Outdoor Reads: Will snowmaking save us? Is this the rise of the backpack?

Find out who is attempting to ski the fourth tallest mountain and whether making snow for ski season will save us in this week’s Reads.

What did the SNEWS team read this week that other industry insiders might find interesting? Read on to find out!

  • Jamie Laidlaw’s first attempt to ski Lhotse Peak in the Himalayas was cut short when he got high altitude pulmonary edema, a possibly fatal condition. But that 2011 incident wasn’t enough to keep Laidlaw from attempting the feat again sometime with his buddy Kris Erickson. Check out this Gear Junkie story on the upcoming expedition.
  • We were abuzz with news of the Outsiders Ball this past Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Some of the proceeds raised from the ball – $50,000 of the more than $350,000 total – were recently awarded to a few retailer-endorsed community projects. Check out this Outdoor Industry post about the funding and projects it went toward.
  • Snowmaking is a controversial issue. Climate change has caused dwindling snowpack in some ski areas, leading to a reliance on man-made snow to keep up some resorts. This presents a slew of challenges, including how to make snow without depleting natural resources and without packing slopes full of chemicals. Check out this story by Jakob Schiller that dives head first into the issue.
  • We love mountain towns in Colorado but how are we ever to know which ones are the best of the best? Elevation Outdoors has got our back with this story that ranks the best mountain towns and then describes what activities are best done there. For example, Crested Butte was named the “Best Bike Town” because of its proximity to great trail networks.
  • We’ve talked a lot about outdoor brands drawing from the fashion industry to create more lifestyle pieces that look good on and off the mountain. Well, the trail goes both ways as designers in Milan and New York also turn to the outdoors for inspiration. According to this post in Bustle, the backpack is making a comeback in fashion circles. Credit a more mobile society moving on bikes and public transportation, from work to workout to dinner, to drinks.
  • Reintegration programs for combat veterans have been lacking a certain something all these years, but perhaps that certain something is a meditative connection to nature and others who have had similar wartime experiences. Check out this Eagle Tribune feature story on the Warrior Hike program, founded by a combat veteran after his deployment to Afghanistan.
  • Last week we brought you a read about a man punching a bear when the bear broke into his tent. Maybe if he’d had the hiking stick featured in this story, called The Bear Stick, he wouldn’t have had to use his fists. It’s a simple concept: A hiking stick with a long nail inserted into the bottom end.
  • We sort of know what to expect from winter and summer: cold and hot weather, respectively. But fall and spring can be a little trickier. This Ottawa Citizen story gives customers tips on how to camp smarter in the fall. The tips include following the weather and layering up.
  • Sometimes it’s simply not sufficient to tell your loved ones, “I’m going for my long run, if I’m not back in three hours, just wait longer!” Now Road ID can ease the worried minds of our loved ones by downloading the still-in-beta and free Road ID app. Check out The GearCaster’s wrap up on the app's features.
  • Though it is widely known that mountain bikers and hikers have had different views on outdoor recreation that shouldn’t discredit either group from getting recognition for attracting new users to outdoor activities in general. This story highlights Central Alabama Mountain Pedalers in particular and features the work it does to get more people on the trails.

Have you read anything interesting this week? Email it to us because we want to read it too!