The Outside Blog

Adventure : Oct 2012

Wild Things: Heritage Brand Adds Option to Customize Gear

Andinista

Wild Things was founded 31 years ago to provide alpine climbing apparel and hardware for the world’s most extreme expeditions. The co-founder, Chamonix-born Marie Meunier, wore Wild Things on the first ascent of the South Face of Chacraraju, Peru, in 1977 with John Bouchard. Mugs Stump used Wild Things gear on his first ascents of the east face of the Mooses Tooth, Alaska, in 1981 and the Moonflower Buttress, Mount Hunter, Alaska, in 1981.

Back then, it was one of the only games in town. But even last year, when there were a number of competitors athletes could choose from, Wild Things was at the summit when Mark Richey, Steve Swenson, and Freddie Wilkinson topped Saser Kangri in India, and it accompanied Will Steger on Arctic and Antarctic crossings, including the first international trans-Antarctica dog-sled crossing and the first dog-sled journey to the North Pole without resupply.

The brand is known for being dependable in the most extreme conditions—conditions where if your gear fails you could die. It’s made by extreme athletes for extreme athletes.

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Mugs Stump Award Applications Now Being Accepted

Climbers looking for funding help on fast and light alpine expeditions can now apply for a Mugs Stump Award. This year's winners will receive a portion of $25,000 in total funding. The grants will go to "individuals and teams whose proposed climbs present an outstanding challenge—a first ascent, significant repeat or first alpine-style ascent—with special emphasis placed on climbers leaving no trace of their passage."

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Best of Interbike: 2013 Bike Accessories We're Excited About

Though the complete bikes are the lowest hanging fruit at Interbike, the show floor is full of parts and components bling. Here's a collection of small bits and pieces that we're most psyched to try out in the coming months.

StageOne

STAGES CYCLING STAGE ONE ($700)
Newcomers to the cycling market Stage One have unveiled a power meter poised to revolutionize the market. This direct-measure unit (as opposed to other similarly priced devices that extrapolate data based on an algorithm) is just 20 grams, comes installed in a slightly modified left crank arm (with more than a dozen models available), and will retail for just $700 (less than half of other similar meters). And given the in-crank placement of the device, gathering data in both training and racing should be as simple as flip-flopping left cranks between bikes.

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Young Kayakers Paddle to Save Chile's Endangered Rivers

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Chilean Patagonia is home to some of the wildest and most stunning rivers in the world. The largest, the Rio Baker, is renowned for its clear, turquoise water and Class V rapids and has become a magnet for expedition kayakers from around the world. But perhaps no one knows it better than a group of young, local kayakers who are lucky to have the Baker in their backyard. For the past 13 years, the Club Náutico Escualo has been teaching kids ages four to 18 to surf, roll and run the Áysen region’s most pristine rivers. Many of these children are first-generation kayakers, the sons and daughters of ranchers and farmers in the remote village of Cochrane.

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Now these young paddlers have become the rivers’ most ardent, persuasive advocates. The Spanish electric company Endesa is proposing to build five hydroelectric dams on the Rio Baker and Pascua, as well as the Futeleufu, and transport power 1,200 miles away via high-tension transport lines, turning wild rivers into lakes and forever changing the landscape and way of life in the Áysen region. Not surprisingly, according to the National Resources Defense Council, 74 percent of Chileans oppose the project.

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Summits Made on Manaslu

6344830076_219ef21c8f_bManaslu. Photo: Switchback Travel/Flickr

Multiple expeditions reported Monday that they summited Manaslu. The successful bids come a little more than a week after an avalanche swept through Camp III and left at least 11 dead or missing. Earlier today, Mountain Professionals posted a dispatch—"From Camp IV, with our boots still on and probably looking a bit rough at this point with crazy things still frozen to our beards, noses, and who knows where else"—that said everyone on their team reached the summit. Altitude Junkies said that one climber and two sherpas did not make the final push this past weekend, but that 15 others did bag the 26,759-foot peak.

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