OR Summer 2013 Anticipation Post!

As you may have all figured out by now, I’m a total gearhead, always excited to try the newest, latest, greatest. I’m equally excited learning about all the new gear and technology that’s coming our way, which why I am super stoked to be heading down to Outdoor Retailer in a few days.

For those of you who don’t know, Outdoor Retailer is a semi-annual trade show for the outdoor industry where manufacturers showcase their latest products, buyers and store managers scope out what to buy for next year, hopeful wannabes wander the floor begging for sponsorships and media lackeys like me head over to drool over cool new gear.

My plan for this summer’s show is to have an on-going Instagram/Twitter/Facebook feed with photos of all the cool things I find on the floor. And, at the end of every day, a slightly more-comprehensive post with higher-res pictures, some specs and any other details I can glean. (If there’s anything you’re particularly interested in, drop me a line to raf@thealpinestart.com or get in touch via Instagram/Twitter/Facebook and I’ll see what I can find out.)

In the meantime, here’s a sneakpeek at some of the gear that will be on display:


Arcteryx Alpha FL 30 & 45 packs. Man do these things ever look awesome. Pretty sure I’ve seen prototypes of these packs on Dr. Slawinski’s back in some recent pictures. If the NoZone packs are any indication, Arcteryx is back in the alpine-pack game, and is serious about it. I can’t wait to try these out!



Also getting into the lightweight alpine pack market is Patagonia with their Ascensionist series packs in 25L, 35L and 45L sizes. I sense a comparison test coming.Gear_Sneak_002

Gear_Sneak_006Looks like La Sportiva wants some of the spotlight back and is introducing new version of the Trango and the venerable Nepal Evo. Both boots are coming out in CUBE format – some sort of bonded upper with a carbon midsole. They should be lighter, stiffer and warmer. (Though perhaps not better looking in the case of the Trango…)

Gear_Sneak_004Camp makes some cool stuff, and with this wicked-looking crampon, called the Blade Runner, looks to be taking on BD’s Stinger and Petzl’s esteemed Dart. The rear looks to be Camp’s proprietary Nanoflex steel, so these should be pretty light!

Gear_Sneak_005Another light-looking entry into the crampon market is Edelrid’s Beast Light. Not sure I’m a fan of the Euro-pop colour scheme, but these look like they could be a really light set of general-purpose crampons.

Gear_Sneak_003‘Course you can’t have too many jackets and Mammut adds to their collection with the Ultimate Alpine Hoody. Provided Mammut gets the fit right, this could be replacement for my aging Arcteryx Gamma MX.

Of course, there is a lot more gear coming: ultralight and ultrathin ropes (8.6mm single!!) from Edelrid and Petzl (and maybe others!), new rock shoes from Scarpa and La Sportiva, offest X4’s from BD, a screwgate version of Petzl’s Spirit and who knows what else! Can you tell I’m excited?!

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