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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Sunday, August 4, 2013

OR Day 3

I'm two days behind on this post already.  The Show ended Saturday afternoon.

Day three for me was a marathon of appointments and wild eye wonder (as usual) generally finding something new around every turn.

The OR shows (summer and winter) are the ultimate toy store for grown ups.  And thankfully for me...nothing is for sale that you can walk out the door with.  Much of it not yet available but a 6 month wait on production.

This year three of us went down.  And all of us had differing interests.  Makes for some fun discussions.

Even with three of us looking there is no way we see everything let alone get all the details on what we do see.

I simply get over whelmed so I really try to concentrate on the alpine climbing arena and in general vendors I already am aware of.  Point is I never see everything and what I do see is generally biased in part from the get go. (Part of that is I so easily get lost in the dang place it  really is huge!)

One of the things I find of interest and likely out of date for most climbers  trying to go fast and light is a mini haul bag.   I saw three that really interested me but there might be others I haven't seen or wouldn't recommend.

Grivel  has smaller two models I really like.  And Metolius has a couple of smalelr bags and now some "cross overs" as well.  I'll come back to all of these later.

The super skinny (7mm +/-) ropes from Petzl, Beal and Edelrid have me really interested.  More on that subject shortly.

I learned more again about fitting boots and ice boots in particular as the  science and design continues to  getter better and better IMO on alpine/ice boots.  (8 boot reviews will go up shortly)

Clothes and technical wear?  Oh, my!  There are so many new pieces of clothing and so many exceptional fabrics and insulations.  I started climbing in wool, nylon and Ventile cloth.  

What we have  easily accessible now, I never imagined when we started climbing. 

I still think all the mountain sports from trail running, skimo, skiing, and any form of climbing (rock or ice) are getting closer and closer every season.  The tools and clothing we use now have more cross over use than ever before.   As they get more specialised with every season and every generation as well.  More specialised and still more more cross over applications?   One wouldn't think that would be the direction, but IMO it is.

Many of the cutting edge designers are starting to think along those lines as well...just as they continue to design more and more specific garments.

Much of my driving is along the old Oregon trail from Seattle to SLC to attend OR. The major portion of that drive from the Columbia River to just north of SLC in fact.

In total is a 800+/- miles/1300km drive one way.  I have a lot of time to think and review what I have seen at OR. 

What we have now for hard goods and software for climbing is as diverse in use and application as transportation, infrastructure and the generations of windmills in the current American West.

Amazing time to be climbing.  But like the newest windmills...not all good or all bad.  It will take some time to digest all the new products and add some context to what I think interesting enough to write about.  Cams, passive pro, biners, ropes, boots, packs, haul bags, watches and as always some new clothing and some of the newest TECHNOLOGY (that I think will go much much farther) will all  get some coverage..along with those man sized baby wipes :)

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