KMC Systems and Austin Lines Take It To The Top

    Medical Manufacturing
    to Mountaineering:
    KMC Engineers Take It To The Top

    Mechanical engineer Austin Lines took us to the unsummited Pt 5318 "Forbidden Mountains" peak

    The VICE Expedition 2013 team displays the VICE flag on the summit of Kyrgyzstan's Point 5318 mountainHave you done something that nobody has ever done before? That's what KMC Systems mechanical engineer Austin Lines and five other Vertical Ice Climbing Enthusiasts (VICE) members did as they summited Kyrgyzstan's Point 5318 mountain. Austin has been with KMC since November 2011, testing and designing medical systems.

    We followed Austin over his 30-day expedition, tracking his journey and receiving daily updates starting from his July 4 arrival in Bishkek. Take It To The Top with Austin as we share his VICE Expedition on our blog

    Q&A with Austin

    We sat down with the mechanical engineer mountaineer before the expedition to learn more about him and this adventure.

    Q. How did you discover climbing, and why did you stick with it?

    A. In high school, my friends introduced me to climbing. We just went to the climbing gym. Then my brother found an old climbing harness in the basement of the dorm that he was an RA in, so I had a harness plus a chalk bag and it also had shoes. Somebody had just left all this stuff down there. So then there’s low initial investment, so I thought why not continue? Then Tufts really continued it, which is where I went to school in Boston. Tufts helped me continue climbing cause there’s a gym pretty close and all the people I knew were in the mountain club and the climbing club.

    Q. What does this climb mean for you?

    A. It’s my first big mountain so it’s a big challenge for myself. I just want to see if I can do it - if I can rise to the occasion. It’s also a good way to reconnect with old climbing buddies. It’s also cool to be able to explore a new place. I’ve always admired explorers, so this is my way of contributing to fleshing out the map.

    Q. The six VICE members are traveling in "fast-moving teams of 2". Who is your partner and what does this partnership mean on the mountain?

    The full moon can be seen from a belay point on Kyrgyztan's Point 5318 mountain
    A. My climbing partner is Rob Gleich, who was my roommate in college for two years. We have teams of two because you need someone to belay you as you’re climbing, so you’re really relying on that one person to save your life – to catch you. Also, on the glacier, if you fall in the crevasse that person has to hold your weight as you try to climb out of the crevasse so they have to be on their game. I really trust all these guys with my life.

    In case you're wondering, Austin said he's never fallen into a crevasse.

    Read the rest of Austin's Q&A on our blog!

    We tracked Austin's expedition on Google Earth. Check out this interactive map to see the route, base camps and peaks.

    We know this module's kinda small. For a gigantic version, look at this post.

    The KMC Systems flag stands before Kyrgyzstan's Point 5318 as the VICE Expedition 2013 team prepares to summit and name the mountain Mt. After You

    Take It To The Top: Medical Manufacturing & Mountaineering

    KMC Systems medical device contract design, manufacturing and support engineers Take It To The Top - of medical engineering and mountains! As mechanical engineer Austin Lines took it to the top of Kyrgyzstan's unsummited Point 5318 mountain, his fellow engineers continued to take your medical device to the top of ISO 13485 and FDA medical equipment standards while saving you time and money through our KMC360® program. For more information, download our KMC360® Brochure.