Outdoor: Did you hear?…

First ski mountaineer elected to Colorado Ski Hall of Fame, nominations being accepted for OIWC First Ascent Award, stranded skier credits Ibex for saving his life, Patrick Gruber named CEO of Outlast, plus much more...
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For the week of May 10-16

>> For the first time since its inception in 1977, a ski mountaineer has been elected to the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame (www.coloradoskihalloffame.com) by the Colorado Ski Museum. Longtime advocate of alpine touring, Lou Dawson, 53, has earned his place with the likes of Warren Miller, Bob Lange, Klaus Obermeyer and Gerald Ford. Dawson, who gleefully teases telemark skiers about their antiquated bindings, was the first person to ski all of the state's 54 peaks over 14,000 feet (it took 13 years to bag them all). He is the author of the definitive history of ski mountaineering in North America, "Wild Snow," published by the American Alpine Club. He has also penned several other guidebooks and written numerous magazine articles advocating backcountry skiing. Check out his blog at http://wildsnow.com. Congrats Lou!

>> After an 11-hour push, Ed Viesturs reached the summit of 26,545-foot Annapurna, the world's 10th highest peak last week. With that, he finishes his quest to become the first person from the U.S. to summit all 14 of the world's 8000 meter summits. It is important to note, despite what the press has published lately, that Viesturs is not the first American (meaning North America) as Carlos Carsolio from Mexico completed the 14 summit circuit already. Viesturs is the 12th person overall to make the list since Messner became the first in ‘86. And he’s the 6th to complete the 14 summits without using oxygen. Also joining Viesturs and his Finnish climbing partner, Veikka Gustafsson, on the summit were Italians Mario Merelli, Mario Panzeri and Danielle Bernasconi. Inspired by the book "Annapurna" as a kid, Viesturs started toward his quest to climb the 14 8,000-meter peaks with Kangchenjunga in 1989. Viesturs has numerous sponsors including Mountain Hardwear and Princeton Tec. For more info on the climb, visit www.firstandbest.msn.com and www.explorersweb.com.

>> Watch-maker St. Moritz has enlisted Outdoor Europe to manage its sales and distribution for its Momentum-branded watches in Europe. Outdoor Europe will handle inventory, picking and packing, and shipping of Momentum watches throughout Europe, and build the brand in outdoor and jewelry retail starting in the Benelux with long-term plans to expand throughout the European Union. Outdoor Europe played an instrumental role in assisting Momentum with the redesign of its European market development strategy. For more information, visit www.outdooreurope.com or contact Outdoor Europe's Ben Gerrits at +31 541 570 700 or ben.gerrits@outdooreurope.com.

>> La Sportiva recently re-launched its website, www.sportiva.com, and revamped its Via Sportiva newsletter. The company said the website has more in-depth product information, athlete profiles and an easy-to-use design. Users will also find warranty and dealer information, technical information on Sportiva innovations, and bios its athletes. The Via Sportiva newsletter has been expanded with more in-depth interviews, news from the front lines, upcoming events, product spotlights and training tips. It also now includes the new Mountain Running which includes racing and adventure reports and La Sportiva/GoLite team-member profiles.

>> The Outdoor Industries Women's Coalition (OIWC) is accepting nominations for the inaugural OIWC First Ascent Award. This award is aimed at a young woman who is new to the outdoor industry, recognizing an industry up and comer who demonstrates strong potential for leadership. The winner will be rewarded with a scholarship to a weeklong Strozzi Institute for Leadership course, valued at $2,500. Nomination criteria include: candidate must be a young woman who has been in the outdoor industry less than five years; candidate may be right out of college or recently transitioned from another career; nominators must be employed at the same company as the candidate; and nominators must be either a peer or a supervisor of the candidate, or in a higher level position. Nominations are due June 13 and may be submitted online through the OIWC website, www.oiwc.org. The winner will be announced at OIWC's Summer Gathering at the Outdoor Retailer trade show on Aug. 13. Transportation to and from the course and seminar costs are covered by the grant. Food and accommodations will be the responsibility of the grant recipient. For more information on the Strozzi Institute, visit www.ranchostrozzi.com.

>> Preparations are underway for the ispo summer 05 trade show, which will take place on the grounds of the New Munich Trade Fair Centre in Germany from July 3-5 in eight trade fair halls featuring 1,200 exhibitors. A highlight of the show is Nordic Fitness, which ispo said will create a bridge between the running and outdoor segments. Among the exhibitors will be adidas, Asics, Buff, Camelbak, Columbia/Sorel, Concurve, Deproc, Ecco, Exel, Fischer, Fizan, FRWD, Garmin, Gore, Halti, Hi-Tec, Icebug, K2, Karhu, Komperdell, Leki, Löffler, Lowa, Maier Sports, Medico, Meindl, MGM Fila Skates, One Way, Polar, Reebok, Regatta, Roces, Rollerblade, Salomon, Sporteye, Suunto, Swix, TSL, Viking and Ziener. Among the event's lineup are the Nordic Fitness Summit, the Nordic Fitness Congress, and pro skiers Rosi Mittermaier and Christian Neureuther demonstrating Nordic walking techniques. Another show highlight will be the Climbing World Championships, where 300 athletes from more than 40 countries will compete for the title July 1-5. Once again, the show will feature ispovision 05 with 50 exhibitors expected, doubling last year's number. Among the topics featured will be yoga/wellness. For more information about the trade show, visit www.ispo.com.

