AAO Filed Under:
Here it comes! Trade show season is coming on fast! We are starting to schedule for the season and i will be contacting you shortly. However, if you would like to get in contact with me, i would be happy to put you on the schedule! Look forward to seeing all of you soon!

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Gillam's Road Report

AAO Filed Under:
Another week on the road with great news from all. The first stop was the ABS Comp at ISU. There was almost 100 participants. Good job Chad and all of the Rec staff at ISU for pulling this off.

Then the next week found AAO in the Minneapolis area and Sandstone Ice Fest. The recent cold snap seems to be a great help with sales. The displays are looking great and looks like product is selling. I got a chance to stop by a lot of the stores and do a few clinics for those of you missed out during our last trip through.

Towards the week found me at Sandstone Ice Fest during the first really cold snap of the season. The thermostat ready a blistering -18. But the climbing was good and a good turn out. Good Job Tony and all who made the fest happen. Looks like the climbing will be good all throughout the season up there.

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Fall 08 Marmot line report!

AAO Filed Under:
The Fall 08 preshow season is well under way and we have some great feedback on the line so far. The colors have been getting great feedback so far, with a strong fall palette in both men's and women's. So what is new?

*Pricepoint Gore and Membrain shells as well as new components with upgraded shell fabric

*A new Eco-Story piece in every category

*Updated Softshell collection

*Expanded Insulation for Men and some new trend pieces for women

*A new Wool Tech program with boiled wool and recycled wool in lieu of sportswear

*New wool baselayer with our Cocona material- a Marmot fabric exclusive!!

*An expanded kids line

*A New glove collection- total overhaul on the glove offering

*A Back-to-School bag program with a 58% margin!


Strongest colors for men: Twilight/Tempest/Northsea combinations are great

Terra/Raven and Inca/Raven are beautiful, rich colors

The Forest/Dk Cedar/Hedge combos are going over well

Fire/Cardinal is carryover and still very strong

Color concerns: The terra/bonfire is not as strong in the softshell

Strongest colors for women: Auburn/Kashmir is a nice, bright fall red/orange

Port/Espresso/Cinnamon/Raven are all great rich fall colors

Wasabi is a nice fall green and Chive is strong again

Southsea is replaced by a greyer blue in Oasis for fall

***note: Espresso is more of a port, not a brown. The rich brown for fall is Raven

Shell Highlights:

- The Exum just won National Geography's 2008 "Best of Adventure Gear" award and also is the best selling Gore piece in our 30+ year partnership with Gore

- The Torre is a full stretch PRO shell (*note- the workbook does not show that this is PRO, but it is)-great contrast stitch as well

- The Palisades will show up on our favorites list- it is a Zippin compatible Gore piece for under $300!

- The Storm Front is our new Membrain shell for under $200! It is a great face fabric and mesh venting panels on the inside.

- The Men's and Women's Components were upgraded from PreCip face fabric to Membrain, for just a minor price increase (*Note: the M's Ridgetop Comp. is the only place in the Men's line with a fleece component piece)

Softshell Highlights:

- Sharp Point is still our #1 selling and the Gravity is still our #2

- The Moran jacket is last year's Snaz, which is a great Polartec 4-way stretch softshell built on the same lines as the Super Hero- great success here

- The Kingpin is the Moran with a fixed hood and pit zips, a great addition to the line

- The Super Hero's hood switched from PreCip to softshell

- The Andromeda is a Windpro piece that has a printed Jacquard fleece on the inside- beautiful

- The Ultima jacket is a lighter weight softshell that is UpCycle fabric with a Cocona lining

- W's Snazette has been gaining success and we added the Reyna, the fixed hood piece, in the women's category

- W's Janna is our women's UpCycle piece, light weight and beautiful lines

- The furlong has an amazing update this season with a fully lined, updated faux fur that looks and feels like rabbit. We also took the fur off of the cuffs and hem, and added a vest...all strong colors, great new jacket!

Insulation: 11 new designs here!
- The Iceland Jacket is an urban inspired, mountain quality down piece with 800 fill and urban storage pockets

- The Zeus is one we are VERY excited about. This is the component to the W's Venus, the 800 fill light down sweater is amazing in all colors!
- The Ellsworth Jacket is last year's flurry with a fixed hood and two way zipper
- The Ace Jacket is a bomber style jacket with Membrain face fabric and a great pocket set
- The W's Chelsea is a long, down piece with zip off fur/zip off hood design. Great canvas texture to face fabric
- W's Ignition is last year's Mountain down with great fashion friendly style lines
- W's Allure is a Primaloft Sport piece with softshell around the bottom, a great sporty synthetic piece
- W's St. Mortiz is a synthetic quilted casual jacket with fixed fur (*note: the fur on the black and espresso will be black)
- Going on the success of the Kitzbuhel vest, we added a Kitzbuhel jacket in great colors!
*note: some start dates are later (9/15/08)

