Behind the Scenes: Outdoor Research

By Evan Stevens, 19 November 2012

  • DATE

    19 November 2012

  • AUTHOR

    Evan Stevens

  • CATEGORY

    Skiing & Snowboarding

This past week a group of athletes, desingers, product developers and marketing folks from Outdoor Research came up to Valhalla Mountain Touring to try and help push Outdoor Research even further to the forefront of making some great gear. The idea behind the week was to get out during the day ski touring, putting some gear to the grindstone, and then talk about the progression and development of everything at night. In my mind it was an incredible week of getting this group of different people to work together to see and hear what everyone has to say about the products from the snowpits to the factory floor. 

The week was a mix of sunny high pressure, light amounts of new snow, and some touchy days of avalanche activity. Overall, a mix of cold and dry, warm and wet, and a few temperature ranges in between. What could be better for testing gear out? Everyday we all swapped, gloves, pants, coats, etc...and then brainstormed and fine tuned what we put to the test. 

But don't be fooled we had a ton of great powder skiing, a few summits, amazing food cooked by Annie, great tunes played by Alex K (VP of marketing) and Jasmin on the uke and guitar, and tons of pics and video to document the whole week. 

I gotta say, there is some great gear and some really cool projects coming down the pipes right now from Outdoor Research. Two items of note are the Trailbreaker Pants and the Radiant Hybrid Hooded top. The TrailBreakers use a waterproof laminate on the lower legs, and a woven soft shell on the thighs, with huge thigh vents and great pockets - obviously these were made by Uber ski touring/IFMGA mountain guide Martin Volken! The Radiant Hoody is the ultimate cold weather fleece. Highly breathable grid fleece under the arms, and smoother, warmer fleece on the rest, it is a great piece for alpine and ice climbing with its integrated hood that easily fits under your helmet. 

 During the week, myself and fellow IFMGA mountain guide Martin Volken filmed a few 'How To' videos on common backcountry skills, and we got some great skiing footage to get you stoked. Not to mention some of the new and improved product ideas! It was an amazing experience for me, and a testament to OR's commitment to work with people like you in the field and make some great gear to facilitate some even better times in the hills. Enjoy the photos from OR employee Charles Lozner!

Evan Stevens

Squamish, BC

Starting with the rocks and ski slopes of New York, Evan progressed to the ice and backcountry of Vermont for college, and accepted a job with the Utah Avalanche Center in Salt Lake City and Moab. During five years half-based in Utah, he was lucky enough to follow around some of the greats in the avalanche game, and when not on snow, climbed endless towers and splitter cracks in the desert southwest. In the middle of this time he stumbled upon a cute mountain girl from British Columbia and his bigamous love affair with her and her home province began. Evan is an IFMGA-certified mountain guide, and has spent five years on the board of directors at the American Mountain Guide Association. He and his wife Jasmin run Valhalla Mountain Touring, and look forward to cold smoke every winter and big walls in the summer.‚Äč