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Road Report by Jon Jugenheimer: Pacing with the Paceline Jacket

AAO Filed Under:

I was at Devils Lake State Park the other day XC skiing with a few friends. There were a few trails with tracks down and the snow was falling. It warmed up to about 26F, so I put on a light weight long underwear shirt under my Paceline Jacket and off we went. I started at the car shivering, so it was a perfect clothing combination for the new snow falling and the cool temps. We started off on the flats and soon took our first small uphill rise. We got to the first junction, looking to take the longer trail but it was not groomed, bummer! So, we took a right, and stayed on the Steinke Basin loop that was groomed, but not as technical and shorter. I warmed up by this point and was also staying dry on the outside from the watertight construction of the Paceline. We did the short loop and decided to take the spur trail that was groomed all the way down to the lake and check out the Ice Fisherman. I opened up my large front vents on the jacket by this point as I was really working up a sweat. The venting cooled me back down and keep be comfortable for the weather and activity level.

We made it down to the lake and rested for just a bit with a large gulp of water that I carried with me, and the other guys reapplied some Kick wax for the long uphill climb back up to main loop. We watched a few fisherman for a bit then turned and went back to the top. Before we set out on the uphill section, I opened up core vents all the way for maximum venting as I knew I would be over heating soon. I took off for the top with a bit of vigor and made it back to the parking lot before the others, but I knew they were just sandbagging me! We all waited for each other at the parking lot, then did one more lap, but this time faster than the first in the Basin. While I was striding out, I really noticed the stretch in the jacket across my back and shoulders, It didn’t bind me at all. We all made it back to the car and I immediately put on my Baffin jacket to stay warm and suck the moisture off my body to get dry. You got to love synthetic!

Overall, I really enjoyed this jacket and liked how it preformed in “warm” snowy weather. Dry from the outside snow and minimum wetness on the inside due to the large venting in the front that also doubles as pockets. My only one complaint, Is that I wish the sleeves were just a bit longer. The gauntlets on my gloves kept my wrists covered at all times, but I would like to see another ½ inch of material there. 9 out of 10! - J. Jugenheimer

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Osprey Kode Review on Snowshoemag.com!

AAO Filed Under:

Check out this great Osprey Kode review on Snowshoemag.com, really hits all the benefits. Way to go, Osprey!

The Osprey Kode 30 Backpack: A Snowshoer's Backcountry Best Friend-
http://www.snowshoemag.com/viewContent.cfm?content_id=792&printable=1

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Great note from our friends at Dudes on Media!

AAO Filed Under:
Dear Friends,

As part of our deal with PBS you can watch our feature film online for free! It will be available to stream for for the next two months, if you haven't seen it yet or know a friend who might like to watch, check it out!

http://video.kcts9.org/video/1660259448/


Also, we're still on our scouting journey down The Ganges River, to learn more visit our blog at http://blog.dudesonmedia.com/


All the best!

JJ and Josh
Producers

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Dudes on Media Ganges Adventure Featured on NG Traveler

AAO Filed Under:

AAO Ambassadors JJ Kelley and Josh from Dudes on Media continue to impress with trailers and media reviews of their latest Endeavors on the Ganges. Check out the link below from National Geographic Traveler- a great spot light on this amazing project. Congrats, guys!

http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/intelligenttravel/2010/12/tracing-the-ganges-river.html


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Happy Holidays from Team AAO!!!

AAO Filed Under:

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Sole Footwear gets Gear of the Year from Gearist!

AAO Filed Under:
SOLE Footwear has been given the Gear of the Year by Gearist. This is a huge honor, when you look at all the incredible options they had to pick from. Please check out the link and read more!

http://gearist.com/2010/12/08/gear-year-sole-footwear/

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Marmot Commercials for this week!

AAO Filed Under:
Discovery Channel Air Times

Marmot w/o 11/29


Program Date Time
Deadliest Job in the World Thursday, December 02, 2010 9:23:35A
Overhaulin' Friday, December 03, 2010 9:22:38A
American Chopper Wednesday, December 01, 2010 10:18:17A
Biker Build Off Tuesday, November 30, 2010 12:43:33P
Biker Build Off Thursday, December 02, 2010 12:08:34P
Storm Chasers Wednesday, December 01, 2010 1:20:53P
American Chopper Tuesday, November 30, 2010 2:28:14P
Storm Chasers Wednesday, December 01, 2010 2:51:20P
American Chopper Thursday, December 02, 2010 2:42:03P
Storm Chasers Wednesday, December 01, 2010 2:18:33P
I Almost Got Away With It Saturday, December 04, 2010 2:09:16A
I Almost Got Away With It Saturday, December 04, 2010 1:52:45P
Bionic Builders Sunday, December 05, 2010 12:34:22P
Overhaulin' Friday, December 03, 2010 9:15:22A
Deadliest Job in the World Thursday, December 02, 2010 9:10:14A
Mythbusters Tuesday, November 30, 2010 9:15:22A
Deadliest Job in the World Thursday, December 02, 2010 9:50:18A
Overhaulin' Monday, November 29, 2010 2:18:49A

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Marmot Commercials continue on the Discovery Channel!

AAO Filed Under:
More Marmot commercials! Below is the programming schedule (Eastern Standard Time) where you’ll see live Marmot commercials on Discovery Channel next week………the week after Thanksgiving.

Discovery Channel Air Times

Marmot w/o 11/29

Program Date Time
Biker Build Off Thursday, December 02, 2010 12:32:22P
Biker Build Off Friday, December 03, 2010 12:50:48P
American Chopper Thursday, December 02, 2010 1:12:37P
American Chopper Tuesday, November 30, 2010 2:06:39P
American Chopper Friday, December 03, 2010 2:51:20P
American Chopper Thursday, December 02, 2010 2:21:17P
American Chopper Friday, December 03, 2010 2:18:03P
I Almost Got Away With It Saturday, December 04, 2010 2:09:16A
I Almost Got Away With It Saturday, December 04, 2010 1:52:45P
Swamp Loggers Sunday, December 05, 2010 12:34:22P
Mythbusters Tuesday, November 30, 2010 9:15:22A
Deadliest Job in the World Thursday, December 02, 2010 9:50:18A
Deadliest Job in the World Thursday, December 02, 2010 9:17:01A (w/ TTI)
Overhaulin' Friday, December 03, 2010 9:27:51A (w/ TTI)
American Chopper Wednesday, December 01, 2010 10:19:51 AM (w/ TTI)
Overhaulin' Monday, November 29, 2010 2:18:49A
Storm Chasers Wednesday, December 01, 2010 12:41A
Storm Chasers Wednesday, December 01, 2010 12:10:59A (w/ BB)
Storm Chasers Wednesday, December 01, 2010 9:19:15P
Storm Chasers Wednesday, December 01, 2010 9:40:10P (w/ BB)
Storm Chasers Saturday, December 04, 2010 3:51:45P
Storm Chasers Saturday, December 04, 2010 3:19:10P (w/ BB)

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Living the dream in Pakistan 2010

AAO Filed Under:
By Ariba Khan, MD MPH.

