CNN report on foot pain- Sole footbeds a great move!

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Check Out the #4 recommendation on's 5 Things to Know About Foot Pain:

4. Expensive orthotics may be overkill

Custom-fitted orthotics, which are worn inside shoes, can easily cost $300 to $500 - and are not often covered by insurance.
While serious athletes and people with foot abnormalities may need to spring for customized inserts, those who just need extra cushioning and support should stick with the $30-to-$50 off-the-shelf insoles available at running stores, says Dr. Steven Weinfeld, chief of foot and ankle surgery at Mount Sinai's School of Medicine.

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Scarpa's recent media coverage!

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Fall gear guides:
Alien, Terminator X and Rebel GTX carbon in Backpacker:
Maestrale RS in Outside's Buyer Guide:
Maestrale RS in Skiing's Gear Guide:

Print Placements:
T1 Throwback in Skiing:
Spark on
Spark in Women's Adventure:

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ZEMgear on!

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Check out this great review on "a digital magazine for guys who love stuff."

Zemgear 360 Ninja Split-Toe Running Shoes

They're definitely not the best looking shoes around, but if your goal is to get as close as possible to a barefoot running experience...

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ZEM news: ZEMgear official footwear for East Coast Adventure Race Series!

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ZEMgear named Official Minimalist Footwear Brand for the East Coast Adventure Racing Series has teamed up with American Adventure Sports to sponsor 25 races in 2013.

MIAMI, FL— ZEMgear, manufacturer of minimalist footwear with maximum protection, has been named the official minimalist footwear sponsor of the 2013 East Coast Adventure Racing Series (ECARS) and TeamSOG. The ECARS is the premiere adventure racing (AR) Series in the United States and will be expanding internationally in 2013. 2013 will see the series expand up to 25 races in locations including Canada and possibly Belize. The series anticipates putting 2012’s $50,000 cash and gear prize purse to shame in 2013 with the cooperation of its loyal sponsors. As part of the partnership between these two active and ecologically conscious companies, ZEMgear will provide footwear for TeamSOG, the American Adventure Sports crew, as well as prizes for winning teams throughout the ECARS.
Please read on!


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Seattle Backpackers Magazine: Hillsound Trail Crampon Pro Review

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When I made plans to head out to Bolivia I knew I’d be hitting some of the amazing views and peaks. They’d take me up over 18000 feet and onto some glaciers with crevasses and all of the other fun stuff and I wanted to be prepared.

I talked to Alex from Hillsound about the trip and he was kind enough to send me a couple pieces of gear to try out in the Bolivian mountains. Amongst the gear were their Trail Crampon Pros. They’re a heavier duty trail crampon meant for snow and glacier work that isn’t too technical. They attach to most hiking shoes or boots, flex with your boots or shoes and are easy to put on when you hit the snow fields.

Read More:

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Swim1000 is off and running!

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Check out this great update on an expedition that AAO has proudly partnered with! 

The Idea
Between 10th August and early October 2012 Dave will be swimming 1000 miles between Chamberlain, South Dakota and St Louis, Missouri, towing his gear with him on a carbon fibre raft.

Expected to be one of the hardest expeditions he'll ever undertake, Dave will be joined by a non-motorised support team throughout his journey, each member of his team paddling the full 1000 miles either by canoe or Stand Up Paddleboard.

Dave and his team will be raising upwards of £100,000 ($150,000) for breast cancer awareness through CoppaFeel! The charity was founded by Dave's good friend Kris Hallenga after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 23 having been misdiagnosed twice in the previous year. The charity aims to educate young people about the symptoms of breast cancer and how they can prevent late diagnosis.

Designed to exhibit all sides of an endurance journey, the Swim1000 team will create an interactive social media campaign allowing the general public to watch and read about the trials, tests and fun bits. They hope that people will become inspired and take on their own challenge this Summer, helping the Swim1000 project to reach their charitable goals.

The Swim1000 Missouri River Expedition is now in full flow. 52 miles covered in no current, with another 100 miles of lakes to go before we pass the last Dam on the river at Yankton. After that flows will increase to hopefully push us downstream towards St Louis and that elusive 1000 miles!

Here's our first video from the river:

 If you could link to one or all of, @DaveCorn and @Swim1000 for Twitter, and for general updates that would be great!

Donations can be made on as we strive to raise £100,000 for breast cancer awareness through CoppaFeel! We've raised over £2500 now, and climbing!

