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Outdoor: Did you hear?… Friends of Joshua Tree raises $7K at Climb Smart event, plus WWSRA, Bell, Superfeet, ACE yoga study, TNF footwear, Backpacker, OIWC, Sporthill and more…

Climb Smart event draws 150 to Joshua Tree, WWSRA to launch preview show series in western U.S., ACE studies aerobic benefits of yoga, Carrera to sponsor X-C Team Fsx, plus much more...

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For the week of Oct. 11-17

>> The climbing season officially kicked off in Joshua Tree as more than 150 participants and volunteers showed up at this year’s Climb Smart event in Joshua Tree National Park. Friends of Joshua Tree, along with sponsors Adventure 16, Patagonia, Black Diamond and Wilderness Outings, hosted the ninth annual event where attendees were treated to an all-star lineup of instructors, multimedia presentations, camping and park service projects. Climbers came from across the country — Massachusetts, Utah, Arizona and Oregon — and outside the United States — Germany — to partake in skills clinics and impromptu advice from Patagonia ambassadors Ron Kauk and Brittany Griffith, as well as Black Diamond climber Eric Decaria and nearly a dozen other AMGA guides. Through the raffle and silent auction, the event raised more than $7,000 to support Joshua Tree Search and Rescue, the Access Fund and Friends of Joshua Tree. More than 60 volunteers took a break from climbing to participate in service projects to mitigate social trails at Headstone Rock and Cyclops rock, two popular areas that had worsened due to heavy climber traffic. One volunteer, Prana’s Devaki Murch, said: “It was fantastic to reconstruct the trail leading up to Headstone, where we carried in rock and shrubbery to create a more defined trail and then camouflaged side trails by planting vertical mulch. Once we finished, we climbed the Headstone and could see the work we did from above. It was truly gratifying.” Also featured was Ron Kauk’s movie, “Back to Balance,” with musings from him on the close connection climbers have with nature that were humorous, humbling and thought-provoking. “This Climb Smart was certainly the best planned and executed event I’ve been a part of, and it’s been a great experience to see how many climbers are willing to give back to Joshua Tree,” said Kenji Haroutunian, a Friends of Joshua Tree representative. To check out pictures and learn about more upcoming volunteer events, visit

>> Based on feedback from its membership, Western Winter Sports Representatives Association plans to launch a preview show series across the western United States in January 2006. The four new regional shows are: the Northern California Preview Show in Sacramento, Calif., Jan. 10-12; Rocky Mountain Preview Show in Boulder, Colo., Jan. 10-12; the Southern California Preview Show in Newport Beach, Calif., Jan. 16-18; and the Northwest Preview Show in Portland, Ore., Jan. 17-20. WWSRA’s board of directors based its decision to launch the series on survey results, membership meetings and focus groups. For more information about exhibiting or attending the shows, visit

>> The U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association said the Mountain Hardwear/Life-Link/Dynafit Ski Mountaineering Race Series has expanded to seven races for the 2006 season, and includes two new venues: Kirkwood Meadows, Calif., and Sugarbush, Vt. This year’s race series begins with the Arc’Teryx Randonnee Rally at Whistler Blackcomb, Canada, on Jan. 7, followed by the Sugarbush, Vt., race on Feb. 5, Crested Butte, Colo., on Feb. 11, then to the Outdoor Research Rally at Alpental, Wash., on Feb. 25. The June Mountain, Calif., race is March 4, the Marmot Race at Kirkwood on March 11, and the series culminates in the American Cup Race in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on March 25. There will be both a race and recreation class for men and women at all races. The racing division competitors will be able to earn points toward the overall series championship. This year, those in the racing division will also be able to earn points toward the race championship at the Black Diamond Powder Keg Race in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 18. Proceeds from the race series benefit local avalanche forecasting centers and search-and-rescue groups. Sponsors of the series are Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Arc’Teryx, Outdoor Research, Life-Link, Dynafit, Petzl, Couloir Magazine, Backcountry Magazine, Ibex, Off-Piste Magazine, Crazy-Creek, Suunto, Croakies, Clif Bar, Honey Stinger, Adventure Medical Kits, Buff Headwear, McNett Revivex, Pro Ski Service and Mammoth Mountaineering. For more information, contact Claire Johnson at 800-443-8620, ext. 104, or