Living the dream 2010, Brian Block made a second attempt on Karakorum 2 (K2): the second highest mountain in the world located in the northern areas of Pakistan. Brian Block is a professional mountaineer and the president of Ames Adventure Outfitters-a leading rep group in the outdoor industry. I met him just before his trip to Pakistan and his plans were concerning. Firstly, the big risk to climb the most challenging mountain in the world. Secondly, a white guy in the remote, rugged areas of Pakistan? He may run into Taliban or even Osama Bin laden.
“Are you afraid for your safety” I asked him.
“Not at all. I have wonderful friends in Pakistan. If you listen to the media you would think there are Taliban everywhere, but I have never seen a Taliban to my knowledge and even if I had I have never felt threatened.” He replied.

The post-9/11 Pakistan faces enormous challenges. According to the long war journal in October 2010 52 “militants” and 8 Germans were killed by US drone attacks and 18 civilians died in suicide bombings in Pakistan. The negative international coverage has affected Pakistan as businesses slump, tourism falls and institutions fail. The government is corrupt. Some of us are not comfortable saying the word Pakistan as if referring to a dead person. During my last visit I witnessed a bomb attack while simply trying to eat dinner at a nice restaurant. Nevertheless, Lahore, the city of 10 million moves on after each and every bomb blast. Life is as normal as possible.

Brian plans his return from two challenging peaks K2 and Broad Peak. He cannot wait to fly back to USA to see his family and friends. The unusually heavy monsoon rain starts in mid-July. One city records rainfall of 10 inches in 24 hours. This pattern continues overwhelming the Indus River. Brian is in the small remote village of Machulo when the floodwaters threaten them. In a few minutes the water reaches the rooftops of the neighbor village of Talis.
“We had nothing and could do nothing. My friends jumped in to help the victims with their bare hands. We saw 22 people die in that village. I do not know of anything worse” he continues “I gave them everything I had to give. We made a desperate foray onto the road back to Skardu as the only other option was for an army helicopter to evacuate us. We were not sure if we could make it out of there. Water was over the hood of the jeep and in many cases we had to wade through the chest deep water to feel for the ground below to make sure it was not completely washed out. The Pakistani people remained helpful and courteous to me even in the face of an unbelievable disaster. They lost everything. It is beyond frustrating that so many Americans are unaware of the extent of the devastation due to lack of media coverage. Something needs to be done to raise awareness and create support for these people!”

UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon “Pakistan floods are the worst disaster I have ever seen”. At one time one-fifth of the country was under water (size of UK). Flooding caused loss of $460 million, claimed 760,000 houses, displaced 20 million, 2000 died, affected 6 million kids and 50,000 pregnant women. The number of people affected by this disaster is worse than the combined affect of 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, 2010 Haiti Earthquake and 2005 Kashmir earthquake. It will take a number of years to reverse the affects. Pakistan is a poor country and the flooding affected the poorest of the poor.
“I believe the damage to be much worse than estimated,” says Brian who continues to help his friends in Pakistan. “People may not know where or feel comfortable sending money due to corruption issues that run rampant in the country or for fear that they are contributing to some anti-American Taliban settlement. Fortunately there are a number of organizations that are working hard at the ground level making every penny count. The Pakistanis I know are regular people like me and probably most anyone reading this, just trying to live a normal life. Sometimes, I feel they are better people than me and many of my American counterparts as they are completely selfless in good times and beyond accommodating and helpful in the worst of them. If anyone has ever deserved support in a time of need it would most definitely be the people of the Northern Areas of Pakistan.”

Brian has graciously agreed to advocate for my effort to build a high school in Pakistan. All the funds raised will be donated to “Concerned Citizens of Pakistan” www.ccp.org.pk. My mother and cousins volunteer for this organization and there is no overhead cost. I can trust the money will go to the right people. Rebuilding a school helps build a stronger nation. The cost is $40,000 and I have raised $4000. Hopefully the bravest nation in the world can successfully conquer this disaster. Please support my event at the Pettit Ice Center on 12/5/10 during family skate time. Pettit will donate proceeds to the Pakistani floods from tickets bought at my booth.

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Ice calls for Yaktrax!

AAO Filed Under:



It’s finally here! The ice and snow! Are your customers ready? Order your Yaktrax today and keep them safe and shopping!

Is the weather a little more extreme than normal?
Then you need:
Yaktrax XTR- Extreme weather traction
This new item from Yaktrax this fall is going like hotcakes and you should be in on the action!

The XTR by Yaktrax provides you with extreme traction on snow and ice. A patent-pending spike design enhances traction while preventing snow build up. It is designed for anyone who prefers to go off-road or extreme slick ice situations during the winter months.

The XTR is made with high strength steel spikes and chains that will resist rust and abrasion. To ensure a secure fit, we have signed a natural rubber outband that will adapt to most types of footwear. It can be worn in temperatures as low as -41 F.

And to top it off, we are giving you new dealers a great incentive!
• 10% off for a 12 pair order
• 20% off for a 24+ pair order
• Net 60 payment terms
• Order deadline 11-30-10 and product must ship by 12-15-10.

Email Vanessa today for more information!

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Marmot Commercials!!

AAO Filed Under:






Yes, you heard right, Marmot commercials! check out the following shows this week to see the new Marmot commercial. We are very excited!

Discovery Channel Air Times

Biker Build Off Friday, November 19, 2010 12:33:56 PM
Sturgis: Motorcycle Mania Monday, November 15, 2010 1:17:55 PM
American Chopper Friday, November 19, 2010 1:20:35 PM
American Chopper Thursday, November 18, 2010 2:10:37 PM
American Chopper Tuesday, November 16, 2010 2:06:24 PM
Jack the Ripper in America Saturday, November 20, 2010 1:21:36 PM
Exorcists - The True Story Saturday, November 20, 2010 2:52:24 PM
Dirty Jobs Sunday, November 21, 2010 12:30:15 PM
Overhaulin' Friday, November 19, 2010 10:20:20 AM
American Chopper Wednesday, November 17, 2010 3:50:37 PM
American Chopper Tuesday, November 16, 2010 4:39:43 PM
American Chopper Thursday, November 18, 2010 4:53:14 PM
Cash Cab Tuesday, November 16, 2010 5:47:42 PM
Cash Cab Wednesday, November 17, 2010 5:07:47 PM

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Highgear Co-sponsors Ultra Running Team

AAO Filed Under:

Outdoor electronics brand Highgear signed on as a 2011 sponsor of Team Pearl Izumi - Smith, an elite group of endurance runners who compete in over 60 of the country’s top long distance races throughout the year. Races include various marathons to the Hardrock 100 race and everything in between.
Team Pearl Izumi - Smith athletes include 2010 Wasatch 100 winners Nick Clark and Darcy Africa, Ashley Nordell, Scott Jaime, Nick Lewis, Josh Brimhall, Matt Lonergan and Aric Manning. Planning has already begun for the 2011 season, with the goal of adding a few new athletes to the roster and increasing the amount of races in which the team will compete.
“By far, next year will be a year we turn even more heads in the ultra running world and we are excited to have Highgear on board as a sponsor for the team, says Aric Manning, Team PI-Smith Race Manager. “Their altimeter timing pieces are so important for monitoring progress while training and competing and the team looks forward to a great relationship with the company in 2011.”

