WildSnow Girl Fun at Summer OR 2014

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | August 11, 2014      
Salewa launched a beautiful new logo -- more on that in another post.

Salewa has a striking new logo.

I’ll admit it, I love the Outdoor Retailer Show. After years of going to mind numbing governmental accounting conferences, attending OR is like walking into a party for me. The place tingles with people psyched about life and getting out there to enjoy it. Perhaps the dizzying buzz comes from the building — the roof trusses were designed by roller-coaster creator, Kent Seko. Or maybe it’s because I have the heart of a tireless shopper. Regardless, I’ll trek across the million square feet of booth space any day.

The industry is putting more and more focus into mountaineering gear specifically designed for female backcountry ski tourers. I checked out some, as well as several unisex items.

Jeremy Collins has a new focus.

Jeremy Collins has a new focus.

Mountaineer, artist extraordinaire and dear friend, Jeremy Collins’ next grand adventure will be launching a business: Meridian Line. Jeremy’s beautiful drawings have appeared on the covers of Alpinist, National Geographic, Rock and Ice, Trail Runner and Patagonia catalogs. Now he’ll be producing tee-shirts and wood slabs with laser printed images. In his words “Maybe to someone else it’s just a tee-shirt or just a map, but to me art and adventure is the doorway to understanding my place in the world.”

Bravo and good luck! We’re glad of this new avenue for enjoying his tremendous talent.

Over 100 shops placed orders. An online store may be up soon. I’ll update with a link when it’s possible.

Hydro-Flask is lead free, using a glass bead to seal the double wall vacuum (many companies use lead).  They're made with food grade stainless steal with BPA-free, recyclable plastic lids.  No preheating or prechilling is necessary.  They state drinks stay cold for 24 hours or hot up to 12 hours.

Hydro-Flask is lead free, using a glass bead to seal the double wall vacuum (many companies use lead). They’re made with food grade stainless steel with BPA-free, recyclable plastic lids. No preheating or prechilling is necessary. Manufacturer specs state drinks stay cold for 24 hours or hot up to 12 hours.

Hydro Flask gets our mention because of their incredible warranty: their bottles come with a life-time limitless warranty. If you dent it, break the vacuum seal, or even scratch it, they’ll replace it. I don’t know if other companies offer similar deals but the cheapees I usually buy certainly don’t. Lightweight considering its durability, the 32oz wide mouth I have weighs 406gm. MSRP $30.

Manufacturer specs states the fully assembled 74L EC Lync weights under 6lb.

Stated weight of the fully assembled Eagle Creek 74L EC Lync weights under 6 pounds.

How many of you have large, empty suitcases taking up your precious storage space? Eagle Creek has a solution. EC Lync is a line of rolling luggage that is cleverly designed to disassemble and pack down into a compact stuff sack. When traveling, take off the frame of the 36L, 43L, or 62L and use it as a backpack. The 74L converts into a duffel.

Assembly happens in three steps.  Parts are numbered 1-5 to help you figure it out.

Assembly happens in three steps. Parts are numbered 1-5 to help you figure it out. Pair the numbers, snap the pieces together and you’re ready to go.

The color values are off in my photo, but at least I captured His Blogness trying on the Kinesis

The color values are terribly off in my photo, but at least I captured His Blogness trying on the Kinesis Jacket, a hybrid layer combining breathable Polartec Alpha lightweight insulation in the body with a high-wicking micro grid lining in the arms and hood. It’s windproof too.

Women's Eclipse Hooded Tee baselayer.

Women’s Eclipse Hooded Tee baselayer.

Mountain Equipment continues to bring more of their fine products to US shores. I’ve been coveting Coop’s Eclipse Zip Tee Hoodie almost as much as his ski mountaineering trip to Glacier National Park. A women’s Eclipse is now available and I quickly grabbed one. I look forward to comparing it to my favorite lightweight wool baselayers.

Any help with organizing our toy pile is of interest to me.

Gear Tie Dockable Twist 24″ can hold up to 25lbs, not that you’d need it for LaSportiva Nano.

New from Nite Ize: Gear Tie Dockable. The plastic Dock screws into a wall and has a grooved V-shaped opening that grips a Gear Tie at any point you attach it.
The Gear Tie, an oversized rubber twist-tie, has been on the market for a while and can be removed to keep things bundled. Any help with organizing the toy pile is welcomed by me.

I'm not a big fan of skull art.  Thankfully the Doohic Key also comes in a plain version.

I’m not a big fan of skull art. Thankfully the Doohic Key also comes in a plain version.