>> Nowadays, it seems like the lion’s share of media and product attention is targeted at those 35 and way under. But the real money is with the fastest-growing crowd in the United States — baby boomers age 45 and older. You can’t ignore the numbers: People older than 50 spend $1.7 trillion annually on goods and services — that’s more than 30 percent of the United States’ total household spending. People ages 55 to 64 have a median net worth of $112,000, compared with the $7,240 median of people younger than 35, according to the latest government data. Hints for success with shoppers over 50: make time stand still by selling products that make these shoppers feel 20 years younger, calling them “seniors” or “older adults” is a no-no, and reward sales people for showing these customers the extra time and service they expect.

>> Raquette River Outfitters of Tupper Lake, N.Y., has been awarded Bell Canoe Works “Dealer of the Year” award for 2005. The award is presented each year to the dealer that best represents the criteria set forth by the staff and representatives of Bell, including consistent knowledgeable service and support to its customer base. Raquette River Outfitters offers full-service outfitting for the Adirondack Mountain Region, nestled right on Tupper Lake. Together, owners Rob Frenette and Anne Fleck have more than 20 years of experience to provide service at all stages of the sale. They offer paddling right out the door of the shop, repair products and install gear options on-site.

>> With more than 11 million Americans doing yoga, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) examined the aerobic benefits and calorie expenditure of Hatha yoga, considered the most beginner-friendly and widespread practice. Lead researchers Dawn Boehde and John Porcari, Ph.D., FACSM, from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse recruited 34 healthy but sedentary women (average age of 33) for the study. Subjects were divided into two groups: a yoga group and a non-yoga control group. The yoga group participated in 55-minute Hatha yoga classes three times a week during the eight-week study period, while the non-yoga group was barred from any form of exercise. The study concluded that while the yoga group showed numerous improvements in strength and endurance as well as improved balance and flexibility, they did not burn a significant amount of calories. In fact, the study found that one 50-minute session of Hatha yoga burns just 144 calories, similar to a slow walk. Yoga group participants showed the following improvements: total body flexibility improved by 13 percent, with significant results in shoulder and trunk flexibility; muscular fitness improved, enabling participants to do an average of six more push-ups and 14 more curl-ups; and they experienced a 17-second increase in their one-legged stand time. Complete study results are in the September/October 2005 edition of ACE Fitness Matters magazine or at

>> Carrera has signed a two-year contract to be the official sponsor of the Team Fsx Cross Country Ski Team program and its athletes. Carrera joins Fischer, Swix and Yogi Tea as the fourth official sponsor of Team Fsx.

>> Superfeet has appointed Ward Collins as product manager for the company, responsible for the coordination and management of the complete life-cycle of all existing and new Superfeet products. In addition, he will support designated sales and marketing programs for the company. Most recently, Collins was a sales rep for Superfeet in Northern California. Prior to Superfeet, Collins worked in various technical, sales and marketing roles in the ski industry, including positions at North Star Tahoe and Rossignol Ski Company.

>> First Ascent Sales has hired Jeremy Ditto as the first dedicated Southeast footwear sales rep for The North Face. Ditto will cover West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Puerto Rico. He’ll work out of First Ascent Sales’ new office/showroom in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn. Ditto was formerly with Montrail for five years as a dealer services rep.

>> Spyder Active Sports has promoted from within and named Jake Jacobs as president and chief operating officer. Jacobs, previously Spyder’s senior vice president of product, assumes the position of president from David Jacobs, the company’s founder, who will remain CEO. In the new positions, Jake Jacobs will be responsible for overseeing operations, production, development, sales and marketing. Jake Jacobs has extensive background in all aspects of Spyder’s business, in particular its production process. Prior to returning to Spyder in 1995, he was the development director of Nike’s Asia-Pacific Apparel Organization, where he was based in Hong Kong and Singapore. As CEO, David Jacobs will continue to have principal responsibility for overseeing Spyder’s overall strategy. The appointments are effective immediately.
>> Big Agnes has been named the exclusive bag and pad supplier to Big City Mountaineers’ Summit for Someone benefit climb program. It will provide participants with Farwell sleeping bags and Two-Track sleeping pads. Summit For Someone ( is a benefit climb series supporting the at-risk teens of BCM (, a volunteer organization devoted to providing significant mentoring during wilderness trips for urban teens who participate in youth development programs.

