Gear Junkie Newsletter- Sole Cork Sandal call out!

AAO Filed Under:
Use the following link to see the Gear Junkie newsletter and a review of the new Sole cork sandals for spring!

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Climbing Comp Annoucement- Boulder Gym in Madison

AAO Filed Under:
Saturday, October 31st, starting at 5pm, Boulders Climbing Gym in Madison is hosting our annual fall Fund "Razor" competition/party. Sponsored by NU Climbing Holds, Focus Snow & Skate, and Screen Door Studios.

We have expanded the climbing time from two to three hours, 5-8pm, and we have expanded the finals from two problems to four. PLUS, in addition to the informal "Who can climb the most?" we have added a more formal climbing comp in which there will be boulder problems for points. May the best man and woman WIN!
As always it will also be a party! Food and drinks provided!
Funds raised will go to climbing access! Last year we gave $1000 to help replace anchors in Southern Illinois. This year we are splitting up the funds and giving to bolt replacement at Barn Bluff in Red Wing, Minnesota, Governor Dodge State Park in Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Outdoor Access.

Cost is $25, $20 for Boulders members, and there is a $5 discount if you bring a dish of food to pass! If you want to just come observe that's free but there is a mandatory donation of at least $5 if you are going to partake in the food.

If you're into the Facebook thing see here: RSVP.

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Osprey Media Updates

AAO Filed Under:
To keep updated to all the latest and greatest Osprey hits in the media, check out the Osprey Media Blog, a one-stop archive of the PR placements.
Some Highlights:

June: Elevation Outdoors <>
June: Backpacker Magazine
July: Men's Journal
July: Outdoor USA
July: Summer OR Daily
August: Climber Magazine
September: Mountain Gazette
October: Skiing Magazine

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AAO Sales Promotion trip!!- installment one

AAO Filed Under:

Check out some info on our recent Sales Promotion Trip! More details will be coming to you shortly regarding how to participate in this current promotion. You can email Vanessa at to get more information now if you are anxious!

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SCARPA Unveils 'Planet Friendly' Sourcing Initiative

AAO Filed Under:
SCARPA said five new models of trail runners and light hikers from its Spring 2010 collection embody the footwear brand’s new 'SCARPA Planet Friendly' initiative, a commitment to sourcing and employing recycled content materials and finding other ways – such as midsoles that biodegrade in landfills – to lessen its carbon footprint.

The new 'Planet Friendly' initiative for Spring 2010 not only marks SCARPA’s most comprehensive effort at building footwear using recycled and biodegradable technology, it also marks the beginning of an effort to let consumers know what it is doing to try to use less, and what it is doing to make materials purchases count in terms of supporting lower-impact technology. Five new shoes, the Pursuit and Pursuit GTX (trail runners), the Epic (hiking/approach shoe built on a trail runner chassis) and the Moraine and Moraine GTX (light hikers), incorporate the following ‘Planet Friendly’ materials choices.

• Midsoles use EcoPure, an additive that helps the EVA break down in roughly 20 years under landfill conditions versus more than 1,000 years for normal EVA
• 100 percent recycled webbing and lace
• 100 percent recycled lining; 70 percent recycled strobel
• 40 percent recycled synthetic leather
• 29 percent recycled polyester mesh
• 25 percent recycled rubber outside

Moving forward, the SCARPA Eco ski boot program, telemark and alpine-touring boots made from Pebax Rnew, a version of the Pebax plastic that is made 90 percent from oil derived from the castor plant instead of petroleum-based oil, will also fall under the SCARPA Planet Friendly designation. Pebax Rnew is the same material as Pebax, with the same high-end performance characteristics, except that it requires 29 percent less fossil fuel and puts out 32 percent fewer emissions in the process taking Rnew from raw to useable material.

