Thirty years ago a frustrated physicist from Seattle named Ron Gregg was retreating from an aborted attempt at a new alpine style route on Denali. His partner had been evacuated by helicopter, but Ron chose to ski back to the highway solo. In the process, Ron found a new direction in life. At that time, outdoor gear left much to be desired. Many of the best climbers and alpinists designed their own equipment out of necessity. They fashioned climbing harnesses, backpacks and entire kits in basements and garages. Nobody cared what the gear looked like. For a mountaineer with a penchant for design, the 70s and 80s were an era of extreme entrepreneurial opportunity and epic adventure.
Designed by Adventure: 30 Years of Outdoor Research follows Ron Gregg’s seminal early years as he bootstraps what would become an iconic company known for relentless commitment to functionality and durability. His intense passion for making better products in his own factory establishes Outdoor Research as an outdoor industry leader, yet Ron’s devotion to his Seattle factory eventually imperils the company as globalization changes the game. His sudden and tragic death in the mountains of British Columbia creates a crisis as his family and the management team struggle to find a solution to keep the company going. Ultimately a new team comes together to build on Ron’s legacy and principles, building Outdoor Research into one of the fastest growing companies in its industry.