SCOTT Sports – Peak of Ill Repute

 

SCOTT Freeski athletes Sam Cohen and McKenna Peterson, had eyes on a Spring trip to Alaska for the 2017 season. However, with a strange wind event destroying the snow pack in early January along most of the coastal mountain ranges in well-known areas such as Haines, the team was forced to look deeper. Coming upon the Zone known as the Brothel Spine wall, nestled in the Fairweather Range of AK, Sam and company decided this was the place and settled in for 3 weeks of skiing and adventure.

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The GoPro Snow Team Welcomes Winter 2018

As the days get shorter and the leaves begin to fall, a fever begins to sweep across the land. No, not the seasonal virus that kids bring home from school, but the pulsing anticipation for white cap mountains and the crunch of fresh snow below your feet. No one suffers from this plight more than GoPro’s ski and snowboarding athletes, who battle the fever year around, zigzagging the planet in search of some medication.

As temperatures drop across the Northern Hemisphere, and the bare mountains await their winter blanket, GoPro’s finest ramp up training, drop new video parts and keep a steady eye on the forecast at altitude.

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The 2017-2018 snow season is shaping up to be a big one for the GoPro team: snowfall predictions, major competitions and a couple brand-new GoPro cameras to capture epicness will be keeping the crew plenty busy. For all of you who may need a refresher on who they need to be following to hype you up for the upcoming season, check out the team below.

 

SNOWBOARD
Travis Rice – Keep an eye out for T-Rice’s newest project Depth Perception.
Jamie Anderson – There is no way Jamie has enough mantle space for all of the hardware she’s won…we wonder where she is going to find room for the ones she wins this year.
Torstein Horgmo – Tor and the ShredBots just dropped a new video called R3Boot. You won’t want to miss it.
Sven Thorgren – The slopestyle wizard is sure to light it up in competition all season long.
Elena Hight – After a huge 2016-2017 season, Elena will surely be following it up in a major way.
Tim Humphreys – The GoPro super user has more angles than hotels have towels.
Halldor Helgason – Halldor sets the new TransWorld film, Arcadia, on fire.
Sage Kotsenburg – Snowboarder’s The Pepper Video doesn’t know what just hit it.
Ayumu Hirano – The halfpipe has no chance against Ayumu.
John Jackson – Bury yourself in the Book of John J.
Dan Brisse – The streets is watchin’.

SKI
Ted Ligety – Sparking arcs from top to bottom.
Jesper Tjäder – For more style and finesse, tune in to his YT Channel.
Bobby Brown – Check out The Following, then take a lap at Mammoth.
Chris Benchetler – Do yourself a favor and watch Chasing AdVANture now.
Tom Wallisch – TW continues to crush it; check out his latest in partnership with The North Face.
Emma Dahlström – To know Emma, is to know how to ski the dunes.
Chris Davenport – Does anyone know the backcountry better than Dav?
Julia Mancuso – Sure, she rips on skis, but she’s no slouch on a surfboard, either.
Tanner Hall – Does. it all.
Nico Porteous – Expect to see this Kiwi in the upper hemisphere while he waits out the summer Down Under.
Lynsey Dyer – Celebrates everything the mountain offers.
Kaya Turski – Kaya may be retiring from the professional realm, but she is still rippin’.

Stay tuned on all of the athletes channels as well as the GoPro handles for insane snow content all season long!

CamelBak: Riding Bikes

 

The Lords of Loam

Sometimes you just want the freedom to ride a line without racing the clock. Mark Weir, Marco Osborne and Matt Koen spend a weekend taping and riding fresh trails on a 1,000-acre ranch in NorCal.

GSI Outdoors: The Best of 2017

The following is a highlight of the best of 2017 items from GSI Outdoors from GearInstitute.com by Craig Rowe. 

GSI Outdoors has been perfecting camp kitchen gear since its inception in 1985. Last year, the company introduced two backpacking stoves that we reviewed here and here, to compliment their line of lightweight, integrated cookware systems. For 2017, GSI Outdoors has revamped some classics and introduced new takes on common camp kitchen goods. Here’s an early look at some of those new products.

FAIR SHARE MUG II
The 32-ounce Fair Share Mug II updates this fan favorite with a sturdy and practical sewn webbing handle, removable insulating sleeve and high-contrast internal volume indicator. This version comes equipped with a compacting handle and a new lid the allows multiple mugs to be neatly stacked on top of one another for easy storage. PRICE: $15.95

INFINITY BACKPACKER MUG
Weighing in at just 3.5 ounces, the Infinity Backpacker Mug will slip into the lid of your pack, where it will remain unnoticed until needed. It uses the same insulating sleeve design as its larger sibling and can securely hold 17 ounces of coffee, oatmeal, or whatever you need to keep knocking down the miles. PRICE: $9.95

