Freestone Equipment is a partnership between friends Pete Hill and Mike Palethorpe and is based in Squamish, arguably Canada’s climbing capital.
Their first product is the Love Handle, which is a handy new tool that offers a unique way to rack your trad gear and quickdraws. It will hit the market this year.
We touched base with Palethorpe after they released their new survey asking climbers about the new Love Handle.
Take the survey here.
How much climbing experience do you both have in the climbing industry and what is your background?
Between us, we have decades of experience in the outdoor retail industry. Hill is a freelance designer and has designed for brands such as Arc’teryx, The North Face, MEC and Lowe Pro throughout his career.
Palethorpe is a product management professional having spent years as a buyer at MEC and now as a general manager at Climb On Squamish.
What products will Freestone roll out this year?
Our first product is the Love Handle, a gear organizer for rock climbers. Pete designed an early prototype years ago, which he had given to friends to use. Recently, those friends were still using their prototypes and claiming how handy they were and that they had stood the test of time. So we got to work on the current Love Handle and are very happy with how they’ve turned out. The curved wood handle is nice to grip, and friendly on worked skin.
They make lifting your rack or draws out of your pack easier than clipping everything together in a big tangle, or to an old sling. And since the majority of climbers are racking directly to their harnesses, the Love Handle is a nice way to stay organized at busy crags. Some of our testers were apprehensive at first but have come back to say they’re actually super handy tools and now live in their packs.
Our focus is on accessories for climbers. Our first goal is to bring the Love Handle to market, but we have plans for follow up products that we feel would be of interest and value to the climbing community.
What advantages are there being based in Squamish?
We’ve both lived in Squamish for years to raise our families and to be close to the rock, the trails and the snow year-round. There is a tight community feeling here, which is growing as more climbers move to the area or visit during the summer months.
We’re able to develop a local business which we’re very proud of, and maintain a close relationship to our community of climbers.
Where will the products be available?
We are just at the pre-launch phase of our website, coming soon at www.freestoneequipment.com. And we have initial interest from some quality specialty outdoor retailers including Climb On in Squamish and a few climbing retailers in the U.S.A.
How can people get in touch with you?
We are on Instagram and Facebook and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from climbers and hope to see you on the rock this spring.