Nibbles & Bits
July 30th, 2014

Capture every angle imaginable with VSN Mobil’s new 360 degree POV camera

Thanks to the folks at VSN Mobil, there’s a new POV camera on the market. With VSN’s new V.360 camera, you will now be able to capture every angle possible while gettin’ the shot on and off the hill. The 16 Megapixel device offers 360 degrees of 1080p HD video without stitching or distortion. It is shock, vibration and dust resistant, as well as water resistant to 1 meter. This thing hasn’t even hit the shelves yet, but we will be sure to let you know when it’s available. In the meantime, learn more about the V.360 cam, below.

V.360 IMAGE

Photo provided by VSN Mobil.

Press Release, VSN Mobil:

Now, every angle is the perfect angle. VSN Mobil has unveiled its V.360°™ camera – the first device to capture 360 degrees of video with a 16 Megapixel imager in full 1080p high definition. Whether hurtling down a ski slope, in a business meeting, at the beach or on a jungle safari, the V.360° camera can capture the experience from every angle at once.

The V.360° camera is the latest disruptive product from VSN Mobil, the company that brought you the V.ALRTTM which redefined Personal Alert Management and made it easy for anyone to summon help with the press of a button.

“The V.360° camera finally makes it possible to capture life’s most astonishing moments at every angle simultaneously,” explained Matt Gordon, VP of Strategic Marketing for VSN Mobil. “This unprecedented device truly changes the game for anyone who wants to shoot videos or capture still images.”

The V.360° camera is the first to capture details previously unseen by other cameras – since it shoots not just forwards, but backwards and in a complete 360-degree view at all times.

As a video is captured, it can be viewed through a free companion app for Android and iOS phones and tablets. The app lets the user manipulate the 360-degree video or image to see every angle – or lay it flat, resulting in a very detailed panoramic view.

The V.360° camera utilizes a very high quality, 16 Megapixel imager capable of capturing 360 degree video in full HD resolution (1080×6480 pixels) – comparable to three full 1080p images laid side to side. The imager also incorporates backside illumination for excellent performance even in low-light conditions or underwater. This combination of imager and the unique and patented optics means the days of stitching images together to get a complete 360-degree picture are over.

The V.360° camera is the perfect travel companion for any adventure. Its durable housing construction is certified to military standards as well as having an IP67 rating. It is shock, vibration and dust resistant as well as water immersion resistant to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. The V.360° camera is compatible with the standard mount used by GoPro™ and other cameras, so it can be attached to available helmet mounts, tripods and a variety of other accessories.

The V.360° camera supports simultaneous video and still pictures and includes built-in GPS sensor to tag locations, a barometer/altimeter and an advanced Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 processor. The Snapdragon 800 processor’s combination of integrated image signal processor (ISP), 2.3GHz quad-core Krait CPU, Qualcomm® Adreno™ 330 GPU and video processor means that the V.360° camera can capture, de-wrap and encode a 360 degree image at higher frames per second and lower latency because all of this work is done right on the camera, not off in the app. This means that consumers can enjoy fast, consistently high quality 360 degree images.

For information on the V.360° camera please go to www.vsnmobil.com.

Related: Sony to offer live streaming and more in latest firmware update


July 30th, 2014

Silverton Mountain to host new avalanche awareness course for snow professionals

Through the combined efforts from snow professionals Aaron Brill (Silverton Mountain Guides), Dean Cummings (H20 Guides) and Reggie Crist (First Ascent), there is a new educational workshop promoting avalanche awareness. The course will be hosted by Silverton Mountain, CO on January 24-26, 2015. The instruction will stray away from traditional snow-science methodology to focus more than 60 years of combined on-snow experiences from professionals. Participants will experience a day of top down snow safety assessments, a day of mountain operations for guides and ski patrollers and an optional day of helicopter operations training. For more info on the course, see the press release and course information below.

Press Release, Silverton Mountain, CO:

After the recent string of ski patroller and ski guide accidents, snow professionals are re-evaluating the way snow safety, guiding, patrolling, avalanche control, and mountain work is learned. The traditional training curriculum has not kept up with the growth of the sport across bigger mountains, expert terrain expansion and increased skier ability.

