THM MACROSHOTS N38 [LA SPORTIVA Olympus Mons Cube S]
THM MACROSHOTS N38 [LA SPORTIVA Olympus Mons Cube S]
We were always fascinated by the beauty of different textiles.
When you see such a detailed picture of the structure of some amazing fabric, you can definitely understand the whole world of exploration and development behind its creation. And you are just mesmerized by the beauty of it.
So we started our THM MACROSHOTS editorial series, where we explore the complexity, depth, and beauty of different fabrics, textiles, materials, and hardware through the macro lens.
Our latest macro-editorial is dedicated to the high-altitude mountaineering, which rarely was a subject of our online pages, until now:
– La Sportiva Olympus Mons Cube S boots; – Grivel Air Tech crampons; – Grivel G1 ice axe; – Arcteryx C-Quence harness.
Let's get it started with the most interesting part of the equipment listed – Olympus Mons Cube S.
A famous mountain climber Simone Moro, who made 13 ascents to the 8-thousanders, took an active part in the development of this particular model. The main theme of the whole process of R&D and prototyping was the "sole issue" – that is why the timeline between the previous and the current version of Mons Cube was as much as nine years.
The major change in the design of the climbing boots was the focus on wearing them with crampons most of the time.
"When climbing an 8,000-meter mountain, unless I'm in a tent, I'm wearing crampons all the time", – Simone Moro to La Sportiva's designers and technologists about his own experience.
This was a key development point: the sole really rarely comes into contact with the outside environment during climbing, and for this reason, reducing the weight of this component would give the boots more comfort.
The solution was found in the use of advanced Vibram® technologies – Morflex and Litebase – combined with 2mm TPU, which doesn't lose its elastic properties even in icy desert temperatures.
This combo allows you to significantly reduce the weight of the product without sacrificing its performance characteristics, vital in the extreme conditions of eight-thousanders.
It would be disrespectful to the work of La Sportiva engineers not to mention other revolutionary technologies used in this model. So, it was decided to completely abandon plastic in the construction of the upper, replacing it with ultrasonic-welded stretchy wear-resistant Cordura. This solution avoids mechanical stitches in the upper of the boot, which not only makes it lighter but also prevents moisture from seeping inside.
To avoid excessive contact of the foot with surfaces at extremely low temperatures, it was decided to use an aerogel insole – 3mm Primaloft® Gold Aerogel. This solution is often found in outerwear – for example, in critical areas of the knees or elbows, which may be in contact with the permafrost and where the maximum possible insulation is required.
The already well-known BOA lacing technologies have also found use in this pair of boots, allowing you to adjust the fit in both the lower and upper parts of the shoe. The use of stainless steel threads for lacing ensures the reliable operation of the product for a long time.
In addition to all this, Olympus Mons Cube is the first mountaineering boot that allows combining it with ski-mountaineering. The attentive reader will notice that the skipalp tech binding technology (not in the Olympus Mons Cube S version) is used only in the front part of the boot – this is explained by the fact that the pair is primarily designed for gentle descents and climbs.
The need to use mountaineering boots with crampons puts you before the choice for the same versatile and reliable model of the latter. Grivel Air Tech with semi-rigid locking system New Matic seemed to us the most suitable pairing to La Sportiva's boots.
Separate insole with a plastic toe, heel clamping, and a 12-point toothed system – that's what makes the Grivel Air Tech New Matic one of the most versatile crampons. The teeth can be used for mixed terrain, from rocky to icy.
Their design is somewhat shorter than flagship G12 tines and is complemented by serrations for movement on the firm. The front pair is inherited from the older model.
It is the design of the grip system that expands the scenario of using these crampons, as well as allows it to be more stable on almost any surface due to the shortened length of the teeth and their aggressive geometry.
Our macro-editorial also includes two more items – the G1 ice axe from the very same Grivel and the Arc'teryx C-Quence harness. An ice axe is an important tool in high-altitude mountaineering, and its reliability allows you to climb even on steep slopes. The Grivel G1 succeeds in this role thanks to hot forging technology that creates a lighter and stronger header.
C-Quence is an evolution of the harness system, Warp Strength Technology™, across the width of the leg loops and waistband. Increased mobility and comfort in the C-Quence are achieved both through Air Mesh inserts for additional breathability and through the integration of low-profile loops capable of carrying an impressive number of carabiners.
The demonstrated outfit shows the possibilities of synthesizing both modern technology and engineering in creating a versatile and affordable gear that acts as a reliable support in the most extreme weather conditions. The macro-editorial project, in turn, reveals the beauty of this synthesis through the series of macro shots.
Produced by TECHUNTER Media. Photo, edit: Ivan Dzhatiev [THM]. Producer, layout: Alex Zabelin [THM]. Words: Nikita Osaulenko [THM]. Special thanks to Sport-Marafon store.