"Sourcing new technologies that help us lessen our impact is an ongoing process, and the Planet Friendly initiative is about letting our customers know in very specific terms how we’re trying to incorporate these emerging technologies into our line, not about 'another green story' or about congratulating ourselves," said SCARPA North America CEO Kim Miller. "SCARPA Planet Friendly is a continuous effort to reduce our impact on the environment. If we do our job right, we’ll help drive demand for better and better technologies that help us continue to lessen our footprint."

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Scarpa news update!

AAO Filed Under:
It’s been a bit since we’ve updated you on SCARPA media coverage. If you’ve got the Flickr site fed through your RSS reader, you’ll have noticed that with the addition of a staff position here at Base Camp Communications, we’ve been getting these up on the site more quickly as soon as they come in the door, rather than in batches as in the past.

So, if you’ve not got the site RSS fed, now’s a great time to do it.

That said, there’s lots of new coverage available for download, viewing and sharing at:

A couple highlights:

• Lots of good ski boot coverage the last month of two in the likes of Skiing, Backcountry, Powder and Freeskier, including Editor’s Choice Awards for the Skookum, Domina, TX Comp and TX from Backcountry Magazine. Of 12 ‘Editor’s Choice’ awards handed out, SCARPA won four, two each in AT and tele – more than any other brand.
• Trail Runner gave the Raptor a great review in its Fall 2009 shoe guide, and Vermont Sports called out the Raptor in a fall trail-running-themed piece.

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Uncle Dan's named Illinois retail merchant of the year

AAO Filed Under:
Chicagoland outdoor retailer Uncle Dan's Great Outdoor Store has been named retailer of the year by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

The award was presented to Uncle Dan's CEO Brent Weiss, Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at a luncheon at the Palmer House Hotel.

"Brent understands the true nature of retailing," the association's president, David Vite, said. "His stores focus not only on serving the customers, but serving the community. He knows if he takes care of his customers on every level they will keep coming back.

Uncle Dan's was founded in 1972 and has four stores in Chicagoland. Locations are Highland Park, Evanston and in Chicago's Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville neighborhoods.

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Sole Sport Flips on Trail Running Soul

AAO Filed Under:
You really need to try these sandals! Another rave review from an online trail running site:

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Sole Sport Flips reviewed by Outside!

AAO Filed Under:
Still not carrying Sole Sport Flips? Need more proof of their ingenious design and amazing benefits? Check out the review from Outside online below!!

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Scarpa media hits!

AAO Filed Under:
A few highlights:

• Backpacker gave the Axis a great review in the August issue (just out) in a story about light hikers that offer performance for less than $100.
• Running Times gave the Raptor a solid review, as did a review that ran in several of the National Sports Network/Gen A Media regional publications (Windy Sports, Competitor Colorado, formerly Rocky Mountain Sports, Competitor SoCal, and Competitor Northwest).
• The Force was reviewed in Rock and Ice (stellar review) and Men’s Journal.

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More Sole- are you on the train yet?

AAO Filed Under:
SOLE Sport Flips Receive I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review Award
Posted: 06/26/2009 In Category: Outdoor New Products
Posted By: Ian Anderson
Print Email Save This RSS Post a release

SOLE, the maker of performance footbeds, socks and sandals, received an honorable mention in I.D. Magazine's 2009 Annual Design Review in the 'Consumer Products' category. I.D. Magazine selected the SOLE Sport Flips for this award based on the product's comfort, fit and orthopedic support.

Since 1954, the I.D. Magazine's Annual Design Review has recognized the best in design, from the iconic to the obscure. Throughout the years, this annual showcase has chronicled the evolution of design and highlighted its impact on today's material and visual culture. Contest winners are chosen by a panel of distinguished design professionals and the I.D. Magazine editorial team, and demonstrate a clear survey of the state of design.

According to the design review, the SOLE Sport Flips are, “perfectly comfortable, you can run in them, they don’t smell. They’re just totally rad--the best flip-flops ever.”

"We are incredibly pleased to be recognized by a prestigious design publication such as I.D. Magazine," said Mike Baker, president of SOLE. "This award is a true honor as it acknowledges the innovation and design that is possible in a seemingly simple product like flip-flops."

