Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Get ready for some Steeps!

More Zamberlan 760 Steep boots! So much has happened this past week! Amidst all the new winter gear, we just received a large shipment of our favorite 2010 product: The Zamberlan Steep.

The Zamberlan 760 Steep GT was awarded Backpacker Magazine’s Editors Choice GOLD Award in the April 2010 Issue -- and got the cover photo. Unfortunately the craftsmen and women in Italy couldn't keep up with all the demand this generated. Here's what the review had to say about the Zamberlan Steep:

Tackle the biggest terrain - under the heaviest loads - in this uncommonly comfortable boot. Got a big tripped planned? Spend a little extra on this boot. Your feet will thank us later. -backpacker magazine Zamberlan Steep review, April 2010

For now we're well stocked in every size. No more waitlists.

The New Lowa Terek

The Lowa Terek backpacking boot is here just in time for the holidays. The Lowa Terek 4 season backpacking boot sports a new light-weight design to help you cover long distances on trail with a full pack. Lowa's Terek is waterproof and breathable. And it has been getting noticed! The January 2011 edition of Backpacker Magazine gave it a positive gear review. Maybe it's because the protective high wall rubber rand with 3/4 wrap gives you extra protection and support. Or that the Terek is strap-on crampon compatible - so you can enjoy 4-season hiking and backpacking.

The Lowa Womens Terek WS Backpacking boot is built on a women-specific last and comes with the red accent while the men's has a yellow accent. (It was the womens boot that was pictured in Backpacker.) The Terek is the first of many new Lowa hiking and backpacking boots we'll be featuring on our site.

Sierra Designs Tent Sale

Our Sierra Designs tents are now 25 % off through 12/3 - or before if supplies run out. As I look out the window at the cold, dreary rain, I can't help but think about how great a new tent would be for that trip I'm not planning to take to Baja, Mexico. This is just the sort of constant, drenching rain that made me change my plans when I was planning to camp in Baja. You have to agree that a well-made, super light new tent would be perfect for camping on the beach. Even better if you were going on a kayaking expedition? Like along the Napali Coast. Or a backpacking trip to South America...now we're dreaming.

Or maybe just get a tent for next summer and put it away for awhile because you can get a really good deal on it today.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Crescent Moon Snowshoes are on the scene!

Our full winter shipment of Crescent Moon Snowshoes came today! Yes, we've never blogged twice in the same day but this event seemed to warrant it. Among the boxes were lots of new colors and the same great award winning snowshoes. The Gold 12 snowshoe now comes in "Screamin' Yellow" which reminds me of the yellow lightning bolt sported by the comic book superhero FLASH.

We spent the afternoon unpacking and rearranging dozens of Gold and Silver series snowshoes, including the Crescent Moon Kid's Snowshoe that just won an Editor's Pick from Backpacker Magazine. Now if we could just dial up some snow for Thanksgiving weekend!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

FREE Down Booties with Sierra Designs winter SALE

Well, Black Friday is Here! Black Sierra Designs Down Mocassin Booties are the name of the game this holiday season at CCOutdoorStore.com. A $40 value, buy your down booties on their own, or get them FREE with 25% off a Sierra Designs tent purchase at our winter SALE. This offer is good through 12/1 or earlier if supplies run out.

Keep you feet toasty in your tent, chalet, or home this winter season. Or use them while you follow our blog to keep up with other holiday specials!

Technical Snowshoes by MSR and Redfeather

While the first chairlifts up the mountain were postponed this weekend at Sugarbush and Stowe, it's not too early to break out the snowshoes for a technical trip up a summit. Two technical snowshoes stand above the field for the types of icy snow conditions you'll find when there is a lot of melting and freezing...and freezing rain. The MSR Lightning Ascent with 360 degrees of traction from the teeth on their aluminum frame is generally considered the gold standard in the technical snowshoe category. In addition to the obvious pointy teeth on its bottom, one of the Ascent's great assets (which really distinguishes a technical snowshoe from a recreational one) is it's televator heel. If you'll be walking up steep slopes, the televator is a huge plus as it will save you from burning calf muscles and overworking your Achilles. Add the ability to flip up the heel lift with a flick of your backcountry poles and you'll be glad for this added feature. The Lightning Ascent offers a four strap binding for maximum grip between your boots and shoes.

The Redfeather Guide Technical Snowshoe is another great shoe for snow & ice. The Guide is Redfeather's most aggressive shoe within it's technical line. With a crampon system they've named The Condor, the Guide has serious rear teeth for stability when descending hills. These crampons are also powder-coated to shed snow and ice. Powder coating is another feature that adds to the value of a snowshoe but is an indicator that a style of snowshoe is for serious use.

While snowshoeing has been around for a very long time, it's the technical advances that have made snowshoes lighter, more capable, more durable, and easier to care for that have led to the explosion in this recreational sport. For more on the history of snowshoeing, check out the US Snowshoe Association's Site.

Going Up with New Julbo Ski Goggles

If you're looking to buy Julbo Ski Goggles, we just received our new 2010-11 inventory. And we couldn't be more excited to head up the slopes with their new Zebra® lens. Soon to be one of the hottest new ski goggles on the market, the Julbo Dark Lord Ski Goggles with Zebra Lens sports terrific style with fantastic performance.

The Zebra® photochromic lens automatically darkens or lightens depending on the light’s intensity. These transition lenses change from a light transmission rate of 40.7% to just 6.6% offering unsurpassed protection and ability to discern depth and slope conditions!
The Dark Lord's Zebra lens has anti-fog coating and guarantees maximum efficiency and long life. Providing category 2-to-4 protection, these goggles will be the ones you automatically reach for every time you hit the slopes. No more changing lenses or changing goggles, these will be all you need.

The Julbo Revolution Ski Goggle and its smaller sister the Julbo Eclipse offer the same features as the Dark Lord and have the great reviews to prove how great they really are. Outside Magazine 2010 Buyer's Guide said the Julbo Revolution Goggles: "With its fog-cutting yellow-based tint, the Revolution has the most effective photochromic lens we've seen, capable of going from a milk-bottle day to bright sun." And Ski Magazine adds: "Julbo's Revolution: Julbo's polycarbonate zebra lens keeps up with both you and the day's ever-changing light conditions."

If you want to check out some spectacular photos of the type of performance these goggles are made for check out Julbo's Facebook photo albums. When you're done you'll be itching to get out of the office and get up, up, and away!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Let a Black Diamond Wiz or Petzl Tikkina light up your holidays!

Wondering what to get a young, budding outdoor enthusiast? Try either the Black Diamond Wiz or the Petzl Tikkina headlamp. Both styles of headlamps will be perfect for the outdoors or bedtime reading. The push button on and off allow for easy use and prevents accidental use in when packed up.

The Petzl Tikkina comes in four colors with two LED bulbs for a 23 lumen shine. The light beam can be aimed and is very appropriate for hiking after dark, flashlight tag, or bedtime in a tent! This headlamp is not only a great choice for kids, but adults as well. I am not apt to do a whole lot of flashlight tag, but with the Tikkina’s two lighting modes and the ability to aim the light, this is a great camp or late night snowshoe headlamp. Here is what one adventurer had to say about the Tikkina, “Two bright blue LED's and weather resistance makes this headlamp a perfect choice for the budget minded.... I would recommend to anyone looking for a quality headlamp.”

Now, my two children will tell you that if you were to get someone a headlamp then you should choose the Black Diamond Wiz – like theirs! This headlamp is a great choice for kids. There are two color/designs to choose from and has a very easy on/off button. I like that the 16 lumen light does not leave me seeing spots if my kids look at me with it turned on. The Wiz even has a strobe feature, which is great fun! My two frequently use their headlamps for reading after “lights out” in our house. When we camp, they love to have their own light to explore the woods and to light up the tent when Mama and Papa haven’t come in yet. My daughter, who is five, says this of her Wiz, “I like going camping with it because it is good for the dark.” My three year old son says that he, “…likes putting it on his head and letting it shine.” There you have it from extreme mountain experts! Oh, also no need to worry about running the batteries out either since the Black Diamond Wiz will automatically turn off after one hour.

Both headlamp styles are a great value and are long lasting. Batteries are included and last for a very long time with the energy efficient LED bulbs. We look forward to trekking together as a family in the evening and these headlamps definitely light the way. So, as we enter the season of darkness, enjoy some light in your holidays with either the Black Diamond Wiz or Petzl Tikkina headlamp. Your kids will thank you for it!

Hey Ladies – Crescent Moon Gold 13 Has Got It Right!

That’s right! The Crescent Moon Gold 13 Women’s snowshoes are a combination of smart design, high tech specs, and ease of use. The Crescent Moon Gold 13s have a superior SPL binding system that is simply superb. These adjustable bindings have been recognized in Backpacker’s Winter Gear Guide (09/10) as the best binding on the market. The single-pull loop (SPL) has been designed to provide equal tension in all directions to create the ultimate support and responsiveness available anywhere. The Crescent Mood Gold 13’s design allows the snowshoe to follow the natural motion of your foot. When your heel lifts, the tail of this snowshoe follows. The SPL binding both adjusts and releases with a single tug and pinch – your mitten can be left on! Here is what one woman said about her experience with the Crescent Mood Gold 13 snowshoes: “These snowshoes are excellent! Very easy to put on and take off, lightweight and walking is as easy as without them….I had the opportunity to demo them at an avalanche training and while so many struggled with frustrating loose bindings....mine didn't budge once, all day long.”

Another reason to love these snowshoes is their women’s specific design that accommodates the stride of woman. No more having to adjust your stride to fit your snowshoe! The Gold 13 features a frame which has been bent with a very steep nose and tapered tail to allow the shoes to pass by each other and with each step, the snowshoes will clear away from one another.

All of this and the Crescent Moon Gold 13 is PVC free while being manufactured in a plant that uses wind power and recycles left over materials. Well, you can’t beat that!

Whether this will be a gift to yourself or from another (holidays are approaching!), get in a pair of Gold 13 by Crescent Moon and enjoy the snow the way it was meant to be …. pure and peaceful with your heels kicked up!

Sleep Away the Night in a Selk’Bag

Ever seen a Selk’Bag sleep system? All the comfort and coziness of a traditional sleeping bag, but with the added ability to sleep in different positions, lounge around, and even walk. The best part of all this--besides a comfortable and restful night at camp--is that you can get up to make your coffee without having to get out of your sleeping bag! Talk about being the envy of your campsite.

Here's what one camper said about the Selk’Bag, “I find that I move a lot when sleeping and with traditional sleeping bags I often find that I am restricted and cannot get the freedom I need, I found with the Selk that this was not a problem as the bag allowed full movement and kept me snug and warm all night.”

There's also a Selk Bag for kids! I know two children who love their Selk’Bags and think that they are the coolest thing under the sun. No more getting up in the middle of the night to wrap your little one back up in their sleeping bag since they kicked it off and are now in a ball shivering in their sleep. They will enjoy a restful and warm night’s sleep as well. In the morning, they can just get up and have their oatmeal while staying all toasty and warm.

The Selk’Bag has zip up hands, a drawstring hood, baffle construction and draft tubes. They are constructed in Chile and are named after an indigenous Chilean tribe and their own innovative cold weather garb. This sleep system packs up like any other sleeping bag and comes in three adult and two kid sizes.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ahh! Gregory's Denali Pro Expedition Pack

Whenever I say the name Gregory Denali Pro Expedition Pack I flash back to our 10 day backpacking trip in Denali National Park with our Gregory Pro packs. Unfortunately we missed this great view of Denali while camping at Wonder Lake...it was amazing how huge the mountain really was the one day it popped out of the clouds! We weren't pros at the time and you don't need to be one to get a pack like this...you just need to have a lot of stuff to haul. With a volume of 115 Liters in the large, you can almost pack your kitchen sink. Afterwards you may never want to leave the wilderness and go back to work. We certainly didn't. If you don't need quite that much space the Gregory Whitney Backpack holds 95 Liters. Best of all you get a Denali Pro or a Whitney @20% OFF now through 11/13 during our Gregory Backpack Sale.

All this talk also makes me think of even grander expeditions to far away places like the Himalayas. Besides having one person in the shop whose trekked there, we've got another connection to the Himalayas here in Waterbury, VT: The Himalayan Cataract Project. We get an inside view into how this non-profit is run from our friends who run their main office here. In a nutshell, a pair of opthamalogists started doing cataract surgeries to cure blindness in the Himalayan region and have added doctors, facilities, and training to expand their good work. They've also just started work on a hospital in Rwanda. It's a great cause...something worth supporting as we start pondering the many reasons we have to give thanks.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ready for a new Gregory Ski Backpack this winter?

Winter backpacks...already? Yup. We had two customers in the store this week who'd hiked up for their first alpine ski runs of the winter at Stowe Mountain Resort. They came to us looking to upgrade to real ski backpacks. The Gregory Targhee was Backpacker Mag's Editor's Choice in this category last winter...and is a local backcountry favorite. A close friend started using its smaller version The Gregory Drift about a year ago and only raves about it. Besides the fact that both these packs are ON SALE now thru 11/13, you'll enjoy your early season skiing with a new, comfortable backpack. Gregory Packs are designed to transfer the load effectively so you stay balanced and strong as you make you way to the top of your first run. Besides why wait until after your next trip to remember that this was the year you promised yourself you'd get some new gear. Check out our new Ski Pack section for other great alpine packs from Deuter and Osprey!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gregory Baltoro 70 wins again!

Yes, the Gregory Baltoro 70 (and Women's Deva 60) are great backpacks. We've known this since they came out. And indeed these were Backpacker Editor's Choice winners in 2008. But now they've given it even higher accolades: Backpacker Editor's Choice Hall of Fame in this November's issue of Backpacker. Here's what they had to say:

Of the 28 packs that have earned the highest award over the past 13 years, Gregory's Baltoro 70 (and women's Deva 60) from 2008 reigns as one of our all-time favorites. The packbag is near perfect (with just the right balance between features and lightweight simplicity), but it's the "miracle suspension system--with its auto-canting hipbelt and shoulder straps--that makes even a 50-pound load feel manageable. says one tester. $290; 5 lbs. 9 oz." Backpacker, 11.2010, pg. 72

If you've been looking for a 60-80 liter backpack (good for long weekends, weeklong outings, even through hikes) now you can win too! . They're on sale now for 20% off at CCOutdoorStore.com.