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Sostenibilidad e Innovación
Innovation Project: mountaineering sleeping bag

The objective of the WOPEAK expedition was to connect the summits of Gasherbrum, G-I (8,068 metres) and G-II (8,035 metres), following a continuous route along the mountain pass that joins them, without descending to the base camp, using the alpine style and without resorting to the usual alpine routes. This brought with it a new challenge for the Ternua team that was resolved to provide protection for Alberto Iñurrategi and Juan Vallejo in the Himalayan conditions: a new sleeping bag that could cope with the special demands of the environment.

We therefore worked closely with the athletes using traditional craftsmanship to create the sleeping bag where Alberto Iñurrategi and Juan Vallejo could rest on this expedition and which our friend Iker Madoz also enjoys using. The specifications and requirements that our team was presented with were clear:

-Due to the water vapour that the body releases and the contrast with the cold exterior, water is generated (condensation), the sleeping bag becomes damp, the bottom gets wet and the sleeping bag loses its effectiveness. The result is that the person feels cold

- The solution was to make a lightweight sleeping bag (maximum of 1 kg) which did not become wet inside at the bottom (waterproof bottom) and whose outer fabric has good impermeability.

On this basis, and also based on our philosophy of commitment to innovation, we began work on the development of the bag. Improvements were made on the initial proposal, such as reducing the weight of the prototype, replacing the outer fabric with a different Pertex Endurance fabric, reducing the entrance size, modifying the inner filling, shortening the inner flap, replacing the alveolar material with another lighter fabric and reducing the bottom by about 10%.

As a result of the intensive effort and craftsmanship we succeeded in creating a light sleeping bag, filled with waterproof recycled down and adapted to the needs of the athletes, who were at the centre of the creation and development of the product.

Alberto Iñurrategi: Many years' experience and a long-standing collaborative relationship with Ternua has allowed for the development of a sleeping back that is adapted to the needs and requirements that we usually find on these ascents. The sleeping bag has to be light. The conditions in which we are going to use it involve a lot of frost and condensation. If the down gets wet, it loses its ability to insulate and becomes heavier. That is why we have used an outside material with a 20/20 column (Pertex Endurance) and a very light inside material (Pertex Quantum) combined with recycled water-repellent down. The result is a sleeping bag that weighs a bit over 1 kg, guaranteeing insulation in extreme conditions without increasing the weight.”

Juan Vallejo: “On a crossing with these characteristics, weight is key. The more we are able to reduce the weight of the pack, the better possibilities for success we will have. We have a very light and measured-out equipment, plus we are incorporating new technology like the water-repellent down in the sleeping bag and the boiler suit. That also keeps its properties intact after many days of taking off and putting on wet clothes inside the tent. This also means that it doesn't take on weight, and that is extremely important for a crossing like this one where we have to drag our materials with us throughout the whole climb.”

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