Athleten Workshop in Jetzendorf

Creating the first prototypes

The second athletes’ workshop in Jetzendorf

In March 2016, it was that time again: The crème de la crème of German-speaking profes­sional Alip­inists got together in the Bavarian town of Jetzendorf once again for the purpose of talking to the devel­opment and marketing team at LOWA about new product innov­ations. The athletes of the LOWA PRO team also learned about the company’s new social media strategy that will be used to successfully meet digital chal­lenges in future.

After devel­opment employees of LOWA met with some of the stars of the moun­tain­eering community in November for some intense discussions about their exper­iences with the company’s footwear, it was time to hold a second meeting in March: The athletes of the LOWA PRO team came to Jetzendorf to discuss the product high­lights planned for 2017 and to learn about LOWA’s new social media strategy.

  • Athleten Workshop in Jetzendorf
  • Athleten Workshop in Jetzendorf
  • Athleten Workshop in Jetzendorf
  • Athleten Workshop in Jetzendorf
  • Athleten Workshop in Jetzendorf
  • Athleten Workshop in Jetzendorf

The LOWA Pro team family

Like the winter summit meeting, this workshop had all of the trappings of a family get-together. Everybody knew each other. Inhib­itions were nowhere to be seen. The profes­sionals casually talked with one another about their latest adventures and planned exped­itions. Athletes like Stefan Glowacz, Ines Papert and Rudi Hauser greeted one another with hugs and hand­shakes as though they had just completed a red point ascent together. Even extreme moun­taineer Ralf Dujmovits didn’t pass up the oppor­tunity to meet with his colleagues despite his tight schedule. He was busy planning to take on an unscaled seven-thou­sander in Pakistan and was also trav­elling around Germany on a speaking tour. Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger also demon­strated that profes­sionals have to deal with everyday problems, too. The two extreme moun­taineers got caught in traffic and arrived late for the get-together with the trusted group.

  • Athleten Workshop in Jetzendorf
  • Athleten Workshop in Jetzendorf

The objective of the second workshop was also to have direct discussions among equals and to talk about the new, innovative product features that LOWA planned to introduce during the upcoming moun­tain­eering season. But before the first prototypes could be examined, Michael Frank told the athletes about LOWA’s new marketing and social-media strategy, a plan in which the profes­sionals would also play a critical role.

The fruits of labour

But the digital world is only a half world for true Alpinists. They must be able to feel real life. Things like the prototypes that Alex Nicolai then presented to the athletes. This time, Alex Nicolai, who was head of the devel­opment team at the time and was later named Managing Director of LOWA, presented selected high­lights of the new collection for 2017, some of which had been developed in cooperation with the profes­sionals. The high­lights included the ALPINE PRO GTX, an Alpine boot with a shortened toe cap, a product into which the experience of extreme moun­taineer David Göttler flowed. Another was the APPROACH PRO GTX LO, an approach boot with innovative speed-lacing tech­nology, a product that Luis Stitzinger helped to create. The most heads were turned by the new climbing shoe model ROCKET, which was designed in particular for profes­sionals and ambitious hobby athletes. A broad potpourri was presented to the Alpinists, a line of products that accen­tuated the ingenuity of LOWA.

The prototypes were greeted with warm words of praise and aston­ishment. A suggestion or two was made about this or that detail, and Alex Nicolai gladly took note of them. There was not a lot of criticism to be expressed. The devel­opment team had listened carefully during the first workshop and registered the various wishes and comments that the Alpine experts expressed. The results of this constructive discussion were really impressive. Some of the prototypes and certainly other LOWA models will go on tour with the athletes on the LOWA PRO team during the year.

  • Athleten Workshop in Jetzendorf
  • Athleten Workshop in Jetzendorf