Merging of Theory and Bier — ISSW 2018 PART 3

By Lou Dawson 2 | November 14, 2018  

Post sponsored by Cripple Creek Backcountry, now with three locations in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

My last highlights post regarding ISSW (International Snow Science Workshop). Interesting discussion material buried below, persevere!

First thing: a shout out our friends at Backcountry Access, makers of the excellent Tracker beacons and so much more. They’ve been publishing a series of safety videos with a younger slant, covering the basics of staying alive while recreating in avalanche terrain. Eternal denizen of BCA, Bruce Edgerly, presented one of the vids as his segment of the ISSW conference. He said they’re using an educational concept, “peer to peer communication,” to reach their target audience. I picked an exacmple as follows, see what you think. Too hokey? Fun? There is one blooper in there, see if you can spot it as an educational exercise. The entire series is here.

Freeride vs, Freedead, Pyrenees
Next in our video lineup, this one was not so wonderful. I wish I could share it. But it’s not public as far as I know (though we’ll be using it for a presentation at the Mountain Rescue Aspen community avalanche seminar Jan 18, 19). Worth summarizing: Resort skiers with head-cams recorded the whole sordid chaotic mess of what appears to be a fatal or close-call avalanche burial within resort boundaries. A crowd gathers, people run around in a disorganized mob, digging with their hands. Overall disturbing. Lesson: don’t get buried if many people are around, the cluster will take too long to find you. There is no strength in numbers, especially with untrained under-equipped people.

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Outdoor Retailer Winter Show Overview — 2018

By Lisa Dawson | November 12, 2018  

This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry

LaSportiva Italian design

I can always spy Italian design by the classy look. LaSportiva is a good example. Their jackets fit well and look more stylish than the average puffy, somehow eliminating that stuffed sausage look. Misty Primaloft jacket, 100% recycled polyester with Primaloft Silver Active insulation.

Wood core makes these skis new.

Wood core makes these skis new.

As seasoned readers know, the WildSnow team typically covers the Outdoor Retailer Show in January each year. This year the organization is calling the January show, the “Snow Show,” and they added a “Winter Show” in November which Lou and I attended for a day. The show was mostly apparel and shoes, and being a bit of a clothes horse, I enjoyed it. One retailer, La Sportiva, snuck in some skis and gave us an update on their 2019/2020 line. The preview made me forget about getting a new jacket for the season…well, almost.

Available fall 2019, the carbon nano tube construction of the Vapor Float, Vapor Nano and Vapor Svelte will be reinforced tip to tail with strips of poplar wood core material. This adds several hundred grams per pair, but will make the Vapor ski line stronger (they’ve had durability problems). They should ski better too. Lou says the new build will still keep the 178 Svelte in the “one kilo” weight class, albeit just barely (catalog weight for the 188 cm is 1,300 grams).

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Ski Touring News Roundup — G3, Scarpa, Everest, More

By Lou Dawson | November 9, 2018  

We are in Denver, Colorado at the moment, attending Outdoor Retailer trade show. The weirdness of the trade show scene continues to manifest. Instead of one monster show, as ISPO Munich provides*, “across the river” here in the U.S. we get a fractured scene that’s got everyone hopping. I’ll not waste space on a detailed B-to-B commentary, main point is this might be the death convulsions of the trade show concept.

G3 Minimist Speed is 100 percent mohair plush.  Glide and Universal models are nylon, and a 70/30 mo-ny mix. Numerous lengths and widths.

G3 Minimist Speed is 100 percent mohair plush. Glide and Universal models are nylon, and a 70/30 mo-ny mix. Numerous lengths and widths.

Not that trade shows will go away entirely. But my crystal ball says that in terms of media relations and retail order generation the shows might fall to other approaches such as one-on-one meetings and small confabs.

For example: last evening. Neither Scarpa nor G3 paid the ridiculous cash-per-square-foot the show producers rob for a show booth. Instead, G3 and Scarpa rented a wonderful venue a few blocks away, invited a mob of journalists and a pod of dealers, then had fun with their captive audience. All enhanced by a nice catered meal, open bar and the sort of junket stuff that you guys know we WildSnow elite employees seek out like we’re shoveling gold on the Klondike.

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  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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