Even with TSA’s new longer blade rule for air travel, the Doohic Key would be a handy fob on your key chain. It acts as a file, bottle opener, serrated edge, scoring point, and #2 flat head screwdriver. MSRP $8

Black Diamond Carbon Z 120 cm pole folds to just over 15.5" making them easy to stow away in your pack when not in use.

Black Diamond Carbon Z 120 cm pole folds to just over 15.5″ making them easy to stow away in your pack when not in use.

We’ve used Black Diamond’s Z trekking poles and like the convenience of quickly being able to assemble them via the Kevlar cord deployment system. Good to see they continue to be in the lineup. They’re light, a pair of 120 cm Distance Carbon Z poles weighs about 10oz. Features for Spring 2015 are the same as past models. New is flat black powder coated finish. MSRP: $160.

The red and black Pakem "lumber jack" spoke to my inner logger.

The red and black “lumber jack” Pakems speaks to my inner logger.

Since a significant amount of our time is spent wearing packs and ski touring to remote mountain huts, we are always on the lookout for lightweight après–ski booties. Pakems are rubber soled, water resistant and feel as comfortable as house slippers. A pair of women’s size 9 weighs 378 grams. MSRP $70.

The fuel canister can be flipped upside down for use in cold conditions.

The fuel canister can be flipped upside down for use for use in cold weather.

There are a number of multi fuel backcountry stoves available now and I’d have to run a science fair contest to evaluate them all. Optimus Polaris Optifuel is one that burns on any type of fuel: canister gas, white gas, diesel, unleaded fuel, kerosene or jet fuel. A notable feature is that you can switch between fuels without having to change anything on the stove. The stove would be handy for travel in foreign countries where fuel sources may vary. Optifuel has a needle that cleans the jet while cooking so you don’t have to mess with it. Manufacturer specs: 17 oz with the pump and 12 oz without. $180. Available January 2015.

Four C batteries powers the LED monster for 24 hours.

Four C batteries power this LED monster for 24 hours.

Years ago Lou put a powerful flashlight in our truck’s emergency kit. Since then I’ve wanted one for our other car. Sector 5 by Princeton Tec shines 550 lumens bright and is waterproof to 100 meters. Hope we won’t be diving anytime soon with the car, but I never know what Lou has planned. MSRP $109.99.

No, they didn't have wood chopping at the show.  That me at Field HQ testing out the flexibility of the Induction Shell.

No, they didn’t have wood chopping at the show. That’s me at WildSnow Field HQ testing out the flexibility of Black Diamond’s Induction Shell.

Black Diamond jumps into the women’s fashion scene with a new line of backcountry clothing. Winter pieces are being shipped to stores now. The climbing and hiking line will be available spring 2015. I received a sample a few weeks ago — the Induction Shell, a Windstopper softshell. Athletic girls will love the fit: trim with long arms, in rich colors that can be mixed and matched. Induction Shell available fall 2014.

Hybrid Hoody.

She’ll stay warm in the Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody.

Xylitol is used as a sugarless sweetener and is beneficial for dental health. It also keeps you cool. Outdoor Research’s ActiveIce line uses fabric containing xylitol to actively wick sweat, keeping you cooler than if you were wearing nothing at all (but perhaps not quite as interesting). When perspiration hits the fabric, it enhances the cooling sensation on your skin.

Outdoor Research ActiveIce line features caps, balaclava, headbands and sun sleeves.

Outdoor Research ActiveIce line features caps, balaclava, headbands and sun sleeves.

ActiveIce provides UPF 50+ sun protection which is what you need when you’re skiing across the glacier on a sunny spring day. Xylitol also makes dogs depressed so don’t let them eat your new hat.

Lou turns German Beer aficionados onto rice beer.

Lou wraps up the day by turning German beer aficionados onto American rice beer.


12 Responses to “WildSnow Girl Fun at Summer OR 2014”

  1. JimK August 11th, 2014 11:36 am

    Governmental accounting conferences, that sounds tortuous!

  2. Lisa Dawson August 11th, 2014 12:08 pm

    I’m in a better place now for sure!

  3. Rachel Bellamy August 11th, 2014 12:53 pm

    Yesss! So stoked Mountain Equipment made a women’s eclipse hoodie! I’ve been waiting for that! I love the material.

    It looks like a great spread of products there. Wish I could have joined this year!

  4. Rachel Bellamy August 11th, 2014 12:57 pm

    Also, Jeremy Collin’s art is beautiful and very inspiring. Very rad!