The current team has been testing out various Highgear timing products this year and plans to train and compete with those products that are suitable to them individually in 2011. The most popular product amongst the team so far is the latest altimeter watch the Axio Max that is equipped with an 100-hour chronograph and 10-run data log memory that stores valuable training information including starting altitude, accumulated altitude and max altitude.

“We are excited to sponsor and supply Highgear products to the team, which consists of a highly accomplished group of athletes that have each reached a level of achievement that is simply insurmountable to the average person,” says Mike Hosey, VP of Highgear. “We look forward to working with them to help them achieve even bigger goals in the years to come.”

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New Balance HRT Komen featured in Self!

AAO Filed Under:

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Scarpa Media Update- so much to tell!

AAO Filed Under:

As in past years, SCARPA won more Editor’s Choice Awards from Backcountry Magazine than any other single boot manufacturer. The Mobe, Shaka, T-Race and Terminator X Pro were all winners this year. In addition, Powder gave the redesigned T-Race a Skier’s Choice Award for 2011. And, the Mobe was called out in the Freeskier buyer’s guide.

In other categories, Gripped reviewed the Triolet Pro, the Instinct won Climbing’s Editor’s Choice Award, and the Dharma Pro continues to garner attention at the trade level and from online publications (there’s strong interest in the Exum story). Finally, the trade press around Outdoor Retailer included coverage of the Blitz Boa in a number of industry publications.

All are available for viewing, download and - most important - sharing at SCARPA’s media coverage blog. http://scarpanorthamerica.blogspot.com/

SCARPA launches new web site and social media program

SCARPA’s new web site went live in September(http://www.scarpa.com/scarpa/control/LandingPage),
and it offers more information than ever available before in North America about SCARPA products, the SCARPA brand, and the SCARPA community. Members of the SCARPA community can engage by writing reviews of SCARPA product, submitting feedback, Details are available here (pitch engine press release link).

In addition, SCARPA launched a social media program in concert with the new web site that includes a blog- http://blog.scarpa.com/ (to update community members on SCARPA events, team members and other news related to the brand), as well as a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/scarpaNA), YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/scarpaNA), and Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/scarpaNA).

Check out all the Scarpa links and information today!


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The year of the tent? Read on...

AAO Filed Under:


Interesting article of a movement toward the outdoors in times of economic strain from Mountain Gazette- http://www.mountaingazette.com/features/everything-must-go/


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Field Review by Vanessa: Marmot Streamline

AAO Filed Under:
Today is not a beautiful day in Iowa. It is a rainy, cool day in Iowa, perfect for a rain piece. But just a PreCip jacket may feel a little clammy in this 50 degree weather while running...what to do?




It is the perfect conditions for the new Marmot Streamline jacket! A fully DriClime lined PreCip jacket, this piece manages moisture on the inside with the bi-component knit DriClime material, but keeps you dry as well. Now, was I wearing this great piece today? No, but i am still very impressed.

My 14 month old son, Zander, and i were caught in the rain this morning and his open stroller did not fully cover his head and body. I tucked the Streamline around him and headed back to the car as fast as we could move to try and avoid the impending deluge. Back at the car i quickly went to pull Zander out to find him fast asleep. Warm and dry, the Steamline held up to the test. Great piece, Marmot. Check it out at www.marmot.com!

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Ozark Trail Bluegrass Family Weekend!

AAO Filed Under:
The Ozark Trail Association presents the first annual
Bluegrass Family Weekend
"Boots, Bikes, Bridles and Bluegrass"


Date: Friday, October 15 through
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Location: Bass' River Resort, near Steelville, MO
Cost: $20 per person ($5 for children under 12 years)

As our guest, you'll receive:

Free tent camping on Friday and Saturday night
A fun day of hiking, cycling and horseback riding events on Saturday with options for easier or more challenging treks--shuttle service provided for hikers and cyclists

Brown bag lunch and BBQ dinner on Saturday

Roaring bonfire with bluegrass music provided by two bands: Rosewood and River Ridge String Band--shows begin at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.

Chance to purchase raffle tickets for great outdoor gear and fun items
If you prefer, you can rent an electric campsite or cabin from Bass' Resort by contacting them directly at www.bassresort.com.

On Sunday, you can choose to purchase Bass' country breakfast and stay for activities on your own including kayaking, canoe and tube floats on Courtois Creek, using Bass' regularly-priced services.

TO REGISTER FOR THE EVENT:


Pre-registration and advance payment are required to make your reservation. Please follow the steps below:

To register, visit the Ozark Trail Association website: www.ozarktrail.com and click on Sign Up for An Event. Enter your registration information in the fields provided.
To make your payment, visit https://alpineshop.webconnex.com/OzarkTrailEvent. Fill in your contact information and add any additional participants who should be included in your payment. The secure form will request your credit card information.
You'll receive a payment confirmation at the Email address you specify in the payment form.
When you arrive at the Bluegrass Family Weekend, please check in at the registration desk for a schedule of events and to receive your wrist-bands for meals and activities.

QUESTIONS? Please call the Ozark Trail Association at (573) 436-0540 or
send a message to Abi Jackson, Office Coordinator, abi.jackson@ozarktrail.com



THANKS to our event sponsors: Alpine Shop, REI
and Bass' River Resort

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Climb UP!- AAC events in the UP!

AAO Filed Under:

Thursday, September 30- Mike Libecki Slide Show- Houghton, MI
Thursday, September 30- 180 Degrees South- Marquette, MI
Friday, October 1- AAC Social- Downwind Sports
Friday, October 1- Mike Libecki Slide show- Marquette, MI
Saturday, October 2- AAA Wall Climbing
Shoe Demo-
La Sportiva- Mark Wilford
Scarpa- Jon Jugenheimer
Slacklining
Vendor Booths
AAC BBQ and Party
Camping
Sunday, October 3- Little Presques Isle Bouldering Tour

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Congrats, Lynn! Climb up Kilimanjaro for cancer!

AAO Filed Under:
Congrats, Lynn Wachtel, for a heroic climb up Kilimanjaro for Cancer research...read more!

http://www.news-gazette.com/blogs/starting-line/2010-08/taking-high-road.html




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Chicks with Picks update

AAO Filed Under:








Just dial 970-mad-chic
Yup, that's the Head Chicks's new cell number, no kidding!
HELL WEEK AT CHICKS (and we aren’t talking freshman rush)
AKA: Techno tragedy, internet interruptus, computer crisis, digi disaster, cyber spasm and unforgettably f_ _ _ed up!

If you tried to visit the Chicks Climbing web site between Aug 18-23, you might have noted our new identity: Russian brides, old ladies, hot women, single girls or stock picks. During that time, you could pretty much access anything except our women’s climbing program. It appeared as if we disappeared off the face of the earth, "poof," gone. Not only was our web site down – but all emails to kim@chickswithpicks.net or info@chickswithpicks.net became undeliverable.

An unmentionable company (called Skybeam, there I said it) emailed me a notice that on Aug 18th they’d automatically renew the Chicks domain and it would be good until August 2011. However, no one can explain to me why it disappeared into cyber space instead.

