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