- The Torrid is a hardface power stretch piece, great tech jacket and layering piece
- The Exergy jacket is a 64% wool/poly blend that is really resonating this season. A great full zip wool piece
- The Taos is a Polartec Wind Pro shell with a Sherpa lined collar- very stylish and functional!
- W's Carabella Hoody is like the Men's Exergy, with a wool/poly blend. However, here we get a reversible piece with a great soft knit print
- The W's Flair hoody and jacket is a super soft plush velour fleece...super yummy!

- The first two Men's styles, the Davos and Saxon, are boiled wool pieces for a thicker, less pilling piece- great colors and texture
- The Geo is a 9 gauge half zip with contrast stitch- this piece marks the start of our recycled wool story
- The Ozero is a 14 gauge crewneck with contrast stitch
- The Hemlock is a boiled wool Women's piece, similar to the Davos
- The W's Isa is one of our favorite pieces for fall. It is a 9 gauge hoody with thumbholes and exaggerated ribbing- super cute!
- The W's Nara is a half zip version of the hoody, with 3 inch side zips
- The Vars is a 14 gauge half zip with contrast stitching...a favorite!

Snowsports: all ships here start 9/15/08
This year, texture is the thing in snowsports! Each component is not only has a tactile, but also visual texture as well. Jackets are equipped with the ski feature set: zip off powder skirt, goggle and ipod pocket and removable hood. All pants are going to be a looser cut in general to accommodate the trend.
- Tower 8 is a crosshatch pattern with full zip out Marmaloft liner
- Sidewall is a herringbone texture with two tone liner and a matching pant- also comes in a fixed insulation piece
- Gunsight is a heavy canvas texture (think Carhartt) with a lighter liner-also a fixed insulation piece here
- Spellbound is a component with a vest- unlike in the Women's, the men's does not have insulation in the sleeves- also no zip off powder skirt here
- Cargo pant is still our #1 selling pant
- W's Starlet is a down bomber style jacket with fixed powder skirt and great "tv static" pattern!
- W's Shooting Star is a linen like fabric with a cute synthetic liner
- W's West Run is a great textured fabric with contrast stitching and the plush velour fleece liner- such a cuddly sumptuous piece!
- #1 selling pant here is the W's Insulated Chamonix Pant, the Glade softshell is a great one as well

The baselayer program gets an update this season with the addition of the wool/cocona layers. This amazing product is a wool face fabric, cocona lined piece that wicks and dries 25% faster, has a natural UPF of 40+ and has a permanent, rechargable anti-order. For this and the rest of our baselayer, we are heavily invested in this program and will continue to have a great inventory. If you are in need of baselayer now, we have stock available!

First note here is that all kid's styles are available from XS-XL (XS-4-5; S-6-7; M- 8; L-10; XL-12)
We expanded this category to include a couple of snowsports pieces, a down piece and a few new fleece pieces. We also have 3 waterproof/breathable gloves/mitts for the little ones ranging from $18-30!

That is the rundown. Obviously nothing beats a showing, so we look forward to seeing you all at OR/SIA/ORA...but until then, get your orders in!

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Preshow Season FA08 Begins!

AAO Filed Under:
Well, we are back online again after a few weeks without a post! We are back on the road again, as well, starting our FA08 preshow tour in Marquette, MI...and were greeted by snow!
We actually started the week with a quick trip to Kansas City before heading north to Michigan, and then due West toward Fargo. Nothing like casing the far reaches of the territory to start!
On our way to fargo, we got a chance to stop at a few dealers in Duluth, it was actually on the way!! We had a great time on the way through and made it out of town without one incident! We did drive by our fateful parking spot, parked on the street next and armed the super duper crazy loud, make you scream and pass out alarm and went into W-Trek. Take that, Meth heads!!
Here is some of the great FA07 line-up. Speaking of that, look for our Top Ten in categories for FA08!!
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FOUND...sort of

AAO Filed Under:
So, in following up on the ROBBED report, the Duluth Police raided a meth house last week and found 80% of our things! Yeah, no cameras for me though. Just wanted to let you guys know we are slowing getting back to speed! I still have plans for the holiday selling guide, so be on the lookout! Thanks!

