Outdoor: Did you hear?...

Montrail sales up 350 percent over 2003, ski with X-C great Thomas Alsgaard in Yellowstone, Osprey sets up European subsidiary, Access Fund plans lawsuit against USFS, Atlas expands winter workshop program, Lowa's Tanarks take a tour to Iraq, Everest base camp gets hot showers ala Zodi, Campisi leaves Malden, plus much more...
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>> Montrail is rocking the house in Europe with sales up nearly 350 percent over last year. While we can't report sales figures to you, we can assure you we've verified the numbers, and they are as stated. Part of the increase is attributed to the addition of sales to Russia. Montrail is now sold in 27 countries and the company expects to grow that number to 30 with the addition of some Southeast Asian locations. Menno Van Wyk, Montrail CEO, told SNEWS that the company attributes its strong sales to the fact that there is a growing emphasis on adventure racing, trail running and fast hiking in Europe. He also told us that October was the best overall sales month the company has ever experienced, bar none.

>> If you're in West Yellowstone Nov. 26-28, you'll have a chance to meet and even ski with Thomas Alsgaard, considered by many to be the best cross-country ski racer in the world. Toko and Madshus skis are co-sponsoring his appearance. Alsgaard will be arriving in West Yellowstone late Tuesday night (Nov. 25). On Nov. 26, he will spend time skiing and then give a talk in the evening to the Fall Camp at the convention center. On Thanksgiving Day, Alsgaard is scheduled to ski and hang out at the Toko and Madshus booths at the on-snow area as well as in the evening at the expo. On Friday, he will again ski with folks, and then at 6 p.m. speak at Freeheel N Wheel, the local ski shop, followed by a Toko clinic at the conference center. For more information, contact Ian Harvey, Toko brand manager, at ian@tokous.com.

>> UNITED KINGDOM -- Osprey Packs, Inc. has established a subsidiary company, Osprey Europe, Ltd., which will be located in southern United Kingdom. Osprey Europe will be entirely focused on developing the Osprey retail distribution, sales volume and image for the whole of Europe and contiguous countries. The subsidiary will begin addressing the market with fall 2004 preseason selling in January 2004, and assume all clinic and dealer service responsibilities starting in March 2004. Osprey Europe has stated the new company plans to retain the existing sales agent and sub-distributor structure across Europe. The principals of Osprey Europe Ltd. are Rob Wylie and Hamish Ogilvie, both formerly of Bradshaw Taylor Ltd., a UK-based distributor of several key outdoor brands. Wylie assumes the role of managing director of Osprey Europe based in Poole, while Ogilvie will serve as European sales director located in Leeds.

>> In response to the recent decision by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to uphold the ban on climbing at Cave Rock, a multi-use recreational area in Nevada on the shore of Lake Tahoe, the Access Fund has announced that it will file a lawsuit requesting the courts overturn the decision. In August 2003, the USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit released its Record of Decision (ROD) banning climbing at Cave Rock. On Sept. 19, the Access Fund filed an administrative appeal on procedural and constitutional grounds in order to overturn the ban. On Nov. 5, the USFS issued its appeal decision to uphold the climbing ban. The Access Fund board of directors then unanimously approved the decision to file suit. Despite the climbing community's ongoing efforts to create a mutually agreeable solution, the Access Fund said it is compelled to challenge this USFS decision. For more information, email Access Fund Executive Director Steve Matous at steve@accessfund.org.

>> Atlas Snow-Shoe Company has expanded its "Explore Winter" women's workshops this season to include more venues nationwide. Presented by adventure athlete Cathy Sassin, each indoor Explore Winter workshop is designed to teach women everything they need to know to experience winter outdoors with confidence. From how to choose a snowshoe and what to wear to winter safety and trip planning, the goal is to teach women essential snowshoeing tips and tricks. Each participant receives a goodie bag, special partner offers, a chance to win raffle prizes as well as win an all-inclusive free trip for two to Vail Resorts. Follow-up on-snow demo days are also scheduled in key markets to give women a chance to experience Atlas' Elektra snowshoes designed for women. A small donation to benefit the Women's Sports Foundation is requested. The Atlas Explore Winter workshops program is co-sponsored by Gore-Tex, Montrail, Mountain Hardwear, Smartwool, National Geographic Maps, Easton, Dana Design and Luna Bar. For a complete list of Atlas events, information about Atlas snowshoes, the Women's Sports Foundation, Cathy Sassin, Explore Winter workshops and its partners, go to www.atlassnowshoe.com.