Aaron Brill of Silverton Mountain Guides, Dean Cummings of H20 Guides, and Reggie Crist of First Ascent have come together to present a one-of-a-kind educational workshop: Practical Protocols For Snow Professionals / Steep Life Workshop.

Traditional Avalanche and Ski Guide Training has been focused on snow science and snowpit-based methodology, but this leaves out many important practical protocol techniques. In this workshop Dean Cummings, Reggie Crist, and Aaron Brill will share the techniques and thought processes they have developed and used in the field. With more than 60+ years of combined experience, this team has spent a lot of time innovating in the mountains, and has gained experiences and insights that are essential for ski/snowboard guides, ski patrol and aspiring professionals. Anyone that accesses mountains from the top down, or spends time in avalanche terrain, can benefit from this cutting edge workshop offered at Silverton Mountain.

By attending the workshop attendees will:

-Gain a better understanding of how to read mountains,
-Learn to skillfully recognize hazards
-Develop a thought process for working larger lines in steeper terrain

Reggie, Aaron, and Dean have spent decades developing and honing specialized steep techniques used while working, living, and training ski/snowboard guides in Steep Mountain Terrain. The goal is to share their firsthand learning experiences with the industry that they love via an insightful based educational method.

This session will emphasize engaging all the senses during observational assessment techniques to teach guides/patrollers to collect information and clues from changing surroundings. It will also challenge patrollers to think like guides, and guides to think like patrollers—an invaluable awareness on the mountain, and one that is often overlooked. Ski guides may never get to learn from the avalanches that a blasting patroller regularly sees and triggers (unless the guide is doing a terrible job by frequently triggering avalanches); and patrollers may be leaving themselves vulnerable without the tools to assess the slopes as a backcountry ski guide would.

Course Information:

Silverton Mountain, Colorado — January 24-26, 2015.

The three day protocol training is presented by Dean Cummings of H20 Guides, Reggie Crist of First Ascent, and Aaron Brill of Silverton Mountain Guides.

Requirements: The training workshop is useful for anyone currently working in avalanche terrain, but is most helpful for professional ski patrollers and professional ski/snowboard guides working in mid or high alpine terrain. Attendees should have an existing level 2 avalanche certification or equivalent, professional patrol or ski/board guiding experience, or be an aspiring professional with industry experience.

Optional third day heli instruction: The third day (optional heli add-on day Jan 26th) is focused on advanced helicopter operations for heli ski guides and aspiring pros with an emphasis on visual observations and on-the-go snow conditions and stability assessment.

Course Outline:

Top Down Snow Safety Assessments (Day 1):

- Thought processing for working in complex terrain for patrol/guides.
- Reading mountains, weather and working with nature.
- Why using snow science as go/no go could kill you.
- Usage of observational snow assessment techniques.
- Proper timing of objectives.
- Coping with unusual avalanche cycles/problems.
- Review of recent patrol and guide avalanche accidents, and lessons learned from events.
- Importance of OSHA regulations.

Mountain Operations For Guides/Patrol (Day 2):

- Micro climate weather and snow stability forecasting.
- Summit and ridge-top protocols.
- Visual & verbal terrain management technique and mountain communication for patrol/guides.
- Importance of clear instructions while leading. discussion with clients or your patrol route partner.
- Utilizing hand signals as effective tools.
- Guides thinking as patrollers and patrollers like guides when moving on mountains.
- Non explosive stability testing.
- Proper use of ski cuts and techniques for high consequence terrain.
- Managing demanding client expectations while maintaining safety about ski/boarding techniques based on surface conditions and snow stability.
- Working in terrain traps.
- Properly gearing up.
- Testing your forecast—making a personal forecast of a specific slope and then using of actual helicopter blasting on the specific slope to test your forecast accuracy. Will it produce, and where will your crown initiate?

