This past week a group of athletes, desingers, product developers and marketing folks from Outdoor Research came up to Valhalla Mountain Touring to try and help push Outdoor Research even further to the forefront of making some great gear. The idea behind the week was to get out during the day ski touring, putting some gear to the grindstone, and then talk about the progression and development of everything at night. In my mind it was an incredible week of getting all of the different people to work together and to see and hear what everyone has to say about the products from the snowpits to the factory floor.
The week was a mix of sunny high pressure, light amounts of new snow, and some touchy days of avalanche activity. Overall, a mix of cold and dry, warm and wet, and a few temperature ranges in between. What could be better for testing gear out? Everyday we all swapped, gloves, pants, coats, etc...and then brainstormed and fine tuned what we put to the test.
But don't be fooled we had a ton of great powder skiing, a few summits, amazing food cooked by Annie, great tunes played by Alex K (VP of marketing) and Jasmin on the uke and guitar, and tons of pics and video to document the whole week.
I gotta say, there is some great gear and some really cool projects coming down the pipes right now from Outdoor Research. Two items of note are the Trailbreakers pants and the Radiant Hybrid Hooded top. The TrailBreakers use a waterproof laminate on the lower legs, and a woven soft shell on the thighs, with huge thigh vents and great pockets - obviously these were made by Uber ski touring/IFMGA mountain guide Martin Volken! The Radiant Hoody is the ultimate cold weather fleece. Highly breathable grid fleece under the arms, and smoother, warmer fleece on the rest, it is a great piece for alpine and ice climbing with its integrated hood that easily fits under your helmet.
During the week, myself and fellow IFMGA mountain guide Martin Volken filmed a few 'How To' videos on common backcountry skills, and we got some great skiing footage to get you stoked. Not to mention some of the new and improved product ideas! It was an amazing experience for me, and a testament to OR's commitment to work with people like you in the field and make some great gear to facilitate some even better times in the hills. Enjoy the photos from OR employee Charles Lozner!