Just got back from OR. Although I missed some quality snow conditions here on the coast, I had a great time down in Salt Lake. Zac (of sweetgrass) and his girlfriend Kara, took great care of me. Saw lots of amazing gear, and met some cool people.
Had quick chats with legends like Jeremy Jones (badass snowboarding pioneer and shredder, owner of Jones Snowboards) and Mike Hattrup (style-master, Blizzard of ahhhs star, and leading the charge of K2′s awesome backcountry program).
Discussed the possibility of high altitude golf in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru, with the one and only Glen Plake (check out his article in the latest Backcountry mag). Had a great lunch with Andrew Mclean, North America’s most prolific steep skier.
Meeting Reinhold Messner (ie greatest climber of all time) was the highlight. Kept on calling him sir, and I got all emotional afterwards. His solos and adventures have provided a lot of inspiration over the years.
Very impressed with all the ski gear I saw. We are truly at the dawn of a backcountry renaissance. So many amazing options from Dynafit, La Sportiva, Scarpa, Salomon, DPS, K2, Technica, Crispi, Black Diamond, Voile, G3 and Garmont. All the tech binding options is staggering. Things will certainly get a little confusing with so many quality offerings.
Also won a pair of La Sportiva Hi5 skis in a raffle (who needs sponsorship when you’ve got blind luck?!?). Super-stoked . . . they look awesome. Winning them eased the regret of not being able to ski the fresh pow up here. They’re 105mm under foot with a massive 45cm tip rocker. Buying the pre-cut skins as well which I believe are Pomoca brand mohairs, with K2′s innovative attachment system. I’ll probably throw my rando Plum Race 185 bindings on there to keep them light.
Should be quick on the up and fun on the down!