Aron Ralston signs promo deal for Personal Locator Beacons

From the press release: "Outtdoorsman Aron Ralston, who in 2003 made international news by amputating his own arm to save his life while solo canyoneering in Utah, has agreed to promote satellite-detectable Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) as part of a promotional spokesman agreement with ACR Electronics, Inc (www.acrelectronics.com)."

From today's Wicked list ... the top six tragi-disaster-vanishing-quasi-celebrities who were considered as alternate "spokespersons" for a device that can help locate a vanished party member when they've expeienced a major disaster.

6. The guy from the America's Funniest Home Videos who ran over himself with an ATV.
5. The guy from the America's Funniest Home Videos who hit himself in the nuts with a baseball bat.
4. The guy from the America's Funniest Home Videos who impaled his lower intestine with a skateboard.
3. The guy from the America's Funniest Home Videos who shattered his pelvis trying to ride a moose.
2. The Kansas City Chiefs defense.
1. Bode Miller.



I beat the Piton

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
1% for the Planet will be featured on tonight's NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams in their "Making a Difference" segment.

Check it out ...


30,000 new wells in Wyoming

With a population of less than 4 people per square mile, Wyoming is a vast vast of vastness with more prarie goats and wind-bent cottonwoods than liberalistas.

There's really only one party ... the GOP ... but the pro-marijuana guys run as republican.

And in the last year 30,000 new wells were drilled in Dick Cheney's home state. Reports from friends about previously unmarred landscapes around Pinedale (south of the kingdom of Jackson Hole) indicate that it's been "ruined" and "drilled beyond recognition."

Now comes the payoff. Since there's no state income tax to cut, the benefits of the Energy Tax went straght to the voters:

* Money has been provided for wildlife protection, according to the NY Times. Of course, they're also planning on delisting the bald eagle and grey wolf from the Endangered Species List.

* A $100 million tax cut this year eliminated the sales tax on groceries. More eagle meat for me!

* $2.1 billion cash infusion to its public elementary and secondary schools over the next two years — a 24 percent increase in spending, all from energy taxes — could vault the state to first or second in the nation in per-pupil spending, from seven. Intriguingly enough, based on the way Wyoming divvies up their school cash, this will massively benefit almost the entire state ... and will barely change things in the liberal bastion of Teton County.

* A $505 million endowment set aside by the Legislature in March will allow the university and the two-year community colleges to go on a hiring spree. Can't complain there ...

* Scholarship money for most of the state's graduating high school seniors will be available starting this fall, with a nearly free education for top students who have taken the toughest courses. Once again, no worries at all....

* No announcement has been made about funding for removal of a bumper sticker, seen throughout Casper and the ghost-boom towns that fill central Wyoming ... It refers to the 70s oil bonanaza and the resulting hangover: "Please God, Give Us Another Oil Boom And We Promise We Won't Piss It Away This Time."



Do the Wight thing

Noah Wight ... full-on character, St. Larry's alum, and owner of the RSN affiliate in Crested Butte ... barely survived a head-on ski collision with a tree last year, with the unfortunate result of being paralyzed and saddled with massive medical bills. He's a hell of a guy with a quick smile and a big heart, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't need any help from us.

Fortunately, we're not that smart.

Go to the Noah Wight fundraiser site, chip in a few bucks, and help a great guy through a tough spot.

Fundraiser for Noah

Now ... If you don't wear a ski helmet already, read what Noah has to say about his experience and think it over one more time.

>> For my family and I, the last year has been wrought with emotional highs and lows. Luckily the highs have far out weighted the lows starting with the base understanding that the other potential result of my accident would be death and culminating with the daily joy of watching my son Cooper grow up.

>>There have been many significant revelations in this process but the most poignant would be how truly fragile the human body can be. I spent the better part of my life chasing adventures and had definitely led with my head more times than anyone ought to but, ultimately, the accident that hit me the hardest was merely a pre-release of a binding on a slope I’ve skied a million times. I learned years ago, when my friend Matt died of a head injury sustained skiing, that a helmet can truly make all the difference.

