Outdoor Retailer tradeshow 07 is history. I liked seeing the new Duke randonnee binding from Marker, good to see the heavy duty niche possibly filled with a no compromise rig. And nice to see Dynafit with their own booth, as they now have a product line that can easily stand on its own. Former Dynafit importer Life-Link was in the booth next to Dynafit, and while the buzz was definitely on Dynafit, Life-Link’s solid product line was still holding its own.
Most amusing part of the show was how the NTN telemark binding was presented. The binding was on a sort of pedestal (or throne, if you will) at the BCA booth. Groups of lookers would come by the throne and get a spiel from a BCA booth boy. To innocent eyes it had all the appearance of tourists taking a museum tour with a guide spouting a canned lecture. I found it quite amusing. NTN is said to ski downhill great, but it’s pretty obvious the binding has little if any use for ski touring as it is heavy and probably has icing problems, not to mention what appears to be only a nod to safety release. Yet just like the Duke, I have no doubt NTN fills a niche and wish Rottefella well with their project. In fact, as telemark skiing has become somewhat of a lift served sport that demands incredibly beefy gear, I have no doubt BCA will do quite well with NTN.
Of course the ultimate downside for the show this year was air pollution that bordered on deadly. I’ve flogged this in previous posts, but it bears repeating that one might wonder why environmentalists are rabid about how many dirt roads might exist in a certain backcountry area, while the real environmental problem is how transportation is managed in urban areas. Even stranger is that many environmental advocates are sitting in those very cities and breathing ozone while they write checks to the Sierra club to help restrict mountain bikes from more backcountry. Weird. (End enviro rant.)
Most people who’ve made backcountry skiing their sport have experienced moonlight skiing. It’s indeed a special thing so no surprise that media articles about the experience pop up now and then. A recent piece in Rocky Mountain News is one such. One thing the article doesn’t mention is that a good way to get reliable and avalanche safe snow conditions for moonlight “backcountry” skiing is to simply climb up a ski resort that’s closed for the night. We do that quite a bit around here. In fact, I think I’ll get out there tonight if weather permits!
24 Hours of Sunlight is happening this weekend. In case you live under a rock, this is the ski race where you spend 24 hours climbing up and descending, and see who can do the most vertical in that time. It’s brutal and fun — at least fun for the first half hour. I’ll be crewing this year for our team of teenagers, the Young Gunz, as well as helping out Polly McLean and a few other participants. At the same time I’ll do a chronoblog of the race from the scene, so look for that starting Saturday morning. (defunct link removed 2015). Press release below.
Local Sponsors Step Up To Support 24 Hours of Sunlight
The City of Glenwood Springs, CO and Bighorn Toyota, also of Glenwood Springs, have stepped up to support the second annual 24 Hours of Sunlight Endurance Race on Sunlight Mountain February 3-4. The event is slated to draw thousands of spectatorâ€™s and approximately 200 racers from around the world to compete in the grueling 24 consecutive hours of vertical laps on a closed course.
The City of Glenwood Springs will lend their support with the first ever allocation of funds through the Tourism Promotion program to attract more visitors to the area. The annual event has already drawn strong support from many retailers and service providers in the Roaring Fork Valley and, with the addition of the endorsement from the City of Glenwood Springs, is slated for continued success.
Bighorn Toyota, participating as a sponsor of this event for their second year, represents the automotive sector of the cityâ€™s economy and renews their commitment to the Glenwood Springs community through their continued interest in furthering this special event which will benefit the Valley View Hospital Foundation.
The event has already attracted top competitors like renowned mountaineer, Andrew McLean and Greg Hill who is the world record holder from last yearâ€™s race for most human-powered vertical feet. The generous support of the community and the City of Glenwood will ensure that this race will continue to attract the best in the field, putting this event on the map for pros around the world and attracting more visitors and media to the area.
â€œWe are excited and grateful for the communityâ€™s support of this event. 24 Hours of Sunlight has great potential for becoming the next big, nationally-recognized event in the Roaring Fork Valley,â€? says Lisa Willison, Account Director for Real Time Marketing who owns this event.
The event kicks off with a launch party at the Glenwood Springs Qdoba Mexican Grill on Friday, February 2 from 7-11pm with live music from â€œTake the Wheel.â€? The event is open to the public.
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.