Thursday, June 30, 2005

Doug Kahl and Partners drops Yakima

They have dropped Yakima because they were not comfortable with the personnel changes and the direction they were going. They have now picked up Thule in 11 states, including Utah. "The people that are running the company have run off the people that are the company," according to Doug Khal. So what will happen to Yakima? Is the product going downhill?

Yakima is not paying attention to what is needing to happen. My take on this: Thule is going to take down Yakima and Yakima will be bought by someone, maybe Thule.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Wolf Mountain deja vu

Wolves are all the talk today - from envoirnmental discussions to the new name of an old resort formerly named Nordic Valley in Utah.

In the mid 90's there was a ski resort in Utah named Wolf Mountain, but it's fame lasted a short 2 years before being sold and then making a tremendous transformation into The Canyons Resort,'s local resort. Will this new Wolf Mountain succeed? Its mission is clear - become the best learning hill in the west. For $200 you can ski or ride all 100 acres all season long and lap the solo lift until you cannot lap any longer - day or night.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Rep of the Year for Arc'Teryx is our boy

Downing & Associates Wins Arc'Teryx Rep Award
SportsNewsSource Posted: 6/27/2005

Arc’Teryx awarded Rocky Mountain-based with its annual award for best North American rep group. The sales team of Mike Downing, Jeremy Hensel, and Brandon Carlile were recognized for their outstanding performance and presented with a whopping 35 lbs engraved granite plaque at the recent Arc’Teryx sales meeting held in Whistler, BC.

Responsible for sales in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico, Downing & Associates put in an all-star effort during the 04/05 selling season, growing Arc’Teryx inter-mountain sales by over 30%.

“Mike and his crew did an amazing job for Arc’Teryx this past year, posting the largest sales increase of all. It was only appropriate that we honor them with this big rock,” said George Curleigh, North American Sales Manager for Arc’Teryx.

I wonder if they won because we ordered so much stuff. I'm going to find out and ask him why they are not in our office everyday.


Jackson Hole is a democracy...sort of

Democracy in action, particularly in businesses, quite often leads to chaos. But Jackson Hole Mountain Resort went against the tide to employ the democratic voting system by having employees vote on what name their next lift should bear. And the winner is - the new Sweetwater lift. How nice of them.

Democracy in action

However, they conveniently didn't allow for any sort of democracy to slip into the recent decision to remove the tram, long hollowed a rite of passage for locals and tourists alike. The 05-06 season will end on a sad note as the famed tram makes is last ascent.

Down with Democracy


The Program---Burton Cleans house on the rep force

Well, Burton decided to fire a bunch of reps. I belive 4-5 of them. We know Brad Gobdel was canned in Colorado. We know our rep Nate Coan was saved. I tell you if they fired Nate there would of been some nasty phone calls from us. And since this firing took place Dutch Schultz, Director of Sales, resigned. This is the guy that told us where the brand was going. Now what do we believe?

Suggestion: Don't ever burn a bridge in this industry it's too small.


Brand Updates

We talked to the people at The Program(Jeenyus, Forum, Special Blend, Four Square) to find out what direction they are taking the brand. They said they will open up distriubution but that they still want to keep it as a high end brand and not a bottom feeder brand.

Mountain Hardware stated they will also keep their distribution tight and not be going into Sportsmans Warehouse unlike Marmot. I believe Marmot will be suffering a slow painful death unless they commit to one side: either price point or high end. They are not strong enough to dance on both sides.

I will keep these coming from one guy in buying.


Friday, June 24, 2005

Summit of Cotopaxi - gear testing taken to new heights

In an effort to test gear in more extreme terrain than the Wasatch, employee Brian Gulotta headed off to Equador to tackle Cotopaxi. Standing at 19,347' Cotopaxi is known as the worlds tallest active volcano and a target for many mountaineers.

Below Brian is seen feeling the effects of thin air as he nears the summit of Cotopaxi. Nice work on a successful climb Brian!

Near the summit of Cotopaxi. Tools of the trade.

