As a manufacturer of mountaineering ropes, harnesses, and carabiners, EDELRID is renowned for innovative products in climbing circles as well as among mountaineers and Alpine sports enthusiasts. What began in 1863 with laces, fishing lines, and braided bookmarks has developed into an international company that offers a wide range of products for mountain sports, climbing and work safety. To this day, the Allgäu-based firm continues to produce its ropes in Germany. EDELRID can now look back on an eventful history full of highs and lows. Innovations and achievements, climbing ropes ‘Made in Germany’, an unbridled thirst for research, and an awareness of social and environmental responsibility all come together to create a solid framework for a strong brand and a stable future.
“We see ourselves as a manufacturer of personal protective equipment—for both sport and work safety. Despite having to fulfil different requirements depending on their use, all of the products for our areas of activity have one thing in common: they keep people safe and enable them to move freely on the verticals. This is something that both sport climbers and rope access specialists need”, explains Vitus Wuhrer, Managing Director of EDELRID GmbH & Co. KG.
EDELRID wants to share the feeling of vertical freedom with all those who practice mountain sports, climb, boulder, or work at heights. It therefore invests in research and development, training and knowledge transfer, and, of course, products that safely accompany their users when up high on the verticals.
An eventful history
The company burned down twice within just 14 years: the original site in 1959 followed by the new head office built on Isny’s newly established business park in July 1973. “Without the help of our dedicated employees and several supportive companies, EDELRID would not exist in its current form”, says Wuhrer. In later years, tragic accidents involving the management team shook the company. EDELRID was taken over by Albrecht von Dewitz, founder of the mountain sports brand VAUDE, in 2006 and has since been experiencing healthy growth. “With climbing and mountain sports on trend and the work safety market growing, we expect our positive development to continue”, states Wuhrer. Further business areas that have developed include products for adventure parks and canyoning as well as custom, order-based solutions for the industrial sector, such as paragliding lines or lines for convertible tops. EDELRID also manufactures products for mountain rescue and all areas where people move on vertical structures.
Research and development
The company is characterized by a strong thirst for research and great curiosity, resulting in both new products and redesigns. EDELRID is a key driver of innovation within its sector. The first such innovation came in 1953 with the development of the kernmantle rope—the dynamic mountain sports rope—in the form in which it is known today. Further inventions then followed, such as the first quickdraw sling (1973), a buoyant canyoning rope (1994), the DYNALON (2000), at 8.9 mm the thinnest single rope on the market at the time of its development, and the Ohm (2016), an assisted-breaking resistor for use when climbing in rope teams with major weight differences.
Now and in the future
EDELRID regards it as its mission to share the knowledge that it has amassed through research—so that all product users can move safely when participating in their sport or performing their work, receive added value from EDELRID solutions, and be equipped with in-depth information. To achieve this, the development team constantly endeavors to raise the bar with regard to lightness, ergonomics, functionality, and intuitiveness. Another important aspect is to minimize the company’s impact. The main focus here lies on reducing material usage and resource consumption as well as developing products that can be easily processed and recycled.
In view of the above, EDELRID has created the internal Climb Green label, which indicates products that are at the forefront of their respective categories in terms of sustainability and responsible production. This enables interested users to easily select the most environmentally conscious option when choosing equipment.
“My vision for EDELRID is to take what we’ve built here over the last 160 years and carry it forward into a sustainable future. EDELRID should stand for knowledge and responsibility on the verticals through innovative products and outstanding user expertise. These should benefit all those who use our products—whether in the mountains, in trees, or during their everyday work. I want EDELRID to offer added value to everyone who comes into contact with us”, states Vitus Wuhrer in summary of his aspirations for the brand.
Further information about EDELRID’s history can be found on the 160 years website.