18 Mar Under Armour Employee Seeks Climbing Record
An Under Armour employee will attempt to summit six of the world’s highest mountains this spring in a record-breaking task. His Summits Challenge is designed to raise awareness and funds to combat human trafficking.
Nick Cienski, who is the founder of the 501(c)(3) non-profit human trafficking awareness group Mission 14, is utilizing his mountaineering background as a way to create social change and fight the second largest criminal industry in the world.
From April 2015 to October 2015, Cienski will attempt to scale more than 70,000 vertical feet, breaking the current world record of five 26,000’ summits in one year. South Korean mountaineer Park Young-Seok holds the Guinness World Record for climbing five of the 8,000-meter Himalayan peaks within one year.
The 6 Summits Challenge will begin in Nepal in early April 2015 by climbing Lhotse, the world’s 4th highest peak and summiting in early May, followed by Mount Everest in mid-May, and then Makalu, the world’s 5th highest mountain at the end of May. This fall, the team will summit Manaslu, Cho Oyo, and Shishapangma, the world’s 8th, 6th, and 14th highest peaks, respectively.
Cienski, who is also the senior director of innovation at Under Armour, and his international team of climbers from five countries will wear Under Armour apparel that he personally designed using the performance brand’s most advanced innovations. The product collection features baselayer, midlayer and outerwear developed to withstand the most extreme environments and harshest temperatures. The gear features UA’s ColdGear Infrared and UA Storm technologies that will keep the climbing team extremely warm and dry without added weight or bulk. The outwear pieces also feature UA MagZip technology, providing an easy, one-handed zipper solution.
“Climbing mountains is what I know, and raising awareness for human trafficking is what I am called to do,” says Cienski. “Working at Under Armour with full support from them to develop my own gear and to follow my passion is a unique opportunity for any climber. By summiting these peaks, I am working to empower organizations and inspire individuals to BE BRAVE, take action, and think beyond your own limits everyday.”
“We have an ‘I WILL’ mantra at Under Armour that speaks to the unyielding determination of an athlete. To have one of our teammates truly represent that brand message is a unique and powerful experience,” said Bryan Offutt, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Outdoor, Under Armour. “The entire Under Armour team is so proud of Nick. We are honored to be a part of his expedition, provide him with the tools to develop some of the most advanced gear in the world to accomplish this feat, and give him a huge cheering squad of Under Armour teammates around the world, who will be supporting him every step of the way.”
Organizational Leader Russell Brice, world-renowned mountaineer, trek guide, and founder of the Himalayan Experience, will head the massive logistics and organizational requirements for the 6 Summits Challenge. Russell holds the world record for fastest single, solo ascent without oxygen of Cho Oyo and Ama Dablam. The head Sherpa for the expedition is Phurba Tashi, who has not only summited Mount Everest 21 times, but also holds the record for the most total ascents of the world’s 8,000 meter peaks, summiting 35 times, more than anyone in the world.
The driving force behind Cienski’s 6 Summits Challenge is to redefine adventure in a way that engages a global audience to take a stand in the battle to defeat human trafficking. The 6 Summits Challenge will also raise valuable funding for Cienski’s organization, Mission 14, and it’s national and international non-profit partners who are engaged daily in this fight for justice. These dedicated organizations help rehabilitate survivors, intervene on behalf of victims, drive legislation, and educate the public about modern day slavery. Through his efforts at Mission 14’s headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, and his journey to the world’s highest mountains, Cienski’s philosophy is that love, justice, and compassion are actions that cannot be accomplished from the sidelines.
To learn more about The 6 Summits Challenge and the climbing team, visit www.6summitschallenge.com.
To learn more about Mission 14 and the 70,000 Foot Challenge, visit www.mission14.org.