UNIQLO Brand Ambassador Marin Minamiya Climbs Every Height In LifeWear
UNIQLO Brand Ambassador Marin Minamiya Climbs Every Height In LifeWear
Oct 11, 2017 LifeWear
The climbing prodigy talks her cold-weather wardrobe and what comes next.
UNIQLO Global Brand Ambassador Marin Minamiya is the world’s youngest person ever to complete the Explorer’s Grand Slam. She’s scaled seven summits and battled harsh conditions to be one of the most successful climbers in the world. On a break from her climbing schedule, Marin answered a few questions about her accomplishments, her favorite LifeWear (hint: HEATTECH is a big player in her wardrobe), and what’s next.

Why did you want to do this?
I wanted to find myself. I was lost and didn't know who I was — I didn't know my identity. I grew up in an environment where I spoke English to my friends, Chinese at home, and Japanese everywhere else. Being confused about my nationality has made me uncomfortable since I was 8. At that time, there was a school program, and my friends and I decided to climb a mountain in Hong Kong together. It was intense! I felt so excited by that climb that I wanted to keep going. I went to Nepal and saw Mount Everest, and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I vowed that I would come back and climb it. I started training in Nagano, Japan. I have scaled seven summits, as well as the North and South Pole.

What kind of conditions are you climbing in? How cold is it?
The North Pole was -35 degrees, and the South Pole was, too! The North Pole has 95% humidity, though, so it feels colder — the air is really dry in the South Pole, so it’s not as bad. Hill-looking chunks of ice keep the wind from hitting you, but in Antarctica, it’s open space — you’re the only barrier for the wind. Gusts are about 100 miles an hour.

How much gear would you carry with you? How much does it weigh?
It depends on the day, but usually 55-75 kg, including the sled. My backpack is 30-35 kg if I’m just climbing.

How do you decide what to pack?
UNIQLO HEATTECH is the best quality innerwear — I wear it in nearly all my expeditions. I also wear fleece, BLOCKTECH, and Ultra Light Down — I wear it on mountains up to 6400 meters tall. They’re great quality for a great price, which is perfect for a student like me.
What will you do next?
My next project will be to sail around the world!
Do you have sailing experience?
No! This is a start-to-finish goal, but nothing is impossible.
Aren't you tired after so much activity?
I thought I would be, but I can't stay in one place and rest! My friends say I’m a freight train — always moving!