Yaktrax on

AAO Filed Under:
Chill Gear: Cool Stuff for Cold Days
(© Yaktrax)
It doesn’t matter how deep the treads run on your winter shoes — rubber will still slide on slick surfaces. But with a pair of Yaktrax strapped to your soles, ribs of steel coil bite into ice and snow to provide reliable traction. Think of the Yaktrax as a sort of urban crampon, but without the spikes.

The light-duty Walker model is good for casual, confident steps across icy parking lots and sidewalks, while the heavy-duty Pro (pictured) is designed for active outsiders. Taken on a test run, Yaktrax Pro allowed for natural strides while jogging on patches of ice and dry pavement alike. Even the Museum of Modern Art, crediting the Yaktrax design, has acknowledged these traction devices are good for the sole. Just be sure to peel them off your foot before you shred your way across a nice hardwood floor.

Shop: Yaktrx

For more info: Yaktrax

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Go Osprey!!

AAO Filed Under:
Happy December! This post serves as a reminder to check out the Osprey Media Blog. Osprey had some great media hits in the first week of December. Some highlights include:

• Men’s Health featuring the Exos 46
• Backcountry Magazine highlighting the Variant 37
• American Way Magazine including the Variant 28 in their Holiday Gift Guide
• Backpacking Light’s long-awaited review of the Exos - video posted on the Media Blog

Here is the address to the Osprey Media Blog:

In late November Osprey’s Exos 58 was presented with a 2008 Best of Adventure award from National Geographic Adventure Magazine. Attached is the press release announcing this prestigious award. Go Osprey!

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Love to Run? Run with SOLE!

AAO Filed Under:
love to run? love to train? the SOLE DK+ works with the Nike+ system to make sure you can use your favorite shoe and favorite insole with this revolutionary training tool!

It is really simple. Basically, the customer purchases the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit, ( ) but instead being forced to use it in a Nike+ shoe, they can pop it into the compartment in the bottom of the SOLE DK+ and use it in any shoe. The SOLE Custom Footbed DK+ only provides a compartment to use the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit technology.

At Summer OR 2007, we had one of the previous Nike+iPod designers stop by our booth and was really impressed. He reiterated to us that most other Nike+ iPod Sport Kit technology (such as the cases that attach to the laces) places the Nike+ sensor at the wrong angle and hence measures the movement and impact of the foot inaccurately, therefore not giving an accurate reading. With the SOLE DK+ compartment, if calibrated with the footbed, actually gives you as accurate of a reading as it would in a Nike+ shoe.

The main caution when using the NIke+iPod Sport Kit with the DK+ is that putting something the size of the sensor under the arch can be uncomfortable to those will small or flat feet.

For more information check out our website

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OBoZ review in Mountain Gazette!

AAO Filed Under:

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Meet the New Guy- Jon Jugenheimer's bio

AAO Filed Under:
I was born in Madison Wisconsin and grew up in this hipster college town before leaving to get a degree in geology from The University Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2007.
Between living in Madison, Oshkosh, and then in Indianapolis I have been in the outdoor industry since 2001 working in multiple quality outdoor gear shops for the last seven years. I got my start at Erehwon in Madison WI and since then I have also worked at Fontana which is also in Madison, Mountain Bay in Appleton WI, and The Extreme Outfitters in Carmel IN. Through this time I have met a lot of awesome people and have been to a lot of great places doing what I love.

I have many outdoor interests from sea kayaking every summer in Gitchigumi, tele skiing in Big Snow Country, Fly Fishing Wisconsin waters, to ice and rock climbing across the continent. Through all of this I managed to Become WFR certified and an AMGA top rope cite manager. I have also written an ice climbing guidebook to a Michigan classic area located within the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I would have to say that ice climbing is what I am most passionate about. I started ice climbing in 2001 on a trip up to a local quarry in Wisconsin with a few people that I worked with at Erewhon, I was hooked for life. If I remember correctly I bought tools the very next day! This experience changed my life, as this is when I fell in love with climbing and started to fill up the odometer on my car with climbing trips, and I haven’t looked back since.

Although I love to travel to the mountains for new adventures, I am a Midwestern kid at heart, always was and always will be. So If you ever want to hang out on the side of a cliff, drink a fine single malt 16 year old Scotch and have a good time, I’ll be there waiting for you to arrive.

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END Recent PR!

AAO Filed Under:
Trail Runner, December 2008
“This lightweight trail shoe from END’s debut line promises the best of two worlds – green materials and high performance design – and it delivers….The Stumptown 10 oz. is ideal for runners with a neutral footstrike who like a soft, responsive shoe. Need more support? Try the Stumptown 12 oz.”
(not online yet, link to JPG)

WEND Online, November 2008
“When you pick up a pair of End shoes, it’s immediately clear how different they are from everything else on the market. They feel drastically lighter and the aesthetic of the shoes is streamlined; only a few colors and a basic but distinct design give the shoes a look that certainly comes off as cool.”

WEND, November 2008
END’s Stumptown 8.5 oz. and WOW (‘Walk On Water’ debuting on January 5th) looking sexy on authentic outdoor models in WEND’s Survival Kit, Volume 3, Issue 4. We’re framing these shots for the office!
(not online yet, link to JPG)

Running Times, November 2008
“Designed with a minimalist construction, many recycled materials (including laces and portions of the outsole and midsole), bamboo-infused linings, non-toxic glues, reduced manufacturing energy and less packaging.”

National Geographic Adventure, October 2008
“Another strategy is to design a shoe that require fewer plastics, glues, and excess components. Such is the mission of END Footwear, an upstart brand with a lofty goal: pioneer a new age of outdoor gear products with an environmentally neutral design.”

Portland Monthly, October 2008
“All END shoes use bamboo fibers in their liners, and the laces and webbing are made from recycled soda bottles. Moreover, the shoes use 30 to 50 percent less material (like webbing and padding) and less glue than the typical running shoe, creating a lighter sneaker (10 ounces, compared to most others, which weigh between 12 and 15). The price is little light too…”

Running Intelligence, October 2008
“The shoes are made in China, and Estey (Andrew Estey, END co-founder) says “END has taken great steps to streamline the manufacturing process. It takes 300 hands to manufacturer the typical running shoe. Our shoe requires only 150 hands. Less manpower means less electricity and less consumption of energy.” END is also working toward a goal by 2010 that all components in its shoes are sourced within 100 miles of the factory. “China has been a problem in this, but we are working towards being part of the solution.”
(No link on this one)

Footwear Intelligence, October 2008
“It (Stumptown 12 oz.) is a lightweight, multi-purpose shoe with added flexibility that retains its stability overall. Design elements include the absence of a heel cup, less foam, fewer seams and lighter weight mesh. SRP $80.”
(No link on this one)

American Way, September 2008
“Debuting this month, this astonishingly light boot (Stumptown LT) is made from 20 to 30 percent renewable, sustainable, or recyclable materials (with a goal of 100 percent within three to five years). The boot also has a bamboo-infused lining, a recycled-rubber outsole, and a patterned exterior.”

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AAO Filed Under:
Marmot’s Ultra-light Mica Jacket wins
National Geographic’s “Best of Adventure Gear” Award

Santa Rosa, CA – Marmot’s ultra-light Mica Jacket has been awarded the 2009 “Best of Adventure Gear” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure Magazine. This highly functional and elegantly designed jacket is part of Marmot’s growing category of lightweight waterproof, breathable shells for men and women. It also is the cornerstone of the company’s new MemBrain® Strata™ -- a new 2.5 layer laminated technology.

