Monthly Archives: November 2013

Winter Ritual: Snow Tires

vintage photo car chains tires snowNo need for chains with studded Hakkapeliittas – snow tires are on!  My Subaru now drives like a little tank.  Overkill perhaps, but it is habit and peace of mind for the thousands of miles logged up to and around Vermont all winter long.

My dad has always told me, “Good tires are cheap insurance.”  I have taken that to heart and think I get as excited about a fresh pair of Nokian Tyres as a new pair of skis!  Safe driving to everyone this winter. . .

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Shopping NYC: Snow + Outdoor

A few weeks ago, I was able to combine a sprint shopping session with a meeting in Manhattan.  I was pleasantly surprised – the city was feeling rather outdoorsy.  Good timing with the onset of winter and stores ramping up for the holiday onslaught.  In addition to stops at Best Made Company and Uniqlo already documented, here are some more alpine and outdoor findings.

neve designs switzerland zip neck base layer vintage redNeve Switzerland Zip Neck base layer, luxurious blend of silk, merino wool and spandex. One of many designs in a series inspired by vintage ski posters.

mountain force joplin ski jacket woman switzerland swissIntricate laser cut and bonded detail on Mountain Force women’s Joplin jacket.  This Swiss brand is the pinnacle of technical outerwear design and engineering.  Check out this season’s line at a specialty retailer such as Paragon Sports or if not familiar with the brand, spend some time on the Mountain Force web site to get an idea of the precision in design, details and manufacturing, premium materials and covetable styling.

quiksilver snowboarding general insulator jacket retro deer stag gondolaQuiksilver’s General Insulator Jacket features a fantastic retro print combining hunting and snow themes – stags, pheasants and gondolas all co-existing in one happy outdoor world!

volcom astrid wolf wolves quiksilver forever gore tex jacket ski snowboardLots of photo-real wildlife on outerwear this season.  Volcom Snowboarding women’s Astrid jacket features wolves (left) and Quiksilver men’s Forever jacket with birds (right) both offer the performance of Gore-Tex in 2-layer shell construction.

sweaty betty soho new york women fitness ski yoga apparel shopxsweaty betty ski collection 2013 2014 jacket pants vest suitSweaty Betty is now stateside!  The British line of women’s performance sport apparel now has retail shops in Soho and Greenwich, Connecticut.  I am long familiar with the brand for workout, running and yoga gear but was surprised to learn they offer ski.  The ski collection is tightly edited with a precisely merchandised color palette.  Base and mid layers come in unique interpretations and bold body-conscious outerwear bib and jacket styles give the impression of a one-piece suit.  My feeling on Sweaty Betty ski and the rest of the line is this – it is not cheap (pricier than Lululemon) but is a fresh alternative to the competition and a welcome addition to women’s performance apparel.

fjallraven shop soho greene street outdoor swedenxfjallraven daypack 21 medium sweden swedish outdoor heritagexfjallraven fox logo t shirt sweden swedish outdoor outfitterOver the past few years, Fjällräven has become a favorite outdoor brand of mine, luring me in with their rucksacks, tight logo and heritage to realize there is so much more.  The Swedish specialty outfitter, named after the arctic fox, has a long history producing functional equipment and apparel for exploring the outdoors.  Fjällräven claims to be the inventor of the framed backpack and in 1960 became the first brand to manufacture and distribute this innovative equipment.  As for apparel, Fjällräven is famous for their G-1000 waxed fabric that is durable and resistant to the elements.

Fjällräven’s second New York City shop is located on the corner of Greene and Grand Streets in Soho.  A well-merchandised store shows off the fabulous full product range – beyond the adorable and colorful Kånken backpacks most readily associated with this brand.  Fjällräven products possess function and classic looks steeped in heritage and rich color for all that is involved in an outdoor lifestyle. (Yet another example of Swedish design being responsible for some of the finest sporting product available.)  For the merchandise and shopping experience, I recommend Fjällräven as a must on any NYC shopping list.

joe fresh store shop holiday 2013 merchandising deer stagChanging gears to fashion – clean and bright Joe Fresh prominently features this shiny and white deer family for holiday.  (Reminiscent of the Hermès 2010 winter ad campaign.)  It is always nice to see this icon of the outdoors.

joe fresh men slim packaway down jacket Like Uniqlo, Joe Fresh has an affordable and colorful offering of lightweight down jackets for men and women.

american eagle ae shaggy faux fur vest yeti apres skiThis number at American Eagle looks like a candidate for a fabulous and fun après ski ensemble.  They call it the Shaggy Faux Fur Vest, I’m calling it yeti chic.

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Mohawk Mountain: Opening Day

mohawk mountain connecticut ski area 1957 vintage

Nice job, Mohawk!  The Connecticut ski area kicked off the 2013-14 season on Thanksgiving weekend.  Here is a look back at Mohawk from January 1957.  Signage reads as follows:

MOHAWK MOUNTAIN TRAIL SYSTEM  An arrangement of ten varied trails   Nine tows and four slopes   Skiing for novice to expert   Trails average ¾ mile.

