FreeTouring with Black Diamond Equipment in the North Cascades

Now, repeat after me:

“We are not a tele skiing company. We are not an alpine skiing company. We are not a backcountry touring company. Black Diamond Equipment is a SKI company, comprised of passionate SKIERS dedicated to making a unique collection of trusted, award-winning gear — from skis to boots, skins to poles, packs to avalanche safety essentials — that enables us to choose any line, any time, anywhere, that makes every skiing day an epic day, that empowers us to break away from traditional boundaries and SKI OUTSIDE THE LINES.”

No, this wasn’t something that we made the everyone memorize during the group’s “welcome” program, but it was our mantra as we got prepared for our first ski day in the North Cascades.

From the left clockwise: Dave Waag (Off Piste), Thomas Laakso (Black Diamond Equipment Ski Category Director), Larry Goldie (North Cascades Mountain Guides), Tracy Ross (Backpacker), Frederick "Rico" Reimers (Freelancer), Berne Broudy (Outside/Freelancer), Drew Pogge (Backcountry Magazine), John "jLd" DiCuollo (Backbone Media) and Sam Bass (SKIING Magazine). Photo courtesy of David Waag.


As part of Black Diamond Equipment’s new Touring Series for 2012/13, BD is introducing nine new FreeTour and Tour skis — from rockered sidecountry skis to ultra-efficient tools for big, faraway objectives that will serve today’s skiers, helping them to define what is possible beyond the ropes.  In addition to skis, skins (featuring redesigned plush construction with dramatically improved glide), ski poles (highlighting BD’s new FlickLock® Pro design) and the new AvaLung Series packs incorporating Active Form Design were all put to the test from editors/freelancers from such publications as: Backcountry, Backpacker, Off-Piste, Men’s Journal, Outside, Popular Science, Ski, and Skiing magazines.

While most of the west is suffering from lower than usual snowfall totals, the mountain snowpack in the North Cascades of Washington as of April 1 is 137% of average.  Plenty of snow in the Cascades offered up a perfect testing conditions for our group, but we couldn’t have done it without the help of some local Methow Valley aficionados.  Thank you to the North Cascades Mountain Guides, North Cascade Heli and North Cascades Basecamp — as you all made our stay in PNW a memorable one.

North Cascades Mountain GuidesNorth Cascade Heli (Courtesy of Frederick Reimers)North Cascades Basecamp (Courtesy of Berne Broudy)

Time for some skiing…

Courtesy of David Waag

Bluebird days were perfect testing grounds for trip sponsor REVO's Headway sunglasses (their first nylon frame to feature the Crystal Water lens).

Heading for some more turns off of Amy's Peak.

Frederick "Rico" Reimers looking for "Justice." Photo courtesy of David Waag.

Taking off...Setting up...One photo seems to be missing...after the landing.

Courtesy of North Cascade Heli, every day began with a “bump” to a summit leaving us with an untouched powder palette to brush our ski signatures.  Always good to start the day off skiing down, but even more rewarding to know you have the whole day ahead ski touring with a great group of people in such a spectacular setting as the North Cascades.  We will back again one day…

FreeTouring with Black Diamond Equipment in the North Cascades

BD’s new F12 Touring Series skis include:  FreeTour Category>  Carbon Megawatt (153-125-130), Justice (140-115-125), Drift (138-100-123), Revert (121-95-109) and women’s Starlet (136-100-122).  Tour Category>  Aspect (130-90-117), Current (118-86-106), Stigma (125-80-109) and women’s Crescent (128-90-115).  Look for them to arrive at a local ski shop or an outdoor specialty store near you later this summer.


Backbone Goes Glam and Green

Thanks to one of my newest clients, Revo, I was given the opportunity to attend the Global Green Pre-Oscar party in Hollywood last Wednesday. Global Green is the American arm of Green Cross International, and this event, now in its 8th year, was founded by polar explorer and global warming advocate, Sebastian Copeland. Sebastian is also the newest addition to Revo’s ambassador team, which led to the brand sponsorship of the event, and my opportunity to ditch the wyoming snow boots and down jacket for a week in sunny Hollywood.

Now I’m a midwestern gal, so when the event PR team told me that the event attire was “clubby chic”, I didn’t have the slightest clue how to make that happen. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone-Julie Schaffner and Brianne Bates from Revo were on the hook to make sure I didn’t embarrass myself. I was also able to bring some incredible journalists to to the event: Steve Casimiro from the Adventure Journal, Roberta Cruger from Treehugger (click to view her story), Kaitlin Keleher from Outside, and Tommi Tilden from

More than 1400 people attended the event featuring musical performances by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Best Coast, and Portugal- The Man. “Greener Cities for a Cooler Planet” was the theme of the evening which benefited Global Green’s initiatives to promote smart solutions to climate change by creating healthy, green communities.

Global Green also unveiled their Model Carbon City Index tool, a first of its kind Web tool designed to benchmark cities efforts to reduce carbon emissions and motivate citizens to advocate for smart climate policies at the local level.

All in all a very successful event for Global Green, raising over $400,000 for the organization. The event was a perfect setting for the Revo brand, due to their sustainable manufacturing technology as well as sponsorship of some of the world’s top environmental advocates like Alexandra Cousteau and Sebastian Copeland. Besides chairing this event, Sebastian is also working on the DVD release of his documentary film that chronicles his solo walk to the North Pole. Check out the trailer at and check out some more LA shots below.

I’m glad the W Hotel in Hollywood acknowledges the high-brow tastes of us ski town locals, but $4? Be serious.