It’s finally here. The mountain has opened. Now is the time to prep for an epic season. The first thing you’re going to do is try to find all of your gear. Which bag has your gloves in them, how about your goggles and base layers. Is your jacket and pants stashed in your pack or are they in the closet. Once you pull out all your gear it’s time to check it out. Do your base layers look good or do they have a blow out? Maybe it’s time to get new ones. Are your gloves in working order? A lot of times the leather on your gloves will dry out. You can recondition them with Hestra Leather Balm or Nikwax Glove Proof . Speaking of Nikwax, you will want to reapply the water repellent coating on your jacket and pants. I use Nikwax TX Direct Spray On. It’s easy to use, just spray it on. It works every time. You will probably need new socks. I don’t know about you but my dryer consumes at least three or four a year. A goggle check is a must. Did you step on them? Are the ventilation holes still protected with foam? Is the lens scratched? By the way, don’t use the squeegee thing on the thumb of your glove to wipe your goggles. It’s bad for your lens. Alway use a chamois or the bag that came with your goggles. I don’t know why they put those things on the thumbs of gloves and mittens. It’s probably collusion with lens companies and glove companies. Oh, and you should probably buy a new beanie. You deserve it.

The next thing you should do is pull out your skis and or snowboard and your boots. Is everything in working order. If not you should bring it down to the shop for possible warranty consideration. The warranty guy is amazing. Go to Amber, she’s the best. She will write you up. Brenden is O.K., but his handwriting sucks. Next you should check your edges with your fingernail. If you feel any burrs you should have them sharpened. If the base of your skis and snowboard is a little white you need a wax. You should probably get a wax anyway. Some wax their boards every time they ride. If you want to do it yourself we have everything you need. You can come on down and have one of our expert technicians look at your board or skis and they can tell you what needs to be done. We can test your ski bindings with our electronic binding tester to make sure they are safe. Yes, electronic binding testers are a thing.

The consensus around the shop is that the most important thing for getting ready for the season is snacks. Jen likes to make her own trail mix. Michael is a die hard Clif Bar guy. Chuck likes beef jerky. Andrew likes Milky Way bars, but he warns the structural integrity is not great, so if you fall you will have a mess. So to err on the side of caution he suggest Snickers. The peanuts shore up the rest of the bar. Now if you have read my other blogs you know I am opposed to Snickers. I just don’t like nuts in my candy. There you have it. Some great tips for the start of the season. Oh, and don’t forget to buy a Sno-park pass.


The first time I heard of Mount Saint Helens was when I was 10 years old. It had just erupted and my family and I were getting ready to move to Seattle from Detroit, Michigan. It was both excited and frightened. The wild west coast was something with mountain ranges and oceans and erupting volcanoes. Twenty years later I was living in Portland when I first climbed Mount Saint Helens. My friend Jim and I drove to Cougar, Washington, and went to the local bar and grill where they held a lottery for permits to climb the mountain. Nowadays you can go online a purchase the permit; ahh technology. We won the lottery, got our climbing permits, and slept the night in his Jeep, which sucked because Jim neglected to tell me snores a water buffalo. Now I don’t know if water buffalos snore, but I imagine that if they did they would sound like Jim. The next morning we headed out on the trail with spirits high. The hike was about 5 miles and gained 4,500 feet. The trail wove through the woods until we got to a huge field of boulders. Hopping from boulder to boulder for awhile it finally thinned out. Next came the pumice and ash. It was slow going. You would take one step and slide back half a step. It was overcast and snowing. We kept going for what seemed like an eternity. Suddenly we pushed through the clouds and it was bluebird sky. It was a gorgeous day on top of the mountain. We could see Jefferson, Hood, Rainier, and Adams poking out over a sea of clouds. We sat for awhile soaking in the view and headed down. Looking back it was one of the best days of my life. I highly recommend it.

Andrew and Dan ascending.

Recently I was talking to two guys from the shop, Andrew and Dan, who climbed Mount Saint Helens back in June. Both moved to Portland a few years ago from New York state. They didn’t know each other, but weirdly attended the same college. Andrew has been snowboarding since he was 8 years old. He loves pizza. His favorite topping; just cheese. He’s a purist. Dan has been skiing since he was 5 and snowboarding since he was 13. His favorite food; chicken wings. Favorite sauce; the time-honored Hot Buffalo. Another purist. Pizza and wings. Classic New York.

Andrew on the ascent.

They camped overnight and hit the trail at 4:00 am. They took the Worm Flows Route which is almost 11 miles and ascends nearly 5,700 feet. Andrew was using his Arbor Coda Splitboard with Burton Hitchhiker bindings. Dan was skiing on Rossignol Soul 7 HD Skis and Marker F12 Tour EPF Bindings. Dan actually hiked up in his Rossignol Alltrack Pro 120 ski boots. They both had Dakine Heli Pro 24L Backpacks loaded with water, snacks, shovels, avalanche probes and Pieps tranceivers. The ascent took them about 6 hours. They were on the summit by noon. It was perfect weather. Blue sky all around. They hung out awhile drinking it all in and then came the fun part. The descent.

Dan at the summit.

Andrew contemplating his descent.

They took their time enjoying the ride down. It took them about and hour and a half to cover about a 4000 ft. descent. For both of them it was their first real big mountain. They both said they had the time of their lives. Cheers Gentlemen.

Dan and Andrew at the summit.


Winter is rapidly approaching. I can already feel that familiar nip in the air. Thoughts of snow falling and pumpkin spiced lattes. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had a pumpkin spiced latte. I’m more of a white mocha guy. As the season approaches and the mountain calls here are some new outfits you might want to check out. We’ve got new gear coming in daily.

