• mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

We talk to adventurer and explorer Eric Pilon-Bignell and find out how even the most fearless people need their downtime too.  Eric tells us how, in between ascending some of the world's tallest peaks and spending time participating in high-adrenaline sports including wakeboarding, snowboarding and surfing, he too likes to chill. Keep reading to find out more about Eric's latest adventures, how he likes to relax and when he wears his mahabis.

 

Before we begin, could you describe what you do in one sentence?

Oh wow, good question, can it be one long sentence?

Project7 is the adventure of a life time, in which I will be working on climbing the 7 highest mountain on each continent in an effort to raise money and awareness to help us better understand the most important part of the human body, the Brain. 

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

What has been your most challenging climb?

Still being early in the project, I would say the hardest climb to date was Russia (Mt. Elbrus – 18,513’) which we summited this August. 

What made things difficult was our weather window closed on us. We were expecting to use 4-5 days to summit, taking a few days to do some acclimatisation hikes and a rest day. However a serious weather system was moving in over the last 2-3 days when we were planning to summit, and mountain rescue was informing all teams to call off their summit pushes on those specific days. Meaning we had two options: try to make a 2-day push, or wait a week. 

I was fortunate to be with my friend Vitaly Stegno, who is one of the best guides on the mountain. After assessing the situation and our condition, we opted to try and summit in the next 30 hours.  We did an acclimatisation climb up over 15,000’, came back down to camp (12,500’), ate dinner, tried to sleep for 2 hours or so and left some time around midnight for our summit push. 

If you haven’t seen a sunrise at 18,000’, it’s a surreal experience of this pink and purple sky that emerges from the dark; it’s incredible. We summited that morning, it was awesome.

 

mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell

 

When you're not climbing mountains, hiking or snowboarding, how do you like to unwind?

I don’t have much of an in-between. I am usually super intense in my activities and extremely relaxed and chill in my free time.

I like relaxing with friends and family. I’m going to get big brownie points here, but I like just relaxing with my wife on our patio, in ski villages, by the lake or camping.

 

When and where do you usually wear your Mahabis?

I wear them anywhere, but I would say I wear them most often around the house. 

There is something about disconnecting from all the noise we surround ourselves with in our daily lives. I’m not sure why but putting on slippers helps me reconnect with that and disconnect a little. Plus they are extremely comfy!

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 Eric's choice of mahabis - larvik dark grey x larvik grey sole

 

How do you like to spend your time relaxing when at base camp?

Eating, sitting around talking and drinking tea, and dance parties…I am a terrible dancer! Since it’s difficult to sleep at elevation, we tend to goof around and rock out to music like Nirvana, the Lumineers and Barbra Streisand …don’t ask, long story!

Looking back I have no clue why; it’s strange how you act hyper and funny when you’re really tired, you know what I mean? Anyway, lots of hanging out and chilling. You learn a lot about people when on a long climb. Since you are experiencing new things together you seem to find a connection and confide in each other, and you find yourself talking about things that you might not otherwise normally talk about.

  

What three non-essential objects do you carry with you on expeditions?

A hat (baseball cap style) which I use strictly for when I’m not climbing and just hanging around, and an iPod & iPhone. One could say my mahabis, but I would argue they are not a ‘non-essential item’ because they are multi-purpose. They are great for inside use or even inside your sleeping bag, but if you want to step outside then you can simply throw on the detachable sole!

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

 

How do you relax/celebrate once you have reached the peak of a mountain?

Once I reach the summit, I take it all in for a little while, then turn my attention to the descent. It is funny how quickly my mind turns to focusing on my next challenge.

I really measure the success more based on the experience, making the summit is definitely a nice bonus though.  Once we get back down, I like to eat a nice celebratory meal with some drinks and talk about our summit/adventure!

 

What would be your ultimate mountain to summit?

Cho Oyu, Makalu, and Everest.  An 8000m peak is the ultimate goal for sure, there are only 14 of them in the world, all located in the Himalayas.

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

Where is the most unusual place that you have worn your mahabis slippers?

Oh boy, where haven’t I worn them?! Honestly though, I wear them around my place a lot and if I need to run out, I just pop on the detachable sole.  It sounds strange to think about wearing slippers at a gas station or picking up food but why not be comfy if you can! 

 

 

What would you do with an extra hour in the day?

Another good question. Get in an extra training workout, or sleeping for extra hour would be nice as well.  

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link. 