GLACIER STAINLESS MICROLIGHT 500
The Glacier Stainless Microlight 500 is a slimmed-down, side-pocket-ready travel mug that’s 60% thinner than many of its competitors. Whereas my 16-ounce, double-walled Kleen Kanteen comes in at 10.3 ounces on the scale, the Microlight keeps even more liquid warm or cold for up to eight hours, while still managing to cut two full ounces from its weight. Need a lightweight water bottle for your outdoor adventures? This one should meet those needs nicely. PRICE: $25.95

GLACIER STAINLESS FRYPAN
GSI’s Glacier Stainless product line is designed to tackle the toughest backcountry cooking conditions. This year’s pans use an aluminum core to manage weight, and a laser-etched non-stick “net” on the pan surface to protect it from the wear and tear of spatulas and sponges. The folding handle makes it easy to carry in your pack, allowing you to take it with you anywhere you go. The Glacier Frypan is available in either an 8”or 10” model. PRICE: $29.95 (8”) or $34.95 (10”)

Outdoor Sports Guide – Essential Running Gear

The Outdoor Sports Guide released the 14 essential racing gear picks by Jenny Willden.

Originally they released their list as essential gear for the spring, however, items that work well for spring also work great for the other shoulder season: fall.

Among the picks were Groove Ring and Hilly Socks.

Groove Ring

Protect yourself from dangerous ring avulsions by wearing this silicone ring instead of your wedding band. Made for athletes on the move, its breathable, sturdy design is great for running, swimming, and cycling. Heat resistant, hypoallergenic, and guaranteed for life. $30

Hilly Marathon Socks

Built for long runs, this sock has Polygiene for permanent odor elimination and a light cushion in pressure zones for all-day comfort. $13

 

SCOTT Celeste III – Women’s Backcountry Ski Boot – First Look

The following is a review from wildsnow.com by Lisa Dawson

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Backcountry skiers who tour in the mountains and ski on-and-off the resorts are always looking for the boot that can do it all. A boot that is lightweight for skinning up peaks, but has enough beef when the call of the day is lift served yo-yo laps.

Last winter I spent many days in Scott’s Celeste 2 women’s ski boot. For its performance, comfort and weight, (and perhaps because the old Garmont last seems to fit my feet the best) the boot became my favorite. It would have been perfect except for a glitchy walk mode switch. Even after I sent them back for repair, the boots would occasionally lock when uphilling.

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Improved walk/ski system: the hook.

Among other things, I am delighted to report that Scott improved the design on the Celeste III with an external lean lock, replete with additional extra hook in the lock mechanism. This type of lock clearly makes accidental switches from walk to ski, ski to walk mode nearly impossible.

(Tech Note from Lou: In our testing of Scott Cosmos 3 this winter, I was overall pleased with Scott’s extra little hook on the end of the external lean lock bar. While clever, given just the right cuff angle and conditions the hook can occasionally be an extra barrier to full seating of the lean lock bar. As with all external lean lock bars, solution is to visually inspect the hook and bar as you switch modes, if in doubt about engagement, tap with your ski pole grip and consider the possibility of ice in the slot that might require manual “intervention.”)

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Many external lean locks have just a slot that engages a horizontal pin. Such have proven to be okay, but why not a little insurance against the lean lock getting banged and disengaged? Celeste III boasts this little hook (pictured is that of the Cosmos 3) to keep your good side up. For touring mode it disengages when you pull the string.

Another minor gripe I had with the Celeste 2 was the shell’s removable boot board (the spacer between liner and shell, at the sole) was plastic and broke in half. This was easily fixed with duct tape, but happily, Scott upgraded the boot board in the Celeste III. The revamped boot board is made with a resin impregnated mesh, co-molded with a denser plastic material at the heel. The resin impregnated mesh is fairly common as ski boot spacers and boot boards but having it co-molded with the denser plastic in the heel is a nice touch.

Boot boards are a favorite here at the WildSnow mod shop. They allow some customizations as well as slightly increasing warmth. In this case the boot board is nearly flat with no built-in arch. That’s an important feature for custom boot fitting, as adding material and custom shaping for the foot is easy when you start from neutral.

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Celeste III boot bed.

The Celeste III comes with Scott’s “Power Lite Liner.” I have big calves, a wide fore-foot and a normal heel. As Julia mentioned in her overview of new women’s boots for 2017/2018, Celeste is one of the widest backcountry boots. It fits my foot well and I especially like the aggressive built in L-pads. They keep my heel nicely anchored and with no blisters.

Perhaps the most ingenious feature is the locking lace mechanism. I like my inner boots loose for the uphill and tight for the downhill. Maybe I never learned how to tie my tennies properly when I was a kid, but a normal shoelace knot doesn’t work for me. It either loosens too much or if I do a double-knot, it is time consuming to undo for ascending the second lap.

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Inner boot with its snazzy lace lock mechanism.