NOTICE   We have done our best to provide safe equipment & smooth skiing areas for you   But all skiers must agree in advance of skiing to use area and equipment entirely at their own risk

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING   Trails start from summit – good views   Inquire for special guided trips   SPLIT ROCK – 1 ¾  mile level and downhill   TOWER TRAIL – 4 miles up and downhill   DO NOT TOUR ALONE

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Slope Style: Coming Soon. . .

ski colorblock style outerwear park planai schladming austriaCheery colorblocking seen in the park at Planai – Schladming, Austria.

kjus nahla down jacket ski burkeMJ in her Kjus Nahla Down Jacket.  The trademark contrast zipper around the hood perimeter is brilliant!

poc helmet goggles skida ski color burke vermontLots of POC color popping against black and the blue sky.

bogner germany jacket jet set star pants switzerland luxury ski apparelA rare sighting in the Northeast Kingdom – luxury ski wear.  Bogner jacket and Jet Set pants.

burton snowboards jacket classic anorak ski skier burke vermontSkiers like classic Burton, too.

steve mahon face mask burke terrain park manager made in usaSteve Mahon, Burke Terrain Park Manager and founder of FACE facemasks, looks good and at ease in Husqvarna protective chaps.

vintage ski suit elho freestyle neon yellow greenElho Freestyle suit, a 1980s gem in all its neon glory.

Ski season has arrived in the Northeast and Thanksgiving should be a pretty good day on the slopes!  I am looking forward to another winter of seeing what apparel and accessories people are wearing and more interestingly – the style element of how they put it together and carry it off.  New, original style photos are coming soon. . . until then, here are a few shots from last winter.  Enjoy the holiday!

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Flannel: Mid-Layer

ski cannon mountain new hampshire franconia notch vintage postcard

I am currently in a flannel phase.  But who isn’t, really?  Either because of, or as a fortunate coincidence, there has not been a better selection of flannel shirts readily available since the 1990s grunge wave. From affordable choices at trend-driven fashion retailers such as Uniqlo and American Eagle to premium offerings from heritage outfitters such as Filson and Penfield, there are many fine options in the mid-range from outdoor sport brands.

Bored with tech-y styling and challenged to find lightweight mid-layers, I am on a mission to find options — the flannel shirt could be a solution.  Certainly, this dressing approach is nothing new to much of the snow-sliding population, but for many it falls way outside the realm of acceptable performance layering.  For me, I will chance the “no cotton” rule in appropriate conditions!

patagonia womens fjord flannel shirt 2013My personal favorite by far is Patagonia’s Fjord Flannel.  High quality, not too heavy, not too light, crazy soft, nicely tailored for wearing hem-out and enough sizes available to fit just right.  Women’s Fjord Flannel shown here, check Patagonia for the Men’s Fjord Flannel.

stio men junction flannel shirt plaid jackson hole wyoming

stio-collectionStio’s Junction Flannel Shirt for men comes in rich plaids; the women’s Willow Flannel Shirt collection presents a clean, happy look with white running through all colorways.

dakine-flannel

Dakine offers a performance flannel shirt of polyester with a brushed cotton-hand feel – truly more appropriate for snowsport layering than cotton.   Cypress blue check for women, Oakridge traditional buffalo plaid for men.

macky young nosedive stowe vermont spring photo wally youngFlannel transitions to an outer layer in spring.  Macky Young extending the season with a May 2011 run down Stowe’s Nosedive.   Photo:  Wally Young

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Dogsled Norway: Schneider Outdoor Visions

patagonia holiday catalog 2013 lars schneider dogsled norway dividal national parkxlars schneider outdoor visions photo dogsled norway øvre dividal park xlars schneider outdoor visions photo dogsled norway øvre dividal parkxlars schneider outdoor visions photo dogsled norway øvre dividal parkxlars schneider outdoor visions photo dogsled norway øvre dividal parkxlars schneider outdoor visions photo dogsled norway øvre dividal parkxx
lars schneider outdoor visions photo dogsled norway øvre dividal parkPhotos:  Lars Schneider, Schneider Outdoor Visions

Of all the things I collect, archive and otherwise save, how I haven’t kept Patagonia catalogs for the last few decades is inexplicable.  Finally, a few years ago I started a file for the covers.  This year’s holiday catalog is one of my all-time favorites.  Shot in Norway by Lars Schneider, this dogsled cover image led me to the Schneider Outdoor Visions web site, deep in gorgeous portfolio photos and rich in engaging blog posts and compelling short films.

I love how one thing leads to another and am very happy to have become acquainted with the work of Lars and Katrin Schneider.  The German duo based near Hamburg, Germany travels the world, often as a family with their infant son, to capture outdoor sport, adventure and the natural world at the most inspiring and beautiful.  Lots to check out and follow at outdoor-visions.com.

