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Key Columbia highlights during the UTMB®

by Press Release
Monday 24th August 2015
Tags  Columbia   |   UTMB   |   Omniten   |   Omni-Freeze ZERO   |   ULTRA-TRAIL DU MONT-BLANC

Race news: Columbia get ready for the UTMB® week starting on Monday 24th August 2015

As an iconic ultra-trail running event but also one of the world’s most aspirational outdoor events inspiring the global outdoor community, the UTMB® brings together the largest and most diverse global community of outdoor, mountain and trail running cultures to test themselves on the most demanding, beautiful, awe-inspiring trails in the world. 

Columbia are proud to support this world class event that brings together such a large number of outdoor enthusiasts setting new boundaries for the sport.

"We believe the UTMB® with its impressive beauty, world-class organization, passion for every runner and commitment to make the experience life-defining for each participant and volunteer as well as their friends and families, is a natural fit for the Columbia brand."

Key Columbia highlights during the UTMB®:



The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® seen from an Eagles Point-of-View.

From the 26th till the 29th of August Freedom Conservation will fly one of its eagles, equipped with a camera, during the annual highlight of the ultra trail running calendar, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® (UTMB®) around the Mont-Blanc. Using cutting edge technology - one of the world's smallest action cameras, a Sony ActionCam Mini - the various flights will record an extraordinary bird's eye perspective of the trail runners competing in the UTMB®.

In partnership with Columbia Sportswear and the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®, the unique footage with the 4.810 metre Mont Blanc as an iconic backdrop, will be broadcasted globally to promote the event whilst raising awareness for threatened wildlife. Two centuries ago the Alps were the natural habitat of the white-tailed eagle. Victor, the white-tailed eagle performing the flights, is an example of a threatened species which has been successfully rehabilitated through global conservation programs. He acts as an ambassador for endangered animals all over the world. The eagle, once on the Red List of endangered species, has been saved from extinction but has not returned to the Alps yet.

The charity Freedom works in collaboration with a leading conservation initiative, SOS - Save our Species and United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to raise awareness of the plight of endangered animals, many of which are recorded on the IUCN Red List of Endangered species.

Freedom's Eagles have flown from iconic landmarks across Europe, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, St. Paul's Cathedral in London and the tallest structure in the World, the 829 metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai, recording unique footage that have attracted record audiences to its conservation efforts. The Dubai images recorded by Freedom's Eagle were the most viewed video on BBC's social media network ever.

Freedom's Eagles are trained by world-renowned falconer Jacques-Olivier Travers, who has pioneered new techniques to increase the reintroduction rate of endangered eagles to the wild, that include paragliding, skiing and kayaking to teach vital survival skills. He has since been dubbed 'The man who teaches Eagles to fly'.

Key moments Freedom @ UTMB®:
Wednesday 26th
9.30-10.00 Short flights from Le Brévent
15:00 Eagle animation with Jacques Olivier Travers during the mini-races
Thursday 27th
All day Eagle animation at the Ultra-Trail Show, Place du Mont Blanc
18:00 - 20:00 Columbia event Freedom
Friday 28th
Morning / Lunch Animation with the eagles at the Ultra-Trail Show, Place du Mont Blanc Freedom
18:00 Flight of the eagle over the departure of the UTMB
Saturday 29th
08:00-12:00 Arête du mont Favre eagle flight
13:00-17:00 La Tête au vent eagle flight




After a full refit Columbia re-opened their partner store in Chamonix on June 8th 2015.

Since December 2007 both Columbia and Sorel brands have been sold in the store to the local people of Chamonix as well as tourists from all over the world. Chamonix is often referred to as a leading outdoor capital and playground for many outdoor enthusiasts.

The store is located in the very heart of Chamonix on 18 Rue Paccard and has been operating for eight years by Columbia’s trusted partner Jean-François Coquoz.

Columbia’s innovative product range is presented on 220m² over two floors with men’s and footwear product displayed on the ground floor and women’s and kids on the upper floor.

