Tuesday, March 29, 2011

NEMO Photographer & NEMO Win ADDY Award

We heard from many of you over the course of 2010 that you loved the new catalog. Which, by the way, puts A LOT of pressure on Bill and Bridget to create an even more amazing catalog for 2011. But, I've seen some pages and in my opinion, they are definitely stepping it up this year. I'm sure we'll have a post soon with a few sneak peeks.

Back to 2010. One of our favorite photographers and friend, Jed Conklin, has won 3 ADDY awards in the Spokane based Inland Northwest ADDY Awards Competition. For those not familiar with the ADDY's, it is the largest and most representative competition for creative excellence in the art of advertising.

Of the 3 ADDY's Jed won, his images from the 2010 NEMO catalog won Gold. All three winning projects will advance to the regional ADDY competition in April and if they win there, will advance to the National competition, held in San Diego in June.

Congrats and good luck Jed, we knew we weren't alone when we said we loved your work!


Friday, March 25, 2011

March Beach / Hooksett Disc Cleanup

As many of you are well aware, the Hooksett wastewater treatment facility mistakenly released 4-8 million small plastic circular mesh discs and they have been making their way up and down the New England coastline. Besides being a general land-based pollutant and potential receptacles for bacteria, they are also choking hazards for much of the marine wildlife.

Over the past two weeks, there have been many efforts along NH and MA beaches to clean up these discs. Yesterday, we went out to the northern end of Jenness to do our part. We picked up 85 lbs of general trash and about 35-40 discs. As it turns out, the mesh discs pick up sand, which tends to make them, well, sand-colored. They get trapped in seaweed, buried in the sand, and are extremely difficult to see when you are looking for them. We found numerous chewed up discs (some alongside 2 dead birds). In other words, not great. I know a lot of you folks walk along the beach, so if you come across these, please help to pick them up and clean up the beaches.

One another note, the semi-blizzard when we were out in the water made for a pretty dreamy session in the afternoon.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Update From Around the World

NEMO ambassador Erin Nelson is currently riding her bike around the world in hopes of being the youngest person to complete the journey solo. We recently caught up with her in Germany.

I am 5 months into my bike tour of the world and am currently in a little village outside of Frankfurt, Germany. I have biked about 3,200 miles out of the 18,000 I will be covering. A quick re-cap of where I’ve been: After crossing the US from California, I boarded a plane from New York to London. From London I headed to Drover and caught a ferry to France. From Dunkirk, France I biked to Paris and stayed there for 5 days. After touring around Paris, I headed to Brussels. From there, I went Amsterdam and on to Frankfurt.

The entire trip through France was wet – raining for 8 days straight. Three of those nights I camped in the forest. I remember one day I started early, about 6 am, and biked til 3 pm. I pulled off the highway early and decided to set up my Mio in a small patch of trees, not far from the road. It was raining hard. I was searching through the forest looking for a good place to set up my tent but there were thorns and twigs and sharp rocks everywhere. So, I took the bags off my bike and started walking with 20 pounds of gear in each hand, a bag on my back, and my laptop and sleeping bag. I saw a tree house, or maybe it was a duck blind, in the trees, so I thought this would be as good a spot as any to set up camp. I dropped by bags on a fallen tree so they weren't in the mud and then headed back for my bike. I staked out my tent, blew it up, and hung my things to dry inside. I was soaked, but what could I do?

It was now only 4 pm and too early to sleep, so I, unwrapped some French bread with butter that I picked up earlier. I read my Bible, listened to my iPod, filmed an interview for my blog and tried to fall asleep. I was pretty cold because my Tuo Lite sleeping pad was stolen at the airport in London, and I was lying directly on the thorny ground. At about 2 am, half awake, my mind started playing tricks on. I kept hearing cars, gun shots, the French police, and I was scared. I was lying on my back when I heard a growling sound close to my tent. Then I heard a tapping on the tent. I held my breath trying to hear as much as I could. I was too cold to get out of my tent to see what it was, so I just laid there, holding my breath, eyes wide open, heart pounding. Was it a coyote, a wolf or a bear? After a few more minutes I came to my senses and realized it was my stomach growling and the rain drops from the trees falling on my tent!

