One of the more well-known events that the Institute for Mountain Research puts on is Fireside Chats. These give an unparalleled opportunity for students to hear and engage with the stories of selected individuals we choose to tell their stories related to mountains. For our fireside chat on December 1st, we invited the former CEO and founder of Black Diamond, Peter Metcalf. His stories of entrepreneurship, mountaineering, and conservation would offer inspiration to those that attended.
It was one of the first cold nights of winter and much-needed snow had finally fell on the city. To be honest, we weren’t sure if the cold would keep people away. However, we soon had dozens gathered around the fire and Mr. Metcalf caught everyone’s attention with his story about climbing the Spur of Mt. Hunter in Denali National Park. As he told his story about unexpected weather, frostbite, and dramatic changes in plans, group of students fell silent. He explained how that experience in 1980 evolved into the birth of Black Diamond nine years later. His incredible story then transitioned into his life as a businessman innovating new gear with Black Diamond. He told us about the company’s move from Ventura, California and pioneering the the outdoor industry to Salt Lake City, Utah.
In closing, Mr. Metcalf reminded us how grateful he was to still be enjoying the outdoors with his friends even after retiring and stepping down from his position as president of his business. We would like to thank him tremendously for his time and visiting Westminster and sharing his mountain stories with us.
We hope to release audio from the event soon. Stay tuned for the link to that and for more information about our next fireside chat.