Friday, August 22, 2008

KAHTOOLA CRAMPONS AND SNOWSHOES-The Latest For 2009




EASY SLIP ON CRAMPONS AND 2-IN-1 SNOWSHOES GET US THINKING SNOW!

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Tradeshow, Salt Lake City-August 11th

Words, Images, by Judith Ecochard

We noticed the Tibetan Prayer Flags strung overhead at Danny Giovale’s Kahtoola Snow Travel Systems booth…and figured (correctly) there was a good backstory to the inspiration for this privately owned firm.

I started the company after I slid down a mountain and crashed on rocks,” Cannon told us. In a Lost In Translation Moment (we’ve had a few of those trail instructions too), Cannon and a few buddies found themselves trying to get traction on re-frozen snow without an ice pick or other handy grabbers…after missing a key piece of directional advice given to them in a foreign tongue.

Hey, it happens.

WHAT’S NEW:

We know the new “Microspikes™” are going to be red hot sellers in icy cold climes because every available pair that Kahtoolha had-was scooped up by attendees to the Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow... who could've forked over bucks from all the other crampon competitors sporting their latest grippers.



With an MSRP of $59 these “snow travel systems” with stainless steel spikes securely connected by a dynamic flex chain-… slip on over sneakers, shoes etc. They’re very durable with the red uppers made from tough elastomer plastic…and easy to use and carry around.

We ourselves cannot wait till October ’08 (and snow) when the two in one snowshoes debut. These step-in snowshoes with a click out crampon (hence two functions) come in two different lengths depending on whether the user is more of a runner explorer (toe/heel) or hiker (heel/toe). (MSRP $269).




Cannon also showed us the new waterproof FLIGHTBoot ($149) that goes over sneakers or any other flexible shoe. It’s basically a luxed up insulated neoprene over boot (comes in seven sizes) with awesome traction (stainless steel cleats) that most people will find more than ideal for winter conditions.




FACTOID: Kahtoola means “Directly” in Tibetan Language. One percent of proceeds sales go to preserving indigenous mountain cultures.