>> Good golly Miss Molly — the Marine Corps Times newspaper received a recent letter from one Lt. Col. G. R. Patricio taking them to task for incorrectly reporting that an Arc’Teryx-designed pack won out over a Gregory-designed pack simply because it was cheaper. “On a final revision and submission of their product addressing the issues and concerns of Marines, one company hit the bull’s eye the other did not. When taking into consideration all factors evaluated, the selection group (composed of Marines from various Commands and backgrounds) unanimously recommended the pack selected. The selected company had the highest technical rated proposal and the best price; in a “Best Value” acquisition process, this is a slam-dunk. In fact we could not have defended awarding the other way (the pack not selected was approximately $16,000,000 more and was not rated as high as the one selected in the final evaluation).” To read the full letter, click here — you’ll need to register to read.
>> The Red Rock Rendezvous, a national climbing event to benefit The Access Fund, will take place March 19 – 21, 2004, at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Presented by Mountain Gear, and sponsored by The North Face, the event will include on-site clinics by experts such as Lisa Gnade, Mark Synott, Kevin Thaw and Heidi Wirtz; access to a multitude of world-class climbing routes; a “make a difference” service project; and a blowout party — Las Vegas style we’re promised. The event is open to any level climber. Registration is $50 per person. For more information and to register, visit www.mgear.com/rrr. Other Red Rock Rendezvous sponsors include Bluewater Ropes, Black Diamond, KPS|3, La Sportiva, Five Ten, Montrail, Mad Rock, Petzl and Rock & Ice.
>> Several retailers contacted us by fax and phone regarding an American Alpine Club announcement regarding a Mountainsmith discount benefit for members that reads: “Welcome to our 2003-2004 Professional Purchase Program! To ensure the quality and integrity of this program, please remember that this offer is only available as a membership benefit for AAC members. (Purchasing items for friends, family is strictly prohibited). Please do not mention this program in any store that carries Mountainsmith product…” Say what?! SNEWS View: We contacted folks at Mountainsmith who knew nothing of the details, deferring the answer to folks in special events who weren’t around. To be fair, Mountainsmith is not the only manufacturer offering discounts to members. Still, the line asking folks not to mention the member benefit to retailers carrying MS product is most curious at best. We can only assume that what MS intended was to put the kabosh on AAC members shopping retailers for sizing and product info only to leave and buy the product from MS directly. Next time, we’d recommend a slightly improved wording.
>> A new site, XCSkiResorts.com has been launched to help cross-country skiers find out more about the type of resort or area they might be interested in. The site claims to be the only web site with extensive coverage of XC ski resorts in both the USA and Canada that also includes XC ski news for recreational XC skiers and travel.
>> Simms, a producer of high-quality fly-fishing apparel and accessories, has retained Backbone Media of Carbondale, Colorado, to manage its public relations.
>> The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) has agreed to link up with SnowSports Industries America (SIA) to celebrate Winter Trails® Day by sponsoring a free winter sports clinic on January 17, 2004, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, Virginia. SIA and its member companies will provide snowshoeing gear to participants free of charge. Winter sports instructors and fitness professionals will teach families, children, adults and school groups about the basic skills of snowshoeing, proper winter dress and the health and fitness benefits of snowshoeing. Guided hikes, tours and seminars will be provided at no cost throughout the day to explain and promote the health and social benefits of physical activity and fitness. Winter Trails is part of SIA’s new initiative, ‘Winter Feels Good’ — go to www.winterfeelsgood.com
>> Shane Cooper, founder of DeFeet International Inc., has been named one of four North Carolina entrepreneurs to receive the first Lone Eagle Award, presented by AdvantageWest North Carolina, a regional economic development organization. The Lone Eagle award is given to local business leaders who have made a positive impact on their communities.
>> BackcountryStore.com will be featured on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday, January 2, at 7:50 a.m. EST. Hosted by Mike Hegedus, the segment will focus on what the show perceives as BackcountryStore.com’s remarkable climb up the e-commerce industry ladder. The segment will include interviews with BackcountryStore.com co-founders Jim Holland and John Bresee.
>> Pearl Izumi recently recognized BP Associates of Minneapolis, Minnesota, with the company’s Agency of the Year award. Congratulations to Bill Kaplan and his team.
>> Adventure Medical Kits (AMK) will donate 12 Backcountry Easy Care first-aid kits to the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation (ALCF). Dedicated to preserving Alex Lowe’s legacy, the ALCF supports sustainable, community-based humanitarian programs designed to help people living in remote regions of the world. AMK’s first-aid kits and supplies will be put to good use in the ALCF’s Sherpa Climbing School Project, where volunteer instructors (including Conrad Anker, Pete Athens, Jimmy Chin, Dr. Steve Gipe, Jon Krakauer and Jake Norton) teach the Sherpa rope handling skills and knot work, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, climbing technique (ascending, descending & traversing), camp hygiene, weather preparedness and basic first aid.
>> Following the announced resignation of David Joyce, 12 months after the Zanatta family acquired Lowe Alpine, the company has announced the appointment of David Udberg as the new managing director of Lowe Alpine Group, effective February 1, 2004. Udberg will take up responsibility for all Lowe Alpine operations, with particular emphasis on sales, marketing and customer services. The Zanatta family, which owns both the Asolo and Lowe Alpine brands, have undertaken a restructuring of the Lowe Alpine business in the last 12 months and view the appointment of Udberg as part of that process.
>> The Professional Paddlesports Association (PPA) has announced its board members for 2004. Mike Cichanowski, CEO of We-no-nah Canoe and Current Designs Kayak was elected to serve as PPA’s new vendor representative, through December 31, 2006. Additional elections included: Joe Feil, owner of Wolf River Canoe and Kayak was re-elected as the Southeast Regional Director; Esther Sanborn of Adventures Unlimited Outdoor Center was re-elected as a Director-at-Large; and Mike Prom of Voyageur Canoe Outfitters was re-elected Treasurer and also holds the position of North-Central Director. Continuing PPA board members include: President and Director-at-Large, Ed Councill, owner of Canoe Kentucky and Kentucky Outdoor Center; Director-at-Large, Holly Anderson, co-owner of Vanguard Inflatables; Director-at-Large, Rick Egedi, owner of Sheltowee Trace Outfitters; West Director, Robert Bass, co-owner of Ozark Outdoors; Mid-Central Director, Jeff Blue, owner of Blues Canoe Livery; Northeast Director, Walter Chadwick, owner of Waquoit Kayak; Mid-Atlantic Director, Billy Wilken, owner of Teams2Go; and Cooperative Director, Pam Dillon, Executive Director for the American Canoe Association.