It is 29 years since a company was first established to make Nansen sleds. That chapter is now closing, and another opening for the niche Snowsled brand.
These imminent changes are brought about by a retirement decision – the time has finally come for someone else to take the Snowsled brand forward into another generation and to continue to inject fresh ideas for the continually developing markets.
Snowsled Polar Ltd will be split two ways –
Aiguille Ltd will take over management and production of the HDPE pulks and vacuum mattresses. This small gem of a company started nearly 30 years ago, with solid practical experience of the outdoors, and began by making and repairing sewn products for the mountaineering market. Aiguille Alpine currently manufactures a wide range of items for mountaineering, water sports, mountain rescue and other rescue services, and also a few for polar expeditions. The ethos of Aiguille Alpine matches that of Snowsled – simple design fit for purpose, high quality, with the ability to react quickly to market requirements, and with innovation when required.
Nansen and komatik sleds and Scott pyramid tents will be taken over and managed by Dave Ellis from his base in South Wales. Dave has been part of the Snowsled team at various times since 1993 in a hands-on capacity (around 6 years in total), making Nansen sleds, pulk products and anything else we were then making. Dave eventually joined British Antarctic Survey, spending several periods, totalling 6 years, in various capacities working in Antarctica, from General Assistant to Base Manager, at Halley Bay, Rothera and Signy Island. Back in the UK, and settled in South Wales, Dave still spends one or two days a week here at Snowsled, manufacturing current orders scheduled. He has made Nansen sleds and Scott tents, and used them for real in Antarctica and there could be no one more experienced to take over manufacturing these Snowsled products.
Regarding orders from now on, our plans include –
– orders will only be accepted by Snowsled until 30th April 2017, if they can be delivered before this time. They could be affected by low stock levels. Lead-time products could also be delayed, or not possible. We will do all we can to supply in time. See Sales at Snowsled Polar for old stock available as it comes to light.
– May 2017 will be a non-productive month – no orders will be accepted by Snowsled. Any received will be passed on to the new suppliers for consideration after 1st June.
– from 1st June 2017 onwards, orders will need to be directed to the new manufacturers and suppliers.
Future contact details and final arrangements will be published early in May 2017.
I am confident that the Snowsled brand is ideally placed to do well in these new directions. Whilst backing away from responsibility for Snowsled, I look forward to being available to the new management teams to help provide continuing advice, as and when needed, while they settle down and forge their own particular way ahead.