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AAO Ambassador Trip report: James Jenden

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"On Monday, May 28, life got insane. It was the first day of my two-month crash course in field geology. I'm not exactly into doing lots of work, so if it wasn't for the fact that my course is in the Black Hills, I'd probably be going insane right now. Thank God for Custer State park. It's been my saving grace since I got here. During the week, I get to plan climbs  and dream, and on the weekends, those dreams get to come alive. When you spend almost every waking moment during the week looking at a mind-numbing amount of rocks, the chance to get out and climb is certainly welcome. 

Pretty much all the climbing I've done in my short career has been quite safe. In the gym, most of the stuff is toprope, as at Devil's Lake, and all of the stuff I climbed in Joshua Tree was really well protected trad. If you've ever climbed in the Spires, you know what I'm getting at right now. Climbing there is all about guts. About 90% of the routes there are 5.8 and below, but they make up for easy moves with scary exposure and runouts. The East Face of Station 13 is probably the best example of this I've run into so far. My partner Jonie and I were guiding two of our friends up, and so Jonie convinced me that the 5.7 East Face route would be more fun for them than the 5.10 I wanted to do. Resigned to his good reasoning, I started up the chimney that made up the bottom half of the climb. The climbing was easy, fun, and well protected, and then I got out of the chimney. Suddenly, I was looking at a traverse onto a blank face, marked by a single, lonely bolt, and I was twenty-five feet above a C3. I managed to plug a micronut that I had no confidence would hold a fall, and moved onto the face. I'm not quite sure how long those moves to the bolt took, because my mind was pretty much full up with the thought of whipping sixty feet into a chimney (assuming that C3 held), but they were some of the scariest I've ever done. I smiled at the end, and it hit me that climbing in The Spires is all about confidence in your own ability, and being able to have the mental toughness to ignore consequences. It's totally different than anything I've done before, but the more I climb here, the more I enjoy it. Apart from the East Face of Station thirteen, I've taken friends up Spires Two (twice) and Four by the Conn routes, and climbed a fun hands and fists crack called Little Lark. There's also a ton of cool boulder problems that I've put up around here with Jonie. I've enjoyed being in an area where the bouldering is largely undeveloped, and most of the problems we do, we've created.

My Eos 1 tent has served me quite well this summer, along with my Baffin Jacket, and my Hydrogen bag has kept me nice and toasty ."

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The Scarpa Spark received an Editors Choice Award

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 The Spark received an Editors Choice Award in the June issue of Trail Runner magazine….some of the highlights and comments are below!

“The Spark is SCARPA’s first stab at a lightweight, performance shoe- and they nailed it”

“a stiff midsole and flexible rock plate provide ample protection from trail obstacles while allowing ground feel”

“the Spark has the best traction of any shoe I have tested” Jeremy Duncan - tester

“light enough for short races and durable and comfortable enough for treacherous mountain ultras”

“I was blown away by the superior traction! The Spark is definitely my go-to shoe for technical, rugged trail conditions.” Blair Speed - tester

Some additional comments below, from Ueli Steck on our blog……….who has been training in the Spark in Europe and the Himalayas:

“I run it mostly on single (track) trails in rocky terrain. The grip is just outstanding, it’s the perfect density – not too hard and not too soft,” Steck says. “The shoe gives a stable feeling because you are very close to the ground, but still offers enough shock absorbing. It’s a shoe to run in the hills, and once you use it in the mountains you understand what it is made for,” – Ueli Steck.

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Marmot Wm's Trail Wind Hoody review- Fitness Magazine

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Marmot Wm's Variant review- Women's Adventure Magazine

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Marmot Connect glove review- DownHome Magazine

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Brian Block speaking at Climb Iowa in Grimes this Sunday, March 25!!

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1 Hour Sale

1 Hour Membership Sale
Climb Iowa
3605 SE Miehe Drive
Grimes, IA 50111


1 Hour Membership Sale
No Better Price, Ever
Don't forget to be at Climb Iowa on March 25 from 6:30 to 7:30pm for our 1 Hour Sale.  Climb Iowa will offer a one year membership for $323 or $583 for a family of 4. These prices will be available during this hour only.
  • Time: 6:30 - 7:30 "On the DOT!"
  • Date: March 25
  • Prices

Please fill out the membership form in advance.  We will accept credit cards, but if you pay with cash or check subtract $10 from the price above.  Spread the word far and wide, do not miss this sale!