>> In the course of my accident, I flattened the top of my helmet, smashing the foam, creating enough friction to melt and move the plastic cover. Between watching Matt die and the head injuries I saw rehabbing while I was in the hospital, I learned a little about the degrees of tragedy associated with severe injuries like mine. I learned that my injury was a tragedy unlike anything I could ever imagine but, ultimately, everything that made me, me was still intact. I could continue to run my business, I would see my son grow up and I would live a life with my wife.

>>This was not necessarily the case with a lot of the head injuries I saw and while, in many cases they could walk around like they always had, they would never be the people they had been. Trust me when I say that there is no cost either financially or to your sense of “wind in the hair” liberty that is worth this risk. Right now, no doubt about it, life can be hard but I live in one of the greatest places on earth and am surrounded by friends, family and an incredible community.

>> Thank you for your contribution, good luck in the raffle and please, wear a helmet.

>> Noah, Aline and Cooper Wight


Addicted to oil

A shared love for oil
Originally uploaded by drewbo.
There is no doubting our shared love for the outdoor magazine ... we buy their dinners, we fly their writers to Jackson Hole for three or four press events in a row every spring, we send them goodies after goodies after goodies ...

But do we really love them?

I mean, do we love them enough to care for their long-term existence? Enough to pay their salaries and keep their kids in competive pre-K daycare?

Enough to pay for the ink and the paper that our target consumers are swallowing as gospel, word after word?

Enough to (cough, cough) buy an ad?

Believe it or not ... this isn't a shill for ad reps everywhere ... it's a reality check on marketplace sustainability.

With a quick full-page ad count in a couple favorite outdoorsy rags this month, the percentage of messaging devoted to hawking autombiles ranged from a noteworthy 25% to a whopping 60%.

Looking into the crystal ball, what if our global oil "problems" trickle down to our tiny little outdoor industry. What will happen to the racks of outdoor bibles when a quarter to a half of their ad revenue takes a well-aimed knee to the gonads?

Will we be there to bail them out?

Or will we just be buying the drinks and helping them find new jobs at the Alpinist's new four-season mag?

There's no school like the old school

Shazam ... it's polarized!
Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Check out this recent ad copy from a certain ginormous sunglass company.

Crafted from the molten lava of old-school ad philosophy, the campaign takes the tact of creating a fictitious problem, then offering a solution that only they have. Check it out ...

"....Nothing cuts glare like polarized lenses. Unfortunately, they cut clarity as well. So (Company) invented High Definition Optics. HDO polarized lenses give you razor sharp vision on the water. And our liquid infusion process achieves molecular bonding to eliminate the haze and distortion of orginary polarized lenses. Because glare is blinding enough. Why blind yourself more with inferior optics .... "

Love it.


What the outdoor world needs is a good steriod scandal

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
From the Onion ...

"I can see how some people might be shocked about Bonds' doping, but this has been an open secret for years among the people in my industry," said air-conditioner repairman Mike Damus. "I'm sure it's an even more widely known fact in baseball."


Stop the madness, part II

Poor form
Originally uploaded by drewbo.
As conspicously Joey as a neoprene ski mask, the use of "vertical paper" is being loudly condemned by the World Rock Paper Scissors Society.

Be informed.



Mad River Tele-Fest on deck

The NATO Telemark Festival, as it's officially known, is this coming weekend at MRG.

To be honest, every day at MRG is a tele-fest, but for some reason this two day on-hill ripper fest is a particularly mind-bending love affair with the freeheel condition.

Oh .... and don't forget to sharpen your edges.



From one pain in the ass to another

March is for .... "Mooooon River"
Originally uploaded by drewbo.
What does outdoor industry PR have to do with Colorectal Cancer Awareness month?

Nothing. Not a damn thing.

Excluding skin cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in the United States and Canada (after lung and breast in women, and lung and prostate in men). The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 146,940 new cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed in the U.S. in 2006. That means a person in the U.S. is diagnosed with colorectal cancer every 4 minutes ... and one dies every 9.3 minutes, as colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States and Canada (after lung cancer).

In the big picture, one out of 18 people in this country will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime.

Don't be a dumbass ... Be aware. Be informed. Be active. This is real life.

LINK: Colon Cancer Alliance.