Marmot started as a club, the brainchild of mountain-loving misfits and free-thinking skiers, climbers and campers.
The Marmot Mountain Club was a place where everyone was welcome and all the members were president. Above all else, Marmots valued fun in the outdoors. That spirit of fun and inclusivity lives on. We still believe that if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.
Since 1974 years, we’ve been guided by a simple truth: Outdoor Fun fuels the soul!
The climbers, skiers, and backcountry wanderers at Marmot surprise people.
We’re 15 miles from the sea and we make gear for the mountains. We sew insulation in boxes when everybody else sews it in tubes. And while some now have a store in every mall, we’ve never gotten too big. We’ve always been a little bit of a misfit.
It All Started on an Alaskan Glacier in 1971
Eric Reynolds and Dave Huntley found a way to avoid classes at U.C. Santa Cruz for a couple of months. When they got home, they founded the Marmot Club, a social club that combined mountain climbing with an oddball spirit of community and inclusion. To be a member, you had to bag a peak with another Marmot. Once in, you were president. (The first rule of the Marmot Club was everyone is president.)
Eric and Dave began making their own parkas and sleeping bags in their dorm room and soon launched Marmot Mountain Works. They were scrappy. They moved the company to Durango and into an empty dry goods store. They got Clint Eastwood to wear one of their jackets in an action film. They opened stores, added more products into the mix, and then moved the whole thing back to California.
How it went down
The Beginning: University of California Santa Cruz studetns, Dave Huntley and Eric Reynolds, meet in Alaska and form the Marmot Moutnain Club, named after the social ground squirrels.
Prototypes: Dave and Eric join forces with Tom Boyd and begin prototyping their first products. Among them are down vests, sweaters, parkas and down sleeping bags.
In the winter of 1973, Eric did an ascent of the Grand Teton in Wyoming with Tom Boyce of Grand Junction, Colorado. The following spring, Eric and Dave joined Tom in Grand Junction where they rented a 100 year old stone building near downtown and opened a rental and retail shop under the name of Marmot Mountain Works. They taught cross-country skiing in the winter to get by. Thus, in the spring of 1974, Marmot the company was born.
That fall, Tom was climbing in Peru where he met famed adventure filmmaker Mike Hoover. A few weeks after his return, Tom received a call from Mike. He was calling on behalf of 20th Century Fox who were filming a movie called The Eiger Sanction with Clint Eastwood, and needed 108 very puffy jackets. "No problem", said Tom, "we were working on that when you called." Well, they weren't, but they then did. Within a week, the Marmots had designed the Golden Mantle (very puffy jacket). Marmot was now in the movies. It also had its biggest order to date.
GORE-TEX Revolution: We become the first outdoor apparel company to use GORE-TEX in our gear. Our founders sleep in a commercial meat locker to ensure it met their standards.
Designing, testing, and sewing the apparel, tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks that get us all outside. We're all trying to live up to the free-wheeling, go-your-own-way, who-cares-what-people-think attitude of the early days. We go outside because it’s the best playground we can imagine. It’s a place to be creative, express yourself, and escape from the sameness of everyday life. We do what we do because we think this desire to get out and be wild is in everybody.