This camping story is all about the Japanese brand Snow Peak its three-generation heritage and its new journey into fashion
I always thought I would love sunset on the moon. To dream on a sphere of apricot clay and gaze at a familiar blue framed in black. I arrived at the right time to see the truth: It’s grey.
The sound began six hours after my arrival at Mons Piton. An isolated chop too rhythmic to be nothing meandered into the echoes of the airless space.
It was calm just before the storm. The dark had approached now with little indication of receding. Semi see-through stars hung by invisible string spattered on shadow in a moment of sub-zero solitude. Abruptly they vanished. The sky, black with what I thought was night, began to bubble. The chopping sound was drowned in thunder. I went back to my car to wait. I closed my eyes. I felt real fear. No one thought there could be storms on the moon.
A silver thread pierced the blurred pixels of my vision. Twisting and flickering it seemed alive. Panicking I reached out to whack it away. My nails painfully hit the bottom of the car door and I recoiled. I rubbed my eyes, I must have slept. The chopping sound was louder. Was that bells ringing? Puckered silver patchwork layered with black appeared in the windows. The storm had stopped. I stepped outside. Shards and marbles of silver akin to colourblind phosphorescence stretched out illuminating the ground. Along the baron and lumpy discourse three vacuous shapes teetered closer. Navigating the sloping cliff they turned to be almost facing me. I ventured towards them. The presence of others shocked me.
An old man, a late middle-aged man and a younger woman walked in single file attached by twisting loops of silver rope. A long silver thread followed them. Taught as though attached to an invisible point on the other side of the darkness it reached out into the sky. The oldest man led the procession, hunched over with a stick, swinging a climbing axe into the rising rocky ground. Behind him a tower of pans, spatulas, blankets, a folded tent and a portable stove balanced delicately on top of a large canvas rucksack. Underneath the clutter the middle-aged man tottered both hands gripping the bag, swaying side to side. Facing away from the two men walking backwards with ease was the woman. She was platting the connecting silver ropes into the infinite space lit string that ran off the edge of the moon. The clanging of the pans precipitated a jingle that coated the atmosphere less pin drop frozen night. Having not expected this kind of situation I needed a moment of permissible comprehension. I stood agog, then upon realisation of my stillness, went to meet my new neighbours
For over half a century Snow Peak, originally called Yamai Shoten, have helped climbers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts grapple with the otherworldly forces of nature on earth. Their slick, minimal aesthetic mirrors their high-quality product, and their fashion line can be found in stores worldwide. Now driven by Lisa Yamai, the family-run business was started by her grandfather Yukio Yamai in 1958. Motivated by a desire to improve the mountaineering equipment available at the time his expertly crafted pitons and crampons (originally produced by the metalworkers of the Tsubame-Sanjo area) were hugely popular, changing the nature of the industry and paving the way for the Snow Peak name. With the auto camping boom that braced Japan in the 1980s, Snow Peak, led by the current president Tohru Yamai, expanded their company vision under a new camping identity. They released their first tent, the Amenity Dome series, in 1990.
Now with Lisa Yamai taking on the climb Snow Peak has headed in a new direction with the brand’s apparel that launched in 2014. Snow Peak: This is the story of the Heritage Brand. The originally outdoor gear now competes with other high fashion brands with its functional yet aesthetic design and even makes appearances in Vogue. On October 25th 2019 Snow Peak opened their first London store in Regent Street and are looking to open a new US flagship and headquarters in Portland this year. This new store will include their first restaurant, Takibi, a partnership with Submarine Hospitality and acclaimed bar and cocktail icon Jim Meehan. Paying homage to the campfire (‘Takibi’ is Japanese for bonfire) the restaurant will serve Japanese inspired cuisine with seasonal cooking on a binchotan and wood-burning hearth. For examples of their classically cut and heritage aware items see below. Purchase the clothing in select stores worldwide.
For more information on the Snow Peak lifestyle view the website: https://snowpeak.com/
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