Bad timing (understatement) as we are gearing up for Chicks Rock in Devil’s Lake, WI and we are presently running a contest to give away two spots at our weekend Skills Clinic, plus we are offering a "buddy deal" for women who sign up for the Women’s Intensive clinic with a friend. Yes, it’s hard to sign up for a program that doesn’t seem to exist.

Behind the scenes you might imagine me pulling my hair out and going absolutely crazy since incompetence can drive me nuts. But I have to admit, I was unusually calm and I could even find some (just a little) humor in it. I kept reminding myself that “no one died in the process” (even if I did want to personally do it myself) and in a year or two, everyone will forget it happened, even me. It reminded me that our day-to-day dramas become larger than life and all consuming. That is, if we let them. For me, the frustration I felt became a great opportunity to practice letting go of any ideas on how I think life "should" or needs to be. In conclusion, technology is awesome when it works and pure hell when it doesn’t!

I am SO SORRY for the inconvenience! We are now BACK ONLINE. PLEASE DON’T WAIT TO SIGN UP FOR OUR PROGRAMS….we need to know who is planning to show up!

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Chicks Rock! at the beautiful Devil's Lake Wisconsin
Chicks Rock! – our women’s rock climbing program is offering two GREAT DEALS that are happening right now. To win a free clinic or get a great discount – read on.

CONTEST: we are giving away two clinics for our weekend Coed Skills Clinics Sept 11 and 12 at Devil’s Lake, WI. To win, we want you to get creative! In order to enter the contest you must submit a photo on our Facebook page, of an artistic creation you design or capture with some climbing related piece(s) of gear. To learn more about the contest details, click here.

BUDDY DEAL: Between NOW and Friday, September 3, we are going to offer a special Buddy Deal that will save each Chick $100 who signs up for the Chicks Rock! clinic at Devil’s Lake, WI…with a buddy. Please click here to learn more.

HERE’S WHAT'S HAPPENING IN DEVIL’S LAKE WISCONSIN

• Sept. 11-12 – Chicks Climbing is hosting a co-ed weekend skills clinic at Devil’s Lake State Park 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., led by Kitty Calhoun. The clinics on Saturday and Sunday will cover topics that include intro to trad leading; working a project/redpoint tactics; intro to multi-pitch climbing; and anchors. Beginner to advanced climbers welcome. Chicks Climbing is giving away two free one-day passes to these clinics in an online contest that ends September 3.

• Sept. 12 – Chicks Climbing guide and world-renowned alpinist Kitty Calhoun will be giving a slideshow presentation on big wall climbing titled “Epics on the Big Stone” at 7 p.m. in the Class of 24 Reception Room of the University of Wisconsin Memorial Union. Families are welcome to attend this free event, which will also have raffle prizes.

• Sept. 13-16 – Chicks Climbing will host its Chicks Rock! Women-Only Intensive Rock Climbing clinic at Devil’s Lake State Park. This is a full-package affair that allows women to focus on improving their climbing skills in a fun, safe, and supportive environment. Beginner to advanced climbers welcome. Chicks Climbing is offering a special “buddy deal” price that amounts to a savings of $100 per participant through September 3 for women that sign up for the clinic with a friend.

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Camaraderie at Chicks Rock!
PLEASE PLAN AHEAD FOR OUR NEW GIRLY GATHERING:
Sept. 24-26

Brought to you by Sterling Rope

You’ll appreciate our new short format clinic that takes place over a weekend in New River Gorge, West Virginia. Girls-just-wanna-have fun and we love to do it together. This affordable program is new this year and is coming up soon.

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Anchor class at Chicks Rock!
RED ROCKS NEVADA: Oct. 1-5

Catch that last glimpse of warm weather in the desert before winter sets in. We want you to take advantage of everything this desert climbing mecca has to offer! Start with our three-day intensive clinic that will help you gain confidence on the rock and learn more than you could ever imagine. Apply your new skills to the optional multi-pitch day where you get to climb in a 2-to-1 ratio with our Girly Guides. Red Rocks is famous for its long routes on beautiful red desert sandstone. Take advantage of this personal attention from our Girly Guides and climb to new heights! We welcome beginner to advanced rock climbers with 5 different levels you can choose from.

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NEPAL TREK: Oct. 19-Nov. 2
Two spaces left for the Hospitality Tour through the villages of Solu Khumbu, Nepal.

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As always, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter. (That is, if the technology gods behave.)



Freelance Adventures, Inc. P.O. Box 486 Ridgway, CO 81432 970.626.4424




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Sole Flips review on Backpacker.com!

AAO Filed Under:

Check out the latest review on backpacker.com for Sole Flip Flops!

http://www.backpacker.com/gear-zone-gear-review-sole-sport-flip-flops/gear/14401


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Osprey Buys Carbon Offsets in 12-Month Deal

AAO Filed Under:


Osprey Packs, Inc. is purchasing carbon offsets through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to offset the impact of employee travel and product shipping. Through a 12-month agreement, the company will offset an estimated 261.80 Metric Tons of CO2 for its...
http://bit.ly/dlbrSi


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Highgear to Sponsor of 2010 Nor'easter

AAO Filed Under:



Highgear, a division of Implus, has partnered with Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) as a supporting sponsor of the 2010 Nor'easter, the Northeast outdoor festival...

http://bit.ly/belieJ

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AAO Filed Under:

Urban Climber, SCARPA name boulderer Jill Church their 2010 ‘Unearthed Climber of the Year’

Church earns spot on SCARPA climbing team.

BOULDER, Colo. (July 28, 2010) – In its current issue, Urban Climber Magazine and SCARPA name boulderer Jill Church the recipient of the magazine’s 2010 Unearthed Climber of the Year Award.

Urbran Climber’s feature ‘Unearthed’ is a peer-nominated format that puts the spotlight on North America’s most talented but little-known boulderers and climbers, Urban Climber calls out an ‘Unearthed Climber’ in each issue of the magazine over the span of a year. Each summer, Urban Climber editors work with SCARPA to choose one athlete from the preceding year’s roster who stands out as the Unearthed Climber of the Year. That climber earns a spot as an athlete on Team SCARPA.

Urban Climber Editor Andrew Tower said Church can send hard problems, but she’s also got a great attitude and is a great ambassador for the sport - a criteria that’s just as important for the award as how hard a nominee climbs.

“Aside from her numerous climbing accomplishments, first female ascents, and plenty of hard sends, Church is the kind of climber any company would be proud to have on their team,” Tower said. “She’s funny, smart, articulate, and represents the kind of level-headed, good natured people that are simply good to be around.”

As an aside, she’s also bringing a potential (even likely?) new climber in the world this year, which might put a crimp in training but has its own set of rewards.

Now 30, Church climbed for many years in the Southeast around the area where she grew up in Boone, N.C. She now calls Flagstaff, Ariz., home, and has drawn attention for hard sends at Hueco Tanks.

Unearthed Climber nominees are people pushing the boundaries at their local crags, but other factors contribute to winning. For instance, criteria include looking for people who are role models in the sport, who have positive energy, and who are active in causes they believe in.

