Our final missive to help you know which events are worth attending.
Throughout July and early August, the SNEWSÂ® team bravely accepted the mission of weeding through all the press release fluffery and mounds of show announcements to bring you only events we believe are really worth your valuable time. To that end, in this, our final report before Summer Market, we highly recommend that you mark your Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2004 calendars for the following:
>> Got an itching for some morning activity â€“ other than just standing desperately in the coffee line for java in a free mug? Then head to the South Plaza of the Salt Lake Convention Center for what is being called "A.M. OR," which will showcase a variety of outdoor activities. One activity we know is slated for all four mornings is "Nordic Walking 101," jointly sponsored by Leki, Swix and Exel (yes, competing companies CAN work together). The 1.5-hour mini workshops will be lead by Leki master trainer Gottfried Kuermer from Austria, among others. Be there ready to learn about the European fitness walking craze now coming to North America. Daily sessions are slated to run from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., but get there early to claim your poles and figure out all about how to do this, how to sell this, and who it's best suited for. Wear lightweight workout clothes, walking/running shoes and sunglasses. We hear companies involved hope "lonely hotel gym-rats and runners who squeeze a workout in before the show" will show up on the South Plaza. And the cooperation doesn't even stop with pole-makers Leki, Swix and Exel. Lowa is outfitting the Leki team and other volunteers with the company's new Nordic walking shoes too.
>> Get your OHMMMMMM working with Gaiam and expert yoga instruction by Seane Corn. The Vinyasa Yoga Flow Classes will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday in the Solitude Room at the Marriott Downtown. And for simple, unformatted, unregulated yoga, head to the now famous and, thankfully, still operated Prana-sponsored Rejuvenation Room in theSalt Palace Meeting Room 150E during show hours. Refresh, revive and rejuvenate yourself with yoga any time during the show -- or just for a quiet space to breathe. Ahhhhhhhh.
>> It's true -- Kestral will send a lucky winner home from Summer Market with two around-the-world airline tickets. All you have to do is stop by a participating exhibitor's booth to pick up a Passport which will list all the Around-the-World Challenge partners, as well as their booth numbers. Stop by each booth in the Passport where each will have something for you to pick up. At the end of the day, bring your items to the Kestrel booth to have them checked off your list. Drop off your completed Passport to the Kestrel booth by noon on Saturday to be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing, which will be at the Around-the-World Happy Hour at the Kestrel booth at 3:30 on Saturday. In addition to the cool around the world tickets courtesy of Kestrel, there will be over $2000 worth of other prizes. Participating Exhibitors are: Kestrel Pocket Weather Meters, Montrail, Gregory Mountain Packs, Leatherman, Thorlo, Slumberjack, SportHill, Liberty Mountain, Emerson Knives, Helly Hansen, Equinox Ltd, Backpacker Magazine, Tsunami, Silverfoot, WaterStick Paddles, Hugger Mugger, Chisco, Life-Link/Croakies and Peace Frogs.
>> Petzl is sponsoring the premier of â€œThe Center of the Universe,â€ featuring world-class climber Alex Huber, as a benefit for Utah Open Lands. â€œThe Center of the Universeâ€ accompanies the German climber in Yosemite National Park as he prepares for his 2001 first free ascent of â€œEl Corazon.â€ This airy 5.13b route climbs up the center of the 3,000-foot southwest face of El Capitan. After trying several variations and falling multiple times, Alex was ultimately able to link the route's 35 pitches. The difficulty of this oft-attempted route is attested by the fact that it has not yet seen a repeat. In addition to incredible climbing footage, the film taps into the heart of Yosemite Valley climbing. It shows the life of climbers when they are not on those famous granite walls: the friendship, passion and pure joy that characterize the Valley lifestyle. The film also includes appearances by well-known climbers Lynn Hill and Jim Bridwell, among others. The film starts at 8:30 p.m. at Brewvies Cinema Pub on Aug. 12. Show your Summer Market badge and Petzl will make a $5 donation to Utah Open Lands on your behalf. No badge and you cough up the money yourself. Seating limited to the first 320.
>> Art can be a beautiful reason to take a moment to pause amid the hectic show schedule, and, thanks to GCI, you will be able to view an 8-foot-by-20-foot mural of the Grand Canyon created especially for this show by a Connecticut artist who has a passion for the outdoors. To spend a few minutes contemplating the mural and the quality of the artwork, cruise by booth 5982. Free popcorn will be available for your munching enjoyment!
>> This November, The North Face athletes Pete Athans, Abby Watkins, Kevin Thaw, and Jimmy Chin will travel to Nepal to climb as many unnamed peaks as they can to benefit the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) through The North Face partnership with Global Giving (every 1000 feet climbed, TNF will donate $100 dollars to the HCP). The Himalayan Cataract Project is dedicated to establishing a sustainable eye care infrastructure in the Himalaya that empowers local doctors to provide high-quality ophthalmic care through skills-transfer and education. To that end, head over to the Global Giving Foundation Rose Wagner Center for the Arts across from Squatter's on Saturday night at 7 p.m. for an evening with Pete Athans celebrating the Himalayan Cataract Foundation. Door prizes will be announced with a winning ticket to receive one of Ace's photos from the gallery. Venue is limited to first 200 at door for seating.
>> What could be better than beer and bags we ask you? Well, OK, maybe a few things, but hear us out. Everyday, you can stop by the Timbuk2 booth (3551) to enter your name in the daily drawing to win a limited edition messenger bag. Then, head back over around 4 p.m. to find out if you have won the free booty while sipping (sucking?) some delectable beer -- Anchor Steam to be exact, and none of the local 3.2 swill.
>> It's all about the party, and what could be better than partying at Club Naked (no, you can't run around actually naked) with Horny Toad, Relix Magazine, and Cloudveil and the band Ten Mile Tide. Ten Mile Tide was one of the leading bands in this year's JamOff, where Relix and Jambands.com selected the best, unsigned bands in the country. The party will be Friday, Aug. 13 and Ten Mile Tide kick on the amplifiers at 9 p.m.
>> We know, rafting and not getting wet is like drinking a decaffeinated, non-fat, no foam "Why Bother" latte -- what's the point. However, this is just whacky enough we'd recommend you head over to the Milliken/VisaEndurance booth (5953) to take a break from the show and go white water rafting on Rapid Riverâ„¢, a simulated white water rafting game. While you will have to listen to a sales pitch from Milliken about their new VisaEndurance fabric, it is a small price to pay to immerse yourself fully in the action of virtual rafting while attempting to evade hungry dinosaurs while plunging through raging rapids. Apparently, players sit in a simulated raft seat and use a maneuverable paddle to control steering and speed. Too funny.
>> If you are sporting a retailer badge (sorry, no media or exhibitor badges apparently) you can scam a free mini-hand, neck, foot and shoulder massage from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day at booth 3586. All Terrain will "enlighten" you personally on the virtues of the company's new Recovery Rub and Repair products while their rubbing you down.
>> Enough with all this rubbing and hugging crap. Time to get plum dog mean at Grivel booth 137 by trying to lift the Style Matters sword from its its "sheath" or entering a pull-up contest on the spinning pull-up bar/torture device. Prizes include a free one-year subscription to Alpinist magazine. Grrrrrrrrr.
>> And finally, if you're a collector of fine beer glasses, errr, pint glasses, err, something or other, emblazoned with limited-edition logos and dates, then head over to booth 1315 on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. to toast the partnership of Exped and Outdoor Research with none other than Ed Viesturs. We can only assume Ed will be consuming and not pouring.