Thursday, February 4, 2010

OR Show 2010

The Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City takes place each year in January, between the Ouray Ice Festival and Chicks with Picks. This is a great time for me to touch base with my sponsors (First Ascent, Petzl, Scarpa, Julbo) but also to see just about everyone I know in the Outdoor Industry. This year, Adam and I worked for Brooks Range Mountaineering. Brooks Range Mountaineering makes tarps, tents, rescue sleds, map reading tools, snow science kits, down jackets and elephant foot type of sleeping bag, ski straps, snow shovels, snow saws, etc. It's a one of a kind company, owned and created by AMGA Alpine Guide Matt Brooks. The new Rocket Tent, designed by IFMGA guide Dick Jackson, drew a lot of attention, because of the cutting edge untearable material it's made out of. The tent is ultralite (1.5lbs) and can be built with trekking poles and a probe.

It was a lot of fun to work a crew of guides at the booth.

I got a chance to walk around the show and discover all the new exciting products. Here are a few!

Scarpa has a whole new line of sport climbing shoes! hard to pick one from the lot. They all are so attractive and cutting edge looking!

Beautiful new lifestyle shoes... can't wait to show them off when they come out!

New alpine boots! The Phantom Lite will now be the Phantom Guide, the Summit has been transformed into the fancy Mont Blanc. I will be trying this new boot on long Norwegian ice climbs! And the Triolet - perfect durable light summer alpine boot - has been revamped! Check it all out on the Scarpa Website!

Petzl is coming out with an awesome new line of products!

The Spirit carabiners have been one of Petzl's most beloved products. No teeth, perfect shape, they are/were the must of biner. But with the new area of lightweight carabiners, Petzl took the time to perfect a new set of carabiners. The Angel (the draws to the left of the Spirits). The draws come in different lengths and the biners are color-coded: blue and orange for the bottom biner, grey for the biner you clip into the bolt. The Angel are no less than revolutionary.

Petzl also came out with a lighter Elios for women and for kids (bottom helmets on the picture).

And Petzl also came out with a much awaited new version of the Quark and of the Nomic, and added to the line the amazing Ergo (top ice axe, orange). The Ergo is radically curved with two pommels to make switching hands easier. I haven't tried it yet, but rumor has it that it swings really well and is perfect for mixed climbing. More on that when I get to climb on it. What was missing on the Nomic - a hammer and a spike - no longer is! Petzl came up with an amazing idea: a removable hammer or adze. How genius is that? For my next alpine adventure, I can choose to carry a hammer - or not - along, depending on what my objective is! The handle is smaller and is more attractive with the added orange. And the added spike makes this tool a lot more versatile!

The new Quark should have been called Transformer. It can do so many things at once, it's awesome! It adapts to whatever you want to do: pure ice, alpine route, mountaineering, etc. It's small and light enough that you will always want it along! The hand grip can be removed so that the spike works better. The pommel can moved up and out of the way on alpine climbs, or put above the handle so that you can switch hands on it, the hammer is removable, etc.!

Petzl also came out with more powerful and more stylish (!) headlamps. They come in all sorts of colors. My favorite, of course, is the pink one! But moreover, Petzl came out with a rechargeable battery. Now you can recharge your headlamp with your USB port or any other charger! Sustainable and ingenious, wouldn't you say?

Julbo needs no introduction in the Outdoor community. Just about every mountain guide I know - in Europe or in North America - wears Julbo sunglasses. And the reason for that is...? well, just coz they are the best on the market.

This year, Julbo came out with the Monte Rosa, a stylish and feminine alpine pair of sunglasses. Specs: For those ladies who explore the summits yet also enjoy the hustle and bustle of urban life, Julbo presents the Monta Rosa. With removable shields, high protection lenses and a curved ergonomic shape, the MonteRosa offers adaptability, versatility and complete protection.

Julbo owner Christophe Beaud obviously doesn't think that the Monte Rosa should be limited to women!

The Whoops is are made for smaller faces and offer a perfect fit both in the mountains and in the city! The white ones, as always, are my absolute favorites!

And last but not least, the very trendy Fly. These are for sure going to be my goto sunnies for 2010!

This year's show was my favorite, hands down. Lots of people, lots of fun. The atmosphere was way more relaxed then last year's, after the economic crash!

What caught your eye during the show this year? What was your favorite product? Please share with me!


Ben and Genny Fullerton said...

Lookin' good in those shades, Caroline!

wildsanna said...

I'm going to invest in new axes for the first time in 9 years... the new Nomics are looking really good to me

Caroline George Home is the Road said...

Yes, they are fantastic! Highly recommend them :-)

heidi said...

Hi Caroline,

I have my eye on the new Quarks! Do you know when they will become available?

Cute pic in the Flys =)

Caroline George Home is the Road said...

I think they will be available in August. Which is perfect timing for next season! You should totally get them! I am climbing with them right now in Norway and they rock! They feel lighter than the older version too!

Fell Runner 76 said...

Great write up, looks like you had a blast. I agree about the Julbo Sunglasses they are great. I find them much more affordable than Oakley and they look great too!