At just under seven ounces for a men’s medium (6.8 oz), the Mica (USD $130) is a breakthrough garment in waterproof, breathable technology for weight and value-conscious outdoor enthusiasts. The stylish, transparent nylon face fabric and unique MemBrain® Strata™ 2.5 lamination, give the Mica an incredible, supple hand. “When we began selecting fabrics, we saw the opportunity to build something remarkably lightweight and exquisite looking” explains Brian LaPlante, Marmot’s Outerwear Category Manager. “The combination of the see-through nylon face fabric and .5 micro-patterning (visible inside the jacket) creates a remarkable aesthetic,” LaPlante points out, holding the jacket up to the light at Marmot’s design offices in Santa Rosa, California.

Style-points aside, the Mica’s functionality is at the outdoor industry’s apex. The award-winning jacket is also fully seam-taped with a water-resistant front zipper, an adjustable hood and two hand pockets, making it a perfect shell for ultra-light outings. Greg Houser, Marmot’s Vice President of Design who leads the company’s in-house design team explains, “We’re building more and more lightweight options without sacrificing Marmot’s dedication to long-term durability. The Mica addresses our customers’ demands for a fully-featured, ultra-light garment that performs and functions well for a number of outdoor applications.”

Marmot’s 6.0 oz Crystalline Jacket – the women’s version of the Mica – recently won the OutDoor Industry Award at the international European OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. “Ten years ago we made an enormous impact on the outdoor industry with the PreCip® Jacket ($99.99 USD). Today we have created a 2.5 layer waterproof/breathable laminate, MemBrain® Strata™ – an outstanding value proposition for the consumer,” explains Randy Verniers, Marmot’s Director of International Sales and who for 15 years served as Director of Fabrics and Technologies for the brand. “With MemBrain® Strata™ we’ve once again revolutionized performance shell gear by providing lightweight, waterproof garments with higher breathability and comfort at price points previously unattainable” adds Verniers.

On November 20, 2008 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington DC, the Mica was given the “Best of Adventure Gear” award during the 2009 Best of Adventure Celebration. While the Mica will not be available in retail stores until spring 2009, the award-winning jacket will be featured in the December 2008 / January 2009 issue of National Geographic Adventure Magazine.

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100 Top Running Stores in America named by Running Intelligence!

AAO Filed Under:
And we are lucky enough to call many of the them dealers! Congradulations to all of you that make the list!

The Midwest

Big River Running, MO
Elite Feet of Kansas City, MO
Fleet Feet Sports Chicago, IL
Fleet Feet Sports Cincinnati, OH
Gazelle Sports, MI
Garry Gribble Running Sports, MO
Hanson’s, MI
Marathon Sports, MN
Naperville Running Co., IL
Playmakers, MI
Running Fit, MI
Swag’s Sports, KY
The Running Spot, OH

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SOLE insoles reviewed in the Backpacker Gear Review!

AAO Filed Under:
We just got a great review from the Backpacker Gear Test Review. Click on the following link to see the story!

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Marmot Fall 09 Line Highlights!

AAO Filed Under:
Marmot Fall 09 Line Highlights

12 new shells for men and women round out our shell collection with key styles and price points for the technical and outdoor user

Not to miss styles for Men:
- M’s Torre- full stretch Gore piece, 70D face fabric, attached hood
- M’s Spire- Great lightweight Gore jacket, full feature set
- M’s Palisades Jacket and Pant- great price-point Gore items
- M’s Nano Jacket- featherlight Gore Paclite Shell
- M’s Ridgetop and Bastione- Our winter weight component jackets in two models
- M’s Tamarack Jacket and pants- great price- point Membrain items, full feature set
- M’s Storm Front- Membrain jacket with thermo mapping, great new updated look, great price!
Not to miss colors for Men:
-Beluga, Gargoyle, Citronelle, Cilantro, Dk. Cedar, Forest, Eclipse, Vapor Blue- *note* Cayenne is very bright!

Not to miss Styles for Women:
- W’s Spire- lightweight Gore Shell, great colors, full feature set
- W’s Palisades Jacket and Pants- same great value as the men’s- zippin compatible jacket
- W’s Intervale and Cosset- Components with great pricepoints in amazing colors- one with a fleece liner, one with a synthetic liner
- W’s Tamarack Jacket and Pants- Fully featured price point Membrain items

Not to miss colors for Women:
-Turtle Dove, Red Plum, Saxony Blue, Wine, Chive/Yerba Green, Raven
*note* be careful with Warm Olive and Cayenne- sticks recommended

Continued evolution of our core softshell offering using the latest in softshell fabrics and technologies

Not to miss styles for Men:
- M’s Ascend Jacket- laser- etched seams with gorilla grip seam welding offers a bombproof light softshell
- M’s Corvara Jacket- an Adamant hybrid, the Corvara as equal parts wool softshell and ascend softshell, with great urban appeal
- M’s Sharp Point- gets a facelift this year, same great #1 selling softshell
- M’s Moran- great price-point softshell with Polartec Windbloc
- M’s Andromeda Jacket- a carryover item, this Polartec Power Shield softshell shows off its softer side with an M-dot Jacquard fleece interior and superior stretch on the outside
- M’s Scree Pant- back again in all its glory- super light, durable softshell pant for all your outdoor winter pursuits!

Not to miss colors for Men:
- Cilantro, Gargoyle, Vapor Blue, Raven, Deep Blue, Carob

Not to miss styles for Women:
- W’s Genesis Jacket- a welded, fixed hood jacket previously available only to men, the colors and fit are AMAZING!
- W’s Reyna Jacket- Polartec Windbloc with a fixed hood and great style lines- great price point as well
- W’s Furlong jacket and vest- back again in all their snuggly glory, an update in the fur last year saw great success in the selling season
- W’s Summerset- a carryover from spring, this longer urban style softshell was a huge hit- now here in the fall color palette

Not to miss colors for Women:
- Blue grotto, Chive, Espresso, Red Plum, Legion Blue/Saxony, Red Plum/Wine. Turtle Dove/Wine

Marmot continued to update their offering for men and women with great new ultra-light product in both down and synthetic as well as new street styles for everyday use

Not to miss styles for Men:
- M’s Mountain Down- great all around, super warm, hooded down piece with snow skirt- perfect for cold northern mornings!
- M’s Ama Dablam- updated with 800 fill down for this season, this great belay parka has as many uses as features!
- M’s Zeus Jacket and Vest- taking from the great success of our men’s 800 fill sweater weight down piece from last fall, we also added a vest
- M’s Eigerwand- as part of the expanded synthetic offering, the Eigerwand boasts Upcycle fabric, Spirafil insulation and a great baffling pattern

Not to miss colors for Men’s:
- Citronelle, Limestone, Vapor Blue, Gargoyle, Rocket Red, Forest, Raven, Deep Blue

Not to miss styles for Women:
- W’s Ama Dablam- same great update to 800 fill as men’s
- W’s Venus Jacket and Vest- coming back with a vest in great colors, this down sweater weight is perfect for layering or just a great outerwear piece
- W’s Sundance Jacket- a great Upcycle synthetic piece with fixed hood and great colors- nice hanger appeal!
- W’s Jackson Jacket- beautiful quilting and a solid price make this light jacket a big winner
- W’s Brilliant- another great Upcycle synthetic piece, this jacket has contrast stitch and cute embroidery detail
- W’s Chelsea Coat- we saw great success from this long down jacket last season, the warmest coat we make!
- W’s Chatel Jacket- Gorgeous Jacquard patterning reminiscent of damask, this down piece with intricate detail- amazing on a hanger and a client
- As always, the Metro makes another appearance with its trench style detailing and insulation, a perfect urban work piece

Not to miss color for Women:
- Wine, Skyline Blue, Turtle Dove, Cayenne, Saxony Blue, Legion Blue, Blue grotto

A new collection of technical men’s and women’s fleece styles – new textures, designs and more women’s specific styling

Not to miss styles for Men:
- M’s Torrid Hoody and Jacket- hard faced Polartec Power Stretch lends itself as an amazing baselayer for inclement weather or a versatile outerwear piece at the changing of the seasons
- M’s Powder 8- Polartec Thermal Pro Sweater Rib with bonded zipper chest pocket, great hand and function
- M’s Exergy- making a return appearance, the wool infused fleece has a great urban outerwear look while keeping true to its technical roots
- M’s Grove Half Zip- Natural wool thermo regulation with a soft poly knit next to skin- great casual or technical layering piece
- M’s Timber Crew- Same fabric design as the Grove, just in a crew style

Not to miss colors for Men and Women:
- Great color palette in fleece, pick your favorites!

