Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Plastic and Feathers!"

"Plastic and feathers, it is only plastic and feathers, there is no
difference anymore between products and companies!" a very
enthusiastic shop owner I visited last week decried. I stood there and
nodded my head, what else could I do, he was giving me a great deal on
some product. I left the shop wondering is it all just plastic and
feathers? As soon as I pulled up to the door at the 'home for wayward
climbers' where UPS drops off samples and prototypes from the
companies I test for I was shocked to see what was definitely not just
feathers and plastic. At one of the trade shows last year, Marmot sat
a good number of the athlete team down for a chat to see what products
we would really like to use and have. While some of us were a bit
skeptical that any product would appear from the meeting, I had
supreme confidence (read I was the head of skeptics), and there a few
months later, on the floor, lay several huge boxes full of products.
Plastic and feathers? Yes, but plastic and feathers with alot of
thought, engineering and honestly feedback from the team. Amazing I
thought, they are listening.
Delayed and cancelled flights have given me the time to sit and relax
- if you find sitting at the airport for 12 hours before they tell you
that you cannot fly to your destination for another 4 days relaxing -
and meet some very interesting people. Only in the Denver airport can
you meet a Polish diplomat, an IT person for a badminton company,
professional free-skiers and their camera crew, another guy from
boulder who skis and climbs and an irate Hindu holding British
Airlines responsible for the phenomenal snowfall and airport closures
across Europe.

I will be skiing, climbing, guiding, rando-racing and recovering from
a long himalayan year for the next couple of months, many photos,
videos and blogs to come!