Scott’s nifty locking mechanism works so well that if they were ever sold separately, I’d buy them by the dozen for my street shoes. They lock down tight and loosen up easily. It’s a flat plastic piece so it doesn’t add a gap under the tongue. You have to see it for yourself to fully understand how functions but believe me, it is exceptional.

Conclusion: Bear in mind this is a “first look” of the actual retail version, prior to our extensive testing (soon to occur?). Near as we can tell, the bugs have been worked out of the Celeste, what remains is to enjoy this basic but clearly effective offering from Scott.

Scott Celeste III
Shell: Grilamid
Tongue: Bi-material
Flex index: 120
Last width: 103.5mm
Forward lean: 11.5° + free for walking
Cuff rotation: 60°
Weight: 1370g (one boot, size 25.5)
Sizes women’s: 23 – 27.5 (including half sizes)
Liner: thermo moldable, tongue style
Number of buckles: 4
MSRP: $749.99
Available: fall 2017

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Scott size chart for ski boots.

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Essentials for a Colorado backcountry girl: Tony Lama cockroach killers, SCARPA Mohitos, Scott Celeste III.

Unracked: Fly Fishing The Pacific Northwest

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Matt Swainbank: Events And Training Manager / Fly Fisherman

Winter steelhead, summer trout – Matt is an avid fly fisherman. And – let’s get this out of the way right now – he is not going to share his super-secret spot.

 

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But he will share what he does at Yakima. “My role varies quite a bit. I run point and handle logistics for all of our major national trade shows, plus organize all of our retail training and consumer events. There’s a lot of awesome. A fun aspect is my role is always changing. Spring is about training. I spend a lot of time traveling – I was a Yakima Road Warrior for two years, so I know the fun and the pain. Winter I get to settle back in – a little bit – and start planning for the next season.”

 

 

Fishing the Northwest

 

 

The Right Gear

Matt’s Yakima system starts with his cargo box – one that’s just the right size. “Man, I would have to say the SkyBox 12 Carbonite is the Yakima thing that I love most. With the Outback and 70-inch bars, I can put the 12 on the side and create room to carry whatever watercraft – canoe, SUP, or a kayak in a JayLow – I need. The narrower box means I can bring fishing and camping gear, a boat, and still have room for the dog.”

Other equipment Matt relies on/loves includes – of course – “All the fly fishing gear.” But he also likes to indulge his inner biologist. “The stuff I tend to pack most often would be field guides – mushroom guide, plant guide – I like being able to be scientific and learn about the ecosystems. We even track cloud cover, water temperature, things like that, and keep a log so we know what the right conditions were. When they line up again, even years later, we know it’s time to get out there.”

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SkyBox 12 Carbonite & KeelOver on RoundBars

Matt’s Tips

  1. Always get bigger crossbars than the minimum size recommended….you never know when you want to bring two boats or a bike along
  2. Practice catch and release for our future generations [and safe fish handling]
  3. Catching a fish is only a part of the fun….enjoy the scenery, sights, water, and the companions you are with
  4. The fish don’t just bite when the weather is good…dress appropriately on the bad days and get out there. Plus it means fewer people – that sometimes gives you a better chance
  5. Always take your waders, boots, and lifejacket out of your cargo box when you get home to dry out. Otherwise, fish will smell you from miles away the next time you go out!

Canoe

On the Road

fishn--600x600When Matt sneaks out of work early, he doesn’t usually go fishing – he would rather commit at least full day to that – he keeps it simple.

“There’s minimal midweek fishing, but there are lots of hikes around Portland. I think the awesome thing about being here is that any direction takes you to something new and exciting, like the desert or the ocean. For a midweek afternoon escape, I grab my best buddy and our dogs and bomb out. Weekends are about fishing, setting up a nice basecamp, and having some Rainiers.”

When pushed to disclose his favorite fishing-focused basecamp, Matt stays cagey. “I think I’ll plead the fifth on that one. Look, the variety is what makes it, any direction you go. Head towards the coast for steelhead in fall and winter, up to the mountains in summer for trout. Even right here on the Columbia and the Willamette, we can go out and fly fish for smallmouth bass.”

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Memorable Moments

When asked to share an especially memorable moment, Matt mulls. “I don’t know…just fishing is awesome…”

But he knows. There is definitely The One.

“It was last winter, catching the 34-inch, wild, fresh-from-the-ocean steelhead on the fly. The one in the picture. This was the dream fish. Something that wild, that healthy – it was one of those oh-$%#! moments – whether you’re going to get that thing or it breaks you off. They call them unicorns for a reason. Or a gray ghost – you know they’re there, but they’re a ghost. The stars aligned on that one. We took a quick pic, then sent her off to do her things.”

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More Unracked

YakimaUNRACKED_signOff-02Matt isn’t our only awesome employee. Checkout our entire Unracked series to see who else here at Yakima is getting outdoors, how they have their car racked out, tips and tricks, and their favorite Pacific Northwest adventure spots.

Stop in to your local Yakima dealer to get outfitted so you can get out there and find your unicorn!