Not to miss styles for Women:
- W’s Powder Bowl Hoody- a Polartec Thermo pro blossom embossed hoody, great for casual, technical or layering uses
- W’s Clo half Zip- Polartec Thermo Pro Sweater Rib- a snuggly technical fleece with amazing street appeal
- W’s Flair Jacket- Yummy thick pile fleece in the softest velour
- W’s Afterglow- a wool/fleece blend in a heavy sweater jacket for women
- W’s Oscar Hoody- a wool exterior, soft poly knit on the inside- great crossover, beautiful piece

30 new snowsports styles for men and women with new softshell technology. Most Snowsports styles come with the Snow Sport package: zip out powder skirt and hood, 1-2 zip pockets, sunglass and mp3 pockets, and mesh stash pocket- all 9/15/09 ship date start

Not to miss styles for Men:
- M’s Mainline Jacket- lightweight Gore Performance 2L shell with great color detail
- M’s Spire Pant- matching back the Men’s Spire Jacket in Shells, this pant is a Gore performance 3L with removable mesh suspenders and tons of storage!
- M’s Vertical Softshell Jacket- great price-point softshell with full ski set, great color blocking
- M’s Soulride Pant- tectonic welded softshell, this M1 pant is great for backcountry endeavors as well as alpine pursuits
- M’s Launch Component Jacket- new style update, this component comes with a Spirafil liner and a full ski feature set- great price point!
- M’s Cargo Pant- continues to be our best selling snow sports pant, three years running!

Not to miss colors for Men:
- Cilantro/Moonstruck, Coal, Tarmac, Gargoyle, Vapor Blue, Moonstruck/Cayenne, Rocket Red/Moonstruck

Not to miss styles for Women:
- W’s Innsbruck Jacket- an side zip technical Gore performance 2L, this 70D jacket has clean design lines, full ski set and great slope style
- W’s Courchevel Pant- Delicate swirl patterning dress up this technical, Gore Performance 3L hardcore shell pant with water-resistant zippers
- W’s Snow Angel Component- Using the same Jacquard (damask-like) face fabric as the Chatel Jacket, this piece comes with a Spirafil liner in great colors and have a matching pant in the Voltage Insulated pant
- W’s Chamonix Insulated- back again, this #1 selling snow pant fights for its title again this year with a great price-point and color selection

Not to miss colors for Women:
- Wine, Skyline Blue, Turtle Dove, Fluorite Green

Still our same great Baselayer program, we did get some great new style updates for Women’s Mid and Lightweights.
**New** A featherweight series for Men and Women utilizing seamless technology and body mapping construction, a great addition for additional layering or an early spring weight. We also added a Women’s cami!

Marmot fall sportswear? Yes, and the perfect accompaniment to your outerwear selection for fall. This new sportswear line utilizes natural fabrics like wool; with the perfect amount of synthetic to create a well rounded collection for the fall chill and holiday season!

Not to miss styles for Men:
- M’s Grove half zip and Timber Crew- mentioned previously, these great wool pieces with soft knit next to skin are a great foundation for your collection
- M’s Jasper L/S- Dri-release wool in a soft layering long sleeve T that stand alone as well
- M’s Moab Long and ringer T- great layering pieces in a quick dry heathered look
- M’s McLaren Jean Cut- heavier Nylon pant, jean styling
- M’s Active Sportswear in carryover styles/fabrics- all your favorites in fall styles and colors!

Not to miss styles for Women:
- W’s Oscar Hoody- Already mentioned in fleece, a heavier wool blend- all colors great
- W’s Crestline- heavier, softshell feel, great fit
- W’s Heather Hoody L/S- Super soft, lightweight wool- amazing color, fit and feel!
- W’s Lanka Pant- Great fall weight cotton canvas, great colors and fit
- W’s Rosa Cotton Cargo skirt- cute kick pleats, good fit
- W’s Mirage Crew L/S- Featherweight sweater knit with color fade medallion design, super soft and delicate
- W’s Cali Henley- same fabric as the mirage, flattering
- W’s Synthetic Active pieces and Bliss series back again, all great choices

Refined glove line featuring 20 new or updated styles

Not to miss styles for Men:
- Ultimate Ski glove
- Genesis Glove- softshell with welded seams…amazing
- Snowdrift 3 in 1 glove
- Caldera Glove- features a high loft fleece interior
- Glade Glove- price point waterproof breathable
- Alpinist- ALL NEW- with Gore X-TRAFIT!
- Work Glove- always great
- Patrol Glove- new to the leather line
- Basic Work Glove- everyone needs a pair!
- Glide Softshell- allows great movement and dexterity
- Hybrid Fleece Glove- great for the holidays!
- Microstretch Glove

Not to miss styles for Women:
- Warmest Mitt
- Flurry Glove
- Sno-Soft glove- high loft fleece interior, snuggly - this glove is a must have!
- Moraine Glove/Mitt- price point waterproof with great new style lines
- Windstopper Glove
- Glide softshell Glove
- Microstrech Glove- 4 way stretch Polartec product

We are offering an expanded kids selection this year with great new SKU’s and colors. Take some time and check out the new program. Also something to mention, Marmot Kid’s sizing has changed a bit to start smaller than it has in the past. Check pg. 78 of your workbook to reference the new size chart for kids.

Those are the highlights for now. We look forward to all your feedback as we start showing! Thanks!

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END Blog article from

AAO Filed Under:
END Footwear: The Beginning of Sustainable Footwear (Part 2)

Back in July, iRunFar featured Part 1 of its profile of End Footwear nee Outdoor. At the time we thought we'd post Part 2 a mere week later.... but that didn't happen. The upside to the delay is that we've since had a chance to meet with the key players at END in person, got to try two forthcoming Spring '09 END models, and can point you to END's fancy, dancy new website and the products it features. So here we are with Part 2 of iRunFar's END Footwear company profile. Below we give you the skinny on END's website, running outreach, current shoes, and future products.

END's Website
The consideration that END puts into its shoe design and manufacturing extends to its marketing efforts. First off, over at END's flashy new website you won't read anything about END "greening" this or being the "greenest" that. Nope. END simply and succinctly states what the company's principles are (i.e., Our Commitment, Design Ethos, The Four Rs, and Corporate Responsibility) and how they implement those principles in particular shoe models (i.e., the Stumptown 12 oz page).

Running Outreach
Despite being an affordable brand that could limit its early activities to trendy environmentally conscientious folk, END is reaching out to the trail running community. For one, they've contacted numerout top ultrarunners with opportunities to try END's shoes. They've also brought on ambassador's like Canadian tough man, Bruce Grant, who ran the 2008 Hardrock 100 in the Stumptown 8.5 oz. Recently, END Footwear also began its involvement in the racing scene ...

Please find the rest of the article at!

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Scarpa update!

AAO Filed Under:
SCARPA N.A. to unify offices, warehousing,
warranty/repair at new centralized headquarters

New North American facility designed to increase
efficiencies, provide better all-around customer service.

BOULDER, Colo. (October 28, 2008) – Bolstering its ability to react more quickly to its customer’s needs, SCARPA North America this week announced that it will unify its offices, warehouse, shipping/receiving facilities and warranty/repair division in a new headquarters located in Boulder, Colorado. The new facility will be up and running by the first of the year.

