Meeting on a Mountain

When it comes to holding meetings between the American Alpine Club and Mountainsmith, a conference room meeting table is probably the last place you should be looking. Rather than looking in an air-conditioned office building, you will find us meeting on mountain bikes, on brewery bar stools, and on mountaintops.

As the 2013 summer Outdoor Retailer Show(7/31-8/2)  approaches, it is the time of the year for Mountainsmith and the AAC to plan out their annual bash in the Mountainsmith booth.  Naturally, we decided to hold the meeting while ascending Kelso Ridge towards the top of local 14er, Torrey’s Peak.

Mountainsmith and American Alpine Club employees set out on the Gray's Peak and Torrey's Peak trail.
Heading out onto the trail for Gray’s and Torrey’s Peaks, the Scream 25 being the pack of choice.

Screaming Deals for the good of the AAC

This will mark the third year, that Mountainsmith has teamed up with the AAC to throw the party at OR Summer Market Show.  Each year, Mountainsmith has sold a number of their top-selling Scream 25 ultra-light backpack, and handed a wad of cash to the AAC representatives right there at the party. In 2011, 75 Screams sold in 14 minutes.  Doubling the initiative in 2012, 150 packs sold in just 24 minutes to make a donation of $3,000 for 2012.

In 2013, Mountainsmith is stepping up its support once more.  Packing their trade show booth crates with every bit of remaining space available, there will be 250 Scream packs as well as a special AAC-edition Mayhem 35 backpack for just $40.  Mountainsmith’s 2013 commitment to the American Alpine Club will now eclipse the $5,000 Partner level.

Jeremy Dodge carrying the Mayhem 35 up the trail to Gray's Peak and Torrey's Peak
Wielding the camera, Jeremy carries the Mayhem 35 up Kelso Ridge.

An Alternative Ascent: Kelso Ridge

As Keegan Young of the American Alpine Club had recently conquered his 54th fourteener, he has moved beyond the traditional routes up his favorite Colorado peaks.  Behind his lead, we decided on the less-traveled route up the class-4 Kelso Ridge.

Jay Getzel, Vickie Hormuth, Keegan Young, and Erik Lambert stand at the bottom of Kelso Ridge
The crew stands tall at the beginning of the ascent up Kelso Ridge.

Though the picture above shows some clear skies, shortly after this was taken some stormy clouds moved overhead.  Kelso Ridge is a realatively straight-forward scramble, but not a route you want to descend.  The exposure on the right and left of the ridge is enough to get the heart-pumping, and cautious route finding is essential.  Though it is important to make careful moves up the ridge, too-slow of a pace allows the mind to grasp the consequences and a climber can lose his edge.  As a light drizzle began to fall on us halfway up Kelso Ridge, a careful haste became the pace.  While hastiness can lead to a climber’s demise, this light rain only seemed to encourage a focused ascent to the top.

Mountainsmith President Jay Getzel, focuses and ascends up a class 4 section of Kelso Ridge.
Mountainsmith President Jay Getzel focuses, and ascends up a class 4 section of Kelso Ridge.
Nearing the summit, a knife-edge sections poses the major crux of Kelso Ridge
Nearing the summit, a knife-edge sections poses the major crux of the route.
President of Mountainsmith Jay Getzel stands on a knife-edge route on Kelso Ridge
No problem for El Presidente.

Summit Meeting Minutes: Mountainsmith/AAC Booth Party

Should we sell Scream packs? Unanimous yea.  And Mayhem packs? hell yea

Should we give out beer? Unanimous yea. With coozies? hell yea

Should we invite every attendee at the Outdoor Retailer Show? Yes!

Jay Getzel, Vickie Hormuth, Keegan Young, Jeremy Dodge, and Erik Lambert stand on top of Torrey's Peak
A quick meeting was had on the summit of Torrey’s Peak, the Mountainsmith/AAC Party will happen for the third year in a row!
A Mountainsmith fan has a chance encounter with President of Mountainsmith, Jay Getzel
A Mountainsmith fan has a chance encounter with President of Mountainsmith, Jay Getzel
Jay Getzel pulls a beer out of The Sixer cooler from Mountainsmith
For further product testing, Jay pulls a tallboy in a Mountainsmith coozie out of The Sixer.
Keegan Young, Erik Lambert, Vickie Hormuth, and Jay Getzel cheers with the new Mountainsmith coozies.
Meeting adjourned.


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