14 ‘eight-thousand-meter’ mountains, in pencil!
Kukuxumusu’s links with the world of mountaineering has been there ever since the early beginnings of the firm. The elements of adventure, the spirit of achievement and the strong love for Nature which runs through mountaineering has always served as a source of inspiration for us.
We got our first commission way back in 1990, which was to create a design for a trip across the Pyrenees. Some months later, we created a T-shirt design for one of the first Navarra expeditions to reach the top of Everest. That expedition was composed of Pitxi Eguíllor, Patxi Fernández, Mikel Repáraz, Pedro Tous, Juán Tomás Gutiérrez, and Iñaki Ochoa de Olza (later to die so tragically on the Annapurna). Sales of the T-shirts helped to fund that adventure.
Ever since then we have continued to keep our boots on for mountaineering event. Among many projects carried out, there is perhaps one that is especially close to our hearts because of the quality of its protagonist, Sir Edmund Hillary, the first mountaineer to conquer Everest alongside his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay. Sir Hillary collaborated with us on a drawing to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the feat which had taken place on the 29th of May, 1953.
At Kukuxumusu we ‘narrate the event’ with a drawing of an open can of food and on the label there is a drawing of a mountain background, with a caption which written and signed by Hillary himself, which reads as follows: “Mountains are beautiful. Protect them with all your heart”.
‘Mountain Can was our particular homage to all the mountaineers, big or small, who have achieved their dreams, be they humble or great, and who respect their cultural value and who respect their natural environment. In the same spirit, we tackled a similar project, this time with the help of another of the greats, Herr Reinhold Messner.
We celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first solo climb and without the use of oxygen achieved by this charismatic Italian mountaineer, the first man to conquer all fourteen of the ‘eight-thousand kilometer’ mountains. ‘Kalipe’, –was the title of our design and this is an expression taken from Tibetan which means “by foot, always tranquil”– and this was the caption offered to us by Meissner to accompany the drawing and the T-shirt – a metaphor for the passion that is required to reach and conquer the highest peaks in the world.
There have been many mountaineering expeditions which have received some funding thanks to the sale of Kukuxumusu T-shirts. Among these, some collaborations that have been made with the national TV program “Al filo de lo Imposible” (‘On the edge of the impossible’) as well as others with professional mountaineers such as: the Iñurrategui brothers, Juanito Oiarzabal, Ang Rita, Sebastián Álvaro, Edurne Pasaban, Denis Urubko, Simone Moro, Carlos Soria, Joao Garcia, etc.
This passion we share for mountaineering has served for us to immortalize some of the great mountain peaks with our singular style of drawing. Thus, one of the drawings which best sums up the 14 ‘eight-thousand-meter’ largest mountains and which can be found on one of our historic T-shirts made for the woman mountaineer, Edurne Pasaban, from Basque Country, after she had successfully climbed all fourteen of these huge mountains. Pasaban wrote down this following caption to go with our drawing to celebrate her feat: “Siempre he buscado la felicidad y en las montañas he encontrado algo muy parecido”.
We have also collaborated with specialized trademarks in mountaineering material such as Barrabés, which has used our drawings on some of its products. From that collaboration our emblematic “Yetiyak” was born, that is to say, the Yeti as seen by our pencils.