Manuel Andrack and the hiking magazine going new ways. Andrack moves not only as a lone wolf, no, Andrack wanders with creators of the outdoor industry.
We all wear jackets, pants, shoes, backpacks by brands including Meindl, deuter, Schöffel, Tatonka, VAUDE, or mammoth, but hardly anyone knows who are the people behind this brand, what makes them tick, and – crucially – whether they even like to hiking. We want to find out. This time is Manuel Andrack with Rolf G. Schmid, head of mammoth, on the road.
1,305 metres high, clearly do you zone. And it should go even further in the height. Mountain Elli shows us the way, who knows only one direction: uphill. It smells like freshly cut grass, the Sun is burning, it will be a hot day.
Rise thanks to descent
On the way through Stoos, I get the first basic information. Since 1996, Rolf is at Mammoth, the Group made sales 25 million francs at the time, today it is ten times – a success story. The rise came with the descent: measured in metres above sea level. Because mammoth was originally an insider brand for alpinists and Himalayan freaks. Mammut ropes, which are still the core business of the group. “But the air is thin over 4,000 meters,” Rolf says, laughing, even for a company like mammoth. “We wanted to increase our customer base and descended on 1,000 metres, to get all mountain lovers.” The mammoth target audience remains clearly in the you section. Mammoth is the brand that says ‘You’ to you!
Only the cow bells can be heard
I sneak Rolf saw mammoth jackets carrier on the North Sea Beach at zero altitude. I have the impression that this is also allowed. What Rolf matters: should all of a sudden a mountain from the Wadden Sea rise, then you have to change just not the jacket. The steep, narrow, Alpine way becomes slow, just small red and white markings on bright stones and painted wooden stakes indicate the way. It becomes steeper, we be more silent. There are only the cow bells to hear that sound on the plateau. A sound like a wonderful alpine Symphony. The grass is still yellow in the recesses on the slope, where the snow is not very long melted, molded from an elongated potions and bubbling water in an vertical fountain. (Mostly) tired of green meadows uphill in small bends, until we reach the ridge. Wow. A mountain enthusiast gave me a fundamental set of on the topic of mountain climbing me: “You always want to know, how it looks behind the next mountain range”. The man is right, because what we get to see behind the Ridge, this is awesome. First of all other mountain ranges, okay, we could foresee that, partly still snow on the peaks is 30 degrees in the shade. But, and this is simply sensational: the dark-Turquoise-Blue Lake Lucerne is located at our feet, a gigantic views.
The clock tick
We have found our voice on the Ridge trail and Rolf tells its exciting Vita. It wasn’t set Rolf with hiking namely in the cradle. He has an international youth behind him: born in Germany as the son of Swiss parents, then eight years in Denmark, three years Buenos Aires, five years Rome, at the age of 20 he became a “real” Swiss and studied in the country of the Confederates. Hiking in Argentina and Denmark? Error display. For this is he fluent in many languages. “I’ve learned without speaking a foreign language to inhibitions, like on this hike including the High German.” Rolf in the pharmaceutical industry, later (also typical of Switzerland) in the watch industry worked after graduating. Since then, he has a clock tick, constantly changes its over 60 watches. What is he wearing today? Rolf laughs: “you got me, that is the only non-Swiss watch that I have – my Finnish Mountain Watch, yes Swiss neighbours are, so to speak.” For several years he goes but really much hiking, spends almost every weekend Rolf in the mountains. Leisure, press events, Board meetings by mammoth, everything takes place in the Alpine atmosphere.
Push up on the mountain
We dare us to the Ridge, which is a veritable tightrope walk, every step will be embellished, otherwise it doesn’t mean more ‘ you ‘ or ‘You’, but ‘Adieu’! Left you can roll from Lake Lucerne, right, the slope is not quite as bad. I’m very glad that metal ropes securing the yawning abyss. Our mountain Elli makes, what to do in case of a crash, to topple not always faster on the extremely steep meadows in the lurch. You should if possible try to get in the prone position and take the push-up position, which slows down. Push up on the mountain, which seems to be the alternative to Mammut ropes.
We reach the first peak of the day, the Huserstock but finally easily. The mountain is 1,904 metres high, I don’t understand why this is still a place of worship by Schalke 04 fans. Rolf shaking hands with me and congratulates me – on the ascent to the Summit. Do you like that? I never congratulated anyone reached the Summit, but somehow is a really nice touch. The longer we stand up there, the more annoying many flies, or are not even brake’s? Rolf reassures me, no, brakes not there at this altitude, and anyway, the insects in Switzerland are generally peaceful and would not attack, because the Swiss insects are neutral to. One saying again, the Swiss had no sense of humour.
It is slightly downhill, always have fantastic mountain paths with magnificent views of Lake Lucerne. The mammoth head looks all oncoming on the feet. If you have the ‘right’ shoes. Rolf tells me interesting details of the shoe business. Italians have very narrow feet, so the Italian bar are similarly narrow accentuated. Germans have so medium wide feet, but a real surprise – the Japanese have very wide feet with a tendency towards the flat foot. By due to flat feet Indians, Flatfoot Samurai, which is rather. Rolf knows a well with Japan. Why? Now, the development opportunities in Europe are limited, but enormous in Asia. I did not know that (almost) all South Koreans are outdoor crazy. China also comes slowly, in Japan it makes very good business, Nippon is the third-largest market worldwide for mammoth. Rolf has climbed the Fuji in Japan last year, with three monks and a pilgrim, wrapped in shawls, at the feet of bast sandals. Clearly not properly equipped, at least from the perspective of an outdoor man. The Pilgrim was so cold at the Fuji Summit Rolf gave him a thick jacket. He has seemingly always in the baggage, if times, walk with lightly robed pilgrims. In any case, the wise man accepted the jacket with the words after short hesitation: “I may be a pious with Gore Tex jacket.”
The man lives his job
We are walking through a Valley and then it goes again 200 m up to our destination: the Fronalpstock. Top on the Summit to 1.922 meters offers a phenomenal views of the Rütli meadow, the mythical place of the Confederates. We swear on the Summit on the honor of Switzerland, that we have an outstanding mountain tour. Hash browns are the biggest hit at our retreat on the Fronalpstock. Rolf tells that he break took two years three months ago, a district sabbatical year so to speak. That was good for him, but just as good for the group, says the Chief of the mammoth. Rolf has distributed the time hiking in the Andes, to the 6. 000ern he did it. Respect, the man lives his job really – and has the guts to take a break as a CEO of a large company.
Enchanting alpine you world
From the Fronalpstock by chair lift, we descend to Stoos. We say goodbye in Stoos warmly and then it goes down to my scorching hot car in the parking lot of the station with the aerial cable car rope. Before the exit of the cable car I read “Uf wiederluegä!” on a plate. Yes, I would like to come back. I’m now back below 1,000 meters, here also Rolf would be mammoth for me again Mr. I think I miss already this alpine, enchanting you world.
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