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Jan 06 2016

Pt I: Outdoor Retailer Winter 2016

Fischer's Travers - one of many new AT boots for 2016.

Fischer’s Travers – one of many new AT boots for 2016.

Once again the annual Winter Outdoor Retailer show will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. This year the show will be held at the beginning of January, not the end. The show kicks off today with the On-Snow Demo at Solitude mountain. Yours truly will be there checking out what is new and reporting back to you in the coming days and weeks.

Overall it appears there are a lot of progressive improvements to products, but nothing revolutionary. Of course each manufacturer would disagree with that assessment, and that’s what going and seeing the actual beta products is about.

My focus for today at the On Snow demo at Solitude mountain will be to see if the upgrades to many AT boots are significant enough to motivate buying new gear. Thus, my targets will mostly be in the lightweight, skimo style boots like the new Arc’teryx boot designed by ace boot designer Frederico (Garmont, Dynafit) and Fischer’s new Travers that uses BOA laces on the lower shell.

Arc'teryx Voltair. Battery powered avalanche airbag pack.

Arc’teryx Voltair. Battery powered avalanche airbag pack.

Then there’s the new airbag from Arc’teryx which isn’t exactly revolutionary since Black Diamond was first to market with the same, battery powered airbag concept. However, the difference in the technology driving the inflation may be significant.

In the telemark world the biggest news is what is missing. Scarpa continues cutting models from their line. Last year it was the TX. This year it is heel inserts in the TX-Pro and the T-Race. I have a hunch they are working on new stuff, but we won’t see that for at least another year, maybe longer.

And of course there will be many new skis, but again, nothing likely to be revolutionary but it will be interesting to see how they all fare against each other. More to come as I see what is new.

© 2016