Hanesbrands Inc. is climbing to new heights. The North Carolina-based company has announced this week that that its Champion and Duofold apparel brands will lead an climbing expedition of Mount Everest in spring 2010 to showcase the company’s R&D innovations and high-tech textiles.

International mountaineer Jamie Clark will head “Expedition Hanesbrands: Climb With Us,” which starts next month with a training climb of Mount Pumori in Nepal, a 23,494-foot-high Himalayan peak.

During the training and actual climb Clarke and his team will test new apparel, including socks, base layer, insulating layer and soft- and hard-shell garments, developed by Hanesbrands. In January, the company plans to unveil a one-of-a-kind summit suit designed to keep Clarke warm and mobile when he climbs Everest, the world’s tallest mountain at 29,035 feet.

The expedition will feature two websites, including Champion’s climbeverestwithus.com site. It features an online community for users to declare their own personal “Everest” and a chance to win $10,000 to fulfill their dream.

Champion was founded in 1919 and produces products from team uniforms and performance apparel to activewear and collegiate gear. Duofold, founded in 1906, is a leader in high-performance base layer apparel.

“Champion and Duofold have a long history of authenticity and innovative apparel,” said Kevin Hall, executive vice president and general manager of outerwear for Hanesbrands. “This expedition is a great way for us to leverage our history and expertise through marketing programs, including engaging and informative websites and consumer contests. By bringing the strengths of both brands together, we are also exploring new cold-weather training gear inspired by the research and development we are doing for the noncommercial apparel Jamie will use high on Everest.”

—Christopher Blomquist