Valandre

The great adventurers of the snowy summits know well the mark ; Do they know that the fine funds of the Pyrenees shelter THE high specialist of the sleeping bags of sewing capable of resisting in – 30 degrees? For 25 years, 7 employees of Valandré try to make a unique know-how survive.


In 1979, the French alpine Club dashes in the conquest of one of them, the highest K2, 2nd mount (8 611m) after the Everest. Its ascent looks redoubtable. It will be it. More than 1 200 carriers are hired to transport 260 kilos of material. The opening of a way is a failure : the equipment was not adapted. André Vandeputte, a textile engineer, decides to conceive an ultralight system. He(it) gets in touch with the president of the alpine French Club, Maurice Barrard, and the person in charge of the military group of high mountain based in Chamonix, colonel Marnier. He finalizes a system of compartimentation avant-gardist of the sleeping bag who protects from the cold in extreme temperatures (up to 30 degrees!). And so was born Valandré.

The success is international. Valandré is settled in the depths of the High Valley of the Aude, in the country of Sault, to Belcaire (Pyrenees), and counts only 7 employees. It is to wonder how this company survived. As far as his history knew many jolts. It will be first of all the death, premature and sudden, of his founder ; then the resumption failed by his son; his repurchase for 1€.

The company seems to like only a thread. And it is the Dane who holds it, Niels-Henrik Friisbol. It is him who acquired Valandré in 1991. For this high-level sportsman, confirmed climber, the company could not disappear. ” It is mythical. It is the mark of Pyrenees, as is it Millet in the Alps. ”

Niels-Henrik Friisbol becomes disenchanted rather fast. ” I had the impression(printing) to live a beautiful dream until I realize that the house was on fire! Everything was to redo. It was necessary to pass of the small business sector to the industrialist. ” The recovery, which is not finished yet, is long. The company touches the stoppage of payment, because, in 2005, his supplier of fabrics, an English company, files for bankruptcy. Of the staff must be dismissed : needlewomen at home is in the first row. Their work is relocated in Tunisia, to Monastir, where Niels-Henrik Friisbol settles a new company, Atlas, and a factory managed by a former employee. The filling and the finishes stay in France.

Valandre Outerwear, Sleeping Bags & Clothing