Monday, October 31, 2011

Heading to Banff

This week, NEMO is heading to Banff, Alberta, CA for the Banff Mountain Film Fest. It's our first time going to the 'motherland' and experiencing the original Film Fest, the one that started it all. We'll be going for fun, but we're also sponsoring the Award for Best Film on Exploration and Adventure. The festival runs from Oct. 29th - Nov. 6th. If you're there, swing through the Laszlo Funtek Studio exhibition area and say hi to Connie and Suzanne. And if you're not going to Banff, you can catch the winning films from the festival as they tour around the US and Canada - chances are they'll be showing in a town near you in 2012.

And a special shout out to Red Reel Films' 23 Feet and Red Bull/Brain Farms' Art of Flight, have both made it as finalists!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday is Math Day

We just had a customer email us to ask if the Nemoid Foot Pump (for his Morpho) could be used to inflate Astro as well. The small (packing) pump we made to inflate Astro and other sleeping pads is called the Disco Pad Pump and the customer wanted to know if he could eliminate redundancy in the pumps.

The reason the same pump isn't used in both applications is because, relatively speaking, Morpho airbeams are a low volume/high air pressure (8 psi) product and Astro is a high volume/low air pressure product (0.7 psi). If you use the Nemoid footpump to try to inflate Astro, it would be pretty frustrating and slow because the volume of air that the Nemoid pushes out versus Disco.

It would be like trying to inflate this giant pool toy with this little bike pump.

Since sometimes math is louder than pictures or words, we did some quick calculations here on the volume output of the Nemoid Foot Pump versus the Disco Pad Pump. Roughly speaking, Disco (141 cubic inches) outputs 3.6 times more air than the Nemoid Foot Pump (39 cubic inches). Besides other key differences that involve materials, construction, and weight, the lower volume output alone on the Nemoid Foot Pump would be mean a pretty slow inflation time for the Astro. You can't use a Disco Pump to inflate Morpho airbeams because this simple design won't allow you to generate enough pressure to make the airbeams structural.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Creative Stakes

The most commonly forgotten item on the NEMO camping trip was stakes, which is what happens when samples and prototypes are used. We had to get a little creative with our stakes, which was reminiscent of the invention of the spake a couple years back.


Monday, October 17, 2011

2012 Sneak Preview: Helio Pressure Shower

One of the products we are most excited about in our 2012 lineup is the Helio Pressure Shower. At first glance, this may seem like a step away from our usual product line, but here was our thought process behind the design and development of this product.

How do you get more people into the outdoors? Part of what makes adventures so unique and fulfilling is that everyone has a different idea of what gets them excited to go outdoors. Not everyone is as enchanted with the dirtbag image of the thru-hiker as we would (like to) imagine. And designing gear that helps break down some of these barriers to "entry" to the outdoors ultimately helps foster a greater appreciation of nature.

All that said, we've integrated our existing Nemoid Foot Pump technology into Helio, as a way of pressurizing water flow in the shower. This eliminates the need to hang your water source at a prescribed height (and the need to find the perfect tree or something strong enough to hang your shower). The water reservoir can sit at your feet—or anywhere really—while you use the nozzle to wash up, clean your camp dishes, rinse off sandy feet, hose off gnarly canyoneering water, warm up after a winter surf session...

The minimum weight for Helio is about 23 ounces, and the 11 liter reservoir is enough for 5-7 minutes of steady water pressure. Occasionally pumping the Foot Pump throughout usage helps to maintain water pressure.

There's still a few small revisions that are being finalized, but we are all excited to introduce this product. And I am looking forward to filling this bad boy up with hot water to warm up my fingers and toes after winter surf sessions in a couple months.


The Art of Flight

As we discussed the other day, 'it's winter somewhere'. And while that somewhere was filmed last season, it's coming to a theater near you and us. For us, our new move to Dover, NH has put us closer to the ski movie circuit and this Wednesday, Art of Flight will be premiering at the Portsmouth Music Hall, very close to Dover. And, as an added bonus, NEMO fave Travis Rice, along with friends Pat Moore and Scotty Lago, will be making an appearance at Burning Boards snowboard shop earlier in the day.

For a schedule of where this movie is playing near you, visit here.

Further, Jeremy Jones' and TGR's follow up to Deeper, is also currently being filmed and expected to hit theaters next fall. For a look into what they've captured so far, check out the trailer.

~Tuning my skis, Kate

Friday, October 14, 2011

Back to Bugaboo

[Disclaimer: I have had several major epics in my climbing career that have taught me many valuable lessons. My epic-ing frequency has drastically decreased due to completing several AMGA guide certification programs, and climbing with a female. I empathize with the people I write about below.]

Bugaboo: (mining term) The promise of a motherload that never pans out.

Bugaboo Provincial Park is an alpine climber’s playground. The campground is beautiful, the rock high quality, and the company entertaining. This was our second time to the Bugs. This sophomore experience was quite a bit different than the previous year. For one, it was about 20 degrees colder. Second, we only “had” to complete the Bugaboo Spire on our list, which is significantly easier than the Becky-Chouinard on South Howser Tower, so the stress level was low.

