It has been a successful few weeks for the Rab team. Across a wide variety of disciplines from skiing to flying, in a wide variety of locations from valley floors to the South Pole there have been some great accomplishments. Here's to hoping the rest of 2014 continues in the same vein. Well done everyone!

Richard Parks
Rich skied into the record books, becoming the second fastest person to travel solo and unsupported to the South Pole. Amazingly he did this in some terrible conditions, characterised by the sastruga, snow formations created by polar winds, which make everything much more difficult. There was so much soft snow that initially Rich turned back after a few days, feeling that the record was already out of his hands. After a short rest, waiting for the next weather window, he set off a second time.

Despite having to deal with a broken ski and a broken sled, Rich still became the fastest Briton, the first Welsh person and the second fastest person ever to complete the journey. Who knows how fast he could have made it if conditions had been better? Not bad for someone who used to play rugby for a living!

Read more at the Independent - Rugby star Richard Parks cuts 10 days off British South Pole trek record

Jeff Mercier
Despite being an outstanding ice climber, Chamonix-based Jeff took no notice of the Ice Climbing World Cup event in Cheongsong. Instead he headed to the Ouray Ice Festival, where he prefers the laid back atmosphere. Last year he came second in the feature event at the man-made ice park, the Elite Mixed Ice Competition. In part this was due to exporting the restrictive standards for competition mixed climbing used in France, where no 'figure of four's or 'figure nine's are allowed, to the US.

This year, free from the ethical burden, he was one of only three competitors to finish the final route, which consisted of repeating an existing M8 before continuing on complex obstacle-filled terrain on a 30° overhanging extension. Officially to complete the course it was necessary to make a dyno to hit a hanging piñata, which Jeff did the fastest. Congratulations are also in order for Aaron Mulkey who made it through to the finals too, with extra kudos for shunning 'fruit boots'.

Read more at Alpinist - Maureau, Mercier Win at Ouray 2014

//

Post by Rab.

Melanie Bernier
Spending most of the year in Revelstoke, British Columbia, does have its upsides when you're a member of the Canadian National Ski Mountaineering Competition Team. However after a summer of trail running and mountain biking in the mountains, Mel headed to the French Alps for one of the first competitions of the year. Although not officially on the roster of the French Sprint Championship at Oz en Oizans, the trip proved to be profitable as Mel finished the race second. This is no mean feat given that the French national team consistently finishes in the top 3 at the Ski-Mountaineering World Championships.

Ben Tibbetts
Being based in Chamonix and working as a guide perhaps give Ben a slight advantage over your average local Scottish ski mountaineer. However the first race of the 2013/14 Skimo Scotland series was not your typical Mont Blanc range affair. After a last minute thaw the course at Lecht 2090 had to be re-designed on the morning of the race and there was almost as much grass visible as snow. This didn't put Ben, who has represented Great Britain in races on the continent, off and he led from start to finish, setting a new course record in the process.

//

You can read more about what Ben is up to on his blog

Valentin Delluc
One of the newest members of the Rab test team, Valentin has only been speedriding for 3 years, but has combined his extensive alpine skiing, freeskiing and paragliding skills to great effect in that time. Based in the French Alps and with numerous titles under his belt, he has entered this year's Speedriding Tour. The first round took place at Speikboden in the Italian Alps and Valentin completed the course in the fastest time to take the win. Next stop, Madesimo.

//

You can see more of Valentin's speedriding and speedflying exploits on his Vimeo channelIt has been a successful few weeks for the Rab team. Across a wide variety of disciplines from skiing to flying, in a wide variety of locations from valley floors to the South Pole there have been some great accomplishments. Here's to hoping the rest of 2014 continues in the same vein. Well done everyone!

Richard Parks
Rich skied into the record books, becoming the second fastest person to travel solo and unsupported to the South Pole. Amazingly he did this in some terrible conditions, characterised by the sastruga, snow formations created by polar winds, which make everything much more difficult. There was so much soft snow that initially Rich turned back after a few days, feeling that the record was already out of his hands. After a short rest, waiting for the next weather window, he set off a second time.

Despite having to deal with a broken ski and a broken sled, Rich still became the fastest Briton, the first Welsh person and the second fastest person ever to complete the journey. Who knows how fast he could have made it if conditions had been better? Not bad for someone who used to play rugby for a living!

Read more at the Independent - Rugby star Richard Parks cuts 10 days off British South Pole trek record

Jeff Mercier
Despite being an outstanding ice climber, Chamonix-based Jeff took no notice of the Ice Climbing World Cup event in Cheongsong. Instead he headed to the Ouray Ice Festival, where he prefers the laid back atmosphere. Last year he came second in the feature event at the man-made ice park, the Elite Mixed Ice Competition. In part this was due to exporting the restrictive standards for competition mixed climbing used in France, where no 'figure of four's or 'figure nine's are allowed, to the US.

This year, free from the ethical burden, he was one of only three competitors to finish the final route, which consisted of repeating an existing M8 before continuing on complex obstacle-filled terrain on a 30° overhanging extension. Officially to complete the course it was necessary to make a dyno to hit a hanging piñata, which Jeff did the fastest. Congratulations are also in order for Aaron Mulkey who made it through to the finals too, with extra kudos for shunning 'fruit boots'.

