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Black Diamond Equipment

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Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. is a company in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, that produces climbing and outdoor gear. Black Diamond was founded on December 1, 1989 when the assets of Chouinard Equipment Ltd. were purchased by Peter Metcalf, Maria Cranor, Meredith Saarinen, Hong Kyu Kwak, plus other former Chouinard employees and a few outside investors. Birth of the new company was facilitated by the generosity of Yvon Chouinard in extending deadlines, until financing could be arranged.

During the late 1980's, Chouinard Equipment Ltd. was the target of several liability lawsuits, mostly the result of non-climbers using the equipment for non-climbing purposes. Yvon Chouinard placed the company in Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 1989.

On founding, the company was located in one end of the Patagonia warehouse in Ventura, California. The company moved from Ventura to Salt Lake City, Utah on September 1, 1991.

Black Diamond established itself as a maker of high quality climbing gear and backcountry skiing gear. Black Diamond manufactures climbing gear in a Salt Lake City facility (including carabiners and climbing protection), has gear manufactured to specifications elsewhere, and distributes other brands in the United States, including Beal Ropes and Fritschi Diamir backcountry ski bindings. Black Diamond purchased Bibler Tents and Ascension Enterprises to add to their line of mountaineering and backcountry skiing products.

Black Diamond prides itself on developing innovative new equipment, but also, as advocated by Yvon Chouinard, on giving back by supporting conservation and advocacy groups like The Access Fund, The Nature Conservancy, The Utah Avalanche Forecast Center, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, The American Alpine Club, and other climber and skier oriented non-profits.


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