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ECCO Team Sherpa - A New Hiking Community
ImageECCO has invited semi-professional hikers to join the newly established hiking team, Team Sherpa. The members are active hikers from all over the world, who constantly push their limits in different kinds of hiking terrain. It is the goal that the team will encourage and inspire people to plan their own hiking adventures.

Team Sherpa Website will act as an online blogging platform from January 2008. All team members will be blogging about their hiking preparations, training, adventures and experiences. Visitors to the site will be invited to leave comments or questions for the team members while looking through the sherpas’ personal hiking images and podcasts.


ECCO Sherpa Equipment
ECCO will provide all Team Sherpa members with the necessary gear: one pair of ECCO hiking boots from either the X-Factor, X-pedition or X-plorer ranges made from real YAK leather, a GORE-TEX jacket, a knit hat, a backpack for overnight expeditions, and a small YAK mascot to keep spirit high when the going gets tough.

Here is one of the first blogs written by Everett Canada on 25. Feb, 08:

Slovensko ahoy.... I mean ahoj!
ImageIn about a month, I’m heading off to Slovakia. My first reason for going is business, but my secret agenda involves mountains. Slovakia is a spectacular country, called by some “the roof of the Europe”(most of the country lies above 750 m). In the north of the country the Capathians create a natural border which rise up to full alpine glory in the High Tatras, a small but incredibly dense and spectacular belt of mountains that straddle the Polish/Slovak border. To the south of the High Tatras, arranged in a haphazard manner, lay three extensions of the Carpathians: the Greater and Lesser Fatras and the Low Tatras. In between the Greater and Lesser Fatras is a larger sweeping valley. In the valley is the town of Martin, home to a factory, to be precise the Ecco Factory where my boots were made.

Enter the business side of my trip. I have been invited to tour Ecco’s manufacturing facilities to study their production methods as well as learn a little bit about shoe making. Manufacturing of any kind has always interested me and the opportunity to actually sit down and learn how shoes are made is a very welcomed offer considering the amount of hiking I do. Because the manufacturing facility lies amongst some of the greatest hiking areas of Europe, visiting Ecco’s factory in Martin had nothing to do with my decision whatsoever. Honestly.  It will be about the third week of March when I head out for about 10 days of hiking. This leaves me in a bit of a bind; snow may still lie deep enough in these areas for the ski stations to stay open until Easter time (they were in 2007), or an early thaw combined with low snow fall during the core of winter might equate to some really mucky conditions. Compound this with finicky early spring weather and the long distance hiker is all of a sudden presented with a very broad spectrum of conditions that need to be dealt with.

But I’m not too worried- I’ve already ruled out skis as I prefer to walk and don’t really want to lug mine all the way from Canada. Snowshoes seem to be a good compromise, but I’ll have to decide from Martin before I take to the heights; and with the close proximity of all three ranges I hope to be able to jump at the most opportune mountains when the time comes. For my other kit I will use most of the same equipment I used this past spring and summer, when I crossed the Pyrennees from Atlantic coast to the Mediterrenean. With over 1000km and 40 days of testing, my equipment has become what I feel is “trust worthy” in most conditions I expect to encounter.

I will of course beef things up with a few extra layers to deal with colder nights and as mentioned before I will add snowshoes and very light crampons. As I count down the days until I leave, I am getting very busy collecting weather information (difficult, when one doesn’t speak Slovakian, Polish, or Czech), maps (difficult, when one doesn’t speak Slovakian, Polish, or Czech) and testing equipment (difficult, with or without speaking any other language).

Any tips or information would be greatly appreciated…

I am also compiling a list of potential phrases that could be of use to me whilst hiking:
Q: Ako sa volas?
A: Prepacte, nerozumiem
Q: Kde byvas?
A: Prepacte, nerozumiem
Q: Prepacte kde je tu nemocnica?
A: Prosim si bravcovo-hovadzi gulas.


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