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For the week of Oct. 19-25
>> GERMANY — The production at Malden Mill’s Goerlitz Fleece facility in Germany will continue through at least the end of November, according to a report on Oct. 16 in the local Saechsische newspaper. Negotiations are currently underway regarding future contracts, said the bankruptcy trustee Harald Busshardt. “I am going on the assumption that production will continue into December, although perhaps not with full staff,” he said. In addition, it was reported that the search for investors has begun.
>> In the Oct. 24 Sunday edition of the Sacramento Bee, a front page story, “Into Thin Air,” takes a look at a disturbing trend — the disappearance of informal registers that once dotted Sierra summits. Some, including a register that contains the signature of John Muir, have been removed and placed in museums or university libraries to protect them. However, many others are simply vanishing. Tina Bowman, mountain records chair of the Sierra Peak Section of the Angeles chapter of the Sierra Club is in charge of maintaining registers on 200 Sierra summits. This year, 19 registers have been reported missing, along with 10 containers, with the oldest, from Mount Barnard dating to 1936. To read more, click here.
>> Brother and sister Jeb and Katie Selby are internationally recognized paddlers who are now risking their reputations, their share of their family’s fortune and the character of their Buena Vista, Colo., hometown by becoming land developers. The two have acquired a 40-acre parcel of land along the Arkansas River where they plan to build a 315-unit community based on architecture’s “New Urbanism” concept featuring dense development that mingles homes, offices and shops amid plazas and parks. The focal point of the project is the river, where the paddling duo intends to build the world’s longest whitewater kayak park. To read the entire story published Sunday in the Denver Post, click here.
>> On Oct. 20, Marcus Floyd assumed responsibility in the death of 22-year-old Christine Ewing, admitting he created reckless circumstances that caused the Jefferson City, Mo., woman to fall from his portable rock-climbing wall in July 2003. SNEWS® first reported on this in our First Climbing Wall Death Shocks Industry story in July 2003 — click here to read. Previously this summer, a jury had failed to convict Floyd of involuntary manslaughter for failing to maintain the equipment, and the judge declared a mistrial. After Floyd pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault last week, Presiding Circuit Court Judge Gene Hamilton sentenced him to a year in jail but suspended that sentence in favor of two years of supervised probation and 30 days in jail. Floyd will be allowed to participate in a work-release program. He must also dispose of the rock wall and can no longer own, possess or operate one in the future. Floyd has also settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the victim’s family for $700,000. SNEWS® will have further coverage on its Law Review website, www.outdoorlawreview.com, in the coming weeks.
>> Petzl’s Quark Ergo ice tool recently won Climbing magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award for best leashless ice tool of the year. The Quark Ergo, which retails for $295, is a technical ice tool with a drastically curved ergonomic shaft that provides different grip options and a forged Cascade pick. Climbing’s staff tested six models of leashless ice tools in various conditions. The Quark Ergo also received Rock & Ice magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award in January 2004.
>> Over the weekend, the second annual Life Is Good Pumpkin Festival to benefit Camp Sunshine, a national retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, took place in Boston. The charity event featured live music, a pie eating contest, a costume parade, face painting, a live magic show, a rock climbing wall, and pumpkin carving. Joining in on the festivities with Life Is Good, Timbuk2 liberated a 700-pound pumpkin from Half Moon Bay, which is known as the Pumpkin Capital of the World, and trucked it to Boston for the festival. No word yet if they smashed the lit jack-o-lantern Guinness World Record of 28,952 held by the town of Keene, N.H.
>> Future Action Sports’ new Snowboard Trade News, scheduled to debut in January 2005, has a few familiar industry faces. John Stouffer, former editorial director of Snowboarding Business, is being tapped as a consultant, and Robyn Lass, most recently editor of the women’s action-sports lifestyle magazine SG, will be managing editor. Jeff Harbaugh and Colin Whyte will contribute. Snowboard Trade News will be available four times a year, starting with a hardgoods buyer’s guide debuting at the 2005 SIA trade show. “Our goal is to grow and promote the sport of snowboarding, and use our voice and influence to assist in building a stronger industry, and facilitate communication and industry stewardship,” said Publisher Fran Richards.
>> Backcountry.com recently ranked 92nd out of 500 of America’s fastest growing companies, according to Inc. Magazine. In its 23rd year, Inc. Magazine evaluated companies’ net sales between 2000 and 2003, and also took into account an average of year-over-year sales growth. Backcountry.com’s revenues grew 306 percent between 2000 and 2003. Inc. Magazine’s special 500 Issue will be on newsstands through December.
>> Panoptx Eyewear has named Jackson Hogen its director of marketing. Before joining Panoptx, Hogen was a self-employed consultant and writer for the winter sports, outdoor and technologies industries, including Ski Magazine and Warren Miller Entertainment. He’s also worked for Salomon and Head Tyrolia Wintersports. Panoptx President Bob Hall said that the company is exploring new consumer markets such as winter sports and “Jackson has the right experience to take Panoptx to the next level.”
>> VF Corp. has named Brad Batten as vice president and controller. Batten rejoins VF after serving at Sara Lee Corp. as vice president of operations (Intimates and Hosiery Group). Prior to Sara Lee, from 1998 to 2000 Batten worked at VF as vice president and CFO of its intimates business.
>> You don’t have to travel halfway around the world anymore to see Mount Everest with Disney’s new ride “Expedition Everest” in Florida. At a more manageable 200 feet high, the high-speed train adventure combines “coaster-like thrills with the excitement of a close encounter with the mysterious yeti.” Based in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, guests board an old mountain railway destined for the foot of Mount Everest (oh, if it were only that easy!). The train rolls through thick bamboo forests, past thundering waterfalls, along shimmering glacier fields and climbs higher and higher through the snow-capped peaks. But suddenly (oh, no!) the track ends in a gnarled mass of twisted metal and Disney ensures that the thrills intensify as the train races both forward and backward through mountain caverns and icy canyons and guests head for an inevitable face-to-muzzle showdown with the abominable snowman. SNEWS® View: The next time we see Ed Viesturs we’ll have to ask him why he’s been holding out on this yeti stuff.