Unearthed Climber works like this: Urban Climber accepts nominations for Unearthed Climber on an ongoing basis. Nominations should be submitted by a nominee’s friends or peers and include information about a person’s tick list and qualities that make her or him stand out. Each issue, from the nominations received, the magazine profiles the person who most exemplifies the characteristics sought out in the contest. From the people profiled in Unearthed Climber each year, Urban Climber and SCARPA choose one person who earns the Climber of the Year Award. Submissions should be e-mailed to unearthed@urbanclimbermag.com.

For more information about SCARPA, visit www.scarpa.com. For more information about Urban Climber, visit www.urbanclimbermag.com.

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Brian's Dispatch from Pakistan- Broad Peak wrap

AAO Filed Under:
This link will get you in to listen to all of Brian's latest posts from Broad Peak and now at K2 basecamp. They are waiting out the weather window, but are hoping to have a summit push time on K2 July 25-30th!

Also, the picture to the left is a school of girls that inspired Brian in his travels to start a project we call "Marked Change". So many children are eagar to learn in that region, but lack a simple pen to do so. Our agency collects pens from individuals and any place we can and sends packages over for distribution by local friends. If you have interest in donating some pens, please contact us today through our website, www.goaao.com!

Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #21




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Brian's Dispatch from Pakistan- Broad Peak wrap

AAO Filed Under:
Brian was very good about posting updates and i have taken a little longer to catch up, so here are a group of them from the last several days. i am posting some great shots from his 2007 trip to K2 as well! Enjoy!


Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #20




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Brian's Dispatch from Pakistan: 7.10- the waiting game

AAO Filed Under:
Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #16


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Brian's Dispatch from Pakistan- 7.7

AAO Filed Under:
Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #14


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FTA update on Brian's team in Pakistan!

AAO Filed Under:
http://fieldtouring.blogspot.com/2010/07/k2bp-2010-june-7-headed-to-c3.html

Check out the team blog to see more about what they are currently working on. Camp 3 on Broad Peak, here they come!

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Brian's Dispatch from Pakistan- 7.3- Happy 4th!

AAO Filed Under:
Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #13


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Brian's Dispatch from Pakistan- 7.1- working up Broad Peak

AAO Filed Under:
Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #12


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Brian's Pakistan update- 6.27- call from Camp 1 Broad Peak

AAO Filed Under:
Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #11


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Brian's Update from Pakistan- 6.25 (this one works!)

AAO Filed Under:
Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #7


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Brian's update from Pakistan: 6.25 Up to Camp 2 tomorrow!

AAO Filed Under:
Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #0


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Brian's update from Pakistan: 6.23- Camp at Broad Peak!

AAO Filed Under:
Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #0


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Sole review in Runner's World!

AAO Filed Under:
Check out this great review about running footwear, before and after!


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Gabcast Dispatch from Brian- 6.18

AAO Filed Under:
Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #0


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Gabcast dispatch from Brian- 6.16

AAO Filed Under:
Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #0


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Gabcast episode from Brian- 6.14

AAO Filed Under:
Gabcast! Calls from Brian on K2 & Broad Peak 2010 #0


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Brian's K2 Dispatch: Made it to Skardu!

AAO Filed Under:

So, after some very interesting events as of yesterday morning I made the flight to Gilgit along with Ben, Lhapka, Tsering and Mike from our combined expedition. As well as Benny, Peter and Javier from the Dynafit Broad Peak expedition. (cool group of guys as well)


We were running down the gateway to get to the bus that took us to the commuter plane in order to make the flight. In the end, they were delayed a couple minutes and we ended up sitting on a very stuffy plane for about 15 minutes before we endeavored to fly.


I felt a bit bad being on the flight actually as Garth Miller had given me his seat as he was traveling with Nikki-his partner in crime that will be trekking into base camp with us. As Garth had a secured seat on the flight and Nikki was going stand by as was I, they made the commitment to fly together or not fly at all. So, when it was time to board-and that passed, and still no word on whether or not she might be added to the flight Garth handed me his boarding pass and I made moves to get myself on the plane. In the end, there was an empty seat next to Ben-which could have been Nikki's-and hence why I felt a little bad to get on the flight.

The flight was relatively short and extremely short when compared to the bus ride that would have covered the same distance. Flight, 50Minutes. Bus ride to cover the same distance, 30 hours!! Yeah, it is tough country up there and no doubt I was glad to miss some of the "interesting" experiences that you get doing the KKH route. I think that most would agree that it is something that everyone that is headed to the Northern Region should do at least once, but really, ONCE is enough and seeing as I had done it both ways on my 2007 Expedition I was not feeling the need to relive it again.


After the 50 minute flight that took us past some beautiful scenery including Nanga Parbat-that unfortunately I could not get a great shot of as it was obscured by clouds- we made a bumpy landing in Gilgit. This left us with a 5-7 hour bus ride down the Gilgit River Valley and up the Skardu River Valley! All in all, it went by rather quickly and I did my best to get some great footage-but I fear that as in seasons past that viewing said footage could cause seizures at worst and nausea at best! Fortunately I don't suffer from Motion Sickness, but apparently some of the other members were not "enjoying" themselves as Ben recommended to Mike that closing your eyes was a great way not to experience at least part of the trauma.


The ride in included some tea in a green garden in Gilgit, as well as a nice lunch at a Government owned restaurant/hotel a little over mid route. I think that I slept for the majority of the ride as I had slept very little the night before due to my anxiousness to get on the road and my fear of sleeping through my alarm and not being downstairs to catch the shuttle to the airport.
One thing that I had forgotten about the drive, possible due to the fact that part of our drive in 2007 had been made during the night hours, was that the road is incredibly exposed to overhanging boulders the size of other cars and small houses-and maybe even a double wide trailer or two thrown in there as well. Now, it would not be so bad if these boulders were stacked, or leaning on one another, but instead they are in fact poised to strike and essentially pressed into the "dirt" hills that the road is carved out of.


It is not uncommon after a big rain for the steep hills above to spill down debris that covers the road with any number of types and sizes of rock that can make the road a bit bumpier than usual, or even make it impassable or cause a bus or truck to lose control. In 2007 on the return trip to ISB I had the good fortune of riding in the very first front seat next to the door and sitting close to the Bus Driver. I could not decide which was worse, having a potential front row seat to my own demise, or finding myself starting to doze and looking over to see the bus driver doing the same. He spoke no English and I not enough Urdu to really impart anything, but each time I pulled his sleeve to help keep him awake we would both laugh a bit....somewhat with humor and somewhat with and understanding that we were in the perilous journey together. Fortunately this most recent jaunt on the KKH was truly without concern and went by rather quickly.


The plan for tomorrow is to take the next step and procure a jeep ride to Askole-the end of our mechanized advance. From there on it is a 100K (62mile)+ hike to the Broad Peak Basecamp!
When Mike asked Fabrizio and Ben at breakfast this morning if that was worse than the KKH-I believe the answer revolved around there being a significantly larger "pucker" factor in the jeep ride compared to the KKH bus ride. Hopefully we will find it laid back and without incident.
The rest of the group is slated to arrive over the next day. It looks as though the direct flight that the rest of our members was supposed to arrive on today might not make it as it is raining in Skardu this morning and as the pilots are on visual control (no radar yet at this airport) then they do not even attempt to land if the weather is less than perfect. So I would give that a less than 20% chance of happening.