Helicopter Operations (Optional Add-On Day 3, Jan 26):

- Tools and methods for in-flight rapid assessment of helicopter ski terrain.
- Load manifest procedures.
- Guide aircraft preflight procedures.
- Aircraft loading procedures taking into account power to weight ratio.
- Landing zone selection and LZ and PZ preparation.
- Pilot training and analysis via field testing.
- Utilization of toe in landings and advanced helicopter procedures. Accounting for winds, power reserve, portion within fuel cycle, client training and testing.
- Use of risk management matrix.
- Tools and methods for expert skier/boarder group management.
- Tools and methods for group management of pro skiers/boarders.
- Helicopter avalanche control basics.
- Helicopter techniques for extrication of injured skiers/boarders.

Pricing:

$225 for the 2-Day workshop Jan 24-25.
$525 for the 3-Day workshop and includes the additional helicopter operations day, Jan 26th with two heli drops for helicopter field instruction.

Logistics:

The workshop begins 8am on January 24th in Silverton, Colorado at 1069 Greene St with classroom instruction. Field sessions begin mid-day Jan 24th at Silverton Mountain. Participants should be prepared for extended time outdoors and on ridgetops at 13,000’. Be sure to carry water/food for entire day, guide pack and downhill gear. Lift uploads included with price.

Registration:

To book your spot in this exciting training opportunity, please visit www.silvertonmountain.com to register. For any questions or special considerations please email info@silvertonmountain.com.


July 30th, 2014

Black Diamond completes sale of Gregory Mountain Products for $84.1 million

Black Diamond Inc. “a leading global supplier of innovative active outdoor performance equipment and apparel,” has completed the sale of its Gregory Mountain Products LLC to Samsonite LLC for $84.1 million. After the completion of sale, Black Diamond paid its debt of approximately $26.7 million to Zions Bank. The company, based in Salt Lake City, UT, now plans to focus its energy toward its central brands, POC and Black Diamond Apparel. According to president and CEO Peter Metcalf, “We believe that we are now positioned for enhanced growth from our core and fastest-growing brands.” For more info, see the press release below.

Press Release, Black Diamond Inc:

Black Diamond, Inc. (Nasdaq:BDE) (the “Company” or “Black Diamond”), a leading global supplier of innovative active outdoor performance equipment and apparel, has completed the asset sale of its Gregory Mountain Products, LLC (“Gregory”) brand for $84.1 million to Samsonite LLC.

The divestiture represents an integral part of Black Diamond’s plan to focus on its core brands, including POC and Black Diamond apparel. Black Diamond has used a portion of the proceeds from the sale to pay down its debt with Zions Bank and plans to reinvest the remainder to support the continued growth and long-term development of its core brands.

“Closing the sale of Gregory marks a critical point in our strategic pivot initiated last fall,” said Peter Metcalf, president and CEO of Black Diamond. “We believe that we are now positioned for enhanced growth from our core and fastest-growing brands.”

The Company has realized net proceeds of approximately $68.4 million after fees, expenses and taxes. The Company previously had approximately $26.7 million of outstanding debt under its credit facility with Zions Bank as of March 31, 2014, which was paid-off in full with the closing of the transaction.

The Company plans to provide revised second half and full year guidance when it reports its second quarter results in August 2014.

Rothschild served as financial advisors and Kane Kessler, P.C. served as legal advisors to Black Diamond for the divestiture.

Black Diamond, Inc. is a global leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing innovative active outdoor performance equipment and apparel for climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, skiing, cycling and a wide range of other year-round outdoor recreation activities. The Company’s principal brands, Black Diamond(R), POC(TM) and PIEPS(TM), are iconic in the active outdoor, ski and cycling industries and linked intrinsically with the modern history of these sports. Black Diamond is
synonymous with performance, innovation, durability and safety that the outdoor and action sport communities rely on and embrace in their active lifestyle. Headquartered in Salt Lake City at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, the Company’s products are created and tested on some of the best alpine peaks, slopes, crags, roads and trails in the world. These close connections to the Black Diamond lifestyle enhance the authenticity of the Company’s brands, inspire product innovation and strengthen customer loyalty. Black Diamond’s products are sold in approximately 50 countries around the world. For additional information, please visit the Company’s websites at www.blackdiamond-inc.com, www.blackdiamondequipment.com, www.pocsports.com or www.pieps.com.


