The Outside Blog

Skiing and Snowboarding : Jun 2012

Black Diamond Acquires POC

Black Diamond, maker of climbing gear, headlamps, skis, poles, packs, and more, announced today that it's adding adventure sports protective gear to its long list of exceptional offerings by acquiring POC.

“POC and Black Diamond were both founded as solutions-based companies, focused on providing unmatched personal protection for active outdoor athletes,” said Peter Metcalf, president and CEO of Black Diamond, in a press release. “We believe POC is one of the most innovative, fastest-growing and hottest brands in action sports protective gear today and a strong strategic addition to the Black Diamond platform.

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Alex Honnold Solos the Yosemite Triple

Alex Honnold Pancake Flake
Alex Honnold solos the Pancake Flake during a speed ascent of El Cap in 2010. Photo: Tom Evans/

Just two weeks after free-climbing Yosemite's Triple Crown with Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold repeated the feat solo on Wednesday, blasting up three of the park's biggest walls alone in 19 hours. Beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the 26-year-old Californian climbed Mt. Watkins, El Capitan, and Half Dome, finishing at 10:45 a.m. the next morning. In an interview on The North Face's blog, Honnold estimated that he had free-soloed about 95 percent of the terrain.

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Inside the Hardest Bike Race on Earth With Eszter Horanyi

Horanyi savoring the race in the Dixie 200Hornanyi takes a breather atop Powell Point during the 2011 Dixie 200, which she went on to win.

This morning, June 8, over 100 riders will line up in Banff, Canada, to undertake what might be the hardest bike race on earth. The Tour Divide, which began as the Great Divide Race but has now morphed into this longer iteration, sees riders traveling some 2,700 miles along the Continental Divide from Banff to the small outpost of Antelope Wells, New Mexico, on the Mexican border. Riders race completely self-supported, carrying everything they need for the journey that they won't be able to purchase along the way. The current Tour Divide record of 17 days, 9 hours, and 1 minute was set on an individual time trial ride last summer by Victor, Idaho, native Jay Petervary.

Lining up for her maiden Tour Divide is Crested Butte, Colorado, racer Ezster Horanyi. Of the hundred-plus starters, Horanyi is just one of 10 women who will attempt the race this year (not including Caroline Soong, who is racing on a tandem with her partner and 2011 Tour Divide winner Kurt Refsnider). And though it's her rookie attempt, Horanyi has to be considered a favorite to win the women's race and possibly even set a new female record. Judging by some of her most recent results—1st woman and 3rd overall at the Stagecoach 400, 1st woman and 9th overall at the Arrowhead 135, 1st woman and 5th overall at the Colorado Trail Race—she's also likely to finish faster than the majority of men in the race.

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Rafting Down River With Pro Riders Porter and McGarry

Last fall, when pro riders Eric Porter and Kelly McGarry needed a vacation, they decided to do a raft trip down Utah's Green River to look for unridden, Red Bull-style lines.

Because they're pros, they brought along a videographer, a photographer, and hired a raft guide for their little getaway. They documented it all in a video called Down River, which is packed with inspiring scenery that will, despite the sleepy soundtrack, jazz you up and make you wish you were there splashing in the cool waters of the Green surrounded by the silence of the desert.

When this footage inspires you to be a little more adventurous on your next vacation, take a cue from Porter and McGarry and be sure to pack some of their favorite essentials.

This crew's top pick for easy backcountry drinking water: Camelbak's All Clear, which puts a water purification system right in your water bottle.


"The All Clear allowed us to travel light when we left the boats to ride the side canyons," said athlete Eric Porter. "It's was super easy and fast to use, and didn't add the nasty iodine flavor since it uses UV light to purify. Plus it purified 80 bottles of water on one set of batteries." Available now, $99,

Sherpa 120 Adventure Kit_1_highThe gang kept their documentary crew powered with Goal Zero's Sherpa 120 battery and Nomad 27 Solar Panels. "Our Goal Zero solar panels and batteries were key to photos and videos of this trip." Porter said. "Every day we would set out the solar panels on the boats to charge the batteries, and then at night we would charge our video and still cameras from the stored energy.  Our photographer was even able to plug in his laptop and unload his memory cards every night."

A bonus for the rafting riders: the 27-watt highly portable and efficient mono-crystalline solar panels are waterproof so the rowing bikers didn't have to worry about getting them wet. Goal's Zero Sherpa 120 Adventure Kit comes with panels and battery, available now, $600,

—Berne Broudy

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Summer Reading: 'Our Dying Forests'

Sure, summer reading lists are usually filled with the latest mysteries or epic dramas to hit paperback. But for your list, consider adding a series of reports by the Salt Lake Tribune, "Our Dying Forests." The series recently claimed the The Grantham Prize for environmental reporting and tells a story that contains some mystery and a whole lot of drama—but is unfortunately non-fiction.

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