Mammut: Heart of the Mountaineer

Text by: Rip Slade

Mammut. Mammut: Heart of the Mountaineer

Mammoths roamed the Swiss Alps thousands of years ago. Mammut, the name chosen by the makers of mountaineering clothing and gear, translates to mammoth: the massive prehistoric beast on the logo reflects the strength of the products, and is one of the most recognisable signs of robust reliability in mountain sports. 

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In the Swiss town of Dintikon in 1862, rope-making apprentice Kaspar Tanner set out to create the best all-purpose climbing-specific ropes in the world, twining and tensioning the ropes outside his shed. From these simple beginnings Mammut was born. Over 150 years later it’s easy to see why so many climbers, hikers, skiers and mountaineers trust Mammut gear: it’s tough, functional, and it lasts. 

The Swiss Alps inform the focus of Mammut. Conceived near them, surrounded by them, working and playing on them, the Alps have directed innovation and product lines from the beginning: sleeping bags, footwear, mountain safety equipment, climbing gear, weatherproof outerwear, all of it hearkens back to the cold climes of the mountain peaks. The trust people put into Mammut as the premier manufacturer of ropes and climbing equipment makes them an industry-leader not only in mountain safety, but in mountain clothing, footwear, accessories and backcountry safety gear as well.

A Mammut History of Gear Invention

Mammut’s history is as long and intricate as the woven climbing rope they make. They were the first brand to have ropes certified for climbing; the first ropes to feature a braided kernmantle construction; and the first to invent a glacier rope made from nylon yarn. 

Innovation didn’t limit itself to rope: the 1960’s saw the introduction of the Barryvox, a transceiver for people caught in avalanches. The Removable Airbag System, a life-saving backpack attachment again for those caught in an avalanche, came to in 2012.

From harnesses to probes to belay devices to backpacks, Mammut covers every serious alpinist’s primary needs.

Clothing Innovation from the Alps

In 1978 Mammut transitioned into other areas of the mountaineering and backcountry industry. They were one of the first brands to use waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex in a climbing pant and jacket, then moved it to other outerwear.

Mammut turned the industry on its head when in 1984 they developed the first soft-shell alpine pant, relegating traditional wool climbing-pants to the nostalgia case. The blue and orange Mammut Eiger Extreme line from 1995 continues in different iterations to this day, a hallmark of powerful, serious climbing gear and clothing.

Every new product adds to an already impressive lineup founded on safety, design and innovation.

Safety, Design, Durability = Mammut

Mammut’s continuing R&D in the field, their pedigree, their consistency all speaks to their own high demands. Avalanche survival, tough and durable climbing ropes, clothes that shut out wind and cold, materials that increase tear- and puncture-resistance: this is a company puts safety first and foremost. Rigorous testing in the harshest possible conditions in the Swiss Alps, and superior Swiss design, make Mammut an essential component for the mountain enthusiast.

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