About SOLE:
Founded by a group of elite runners, coaches and inventors in Boulder, Colorado in 2007, Newton Running shoes use patented technology inspired by Sir Isaac Newton’s elemental laws of motion. Newton Running shoes feature patented Action/Reaction Technology™ that absorbs more impact than traditional running shoe foam and converts this energy into forward propulsion to help runners go farther and faster with less fatigue. Newton’s propulsion technology, combined with a running technique that focuses on a midfoot-forefoot strike rather than heel striking, helps runners achieve maximum efficient performance. Newton Running shoes are available at specialty retailers and at

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SOLE Sport Flips Recognized in I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review

AAO Filed Under:
Sole Sport Flips received an honorable mention in I.D. Magazine's 2009 Annual Design Review in the 'Consumer Products' category.

I.D Magazine selected the Sport Flips for this award based on the product's comfort, fit and orthopedic support.

Since 1954, the I.D. Magazine's Annual Design Review has recognized the best in design, from the iconic to the obscure. Throughout the years, this annual showcase has chronicled the evolution of design and highlighted its impact on today's material and visual culture. Contest winners are chosen by a panel of distinguished design professionals and the I.D. Magazine editorial team, and demonstrate a clear survey of the state of design.

According to the design review, the SOLE Sport Flips are, "perfectly comfortable, you can run in them, they don't smell. They're just totally rad--the best flip-flops ever."


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AAO Filed Under:
Little Hotties/Yaktrax to Sponsor U.S. Ski/Snowboarding Team
SportsOneSource Media Posted: 6/18/2009

Little Hotties and Yaktrax, both owned by Implus Footcare, have signed on as sponsors of the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding. Little Hotties will provide the athletes, volunteers, media and support staff with products as the exclusive supplier of hand and foot warmer products. Yaktrax will serve as the exclusive ice traction supplier, providing traction and stability on snow and ice to all athletes and support staff.

"Winter athletes and spectators are forced to compete in extremely cold and icy conditions," said Todd Vore, President of Implus Footcare. "Little Hotties and Yaktrax are necessary winter accessories that return the focus to the sport and not the cold environment. We are proud to do our part in helping them bring home the gold!"

"Little Hotties and Yaktrax are a welcome addition to the Team", said Ted Morris, vice president of sales and marketing for the Team. "We are excited to partner with Little Hotties and Yaktrax as we launch into the Olympic season and beyond."

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Update from the MCA!

AAO Filed Under:
Blue Mounds Gathering and Clean-Up/Adopt a Crag - June 5th through the 7th

The MCA has reserved the group camp site. Pot luck dinner sat night; there will be deep fried turkey! $15 for the camping, any extra after costs goes to the MCA. Clean-up in sunday morning; put on by the MCA and sponsored by the Access Fund and So Ill Holds.

Barn Bluff, Redwing Clean-Up/Adopt a Crag - June 28th 10am to 2pm.

Co-Hosted by MCA & VE Climb Team. Sponsored by Access Fund. Clean-up from 10am to 1pm. Food and Raffle until 2pm and then climbing! One of the tasks is to rid the park of poison ivy!

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NY Times reviews Sole Platinum Sandals!!

AAO Filed Under:
SOLE Platinum Sandals reviewed in the NY Times
On Thursday, our Platinum Sandals were reviewed in the NY Times! Here's an excerpt from the review:

"This sandal bears the American Podiatric Medical Association seal of acceptance, meaning that the shoe was put through a series of tests to verify its manufacturers' claims, and it passed. "The footbed molds to the foot, and the sandal is much more supportive than a typical flip-flop," Dr. Christina said. "In fact, it was the most supportive sandal in the test." He noted that while he doesn't like thong-style sandals, he didn't find the toe strap of this one "overly irritating." The placement of the strap toward the rear of the footbed also means the sandals don't slap when you walk."

Read the review at

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More Curly's Clips!!!

