Our Journey.

Named for the most challenging side of the mountain, The North Face has equipped explorers since 1966 to reach their dreams. Driven by the mantra of Never Stop Exploring™, our expeditions inspire us to test the outer limits of performance and possibility.


A Cultural trading post

In 1966, a young climber named Doug Tompkins used his savings to start a revolution. A humble shop in San Francisco soon became a cultural trading post where the Grateful Dead played live, the Beat Generation shared new ideas and a who’s who of American climbers stopped in after traversing Yosemite.


The birth
of backpacking.

Developed as a practical solution for bulky gear, the Ruthsack was one of the first internal frame packs ever created. Lightweight and ultra-functional, the pack revolutionized hiking by making it accessible to all. “Backpacking,” as we know it, was born.


The commitment forward

Since day one, we’ve done business differently. From repurposing surplus Vietnam-era materials, to advocating for wilderness preservation, our choices are aimed at protecting the places that we love. This commitment drives us forward.


Expedition for
the earth.

One of our first sponsored expeditions was a 30-day, 300-mile traverse of the Koyukuk and Itkillik Rivers led by adventurer, Ned Gillette. This journey to Alaska opened our eyes to the construction of the Alaskan Oil Pipeline—prompting a published plea in our 1967 catalog from Friends of the Earth to stop the pipeline and protect Alaska’s wildlife.


A shelter of the future.

Inspired by architect and inventor R. Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller’s theory of sphericity, The Oval InTENTion is introduced, revolutionizing the A-shaped tent. The first of its kind, the tent incorporated maximum efficiency with minimum materials.


The first
true outerwear.

An effort to keep skiers warm in the harshest conditions led to the introduction of GORE-TEX® products in The North Face outerwear line: the first dry, breathable and truly all-condition gear.


A woman's place.

The first all-female team summits 25,504-foot Annapurna. Led by Arlene Blum, it was also the first successful American ascent. Shirts and flags from the trip were emblazoned with the mantra, “A Woman’s Place is on Top.”


The trail
is forever.

Our gear has crossed hemispheres and cultures, becoming a symbol on trails, sidewalks and the highest places on earth. Wherever it shows up, our iconic Half Dome logo is a reminder to celebrate where you’ve been and get inspired by what lies ahead.


Higher slopes.

Extreme Gear, using GORE-TEX® fabric, hits the skiwear market. Squaw Valley skiers Scot Schmidt and the Egan Brothers test the products during their expeditions. Known as the “Extreme Team,” the skiers are often featured in Warren Miller’s ski films.


on mountains.

The Mountain Jacket and Pant are introduced, providing the same level of comfort and motion to climbers and trekkers as skiers. With GORE-TEX® in each piece, the suit is the genesis of an entire expedition apparel line developed with GORE-TEX® weather protection.


The Base
Camp Duffel.

Made of nearly indestructible fabrics and designed to go everywhere, the Base Camp Duffel continues to circumnavigate the globe, survive the world’s roughest airport baggage handlers and be carried by porters, yaks and camels to every region on Earth.


An alliance for
the planet.

The North Face co-founds The Conservation Alliance with REI, Patagonia and Kelty. The group distributes its collective annual membership dues to grassroots organizations working to protect North America’s last wild places.


Iconic fleece.

The Denali Jacket, a zip-in fleece compatible with the Mountain jacket instantly becomes an icon. Lightweight, durable and exceptionally warm, its legend shows up everywhere its worn.


Expedition activated

By making things a lot lighter and more functional, we were freeing people up to go much farther.

– Jack Gilbert, VP of Sales and Marketing, 1968 – 1988


Trans-Antarctica Expedition.

An international team sets off on the first dogsled crossing of Antarctica—an extraordinary feat across 4,000 unforgiving miles. Their mission was to study climate change and raise awareness for Antarctica’s endangered environment. Their outerwear became a phenomenon.


Steep Tech.

The first-ever athlete-inspired ski clothing line takes lift lines and rope lines by storm. Described as “the motocross garment of the mountains, designed for those who live, work and climb in the mountains.”


The Nuptse

Tibetan for “west peak,” Nuptse lies a mile southwest of Mt. Everest and is considered the western peak of this climbing gold mine. Incorporating an innovative construction that decreases down shifting and increases warmth, the Nuptse Jacket instantly becomes iconic.