Bugaboo Spire's East Ridge from Mark Smiley on Vimeo.

That low stress led us to get a late start the day we went for the Bugaboo Spire. We left camp around 8:30AM, crossed a small glacier and scrambled up to the base of the route. At first glance I knew we were in for it. Four people standing at the bottom of the first pitch of the route. Then I looked up and saw three more climbers on pitches one and two. This was going to be a long day.

The guidebook clearly states, “More people get ‘benighted’ on this [East Ridge of Bugaboo Spire] than all other routes in the area combined.” This is due to the involved traverse from the North to South summit, and then the lengthy descent.

I have climbed plenty of routes with many other parties. So long as everyone moves quickly it is a non-issue, and actually makes the climbing fun because you always have someone to talk to at the belays. Problems arise when you have a faster party behind/under a slower party. That creates a traffic jam. These traffic jams can be resolved easily. Once the slower party realizes their pace compared to the faster party, they allow the faster party to pass at a belay ledge. It is also the ethical responsibility of the faster party to not be annoying or rude to the slower party.

The two parties on route (2 Ottawans and 3 Texans) were much slower. They started from the Hut at 4:00AM. We started 4.5 hours later and caught them on the first pitch. There were two more parties of two (Salt Lakers and the Squamishers). All told there were 11 climbers.

Normally in that situation you would just pick a different route, but the forecast was not amazing, and this was what we came to do. This is one of the major downsides to having a tick list. We sat down and started shooting the bull with the Salt Lakers. Meanwhile, the Texans were struggling. They were climbing in a group of three, catapillar style (where you climb one person at a time). The Texans offered to have the Salt Lakers pass them, which was really thoughtful. I wondered if we could pass them too. The route allowed for that as there are many cracks that are not too difficult. What to do, what to do.

That’s about the time the Squamishers showed up, guns blastin. (I’ll call them S1 and S2). S1, “Oh maaan, what are you guys doing moving so slow, you’re going to spend the night up here moving like that.” I was shocked. I did not know what to say. And so it went.

The Squamishers tried immediately to pass by climbing some other crack stating, “Well, it can’t be harder than 5.12…” Oh man, this guy was a character. In the meantime, the Texans third person was now climbing and the Salt Lakers were right on their heels, as requested. Janelle jumped in right behind them. She built and anchor below the Texans and brought me up. The Squamishers started right behind me. It was the start of an impressive climber train wreck.

I decided to stay below the Texans and traverse to the left of them. If we moved fast enough we could pass them in two short pitches. I moved to their left. Built a quick anchor, brought Janelle across, and started climbing again. This move allowed us to be around them with no problems. That is, until the Squamishers came up, pulling their rope straight through everyone’s business.

It is difficult to explain here exactly what he had done to create such a mess. Just know that if anyone had slipped, it would have caused several other people to be pulled off as well. It was almost like the opening scene of Vertical Limit, only not as dramatic.

I’ve never told anyone that what they are doing is dangerous, and they need to stop, but S1’s actions had crossed the line in my head and I piped up, “Dude, you need to stop right where you, down climb 15 feet and build an anchor so you don’t kill someone.” From below the Texans shouted “AMEN!” as they were trying to sort out the rope tangle. S1 ignored me, mumbling something about moving faster. I could not believe it. The Salt Lakers were moving quickly, and as soon as possible we moved up to the next belay ledge.

This is where the route enters a 5.6 chimney or a 5.9 hand and finger crack. The Ottawans were struggling with the 5.6 due to the amount of snow choked in the chimney from the storm that passed through a couple days prior. The Salt Lakers headed up the 5.9. We began chatting with the Ottawans, who were eager to have someone else do the snow excavating. I looked down, saw the S1 coming up to the belay ledge, and quickly volunteered for the job.

Pulling snow off hand and footholds is not very much fun, but still way more fun than talking to the jerks. On this terrain we were able to move quickly enough to get ahead of the Salt Lakers as well. From that point on the climbing went smoothly.

The climbing is really diverse and beautiful. The traverse between the two summits is somewhat involved, but amazing in its own right. I would not want to do it in a lightning storm, but who would. By the time we were heading down, the clouds were growing dark, so we put it in high gear. This allowed us to get back to our tent only minutes before the cold rain started to fall.

The Texans, Ottawans, and Squamishers were all still out there. We wished them well, cooked dinner and went to sleep to the sound of rain hitting the tent. I was so glad to be in my shoes and not theirs. At 11:00 PM I got out of the tent to answer natures’ call and saw two little headlamps still descending from the route, typical for the Bugaboo Spire.

The following day the Texans got back to the Hut at 2:00PM. They had had an adventure. “It’s all part of the Bugaboo experience” they kept saying. Awesome. Even though they had bivyed in the freezing rain, ran out of water, they still had fire in their eyes.