Stay to hear Brian Block talk about Everest: A New Lesson in Suffering!
  • Time: 7:30-9:00pm

Charlie Wittmack
The World Triathlon
Charlie Wittmack will be talking about his  World Triathlon.  The World Tri is possibly the most difficult endurance challenge ever conceived: A 10,000-mile triathlon from England to Everest. Including swimming the English Channel, riding a bicycle from France to Nepal, and climbing Mount Everest.
  • Date: April 1st
  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Location: Climb Iowa
  • Cost: Free

Climb Iowa, Iowa's Largest Climbing and Training Center!

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AAO Filed Under:
Liberty BottlesMicrobreweries from coast-to-coast are looking to Yakima, Wash.-based Liberty Bottleworks for a new way to sell their suds, whether as conveniently sized, durable mini growlers or special packaging for limited edition brews and events.
In the last six months, more than two dozen breweries across the country have partnered with Liberty to create customized bottles, including Dogfish Head, Austin Beerworks, Left Hand Brewing, Black Star Brewing and, most recently, one of the largest microbreweries in the country, Boulevard Brewing.
“We’re passionate about our product and the way we produce it and we’re passionate about good beer; it’s really our ideal match,” said Liberty Bottleworks Co-Founder and Executive Vice President Ryan Clark. “Working with these great breweries is incredible for us because it connects us to people who are invested in their art and invested in the value of American craftsmanship the same way we are.”
Made entirely of recycled aluminum and 100 percent BPA-free inside and out, Liberty bottles are made from start to finish in America on American-made machinery.
“Dogfish Head strives to support American based companies as well as companies with sustainable products and practices as often as possible,” said Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewery’s Lindsey Falkowski.

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Runner’s World names SCARPA Spark ‘Best Debut’ in trail running footwear

AAO Filed Under:
SCARPA North America BOULDER, Colo. - In its Spring trail-running footwear guide, Runner’s World Magazine named SCARPA’s Spark trail runner as ‘Best Debut’ in new trail shoes for 2012. The annual April issue that features the season’s best trail shoes came out this week. 

“The shoe offers impressive protection from sharp trail obstacles, thanks to a plate under the forefoot and wide overlays at the base of the upper,” Runner’s World wrote. “With all that, the shoe weighs just 9.7 ounces … Bottom Line: A lightweight trainer ideal for steep, shale-covered trails.” 

SCARPA, well-known for its dominance in hiking, backpacking, skiing, mountaineering and rock climbing footwear, first developed a more comprehensive line of trail runner’s starting four years ago. Each year it has grown the collection, and for 2012 it introduced four new models – including the men’s and women’s Spark – driven by its ‘Mountain Minimal’ philosophy. SCARPA Mountain Minimal strives to build very lightweight trail shoes, but footwear that still retains a sufficient level of midsole cushioning and sole traction for true mountain running in rugged terrain. 

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Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiter review- from Upadowna website

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Upper Shell: Schoeller C_Change with NanoSphere
Lower Shell: SuperFabric
Size: S, M, L, XL
Uses: Mountaineering, Alpine, Mixed Climbing
MSRP: $98
No matter how you look at it snow filled boots is bad news and it is one of the things that can quickly turn a nice hike into a disaster. The majority of folks that get out during the winter months are at least somewhat aware of what gaiters do and why they are a nice bit of protection, but what folks don't often think about is finding a set of gaiters that can cover them regardless of activity. Sure for hiking and snowshoeing standard gaiters can be great, however as soon as you strap crampons on your feet most gaiters are pretty susceptible to tears when the spikes bump the fabric.

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Hillsound Armadillo gaiter review- from Our Everyday Adventures Blog

AAO Filed Under:
Review by:  Jake
Last summer, while attending the Outdoor Retailer sporting goods trade show, I walked by a booth with one of the sexiest gaiters I’ve ever seen on display.  I thought to myself, that thing looks part formula one race car and part ninja, melded together into a gaiter.  I never thought a pair of gaiters could be sexy, but dang, I was in love at first sight!
While I was drooling, one of the reps came out and talked to me for a while about the gaiter.  I learned that I was looking at a prototype and that the full production wouldn’t be available for a few more months, and that it was from the company Hillsound, and it was called the “Armadillo Gaiter”, a rather unsexy name for such a sexy gaiter.  If they would have asked me it would have been called the “Scorpion Gaiter” or at least something a little more lethal than an armadillo.  I came to find out later that the actual name was the Super Armadillo Nano Gaiter, a little more sexy I suppose, but it’s still named after an animal that likes to play dead.

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