Currently, SCARPA North America’s headquarters are located in Boulder, but it contracts with a third-party warehouse to ship, receive and store its products. In addition, SCARPA’s warranty and repair division is located in an annex separate from its main offices. The new office will centralize all these operations in one headquarters.

“SCARPA North America is a product driven company, and having our product closer to us and all of our operations in one place makes us better in a number of ways,” said CEO Kim Miller. “Most significantly, this will allow us to react more quickly to our customer’s needs, whether that’s getting an order out the door more efficiently or turning around a repair as quickly as possible. Internally, it also means we can communicate more effectively and optimize work flow.”

The new headquarters is being built with distinct areas for the internal teams that work together at SCARPA, so that they can collaborate more effectively, as well as a research and development center to help create new products for the North American market.

According to Miller, when SCARPA North America was formed in 2005 to oversee the SCARPA brand in the U.S. and Canada, one goal was offering the best customer service possible. This is one more step in that direction, he said, and one made possible by the company’s success in expanding its distribution over the past three years.

From a quality of life standpoint, Miller added, “It’s got a beautiful view of the Flatirons and it’s right around the corner from The Spot.”

The new facility will be located at 3550 Frontier Ave. Unit E, Boulder, CO 80301. The phone number will remain the same: 866.998.2895. And existing web presence will also remain at

News of the new North American headquarters follows quickly on SCARPA North America adding to its team. In the last six months, SCARPA hired Mark Mathews as Director of Sales and Summer Product Development and also hired additional staff in its sales-service and warranty departments.

For more information about SCARPA, visit

About SCARPA and SCARPA North America

Founded in 1938, SCARPA builds performance footwear for climbing, hiking, skiing, mountaineering, trail running and other outdoor pursuits from its headquarters in Asolo, Italy. SCARPA has been owned and operated by the Parisotto family since 1956. In 2005, SCARPA opened its North American headquarters in Boulder, Colo., staffed and directed by veterans of the North American outdoor industry, to oversee sales, marketing and distribution in the U.S. and Canada.

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Dynamic Earth Grand Opening!

AAO Filed Under:
On Friday, Oct. 10th, Vanessa drove down to Springfield, MO to attend Dynamic Earth's Grand Opening of their new green building. It is the first Leed certified shopping center in the U.S. and is truly an amazing operation. Please go to the following website to see more about this great new building!
For Friday night, Icebreaker held a wine party and they gave away great raffle items every hour on the hour for the whole weekend! They had a great weekend and so did V! Thank you so much for the amazing event!

Posted by Picasa

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Vanessa's Clinic wrap-up

AAO Filed Under:
I am wrapping up my clinic tour this week and had a wonderful time with our new clinic format as i toured around this season. I covered SD, KS, upper MN, MO, IA and some of IL! It was a little outside my territory, but with the addition of Osprey this year, we had a lot to cover! It was a blast seeing everyone and i loved how much everyone got involved and excited about our new "fashion show" program with Marmot. As you can see in these pictures, sometimes there was more of a selection of women's then men's, but that did not scare the staff in MO!
i am really excited to continue evolving our clinic format and appreciate all the help and fun you brought to the program this fall. Thanks to everyone that we saw and participated!

Posted by Picasa

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Minnesota Clinics FA08

AAO Filed Under:
Splitting the territory, we have spent a lot of time apart this clinic season, but Brian and Vanessa did get a chance to be in Minnesota together, from as far north as Grand Marais, down to Minneapolis! Then it was off to St. Louis for some clinics and the Alpine Shop SWAP! We are wrapping up this week in a few different areas, but look forward to seeing you all soon for preshows!
A few employees "announcing" the product during the fashion show!
The race to put up the tent! Part of our new hardgoods clinic is a race to put up a tent, then the staff talks about the key points.
Brian giving a hardgoods clinic at the Bloomington REI
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Win a trip to Jackson Hole!

AAO Filed Under:
Have you been on recently? You can win a trip to Jackson Hole, WY!! Check it out today!

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END Reviewed in Runner's World!

AAO Filed Under:

Check out a copy on newsstands today!!

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Great review for the OBoZ Ignition!

AAO Filed Under:
We got an excellent review on the Ignition in the Outside Magazine Gear Guide that hit the stands yesterday.
Check it our on pages 99-101. It says they had 20 testers running in 25 new models of shoes near Boulder. Out of the 25, 7 made the cut. We got what may be the best overall review out of the other 6 shoes (Brooks Adrenaline ASR5, Adidas Supernova Riot, Merrell CP Paragon, Vasque Velocity XCR, and New Balance 840).

Here's what they said:

"For a debut shoe from a brand-new company, the Ignition gets enthusiastic Rookie of the Year props. It handled technical, rocky trails with aplomb, but unlike many other burley mountain-running shoes, it also felt remarkably light and nimble. Large, well-spaced lugs on the outsole clung to both boulder fields and loose scree, and the upper-a stretchy mesh bootie wrapped in minimalist synthetic overlays - secured the mid and forefoot remarkably well. The upper is thin on padding, so some testers felt the need to compensate with a thicker sock. 12.3 oz."

This is our first major review in a major consumer magazine - Good work Boo!!!

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David Blaine wearing Marmot!!

AAO Filed Under:
Check out this image of David Blaine’s “Dive of Death” Batman stunt while wearing a Marmot jacket. Notice how the zip tie conveniently faces up while he’s hanging upside down!

This was caught on Spiegal, one of Germany’s most important on-line news websites. Once you open up the link, make sure you hit the previous “back” buttons to see the David’s stunt in context:

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Marmot Kingpin Jacket Review!

AAO Filed Under:
Please open the link below and read the excellent review in Alpinist Magazine’s “Mountain Standards” field-test blog.

This feature is a real testament to Marmot’s quality and authenticity in a core mountain environment (Swiss Alps).

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Scenes from the ORA show

AAO Filed Under:
Here are some quick pics at our booth set up at the ORA show in Madison, WI!!

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Scenes from the ORA show

AAO Filed Under:
Here are some quick pics at our booth set up at the ORA show in Madison, WI!!

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A summer story we wanted you to hear from MWM!!

AAO Filed Under:
Midwest Mountaineering Names Grant Recipients
SportsOneSource Media Posted: 7/15/2008

Midwest Mountaineering of Minneapolis has announced recipients of their environmental Grants Program.

The Minneapolis-based retailer has long donated 10% of pre-tax profits to environmental causes that they support, but this is the first year its employees voted to decide on recipients.

Owner Rod Johnson said of the grants this year, “We support their efforts and enjoy the benefits of their programs and hope you will, too!
These are the people who make sure we keep our outdoor treasures for future generations.”
Recipients of this year's Midwest Environmental Grants are:
• The Conservation Alliance –
• Eco-Education –
• Kinnickinnic River Land Trust –
• Lonnie Dupre –
• Mississippi Whitewater Park –
• North Country Trail Association –
• U of MN Raptor Center –
• Superior Hiking Trail Association –
A member of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance or outdoor retailers, Midwest has a long record of promoting outdoor recreation. Each year Midwest host’s two Adventure Expos (April & November) and many clinics, sales and trips to support outdoor enthusiasts in Minneapolis. The most recent Spring Expo yielded 60 Exhibitors, over 60 Presentations, and a screening of the Banff Film Festival.

Beyond special events, Midwest has its own climbing cave, open daily and encourages climbers with special programs like Bouldering Divas!
At the Winter Adventure Expo in November, Midwest is proud to announce that they will have Dr. John Francis as a key speaker. Dr. John Francis, is an environmentalist best known as for his actions famously lived without car transportation for over 17 years and started Planet Walk in 1982. He was recently profiled in Backpacker Magazine, and spoke at The Conservation Alliance Breakfast this past winter.

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Marmot partnering with REI for Women's Workshops!