Headed for home.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

the 4am road trip - Whose in?

Looking for a bit of adventure this summer and can't seem to pin down exactly what that "adventure" will be? I stumbled accross the chance of a lifetime, just not my lifetime, trip the other day. The 4am road trip - a journey accross the Western U.S. in search of any adventure that you can drum up.

In a nutshell, Timex will pay for you to road trip for 4-6 weeks this summer. Sure you're making more loot at your "real job" but those weekend trips can only stoke the fire so much. So you passed on that backpacking euro trip 5 years ago and it's like lemon juice in an open wound whenever the topic comes to mind. Well, this is your summer. Call it a sabatical and tell the man it's all or nothing.

Here are a couple of highlights/requirements about this "job"

- must have a passion to bike, paddle, hike, climb, eat, drink, be merry and everything in between
- must not be afraid of truck stop corndogs
- must play nice with others
- camp stove culinary skills a plus
- abitlity to live in a tent or RV for the duration

Don't thank me, just send us a good story when your done.

The Full Story and application details


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Powerbar - less power more bar?

This landed in my inbox this morning: "NEW PowerBar Triple Threat: Fuels like a PowerBar. Tastes like a candy bar."

To kick off the introduction of Triple Threat PowerBar has teamed up with the NBA Rhythm and Rims tour bringing "hip-hop rhythm and hot basketball action to a city near you this summer". Luring in the urban athlete with the call to "come check us out and try out the all new Triple Threat bars, play some hoops and chill out in our videogame kiosks" it seems that PowerBar has taken a long walk from its roots.


Marmot to marry Dana

Some would call it a divorce but I like to think of this as a marriage. Marmot is going to take the "DNA" of Dana Designs (Dana components like Arc Flex and Arc Energy and Dana styles like the Terraplane, Glacier, Bridger and Bomb) and marry it to the simpler, lighter, cleaner and more focused style of Marmot. Probably a good move given that ever since Dana Gleason left the house, Dana Designs has been floundering under the K2 umbrella.

Think of it as the sporting goods world equivalent of making soup. Slaughter the chicken, keep only the white meat (best part) and mix that with what you've got in your vegetable garden. Voila! Chicken vegetable soup - and no more chicken.

The Full Story


Roxy Rebuttal

Hell ya these skis are gonna sell like mad! Roxy skis? Duh. They'll fly out the door, and probably be responsible for drawing a few new chicas to the sport--if not, I wouldn't be surprised to see these boards keeping chicas who already ski on skis, instead of opting to buy the Roxy snowboard. Don't underestimate the power of Roxy teenybopper surfer chic culture.

Yes you read the title right - Quiksilver, the soon to be (the deal is almost complete) parent company to Rossignol, will be making skis, bindings and poles under the Roxy brand name. Are there really that many little girls out there taking up skiing that want to style all winter like they do all summer with Roxy steeze? Me thinks not.

More news to come on this one...


Friday, June 17, 2005

Snowbird skiing stays open until Labor Day!

At least that is latest news from the rumor mill. Snowbird is currently scheduled for operation through the July 4th weekend depending on conditions. Rumors have it that Snowbird wil continue running the Little Cloud chair as long as conditions warrant. With the tram already operating through the summer for tourists, Little Cloud chairlift may remain in operation indefinatley past this point. We'll update you with the latest as we get it....


Ovo out of the Snowsport Helmet Industry

Ovo leaves the helmet business behind in search of other ventures. For the winter of 2005-06, Ovo will not be fulfilling any of their preseason orders with specialty outdoor retailers around the country. Ovo ran into a few production problems in the last season and consequently did not see much growth in their buisness as well. They wil be focusing the new energies on yet be announced "joint ventures." We look forward to seeing what Ovo will migrate towards in the future.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Quiksilver to make Roxy Skis

Yes you read the title right - Quiksilver, the soon to be (the deal is almost complete) parent company to Rossignol, will be making skis, bindings and poles under the Roxy brand name. Are there really that many little girls out there taking up skiing that want to style all winter like they do all summer with Roxy steeze? Me thinks not.