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AAO Filed Under:
Well, normally i would post a picture along with this blog...maybe of our empty truck save a few jackets and a headlamp. Or of the front seat with just our catalog case. Or a picture of Brian looking forlorn with his pockets hanging out...but i can't. We were robbed on Thursday night while in Duluth, MN and the worst part is, we were there for a dZi foundation fundraiser.

Brian was showing his slide show of Pakistan (on a computer that is gone, along with all his stuff from his trip) as a fundraiser for the dZi foundation. It was going VERY well. The slideshow was amazing, funny and entertaining. We raised $212.50! With the matched donation from Marmot, that was going to be $425 to the cause, and it was our first one! We packed up, went to dinner and when we came back everything was gone. Money, computers, clothes, gear, swag, our vitamins (i know, what?), ipods, phones, all of it.

Many things can be replaced, but we are sorely missing our computers with all of our work and pictures on them. Especially Brian, who did not have back-ups from Pakistan. So, if anyone sees a guy walking around Duluth, MN wearing a yellow Exum jacket...knock him over!

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AAO Filed Under:
Hey guys, just a quick reminder on a few things we have going on:

Clinic tours- we are currently out on clinic tours. If you would like a clinic and have not been contacted yet, please email to get one on the books!

dZi foundation fundraiser- We are currently booking times for this fall and next spring for Brian to come to your store and give a K2 slide show presentation and help raise awareness for the dZi foundation! This is a great opportunity for you to have a fun customer event and raise money for a great cause! Email Vanessa today to book your even!

Marked Change- Karakoram Pen Drive- also, we are getting the final organization in place for this, but you can start collecting pens now to benefit school children in the Karakoram region.

Preshow Fall 08- We are starting our plans for Preshowing Fall 08 now! We will be contacting you shortly for appointments. Also, look for new sales tools to help you write for the best discount coming soon!

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Birthday Extravaganza-Happy Birthday, Sunday!!

AAO Filed Under:
The very next night after Sue's birthday, we celebrated Sunday's!! And, once again, Dylan needed to help Sunday blow out the candles on her carrot cake...yum!
Brian and Sunday investigate her loot, a beautiful set of earrings from Sue and Howard...very beautiful. She also got a digital camera from Brian! Nice!!
A Happy Birthday shot of the boss and the birthday girl!
All the girls, modeling the new swag hats, very cute!
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Birthday Fun with Grandma!!

AAO Filed Under:
Every birthday part has to come complete with fun and games...and of course, quality time with Grandma. Happy Birthday, Sue!
What could be more fun than a balloon?
A game of hoops filled in the afternoon while we waited for dinner...H-O-R-S-E, anyone? Jesse, Brian's brother-in-law giving it his all.
Brian shot pretty well, in the, giving Jesse a run for his money!
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Birthday Extravaganza-Happy Birthday, Sue!!

AAO Filed Under:
Last Sunday, Brian, Sunday, Howard (Brian's dad) and Brian's sisters family all came together at the HQ to celebrate Sue's birthday! We had an amazing day, starting with decorating the house with streamers and over 50 balloons!She was so suprised and excited! This is Brian showing me he can carry more balloons than i can!
Sue talking to Brian after discovering the house covered in birthday glee. We had a great breakfast that morning and then set to making the birthday dinner straight away!
Sunday snuggles up to Dylan, Brian's nephew.
Laura, Brian's sister, with her two boys...such a great party!!
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Birthday Extravaganza Cont.

AAO Filed Under:
Our wonderful meal together ended with a Ghiardelli cheesecake, handcrafted by Sunday. Of course, Dylan had to help grandma blow out the candles!
Always the poser, Dylan sits with Uncle Brian, enjoying the new present from all of Sue's kids...the new Nano!
the stylish new nano, nestled in the speakers that Sunday purchased for Sue, this was definitely a gift we all will enjoy! Dance party, anyone?
And the Happy Birthday/Thank you flowers from her AAO road rats! Happy Birthday, Sue!
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Clinic tour- Fall 2007

AAO Filed Under:
Brian, are you this excited for clinic season to be starting? Of COURSE!!! Clinics are in full swing! This year we are bringing you a few new things to look forward to like ...THE GREAT SWAG???? Well, yes, but also a personlized clinic with your product featured in informational cards that will be left behind as a training tool for your staff. Also, don't forget to get logged into 3point5. It is a great learning tool for your staff to continue the Marmot education process. We look forward to being in your city and store soon!
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Lewis and Clark Marathon in St. Louis

AAO Filed Under:
On Sept. 14 and 15th, Brian and Vanessa headed down to STL to attend the annual Lewis and Clark Marathon put on by Fleet Feet. They met up with Superfeet sales manager, Joel Stern, to spend the weekend promoting and selling product. It was a beautiful weekend and we sold more than we thought possible!! It was a great event overall and we are always excited to help spread the word about the benefits of Superfeet! Happy feet, happy people!