AAO Filed Under:
New Curly’s Clips are up! Check out these instructional videos on Marmot products, as told by our very own Curly Cervone, a very entertaining fellow! Three from our “down series” are now live: Marmot Down, Down vs Synthetic Insulation, and EN Testing are all up and running. You can see all three of them in context here:

This is just one product where all three appear. These are all over the site where appropriate – we’re making good use of them. To see a list of products they appear with and view them individually, check out these links:

Marmot Down:
Down vs Synthetic:
EN Testing:

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Osprey: Outside Magazine's Best Company 2009

AAO Filed Under:
Osprey has once again been chosen as one of Outside Magazines 2009 Best Companies! Check out the article in the magazine or online today! Congrats Osprey!!

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Osprey: Gear of the Year for the Exos!

AAO Filed Under:
I am pleased to announce that the Osprey Exos 46 has garnered The Gear of the Year Award from Outside Magazine for 2009! This is great news for all of Osprey and for the Exos 46-shout it from the mountain tops!

If you haven't had a chance to check out this ultra light adventure race inspired pack, sign on to today and check them out!

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New Marmot Athlete and great friend of AAO!!

AAO Filed Under:
Marmot Athlete Fabrizio Zangrilli
Set to Lead Unprecedented Expedition to K2

Boulder, CO: Top alpinist Fabrizio Zangrilli – a recent addition to Marmot’s global athlete team – will lead what might be the first-ever commercially organized expedition of its kind to K2. Australian/US-based outfitter, Field Touring Alpine developed this unprecedented expedition and tapped Zangrilli for his extensive high-altitude climbing background and knowledge of the mountain – to lead the climb. K2 is the world’s second highest peak (8611 meters / 28,251 feet) and is considered by climbers to be one of the most challenging mountains in the world.

The K2 expedition which will depart this June for Pakistan ushers in a new era of Himalayan mountain-guiding or “Super Guiding” and is unparalleled in scope: seven seasoned high-altitude climbers will employ a commercial guide service and the leadership skills of Zangrilli -- one of the strongest alpinists in the world – to attempt one of the most difficult mountains ever.

“This is a total departure from the mountain guiding that we’ve traditional seen on Everest or on some of the smaller 8000-meter peaks” explains Colorado-based Zangrilli. Because K2 is such a difficult and high mountain, Zangrilli’s clients all need to be competent at 8000 meters and be keenly aware of how their bodies respond to the extreme altitude (8000 meters / 26,250 feet or higher is commonly referred to as the “Death Zone”). “All of my clients have previously climbed on 8000 meter peaks – some of them have even climbed four 8000 peaks in preparation to handle K2,” he adds from his home in Boulder.

Zangrilli’s experience with K2 is extensive and unique. On his first expedition to the mountain in 2000 he rescued Mohammed Ali Junjoba from 8350 meters – a Pakistani high-altitude porter who had collapsed from exhaustion and extreme altitude – deciding to turn around just 250 meters from the summit. “I saw the challenge of getting him down to be far more important than the pending summit which I knew was well within my reach,” he explains. Zangrilli brought Ali Junjoba back down though the infamous “bottleneck” to Camp IV at (26,250 feet). He spent three subsequent days bringing the affected climber down the mountain through technical terrain to Base Camp.

In 2005, Zangrilli returned to K2’s south face, reaching 7700 meters just below the southwest spur on the famous Magic Line. In 2007, Zangrilli received the American Alpine Club’s Zach Martin Breaking Barriers Award – a humanitarian and climbing grant. In a single light and fast push on the Cesen route, Zangrilli and his partners completed a 36-hour round trip ascent from 5100m to 8000m in under than 36 hours. At the end of the expedition Zangrilli completed a feasibility study to build a girl’s school in Khane village in the Hushe Valley, where many of the Balti high altitude porters live.

