BC BANTER: Black Diamond President Resigns, Avatech Expands, Winter Wildlands’ Conference, Patagonia’s Migrant Worker Standards, Colorado’s Wet Slides and a Scottish Ski Film

Zeena Freeman. [Photo] Linkedin

Zeena Freeman. [Photo] Linkedin


SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH Zeena Freeman resigned Thursday from her post as president of Black Diamond Inc. Freeman, a former executive at Sony and Gap, was named president in August 2014, we reported, and was expected to replace Peter Metcalf as CEO of Black Diamond at the end of June. According to SNEWS, Metcalf will return to his role as Black Diamond’s president while retaining his post as CEO. “This resignation suggests a potential sale is nearing (a decision is expected in the third quarter) and that Freeman’s position as parent president of all three brands [Black Diamond, PIEPS and POC], would soon be eliminated,” writes SNEWS’s David Claus. Read the full press release here.


Keynote speaker Donny Roth. [Photo] Jay Beyer

Keynote speaker Donny Roth. [Photo] Jay Beyer

GOLDEN, COLO. Winter Wildlands Alliance is gearing up their Grassroots Advocacy Conference, their sixth biannual conference held at Golden, Colo.’s American Alpine Club Mountaineering Center from June 18-20. The conference will include discussions regarding the Forest Service’s new Over Snow Vehicle Rule, the use of maps as advocacy tools and defining a set of ethics for backcountry travelers. AMGA ski guide and athlete Donny Roth will kick off the event with a keynote address on the evening of June 18. Find more on the event, including registration information and the conference’s agenda here.


Avatech's SP1 Probe. [Photo] Courtesy Avatech

Avatech’s SP1 Probe. [Photo] Courtesy Avatech

PARK CITY, UTAH Avatech, the maker of avalanche safety tools, including the SP1 avalanche probe, has opened a new distribution and service center in Chamonix, France. The brand also announced several new hires this week, including Lead Mobile Developer Oliver Brand, who previously directed mobile operations at Visa. “The growth that we are seeing with our suite of interconnected products has contributed to a very dynamic atmosphere,” says Brint Markle, cofounder and CEO of Avatech. “With Avatech’s current momentum, it is important to fuel our growth with exceptional talent to continue our trajectory and best serve our mountain community.” Read the full press release here.


Patagonia's Handbook. [Image] Courtesy The Cleanest Line

Patagonia’s Handbook. [Image] Courtesy The Cleanest Line

VENTURA, CALIF. This week, Patagonia published their “Migrant Worker Employment Standards,” a series of guidelines and practices for their business partners and suppliers in order to eliminate human trafficking and forced labor in the apparel brand’s supply chain. According to a story published on Patagonia’s blog, The Cleanest Line, an internal social responsibility audit in 2011 revealed several “red flags” within four Taiwanese factories. That blog further discusses Patagonia’s ongoing efforts to audit factories and root out instances of “modern-day slavery.” Read more about Patagonia’s effort in The Atlantic.


A June 1 wet slide on Loveland Pass. [Photo] Courtesy CAIC

A June 1 wet slide on Loveland Pass. [Photo] Courtesy CAIC

Following Colorado’s deepest May in recent memory—according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, observers reported 258 avalanches—wet-slide activity is on the rise this month. “All that snow turned wet and it’s been sliding,” Crested Butte Avalanche Center forecaster Zach Guy told Crested Butte News. “Because it was so warm during that storm [last weekend], the snowpack below it was wet, too, so we’re seeing wet, loose slides. Avalanche activity has extended beyond Crested Butte, too, with five reported slides across Colorado in June, according to the CAIC’s avalanche observations. One such slide, on Summit County’s Buffalo Mountain, pushed a skier more than 75 feet over a waterfall, reports CBS Denver. Read more about managing springtime avalanche hazards here.


On location in the Scottish Highlands. [Photo] Courtesy Puzzle Media

On location in the Scottish Highlands. [Photo] Courtesy Puzzle Media

This week, Puzzle Media announced their first short film, “LATE,” which focuses on spring backcountry skiing and snowboarding throughout the Scottish Highlands. According to their press release, a team of young cinematographers, skiers and riders spent May seeking out snow on the mountains of Glencoe, Ben Nevis and Cairngorm. “Scotland’s terrain presents some great challenges for any aspiring freerider,” team leader Aaron McLean said in the press release. Puzzle Media plans to submit the film to several UK mountain film festivals in Edinburgh, Sheffield, Fort William and Kendal.


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