>> Columbia Sportswear is taking to the streets, signing a license agreement with World Wide Cycle Supply to design, manufacture and market a new line of bikes and accessories. The new Columbia collection will feature hardtail and dual suspension mountain bikes, comfort bikes, hybrid bikes, road bikes, cruisers and youth style models. It will also produce bike accessories including grips, saddles, bike pumps and water bottles. Distribution will be managed by World Wide Cycle Supply through sporting goods retailers and specialty bike shops. Initial availability is slated for spring 2006.

>> Stranded for nine days with a broken leg, a backcountry skier in the Flattop Wilderness Region outside of Steamboat, Colo., is crediting his Ibex wool layers for saving his life. Charles Horton, who went out for a daylong ski trip when he fell and broke his leg, was wearing Ibex's wool soft shell Alpstar Pant, Glacier Vest, merino wool Tern Top and Roaster Boxers. Horton, a longtime Ibex customer, attributes his Alpstar pants, which aside from his Ibex Roaster Boxers, were the only layer on his legs. "Even though my legs were always wet, I was amazed how that single layer consistently kept me warm. I can't speak enough about how well designed Ibex clothing is. I am alive today because of it. Even on the nights when I did not believe I'd survive, my Ibex pieces always kept me warm enough to see first light," said Horton. By the time search and rescue found Horton, he had run out of food and water and lost the ability to make a fire. The Charles Horton Fund has been established to help underwrite the medical bills that Horton incurred as a result of the injuries he sustained. Ibex has made a $1,000 contribution to the fund.

>> Patrick Gruber has joined Outlast Technologies as its president and CEO, replacing retiring George Cattermole. Gruber comes from NatureWorks LLC (formerly Cargill Dow LLC), where he was the vice president and chief technology officer. As one of the founders, Gruber has served in his position since the company's inception in 1997. Gruber's career has focused on the technology, business development and commercialization of renewable resource based products. He has developed lactic acid based polymers and products, in particular, NatureWorks PLA and Ingeo fibers, and is the recipient of numerous awards and holds 48 U.S. patents. Cattermole will continue to serve on Outlast's board of directors.

>> On Sunday, Rutabaga in Madison, Wis., once again showed its commitment to getting women out on the water with its Water Divas paddling celebration. The retailer said that the event was created to educate women on what's available to make their outdoor experiences enjoyable. The event featured on-the-water paddling mini-courses, dry land clinics, and a spring clothing fashion show. During lunch attendees were able to attend a presentation by Grace Lim, who is a marathon runner, mother of two and "an inspiration to all active women." "Our women's programs have been very successful," said Nancy Saulsbury, director of Rutabaga's outdoor programs.

>> With Rob BonDurant moving on to become Patagonia's new director of brand, John Collins, the company's longtime eastern sales manager, has been named as his replacement. As director of specialty sales, he will handle strategic oversight of its selling efforts for Patagonia, the fly-fishing division, Water Girl and Lotus Designs.

>> Woven fabric maker Consoltex has revamped its website: www.consoltex.com. New features include expanded information about the company's product solutions, opt-in e-mail communications, an integrated search engine powered by Copernic and multi-method navigation.

>> Technical footwear maker TrekSta has appointed Ned Ganz to represent Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. TrekSta is a leading brand in the Far East since 1988 and has sales of $250 million. TrekSta has recently built a line of footwear for the U.S. market and introduced it for fall 2005 distribution. Ganz also reps Rossignol and is a former member of the U.S. ski team.

>> Liz Lasater has left Kokatat Watersports and all editorial/media related, sponsorship and donation inquiries can be directed to Marta Miller at marta@kokatat.com or 707-822-7621, ext. 213.

>> A recent survey from NFI Research found that many managers who are entitled to three weeks or more of vacation time are less likely to take it before the year is done. The study showed that nearly 96 percent of senior executives and managers are entitled to three weeks or more of vacation time for the entire year, but only 66 percent expect to use the entire amount. Seventy-nine percent of senior executives and managers are entitled to four weeks or more; however, only 37 percent expect to take that much vacation time for the current year. And, more than a third of senior executives and managers are entitled to five or more weeks of vacation time, yet only 10 percent expect to take it. When comparing vacation time to the size of the organization, NFI said senior executives and managers at large organizations are entitled to more vacation time, and expect to take more vacation time than senior executives and managers at smaller organizations. Fifty-nine percent of senior executives and managers at organizations with more than 10,000 employees are entitled to five weeks or more of vacation time, with only 20 percent expecting to take it. However, at organizations with fewer than 500 employees, only 27 percent of senior executives and managers are entitled to five weeks or more vacation, with only 6 percent expecting to take it. One exec respondent said: "Maybe we think things will collapse if we leave for more than a few days. Maybe we just can't deal with the thought of what we will face coming back after leaving for more than a few days. Maybe we need to FEEL things will collapse if we leave for more than a few days. Whatever the reason, stringing a week or more of vacation time together is a rarity indeed." NFI Research is a U.S.-based research firm that identifies and analyzes trends and attitudes in business and organizational management and information technology.

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