>> Peter Sachs of Lowa Boots shared the following letter from a happy customer with SNEWS. And, no, Tanark boots still are not recommended for the military application they saw: "I first heard about your Tanark boots in a Men's Fitness article. I bought them because, as a United States Marine, I spend a large portion of my time on my feet and outdoors. With all the talk about the war with Iraq on the forefront, my unit, 1st Recon Battalion of the 1st Marine Division, spent the months leading up to the war going from military base to military base to get in as much training in diverse climates as possible. I wore my Tanarks from mountain training in Tahoe, Calif., to desert training by Palm Springs, Calif. The Tanarks were on my feet from our departure from Kuwait on the 1st night of the war to the end of the post-war peace keeping effort. They walked through almost every major city from Al Nasiriyah, to Al Hay, to Al Kut, to Baghdad, to Ba Gubah, and back down south to Kuwaiti International Airport. The boots took a beating, survived a war, and got me home blister-free. I would like to personally thank you for making such a great boot. My Tanarks are about done now, but I plan to treat myself to a new pair for Christmas."

>> Zodi is donating a Hot Tap HP Plus Item 6122 portable Hot Shower system to folks at Everest Base Camp so they can now enjoy hot showers. To accompany the Hot Tap, Zodi will supply the bulk propane tank kit for attaching the Hot Tap to a larger 20-pound propane tank along with the Mozzie Change Shelter from the Sitro Group. SNEWS View: Why how civilized. Next thing you know, they'll be asking for an Internet Café…. Wait, there is one. Maybe it'll be the location for the next Starbucks outlet? And we thought this Everest thing was supposed to be tough!

>> Joe Campisi is moving on. Campisi sent SNEWS the following note after calling to let SNEWS know he's leaving Malden. "After eight years of working with one of the greatest brands in the outdoor industry and the greatest team of precedent-setting people imaginable, I have decided to move onto my next adventure. Over the years, I have been asked to help our customers with various marketing programs and services. I have enjoyed working with the outdoor industry immensely and have decided to continue on that path by offering my services to the outdoor suppliers and manufactures. To this end I have started a marketing services company, Campisi and Associates. My first customer is Malden Mills. I will continue to work on supporting the retail-based programs for the Polartec brand. I look forward to working with my friends in the industry creating prosperous solutions for their brands and marketing programs for a long time to come." To contact Campisi, send an email to: jcampisi@comcast.net.

>> Bite Footwear was named one of Washington's fastest growing companies by the Puget Sound Business Journal for the fourth year in a row, putting Bite in the magazine's Hall of Fame.

>> Nalge Nunc International, manufacturer of Nalgene Brand Products, named Margaret Gregory to director of sales and marketing, and promoted Brian Warren to sales manager, both for the company's Nalgene Consumer Products. Gregory has been manager of sales and marketing for Nalgene's consumer business for the past 10 years. Her experience in the industry is more than 15. Warren's background includes more than 13 years in the sporting goods industry. He joined the company in 2001 as product manager for Nalgene.

>> WaterMark has hired Andy Papademetriou as vice president of product development. He will oversee product research, development and testing efforts for all land and watersports categories. In related news, Joe Pulliam has been promoted to executive vice president of business development and will remain at the Easley, S.C., facility. Mark Pate, vice president of marketing of all WaterMark brands, will relocate to Arcata, Calif., in January.

>> Life-Link has signed professional snowboarder Travis Rice to promote the company's Avalanche Safety Gear and to help form Life-Link's New Avalanche Safety Team. Rice, 21, is a native of Jackson Hole, Wyo. Rice has attained numerous major accomplishments in snowboarding including X Trail Tokyo Dome gold medalist, three-peat MVP of Snowboarder Magazine's Superpark Event, 2002 X-Games gold medalist in the slopestyle event, and U.S. Open of Snowboarding 2002 gold medalist in quarter pipe and jib jam. Rice has also been seen in many snowboarding videos and magazines over the past three years.

>> Sugoi has hired Gina Gotch as a product manager. Gotch will work closely with Sugoi's design, sales and marketing teams to help integrate the efforts and needs of each department.

>> Grivel North America has hired Mark Wilford as the sales representative for the Midwest territory. Wilford also joins the roster of Grivel North America's ambassadors, a team of alpine climbers who choose Grivel tools and embody the GNA "Style Matters" ethic.

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