That’s one thing I love about loving the mountains; they can fully slap you around, make you run for mommy with your tail between your legs, then the next week their allure makes you want more the next day…or maybe the next week.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nice Retort

Congrats to Giant for creating and putting out this ad so quickly in response to the obscene new ad campaign by GM. Here is a quick comparison of the ads:

Its literally scary how out of touch GM is to the current state of the world...and perhaps the reason that landed them in massive dept in the first place. As Connie pointed out, "Thinking that a customer would be embarrassed to be seen on a bike is so 1974."

Rumor has it GM has already started pulling the ads, but it always surprises me that things like this presumably gets through so many levels before being published.


P.S. Karma is a ...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Winter is Showing its Face Somewhere....

The boys over at KGB Productions have been combing the backcountry of Wyoming over the past two winters to explore, shred and capture on video, their adventures. From the cattle ranch to the backcountry, the crew has pushed their mental and physical limits to overcome injuries, heartbreak and frigid temperatures in the far-reaching corners of Wyoming's backcountry.

Over the past year, we have shown you webisode teasers. Well, the final teaser, the official trailer, is online now, or, if you find yourself in Wyoming, the premier is this Saturday, Oct. 15th at the Pink Garter Theater.

Praying for snow on the East Coast, Kate.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Another Reason to Wear a Helmet

Still picking up my jaw off the ground here...


Friday, October 7, 2011

All Cylinders Firing

After a visit from Mike's Sewing Machine Repair we now have five industrial sewing machines set up and running—a big bonus of having more space in our new office.
  • The regular Juki will remain the go-to machine.
  • The Pfaff can be used for finer fabrics and adjustable stitching.
  • The Juki bar tacker can be used to quickly connect or reinforce something with a very strong bond.
  • The Nakajima cylinder sewing machine will be set up to edge bind as soon as I make a custom attachment, but in the meantime will function well as a regular machine for projects with difficult access issues.
  • And the Merrow serger purrs as it overlocks and cuts fabric edges, especially good for knits.

Clearly, there is still some cleaning to do.


NEMO's Adventure Products Test Team Announced

Last month, NEMO launched The Adventure Products Testing Contest through its Facebook page to find gear testers for its upcoming sleeping bag line. Gear junkies were called to submit a video and written gear review for Facebook users and the NEMO crew to vote on. Over 150 adventurers entered the contest; 13 were chosen to join the APT Team.

“Woooooot! O wow, thanks! That was a great to start my day off! I can't wait!
I'm so happy I'm shaking,” said Nick Korda when he found out he won.

“This is going to be a blast! I am looking forward to working with NEMO on this sleeping bag line,” said Bradley Wilson.

“I'm excited and can't wait to hear what I need to do to get going!” said Lindsay Bean.

The inaugural APT Team hails from all parts of the US and its members include dual sport, backpacking, surfing, sailing, trail running, skateboarding, biking, hunting, canoeing, and skiing enthusiasts. The winners: Paul Owens, Bradley Wilson, Lindsay Bean, Gregory Goad, Nick Korda, Sean Clark, Eric Hall, Zachary Scheitel, Buck Holly, Gary Hochgraf, Nan Woodbury and Jonathan Heffron will all be interacting directly with our team of designers and engineers throughout testing.

“We try to get as many different avenues of input into our design process as possible, and this contest not only formalizes the way we have worked with our customers for years, but gives me a direct line to our current users to ask questions and try out new and different cutting edge concepts. For me, I'm most excited about the real time communication and instant feedback. I think it will push the sleeping bag program far and fast,” said NEMO’s Director of Product Design, Suzanne Turell.

Joining the customer gear testers will be NEMO’s current team of testers, ambassadors and retail partners. Testing will take place throughout the fall and winter with the final designs expected to launch in Spring 2013.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Conservation Alliance Announces $550,000 in Grant Funding for Summer 2011

Thanks to all of you who submitted your votes for the Conservation Alliance's Summer 2011 Funding Cycle. Eighteen organizations will receive between $20,000 - $35,000 in funding that will enable them to fight for protection of open lands and scenic waterways.

HOW VOTING WORKS: Each member company gets one vote per cycle (2x/yr). At NEMO, the ballot is passed around to all employees for their votes. This cycle, we decided to open it up to customers as well. We allowed those interested to submit their ballot, which was then added to our compilation of employee ballots. We tabulated the results based on the most popular, and submitted that overall ballot to the Conservation Alliance.


Click here to see descriptions for each funded project.

This year, The Conservation Alliance will contribute more than $1 million to organizations working to permanently protect wild places. Thanks for your input.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

LongTreks Morocco - Episode 4: The Lost Peak

Welcome to Episode 4 of the LongTreks Morocco trip. This episode, enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells (scratch and sniff) of Marakech. Weave and wind the twisted streets, past riads, merchants, and snake charmers. Clean off the grime of the city, then be whisked away to mysterious country side inhabited by Argan trees and the Imazighen peoples. Then top it off with a slow climb, and rapid descend of the highest mountain pass of the entire trip. An elevation of 2290 meters (7513 feet).

Viewer beware! Aaron is shown some native music Paul begins to learn to speak a little Tamazight and Adam battles frog monsters in the night.

Our terrible trio goes from being lost in the souks of Marrakech to combing the High Atlas mountains in search of the Lost Peak "Tizi n'tischka".