  5. Woody from Mountain Equipment August 11th, 2014 3:59 pm

    Ladies – the Women’s Eclipse Hooded Zip Tee will be hitting stores in the next few weeks. Keep an eye on Moosejaw or Backcountry.

  6. Lisa Dawson August 11th, 2014 5:32 pm

    Rachel, hopefully you’ll join us for a show soon. I’d love to introduce you to Jeremy. Your sketch book would impress him!

  7. Lisa Dawson August 11th, 2014 5:32 pm

    Woody, thanks for the update!

  8. Sue August 11th, 2014 7:07 pm

    Like those BD Zzz poles!

  9. mike August 12th, 2014 8:22 am

    There’s no rice in PBR, but there is corn and corn syrup. Cheers!

  10. Lou Dawson 2 August 12th, 2014 9:03 am

    I heard it had a rice adjunct as well… ho hum, I guess I should have been joking around about corn liquor! Thanks for the clarification. Main thing is I was doing everything I could to discourage a German from drinking PBR, that seemed to me to be the ethical course of action. Lou

  11. Paulina August 13th, 2014 12:53 pm

    Great writeup! I’m hoping I can go next year 🙂

  12. Erica August 14th, 2014 3:59 pm

    Just went to MEC the other day after getting back from a lovely week of Kayaking with the two teens on Quadra Island. Hot 35 degree weather and a huge Orca pod to accompany us our last day on the water, what couldn’t be better.

    I tried on the hoodie, super nice and will probably buy it. Just wish they had done brighter colours. Being 53 and just getting into BC from downhilling, I am curious to see if I can find suitable clothes that will keep me warm and dry. Last year purchased the high end Patagonia jacket for $700, what a disappointment. Wind cut through it and froze in it. Tried adding the microfleece to no avail. Jacket is useless on days colder than -20 C, which is pretty much January and February. Layers are just not warm enough, even when I am working hard.

    Hope Helly Hanson comes out with something new for BC, because they at least fit a tall 5’9″ girl weighing in at 160 lbs and keep me toasty.

    What do other women wear? I am older now so don’t stay as warm.

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  Your Comments

  • Jim Milstein: I cleared History and Website Data, which incidentally cleared all that for...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Jim, my automatic mobile theme switcher senses the User Agent of your de...
  • Jim Milstein: Loads briskly on OS X El Capitan. On an iPod Touch 5g (iOS 9.3.2) I had to ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hey everyone, stage 64? of WildSnow website improvements summer 2016 is now...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Al, indeed, personally I prefer just a regular non-adjustable pole for near...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Thanks Bob, I finally got back to editing this. Appreciate you seeing it. D...
  • Doug G: Had the pleasure of attending the Exum climbing school in the middle 70s. C...
  • Al: Had 2 poles replaced under warranty after both failed while touring. First ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: You think that thing could ever happen? Sounds pretty far fetched at this p...
  • Jim Milstein: Could be, Lou, but Red doesn't believe in global warming, so would not be c...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Jim, you're probably right along with the other locals, 10,300 feet in Col...
  • Hacksaw: Colorado First Tracks Heliskiing worked out of Marble back in the day.pack...
  • Jim Milstein: This reminds me of the ill-starred Village at Wolf Creek, which we locals a...
  • John Coulter: I started working construction on 1972 when I graduated from high school in...
  • Brian Lindahl: It looks like the 20L model can't use the refillable cannister. The cannist...
  • Patrick: well for gosh sakes, and thank gawrsh, you've got some Colorado back-countr...
  • Mitch R.: What GPS app for iPhone do you use?...
  • Rick: More ...
  • Martin: For my Canon DSLR I have a 3rd party charger that can charge from USB, 12V ...
  • See: I’ve been playing around with a “6000 mAh Lithium jump starter.” Results so...
  • Louie III: Yeah, luckily the A7 can charge via the micro-usb port on the camera. Unfor...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Caspar, Louie mentioned to me that he was charging the camera with USB and ...
  • Caspar: Hey, how did the Sony a7 charge? With an external AC charger for the batter...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Thanks Mattia, a report here would be valuable. I'd imagine you'll have suc...
  • Mat: Thanks for the reply Lou, I think that the easiest think I can do is to ...
  • XXX_er: "An insider also told me that the litigious nature of the U.S. as opposed t...
  • Dominik: Mattia, Just from curiosity - what size khion do you own? Dominik...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Mat, you are not the first to share with me that their European Khion had a...
  • Mike Marolt: JW had a massive influence on my brother and I. He set the benchmark of wh...
  • Mat: HI Lou, thank for your post, I'm an italian skier and I own a pair of Khio...

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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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Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use. ...

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