Outdoor Reads: All about extremes – in prices and obstacles

Find out what extreme race might be too extreme and what role gear plays in our relationship to nature.
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What did the SNEWS team read this week that other industry insiders might find interesting? Read on to find out.

  • It’s been a rough couple of weeks for humanity: bombings, explosions, flooding, avalanches. The industry recently reacted to the news that a Colorado avalanche killed five backcountry skiers/snowboarders. What was supposed to be a mellow day ended in horror and tragedy, reported Jason Blevins in this Denver Post article. This Westword story commemorates victim Mark McCarron, focusing on his life, rather than the fact that the group was smoking weed before the avalanche.
  • Another loss in the industry came in the climbing world. On April 21, Layton Kor, one of the most accomplished American climbers of the 1960s, died after suffering from kidney failure and prostate cancer. Click here to read an obituary written by Dougald MacDonald in Climbing Magazine.
  • Another case for staying active: Octogenarians who were athletes throughout their lives were much more fit than their nonactive counterparts. This Active Times story reports that people who exercise enter old age with stronger hearts because their left ventricle isn’t stiffened as much as their counterparts who don’t exercise. A stiffened left ventricle is the most common cause of heart problems.
  • This Star Tribune story reported that Broomfield, Colo.-based Vail Resorts purchased the 118-year-old specialty outdoor retailer Hoigaard’s for undisclosed terms. The store will keep its name and most of its employees, Vail reps told the Star Tribune. Check out the story for more history of the store.
  • We’re not saying we want to quit our jobs, sell all our stuff and travel around the country in a camper. We don’t have to — we can live vicariously through runners Vanessa Rodriguez and Robert Shackleford. We’ve been following their travels via Rodriguez’s blog, and she recently posted photos from a photo challenge that made us want to follow their route ourselves.
  • What role does gear play in how we interact with our environment? A huge one, according to outdoor gear strategist Scott McGuire. The advances in outdoor gear have made it possible for people to go farther, faster and travel more comfortably and easily. Check out this story in the Atlantic that features McGuire, formerly of The North Face, who started his own company called The Mountain Lab.
  • Who doesn’t want a trip to Tahoe? The Gear Junkie, Salomon and Suunto are going to send a few lucky folks to participate in the first Ragnar Relay Tahoe event, set to take place on July 26-27. The winners will be geared up from head to toe in Salomon and Suunto. Check out this Gear Junkie post to find out how to enter.
  • Many of us in this industry also run marathons, and few of us are sponsored athletes. So when we’re registering on Active.com, we generally experience a bit of sticker shock. Prices for marathons have gone up so much that one man featured in this Esquire Magazine article has considered stopping running them altogether — or at least stopping paying for them. We're two steps away from doing that ourselves but we'd miss the medals.
  • Extreme obstacle events like Tough Mudder are gaining popularity, and such races are popping up all over the place: Warrior Dash, Spartan Race, Rugged Maniac. But the recent death of a Tough Mudder competitor has cast a negative light over these events in general, as displayed by this National Geographic story. What are your thoughts on these obstacle races?
  • Fly-fishing is gaining more and more ground in the outdoor industry. There’s even talk that there will be a fly-fishing zone at Outdoor Retailer this summer. This Drake Magazine story talks about the benefits of attending the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show in Denver just a month after Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.

Did you read anything we might find interesting? Email it to us because we want to check it out!