Now halfway through the 2012 “Year of the Dragon” expedition, Kokatat supported explorer Mike Libecki has been selected as one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year. Each year, National Geographic scours the globe in search of ten individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in exploration, conservation and adventure sports. Libecki joins an elite group of men and women who consistently pioneer innovation in the outdoor world.
Following the initial announcement on November 1, National Geographic is asking online readers to vote for their favorite athlete to receive the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year. Voting is open from November 1 until mid-January; the People’s Choice Award will be announced in February.
Libecki’s most recent adventure, the 2012 “Year of the Dragon” expedition began in Northern Russia last July. Always chasing virgin earth, Libecki departed from the Russian mainland via sailboat with a Russian crew, sailing north towards the 192-island archipelago of Franz Josef Land. Relying on Kokatat gear to keep him safe and dry and an inflatable standup paddleboard Libecki made his way to the 3,000ft “Dragon’s Back” wall. Here Libecki claimed the first ascent of the northernmost rock wall on the planet and completed the solo climb in three hours.
The solo adventure climber and California native then met up with fellow climber and friend Ethan Pringle to tackle a new route covering 3,500 vertical feet. Pringle and Libecki claimed the first ascent after a 54 hour push lead free, with the exception of a 15-foot wet section.
Libecki is busy preparing for the next leg of the Year of the Dragon expedition. On November 6, he’ll travel to Antarctica to attempt the first ascent of the southernmost wall. Once the rock wall he’s looking for is within sight, Libecki will depart the sailboat alone with necessary personal water craft to travel over sea ice, open ocean, or any combination of flowing or frozen sea that awaits.
Kokatat provided Libecki with its award-winning GORE-TEX® Expedition Dry Suit, Ronin Pro PFD, and other gear to keep him safe and dry as he explores virgin arctic earth.
“I’m so grateful to Kokatat for supporting this mission to make several of my dreams come true,” Libecki said. “Their expedition suit is unrivaled and without their commitment to quality adventure equipment, this trip might not have been possible.”
For more information on the 2013 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year, and to vote for Libecki, visit http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-the-year/2013/vote/.
For the full roster of Kokatat athletes and ambassador team members visit http://www.kokatat.com/team.
About Kokatat Inc.:
Celebrating over 40 years of innovation, Kokatat is an independently operated, US manufacturer of technical apparel and accessories for water sports. Handcrafted in Arcata, California, Kokatat employees are focused on building the finest functional product for people who work and play on water. Our gear is designed for paddlers, by paddlers, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the water all year long and in all weather conditions. Into the water with Kokatat!
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