By July 1, 2012, California plans to close 70 state parks. Gray Whale Cove State Park, Portola Redwoods State Park, Castle Rock State Park, and 67 other of the state's 278 parks will close. Twenty percent of state park rangers and all seasonal lifeguards working state beaches will lose their jobs. All of this is one step to help reduce a $9.2 billion state deficit. The cuts to California's Department of Parks and Recreation will account for a savings of $22 million.
What does all this mean? To get a feel for the changes, check out the video above. It's a documentary we found on the Prana blog, picked up from a Kickstarter project calledThe First 70. After the state park cuts were announced, a group from Heath Hen Films packed up a converted airport shuttle bus and took off to document the 70 parks.
"As we connected dots on a map, a pattern emerged," the groups says on their Kickstarter page. "No one knew exactly what the conditions of closure would be, nor could they see how the state would ultimately benefit."
In a week, all of the outdoor gear companies will convene in Salt Lake City to introduce their new skis and boots, jackets and baselayers, beacons and solar powered iPhone devices, sleeping bags and packs, trekking poles and tents, and all sorts of other outdoor gear and gadgets. We'll be there to look for the coolest new stuff and to hand out our annual Gear of the Show awards. Here's a first look at some of the stuff we're salivating over.
Outdoor Research Lodestar Jacket and Pant – Outdoor Research makes some of the most legit apparel for climbers. It's always smartly designed with features and fabrics that have the end use at the top of the design brief. The Lodestar jacket and pant promises to be two more winners for alpinist and climbers. Capturing the warmth of a puffy with the moisture-wicking properties of fleece and combining it with the protection of a softshell, the Lodestar Jacket and Pant are designed for ice and alpine climbing in the coldest climates.
Both pieces use a new softshell fabric—Polartec Power Shield High Loft, an exceptionally weatherproof and breathable nylon softshell with a fully insulating high-loft fleece inside for breathable warmth without bulk. In high sweat areas, Outdoor Research has combined the High Loft Softshell with Powershield Pro, Polartec's best loved hard face fleece for maximum moisture movement during highly aerobic activities like Alpine Climbing. The result: a jacket that wicks moisture effectively through a wider range of cold temperatures. It lets climbers eliminate layers and gives them freedom of movement. Available fall 2012, $450 jacket; $399 pant, outdoorresearch.com.
The Outdoor Retailer show is next week! We'll be onsite to see the latest gear for fall 2012 and we'll be handing out awards for Gear of the Show. Here are some attention grabbing early releases for backcountry skiers that just hit our desks.
Dynafit Vulcan TF: Made for the new free touring, hiking in for extreme lines, Dynafit is calling its new carbon Vulcan TF, developed with input by pro skier Eric Hjorleifson, a completely new way of thinking about AT boots. The boot gives skiers big mountain performance at half the weight of similar boots. The Vulcan can drive the fattest ski, and climb the highest peak while maintaining optimal control for stomping pillow lines, zipping through high speed arcs, or dropping a powdery backcountry hit.
Dynafit President Chris Sword said, “The Vulcan offers unrivaled skiing performance, the ability to drive modern freeride skis at any speed, the possibility to customize forward stiffness, optimal heel retention while skiing and when landing big drops. This is combined with the walk-ability, and the lightness and patented technologies that made our TLT5 so popular among the best skiers in the world. All the best materials such as carbon fiber, grilamid and magnesium are used in this model to offer un-thinkable performance and lightness.” Available fall 2012, $1000, dynafit.com
Big and slow look scary good in this video Chris Bryan shot at Teahupoo on August 27th using a Phantom HD Gold camera. The waves were so big that the French Navy called a double code red and threatened to arrest anyone that went in the water, according to Bryan's Vimeo page.
"Witnessing this was a draining feeling being terrified for other people's lives all day long, it's life or death," Kelly Slater says. "Letting go of that rope one time can change your life and not many people will ever experience that in their life."