>> Six whitewater pioneers and champions were inducted into the International Whitewater Hall of Fame and Museum over the weekend. The inaugural inductees were recognized for their significant accomplishments in and contributions to whitewater-related activities in one of four categories: pioneer, explorer, champion and advocate. The Hall of Famers are: Bob McNair (pioneer), Bob Lesser (explorer), Davey Hearn (champion), Jon Lugbill (champion), Payson Kennedy (advocate) and Charles Walbridge (advocate). Also, the Adventure Sports Center International board of directors awarded the Life Time Achievement Award to Bill Endicott. He was the U.S. Whitewater Team Coach for 16 years, and is considered to have vastly influenced whitewater slalom in the United States and internationally for 30 years.

>> The Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) presented Jennifer Wittman of Outside Magazine the inaugural First Ascent Award and a scholarship to a weeklong Strozzi Institute for Leadership course. The First Ascent Award furthers the vision of OIWC by increasing visibility of talented young women at lower levels in an organization, thereby facilitating their leadership development. OIWC is now accepting nominations for its fifth annual Pioneering Woman Award, to be presented during Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. The award recognizes an outstanding woman in the outdoor industry who has distinguished herself as a mentor of other women. Nominations for this prestigious award should describe, in no more than 250 words, how the candidate has had a positive impact on other women’s careers and specifically what she has done to demonstrate a commitment to mentoring female colleagues. Nominations must be received by Nov. 11. The top three nominees will be announced Dec. 15, and the winner will be revealed at the Winter Gathering, on Jan. 29. The winner of the Pioneering Woman Award will receive a check for $1,000 to be given in her name to the charity of her choice. To submit a nomination or ask questions, email Amy Luther at or Carol Louder at

>> But wait, there’s more OIWC news. The organization has its first administrator, Sally Grimes, for all matters related to OIWC. The new OIWC phone number is 720-249-2524, fax number is 720-249-4026, and email is In addition, OIWC has added Colleen Clark of EMS, Kristi Rummel of Sierra Magazine and Traci Schacht of The Timberland Company to positions on its board of directors.

>> In addition to his title of publisher of Backpacker magazine, Eric Zinczenko has also been named vice president. Zinczenko joined Backpacker as publisher in 2003 after serving as director of advertising for Outside and, prior to that, as director of financial advertising at The New Yorker.

>> John-Paul (JP) Berg has joined Sporthill as the national sales manager, replacing Liz Wilson. She was promoted to director of national and international key accounts. Berg comes to Sporthill from Whittier Wood Products. He’s available at 541-345-9623 and

>> Peter Knoll will be leaving his position as head of the ispo trade show group at the end of this year, and will be replaced by Tobias Gröber. He’ll be responsible for coordinating the ispo group’s winter and summer shows in Munich, Germany.

>> In the first half of 2005, Internet advertising revenue in the United States hit the $5.8 billion mark, a 26 percent increase over the first six months of 2004, according to figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Revenue totaled almost $3 billion for the second quarter of 2005, also a 26 percent increase over the same period in 2004 and a 6.6 percent increase over first quarter of 2005. PricewaterhouseCoopers noted that the consistent growth in overall revenues shows that marketers may be shifting more of their total advertising budgets to online — a natural development as research shows that more consumers are spending a larger percentage of their media time online. The fastest growth was recorded for ad campaigns in search and rich media. Search advertising increased 27 percent, while rich media increased 26 percent year to year. Stats also showed that 74 percent of the revenue is controlled by the top 10 websites, 89 percent by the top 25 and 97 percent by the top 50. These figures have changed little year to year.

>> Straight from La Sportiva, Randy Levensaler has joined the Access Fund as media manager. His duties include design and coordination of all the organization’s publications including: the website, Vertical Times, E-News, member publications, advertising, photography, logo requests, guidebook insert request, and print production. Levensaler can be reached at or 303-545-6772, ext. 103.

>> After six years at On the Horizon Communications, Lynne Latronica is moving on. In addition to a part-time marketing position, she plans to concentrate on freelance writing and her 8-year-old daughter. Her new email is