Just a quick recap from my day at yesterday’s Outdoor Retailer.
It all started out with a breakfast with all the shops in our buying group, The Grassroots Retail Group. Here, we talked about products we like and past performance. Many of the shops in the group are from the south, so it can be a different dynamic between they’re shops and Skinny Skis.
My first appointment was at the Dynafit/Salewa booth where they were displaying the new line of boots. The boots look nice and the line is very comprehensive. With carbon, pebax, and polyurethane options, there is guaranteed to be a model that meets your performance needs and price-point. Some of their adjustable poles were quite nice and of course the rando-racing gear is outrageously light. Next up was CamelBak. I though many of the packs were nice…mostly for front/side country type skiing…like at the Village. They had a new tube system that turns their water bottle into reservoirs in your pack. Funny, I was looking to make this modification for my trip to New Zealand last fall.
We met with our sales rep Jack Tackle after that, for an overview of the Black Diamond line. BD has stepped it up in a lot of programs and now has about 40 different types of gloves in their line. They looked very nice and I know we will carry some for next winter. The have some new ice tools that are pieces for art, never mind being serious climbing tools. Besides the skis, most of the winter specific items remain the same. I tried to get a peek at some prototypes of their new boots, but it just wasn’t happening. G3 was next on the list and they have a very nice new skin design. Their Alpine Skins have laminated tip and tail attachments, and a tip system that seems to be compatible with any type for ski tip’s shape. We rolled on to the Scarpa booth after that, where I’ve never seen so many models for tele/AT. The F3 and Terminator X will definitely add some versatility to your quiver.. The Spirit4 is a nice addition and should win over some freeriders. The Spirit 3’s tend to be treating me just fine for now though. All the boot companies seem to have super-stiff, alpine like boot offerings, blurring the line between lift-served and AT skiing. Soooo many choices!
My last appointment of the day was at Backcountry Access, where I saw the new NTN bindings from Rottefella. Man, these thing are beefy, definitely more suited for your ‘area’ tele skiers. Their new slope meter caught my eye, but it stopped at 50 degrees. Hmmm…just where the skiing starts to get fun for ski mountaineers. They have some nice probes and packs though, and I really like the Tour Shovel, a very lightweight offering with a metal blade.
Once again, in between appointments I searched out some more contacts for TetonAT. I had some conversations that will hopefully prove to be productive. More on tap for today, and I hope to be back in JH by about 5pm. Man, I miss the Tetons!