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2006 Polartec® Challenge Winners Announced

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December 16, 2005 (Lawrence, Mass.) – Malden Mills, manufacturer of over 200 styles of Polartec® fabric, announced the winners of the 2006 Polartec® Challenge (PC), an international leader in adventure grants. The winners are Steve Graepel, Nico Mailaender, Warren McDonald and Kelly Cordes.

Graepel will travel with partner Gabe Rogel into Alaska’s Fairweather Range. Following a 50-mile kayak into the Glacier Bay Wilderness, Graepel and Rogel will continue unsupported across the unexplored Johns Hopkins Glacier to Mount Crillon, where they will attempt the unclimbed North Ridge, one of the longest unclimbed lines in Alaska.

Mailander will navigate a folding kayak on a solo paddling and sailing journey through the Aegean Sea, which is known for strong currents and sudden changes in meteorological conditions. Mailander is a seasoned adventurer who has accomplished numerous solo trips.

McDonald will attempt to climb Mt. Kenya via the Diamond Couloir. A double above-the-knee amputee, McDonald boasts an impressive list of ascents on his resume, including Mt. Kilamanjaro, El Capitan and the Weeping Wall in the Canadian Rockies. Warren will be traveling with a strong team including climbing guide Michael O’Donnell and filmmaker Michael Brown. The team hopes to raise awareness of the threat of global warming.

Cordes and partner Josh Wharton, one of North America’s premier alpine teams, will travel to the remote Hushe Region in Pakistan to climb Shingu Charpa. The specific objective is an ascent of the unclimbed 5,000-foot North Ridge in perfect alpine style. Both climbers are ardent supporters of the light and fast alpine style that demands extraordinary technical acumen and the utmost commitment.

“All of these trips are remarkable adventures,” states Carol Valianti, VP, Global Communications for Polartec®. “They represent small teams tackling adventurous goals and integrating cultural, historical or non-traditional means to reach their ends.”

The Polartec® Challenge grant program selects winners who seek to explore remote terrain in frugal, low-impact style. Expeditions often embrace local culture, research scientific objectives and reach out to the human spirit of adventure. Started in 1991 and sponsored by Malden Mills, the manufacturer of Polartec® fabrics, the Polartec® Challenge gains critical feedback and assists Malden Mills’ development of new fabric technologies. For more information on the Polartec® Challenge go to:

About Malden MillsMalden Mills Industries, Inc. was founded in 1906 and is based in Lawrence, Mass. In the early 1980’s the company revolutionized the way the world dresses for cold weather with the invention of performance fabrics. Innovation continues to distinguish the company as the world leader in performance textiles, now offering over 200 different styles of technical fabrics under the Polartec® brand. Polartec® products now range from lightweight wicking base layers to insulation to extreme weather protection and are utilized by the best clothing brands in the world. In addition, Polartec® fabrics are used extensively by all branches of the United States military including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Special Operations Forces. For more information please visit our website at

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