Monday, February 14, 2011

10 Day wrap up: Red Bull F1, ISPO, New Toys, and More Ski Touring

Too much ski touring lately. Sorry for the lack of words, but be sure there were alot of turns made instead.

The past ten days have been crazy. Went to the Red Bull Racing F1 HQ and got to drive the simulator. It is as real as it gets, the car sits on an elevated platform, with multiple hydraulics beneath. When you hit the rumble strips on the near 300 degree wrap around video screen at 200km the car jumps around - when you crash it feels like you are about to flip the thing. Amazing. After 20 laps I was soaked and Mark Webber's simulator suit needed some dry cleaning. What was even more amazing was the tour of the factory. Alot of money goes into making these machines. Alot.

Then immediately to ISPO, caught up with the guys at Marmot, Pictured is Brian and Mark - Brian makes everything and Mark is in charge of everything - not so official job descriptions I know, but it is what they do. Saw the new pieces I helped out with, and regretted not being sample size - I, like you, will have to wait until the product ships next autumn. Well worth the wait though, Marmot certainly has continued to listen to the team members and is delivering some amazing stuff, look out for the Baffin Hoody.

Spent alot of time with Antonio and Eddy at the CAMP/CASSIN booth - love the Xdream - no, not too strong of a term. There is alot more product I want to talk about, especially little (and oh so light) green Aliens. But will let the photos do the talking. ( Photo is from: )

Then immediately went ski touring in the Tatras, a little gem of a mountain range. It has taken me a bit of time to understand why it produced some of the best (if not the best?) alpinists of all time. But the reality of the ability to constantly train, since the days are not so long - the mountains are not so big- , and the ability to approach (on ski or not) from amazing alpine huts (well some of them are like hotels) built during the communist era make it very civilized. Never have I slept in such comfortable beds and devoured so much good food in the mountains at such reasonable prices.

This past weekend I saw part of the amazing mentoring system that happens in countries with such long and deep alpine traditions. The Polish Outdoor Group rented out most of the above hut and held a 3 day winter mountain training seminar. It was a basic introduction to the outdoors in winter, but covered everything and people got to play outdoors.

Luckily there was a bit of fresh snow and I too got to play outside.

Tomorrow I fly to another beautiful place...this time for a bit of R&D.....I will post form there. Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 05, 2011