Wednesday, November 30, 2005

HEre is what I got:
Armada is going to sell to K2.
Smith is making helmets.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Better get the pink one

Every stayed up late pondering the origins of the Bogner one piece? This little piece from our friends down the hill at the Salt Lake Tribune will settle that long pondered question for you. The article also touches on what's hot in women's ski wear this year.

An insider's tip from the editor of Ski Magazine: the pink Bogner will be off the hook this year. Better hurry out and get yours before you miss out on the fashion parade in Aspen. Yawn...

The Full Story


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Tale

This is a little off topic for the blog but nevertheless in line with the Thanksgiving Holiday. So when you're having bandwidth issues on "Black Friday" and can't get your shopping done, think about the very first day after Thanksgiving.

The Desolate Wilderness

Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.

When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.

The next day they went on board, and their friends with them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other's heart, that sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from tears. But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took their leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them.

Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succour; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts.

Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew.

If they looked behind them, there was a mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Waiting Game - Horde Sticker Contest

This is an entry from the recent Horde Sticker Contest that just ended. Don't worry, with all the stickers headed out the door we're going to re-open a new contest so keep your images of the goat stickers coming in. If you haven't gotten a goat sticker, get two of them here.

I couldn't pass up posting these photos from Ben Fickett of Salt Lake City. Of the photos Ben wrote:

“The Waiting Game‘

This kid lives next to me. You may think that he’s just waiting for TRAX, but that’s not all he’s waiting for. He’s waiting for the snow. The Pow. The goods. The white gold. The stuff he has dreamed about over and over again since he was very young. He longs to make use of the word “snorkel” in recounting his day skiing. As he gazes up at the nude Wasatch Range he becomes angry. He wonders if this season, the season he moved from Pennsylvania to Utah, will be as epic as his dreams. He anxiously waits although time does not. Scheduled opening is approaching fast, he’s still waiting. Several trains arrive. The snow has not.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Indian Creek, Utah - Crack climbers delight

Adventure Report: This comes from customer and Horde Team member Sarah Geneser who recently became addicted to crack...climbing that is.

Crack climbers are a different breed. They shove and twist various body parts into spaces between rock, and hang their weight off the bones mashed into these gaps. To most people, this does not sound like a fantastic pastime in the slightest.

Being primarily a sport climber and boulderer, my first experience in Indian Creek, Utah was beyond frustrating. I tried to layback EVERYTHING. Even when presented with a splitter fingers crack, I desperately tried to ratchet myself upward lay backing. Believe me, it was embarrassing. But I just couldn't figure out this mystical magical "jamming" thing. Sure, I experimented with jambs and stacks and finger locks and whatever anyone on the ground would yell upward at me about, but none of it felt secure at all.

This past weekend, I revisited IC, somewhat begrudgingly. I fully expected two swear-word filled days, but eventually gave in to peer pressure and joined my friends in the five hour drive down to "The Creek". After a somewhat sporty and easy warm up, I resolved to make peace with jamming, and actually give it a try. Not the half hearted "This is totally impossible, but okay... whatever" go I had made of it before, but to really take the time and *think* about what I was doing. I decided that, being a beginner, I shouldn't expect so much, nor get so frustrated. I concentrated on my feet, being sure to have solid jambs to support me before trying to pull my way upward with my arms. To my amazement, I actually began to make upward progress on climbs that would have been absolutely impossible during my previous trip.

I found myself enjoying the challenge. I learned to balance in completely different ways than I was accustomed to. And yes, I experienced a significantly greater amount of discomfort than I did while bouldering, jug-hauling, or even crimping but my sense of accomplishment was also greater. Not only is the climbing there excellent (which is apparent even to a crack noobie like me), but the surroundings are just gorgeous. Sandstone buttresses rise from the stark and isolated desert floor, snaking along into the distance. If you've turned down chances to go to Indian Creek for fear of the pain involved, you are truly missing out. Indeed, despite a pair of oozing nasty scabs that haven't yet healed, I am antsy to return.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Early season sessions - Alta delivers

Adventure Report: This mini report and photos come from employee Dustin Robertson. I'm sure it's not the last we'll see of the early season sessions

It was a reuinion of sorts - meeting up with Alex, a former employee, and starting another ski season in the Wasatch up Little Cottonwood Canyon. As can be expected with early season ski tours and a 24 inch base, coverage was good in places and bad in others. After heading up Wildcat and along the Puruvian Ridge we got about 30 super quality turns with nothing but Pow under our feet.

Evidence -

Starting out (nice goat sticker!)

Alex, Dustin and the Wasatch

Dustin - First turns

Alex - mid season form


Friday, November 11, 2005

Early season wobbles

Adventure Report: This report comes from the site manager Jason Dyer.

Even though many resorts are open across the US, Utah has been a little dryer than usual so myself and our intern Tim hiked to a secret pre-season spot last weekend near Brighton, UT to get some riding in. This play land of rails had one stand out wallride feature that we sessioned over and over.

With just about a 90 degree tranny and little snow to work with, Tim got this shot of me popping an Indy to Fakie. It was a fun day of friends, good times, and working out the early season wobbles.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Big. So, so big

Adventure Report: Adventure Reports are a new addition to the Backcountry Blog. Check back often for reports from employees as well as members of the Horde

Big. So, so big

That's all I can think staring up at the huge face of El Capitan. It hurts your neck to look up at the summit. I've never seen anything bigger in my life. We're going to climb this thing in three days? Seems unbelievable. Those dihedrals seem to stretch on forever.