AAO Filed Under:
Gore and REI Present Dressing for the Outdoors Women's Workshops
Posted: 09/22/2008 In Category: Outdoor Manufacturer
Posted By: Jaclyn Bailey, CGPR
Press Release Content

W.L. Gore & Associates, inventor of GORE-TEX® and WINDSTOPPER® fabrics, announces today it’s teaming up with REI and many of their premiere outdoor partner brands to deliver a fun and informative Dressing for the Outdoors Workshop Series at twenty REI stores across the country this Fall. The workshops participants will be among the first to hear the latest in comfort science, and learn how to dress for adventure in any weather, including expert instructions on the latest technical fabrics and layering techniques. The workshop will be hosted by top female outdoor athletes and showcase products from Arc’teryx, Marmot, Merrell, Mountain Hardwear, Outdoor Research and Vasque.

“Gore is committed to growing the womens’ market along with the great partner brands we work. We all understand the importance of this dynamic business to the industry and how crucial the right clothing and footwear makes on womens’overall outdoor experience,” said Diane Davidson, Gore strategic market development.

GORE-TEX® and WINDSTOPPER® fabrics are a key part of managing comfort in the outdoors. GORE-TEX® fabric is waterproof, windproof and highly breathable. All GORE-TEX® products are manufactured according to strict quality and performance standards and carry the Guaranteed To Keep You Dry® promise even in the toughest of conditions. WINDSTOPPER® fabric offers total windproofness and maximum breathability for comfortable warmth and protection across a wide range of weather conditions. Both fabrics provide comfort and protection so you can enjoy all your outdoor activities with confidence.

The Dressing for the Outdoors Women’s Workshops kick-off on the east coast at the Boston REI store on September 30, 2008 and finish on the west coast at the REI store in Santa Ana, California on December 4, 2008. Workshops start at 7:00pm and are approximately one-hour long, followed by personal shopping with the experienced REI staff – also a great opportunity to holiday shop for the outdoor enthusiasts on everyone’s list. Participants will each receive an amazing goodie-bag and have a chance to win great raffle prizes from Arc’teryx, Marmot, Merrell, Mountain Hardwear, Outdoor Research and Vasque.

Workshop participants will also receive a special offer from Gore. When participants purchase any WINDSTOPPER® Jacket (from the workshop) at REI or by Dec. 18, 2008, Gore will make a $20 contribution in their name to a Warm & Fuzzy cause. Plus, they will receive a free WINDSTOPPER® scarf.

For more information about the Dressing for the Outdoors Women’s Workshops and a complete workshop schedule visit

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Great Noteworthy New from Scarpa!!

AAO Filed Under:
• The Feroce got a 5-Star Review from Rock and Ice, while the Spectro won Alpinist’s Mountain Standards Award.

• SCARPA got good coverage of core products in the hiking line (Kailash and Mustang) in a couple of regional magazines, New Hampshire Magazine and Aspen Magazine.

• The Hurricane gets a huge spread on the opening page of Ski’s buyer’s guide a poster child for the new generation of crossover boots. It’s particularly compelling to have such a big image of a boot from SCARPA at the start of a very alpine-focused gear guide.

• The Terminator X won an Editor’s Choice Award from Backcountry Magazine in its Gear Guide, the Spirit 4 won an Honorable Mention (missing an Editor’s Choice award narrowly, mainly by virtue of the fact it wasn’t new this year; this is a new award this year for Backcountry), and SCARPA had the most boots covered of any manufacturer in the Gear Guide in both the AT and telemark categories.

• Powder gave its annual Skier’s Choice Award to the Typhoon, Terminator X Pro and, for the third year running, the T-Race.

• Freeskier covered the Typhoon and Domina in their Buyer’s Guide.

• The new Alpine Cross line got some excellent coverage surrounding Outdoor Retailer, including standalone articles on the initiative in Outdoor Business Magazine and Footwear Intelligence Magazine.

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Lorpen launches aggressive Spring Sales program!

AAO Filed Under:
Lorpen Launch Programs – Spring 2009

• Book $750 of Tri-Layer and or Comfort Life Socks and receive:
o $75 of spring 09 product at N/C

• Book $1250 of Tri-Layer and or Comfort Life Socks and receive:
o $175 of spring 09 product at N/C
o A new display for $125 **

• Book $1750 of Tri-Layer and or Comfort Life Socks and receive:
o $300 of spring 09 product at N/C
o A new display at N/C **

** Single side display regular dealer cost $250 (holds approx 160 pairs)

** Double side spinner display regular dealer cost $300 (holds approx 320 pairs)

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Lorpen launches aggressive Spring Sales program!

AAO Filed Under:
Lorpen Launch Programs – Spring 2009

• Book $750 of Tri-Layer and or Comfort Life Socks and receive:
o $75 of spring 09 product at N/C

• Book $1250 of Tri-Layer and or Comfort Life Socks and receive:
o $175 of spring 09 product at N/C
o A new display for $125 **

• Book $1750 of Tri-Layer and or Comfort Life Socks and receive:
o $300 of spring 09 product at N/C
o A new display at N/C **

** Single side display regular dealer cost $250 (holds approx 160 pairs)

** Double side spinner display regular dealer cost $300 (holds approx 320 pairs)

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Marmot Supports EVEREST ROCKS!!!

AAO Filed Under:


PALLADIA (MTV's High Def Channel formerly known as MHD)
2 times cancer survivor and musician mike peters (The Alarm) along with fellow musicians (Glenn Tillbrook of Squeeze, Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats, Cy Curnin and Jamie West-Oram of The Fixx, and Nick Harper) , cancer survivors, Everest summiteers and trekkers go on a once in a lifetime journey to Mt Everest. They are on a quest to raise money and awareness for a local cancer hospital in Nepal and set the Guinness Book of World records for the highest concert on land.

Proceeds from Everest Rocks are going to the purchase of the first mammography machine and the first internal radiation machine for the country of Nepal.
Purchase your own copy of this epic journey.

Regular Price: $25
Pre-Sale Price: $20
(Pre-sale offer only valid for 9/4-9/11/08)

*Premier parties being hosted in Denver and Dallas on 9/7/08.
Contact us for more information.

Stop by a Love Hope Strength Foundation booth to register to become a marrow donor.
Registration requires only a cheek swab, and completion of a donor consent form.

Upcoming concerts where you can help save lives:


THURSDAY, SEPT 4: An intimate evening with Mike Peters and the NJ Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players. Learn more and buy tickets.

FRIDAY, SEPT 5: Everclear and Cracker are amongst the line-up of bands in Cranford. Admission is FREE

SATURDAY, SEPT 6: The day kicks off with the ROCK-ON-WALK-A-THON and 5K. We encourage you to Show your Strength and join the masses Saturday morning in Nomahegan Park. Followed by a day of music and fun for the entire family. The B-52's, Tokyo Police Club, Gin Blossoms, Mike Peters and the NJ Symphony Orchestra and many not miss this amazing day!

Learn more about Union County Music Fest and the Rock-On-Walk-A-Thon

The Crocs Next Step Campus tour is hitting the road and heading out for another great adventure. We are going all over the country - from Nevada to New York - to Florida and Arizona - and many places in between. We are teaming up with the tour, DKMS and Driving for Donors to get students more involved in the cure for cancer.

September 4 Georgia Southern University
September 7 SUNY Oneonta
September 10 PRIVATE
September 11 Kent State University
September 12 PRIVATE
September 13 Georgia State University
September 14 University of Florida
September 16 Kean University
September 18 Bloomsburg University
September 19 Christopher Newport University
September 20 Rochester Institute of Technology
September 21 Ithaca College
September 23 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
September 26 University of Arizona

Full campus line-up and details!

Sponsors are urgently needed to help the Love Hope Strength Foundation continue its mission of bringing cancer care to the world. Please contact us about supporting our concerts, climbs and bone marrow drives.