Read more at Alpinist - Maureau, Mercier Win at Ouray 2014

//

Post by Rab.

Melanie Bernier
Spending most of the year in Revelstoke, British Columbia, does have its upsides when you're a member of the Canadian National Ski Mountaineering Competition Team. However after a summer of trail running and mountain biking in the mountains, Mel headed to the French Alps for one of the first competitions of the year. Although not officially on the roster of the French Sprint Championship at Oz en Oizans, the trip proved to be profitable as Mel finished the race second. This is no mean feat given that the French national team consistently finishes in the top 3 at the Ski-Mountaineering World Championships.

Ben Tibbetts
Being based in Chamonix and working as a guide perhaps give Ben a slight advantage over your average local Scottish ski mountaineer. However the first race of the 2013/14 Skimo Scotland series was not your typical Mont Blanc range affair. After a last minute thaw the course at Lecht 2090 had to be re-designed on the morning of the race and there was almost as much grass visible as snow. This didn't put Ben, who has represented Great Britain in races on the continent, off and he led from start to finish, setting a new course record in the process.

//

You can read more about what Ben is up to on his blog

Valentin Delluc
One of the newest members of the Rab test team, Valentin has only been speedriding for 3 years, but has combined his extensive alpine skiing, freeskiing and paragliding skills to great effect in that time. Based in the French Alps and with numerous titles under his belt, he has entered this year's Speedriding Tour. The first round took place at Speikboden in the Italian Alps and Valentin completed the course in the fastest time to take the win. Next stop, Madesimo.

//

You can see more of Valentin's speedriding and speedflying exploits on his Vimeo channelIt has been a successful few weeks for the Rab team. Across a wide variety of disciplines from skiing to flying, in a wide variety of locations from valley floors to the South Pole there have been some great accomplishments. Here's to hoping the rest of 2014 continues in the same vein. Well done everyone!

Richard Parks
Rich skied into the record books, becoming the second fastest person to travel solo and unsupported to the South Pole. Amazingly he did this in some terrible conditions, characterised by the sastruga, snow formations created by polar winds, which make everything much more difficult. There was so much soft snow that initially Rich turned back after a few days, feeling that the record was already out of his hands. After a short rest, waiting for the next weather window, he set off a second time.

Despite having to deal with a broken ski and a broken sled, Rich still became the fastest Briton, the first Welsh person and the second fastest person ever to complete the journey. Who knows how fast he could have made it if conditions had been better? Not bad for someone who used to play rugby for a living!

Read more at the Independent - Rugby star Richard Parks cuts 10 days off British South Pole trek record

Jeff Mercier
Despite being an outstanding ice climber, Chamonix-based Jeff took no notice of the Ice Climbing World Cup event in Cheongsong. Instead he headed to the Ouray Ice Festival, where he prefers the laid back atmosphere. Last year he came second in the feature event at the man-made ice park, the Elite Mixed Ice Competition. In part this was due to exporting the restrictive standards for competition mixed climbing used in France, where no 'figure of four's or 'figure nine's are allowed, to the US.

This year, free from the ethical burden, he was one of only three competitors to finish the final route, which consisted of repeating an existing M8 before continuing on complex obstacle-filled terrain on a 30° overhanging extension. Officially to complete the course it was necessary to make a dyno to hit a hanging piñata, which Jeff did the fastest. Congratulations are also in order for Aaron Mulkey who made it through to the finals too, with extra kudos for shunning 'fruit boots'.

Read more at Alpinist - Maureau, Mercier Win at Ouray 2014

//

Post by Rab.

Melanie Bernier
Spending most of the year in Revelstoke, British Columbia, does have its upsides when you're a member of the Canadian National Ski Mountaineering Competition Team. However after a summer of trail running and mountain biking in the mountains, Mel headed to the French Alps for one of the first competitions of the year. Although not officially on the roster of the French Sprint Championship at Oz en Oizans, the trip proved to be profitable as Mel finished the race second. This is no mean feat given that the French national team consistently finishes in the top 3 at the Ski-Mountaineering World Championships.

Ben Tibbetts
Being based in Chamonix and working as a guide perhaps give Ben a slight advantage over your average local Scottish ski mountaineer. However the first race of the 2013/14 Skimo Scotland series was not your typical Mont Blanc range affair. After a last minute thaw the course at Lecht 2090 had to be re-designed on the morning of the race and there was almost as much grass visible as snow. This didn't put Ben, who has represented Great Britain in races on the continent, off and he led from start to finish, setting a new course record in the process.

//

You can read more about what Ben is up to on his blog

Valentin Delluc
One of the newest members of the Rab test team, Valentin has only been speedriding for 3 years, but has combined his extensive alpine skiing, freeskiing and paragliding skills to great effect in that time. Based in the French Alps and with numerous titles under his belt, he has entered this year's Speedriding Tour. The first round took place at Speikboden in the Italian Alps and Valentin completed the course in the fastest time to take the win. Next stop, Madesimo.

//

You can see more of Valentin's speedriding and speedflying exploits on his Vimeo channel