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Ski Vermont: Opening Day

Killington, as usual, was the first Vermont ski area to open for the season and has been operating for several weeks.  Mount Snow, Okemo and Bromley followed, skiing last weekend.  This weekend brings a big wave of openings with Stowe, Smuggler’s Notch, Jay Peak, Sugarbush and Stratton kicking off their 2013-14 seasons on what is usually Thanksgiving weekend.  Soon lifts will be running at Burke, Magic, Pico, Middlebury, Mad River Glen, Bolton Valley, Cochran’s, Suicide Six and Northeast Slopes.

big bromley ski vermont manchester vintage postcardBromley:  Winter thrills – snow time is here.  For this the skiers have waited all year.

stratton vermont ski vintage austria ski schoolStratton’s Famous North American Trail, photo by Hubert Schriebl

okemo mountain vermont ludlow ski vintage family arrow tomahawk chiefOne of Okemo’s many families, who ski from their Chalets directly to the slope, decide on the day’s first run.  Photography by Duncan A. Campbell

mount mt snow vermont ski west dover vintage postcardLast season 2.5 million Riders rode on 6 double Chair Lifts to the top of 3600 ft. Mt. Snow.  The 16 trails to the Base of Mt. Snow are suitable for all types of skiers.  Sauna, Swimming Pool, Heated Sun Terrace, and artificial indoor Ice Skating make Mt. Snow vacations a year around must.

killington vermont ski area vintage postcardKillington’s Ski School is staffed with U.S.E.A.S.A. certified instructors teaching the American Technique to skiers from beginners to experts.  Photography – Bob Perry

sugarbush valley warren vermont ski vintage postcardSugarbush Valley:  View from Top of Gondola Lift Overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks.

stowe vermont ski spruce peak vintage ski capitalStowe:  Ski Capital of the East, Alpine Lift and Spruce Peak Ski Area

smugglers notch madonna ski area jeffersonville vermont vintageSmuggler’s Notch:  Madonna Ski Area, Skier in action as the shadows fall.  Photo by Bob Paterson

jay peak ski area vermont aerial tram north troy vintageJay Peak Ski Area:  Site of one of the world’s finest aerial tramways.  View from the Skyhaus towards New York State.  Elevation 3861 feet.  Photo:  Tom Emrich

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Best Made Company: Wonderful

best made company new york axe camp outsidexbest made company new york axe camp outsidexbest made company new york axe camp outside first aid kitxbest made company new york patches wonderful optimistic axe camp outsidexbest made company new york axe camp outside badgesxbest made company new york axe camp outside 36 white street tribecaBest Made Company® is dedicated to equipping customers with quality tools and dependable information that they can use and pass down for generations.  We seek to empower people to get outside, use their hands and in doing so embark on a life of fulfilling projects and lasting experiences.

Founded in 2009 with their now-famous axe collection, Best Made’s product line of tools and supplies has grown to include apparel, bags, knives, first aid kits, enamelware, maps, badges and assorted other utilitarian items in luxe execution.  Product is tightly edited, presentation and merchandising are delightfully straightforward.  The aesthetic and brand identity are simple, clear and deftly make the nostalgia of camp and the great outdoors modern.

Best Made Co. is function, quality and community – and absolutely worth a visit:  in person at 36 White Street, Tribeca, New York, NY or on-line at bestmadeco.com.  Communications from the brand, both printed and electronic, are a pleasure to receive.

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Wax Room: First Tune of the Season

1974 alpine ski world championships st moritz switzerland rossignol was room2/3/1974 Press Photo:  The alpine ski world championships in St. Moritz have to change their program for the downhill race for men had to be postponed, the bad weather did not allow the necessary pre-race training on the run.  So these fast men on their narrow woods have to wait for sun.  Top favorite Roland Collombin (right) and his friend Philippe Roux bring their skis for waxing to Swiss wax-expert Paul Berlinger (left).

Tonight I arrived home to the smell of ski wax – yes!  I consider myself fortunate that my husband tunes a mean ski.  We probably have another week or two until we are on snow but our skis are ready!

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Uniqlo: Alpine Merchandising

uniqlo winter 2013 down fleece jackets NYC window display alpine mountaineeringxuniqlo winter 2013 down fleece jackets NYC window display alpine mountaineeringxuniqlo winter 2013 down fleece jackets NYC window display alpine mountaineeringxuniqlo winter 2013 down fleece jackets NYC window display women alpine mountaineeringxuniqlo winter 2013 down fleece jackets NYC window display alpine mountaineering

Uniqlo is alpine-themed!  All windows and displays in the 34th Street Manhattan store are outfitted with this mountaineering-inspired look to promote the Ultra Light Down and Fleece programs.  Climbing rope, harnesses, sky-high heels and skateboard decks – somehow this mash-up works to merge outdoor with fast fashion.

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