BC Banter: Patagonia Debuts Responsibly Sourced Merino Layers, Silverton Proposes Terrain Modification, DPS Launches Dreamtime Preorder and RASTA Kicks off Fundraiser

Patagonia Debuts New, Responsibly Sourced Merino Layers

VENTURA, CALIF. Patagonia announced yesterday the launch of their new, Merino Air Baselayer that combines sustainably sourced merino wool with a new manufacturing technology. The apparel brand says the merino wool is sourced directly from the Patagonian grasslands, where ranchers use regenerative agricultural practices to promote ecosystem health. The wool is then treated with Patagonia’s proprietary air-jet process to create yarn that Patagonia claims has superior loft and insulation value. Finally, using a computerized knitting machine, the wool is blended with 100-percent recycled-polyester yarn to create a lightweight, odor-wicking garment.

This process yields minimal waste and the result, says Jenna Johnson, Senior Director of Patagonia’s Technical Outdoor Department, “is a perfect blend of technical product with best in-class performance and sustainable sourcing.” The Merino Air top and bottom base layers are available at Patagonia retail stores and online at patagonia.com.

Patagonia Merino Air Baselayers: July 15, 2015 from Patagonia.

Silverton Proposes Terrain Modification to include BLM Land

Owners of Silverton Mountain propose expansion into BLM land for heli-skiing operation [Photo] Courtesy The Durango Herald

Silverton’s proposed terrain modification. [Photo] Courtesy The Durango Herald

SILVERTON, COLO. Owners of Silverton Mountain ski resort Jen and Aaron Brill are asking federal officials for permission to change the resort’s helicopter accessed terrain to include BLM land. The plan—proposed by the Brills on behalf of Silverton Mountain Guides—would diversify heli-terrain within 150,000 acres of BLM managed land, known as the Alpine-Triangle. According to the Brills, the purpose of the plan is to decrease avalanche hazard by moving Silverton Mountain Guide’s heli-ski operation to lower elevation terrain, and would only entail terrain modification, not expansion. Even though the proposed terrain would remain open for public use, the plan has sparked controversy within the local community, according to the Denver Post, with many angered by the prospect of coveted backcountry ski terrain turning into an expensive heli-ski destination. 

“Part of the reason people go to the backcountry is to experience a quieter place…. If that’s to change, that really changes the backcountry experience for everyone,” Keith Roush, an experienced backcountry skier and avalanche analyst from the area, told the Durango Herald. Others have raised concern over potentially negative environmental impact of the terrain change. Learn more about the controversy over Silverton’s proposed terrain change in the Durango Herald.

DPS Launches Dreamtime Preorder

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH DPS launched their Dreamtime Preorder event on July 15, and the event will last through August 1, 2015. In addition to unveiling their 2015/2016 ski quiver, DPS is offering special edition ski releases, free shipping to the U.S. and EU and Dreamtime-exclusive specials. New this year, DPS has established a partnership with Protect our Winters, a snow sports nonprofit dedicated to fighting climate change. $50 from every pair of skis with POW Special Edition ski art sold during the Dreamtime Preorder will go to POW in support of its environmental mission. Read more about the Dreamtime Preorder at dpsskis.com.

DPS Dreamtime: July 15-August 1, 2015 from DPS SKIS on Vimeo.

RASTA Kicks off Fundraiser

ROCHESTER, VT. Vermont’s Rochester Area Sports Alliance, RASTA, a pilot chapter of the Catamount Trail Association, has launched a summer fundraising campaign to support their backcountry initiatives throughout the Braintree Mountain Forest. Since 2013, RASTA has been working in partnership with the New England Forestry Foundation and former landowner Paul Kendall to develop backcountry ski trails and glades. This past fall RASTA volunteers began maintaining glades on Braintree Mountain Forest’s Skidoo Mountain, and the organization aims to develop trails and glades in 1,547 acres throughout the mountains of central Vermont.

RASTA has launched a fundraising campaign to raise $25,000 over the next two months in order to build a parking lot, renovate the existing Bell Gates backcountry cabin, build a trailhead kiosk and continue to maintain glades. “This project is a first of its kind here in Vermont,”said Zac Freeman, a founding member of RASTA. Read more about RASTA’s efforts here and at RASTA’s fundraising campaign.

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