Zangrilli (36) is a full-time, professional climber based in Boulder, Colorado. He has led over 20 successful commercial expeditions to 8000, 7000 and 6000 meter peaks in Nepal, Tibet and Pakistan. Some of the expeditions he has either previously guided or climbed on include: Everest, K2 (3 times) Makalu, Cho Oyu, Shishapangma, Gasherbrum II, Nuptse, Ama Dablam (5 times) and Pumori. His mountaineering resume, which spans over 22 years of experience with high, alpine climbing, includes new alpine, ice, rock, big wall and mixed routes around the world -- from Queen Maud Land (Antarctica) to the Alaska Range.

“We’re extremely proud to have Fabrizio representing Marmot as an athlete. He is a gifted high-altitude climber who inspires alpine climbers everywhere” explains Andy Meyer, Marmot’s Athlete Team Manager. “The guy also embodies the spirit of ‘Marmot’s At Work’, which is a big part of our company’s heritage” Meyer adds.

35 year-old Marmot Mountain LLC is one of only a handful of outdoor companies in the world offering a full-service product line to serious alpine climbers and ski-mountaineers: from skin-to-shell apparel, extreme-temperature down goods to expedition tents, packs and sleeping bags. Because of Marmot’s vast and technical offering, the company has been able to support professional mountain guides and guide services in North America and Europe for nearly two decades. Marmot has also sponsored international expeditions and world-class athletes.

To learn more about Fabrizio Zangrilli visit or check out his blog: Fabrizio Zangrilli’s sponsors: Marmot Mountain LLC, CAMP-USA, SCARPA North America and BlueWater Ropes. To follow the K2 expedition:

Marmot Athlete, Fabrizio Zangrilli near his home in Boulder, Colorado (April, 25, 2009)
Photo: Courtesy, Claudia Lopez --

K2 (8,611 meters / 28,251 feet) from Base Camp
Photo: Fabrizio Zangrilli --

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Scarpa all over the media!!

AAO Filed Under:
Scarpa is everywhere this spring! Climbing, Rock and Ice and Urban Climber recently all published their annual gear guides, and the Nangpa-La won an Editor’s Choice Award from Women’s Adventure, in the current spring issue. As always, you’ll find downloadable files of the coverage here:

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Taylors Falls, MN Clean-up Info!

AAO Filed Under:
Greetings All!

I wanted to let you know that we have confirmed the annual Taylors Falls Clean Up for Sunday, May 31st from 10am-2pm. As you know this event is sponsored by Midwest Mountaineering and the Minnesota Climbing Association/Access Fund. A raffle is done each year for those who attend and help dedicate their time to keeping our climbing areas clean. In years past most, if not all of you have donated some delicous prize(s)! We hope you will be willing and able to do so again this year. And of course, we both welcome and greatly appreciate your attendance when possible.

I am sure Glenn will also contact you regarding the TF clean up, among many other great events planned this spring/summer/fall on behalf of the MCA. I just wanted to get it out there sooner than later, since it is one of the earlier events. Also, before the MWM Expo in case there were questions (you can find me that weekend behind the climbing counter) OR if it would save money on shipping by bringing things to the event.

Anything shipped (for the Taylors Falls expo) can be addressed to:
Carolyn Hansen c/o Midwest Mountaineering
309 Cedar Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55454

phone (my cell): 612-715-3574

Thank you for all the past and hopefully future support of the climbing community in MN!

Best Regards,
Carolyn Hansen

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Check out Curly's Clips!!! Super Funny and informative!!

AAO Filed Under:
Marmot has developed a new video series called Curly's Clips.......................starring our very own Curly Cervone (and filmed by our very own Andy Meyer). The goal of these videos is to lend an informative & approachable feel to Marmot to go along with the authentic feel of the product review videos we're seeing from our athletes.

Our initial series of Curly's Clips can be found on the tent video pages for virtually every tent in the line (we've got a few more to film).

Check out these for a sampler...............make sure to have your speakers on:

Future videos series to look out for:

> Curly's Clips: Marmot Insulation (Down & Synthetic)

> Curly's Clips: Care and Feeding of Marmot Products

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Minnesota Climbers Assoc. April Calendar!