Chris and Rob are on the Bus to Skardu via the KKH-(so Rob gets to experience it all!)-along with the Liaison officer. They should, after their 30-36 hour trip arrive in Skardu as late as 3 am tonight/tomorrow morning. We wish them luck!


Well, I am headed back to the Concordia Hotel at which we are staying, which by the way has an amazing overlook of the River and surrounding peaks of Skardu and was nice to revisit as we stayed there in prep for the 2007 K2 Expedition, to help Fabrizio and Ben start sorting the group gear down to 25Kil ( about 50 lbs) or less loads for the porters. That and help Fabrizio sort and repack his AMPLE amount of gear that looks very much like I would imagine it would should one of the barrels that usually keep it in check had exploded due to coming to altitude!
Wish us luck and you can start checking out the gabcasts as I've finally figured out the details there to start posting and did my first today! Love to all! B

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Brian's K2 Dispatch: Hurry Up and Wait

AAO Filed Under:
So, what we are currently experiencing here on our endeavor to climb in the Karakoram is something that I had heard about, but to this point not had the personal experience with. It is the Hurry up and Wait program.
To some degree every expedition experiences this same situation. Usually it is weather dependent and in this case the weather is somewhat a factor or consideration.
Currently we are "suspended" in ISB-Islamabad awaiting the opportunity to get up to Skardu via plane ideally or even by plane, bus, jeep, goat combination would suffice at this point. Not that ISB isn't a cool place to visit, but each day that we sit waiting to get to the next leg of the trip is one more day that we could be missing a great summit day opportunity down the road, and finishing our climbing objective and heading home to our families.
ISB had been VERY hot as of late, and although not as humid as the Midwest that I am used to, it is to some degree a combination of both. So, it is easy to break a sweat just walking up to the local shops to grab lunch or a cold drink. It feels a little bit like home, but since we are packed with very few sets of street clothes. As most of our clothing and hence baggage allowance is skewed towards supporting the climbing part of our endeavor. So, getting too hot and sweaty is not an ideal situation as we are living in these clothes until we get to the hiking portion of the trip-which will hopefully be happening sooner than later.
The last couple days have been good though and I have got to catch up a lot with my friend Shujaat here in ISB. He was one of our in country coordinators and part owner of KMM-Karakurum Mountain Magic on my trip to K2 in 2007. I had made somewhat regular efforts to keep in contact and so we have forged I think a pretty good friendship over time. Getting to actually come back to Pakistan and spend some time with him-especially as he is a MOST gracious host-has been very ideal!
Three nights ago on our first full night in ISB Shujaat took us to Luna Caprese, an upscale Italian style restaurant in the nicer part of ISB near many of the Embassy conclaves. This visit to Luna was a bit of a treat as we usually save that for post expedition enjoyment as it is in fact one of the few places that you can get beer and wine in an otherwise dry country. Plus the food is pretty amazing and although it is not on par with the steaks of IA, is pretty good just the same.
Two nights ago Shujaat invited us to Rawalpindi, where he lives, He took us to the Red Onion restaurant close to his home where we had some really great authentic Pakistani food that I had never had before. To date my favorite and one of my favorites in general has been Chicken Karahi. A spicy chicken dish that when combined with Chapati is delicious. BUT I found a new possibly equal favorite in the Dry Spiced Beef.
It has been so great to have Shujaat to take us around both as he knows most everything about the area. Where to find the best food, SIM cards for the phones that we bought, pillows, etc. The fact that he speaks such good english helps us to convey what we need to in order to get what we are after-BUT it is a bit challenging to ride with him as driving is in fact a new "hobby" for him. Much like any 16 year old that is new to driving a stick I have found myself gritting my teeth a bit as he tries to start off in third gear or continually kills the car when starting from a stop on any incline. The other night on the way to "Pindi"for dinner the traffic was literally bumper to bumper. Thousands and thousands of cars for as far as the eye could see. All of which moving in a whiplash stop and go fashion. Hit the gas and go for 10 ft and then slam on the brakes. We were doing this-or more importantly Shujaat was doing this-for about 20 minutes when we actually bumped the car ahead of us. The driver quickly got out and gestured and said something and came towards the car and Shujaat said something back and the driver looked in and then got back in his Taxi. On contact Rob-my new Aussie friend and current roommate-and I looked at each other and kind of laughed. We wondered how this might do down. As although it was a little bump I was sure that some words would be exchanged. We asked Shujaat after the exchange what was said and it apparently was something like:
Taxi Driver: "What, you couldn't see me from right behind me at this speed?"
Shujaat: "Oh, Shut up! No, I couldn't see you as you have no tail lights!" (Which he did not)
At which point the driver looked in (and Rob and I were convinced) and saw two big Westerners and decided that it was not worth the hassle. I was glad that we could in fact do something positive for Shujaat in preventing him from being taken advantage of by an opportunist cabbie.
Shujaat has not only made the 40 min drive from Rawalpindi with daily regularity in order to take me and other expedition members around town to get what we need, he has taken us out to some of the better authentic Pakistani restaurants and even took a group of us to visit Lake View Park yesterday.
Lake View Park was really neat to see. It is a bit of a family escape type of place on the outskirts of ISB. Only 4 years old it was quite a sight to behold. Freshly laid brick walkways and "streets" that no cars were allowed on, all made with ornate patterns of different colored bricks. At the end of the half mile or so walkway was a scenic man made lake that has the power of hydroelectric power creation as its purpose.
All around the area were family fun opportunities. From putt-putt golf to ATV track racing, BIG slides, and even a 70 ft man made climbing wall that they had just opened and were hosting weekly climbing comps on. Of course the area was surrounded by vendors of candy and cold drinks for your strolling enjoyment. I had wondered if there might be clowns or street performers in the area as it seemed logical that a place like this might lend itself to something of that nature. In fact, there was but one. It was a man with his trained pet monkey, who with a simple word would go from doing back flips to standing at attention and saluting onlookers-(usually he was directed at those onlookers that were closest so as to give them the opportunity to make a donation to the entertainment fund they were collecting).
It was funny though as we were all watching the numerous skills and seemingly complete command and or cooperation that the trainer and monkey had in place and feeling quite comfortable being within a couple feet of the tandem. Right up until a local Pakistani walked to close to the monkey's collections at which point the monkey lashed out and projected a blood curdling scream/screech! Pretty much everyone in attendance jumped back and from that point forward showed a new level of respect for the monkey and his potential reach. Ben was the funniest to watch as I think that he actually left the ground just a little but I certainly don't fault him for that as one of the first rules of traveling in foreign countries is to stay away from animals of all sorts as you never know what they might have and getting bitten or scratched by a monkey no thanks!
After we stopped by Lake View park with Shujaat and our friend Fida-the head cook from my 2007 K2 Expedition-we ventured over to the Western style market as Ben had been instructed to pick up extra coffee for Fabrizio as there is apparently not any available in Skardu of merit. I of course picked up some more Kit Kat bars, as those seem to be the "goods" for me on expeditions as they sound good to eat pretty much all the time! I think that I have plenty now, so when it was made mention that we might go to the market again today I had to pass.
Yesterday we also had the assignment of getting more DVD's for our basecamp enjoyment. Fortunately they are only about 50-100 rupees each. Currently a US Dollar is equal to about 85.31 Pakistani Rupee. So about a dollar a movie for titles that are not even out of the theaters yet. So, I should be caught up on those by summer's end if nothing else.
Our last member arrived in ISB last night at about 4am. A South African member named Mike that was fortunate enough to attend the opening ceremonies of the World Cup (super jealous) just before he got on the plane to come to ISB. So, we are all either here or already in Skardu.
I just received word that some of us are headed to the airport at 5 am tomorrow. At the moment we do not have a seat on the flight and I will be flying stand by to get there. To Gilgit that is, but am happy to at least try as today we spent pretty much the entirety sitting in the hotel sleeping and catching up on movies and learning about the contenders of the World Cup.
Hopefully more news tomorrow from the lovely town of Skardu. B