I am averaging about 55 miles a day, which is less than most people on this journey, but I have taken the time to enjoy myself along the way. I have met nothing but good people for the most part.

5 flats
4 broken chains
1 broken spoke

Along the way I have had a few riding partners; the company is nice. I’ve realized how much I love America and see how lucky I am to be an American. I’ve learned that what makes people happy, more or less, is their children. I don't complain about the weather anymore – actually, I don't complain about a lot of things anymore, like cars and people. I am more tolerant. I can’t really explain it; I guess you just have to be here. So far, the journey is harder than I expected, but worth it.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Patagonia: Searching for Beauty

SOOO STOKED to present to you Adam Stokowski’s and my timelapse video from 2 weeks of venturing around in Patagonia Country. It was a journey of searching for beauty and trying the best we could to document it. It is always fun with timelapse to document 30 minutes to 4 hours of continuous beauty and be able to display it back in a matter of 5 – 10 seconds. I tell you though, the beauty you see through your own two eyes is still untouchable. That is why we travel and explore to these magical places. Let pictures and videos of these magical places be inspiration to go there. Enjoy the video and pictures. Imagine the wind howling. (All the pictures from the trip here.)

Setting up our tents in random fields is how we do things. Why pay for a hostel or hotel when you can be out in nature? Breathing in the cold refreshing night air, snuggling up in your sleeping bad, not getting sleep due to the violent wind (hahaha), being awoken to some of the most spectacular sunrises. Pack up all your belongings in your backpack in 20 minutes and be satisfied on how simple your life is.

Stokowski and I bushedwhacked through mean spiky bushes to set up our camp along a lake over looking the Torre Del Paine mountains. When I awoke this was the view I had looking outside my tent. The mountain was being lit by some of the richest light I have seen. The clouds where coming off the mountain like smoke as if the mountain was on fire. The wind was ragging and knocking my camera around. I got a sweet timelapse of this, stoked.

There is something beautiful about a lonely tree, a gnarly wind blown tree that has spent its life getting thrashed around. If you look at the tree you can see it is leaned to the right from the constant wind toppling it over. The lighting was not ideal for this pic, the sun was a bit too high but we had to keep moving. I shot this with f1.2. I focused the camera right on the little light spot on the tree. My composition was to lead the eye to the tree over the meadow of waving grass in which we napped in.

Waking up to one of the most spectacular sunrises on the Torre Del Paine, I saw wild horses off in the distance. The leader of the pack, the one looking at the camera in the photo was very hesitant. After about 30 minutes they worked their way close enough for me to get a picture. I was a bit nervous since Stokowski and I had a run in with some other wild horses the other day in which the leader threatened us.

I used to be a sunset man. Always easier, never had to wake up in the cold mornings for the sunrise. But in Patagonia I woke up stoked many times for the sunrise. The sunrise on Fitz Roy was a blessing. I feel very lucky to be able to witness the sight since Fitz Roy is known for bad weather around the peak and is usually covered in dense clouds/storms. The morning rays light up Fitz Roy ever so slowly -- sun rays lighting the top at first, and working its way down to reveal the whole mountain in a glowing fashion of beauty. (Got this by timelapse-yeah boy)

-Adam C.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spotlight: Eastern Mountain Sports

Growing up in New Hampshire, we've always been a fan of EMS. They make great gear and apparel and the staff always seem to be active in outdoor pursuits. They were also one of our original supporters, back when NEMO offered just a handful of tents.

Last week, NH Business Review posted a great article highlighting CEO Will Manzer's new direction for the company, current initiatives, partnerships and the importance of the outdoor industry, tourism and conservation to each state's economy. It's a great read and hey, you may learn something new about EMS. You can catch the full article here.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

No, We Do Not Have a Crush on Rush Sturges.