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First Slide Show presentation!!!

AAO Filed Under:
So, we have the first slide show presentation scheduled! It will be up in Luck, WI (about 45 minutes northeast of Minneapolis) on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 8pm. It is being held at a great coffee shop up there called the Wren, one of our favorites. If you are in the area and would like to come and need directions, just visit We would love to see you there!

More showings will be posted in the weeks to come! The next two after that are:
Thursday, Oct. 4th in Duluth, MN at W-Trek Outfitters at 7pm
Thursday, Oct. 11th in Madison, WI at Fontana Sports on State Street at 6pm

We would love to schedule one with additional stores as well, so contact Brian today! If you have any questions or would like to attend and need additional info, please contact Vanessa! Thanks, have a great day!
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Leadville 100-2007!

AAO Filed Under:
Well, this year at the Leadville 100 started beautifully! Brian felt very strong after all his time at altitude in Pakistan, so he was ready to take on the course! Unfortunately, the race did to continue as well. Brian broke his ankle hiking into K2 basecamp this summer, and without a proper set, it was not ready to handle the running abuse. At mile 24 (the fish hatchery), he had to call it quits for this year, warranting himself a walking cast for the last 6 weeks! Hopefully the doc will get his ankle fixed and all will be on task for next summer: the hostile takeover of the Leadville 100 by AAO...Anton who?
Sunday and I did take a minute to drink in the beautiful sunrise coming up over sleepy Leadville.
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The Fish Hatchery Aid Station, Mile 24

AAO Filed Under:
Between the last aid station and this one, Brian lost his shirt and 40 pounds! No, this is not Brian. This is Anton Krupicka, a.k.a. Jesus, the second time first place winner of the Leadville 100. This guy is an animal, finishing in 16:14:35, a whole 3 hours before anyone else came in!
This year at the race, we had a few more friends to talk to! Peter Grimes, the Montrail rep before we were, and his lovely wife Jen were out, giving the race their all.
This is Pete's friend Joel, who also gave it the old varsity try. They will be making a play for a 50 mile run here in just a few weeks. Good luck guys!
Jen provided excellent crewing...but terrible Hope Pass got these guys as well. Next year will be the triumphant tour de force of Midwest runners!!
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The afterparty

AAO Filed Under:
What does one do at a time like this? Surround yourself with friends and vicodine, of course! Party on the lawn! What's that you say? it still hurts? Well then, add some whiskey! Brilliant!
Here comes Kyle up the fish hatchery! See Kyle. See Kyle Run. Run Kyle Run! Our boy made a smashing play for the finish again this year, but he and a group of about 10 guys found themselves off course at one point and thus, missed the cut-off and were disqualified.

But Kyle, what is that you are carrying? The Marmot Kompressor? Yes it is...the latest in fall fashion, the Kompressor is once again hot on the scene with its lightweight, minimal design and easy functionality...perfect for a hydration pack, small personal items, or an upgraded compression sack for your sleeping bag. Kyle, you stylish devil!

Alas, it will once again be "next year" that is course is conquered and both heros return to Iowa victorious. As for now, this is Vanessa Hohn, signing off and wishing you all champaign wishes and caviar dreams!
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K2 Slide Show series to benefit the dZi foundation!

AAO Filed Under:
The dZi foundation is a very unique organization that was created by two avid climbers who were compelled to give back to the people in the places they had climbed in for so many years. These cultures were so giving and wonderful, but needed help.
Jim Nowak started the dZi Foundation to create sustainable programs to offer things like dental and medical care, education and nutrition to regions in the Himalayas. One thing that makes the organization so unique is their small overhead- with low administrative and fundraising costs, this humanitarian cause gets straight to the heart of the issues, and gives help directly at the source.
Marmot has long recognized the benefit of this organization and matches any donations given toward their operation and execution costs.

This fall, AAO is offering a unique opportunity for your store to get involved in this great project. Brian is currently putting together a slide show of his trip to K2 from this past summer that we will be touring around the territory this clinic season. This slide show presentation can either be set up as an in-store show for staff only or a formal customer base show. Either way, we are asking a minimum $5 donation that will be sent into the dZi Foundation and backed by Marmot, to further raise awareness and funds for this great cause.
If your store is interested in participating in this opportunity, please email Vanessa at so we can get you set up with a time and a marketing kit to make this a very successful and educational fundraiser.
For more information on the dZi foundation, visit or

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...stories of perilous, nay, endless traveling in the ever changing midwest territory...