|The buzz was on at Black Diamond — both happy and sad. The new boot line looked good at their booth, and people were testing the things like crazy. I have to say again that it’s amazing BD pulled off creating a boot line pretty much from scratch, and did it in China instead of Italy. The guys who made that happen must have Einstein brains.
Bummer for the BD crew was that one of their athletes, Billy Poole, died this same day while being filmed skiing in Wolverine Cirque near Alta. Condolences from WildSnow to all Poole’s friends and family.
Side note: Louie pointed out that nearly half of BD’s demo skis appeared to be mounted with alpine bindings. OR is ostensibly a trade show about human powered sports, so seeing alpine skis in that quantity was definitely a head turner — especially when just a few years ago all people seemed to talk about at the BD booth were tele bindings. Amazing how things change, or perhaps not so startling? Indeed, it was myself and Dostie at Couloir Mag who years ago predicted fixed heel AT skiing would become the way most people adventure skied. Can’t help but notice it happening… But, alpine bindings?
|Myself (left) with Dynafit’s Reiner Gestner and Steve Romeo. Reiner has to be one of the funnest guys in the industry — his Teutonic air guitar has become legendary. Romeo runs one of the best ski alpinism and rando racing blogs you can find, and he’s one of the friendliest skiers around. We’ve linked to him from the start, and truly enjoy the way our two websites serve to give blog readers such a complete and immediate view of things like OR, and the sport in general. Amazing what the web is doing, eh?
Reiner and Dynafit seem to know how important the web is and the support they’re giving us is incredible. Of course, neither Steve nor I would give Dynafit a second thought if they didn’t have some excellent gear. But in Dynafit’s case, it’s easy to keep it real. That new Manaslu ski really is exceptional (I got this opinion validated by a number of experienced testers), and the boot line just keeps improving as well. By the way, Dynafit’s clothing is rather nice too. It fits rather tight, but perhaps we’ll throw in a few reviews of such sooner or later for those more Euro inclined in their fashion choices.
As for other Outdoor Demo work by our crew: Louie tested a pair of the new Scarpa Skookum 4-buckle boots. He says they’re “a bit less stiff than my alpine boots, but not by much.” He also tested BD Method and Dynafit Zzeus. He says they were not as comfortable as the Skookum on his feet, but were still plenty of boot. For ski testing Louie concentrated on two varieties of fat. First, he grabbed a pair of BD Megawatt, the big gun that has reverse camber on tips and tails. “The Megawatt had so much platform it made powder feel like groom,” he said, “I still got a face shot, but I think I’d normally rather have a ski that got me down in the snow a bit more.” He also tried the Dynafit Manaslu, and agrees that it’s a fine ski and with such a light weight will be a terrific choice in wider plank for those earning their turns.
Lisa concentrated on testing the Dynafit women’s ZZero, her take coming soon. As for me, I have to admit most of my research consisted of tasting crystallized water, then chasing that with hops. But I’ll make up for it today by working the convention hall.