Above: Notes from one of Middendorf’s design sketchbooks.
Above: The 2-person Expedition Ledge system in action on the Trango Towers, Pakistan.
Above: Middendorf’s revolutionary 3-person Diamond Ledge system, which can be anchored by both the top and bottom, creating a fixed aerodynamic shelter which no storm can budge. The third person hangs in a hammock suspended from the ledge in the lower compartment.
Left: Diamond Ledge drawing from a patent application.
Above: National Geographic cover, January 1999.
Right: Middendorf’s A5 Portaledges in Baffin Island, from a two-page spread in National Geo
Above: National Geographic Magazine cover, August 1997.
Right: Middendorf designed and built portaledge in action in the Himalaya, from a two-page spread in National Geographic.
Above: Face and back of a new lightweight waterproof/breathable fabric developed by Middendorf in partnership with the filtration company Tetratek. It is a 3-ply laminate of ripstop/PTFE/tricot. Weight: 3.1 ounces/
Clockwise from top left: the A5 Alpine Pack, the A5 Alpine Pack pattern, the A5 haulable backpack, and the world’s first waterproof haulpack designed and developed by Middendorf in partnership with fabric welding companies, using new technology for packs: urethane fabrics and heat-welded
Left: page from the 1998 North Face catalog highlighting Middendorf and his engineering and design abilities. Right: Middendorf in the prototype shop he designed and established at The North Face headquarters (from the film “To the Edge: Canyoneering with John Middendorf.”)