So, so big...and we're going so slow. It's almost noon on our second day of climbing, and we're not even half way up the route yet. I stare at the folded and torn topo in my already battered fingers, looking at the pitches that lay ahead. On the topo, everything looks so straightforward. A few lines and X's always lead so clearly from one anchor to another. But I try to imagine what the cracks are really going to look like when we actually get up there. This system right here, will it be steep? Crumbling? Reachy moves? Bolts missing? Home to a bee's nest? (We came across one of these high on the route.) How long will it takes us to do these pitches? Are we going fast enough? Are those storm clouds? Should we bail? You've got a long time to think when you're belaying.

Finally, late on our third day, the summit is getting close. The sun is setting, and we're gunning hard on the last pitches to top out before dark. I'm aid climbing like a madman up a deep flaring crack. The rock is a lot sharper up here; I'm shredding my hands with every cam placement, throwing in rattly jams so I can get higher in my aiders. My knuckles are oozing. Just don't drop anything. My feet are screaming from aiding in climbing shoes all day. Don't fall here, you back cleaned your last four pieces of gear above that ledge. I'll loose that toe nail later. But we're so close, and the sun is setting fast. I don't care about the pain anymore, just a little further...

It's amazing how great a level piece of ground can seem. If only life were always this simple.

We wake up in the cold morning air, psyched to be almost done with our ordeal. Two hours of suffering down the East Ledges and we're back at the car. We shower, wolf down a pizza at the Caf, and suddenly we're back on the road headed home. El Cap still looks huge in the rear view mirror. If anything, it looks even bigger now. The soreness is just starting to set in as my body tries to start repairing all the damage I've just done. We've got 11 hours cramped in the car to look forward to.

Did we finally learn our lesson this time? Will we remember the suffering we just endured? How many times did we swear off wall climbing on this ascent? Was that fun?

So many questions, but I keep coming back to just one: which route will we climb next?


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Smart Sheep in the TimberLand.

The Outdoor Industry gets even a little smaller after Timberland announced it will buy Smartwool for 82 Million Dollars this week. The deal will be paid via timberland's existing cash balances as well as a some short-term borrowing.

SmartWool will stay in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Timberland Company under the leadership of Chip Coe, SmartWool's president.

SmartWool's 2005 revenues are anticipated to be approximately $42 million excluding sales of Timberland footwear with SmartWool linings (which they partnered in 2005 to develop and create). Timberland anticipates this transaction will add two to three cents to its earnings per share in 2006, with benefits weighted toward the second half of the year.

Chip Coe explained the "We are very excited to expand our relationship with Timberland. We are passionate about our brand. Timberland's brand building heritage, operational expertise and commitment to community will enable SmartWool to better serve our loyal and growing consumer base through expanded offerings of socks, apparel and accessories to reach our full potential as part of the Timberland organization. Timberland's extraordinary commitment to social responsibility is also a great fit with our SmartPrint initiative."

More information at


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Spyder Counterfeit Shipment Seized!

The largest Skiwear brand in the world scored a win against counterfeit operators when a shipment of over 1000 fake Jackets and Pants were recently discovered. Seems like a drop in the bucket - wonder how many more are out there.......beware, and buy from a reputable dealer.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Liz Claiborne acquires prAna for 34million

After a long time trying to guess who would eventually buy prAna it turns out to be Liz Claiborne? Who would've thought? They are going to allow the current co-owners, Beaver and Pam Theodosakis and Demian Kloer, to remain running the business. They will continue to focus on high quality products and running an environmentally friendly business. The acquisition price is currently estimated to be $34.4 million, consisting of an initial payment of approximately $32.5 million (representing 60% of prAna's initial valuation) and the retirement of debt at closing (approximately $1.9 million), plus additional payments based upon a multiple of prAna's earnings in fiscal years 2008, 2009 and 2010. PrAna is expected to generate annual net sales of approximately $30 million in fiscal 2005.

Although Liz Claiborne has a proven track record of acquring apparel brands and letting them preserve their brand identity , this is their first time diving into the outdoor apparel area.

There will be more to come on this story.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Sick joke? Nah, only sick skis and Black Diamond are stoked to announce that they have found an owner for a brand new pair of Black Diamond Verdict Telemark skis. The 2006 Black Diamond Verdict Sweepstakes took place for over a month on Out of over 2,000 applicants, Nick Pugmire was chosen at random. Upon hearing the news, Nick responded with an insightful comment, “I hope this isn’t some sick joke 'cause I could really use a new pair of skis!” Well it wasn’t some sick joke; he now has a pair of new skis.

Nick lives in Juneau, Alaska, “where the winters are warmer than usual and the women are colder than usual.” He spends the majority of his summer working for the US Forest Service as a Forestry Technician and his winter’s ski patrolling at Eagle Crest Resort. Nick has been dropping knees on Telemark skis for 2 years now. When he isn’t skiing, you can catch him biking, surfing (yes, surfing in Alaska) and mountaineering.

Check out what Nick will be rocking down the slopes this season, BD Verdicts. Congratulations Nick.