 

all photos via eric pilon-bignell

 

 

mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

We talk to adventurer and explorer Eric Pilon-Bignell and find out how even the most fearless people need their downtime too.  Eric tells us how, in between ascending some of the world's tallest peaks and spending time participating in high-adrenaline sports including wakeboarding, snowboarding and surfing, he too likes to chill. Keep reading to find out more about Eric's latest adventures, how he likes to relax and when he wears his mahabis.

 

Before we begin, could you describe what you do in one sentence?

Oh wow, good question, can it be one long sentence?

Project7 is the adventure of a life time, in which I will be working on climbing the 7 highest mountain on each continent in an effort to raise money and awareness to help us better understand the most important part of the human body, the Brain. 

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

What has been your most challenging climb?

Still being early in the project, I would say the hardest climb to date was Russia (Mt. Elbrus – 18,513’) which we summited this August. 

What made things difficult was our weather window closed on us. We were expecting to use 4-5 days to summit, taking a few days to do some acclimatisation hikes and a rest day. However a serious weather system was moving in over the last 2-3 days when we were planning to summit, and mountain rescue was informing all teams to call off their summit pushes on those specific days. Meaning we had two options: try to make a 2-day push, or wait a week. 

I was fortunate to be with my friend Vitaly Stegno, who is one of the best guides on the mountain. After assessing the situation and our condition, we opted to try and summit in the next 30 hours.  We did an acclimatisation climb up over 15,000’, came back down to camp (12,500’), ate dinner, tried to sleep for 2 hours or so and left some time around midnight for our summit push. 

If you haven’t seen a sunrise at 18,000’, it’s a surreal experience of this pink and purple sky that emerges from the dark; it’s incredible. We summited that morning, it was awesome.

 

mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell

 

When you're not climbing mountains, hiking or snowboarding, how do you like to unwind?

I don’t have much of an in-between. I am usually super intense in my activities and extremely relaxed and chill in my free time.

I like relaxing with friends and family. I’m going to get big brownie points here, but I like just relaxing with my wife on our patio, in ski villages, by the lake or camping.

 

When and where do you usually wear your Mahabis?

I wear them anywhere, but I would say I wear them most often around the house. 

There is something about disconnecting from all the noise we surround ourselves with in our daily lives. I’m not sure why but putting on slippers helps me reconnect with that and disconnect a little. Plus they are extremely comfy!

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 Eric's choice of mahabis - larvik dark grey x larvik grey sole

 

How do you like to spend your time relaxing when at base camp?

Eating, sitting around talking and drinking tea, and dance parties…I am a terrible dancer! Since it’s difficult to sleep at elevation, we tend to goof around and rock out to music like Nirvana, the Lumineers and Barbra Streisand …don’t ask, long story!

Looking back I have no clue why; it’s strange how you act hyper and funny when you’re really tired, you know what I mean? Anyway, lots of hanging out and chilling. You learn a lot about people when on a long climb. Since you are experiencing new things together you seem to find a connection and confide in each other, and you find yourself talking about things that you might not otherwise normally talk about.

  

What three non-essential objects do you carry with you on expeditions?

A hat (baseball cap style) which I use strictly for when I’m not climbing and just hanging around, and an iPod & iPhone. One could say my mahabis, but I would argue they are not a ‘non-essential item’ because they are multi-purpose. They are great for inside use or even inside your sleeping bag, but if you want to step outside then you can simply throw on the detachable sole!

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

 

How do you relax/celebrate once you have reached the peak of a mountain?

Once I reach the summit, I take it all in for a little while, then turn my attention to the descent. It is funny how quickly my mind turns to focusing on my next challenge.

I really measure the success more based on the experience, making the summit is definitely a nice bonus though.  Once we get back down, I like to eat a nice celebratory meal with some drinks and talk about our summit/adventure!

 

What would be your ultimate mountain to summit?

Cho Oyu, Makalu, and Everest.  An 8000m peak is the ultimate goal for sure, there are only 14 of them in the world, all located in the Himalayas.

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

Where is the most unusual place that you have worn your mahabis slippers?

Oh boy, where haven’t I worn them?! Honestly though, I wear them around my place a lot and if I need to run out, I just pop on the detachable sole.  It sounds strange to think about wearing slippers at a gas station or picking up food but why not be comfy if you can! 

 

 

What would you do with an extra hour in the day?

Another good question. Get in an extra training workout, or sleeping for extra hour would be nice as well.  

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link. 

 

all photos via eric pilon-bignell

 

 

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    Sarah Lopeman
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