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Press Release - Vertical Nepal

Image taken upon teams arrival to Kathmandu, Nepal in October 2015 (Left to Right): Bridget Schletty, Elías de Andrés Martos, Lonnie Dupre, Furba Tamang, Buck Benson


October 8th, 2015

Lukla, Nepal

Contact: Stevie Plummer, 503-928-7807 or

Explorer Launches Mission in Himalayas

Polar explorer and mountaineer Lonnie Dupre has arrived in Nepal with a team of volunteers and high-altitude climbers. Nepal is one of the poorest countries on earth yet rich in diverse cultures. The economic livelihood of the Nepalese often depends on tourism and the climbing industry, which have been severely damaged from a devastating earthquake on April 25, 2015, hundreds of aftershocks and landslides.

This project, called Vertical Nepal, is conducting a multi-phase mission of humanitarian relief work, scientific data collection, and a significant mountaineering expedition.

The Vertical Nepal team will work to help restore multiple remote mountain communities affected by recent earthquakes, will visit schools and hospitals in the areas in order to assess their recovery needs, in addition to teaching mountaineering safety to the local inhabitants. Later on in the mission the team will volunteer at a school for the visually impaired, provide data on Snow Leopard activity they have accumulated during their travels and will initiate the collection of high altitude snow and rock samples for scientific studies on climate change. Science and humanitarian programs will be implemented throughout both expeditions. For more information about the team’s objectives go to: Vertical Nepal is proud to be partnered with the following humanitarian and environmental organizations:

The Rose International Fund for Children,

Himalayan HealthCare,

Snow Leopard Conservancy,

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation

The Government of Nepal has recently opened several new areas containing a number of unclimbed 7,000+ meter peaks, one of which will be the focus of this expedition. Unlike Dupre’s most recent expedition where he completed the first solo summit of Denali in January, for this expedition Dupre is teaming up with accomplished mountaineers Elías de Andrés Martos (Spain) and Bridget Schletty (USA).

This first phase of Vertical Nepal will include initial exploration of several of these unclimbed 7,000+ meter peaks: one will be chosen to climb next spring. A potential candidate is the 7,915-meter high Tenzing Peak, named after Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who along with Sir Edmund Hilary completed the first ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953. Assessing Tenzing Peak will include establishing rope lines over extensive icefalls.

Depending on accessibility helicopters may be required to investigate alternate routes. After completing this reconnaissance, the team will attempt a climb of Ama Dablam, 22,349ft high (6,812 meters) as part of training for the main objective climb in the spring of 2016.

Vertical Nepal is largely supported by the following sponsors:

PrimaLoft - Performance Insulation used in the team’s clothing and sleeping systems. PrimaLoft has been used in all of Dupre’s expeditions since 1995.

Hear in America - which provides nationwide hearing care benefit programs, has provided substantial funding for the project’s humanitarian efforts.

Granite Gear , who produces serious backpacks and accessories which Dupre has used on his expeditions for over 25 years.

Continued Support Sponsors are SPOT personal location and data beacons and Hilleberg the tent maker .

Dupre, a resident of Grand Marais, Minnesota USA, brings 25 years of Arctic and Polar exploration to this most recent endeavor. His accomplishments include being the first to circumnavigate Greenland by non-motorized transport and reaching the North Pole in two separate expeditions.

“I feel prepared for the logistics and adventure ahead.” Dupre said, “I’m looking forward to learning about the mountain cultures of the Nepalese people and offer what assistance we can after the earthquakes. The experience you gain from each expedition often makes one more humble and hopefully wiser”.

Dupre has also worked to bring worldwide attention to his concern over the environment. “I spent a lot of time over the last few years trying to figure out how to inspire folks about our need to do something about climate change,” said Dupre. “

We have made a one hour film called Cold Love, which is about Arctic adventure and the world’s need - people’s need - for snow and ice. Snow and ice are important in our polar regions because they help reflect the sun’s energy back into space. Basically, the planet’s polar regions act as a thermostat to keep our planet cool.” The documentary is being entered in film festivals and offered on DVD via

About PrimaLoft, Inc.

PrimaLoft, Inc., a materials science company based in Latham, New York with offices in Germany and China, is the world leader in research and innovative development of comfort solutions with high performance insulations and fabrics. The PrimaLoft® brand, a registered trademark of PrimaLoft, Inc., delivers feel-good products that are used in the top global outdoor and fashion brands, home furnishings, work wear, hunting and military applications. PrimaLoft® insulation was originally developed for the U.S. army as a water-resistant, synthetic alternative to down. Today, the brand is recognized as a benchmark in the outdoor industry for providing unsurpassed comfort in any condition, ultimately empowering users to stay in the moment. PrimaLoft, Inc. is active in sustainable textile production through partnerships with the bluesign® system, the International OEKO-TEX® Association and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index. For more information, please visit, and follow PrimaLoft on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

PrimaLoft®, Feel the Performance™ About Hear In America Inc.

Hear In America Inc. is the nation’s leader in the hearing care industry, providing access to the nation’s highest quality hearing care services, hearing aid devices and ongoing patient care, all with high-value pricing. Serving more than 10 million consumers, Hear In America provides managed care hearing services for Employer groups, Associations, and Insurance Carriers through creative solutions including hearing discounts, fully insured hearing plans, and hearing PPO solutions. Hear In America is also deeply committed to the environment and supports programs to raise awareness of climate change. Please visit us at

About Granite Gear, Inc. For 29 independent years, Granite Gear has brought cutting-edge products to the outdoor marketplace. Their award winning backpacks, adventure travel gear, extensive variety of storage sacks, lifestyle accessories, and canoe gear offer excellence in design and construction. Granite Gear’s desire is for all outdoor enthusiasts and travelers to experience the incredible durability and comfort of their products. Located in Northern Minnesota, just minutes from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Superior Hiking Trail, they have a rugged and beautiful testing ground for their products. Please visit


Archived image by team member Bridget Schletty on Khumbu expedition.

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