Mountain Hardwear, a leader in performance equipment and apparel for climbers, mountaineers and athletes, has been an icon in the alpine, climbing and mountaineering industries since being founded in 1993. Supplementing its industry-leading product, Mountain Hardwear’s ambassador and athlete team supports over 20 of the world’s most accomplished and impactful alpinists, climbers, skiers and snowboarders, from Olympians to Everest guides.
Mountain Hardwear is expanding its team with the addition of four new ambassadors: Benjamin Lieber, Bryce Barnes, Jesse Grupper, and Lily Bradley. Each new athlete and ambassador brings their own expertise and objectives to Mountain Hardwear, and will be an extension of the brand across its alpine, climb and snow disciplines.
“Mountain Hardwear was born from an idea to create innovative gear that met the demands of our founders and friends’ adventures — from rock and ice, to snow and alpine,” explains Matt Burbach, global marketing director at Mountain Hardwear. “Our athlete and ambassador team has been an important part of our brand for years, sharing invaluable product and cultural insight, spirit and respect for the outdoors and mountains.They each impact their cultures in unique ways, and along with products, this engagement is largely what Mountain Hardwear is all about.”
Introducing the new members of the team:
Benjamin Lieber (he/him)
Well-versed as an alpinist and mountain guide, Lieber combines alpine adventures around his home of Anchorage, Alaska, with his design skills to engage in wilderness exploration, storytelling and product development. Professionally, Lieber guides high altitude climbing with personal pursuits climbing and mountaineering in Alaska, Nepal and Peru.
He will be leading ascents throughout the Himalayas in 2023.
Bryce Barnes (he/him)
Barnes is a splitboarder based in Juneau, Alaska, and an active participant in multiple outdoor education and inclusion programs, including the 2022-2023 SCARPA Athlete Mentorship Initiative. On the snow, Barnes is a certified avalanche education professional working through rigorous guide certifications such as the American Mountain Guide Association Ski/Splitboard Guide certification, while simultaneously supporting the Inclusive Ski Touring non-profit to promote increased accessibility and diversity amongst the sport of uphill skiing.
In 2023, Barnes will be trekking through Morocco’s Atlas Mountains with the National Brotherhood of Skiers as part of a film project that aims to expose the global racial injustice that exists in the outdoors.
Jesse Grupper (he/him)
Grupper established himself as one of the world’s top competition climbers with two first place finishes — and five overall podiums — at the 2022 International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Cup in 2022. The Salt Lake City, Utah-based sport climber is also a former U.S. National Champion in the Sport Open category as well as a reigning champion in the 2022 National Team Trials. Away from the wall, Grupper is a mechanical engineer and banjo musician.
Grupper’s 2023 schedule revolves heavily around the IFSC World Cup and building his resume for consideration to be appointed to Team USA’s 2024 Olympic roster. Outside of competition and outside of the gym, improving his rock climbing and furthering his volunteerism are two of Grupper’s primary passions.
Lily Bradley (she/her)
Another top athlete, Bradley trades climbing walls for mountain faces in the Freeride World Tour (FWT). Bradley first starred on the FWT circuit in 2022 with a first place finish at Kicking Horse, third place in Ordino-Arcalis, and a fourth place overall for the five-stop tour. A student at the University of California, Berkeley, Bradley blends her passion for sustainability and fashion as she works towards her degree in social welfare.
Bradley is qualified for the 2023 Freeride World Tour and hopes to expand her role as a positive role model for aspiring young girls in the sport of skiing and beyond.
About Mountain Hardwear
Mountain Hardwear, Inc., founded in 1993 and based in Richmond, CA, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company that distributes its products through specialty outdoor retailers in the United States and 34 countries worldwide. We build essential equipment for climbers, mountaineers, and outdoor athletes and have supported expeditions on the world’s highest peaks. This level of technical precision continues to inspire everything we do. Our designers challenge every stitch and detail to continuously improve both function and comfort. www.mountainhardwear.com