Who was there?
"the best female telemark skier in the known
[The People at OR]
It's that time again: Outdoor Retailer, the twice yearly mega-trade show
of the "human-powered" sports world wrapped up its summer version in
Salt Lake City, Utah last Sunday, August 16. This is the place where
The North Face
and Mountain Hardwear, Dana and Gregory, Climb High and Petzl, along with hundreds of other manufacturers and distributors duke it out for
retailer orders. (Bikes have their own show, InterBike, in September.)
Strolling the aisles is very much like being a kid in a candy store
until you realize that all those cool tents, backpacks, boots, ice
tools, 'biners and clothes are utterly out of reach as it's wholesale only,
and the stuff won't even be on store shelves until 1999.
"Attendees were readily
identifiable by "the look" — cotton shorts, T-shirts and Tevas, with
sunglasses hung the wrong way on the back of their necks..."
This summer's was the biggest Outdoor Retailer ever with more than 300 companies
attracting approximately 20,000 buyers, exhibitors and press to the
withering heat of downtown Salt Lake. Attendees were readily
identifiable by "the look" cotton shorts, T-shirts and Tevas,
with sunglasses hung the wrong way on the back of their necks. (Salt Lake
drivers swear OR folks are "all alike," an alien race that comes from behind the moon, descends on the city twice a year, then goes away.)
At the show itself, there were trends (lightweight, ultra-lightweight
and super-lightweight), surprises (The North Face will introduce a huge
line of shoes and boots), and predictable developments (a greatly
diminished offering of recycled fabrics).
But the real fun of OR is the people. This is the place where famous
climbers, skiers and other outdoor celebrities converge to sign books,
look cool or act as pitchmen and pitchwomen for their respective
Here's a few of the folks we ran into:
Kasha Rigby, a 27-year-old Crested Butte, Colorado resident and "the
best female telemark skier in the known universe," hits the keg at the premiere party for Outside Magazine's new sister publication, Women Outside, on which
she graces the cover.
Ed Viesturs, America's favorite high-altitude climber and IMAX movie
star, holds court in the Mountain Hardwear booth after auctioning off
his ice ax for a cool three grand, which benefited the Access Fund.
Jim "Heart of Stone" Bridwell, the dean of American rock climbers,
basking in the glory of belated recognition for his unparalleled
contributions to the sport. The subject of a recent Climbing Magazine
cover story, "Birdman" was signing posters for the faithful.
Greg Child, the affable and articulate climber from Down Under, was a
big draw at The North Face and signing copies of his new book, Postcards
from the Ledge, at the Mountaineers Books. Stay tuned for an in-depth
interview with the complex Child on the release of his new book.
Climber Bill Crouse, last seen by us at Ben & Jerry's bar in Kathmandu
prior to his attempt on Lhotse, attending to his day job
responsibilities as sales manager for The North Face; Coloradan Crouse,
just back from climbing in Bolivia, is soon off to Aconcagua.
Lou Whittaker, for more than three
decades the reigning patriarch of Mount Rainier, was signing books and greeting old friends at Jansport and
Team SCAR: Gramicci clothing has a whole new Eco-Challenge line, and who
better to get the word out than the famous Eco-Challenge stars
David Kelly, captain of the Santa Cruz Adventure Racing Team, is heading
to Morocco for October's big event. Also a former Eco
Adventure School instructor and race tester, Kelly has participated in four
Terry Schneider, the female representative of Team SCAR, is a fitness
consultant and myofascial (you'll have to wait for the Zone's interview
to find out what this means) release therapist. A four time Eco veteran, Scheneider, with teammate Kelly, is heading to China for another endurance race less than a week after Morocco.
Peter Potterfield, Mountain Zone Staff
[Mountain Zone Marketplace]
[Mountain Zone Home]