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Brian's dispatch from Islamabad: Day 2- waiting

AAO Filed Under:

Talk today with Ben is that Broad Peak is fairly moderate terrain that is sometimes made considerably more challenging by the altitude and contributing weather. That is good news as I would like a chance to get some solid acclimitization with moderate technical challenges.
If possible a summit shot would be great as well!


It sounds as though only having a few teams on the mountain will also allow for more tents at camp 1 which will allow for more team members to get up and start getting acclimatized faster.
Also, less teams on the mountain will mean our choice of basecamp positioning-which could mean saving as much as a half hour each way going to and coming from the start of the climbing on the mountain. Ideal! It also means less climber created rock fall from camp one-which is probably the biggest objective hazard on the lower flanks of the mountain and was something our Czech friends had commented on during our 2007 trip to K2 as a couple had split off to try Broad Peak.
Tonight we got to hang out with Shujaat and his nephew. Shujaat was our in country service provider on our 2007 trip as part of KMM. He had my down suit in storage and returned it in top condition after 3 years.

It has been a lot of fun catching up with him and I look forward to helping get him outfitted for his fall trip to Shishapangma. He has been a gracious host to ferry us around to the markets for extra food-(as I hope to not lose 60+ lbs on this expedition). He's even going to help us get pillows tomorrow-something that I learned was incredibly valuable on our last trip-as no matter how great your Marmot bag is a stuff sack filled with lumpy clothes for a pillow for 50 or so days can wreak havoc on your recovery rest. Apparently Fabrizio-who is waiting in Skardu-cannot procure pillows there so we are bringing him one as well.


We were hoping to be flying tomorrow to Skardu and avoid the 36 hours of perilous bus ride on the KKH-Karakorum Highway- but apparently the President of Pakistan and military personnel have commandered it for tomorrows flight. So hopefully the following day we fly.


There has been lots going on and I hope to capture some great video-although the most entertaining thing that would have been of video merit was banned from happening. Most likely because we were in a secure area. I am bunking with Aussie Rob Baker, who is here to try Broad Peak. He had the foresight to ship himself a barrel of goods unaccompanied. Which I am still not totally sure wasn't a great idea considering the 7 bags I had to fly with and subsuquently wrangle when arriving in Islamabad. My mountainous cart of baggage weighing 400lbs actually made it out to passenger pickup before spewing a bag at a time for 10 ft as I struggled to get out of the way.


Anyway, Rob and I ventured out with a cabbie provided by Essar at ATP to go and pickup said barrel. As an aside the cabbie spoke no English and although he was very nice seemed a bit green on getting is around town. KMM just spoiled me prior, they were with us and took us around to make sure we had all that we needed as well as provided us with some historical detail and fun tourist facts. Even today Shujaat took us to the Faisal Mosque-incredibly beautiful-in his own car nonetheless.


When Rob and I did finally make it to Shaheen Cargo at the airport quite the debacle ensued. None of which I was allowed to film as we were in a secure customs area.
We were taken from booth to booth and Rob was asked to provide contents details and rupees. About 1hour into the "show" everyone just walked off. Apparently lunch break was from 2-3 and no little barrel would preclude them from following that mandate.
In the end I think we visited two little booths twice and 3 others once. Each time our "guides" in the process told us that was the last that he would pay. Apparently TO THAT PERSON was omitted from the sentence each time. It was a but comical in fact but by the end was a touch frustrating as you never quite know when you are "doing the deal" as it is to be laid out OR if you are in fact being taken advantage of.


I am sure there will be more great video to be shot in the coming days and weeks but that would have been priceless. I will try and post a Gabcast tomorrow! Have a great day! BB

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Scarpa to distribute Koflach

AAO Filed Under:
SCARPA North America to distribute Koflach plastic mountaineering boots

BOULDER, Colo. – In a move that complements its own mountaineering boot collection, SCARPA North America will begin distributing Koflach plastic mountaineering boots for Spring 2011, after it was announced in early May that Koflach products would again be manufactured and offered in Europe.

Koflach AG announced in May that it is re-introducing the Koflach brand to the world for Spring 2011. Originally founded by Austrian climbers in 1898, the Swiss owners at Koflach AG understand the brand equity and share the passion of Koflach users. With renewed enthusiasm and ownership, Koflach is being reborn with the market-leading products that defined comfort, fit and warmth in the category. For Spring 2011, SCARPA North America will offer both the Arctis Expe, a very warm double plastic mountaineering boot geared toward expedition use or colder-temperature ice climbing, as well as the Degre, an all-around double plastic boot.

“Different plastic boots have different features, fits and applications. Distributing Koflach makes a lot of sense for us because the fit of and uses for these two boots nicely complement SCARPA’s two plastic boots, the Omega and the Inverno,” said SCARPA North America CEO Kim Miller. “For our customers, that means we are able not only to offer a highly respected and sought-after product, but also offer the most complete range of plastic mountaineering boots in the world.”

The distribution arrangement also takes advantage of SCARPA North America’s move in early 2009 to open its own distribution center in a location integrated with its offices in Boulder, Colo. Having battle-tested its distribution center for the last year-and-a-half, SCARPA North America is adding another brand to its offerings, including SCARPA, Rottefella, and now Koflach.

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Been to Osprey's Media Blog recently?

AAO Filed Under:
Here is what is on the buzz right now:

* Outside's SS10 Buyer's Guide has featured FOUR Osprey packs! Included is the GEAR OF THE YEAR Sojourn25

* Outside has once again named Osprey one of the Best Places to Work in their May issue

* The Raptor 10 has a great feature in the June issue of Mountain Bike magazine

* Backpacker.com has a slide show up of the Manta 25

Check these stories and more at:
http://mediaspot.ospreypacks.com/

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Scarpa named Sponsor of Exum Mountain Guides!

AAO Filed Under:
SCARPA named official footwear sponsor of Exum Mountain Guides, develops shoe for Exum program

New Dharma Pro approach shoe created specifically for demands of guiding in Teton Range.

BOULDER, Colo. – In 2010 and moving forward, SCARPA will become the official footwear sponsor of one of North America’s most well-known and well-respected mountain guide services, Exum Mountain Guides.