AAO Filed Under:
Hello from Kendra Stritch of the MCA-
There's a lot going on in April! I hope to see you all multiple times!

We have a couple clean ups of ice climbing crags

Lilydale Brickyards Sat April 11th - I'm organizing this one! This is in conjunction with the City of St Paul. We are meeting at the Harriet island pavillion at 8:30 am. The City will have Peace coffee! and breakfast there and they are giving away a Patagonia bag as well. If you can't quite get out of bed so early our group will be meeting at the Brickyards parking lot at 9am to clean up the ice climbing area. We'll meet back at the parking area at 11am to regroup and hand out some SWAG. This is part of the Access Fund's Adopt-A-Crag series.

Sandstone Robinson Park Sat April 25th - This is being organized by the sandstone park board and a great turn-out by climbers is a great way to show the park board and the city that we appreciate the location.

Another AWESOME FUNDRAISING COMP - Boulders Climbing Gym cordially invites you and your friends to:
"Comp of the Year!"

This is a "Fund Razor"!! for new anchors in the Southern Illinois region.
The info is listed below and is on Facebook here:
Please RSVP on FaceBook!!
Spectators are welcome and free but if they want to partake in the food the suggested donation is $10.

Boulders Climbing Competition will be Saturday, April 18th.
-Registration 5-6pm.
-Climbing 6-8pm.
-Finals 8:30pm.
-Dinner and dancing until 11pm.
Format is: "Who can climb the most?"
Finals participants will be determined by hardest boulder problem climbed.

This comp has been voted #1 by Vince and Rhoads EVERY SINGLE YEAR!!!
Cost will be $25 or $20 if you bring food to pass for the potluck dinner.
AWESOME raffle prizes will be awarded!
Boulders will also have a fresh batch of the "world famous" custom clay holds made by Vince Evans and Seth Carlson.

Proceeds will benefit anchor replacement in Southern Illinois!!!!!

Note: Boulders Climbing Comps are for fun loving climbers only!

MCA Presentation at the Midwest Expo - April 24th @ the Midwest Expo is the 1st one. The MCA is holding 2 presentations this spring. The first is Minnesota Sport Climbing 101. Join Shawn Tracy of the Minnesota Climbers' Association for a tour of Minnesota's sport climbing locales. Get a visual introduction to several different climbing areas and discuss local ethics, common practices and self preservation. The second will be about Low Impact/Leave No Trace Climbing. Come to the expo on the 24th and see the MCA's presentation, Dean's awesome presentation on his trip to Denali, and the Access Fund's climber's forum.

Check out the MCA website for clean-up and gathering dates and info.

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Runner's World review of END Stumptown 12oz!

AAO Filed Under:
End Stumptown 12oz
Manufacturer: End
Price: $85
Reviewed in: Apr 2009 Shoe Guide
Runner's World Awards: Best Debut

Shoe Type: Trail
See Specifications

Runner's World Awards: Best Debut
The new Stumptown is an environmentally friendly shoe with a nimble ride and minimal protection. The outsole and midsole are constructed from recycled content (25 and 10 percent, respectively), and the laces are completely recycled plastic. The shoe's collar and tongue lining use bamboo to offset 25 percent of the plastic content and to help control odor. The result is a lightweight trainer with a soft heel and an exceptionally firm forefoot, according to our lab tests. Since this is one of the most flexible shoes in this guide, we recommend it for fast-paced training or racing across level terrain.

"It's a comfortable shoe, but I couldn't get the laces snug enough to wrap my foot well." - Chris Vincent, 45, East Lansing

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Camping on the upswing!

AAO Filed Under:
Check out this article posted on Sports One Source on Friday- GO CAMPING!!

In response to a survey by the SGMA, the five "hottest" sports for sales growth in 2009 will be fitness walking, lacrosse, running, aerobic training, and camping. In its 2009 State of the Industry Report, the SGMA also said that many sporting goods executives surveyed "see the industry coming out of this recession viable and stronger, due in large part to Americans' sustained interest in sports, fitness and recreation activities."...

