathable it's ever built.
In an interview with Gear Junkie following the US launch of the new product line, Conrad Anker – head of The North Face's climbing team – said: “It’s like heading up a mountain and knowing you will only be eating couscous for days. Sometimes less choice is better; you find something that works and stick with it.”
The North Face AW16 Summit Series men's collection available in Australia this autumn/winter. TOP L-R: L2 jacket; L3 jacket; L4 Jacket; L5 shells, L5 pants, L6 jacket. (Image: The North Face)
The North Face's AW16 Summit Series women's collection available in Australia this autumn/winter. TOP L-R: L2 jacket; L3 jacket; L4 Jacket; L5 shell, L5 pants, L6 jacket. (Image: The North Face)
Win a 4-day NZ alpine climbing adventure
To celebrate the limited launch in Australia and New Zealand of the new AW16 Summit Series, The North Face is offering a four-day winter alpine climbing experience in New Zealand's Southern Alps.
There are four places to give away, with the epic ice climbing experience run by The North Face & Adventure Consultants.
To enter, you'll need to purchase any products from the new collection on Thursday, 14 April in participating stores in Sydney and Melbourne or online.