July 30th, 2014

Receive massive discounts at the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo

As the 2014/15 shred season approaches, skiers and riders of Colorado can start to prepare for snowfall by taking part in the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo. This year marks the 23rd go ’round of the sweet preseason sale event on last year’s inventory of winter essentials. The event will take place at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver, November 7-9. Whether you’re in the market for season passes, lodging, skis or other gear, the expo will have nearly everything you need for the upcoming winter. Admission for the expo is $15 or $12 with a discount coupon (available in the Denver Post or any Colorado Ski & Golf / Colorado Ski & Sports stores). If you’re in Colorado this fall, be sure to check it out and take advantage of the rockin’ deals. For more info, see the press release below.

Press Release, Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo:

Procrastinating skiers and snowboarders will once again have that last chance to get pre-season sale prices on skis, boards, boots, clothing, accessories and season pass purchases at the 23nd annual Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo Nov. 7-9, 2014 in Hall F of the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. Savvy skiers and riders can snag discounts of 40-75 percent on last year’s inventory. The Expo also has representatives from throughout Colorado, the western United States and Canada, with updates on their mountains and specials on everything from lodging, lift tickets, and lessons to discounts on dining and mountain resort activities. Admission is $15 for adults or $12 with a discount coupon available in The Denver Post or at any Colorado Ski & Golf or Colorado Ski & Sports store. Discount tickets can also be purchased in advance at www.skisnowexpo.com. Kids 12 and under are free.

New this year: A Nordic Village Interactive Zone will debut at this year’s Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo with an introduction to three Nordic sports—cross-country skiing, ski jumping and snowshoeing. No snow will be needed for children and adults to try a simulated experience of these increasingly popular winter sports with the assistance of trained instructors and experienced athletes.

Perennial favorites: The Mountain Activity Center anchored by the Slackline demo and competition area. Slackline pros demo their top tricks on the wobbly cord and first-timers can test their balance as they try to stay atop the line a few inches above the ground. The fast-paced Eliteam Training Center offers a timed obstacle course that measures basic fitness and flexibility skills and kids can compete against the clock and their friends. For first-time skiers, the gently-sloped Winter Park Kid’s Slope with an artificial surface offers an easy introduction to skiing while the Burton’s Riglet Park offers the same kind of easy gliding introduction to snowboarding. A crowd always gathers for the attention-grabbing aerial antics performed by the Skyriders! during their double trampoline exhibition.

Expo hours are 1pm to 10 pm on Friday, Nov. 7; Saturday, Nov. 8 from 10 am to 8 pm; and Sunday, Nov. 9 from 10 am to 6 pm. For details, activity schedules and vendors, visit www.skisnowexpo.com.

Related: Woodward at Copper adds a new toy to its already awesome arsenal


July 30th, 2014

Just over a week left to enter Saga Outerwear’s Adam Delorme Re-Edit contest

Adam Delorme is one of the most stylish skiers in the game (that tail press, though) and his segment in last year’s Level 1 flick, Partly Cloudy, was a prime example. One of Delorme’s sponsors, Saga Outerwear, is currently running a Facebook contest with an outerwear kit up for grabs for the winner. Simply head to Saga’s Vimeo page and download Delorme’s footage from Partly Cloudy, then re-edit it any way you see fit. Once you’ve got your video dialed, upload it to the Facebook contest page. The crew over at Saga will then pick a winner after the August 8 deadline. Good luck out there, friends.

10505073_10152551431954519_7434158977752379865_o


July 25th, 2014

DPS’ annual Dreamtime event features limited edition World Cup graphics

Once again, DPS Skis is hosting its annual Dreamtime summer pre-sale event. This year’s limited edition sticks draw inspiration from the 2014 World Cup of soccer and are currently being offered at the lowest price of the year. As always, the deals are rockin’ and the skis are sick, so be sure to check ‘em out and take advantage of the Dreamtime event before August 1, 2014.

Related: Top 10 Skis: The best microbrew skis of 2014


July 24th, 2014

iF3 Europe has sadly come to a close

The International Freeski Film Festival (iF3) has announced that its European event has sadly come to an end. The infamous film festival, founded in Montreal, Quebec, Canada first started its European venture in Annecy, France in 2010. After a four-year relationship between Annecy based licensing agency Like That and iF3, the two companies have mutually decided to go in separate directions. While iF3 will miss its loyal French fan base, the Like That agency has decided to start a new ski film festival based in Annecy. For more info, see the press release below.