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AAO Sponsorship Thank you!

AAO Filed Under:
Dear AAO,

Thank you for sponsoring the MCA's fund raiser Best of the Midwest Bouldering Challenge on Feb 22nd. 86 competitors, 28 volunteers, and over 40 spectators joined us at Prairie Walls Climbing Gym in Rochester Minnesota to raise money for the MCA's annual programs (more information at

Much of your donation was used as prizes for the competitors and raffle items for the volunteers and participants. We were also excited to introduce our first Dyno comp (during score calculations) sponsored by Scarpa. The winner of the dyno comp received a pair of Scarpa shoes; he worked very hard against some tough competition for these shoes. There is a video of the final challenge on youtube at

Event information and a list of our sponsors were posted on Mountain Project,, Facebook,, and the MCA's website Also, the local Rochester, MN news paper, the Post-Bulletin, printed an article on the BoMBC on Tuesday Feb 17th. The BoMBC results and sponsors will remain on the MCA's website until Feb 2010.

Volunteer route setters produced 114 bouldering routes for the competition and many were tagged with AAO, Scarpa, Marmot, and Sole route tags. These routes will remain on the walls at the climbing gym for at least several months.

Thank you again for your support of the MCA and our BoMBC. We look forward to working with you on future projects.

Thank you,
Kendra Stritch

Minnesota Climbers Association

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Scarpa's New Alpine Cross Line!

AAO Filed Under:

Here it is, a new video from SCARPA introducing the new Alpine Cross line. They filmed and put together a video of summer shoe guru Mark Mathews giving some perspective into the thinking behind the Alpine Cross line, as well as details on each shoe, and it’s up on YouTube for the world to see. Enjoy!

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END Stumptown 12oz WINS!!!

AAO Filed Under:
Strip off your daddy’s over engineered sneakers…there’s a new kid in town.

END's Stumptown 12 oz. is awarded 'Best Trail Running Shoe Debut' by Runner's World. The Spring Shoe Trail Guide hits news stands everywhere on March 10, 2009. This is a great honor for a startup performance footwear brand focused on delivering what runners want - lightweight, flexibility, pliable comfort, stability and protection – while avoiding all the unnecessary and often toxic materials that runners don’t want.

This award is 100% non-biased and based purely on trail running performance by the magazine’s independent product testers and nationally renowned footwear science lab. We would like to thank the world's filthiest mud, hairball off-road descents, gopher infested grass, stumps that reach up and grab you (I hate that!), and a global desire for taking running shoes far, far, far beyond the manicured city sidewalk.

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Road Report: Jon at the Birkie!

AAO Filed Under:
Perhaps my second favorite event in the month of February, the Birkie. It’s 54K if hills, rolling terrain, one flat lake just before the end, and a main street finish in a little northern Wisconsin town called Hayward. I have skied the Birkie twice now and the Korte once, all classic, and all fun. The 54K classic trail has a lot of hills in the first half of the race following a north/south trending Moraine located between Cable and Hayward. The second half, from county OO to the finish has more downhill sections and flat sections of the trail, to make up some time if needed.

The day started out great, little wind, a temp hovering around 10 (if I remember correctly) at the starting line and a little new snow the night before. My wax was spot on for the conditions I experienced on the trail for starting in wave 6. I was fast on the downhills, catching up to a lot of people that were beating me on the uphills. I love going fast downhill! This year though, it was a tough race for me. I almost quit around 30K with both quads almost fully cramping up on me…no fun. So, I slowed down a bit and rubbed out my muscles as best as I could. I got some more food and drink in me and in another 6 K my quads finally worked out and I was able to finish what I started in just over 6 hours. My goal was to finish with a time under 6 hours, so that will have to wait until next year. Cant wait for Feb 2010! ~Jon Jugenheimer, AAO rep

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Jon Jugenheimer reviews Point 6 socks!

