Hot List: September 2003

Hot List

Help Wanted

Sharpen your résumés, slackers, you no longer have to give up the mountain town dream for a shot at upward mobility. Now that more and more innovative companies are staking claims in ski meccas–like Indigo Equipment in Aspen, Cloudveil in Jackson, Ibex in Woodstock, and Big Agnes and SmartWool in Steamboat Springs-designing gear is replacing busing tables as a legitimate ski town career option among entrepreneurial ski bums. What’s the best way to land one of these jobs? Sorry, folks, if we knew we’d be living in Jackson.

Pretty in Pink
Light pink helmets, bright pink fleecy tops, bubble-gum pink puffy jackets-after checking out dozens of skiwear and outdoorsy gear lines this summer, we were continuously, gently assaulted by the color pink. Now, we love Molly Ringwald as much as the next mag (okay, maybe a bit more; check out mollyringwald.net) but let’s get one thing straight, gentlemen: Don’t be seduced by the Euro extreme movement-hot pink is still strictly for the ladies.

Killer Abbs
Forget the vintage Air Jordans for $300 on eBay—Nike is ushering in the era of retro remakes. While other company’s relaunches are still in the works, the new Air Mowabb, an updated version of its classic 1991 light hikers, is already in stores. They’re mountain-worthy and invigorated with lighter materials and a beefier outsole. But who cares about function? We’re just impressed that Nike boldly kept the FedEx-guy colors and the grunge-era, quarter-top form. In case there’s any confusion, the new shoe is on the left.

Jacket to Ride
Starting September 1, Descente will be giving away $6 million worth of free lift tickets. Buy one of its D310 jackets ($230-$280) and you’ll score 18 vouchers to different ski areas, including Taos, Snowshoe, Copper, and Crystal, WA. It’s all part of a giant, industry-wide strategy to give away more free stuff. Actually, that’s not really true-but if there were such a strategy, we?d totally support it.

A Better Binding
Alpine touring bindings have been available in the states for decades, but Mini Me-sized toepieces have never inspired confidence. Boulder, Colorado-based Backcountry Access (of Alpine Trekker fame) may renew our faith with a new binding of Jack Black proportions. This month it’ll begin distributing the Swiss-made Naxo, the first AT binding to date with a burly, alpine-style toepiece. BCA says it passes all the same release/retention tests as our trusty Salomons-a claim we look forward to testing.