Remember that streak of really cold days last winter? Well, I take full responsibility for it. I had just gotten a pair of Wintergreen mittens and then the weather inexplicably turned warm. That meant I didn’t need my new mittens. Day after day I prayed for cold weather and suddenly it was back with a vengeance. And I was the envy of everyone else who couldn’t keep their hands warm.
Now I know that I can’t really control the weather. (If I could, I would order up extra snow for the Gichigami Express.) But it’s that unpredictability of Minnesota winters that make Wintergreen clothing so valuable.
Not familiar with Wintergreen? Let me give you a little history lesson.
It all started back in 1985, when Paul Schurke and Will Steger began planning for a dogsled expedition to the North Pole. They knew the right clothing would be critical to their success, so Paul’s wife Susan created Eskimo-style apparel from modern synthetic fabrics.
In 1986, Paul, Will, Anne Bancroft and their team reached the North Pole, in the first confirmed trek to the top of the world without resupply. Susan’s clothing kept the explorers warm throughout the 1,000-mile, two month journey, even as temperatures dipped to 700 degrees below zero. (Yup, you read that number right–it’s not a typo!) Wintergreen Northern Wear was born and they proudly made it in Ely, Minnesota.
Wintergreen has closed its doors, but we’re crossing our fingers someone will carry on their tradition of distinctive winter clothing. In the meantime, we still have their fleece and shell anoraks, cross-country jackets, pants, vests and pullovers in both men’s and women’s styles. We also have their children’s anorak shells and fleece, along with hats and mittens. The quantities and sizes are limited, so if you want something specific, give us a call and we can send it out or put it aside for you.
October 25th update: By the way, I just found a video showing Wintergreen in action. Check it out, if you are interested: Wintergreen Northern Wear on the Slopes.
November 18th update: We are getting low on the jackets, so give us a call at 218-387-3136 if you want details on specific colors or sizes. We still have quite a few of the Wintergreen pants and with winter coming soon, they sure sure come in handy!
December 7th update: As we are getting low on the Wintergreen inventory, we are helping folks find some nice alternatives. They can’t ever replace Wintergreen in our hearts but hey, ya gotta keep warm. Jack offers up some possible substitutes here. And remember that you can also rent Wintergreen outerwear while you are visiting our winter playground.