Cancer will touch each and every one of us in our lifetime.
Join us as we build an army of strength to rid the world of an international killer that knows no borders and sees no color, race, religion, age or socioeconomic demographic. It is a global issue in need of support from a worldwide network. The Love Hope Strength Foundation (LHSF) raises funds and awareness for cancer centers around the world through music-related events and promotions.

Learn more at

Shannon Foley, Director
Love Hope Strength

Worldwide, cancer causes more deaths than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. 1 in every 8 deaths is due to cancer.


Love Hope Strength is a registered 501(c)3 organization in the United States. Love Hope Strength is registered as a charity in England and Wales charity number 1117505. Love Hope Strength is a registered charity in Australia.

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User Review of the Stumptown on!

AAO Filed Under:
User Review: END Footwear Stumptown

Above: The current Stumptown, which may differ slightly from the version reviewed.

Reviewed August 27, 2008 by Hayes

Materials: nylon ripstop, synthetic leather, mesh
Use: Trail runs-hardpack dirt, gravel and loose ground & rock
Break-in Period: none
Weight: 12.5 oz claimed, 11 oz tested
Price Paid: $80 USD +S&H

First off, this is an excellent example of the direction new and old shoe manufacturers need to start taking. The "green" way END Footwear is using and developing brings not a new but a positive outlook for sustainability in outdoor wear industries.

The Men's Stumptown 12.5oz from END are wonderful shoes. Right out of the recycled materials content box and wrapping, the shoes feel solid, light, well made and designed. These shoes are true to sized and close examination of stitching and material joins shows sound construction.
I really like the smooth, rubber toe covering rather than textured like other trial shoes I have used. Do other manufactures expect their shoe users to grip with the top of their feet, while collecting mud and grit at the same time?

The rip stop nylon shell of the shoes feels very much like dyneema ripstop used in finer back packs and the zero foam in the side walls and heel give the shoes flexible and form-fitting comfort.

I love the thick, mesh tough and side tongue gussets. These materials are light and effective. Even this laces are light and seem to contain a tightly woven core for durability on the trail. The lacing system is smooth and pulls nicely while at the same time being adjustable and well designed for supporting the synthetic leather bands the cradle the sides of my feet.

Traction on the Stumptown is a nice blend of aggressive, grippy, and low profile. The EVA middle support cradles the heel and braces the arc really well. Some claim the ball of the foot EVA is too squishy but I found it eating up the rocks and bumps I encountered on the trail.

On the trail, the Stumptowns were leaf light and VERY true to size (fit my low arch, wider, 10.5Ds as well as ANY shoe I have worn). They glided of grass, gravel, hard pack, and loose earth. Impact on pavement was minimal and what is to be expected from trail runners.
Running, jog and sprint; the shoes cupped my heel, did not shift and were so light my legs and feet were less fatigued that normal.
Summary: Great shoes for all levels of skill, true to size, excellen
t construction and use of light materials of superior quality. Awesome price (I'd would have paid $100) and wonderful application of 'green' production and minimalist earth impact practices. Sorry, 4.5 not 5 because of color choices, but who really cares about color while training?

I cannot wait to try the End 8.5oz Mens's for racing!

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Life on a Board on MTV!!!

AAO Filed Under:
LOAB has been given the opportunity to be a part of an upcoming reality show on MTV. We were chosen from several other brands. The stylist saw LOAB displayed in Mitch & Eric Jenner's showroom at the LA Apparel Mart. She saw LOAB as a new & exciting line that is different from the ordinary. With outstanding designs and a fresh new look, she has chosen the LOAB brand to be worn by the stars on her upcoming MTV series, Bromance. The new show is intended to be the male counter part to the popular show The Hills. Produced by Ryan Seacrest and staring Brody Jenner, it has begun filming and will be completed by the middle of next month.

The two stars of the show, Brody Jenner & Frankie, will be wearing our clothes throughout the series. There will be several beach scenes that should include great shots of our gear. We have supplied a complete wardrobe for the entire 8 week shoot. There is a good chance that the stars will be wearing our gear in public as well. Keep your eyes on those goofy magazines at the check out counter!

We know you will be very happy with this line in your store!! Email today for information!!

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Marmot dealer: Fontana's on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition!!

AAO Filed Under:
Hi Everyone!

I may not have spoken to all of you about Fontana’s exciting news, but we were asked to support Wisconsin’s episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition! The home that was chosen was in Richland Center, WI – about 1.5 hours from Madison. Fontana donated $10,000.00 of product for the family (a mother and 4 children), which will be featured in the theme room on the episode. We went to the reveal in Richland Center earlier this month, but were not allowed to see inside the house; so we are pretty excited to see the episode! The episode will air Sunday, October 12th at 7 pm on ABC.Check it out!!!

Elizabeth Hutchinson

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Another END field report!!

AAO Filed Under:
Howdy Ben,

I just got back from my trip sorry I didn’t have time to call. I did manage to get a pair of the high top shoes just in time through REI, I hiked on Mt.
Hood, climbed St. Helens, and hiked a few days on the PCT with them, all told about 6 days worth. The shoes were great, I put my orthotics in them and
never looked back, no break in or anything. St Helens is rocky, gravelly, ash laden so it was a good test. My only question now is durability and time will
tell. Best light hikers I’ve used for quite some time, hats off.


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Lorpen was a big hit at OR!!

AAO Filed Under:
Whew, OR is over and we had an extremely successful show from a PR perspective! Over the course of three days, we had about 20 media come to the Lorpen booth and learn about Tri Layer. They all seemed to be impressed with the display that shows how the water is absorbed by the Coolmax layer and held by the Tencel layer. In terms of actual media coverage, the Lorpen socks were featured in the New Products Picks section of the OR Show Daily, as well as in the show issue of Textile Insight. DNR included Lorpen in their post-show feature (middle of page 2) and a few bloggers also included Tri Layer Socks in their blogs during the show. All of these articles are attached so you can see them and share them with your buyers/retailers.

The Sock-sa Party was so much fun – it was supposed to end at 6:00 p.m. when the show was over for the day, but we still had people in the booth enjoying the Spanish wine, sangria, tapas and pintxos at 6:45 p.m., even after the salsa dancers left with their music! Still not carrying Lorpen in your store? Email Vanessa today for more info!

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END Hood to Coast team report!!

AAO Filed Under:

END Team: Not sure if this has been sent out to you all yet, but Paul has a great story and photo attached that many of you can use in talking about the brand.

For those of you who are “uninitiated,” the annual Hood to Coast relay race happens every August in Oregon and as you might have guessed by its name, is a very long, and very grueling team relay race that starts at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood and ends for most teams about 24 hours later on the Oregon Coast in a city called Seaside (best known for its two most famous campers, Lewis and Clark). Bottomline, round these parts, Hood to Coast is a big, big deal to us locals.

This is a race that draws teams literally from all over the world and companies like Nike, Adidas, Asics, Brooks, Saucony ALL send their BEST runners to and compete against one another head to head. Nike and Adidas field hundreds of company teams for this event. It was not to long ago you saw Alberto Salazar out there running this thing.

I tell you all the above to drive home two pretty cool points. First, as you will see down below our END Team KICKED ASS! Each of the 12 runners has to do three legs over the 197 mile course over unbelievably brutal terrain in which you run down a large mountain, through a major city, up another range of mountains and then to the coast. Imagine running UPHILL on a Coastal Range fire service road at 3 AM on jagged rocks the size of softballs and baseballs IN THE DARK. Two runners later, the athlete might find themselves running on a highway with cars zipping past at 70 MPH. To win their division is AMAZING!

Second is the fact that the entire team not only wore their END shirts proudly, but each person on the team was decked out in END trail, road and some water footwear that they wore for the entire race! We will start getting back some technical reports from the team today, but the initial read is that our END Footwear performed at the highest level and dare I say had a hand in Team END flying along at such a mind boggling clip. A big thanks goes out from the entire office to Paul for pulling this group together and for really promoting the brand out there. This is one of those check marks, like the Leadville 100, that allows you all to go out and talk about venues where the shoes are being tested in real world performance venues and coming away with fantastic results.