Press Release, iF3 Festival Inc:

The International Freeski Film Festival is sad to announce that iF3 Europe, launched in 2010 in Annecy, France, will no longer take place. iF3 Festival Inc., founded and based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Like That, its French licensee, have mutually agreed to go their separate ways.

After a successful 4 year run producing iF3 Europe, Like That Agency, located in Annecy, has decided to start its own ski film festival project in Annecy. You can learn more about it at www.like-that.fr. iF3 would like to wish Gaylord and his team best of luck in their new endeavour.

The iF3 crew will miss its core and loyal fans in Annecy and the industry that has supported the festival from the start. Annecy will always have a special place in our hearts. Thank you!

The iF3 Festival has been dedicated to celebrating freeskiing’s excellence since 2007 and will continue to do so. This year’s events will start in Montreal on September 18, after which iF3 will embark on a global tour to spread the stoke across the world. For more details, please visit www.iF3festival.com


July 23rd, 2014

See 15 ‘grams from the Stept crew to get you stoked for the new flick

The annual flick from Stept Productions is always one of the most anticipated ski films of the year. After perusing my Instagram feed and stumbling across several Stept ‘grams, I began to get excited for the film’s release this summer. To share my excitement, I’ve compiled a collection of 15 Stept related Instagram snaps, as seen below. Stay tuned to freeskier.com in the coming weeks for the trailer and updates regarding release dates.

Location: Syracuse, New York

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Location: Minnesota

Location: Quebec City, Quebec

Location: Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Location: Red River Ski Area, New Mexico

Location: Duluth, Minnesota

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Location: Quebec City, Quebec

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Location: Red River Ski Area, New Mexico

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Location: Red River Ski Area, New Mexico

Related: 2013′s best ski films: Read Freeskier’s review of Stept Productions’ “Mutiny”


July 18th, 2014

Woodward at Copper adds a new toy to its already awesome arsenal

Woodward Copper has increased value to its 2013/14 summer ski setup. Recently, the summer camp has added a brand new bag jump to its already awesome action sports playground. The new jump is showcased just below the summer park setup on Copper Mountain and ready to be stomped on. Throughout the summer, campers and coaches alike will enjoy learning new tricks with a super soft landing. Check out the video of the first session on the jump, below.

Related: Gallery: #FreeskierFest invades Woodward at Copper Barn, wild action ensues


July 18th, 2014

Party on, Wayne: Brand new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino to open in South Lake Tahoe, winter 2014/15

It was announced today that the brand new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino will open in South Lake Tahoe’s casino core in late 2014 or early 2015. Can you say, “Party?” Consider the 4,800 acres of skiable terrain at nearby Heavenly Mountain Resort, the mind blowing views of Lake Tahoe, steep 1,600 vertical foot chutes and over 360 inches of average annual snowfall—throw Hard Rock into the mix and South Lake Tahoe should certainly be on your radar for an upcoming ski getaway.

Press Release, Heavenly Mountain Resort, July 18, 2014:

At a press conference at Heavenly Mountain Resort, the Park Family and Warner Hospitality announced that Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe will open in late December 2014 or early 2015 in South Lake Tahoe’s casino core. In addition to a 25,000 square foot casino, the property will include over 500 renovated hotel rooms, new restaurants and bars, the largest outdoor pool experience in South Lake Tahoe, and an assortment of live entertainment venues both indoors and out.

“The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino brand is iconic for its musical soul and high energy entertainment, which is what we are all about here at Heavenly,” said John Wagnon, senior director of marketing for Vail Resorts, Lake Tahoe. “This will continue to propel the renaissance of South Lake Tahoe as a premier entertainment and recreation destination in the world, and Heavenly is excited to support this brand that is so well aligned with our own. Heavenly skiers and snowboarders will love cruising through a hotel entry bedecked with electric guitars after ripping it up on the mountain all day!”

Other upcoming openings in South Lake Tahoe include The Chateau, a 30,000 square foot retail space across from Heavenly Village, and Azul Latin Kitchen located within Heavenly Village.