More news to come on this one...

Check out the Roxy Skis on - one of a select few online retailers who offer the skis!


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Corn harvest in the Sierras

What is undoubtedly one of the longest lingering winters in recent memory has begun to wane into spring. I suppose it's about time since it is after all June 14. Taking advantage of the ridiculous amounts of snow in the Sierras, employee Dustin Robertson and friends made the pilgrimage to harvest corn in the Sierras this past weekend. They slayed it.


Booting up to the first ridge from the road on Sonora Pass - they took the road more traveled and were nicely rewarded

Leavitt Peak in the background - Sonora Pass employee Dustin Robertson (right) and friends enjoy a perfect spring skiing session atop Leavitt Peak (elevation 11,600) in Northern California

The Slayers returning from harvesting 2500' vert of perfect corn.


Friday, June 10, 2005

No ducking ropes this season

If you've ever wanted to look like your favorite American Skiing Company Resort employee and (appear to) be one of the team without the headache of bumpin' chairs, your long wait is over. LL Bean has announced that select versions of the Mountain Pro Series line for ASC will be available this fall. So style like your favorite ski instructor but don't even think about ducking ropes for that stash of pow or you'll have patrol on you like, well, ice on Killington's slopes.

Stay tuned for the link


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Patagonia Footwear??

Patagonia and Wolverine World Wide's Merrell footwear brand have entered into a long term global license agreement to produce Patagonia footwear. First product line is expected Spring 2007. Merrell will design, manufacture and market performance footwear under the Patagonia name with right to their other brands too, including Water Girl and Lotus Design. Patagonia intends to keep the same environmental sensitivity in the production of the footwear- make the best product with the least impact. Should be interesting to see what they come up and if all Patagonia dealers will be allowed to carry the footwear under Merrell who declined some of the same dealers.


Monday, June 06, 2005

Volkl - made in China?

Chew on that title for a second. Swallow. Down it goes. Kind of makes your stomach uneasy, doesn’t it. Indeed the rumors are true - Volkl is moving production of their snowboards and skis to China, joining K2 in the far east. Since negotiations with unions for a moratorium on wages and for additional (unpaid?) overtime pay failed, Volkl management will start laying off 9% of their workforce, with more cuts to follow.

Huh, who would have thought 5 years ago that both the American and German made ski giants would be joined at the hip in...China?

The Full Story (in German)


Friday, June 03, 2005

Jury says snowboard industry not liable

In what could have been an industry shattering case, the first ever product liability case for snowboard bindings, a jury has ruled in favor of the industry by citing that the snowboard company Nidecker is not liable. Sadly, in February of 2002 Kate Svitek, an employee at Mount Bachelor, died after falling head first into a tree well.

Where is the line between accidents and liability of gear manufacturers for accidents that happen from adventure with said gear? Keep litigation in check.

The Full Story

Hot News !
Suunto USA, a fully owned subsidiary of Amer Sports- parent company of Wilson Sporting Goods Co., Atomic and Precor, currently has an opening for the position of Territory Sales Manager. The Territory will cover the Intermountain and South-central region of the US. Ideal candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in business and or related field and 5 plus years of sales and account management.

Position will be responsible for selling and managing Suunto Sports Instruments in both Specialty and National Account channels. Keys to success will be to build business plans and account objectives and to deliver against these objectives.

Travel and a desire to be part of a fast growing company are important aspects of the position.

We offer competitive compensation and an opportunity for advancement throughout the Amer Sports portfolio of brands. For consideration, please email your resume, references and cover letter with salary requirements, to EOE


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Feeling the pull of El Cap

Recently one of our own here at made the pilgrimage to the mecca of North American climbing - Yosemite - where he tackled the Shield on El Cap. Yep, we’re still using the gear we sell. It's not so much that we're braggin', more like swapping stories around the preverbal water cooler. Kudos to you Kevin.

Another long day comes to an end on a El Cap.

Looking down from day 4 on the shield. Could you please pass me the exposure?

Self portrait high on El Cap