The Himalayan Suit

This fully baffled down garment for high-altitude climbing becomes the gold standard in the world of thin-oxygen and polar environments. It goes on to take hundreds of explorers to the highest and most frozen paths on Earth.


A Never Stop

"It’s not about the distance, but what there is to discover right in front of me."

– Alex Honnold, Team Athlete


50 marathons.
50 days

Ultra-runner Dean Karnazes completes a record 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. He finishes with the New York City Marathon before running another 3,000 miles back home to San Francisco.


The seven summits.

Kit DesLauriers becomes the first person to ski the apex of every continent—The Seven Summits. Her feat includes an on-foot ascent and on-ski descent of Everest. USA Today declares her Everest feat the “Crowning Glory of a Seven Peak Dream.”


Take flight.

The Flight Series™, a new ultralight and ultra-functional line of running apparel launches, changing the game in the same way that the Oval InTENTion and Ruthsack did for alpinists a generation earlier.


Free the climb.

Alex Honnold stuns the climbing world with his free solo of the Moonlight Buttress in Zion National Park, UT. Five months later, the 21-year old free solos the Regular Northwest Face (VI 5.12a, 23 pitches) on Half Dome in Yosemite, solidifying his status as one of climbing’s legends.


New progression

Perhaps God can save the queen, but only man can save the wilderness.

– The North Face Catalog, 1968


Exploring the future.

The North Face launches the Explore Fund at the 2010 Outdoor Nation Youth Summit in New York City. A grant-giving program with an initial base of $250,000 (increased to $500,000 in 2015), the money supports nonprofit organizations seeking to create a deeper connection between people and nature.


Summiting Meru

Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk make the first ascent of the Shark’s Fin on 21,700-foot Mount Meru in India—considered one of the most challenging and dangerous peaks in the Himalayas. Three events before, the same trio was defeated after 19 grueling days. This time, they successfully ascended after 30 days of climbing.


Powering freeskiing

With deep roots in the freeskiing community, The North Face announces in 2011 that we will take our support a step further by signing an eight-year deal as the founding partner of U.S. Freeskiing and the official supplier of the U.S. Freeskiing Team.


The launch of ThermoBall™.

After events of testing on expeditions including two trips to Meru’s Shark’s Fin and Everest, The North Face launches ThermoBall™, a new type of synthetic insulation that closely mimics down clusters.


Clothes the Loop.

Charting new paths for sustainability and circularity, Clothes the Loop allows consumers to drop off clothing and footwear from any brand, in any condition, at retail stores. This initiative stems from our commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our products.


Down Standard

With a goal of better traceability and animal welfare in the down industry, The North Face creates the Responsible Down Standard and gifts it to the Textile Exchange to administer globally. The North Face applies this standard, meeting RDS certification by 2016.


A level above.

On June 3, 2017, Alex Honnold free solos the Freerider route of El Capitan in three hours and 56 minutes. This breathtaking human achievement is celebrated all over the world, and captured in the Oscar-winning film, “Free Solo”, directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.


Walls are meant
for climbing.

Global Climbing Day marks the culmination of The North Face’s Walls Are Meant For Climbing campaign, a global movement to bring people together through the power and community of climbing


Renewed launched.

The North Face Renewed is created to develop a program to renew, refurbish and recycle used gear. Whether previously worn, returned, damaged or defective, we inspect, wash, and tune it up so it’s ready for that next adventure.


Future of outerwear.

Developed using innovative nanospinning technology, FUTURELIGHT™ is created to offer the first of its kind breathable, waterproof protection. Unlike conventional membranes, the nano structure of FUTURELIGHT™ allows air to pass through.


The future of

What exploration offers is a vehicle for personal transformation.

– Conrad Anker, Team Athlete


Introducing: Explore
Fund Council.

The Explore Fund Council brings together experts from all walks of life to find creative solutions to celebrate all the ways humans explore. Across cultures and communities, The Explore Fund removes barriers so everyone can get outside and benefit from the experience.


The future of trail.

Our most innovative trail footwear technology to date is introduced with VECTIV™, an athlete-tested, lab-proven technology system, designed to maximize energy on the trail. Boldly standing out from what currently exists in the market, a mid-cushion rocker tuned with a 3D Plate maximizes energy on the trail and propels you further.