The resident kayak fans in the office have passed on another epic by Rush Sturges.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Calling All Locals for NH beaches

For those of you who frequent the New England coast, we need your help. There have been white plastic discs showing up on beaches in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. They are about 1.5" in diameter, and come from a waste water treatment facility in Hooksett.

The Blue Ocean Society (who manages the greater beach cleanup effort for the NH coastline) has put out a bulletin asking for folks to help pick up these discs, as they are worried about them being a possible choking hazard for marine wildlife. The discs have been tested for bacteria and are safe to handle, but it is advised to wear disposable gloves as a precaution.


It Is 2011 When We Say It Is

Today marks the beginning of our 2011 season for tents and sleeping pads, at least on our website. We did a big changover on the site over the weekend, so there should be plenty of new material for perusal. We'll gradually be moving items back 'In stock', as most products are noted as out of stock right now.

Later this week, I'll put some sneak peaks for the new shiny catalog in the works.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Seen at IME (North Conway, NH)

We found this oldie but goodie (circa 2004) at IME in North Conway, hanging around the climbing shoe area in the back.

(Also found a Tenshi RIF while digging around, if anyone is looking for one on major sale).


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Softer Side of Gogo

I noticed while browsing Patagonia's site last night that Gogo (seen center in the above pic) is currently making a cameo appearance on one of their organic cotton t-shirts.

It comes in fun colors and features the artwork of NEMO friend Dan Price. I'd get one to wear to work, but thats kind of like wearing the band's t-shirt to the concert...


Logo work, version 2.0

NEMO graphic designer Bridget pointed out MIT Media Lab's brilliant new logo today.

MIT Media Lab Identity, 2011 from readyletsgo on Vimeo.

Conceptually, it reminds me of Stefan Sagmeister's logo for Rem Koolhaa's Casa de Musica, as referenced below in his TED talk, but amped up in a typical MIT ubernerdy algorithmic way.

Maybe we'll see some similar dynamic/multimedia/multiple permutation type logos out of NEMO in the near future...


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Steve Fisher's Halo Effect

Need a distraction for your Tuesday morning? Check out Halo Effect, Steve Fisher's new kayak film set in Iceland and Norway.

He may or may not be using NEMO tents in his expedition. What? Yes.


Signs of Spring

Besides all the snowmelt outside, it always feels like spring when Loaded releases a new video.


Monday, March 7, 2011

2011 Heart of Steel

Seems that Boston Rock Gym has stepped it up a notch for their annual bouldering comp, Heart of Steel (or Heart Ov Zteel if you're being exact).

They're releasing a couple more videos for the next few Tuesdays before game day.

HEART OV ZTEEL • Pt1: Missing from Louder Than 11 on Vimeo.

Sign up, if you have the heart.


Long Treks on Skate Decks Episode 14: Canadian Friends and the Breakup

Welcome to Episode 14 of the Peru y Boliva long distance longboarding trip. A early dawn traffic-filled journey to La Paz culminates in 5 days of queso empanadas, roof climbing, and Canadian lady friends. Well rested and fat from all the food, the trio sets out for Oruro, Bolivia. A misunderstanding breaks up the longboarding crew. The team has split; will they ever see each other again? Donde es me amigo? Check out Episodes 1-13 in our archives.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Joy Trip Project - Radio Interview with Alison Gannett

This week, NEMO Ambassador, Alison Gannett, was interviewed by James Mills over at The Joy Trip Project. The Joy Trip Project is a news gathering and reporting organization that covers outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living. JTP produces a regular online podcast on topics related to the sustainable active lifestyle. Combining creative storytelling with music, photography and video, JTP is entertaining and inspiring while informative.

In his interview with Alison, James asks what personal steps she has taken towards living a more sustainable lifestyle and what she thinks are the most important things each of us can do to save money, energy and lessen our footprint. You may be surprised by her answers.

