Tuesday 17 July 2007

Preparations for the Outdoor Show, Friedrichshafen

This weekend sees the Outdoor Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. It's the biggest outdoor trade show in Europe and the place to see all the new gear. I'll be there for four days, wandering the halls looking for interesting items and talking to myriads of designers, marketeers and PR people. Shows like this are exciting, entertaining and exhausting. I reckon a long day on the hill is far less tiring than a day at a trade show. I always need to go for a walk afterwards to recover. I like to go to the hills beforehand too, just to remind myself what it's really all about - which isn't gear. So a few days ago I climbed Ben MacDui in the Cairngorms by way of Loch Avon and Loch Etchachan on a day of much cloud and brief sunshine with spits of rain that only turned heavy ten minutes before the walk was over. The hills glowed and glowered under the clouds and flashes of sun, fresh with the green of summer and sparkling with water from the recent rains. I was surprised at how many snow patches remain, given the warm and wet weather of the last two months. Some were big enough for a few ski turns. Refreshed I'm now prepared for a long weekend inside. Actually it won't be totally inside as I'll be staying in a tipi in a village of such tents provided by Merrell footwear, which could be interesting.

Once I'm back from Friedrichshafen I'll post an overview of the show. Test reports of interesting new gear will then appear in TGO over the next year. So far I've heard of interesting developments from GoLite, Terra Nova and Primus. I'm sure there'll be more.

The photo shows the head of Loch Avon, Carn Etchachan and the Shelter Stone Crag at 14.30 on July 15. Photo info: Canon EOS 350D, Canon 18-55 lens @ 18mm, f8 @1/1 25, 2 stop graduated neutral density filter, ISO 100, JPEG. No post processing.

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