The full UTMB® merchandising offer is currently available instore ranging from t-shirts to accessories for both adults and children.

Another reason to visit the Columbia store is to discover a unique fresco painted in 1950 by Marcel Wilbault, a local painter, which was found hidden behind a wall during the store renovation. Excited by this discovery, Columbia and Jean-François Coquoz decided not only to keep it but to have it restored and integrated in the store design. The painter’s son, Lionel Wilbault, a painter and a mountain guide himself, worked to restore the unique old painting which is now pride of place within the store.


By partnering with the UTMB®, Columbia is willing to engage not only the runners but primarily the volunteers, support crews, families & friends of the runners who are also part of the event scene.

A photobooth has been created at the Ultra-Trail show where background images as well as statements can be customized for each person, so that Supporters, families or friends will be able to have their photo taken and say "I am @ UTMB® !". The photographers will then be present around the UTMB® and CCC® route to organize a friendly photoshoot for supporting crews and volunteers.

Photoshoot Sessions:

At the entrance of the Ultra-Trail® Show

  • Wednesday 26 August 2015
  • Thursday 27 August 2015

Along the route of the UTMB® and the CCC®  

  • Friday 14:30 – 22:30: Champex-lac – CCC®
  • Friday 16:00 - Midnight: Chamonix (start) - les Houches - Saint-Gervais – les Contamines - UTMB®
  • Saturday 09:00 – 17:00: Courmayeur - Chamonix - UTMB®
  • Saturday 08:00 – 16:00: Trient - Vallorcine - UTMB®
  • Sunday 07:00 -15:00: Flégère - Chamonix - UTMB®




Columbia has several runners representing a huge diversity of outdoor enthusiasts. Amongst these runners, Columbia has invited some staff from all over the world, retailers and also high profile members:

Among our OCC® runners, we have three Omniten members coming from the United States. Each year Columbia selects ten outdoor enthusiasts to join its #omniten program. The #omniten are not bloggers or athletes, the common thread among them is a love for the outdoors, an appetite for adventure, and a desire to live inspired. The #omniten began in 2012 as a challenge. Columbia challenged itself to find real people who love the outdoors as much as we do, to explore the world with people who inspire us, people who push us, and people who live an active outdoor lifestyle. (Find out more at www.columbia.com/OmniTen.html)

To complete the global team roster, three Columbia Spanish athletes, whose discipline is adventure racing, will also run the OCC®. Our Vidaraid Adventure Team is an international adventure racing team based in Spain, and is comprised of outstanding athletes, all of whom compete together in adventure racing and rogaining.  Both sports have their foundations in orienteering, which is the modality in which the team excels the most. The four athletes also individually compete in mountain biking, ultra trail running, xterra triathlon, kayaking and every type of orienteering race. Team Vidaraid is currently in 1st place in the overall AR World Championship ranking and is looking forward to achieving even better results and pushing the limits of success in this sport throughout 2015. (Find out more at www.vidaraid.com)



Columbia is proud supplier of the 2015 participant tees, which will feature the Omni-Freeze Zero technology.

Featuring zonal placement of our most innovative technologies for maximum benefit — sweat-activated cooling Omni-Freeze® ZERO on arms and torso, accelerated wicking Omni-Wick® EVAP at center back, and all-over UPF 50 — this performance outdoor tee delivers supreme comfort and protection in extremely hot, humid climates.

Omni-Freeze® ZERO demonstrations will be available at the Columbia booth during the 2015 Ultra-Trail Show from Tuesday 25th August-Friday 28th August.

The Omni-Freeze® ZERO range is available at the Columbia store in Chamonix and Columbia stores worldwide.

About Columbia

Columbia, the flagship brand of Portland, Oregon-based Columbia Sportswear Company, has been creating innovative apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment for outdoor enthusiasts since 1938.  We have become a leading global brand by channeling our passion for the outdoors and an innovative spirit into technologies and performance products that keep people warm, dry, cool and protected in the outdoors year-round.  www.columbia.com


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