Strafe is a new and exciting brand that we just started carrying. Daniel is wearing the Strafe Exhibition Jacket with the Strafe North Woods Bib. And to top it off he is sporting a Cole The Stanley Beanie.

And for you ladies, Kayla is decked out all in Volcom from top to bottom. A stylish Volcom Argentina Beanie for the noggin and to keep warm up on the mountain she’s wearing the Volcom Shadow Insulated Jacket. With an air of style and function the Volcom Species Stretch Pants fit great and give her the ease of movement to take deep turns in the powder. Looking good in the lodge, looking good on the hill.

This defiant outfit is totally Volcom. Daniel is sporting the Volcom L Gore-Tex Jacket coupled with the Volcom Roan Bib Overall. To keep his head, neck and face warm with a little incognito camo the Volcom Travelin Hood Thingy is just the ticket.

On the more demure side Kayla is wearing the warm and toasty The North Face Garner Triclimate Jacket with the The North Face Freedom Pant . To round it all out the The North Face Tech Glacier 1/4 Zip is a great moisture wicking baselayer.

Let’s not forget the crumb crunchers. We affectionately call our mannequin model little Jimmy Lipper. We didn’t have any 8 year old employees we could grab for the photo shoot. Nuts to those pesky child labor laws. To keep the cold at bay, but still looking cool little Jimmy is wearing an ensemble of The North Face and Orage. Gone are the days of layers upon layers of clothing to keep warm until you look like Randy, Ralphies little brother in The Christmas Story. I got a Red Rider B.B. Gun for Christmas when I was ten and never shot my eye out. I did shoot my friend D.J. in the head during the great B.B. gun war of 1992 when we were kids. But that’s another story. Back to Jimmy. He is wearing an Orage Kids Comox Jacket with the Orage Tarzo Pants. Underneath it all is the The North Face Glacier 1/4 Zip Fleece. And on top of his silver little melon is a The North Face Youth Bones Beanie. Winter is almost here. So come on down and do a little shopping. You won’t regret it.

Salomon Freeski TV Episode 9: Wendy Fisher – Supermom

Watching episode 9 of Salomon Freeski TV, featuring: Wendy Fisher, made me reconsider the way I look at athletes who are assumed to be “passed their prime.” It is certainly intriguing, the perception of athletes being old at the age of 41, but even at that age, Wendy Fisher, still rips harder than most skiers in their 20’s (as seen in the video below). But how? It goes against everything we see in the media. She’s a veteran, no doubt about it. She has lived an adventurous life on piste. She has won countless awards in her legendary career, and serves as an inspiration to female athletes all over the globe. She has also struggled to find solace in the industry she dominated for so long. So why not call it quits? She is 41. Old.

I think all those things as the video plays out, and I begin to realize something: it’s me. My perception of athletes is skewed. And maybe it’s just me? But when I look back on it, I have no real clue who Wendy Fisher is as an individual or how she views herself or what it takes to train for the Olympics and to compete day in and day out, and what toll that might take on an athlete over the course of a career. All I have to go on is what I have seen up to this point, and that point brings me to this realization: I am younger than Wendy Fisher. That is scientific fact, but even with that in my corner, at her current age of 41, she is far more of an athlete than I have ever come close to being. It isn’t even close, and yet I’m the one labeling her as ‘Old.’ With that said, the only reason I put her and I in the same sentence is because I am the one who casting my perception. If not for that, the comparison of Wendy Fisher to myself, would be ludicrous.

With all of that now on the table, please enjoy this episode of Salomon Freeski TV. It might not have the same affect on you that it did on me, but it is a brief look into the life of an individual, who is an athlete, who is a wife, a SUPERMOM, and still strong competitor… at the age of 41.

2015 Bent Chetler Atomic Skis – Sneak Peak

In 1945, the atomic bomb had thrown into question the morality of man and the inconceivable notion of a nuclear war that would bring “Dooms Day” upon us all. Heavy. Fast forward a few years to 2015, and we glance upon an Atomic product designed not for the mass destruction of mankind, but the figurative mass destruction of backcountry terrain with no adverse affect on the world at large. That product is none other than the 2015 Atomic Bent Chetler Skis.

In its sixth year, the Bent Chetler Project enriches its innards by adding HRZN tech to increase the tip and tail flotation by 10% all while keeping the swing weight down. But what does this mean? Far from being a double rainbow but just as magical, these new adjustments allow the ski to plane more efficiently and spin more easily. A freeskiing powder-hound’s dream! The 2015 Bent Chetler Skis playfully pummel powder conditions like a school yard bully mashing through stolen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The new HRZN tech tip and tail will blast through the crud better than ever with far less deflection, making for a smooth ride in all conditions. Fantastic.

2015 Atomic Bent Chetler Ski

Watch the evolution of the Atomic Bent Chetler Skis in the video below, and you will soon understand how this ski has upped the ante. But remember, this is just a sneak peak. So you will have to wait a year to experience it.

Dylan Hood – 2014 Best Powder Award Winner

US Outdoor team rider, Dylan Hood, was in the spotlight at the 2014 Powder Awards as he along with Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, and Colter Hinchcliffe, won Powder Magazine’s ‘Best Powder’ award for their parts in ‘Way Of Life,’ the latest ski epic from TGR. Dylan holds a multitude of sponsors and we here at US Outdoor are stoked to have him on our side.

Check out Dylan Hood, ripping switch lines in the ‘Behind The Line’ video below, brought to you by TGR.

Behind the Line – Dylan Hood: Ripping Switch… by TetonGravityResearch