Salt Lake City, in the halls of the Salt Palace convention center, last couple of days. You could easily see a downturn in attendance numbers compared to the last few shows, due no doubt to our economic woes. Even so, things were upbeat in a lot of corners, with old timers such as myself sharing how we’ve just kept on keeping on through many other stale periods. Best example in my case is when my web and writing work dried up after 9/11, so I concentrated on building WildSnow.com and created the massive pile of content this website has become. Ever onward. To that end, the rest of my show reports:
I also spent quite a bit of time at Outdoor Research. Good to hear they’ll continue making their Tremor pant, though it’s slightly changed with a bit more seam welding instead of stitching. Louie’s favorite jacket, the Motto, will also continue. Best new piece is their Alibi jacket, which is body mapped with four different fabrics and includes a built-in helmet liner/hood as well as wrist gaiters.
Beyond specific gear, OR appears to still be working hard to provide truly solid clothing that works well in harsh weather. At the same time they’re continuing with items such as Tremor pant that may not be suitable for a long day in a PNW storm, but are perfect for moving light and fast in just about any other type of weather. In other words, they have a really complete line that we’ve found is well worth looking at whenever we need to re-work our layering systems.
On top of all that, an inside source told me that OR may be working with a well known skier as a consultant to develop a line of clothing that’s backcountry ready but with a more youthful cut and look. I’ll welcome that, because WildSnow bloggers such as Dave and Louie are well aware of how important clothing performance is, and at the same time frequently disappointed in how difficult it is to find a pair of technical pants with a full cut.
Speaking of clothing fit. I was joking around with a guy at Outdoor Research about how something like their Tremor pants appear somewhat trim and tight in the North American market, but while spectating a ski mountaineering race in Europe, my Tremors were the baggiest thing there out of about 2,000 people. Human nature. Fashion. It’s frequently worth ignoring the latter, but fun to ponder and play around with nonetheless.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.