Exum’s demo fleet will be comprised of SCARPA approach shoes and mountain boots, including the Dharma Pro, a new SCARPA approach shoe that was developed specifically to meet Exum’s requirements for guiding in Jackson Hole’s Teton Range. In addition, all 70-plus full-time Exum guides will be outfitted with Dharma Pros.

“What’s great about SCARPA shoes, beyond exceptional construction and performance, is that they are able to fit a really wide variety of foot shapes, and that’s ideal for a situation like ours,” said Nat Patridge, Vice President and Chief of Operations for Exum Mountain Guides.

Patridge said those factors, along with SCARPA’s willingness to build a shoe designed to meet Exum’s needs as relate to the unique nature of its guiding situation, made the brand the perfect footwear partner. SCARPA Design Team members traveled to Jackson Hole last summer to interview and climb with Exum.

“Based on experience, we figured the best way to understand the requirements for the Exum shoe was to go to Jackson Hole, go through Exum’s climbing school, and ascend the Grand Teton as clients,” said Kim Miller, CEO of SCARPA North America and SCARPA Design Team member. “That way, we could truly see and feel the specific performance needs for footwear through the eyes of both guides and clients.”

Armed with that information, as well as extensive feedback from the guide service about which features in footwear work and which don’t, the SCARPA R+D team went to work on the project over the fall and winter.

Climbing in the Teton Range is different than many other areas in North America where guiding takes place in that most climbs require long approaches, while the rock portion of the routes ascend relatively featured terrain. Thus, for the majority of its frequently guided routes, Exum prefers footwear that offers support and cushioning for the hike into the mountains and the descent out, yet is sensitive enough to climb 5.5 to 5.7 rock. That way, clients and guides don’t have to wear one pair of shoes and carry another.

That’s a delicate balance to strike, according to both Miller and Patridge, since the requirements for walking, particularly for support and cushioning on the descent, are often at odds with features that make the shoes precise enough to climb rock well.

The resulting SCARPA Dharma Pro combines a low-profile, sticky rubber forefoot with a dual-density midsole, shock-absorbing heel, and mid-cut ankle to balance sensitivity and responsiveness on the climb with support and cushioning for the trail.

The shoe will become part of SCARPA’s global collection for 2011. For 2010, one SCARPA retailer in Jackson Hole, Teton Mountaineering, will sell a limited production run of Dharma Pros.

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. For more information about SCARPA footwear, visit www.scarpa.com.

-X X X-

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Osprey's own Sarah Harper-Burke Climbs for the Breast Cancer FundShare

AAO Filed Under:
Osprey has sponsored our very own Sarah Harper-Burke in her endeavor to climb Mt. Shasta as a fundraiser for our friends and partners at the Breast Cancer Fund.

PLEASE HELP SARAH ATTAIN HER FUNDRAISING GOAL!!

http://tiny.cc/ljmjp


In June 2010, I will be part of a team of breast cancer survivors and others touched by this disease to climb a mountain for breast cancer prevention. Together we will attempt 14,179-foot Mt. Shasta in Northern California for Climb Against the Odds 2010, the 11th major mountain expedition hosted by the Breast Cancer Fund.

Our team hopes to raise more than $400,000, every dollar of which will support the Breast Cancer Fund’s groundbreaking work to identify and eliminate the environmental causes of the disease, including toxic chemicals found in our everyday environment. Climb Against the Odds directly supports the policy initiatives, corporate accountability campaigns and other innovative programs that aim to stop this disease before it starts.
Every little bit helps!!!! Donate as little as $10 to help me get to my goal.

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Sole press update- all the love flowing in!

AAO Filed Under:
Check out all the latest press on Sole insoles! The train just keeps rollin'

http://backbonemedia.net/page.php?pname=clients/archive/press-coverage&clientId=34

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Sole getting technical

AAO Filed Under:
Check out this great story from InsideOutdoor magazine about the recent technology Sole insoles is working on:
An Out-of-stock solution: the outdoor industry's RFID experiment-
http://www.insideoutdoor.com/documents/IO_Spring10/IO_Spring10/index.html?pageNumber=26

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New Scarpa Blog for the Midwest- Check it out!!

AAO Filed Under:
http://scarpainthemidwest.blogspot.com/

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Osprey Hydraulics- let the great press wash over you!

AAO Filed Under:
Check out this great review on Josh Spear's blog for the new Osprey Hydraulic hydration packs!

http://joshspear.com/item/osprey-hydraulics/

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Osprey wins SNEWS Retailer survey!!

AAO Filed Under:
Welcome to Part 2 of the 2009 SNEWS® Outdoor Retailer Survey summary, where outdoor specialty retailers get to speak their minds and offer industry observations and commentary on what is great, good, not so good and desperately needs improvement in the industry. As we announced last week in Part 1, the full survey results -- complete with expanded and detailed analysis of each category’s results -- will be presented in sections to our All Access SNEWS subscribers over the next few weeks. This week we're focusing on best-selling outdoor hardgoods, as well as underwear and sock brands, in the camping and backpacking categories. If you missed last week, click here to read Part 1 of our annual survey, the "2009 Annual SNEWS® Specialty Outdoor Retail Survey: The best and worst."

Although SNEWS sends the survey to hundreds of outdoor specialty retailers all over the country, this survey is by no means scientific in its approach. We do believe the results are quite representative of the outdoor specialty retail market as a whole, and those surveyed are consistent from year-to-year, so comparing answers from past surveys presents a useful picture of trends, market conditions and retailer moods -- one of the most useful features of this survey. It is very important to remember as you read the results for top-selling brands below that retailers are not predisposed to selecting a brand. They are each presented with a question and a blank. It is also important to note that just because a brand is not listed in this survey it doesn't mean it is not selling well. It just means that it was not a top seller in the stores which responded – either by perception or reality.

OK, enough blather. On with the results:
What are the top-selling accessory brands this year?
Well, either folks did not understand the question this year, or the concept of an accessory brand has taken on an entirely new meaning. This year, we had over 100 separate accessory brand responses, making it nearly impossible to determine a trend or overall leader. There were a few brands that received at least blocks of voting recognition. Cascade Designs and Sea to Summit garnered the most overall votes, each nabbing 7 percent of the total votes. Peregrine chased in behind with 4 percent, and Coghlan’s tucked in right behind with 2.5 percent. Folks, The North Face, Marmot and Mountain Hardwear are not accessory brands -- or are they? Seems it depends on your perception. Either way, congrats to Cascade, Sea to Summit, Coghlan’s and Peregrine for continuing to own a category that few retailers seemingly understand.

What are the top-selling pack brands this year?
Osprey – 28.5%
The North Face – 18.5%
Mountainsmith – 4%*
CamelBak – 4%*
Kelty – 4%*
Gregory – 3.5%
Arc’Teryx – 2.5%
Deuter – 2%*
Granite Gear – 2%*
Vaude – 2%*
*Tied companies are listed randomly and all are considered statistically equal in terms of ranking. All answers have been rounded up to the nearest 0.5 percent, and since we don’t name every single company name or category with a percent, the percentages may not total 100 percent.

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