Mount Blackburn 2014 - Kite Surfing Expedition

KOVEA / Sponsorship & Support


 See the movie, here: "Blackburn2014"  


KOVEA & MercatorGear are proud sponsors and supporters of the Blackburn2014 expedition which attempted a groundbreaking and daring kite surf assisted ascent of 4,996m Mt Blackburn, Alaska.

  • KOVEA providing all the stoves, cook wear and lamps for the expedition itself and for extensive training in the Alps.
  • MercatorGear is providing technical assistance on the safe and effective use of KOVEA's high performance stoves in extreme cold and high altitude.
  • Other sponsors include: Mammut (lead sponsor), Hilleberg (tents), Garmin (navigation), Flysurfer (specialist kites), Powertraveller (off-grid power), Adidas (eye wear), Dynafit (skiis), AIRG Products (paragliding)

Mount Blackburn 2014 crew

Above photo copyright Beech Studios - Freinademetz / Bartsch

Flying over base camp (2012 expedition)   

In order to reach Mount Blackburn the expedition set up base camp at 7,200 ft altitude on Nabesna Glacier. A high camp was set up at 9,750ft on the north ridge of Mt Blackburn. Both locations are extremely exposed, cold, and isolated with temperatures dipping, even in early summer, to minus 25 degrees centigrade with the ever present risk of violent and persistent blizzards, white-outs and avalanches.

In the event of an accident, the nearest backup was more than 24 hours away - but only if the weather permits a relief flight by one of a small number of highly experienced mountain pilots who know how to land safely on a remote Alaskan glacier. Going without water in these extreme "off the grid" conditions is not an option. In these conditions, stoves and pots for melting snow, cooking and hydration are a critical life support system. 



The expedition was filmed by highly experiened extreme sports camera team from Beech Studios in Munich ( The resulting documentary will be entered into the 2015 European Mountain Film Tour.

In November 2014 an extensive photo-feature article about the Blackburn 2014 was published in You can view the stunning pictures and read about the expedition here.

The adrenallin-fuelled film of the team's 2012 Alaskan expedition can be seen here: 

Adrenallin-fuelled video from 2012 kite surfing expedition to Alaska

The 2012 expedition was covered in print, TV and online media in 34 countries and reached millions of outdoor and extreme sports enthusiasts;

  • 8.8 million printed pages in magazines
  • 5 million clicks on 54 websites
  • was the most successfull report with 1.3 million clicks on the first day

Further details of the 2012 expedition is available here:

 KOVEA Booster +1 multifuel stove used for snow melting and cooking

Expedition Objectives

Mt. Blackburn in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve covers an area larger than Switzerland. It stretches from one of the tallest peaks in North America, Mount St. Elias (5489m) to the ocean. Less than 50 parties have been on the summit of Mt. Blackburn since the first ascent in 1958. No one has ever kited up or speed-flown down. The expedition team will be making the first ever attempt.

Mt. Blackburn (4996m) and the surrounding area with Atna Peak (4225m), and Rime Peak (3762m) offer some of the most diverse and ideal terrain for the combination of classical and extreme mountain sports. Mount Blackburn is the fifth highest peak in the United States, and is situated right next to the largest interior valley glacier of the world. Three major Alaskan peaks within range of the base camp on Nabesna Glacier pose three different goals to accomplish with a much wider range of possible wind directions and weather conditions. The peak of Mt. Blackburn, the primary goal, can be kited from the middle of the Northwest ridge on and all the way over to the East summit of Mt. Blackburn.

In 2014, the team will be bolstered by two expert mountaineers and kiters: Andreas Hillmer MD, and Samuel Stotz MD. Their extensive classical mountaineering skills, combined with the extreme-sports skills of former German and Junior Snow-kiting World Champion, Sebastian Bubmann, along with the speedflying skills of specialist Philip Kuchelmeister will provide a huge new range of possibilities to scale and conquer this trio of formidable mountain peaks.

Blackburn 2014 team checking out gear from KOVEA and other sponsors at ISPO 2014

At ISPO Munch 2014, members of the Mount Backburn 2014 team checked out gear from KOVEA and other sponsors.

See video 


You can can keep up with the guys and their kite enabled adventures at their new website: