Vacation, Outdoor Retailer, and a Few Day in Alta

The last few weeks have been busy, relaxing, strenuous, and somewhat overwhelming at times. I left Vermont and spent a week relaxing on Cape Cod. Then I flew from Boston to SLC for the Outdoor Retailer Show. I have never been to anything quite like it. The past few days I was up in Alta getting my August turns in and doing some hiking.

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A little slice of Thoreau’s paradise

Vacation on The Cape has been a family tradition since before I could walk. The pristine kettle ponds, endless oceans, and ripping single track make for full days. We joke that the “Cape Trip” is about doing the most physical activity you can, so that you can eat as much as you can each night.

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Full Disclosure: I fell 2 frames after this

This years “Cape Trip” was similar to years past, but I took doing as much activity as possible a bit further. I swam 1/2 mile across pond and back each day. I did a bit of windsurfing, though the wind wasn’t quite there. I tried my hand at SUP surfing. It took me a good hour and a half just to paddle in a straight line. Then I was able to catch a few good waves. The surf was the best I have seen in many years.

We have always mountain biked on The Cape, but this year I really fell in love with the seemingly endless smooth fast single the National Seashore has to offer.

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Smooth single track

At the sad conclusion of the “Cape Trip” I wasted little time and headed for Utah, the beehive state. Why? no idea.

For the first 4 days back in UT I was trapped downtown at the Outdoor Retailer Show. And what a show it is! There are 1500 retailers and it costs many millions of dollars to put the show on. There are 2 story buildings, built just for the show, inside the convention center. There was a full size Hobie Cat hanging from the ceiling. Here’s a list of 19 WTF products seen at OR. I think I walked about 15 miles a day traversing the convention center from end to end to end for each meeting I had. There were live SUP demonstrations going on nonstop, and there was a whole room devoted to Chinese manufacturing. Yeah, I guess the OR show is a big deal!

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Hobie Cat hanging from the ceiling

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Pancakes?

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Yep, that room is about 1/10th of the show

Once I finally escaped the clutches of capitalism and consumerism I went straight for Little Cottonwood Canyon. Even though it was summer up there it felt like coming home. LCC in full bloom may be just as beautiful as it is in the winter. Wait, what am I talking about!?! It’s beautiful in the summer, but not that beautiful!

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My best touring buddy, Joey Camps, went with me on a quick mission to get in a couple August turns. The upper reaches of Snowbird were still holding on to just enough snow to make some turns. After skiing, to save the knees, we took the tram down.

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Plenty enough to ski:)

I don’t know if it was revenge for making him come skiing the previous day, but the next day Joey totally sandbagged me and took me on an 11 mile hike. Sure 11 miles sounds easy, but it was also 8,500 elevation gain. Still though that shouldn’t be be too hard. It was also nearly all class 3/4 scrambling with some class 5 climbing and much of it had crazy exposure.

Hey Buddy!

Hey Buddy!

We summited Storm Mountain, The East SLC Twin, O’Sullivan, Dromedary, Monte Christo, and Mt. Superior. Coming up to Monte Christo was easily the scariest part. We had to traverse out a 4ft ledge looking straight down at the Tram Club. Then we had to make a couple tricky class 5 moves getting higher up and even more exposed. We finally pulled over the crux and easily scrambled to the summit!

one of the less exposed sections

One of the less exposed sections

Exposed scrambling is something I am pretty new to. It is an interesting head game. No single move is hard. However the continual threat of falling means that you have to stay focused for many hours (10 in this case) and move a bit slower to make sure that you don’t slip or trip. I think I retied my shoes about 7 times during the day, just to make sure they were tight.

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The days hike left to right.

So, nice and puckered, I left Utah and headed back to VT. Coming off the OR Show, I am more stoked than ever for 2point5mill. I have a workout regimen that I will begin this week. I have some great mtn bike rides planned and I have started back up jumping in the stream every day!

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About the author: Aaron

2 comments to “Vacation, Outdoor Retailer, and a Few Day in Alta”

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  1. Judith - August 14, 2015 at 6:41 pm Reply

    “Utahans relate the beehive symbol to industry and the pioneer virtues of thrift and perseverance.” I’d say you’ve got those virtues covered.

  2. Marilyn - August 15, 2015 at 6:46 am Reply

    I am exhausted just reading about your escapades. Good luck with your newest venture. I look forward to reading about it. Love, Aunt M

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