And while a few from the office are enjoying the sun and surf in Nicaragua this week, I'm heading to Alison's Rippin Chix Aspen clinic for some much-needed powder skiing. ~Kate

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Long Walk to Solid Rock

The latest trip report from Mark & Janelle Smiley on climbing the 50 Classic Climbs.

The morning after climbing Whitney, we drove up to Bishop, home of the Shat's Bakery, where they make the best bread I've ever tasted. We drifted down each isle ooggolling all the fat filled delights; danishes, huge gooey cinnamon rolls, sourdough bread, hard candies, doughnuts, and much more. $27.58 later we were on their front patio, filling our faces with several wonderful combinations of sugar, flour, yeast, and butter.

By 2:00PM we were still buzzing on the sugar high from breakfast. We went over to the Ranger Station to get the overnight permits and bear canisters needed for Kings Canyon NP. The disenchanted Ranger raised his eyebrow when I told him we were planning to hike the 13 miles to Charlotte Dome that afternoon. No matter, we still had half a dozen doughnuts, 5 hours of daylight, and motivation to get this route checked off the list.

13 miles is a long approach. Adding to the fun was our heavy overnight packs, and an 11,000 foot pass that we had to hike up and over. I think the trail could have been 7-8 miles, but the trail makers in California really like their switchbacks. The incline is kept at a mere 1% for the majority of the way. When we crested the pass, the sun was on the horizon, and we still had another 7-8 miles to the base of the route. It was a beautiful evening, so we didnt mind hiking until the stars came out. We found a nice place to camp by one of the many alpine lakes, made dinner, and went to sleep under the stars.

Leaving our overnight gear at our campsite, we moved quickly down the remaining 3-4 miles to the base of the route. The trail slowly deteriorated into nothing the closer we got to the dome. Often, we had to reroute to dodge the shrubby "ouchy plants" that grew everywhere (I'm a botanist if you couldn't tell). Charlotte Dome gets bigger and bigger the closer you get. It is really impressive. We scrambled across the 20-30 degree granite slabs at its base and made our way to the toe of the 1,300 foot South Face.

4th-classing up the first three pitches brought us to a small ledge where we roped up. The climbing on this Dome is really amazing. Not a loose rock on it, many different features to climb on, from finger cracks, to open chimneys, to rock horns that beg to grabbed, it has it all. And, keeping it at a 5.8 rating (old school 5.7), the pitches go by rather quickly.

Making it to the top in a few hours, we ate our summit sandwiches while we soaked up some warm Californian sun. The descent is a little tricky because you must walk down steep slabs. I can only imagine how high the pucker factor would be if it were wet, or even worse, icy! Thankfully, it was warm and dry as we padded our way down the slabs, back to our bigger packs. Now it was time for a long walk back to the van. When we stopped to pick up our bivy gear we treated our sore toes to a quick soak in the refreshing alpine lake. A billion low angled switchbacks later we were back to the van, and shortly thereafter, in bed. It had been a 17 mile, 1300 feet of climbing, heavy load carrying, 15 hour day.

Next on the list was the Traveler Buttress at Lover's Leap near South Lake Tahoe. This is one of my favorite locations to climb. The campsite is great, the approach is short, and the rock is fantastic.

Traveler Buttress is the name of the classic climb. It shares its start and finish with Corrugation Corner....we did not know this. So we proceeded to climb Corrugation Corner, think it was Traveler! Oops. It wasnt until the top that we looked at our topo a little harder and discovered our mistake. I knew the 5.9 off-width crux felt a little soft...that is because it was a 5.7!

So we went back to the base, ate some lunch at the van, and then went back up to do the actual Traveler Buttress. It too, is a great route. You just cant go wrong at Lovers Leap, even if your not on the route you think you're on!

A Long Walk To Solid Rock from Mark Smiley on Vimeo.

~Mark Smiley via Kate