AAO Filed Under:
Point 6 socks ski the Birkebeiner!

I just finished the 54K classic race on Saturday and I used a brand new pair of Point 6 socks. I wore a pair of Active lights and they worked beyond expectations! My feet were never cold for the entire race (something that has happened before) with a starting temp around 10F. They wicked moisture away from my feet throughout the entire day, and felt great with the full wool contact all the way around my feet . My feet never developed a single blister or a hot spot, and there was plenty of cushioning all around my feet for added comfort. I would have to say, these socks kick butt and I will definitely be using these socks again for events of this caliber!

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Retailer of the Year- Midwest Mountaineering

AAO Filed Under:
Congrats to Midwest Mountaineering, a Grassroots partner, who received a Retailer of the Year award at OR from Snews and Backpacker magazine. Please click the link below to read more!

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DIY project on Wild Snow for Scarpa and Sole!

AAO Filed Under:
Check out this great Sole demonstration on Wild Snow about fitting Scarpa mountaineering boots! Two great lines we have the pleasure of working with!!

DIY - Sole Footbeds and Scarpa Summer Mountaineering Boots

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Marmot at the Inauguration!

AAO Filed Under:

During last Saturday's pre-Presidential Inauguration ceremonies, Andy Meyer (Marmot's Sponsorship Manager) noticed CNN reporter, Don Lemon, wearing a Marmot Zeus down jacket on Barack Obama's train-ride into Washington DC. Please click on the link below -- watch Don Lemon carefully -- and you'll see Marmot proudly displayed on CNN:

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Osprey announces the All Mighty Guarantee and more!

AAO Filed Under:

From Marketing / PR:

Osprey has had some exciting news to share with the world recently. Attached are two press releases regarding the partnership with Telluride Ski Resort and Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee.

You can see all of Osprey’s press releases on the Verde PR Paperless Press Room.

And remember to check out the latest media hits on Osprey’s Social Media Blog.

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Andy Knapp: Survivor

AAO Filed Under:
In today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune I-profile Andy Knapp, a 60-year-old retail buyer at Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis and a lifelong adventurer who’s now fighting cancer.

The story focuses on Knapp’s life in the wilds as well as his fight over the past five years with tough-to-treat renal cell carcinoma kidney cancer.

This story is incredible and one you will want to read. Check out the full story at!

edit post A Top parenting trend of 2009- CAMPING!

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The Nature Vacation
Money might be tight, but 2009's summer vacation is still circled on the calendar. A recent study from TripAdvisor, an online traveler review site, found that adventure vacations and National Park visits will see a spike this year, and as a result camping's on the rise too. After all, the wonders of nature don't (usually) have a high cost of admission, you cook your own food, and a tent's the cheapest lodging around.

Trend Tip: Explore local state parks and campgrounds on sites like and to find the best places to pitch your tent. If sleeping on the ground doesn't appeal to you, try "glamping" (short for glamour camping) by seeking out campgrounds with cabins and electrical power hookups.

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Marmot and AXE study abroad program!!

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Marmot is participating in a rather unique promotion with the AXE brand ( Click on the link to find out more today!

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2009 Scarpa update!!

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Happy 2009 everyone! Hope you’re having a good start to the new year.

Below is the usual link to coverage for SCARPA North America for the last couple of months, including some good coverage this month. A few highlights:

• The Typhoon is covered in the current issue of Skiing in a feature on the new generation of freeride boots, and the month before they named the T-Race one of the year’s ‘Best pieces of Gear.’
• Outside Magazine covered the Zen in its holiday gift guide.
• The Nangpa-La was featured in American Way and Michigan Sports.
• Mountain Gazette covered the T1 and the Techno in separate months this winter and fall.
• Gripped has covered three different SCARPA rocks shoes/mountain boots in issues this fall and winter.
• BOSS Report covered SCARPA’s move into new offices and integration of the warehouse operation.

As always, you can download these placement to print out or otherwise use to share with retailers and colleagues, or just forward them the link.

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