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Black Diamond Equipment
THE ROAD TO INSPIRATION
Through the lens of Chris Burkard
THE ROAD TO INSPIRATION

"An idea has to start somewhere. Right?"

-Chris Burkard

We are all made up from bits and pieces of experience.



Often glimpses of inspiration that at times are hard to trace. Sometimes, it can be a single photo that can leave the biggest impression on a young mind. This vignette follows Chris Burkard as he recalls his first road trip as a kid and builds a van to carry on the tradition. We retrace his steps as a photographer who is constantly on the road to get a better look into what inspires him most and how he hopes to share that with those around him--most of all, his kids.
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Helio Alpine Shell

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A ski mountaineer and ultralight alpinist’s dream jacket, the Helio Shell is our lightest GORE-TEX jacket and the king of packability. With an all-new GORE-TEX C-Knit backer, the crispy feel of most hardshells is replaced with a soft-to-touch construction that increases comfort on missions where luxury is a premium.
Item# APET73443MED1
$ 499.00
USD

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A ski mountaineer and ultralight alpinist’s dream jacket, the Helio Shell is our lightest GORE-TEX jacket and the king of packability. With an all-new GORE-TEX C-Knit backer, the crispy feel of most hardshells is replaced with a soft-to-touch construction that increases comfort on missions where luxury is a premium. Learn More
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Helio 105 Carbon Ski

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Designed for dedicated backcountry skiers who demand both technical precision and soft-snow performance, the versatile Helio 105 features a pre-preg carbon fiber layup that makes it extremely light with a balanced flex and supreme edge control.
Item# BD11510200001751
$ 849.95
USD

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Designed for dedicated backcountry skiers who demand both technical precision and soft-snow performance, the versatile Helio 105 features a pre-preg carbon fiber layup that makes it extremely light with a balanced flex and supreme edge control. Learn More
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Cirque 35 Pack

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Inspired by our climbing packs and built for discerning ski mountaineers, the Cirque 35 is our mid-sized, ultralight ski pack with all of the features needed for technical alpine objectives in a clean and simple design. Compatible with our AvaLung Element (sold separately).
Item# BD681192BLAKM_L1
$ 199.95
USD

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Inspired by our climbing packs and built for discerning ski mountaineers, the Cirque 35 is our mid-sized, ultralight ski pack with all of the features needed for technical alpine objectives in a clean and simple design. Compatible with our AvaLung Element (sold separately). Learn More

ENGINEERED FOR THE SEND



When Kasey first started at BD over seven years ago he was amazed at how all the engineers and designers had intimate knowledge of their materials. And Kasey was no slouch himself, coming from a background with General Motors and Nike.

“I remember being shocked how everyone had a baseline level of knowledge about metal—whether it was forging, stamping, casting, swaging, brazing, heat treating—all the things that you do to work metal.”

And when the team began focusing on climbing shoes, they dove in head-first.

“It’s a very engineered approach,” explains Kasey. “Usually, nobody wants to go that deep into something, but that’s the Black Diamond way.”

MOLDED RUBBER



Applying their metal background to the shoe world, the team’s first big break-through was inspired by the way BD carabiners are forged.

“Instead of just die-cutting a sheet of rubber, we’re taking raw material and essentially molding it into a controlled shape, where we control the geometry, the recipe for the rubber, the heat, pressure, and thickness,” says Kasey. “Basically, we’re pulling all the levers, and you have to be way more ‘in the weeds’ for that.”

The benefit of this approach to climbing shoe rubber is that each mold is individually created to fit together—unlike the trace, trim and hand-grind method. This allows us to vary the weight, thickness and consistency of each mold to enhance our rubber’s overall comfort, durability and performance.

ENGINEERED KNIT TECHNOLOGY



Getting in the weeds with rubber technology is only half of the story. Kasey and crew also began re-thinking the way we approach the shoe’s upper materials.

“We’re doing the same thing with soft goods,” he says. “We’re exploring the way they’re woven, the way the yarns are extruded, and the way they’re knit.”

What the team discovered is an “Engineered Knit” upper that provides stretch where you need it, support where it matters, and exceptional breathability. The process to create this knit material once again relies on having complete and total control of the manufacturing process.

“We’re literally controlling the tension of the knit machine to get the durability of the knit to where we think it needs to be, to get it to hold the right shape, and to have the right openings for breathability. We’re in control of all the variables,” says Kasey.

Our Engineered Knit Technology is featured throughout our shoe line, beginning with the Momentum—which utilizes it exclusively as a complete, breathable upper optimized for gym climbing. The Aspect also features our unique knit on the shoe’s tongue for added comfort.

Words: Chris Parker
Photography: Christian Adam and Andy Earl
Videography: Andrea Cossu

MOLDED MIDSOLE



Thanks to a molded midsole, our shoes will hold their shape much longer than competitors’. And once again, this is an example of getting deep in the weeds and engineering the heck out of the shoes.

“Instead of just die-cutting out a piece of plastic that then gets sandwiched in the construction of the shoe, we’re 3D molding a plastic midsole that matches the shape of the last so that longer term, the shoe stays the same,” explains Kasey.

The midsoles are constructed with Pebax plastic, which Kasey believes has the best memory and keeps its shape. That’s why a high-quality ski boot is made of Pebax, he says.

“You can just rally them over and over and they will still recover,” Kasey explains.

That means over time, no matter how many hours you spend teching your way up slabs, running laps in the gym, or crimping on the boulders, your BD climbing shoes will retain their shape.

“We’re going to change the paradigm longer term,” says Kasey, “where people will buy a shoe, and they’ll be able to get the same benefit from it pretty much throughout its life, until you have to resole it.”

When asked what he likes most about BD’s new climbing shoes, Kasey boils it down to one succinct answer.

“For me, they’re shoes that give you confidence. And that’s really what matters.”

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Aspect Climbing Shoes

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Built to handle endless splitters of the Creek, cragging days at City of Rocks and the notorious slabs of Little Cottonwood Canyon, the Aspect is an engineered trad climbing machine. Designed with fine, durable leather, our innovative NeoFriction Force rubber and an Engineered Knit Technology tongue, this flat-lasted, slightly asymmetrical lace-up is perfect for plugging gear at the cliff. Learn More
Item# BD570111ALUM0401
$ 139.95
USD

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Built to handle endless splitters of the Creek, cragging days at City of Rocks and the notorious slabs of Little Cottonwood Canyon, the Aspect is an engineered trad climbing machine. Designed with fine, durable leather, our innovative NeoFriction Force rubber and an Engineered Knit Technology tongue, this flat-lasted, slightly asymmetrical lace-up is perfect for plugging gear at the cliff. Learn More
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Camalot™ Ultralight

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A breakthrough for fast-and-light missions, the Camalot™ Ultralight introduces a 25% lighter version of the world's most trusted camming device. Learn More
Item# BD2621640000ALL1
$ 99.95
USD

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Buy 4 or more, any combination of Camalots, and receive a 10% discount!

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A breakthrough for fast-and-light missions, the Camalot™ Ultralight introduces a 25% lighter version of the world's most trusted camming device. Learn More

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