All the best

Ben Finklea

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Feroce Review in Rock and Ice!!

AAO Filed Under:
Price: $145.00
Issue 172

The Feroce is one of the best sport-climbing shoes I’ve ever worn. It is an all-around workhorse that excels on steep routes requiring toe power, and technical slabs where spot-on precision is a must. When you first put the Feroce on, you’ll notice a little “hump” that sits comfortably, if differently, beneath the crease of your big toe. The result is that the shoe points your toe down for you, creating an angle that results in high-performance edging.

Many shoes, however, point the big toe down. The Feroce differs in how the whole toe box flexes on smears. In fact, to use the Feroce I had to change the way I stand on footholds—I was able to use parts of my foot that I never knew existed: the whole section between my forefoot and the tip of my toes.

(go to web address below for full review)
- Andrew Bisharat

Editor's rating:
• 5 out of 5 stars

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Marmot on America's Toughest Jobs!!!

AAO Filed Under:
Premiering tonight on NBC is America’s Toughest Jobs -- a seven-part series by reality television pioneer Tom Beers, the Executive Producer of Deadliest Catch, Axe Men and Ice Road Truckers. Beers describes “ATJ” as “the culmination of all three (aforementioned) shows, and more.” Last spring Jordan Campbell, Marmot's PR director, provided an extensive wardrobe for the host, cast and crew of the show, which is filmed in numerous outdoor settings. Jaan Childs, the show’s producer emailed last Friday to say, “Get ready for one hell of a Marmot commercial!”

Please take a peek at the website to get a feel for the show: Click on the contestants (cast) and quickly scroll through their headshots; you’ll see at least five of them are visibly wearing Marmot.

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Parties and fun at OR...

AAO Filed Under:

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Brian's K2 story for CNN iReport in response to the death reports on K2

AAO Filed Under:
"I spent the summer of 07 in Pakistan attempting K2 via the Cesen Route with 9 other American climbers. It is an intense and "full on" mountain experience. No one goes there with the intent of dying-yet climbers are oftentimes surprised to find out they are in fact REPORTED dead.

Like it or not one of the great things about K2 and the majority of the Karakoram region is that it is in fact remote. Something that is very difficult to find in such an "overpopulated" world. Even the most hightech SAT phones can have less than average success rates when trying to reach loved ones back home.

During our American expedition last year we went very Low Tech to say the least. No lap tops, digital messaging equipment, generators, or even the expected SAT phone in the group. To some degree this was because the remoteness of K2 is part of the appeal.

This year I was again supposed to be participating in another K2 expedition with a much smaller but more Tech Savvy group. New work obligations caused me to cancel my reservation with the team at the last minute, and I wish them luck as they are now headed to K2 Basecamp from the neighboring Broad Peak Basecamp. Even the more advanced team with their hightech gadgets hasn't been able to email anything out since the start of their expedition in June.

All that being said, one of the few constants in my expedition to K2 last season-aside from the avalanches(a couple pictured)- was the amount of "disinformation" that floated around Basecamp on a daily basis.

Often the "disinformation" originated from LO's-(Liason Officers from the Pakistani Military that each expedition is required to have accompany them)-who would regularly visit with one another's camp for tea or meals oftentimes travelling back and forth between both expedition parties and K2/Broad Peak Basecamps.

This also needs to be prefaced with the oft overlooked fact that communication between expedition parties is sometimes limited to the communication between it's LO's due to language barriers. So, "Lost in Translation" takes on a whole new meaning in these instances.

Never was there any mal intent in the reporting of "yet another climber having died" on this route or that. In fact, sometimes the vagaries of the reports would lead to not one, but two climbers missing and assumed dead from a particular partly when if fact no one was dead. It was instead a case of frozen or dead radio batteries not allowing that climber to communicate with their team.

After having taken numerous calls today wondering if I was in fact on any expeditions in the Karakoram as planned, I started searching the net. In four different articles I found four different accounts of "how many" and "who was confirmed", none of which with definitive details and all of which rimed with "suspect" info due to the mixture of teams and nationalities involved.
Last season on the hike to K2 Basecamp we were resting at Camp Joula when we heard the bustle of an Italian girl needing a rescue. Only to have an Italian team member rush into our cook tent to tell us "we have a dead girl" and that "she needs meds". Obviously those two are mutually exclusive as no dead person needs meds. It was a simple miscommunication and admittedly if I needed to rush into the Italian tent and tell them in their native tongue that we needed particular medical help-well it really wouldn't happen and I've been to Italy twice. Panic has a way of making the simple complex.

In the end the girl survived after an emergency Helicopter evac to Skardu. Probably only her team actually knows what necessitated the evac as we heard that it was everything from Heat Stroke to Appendicitis.

The language barrier between teams however was/is never really overcome in these arenas of international climbing. It is a great place to partner with other great climbers and religious and political differences are checked at the tent door as everyone is struggling to survive, much less climb one of the toughest mountains in the world.

In closing on the likelihood of "disinformation" I'll say what I told the loved ones that I left behind, and am even more emphatic about after having spent the time at Basecamp and high on K2, nothing is the case until it is the case. Meaning that even though it might potentially be the case that I'm reported dead or missing, don't start planning any funerals until everyone packs it up for the season. There are many different routes that one could find themselves struggling down-none of which are close to any civilization.

That being said, for those concerned about the potential rescue of those climbers reported trapped above the Bottleneck on K2. If the climbers cannot make it down to at least Camp 3 under their own power it is unlikely that they will make it down at all. For those on oxygen the race is even more intense as the effects of altitude will be even more compounded on their ability to keep their extremeties warm and their minds clear in order to make that charge.

I wish everyone involved in the rescue efforts the best of luck, I wish that I could be there to help. For those of you praying for loved ones my thoughts are with you, but don't pray for their survival alone, they MUST make their way down to come home."

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Ladies and Gentlemen...the infamous Peter Grimes!

AAO Filed Under:

Please join us in welcoming Peter Grimes back to the repping world under the AAO umbrella. Peter, as many of you know, was in the industry for many years as a rep. He took a brief hiatus, but is back in the saddle as your direct contact for Scarpa footwear. You can contact him at Welcome, Peter!

Peter Grimes- the life of...

Retail History: Active Endeavors, Des Moines
Midwest Mountaineering, Minneapolis
45 Degrees, Stillwater
Sales rep: 10 years - Metolius, Boreal, Ibex, Kavu, Mountainsmith, Dana Design, Montrail.
Currently own a Life is good store with wife Jen in Stillwater, MN

Ultra distance trail running, road and mountain biking, fly fishing, casual climber/boulderer, beer.

Live in the woods of NW Wisconsin with my shotgun so don't show-up uninvited.

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Heading to OR...updates from the road!

AAO Filed Under:
Well, the team is hitting the road again next week for the semi-annual trip out to OR. Brian and Vanessa have been in CO working and finalizing some wedding plans (37 days!! eek!) and Sunday, Bryan and Dave Paradise will join them on Monday for some climbing, grilling and prep.
Then, it is off to the beautiful land of selling!

No stories lately, so what has AAO been up to?

June saw most of the team on the road. After picking up Osprey, Brian flew down to Cortez for some training and bike to work day! He came back with great insight and a fresh vigor for the brand. We look forward to show the new line to you all!

Sunday and Vanessa spent June on the road for preshows. Vanessa started in early June with a trip to SLC for the GOA show. Always such a beautiful show and a great time. Then she, Sunday and Brian flew to Portland to preview the new SP09 END line, which looks incredible. Super light and road ready!

