ROCKFORD, Mich. (July 10, 2019) — Little Steps features mountain athlete and Merrell Ambassador Mike Chambers as he endures a six-month, highly-strategic and rigorous training program to prepare for his attempt at breaking the speed record for Denali. Ultimately, Chambers leaves Denali without the record, but throughout his training and time on the mountain, reflects on life outside of physical goals and what’s most important: his family.
Located in Alaska, Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America, with an elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level. It’s the third most prominent and third most isolated peak on earth, after Mount Everest and Aconcagua.
Leading up to his time on Denali in May 2019, Chambers and his training and attempt partner, Will Seeber, leveraged pre-acclimatization, extreme fitness, and meticulous planning to prepare themselves to climb and descend the West Buttress Route, 34 miles and 13,500 ft of elevation gain, with the goal of completing the round-trip journey in under 11 hours. Their planning and support team consisted of five key members, including Dr. Peter Hackett (high altitude medicine specialist), Scott Johnston (uphill athlete coach), Jared Berg (CU sports medicine), Chris Tomer (meteorologist), and fellow Merrell Ambassador and mountain athlete Jason Antin (logistics manager).
Merrell funded Chambers’ climb and supported the duo with training gear and apparel for the mountain. Additionally, MSR Gear, Camp USA, Dynafit, Julbo USA, ThermaRest, and Sealline provided Chambers and Seeber with gear and other needs for their journey. For details on specific gear, please reach the Merrell contact below.
Mike Chambers is a Merrell Ambassador, mountain athlete and social entrepreneur. His passions for adventure, social justice, and storytelling have brought him around the globe, from the highest mountains in the Himalaya, to the most remote villages in Africa and Latin America. He’s led dozens of high-altitude climbing expeditions, including two on Mt. Everest, and is the creator and co-host of Beat Monday on Outside TV, an adventure travel show designed to reimagine the weekend. Mike is cofounder of Summits Education, an organization that operates a network of 41 primary schools in Haiti’s Central Plateau serving nearly 10,000 students. When not in Haiti, or in the mountains, Mike and his wife spend much of their time in Kenya where they run Flying Kites, a leadership academy for critically poor children.
From Mike Chambers
“I’m lucky to be supported by a team of people who cheer for me just as loudly whether I’m setting off for a bounty or coming home empty-handed. Grateful to all my sponsors who get that I’m a father, and a climber, in that order. And, in that order, I’m never really empty-handed.”
From Kelly Ballou, Brand Director for Hike at Merrell
“Mike has been part of the Merrell family for almost ten years, so we were of course excited to support his goal of breaking the Denali speed record. We were equally excited to produce this film and shine light on the beautiful truths of fatherhood for a talented mountain athlete like Mike. We all face moments in our lives when we have to carefully choose what matters most. And sometimes what matters, changes as we change. That’s an important part of being human that we wanted to highlight.”
From Lindsey Hagen, Executive Producer at Stept Studios
“This film gave us the opportunity to peer behind the veil, revealing a deeper relationship to risk and the lives professional athletes “leave at home”. With this film we hope to humanize and demystify the experience through Mike’s relationship with his son and newfound fatherhood. To relentlessly chase your dreams is admirable, to assess risk and reward in relation to your loves ones is honorable. Mike’s journey is one of both admiration and honor.”
- Still images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/im4fa82jq11ztky/AAAOtRafx8cNkQ-IlnXSMhEAa?dl=0
- Photo Credit: Chris Shane
- Brand: Merrell
- Director: Noam Argov
- Executive Producer: Lindsey Hagen
For additional information or a downloadable file of the film, please reach the Merrell contact.
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