Then it was back to the middle of the country for a 3500 mile blitz of the territory for preshows. Marquette and Minneapolis played home to Sunday and Vanessa for a week. Brian and Vanessa finished up in Fargo and Omaha just in time for 4th of July!

Then it was preparation for the MORE show in Madison. For an inaugural show, it was a great success. We had a blast planning the fashion show and were able to see a lot of accounts and get some business done early. The venue was great, right on the lake at Monona Terrace, and we had our Mission Playground sales manager out for the show.

Please check out the details and think about it for next summer.!

And now we are ready for more selling actions. Look forward to seeing you all out there!

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SNEW announcement for Osprey!

AAO Filed Under:
Osprey Adds New Sales Teams in North and South Central Territories

Posted: 06/27/2008 In Category: Outdoor Manufacturer
Posted By: Kristin Carpenter-Ogden

Osprey Packs, Inc., an independent pack company located in the high desert and mountains of Southwestern Colorado, is pleased to announce the addition of two new sales representation teams to their U.S. rep force. Effective immediately, Ames Adventure Outfitters will cover the North Central territory, and The Alpine Cowboy will cover the South Central territory.

“These two territories continue to grow and contain some of the stronger independent retailers in the U.S. I’m excited to enter the Spring ’09 selling season with such strong rep groups on our team -- and I’m happy for the buyers and shop employees in these territories to receive the unique support that Brian’s and Koby’s teams offer,” said John Pieper, Osprey’s sales director. “Both Rep groups will help Osprey continue to strengthen our presence in the middle section of the country and will be a lot of fun to work with.”

Iowa-based Ames Adventure Outfitters (AAO) will oversee Osprey’s sales efforts in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, upper Michigan and Wisconsin. Under the leadership of Brian Block, AAO is widely recognized as a top agency. The AAO team also includes: Vanessa Hohn, Sunday Park, and Bryan Gillam.

Brian brings 16 years of industry experience, and has been representing national outdoor brands since 2003. His strong relationships with Midwest dealers stem from his commitment to technical staff clinics and a technology-savvy approach to sales representation. In addition to Osprey, AAO currently represents Marmot, Snow Peak, END, Oboz and others.

Brian can be reached by phone at 515-451-3983 or

Koby and Stephanie Crooks, of Austin, Texas-based The Alpine Cowboy, will oversee Osprey’s sales efforts in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. In addition to Osprey, they represent several national brands, including Marmot, Icebreaker, Horny Toad, and Salomon Footwear. Koby & Stephanie have created a new standard for sales representation in the South Central. With almost a decade of experience and dedication to this region, they offer a unique package of sales, marketing, and clinic creativity.

Koby can be reached at telephone 512-629-5629 or and Stephanie can be reached at 512-627-2339 or

About Osprey PacksFrom its humble beginnings building custom backpacks and sleeping bags in Santa Cruz California, to its current recognition as an industry leader, Osprey has always flown its own course. Their mission is to create innovative high performance gear that reflects a love of adventure and a devotion to the outdoors and the environment. Osprey defines success when it meets the demanding expectation of its most discerning customers. Based in Cortez, Colorado, Osprey has over thirty-five years of pack-making experience.

Visit us on the web at or on facebook at

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New Superfeet Winter Product released!!

AAO Filed Under:
Say hello to our new REDhot and hotPINK!

Dear Valued Superfeet Dealers/Customers:

With Superfeet’s new REDhot and hotPINK Premium Insoles as the latest addition to our Trim-to-Fit line, we can now fill your customers’ ski and snowboard boots with cutting-edge Superfeet fit, comfort and performance. The REDhot and hotPINK are engineered to protect the feet from cold weather using our proprietary design technology. Their patented shape was created to address the unique differences between men’s and women’s feet and footwear.

REDhot and hotPINK provide the support, shock absorption, power transmission and edge control your customers need for a full day on the slopes. Our full length Rebound foam allows for maximum forefoot flex, while our patented stabilizer cap gives the rearfoot the stability and alignment it needs to perform at its peak potential. In addition to the Adaptive Comfort® top cover by Outlast®, our new Air Weave technology layer in the forefoot efficiently regulates temperature, offering excellent heat management for all-day comfort. The new models also feature Agion® antimicrobial treatment to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

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END Sales meeting!

AAO Filed Under:
We just wrapped up our Sp09 sales meeting for END and you guys should start getting excited now!! This company is coming to the spring market with fast colors and design, debuting a full line of road running shoes while continuing the amazing fast and light story!
One of the most important parts of truly being a sustainable company is choosing processes that require less material, molds and production. By eliminating some of the excess building, you end up with a very sustainable product and that is what END is striving for!
Take a look at these great images of some up and coming product and we will see you all in a few weeks to show off the new shoes!

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PPCD's on their way!!

AAO Filed Under:
As of Saturday, the PPCD's are coming to your doors! As you recall, these CD's have the full digital workbook with commentary and real photographs to help in writing a preseason to lock on your rates! There is a terms sheet and order form as well.
**Please note: some of the prices have changed slightly and should be reflected in the pricelist. As changes come in, we will send out new sheets!!**

Don't forget, early write deadline is JULY 9TH!!!! Get those orders in today!!

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Marmot Preseason Corporate Road Report

AAO Filed Under:
Hey everyone! We are getting everything in order for the upcoming preshow season, but received a great report from corporate about early line showings that we wanted to share with you!!

We been through 7 line presentations so far and the line is showing exceptionally well. As we discussed the brand definitely has momentum coming into the spring 09 selling season. The line has been very easy to show customer with clear categories, color stories, performance and technology stories.

Here are just some quick highlights
Sportswear - We have heard quotes like:·
"This is the freshest line we have seen. Many other companies have dark and muted colors." "The line is a nice step forward from spring 08" ·
"The line is very merchandisable"

Packs – Home run. We have heard comments like it:·
"Clear concise line and they understand the logic behind the offering." ·
"They are please there is little to no redundancy in the line."

Outerwear – 2.5 (This is be the continuation of the momentum)
"Wow… this is line will really set us apart from our competitors"
"Ageis and Strato are home runs across the board"
"Mica and Crystaline are appealing to a diverse set of customers do the technology weight and visual appearance"
"Nano – you all are leading the industry in light weight performance shells"

Equipment – Unanimously the customers are blown away with the sell through. One customer sold 60 limelight 2 tents in one week (20 doors).
"Will you all have more inventory next year…. We are killing it with bags and tents."
"So many choices now… should I buy the abode, aura, areos, and or the crib."

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OBoZ "One More Tree" Event

AAO Filed Under:
This weekend took Vanessa and Bryan to Duluth for the first OBoZ event in the Midwest. This weekend was the 2nd Anniversary sale for W-Trek. Congrats Nodin and all you guys at W-Trek. The OBoZ sale put a bunch of new shoe owners hand in hand with their very own Arbor day tree. As many of you may know,through OBoz's commitment to the environment, for every pair of shoes purchased, OBoZ buys 1 tree through the Arbor Day foundation.
The anniversary sale also had an outside tent city in a near by park that featured the Limelight and Townhouse tents by Marmot(for any of you who haven't seen the Townhouse setup you should, it's Huge).

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Just like always we are on the road again this week. Vanessa and Bryan had just enough time to switch out some clothes at home, pick up Sunday and head out to Estes to get Brian, and then off to the OBoZ sales meeting for the rest of the week. The meeting happens to be in the booming town of Alpine Wyoming. So technology and communication maybe be a little tough but we will do our best. So hopefully this week is well for all and we will see you all on the road again sometime in the future.


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OboZ/Marmot images cont'd

AAO Filed Under:
the team mascot, Tikka, hanging out promoting the brands!
our overall W-trek presence!
best way to get the word out is T-shirts! OBoZ tee's on the guys
Thanks for the great event, Nodin. We had a blast!
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...stories of perilous, nay, endless traveling in the ever changing midwest territory...