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Our April Roundup

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Gods Have Spoken, “No More Chalk”

Garden Of The Gods—a highly accessible park and climbing destination managed by the nearby city of Colorado Springs—has banned the use of climbing chalk within its bounds. In the name of Leave No Trace, the city has taken a stance on its stone. So, climbers, time to practice your best sweaty grip. Read about the decision and make sure you’re caught up on the latest rules here.


Gearhead Take: While chalk is an essential part of climbing, we respect the rules set by the park. In this case, climbers are among the park’s four million (on average) annual tourists and the distinct white marks left behind on the red rocks can be distracting.

Deb Haaland Becomes 1st Native American Interior Secretary

After nearly 250 years, the Laguna Puebloan has made history as the United States’ first Native American Cabinet secretary. The Democratic congresswoman from New Mexico was officially voted by the Senate to lead the Interior Department, sparking a wave of excitement and hope. Her nomination and appointment have been hailed by tribal groups and environmental organizations throughout the country, and she’s teeing up to make a big impact.


Walk Comfily And Carry A Big Stick 

Perfluorinated chemicals—know what those are? Well, you should, because chances are you’re wearing them right now. KEEN has challenged the footwear industry, including mighty Portland neighbors Adidas and Nike, to do better. The “forever chemical” known as PFCs are a key ingredient in shoe water resistance, and they’re also known for doing lasting damage to the environment and people. KEEN has kicked off their PFC-free challenge, and Salomon is the first (hopefully of many) to join the club.


What We’re Streaming: “SheExplores”

This month’s stream is a bit of a plug, but we’re shamelessly happy to share the awesome work our women leaders are doing here at Backcountry and beyond. Listen in to the latest episode of the “SheExplores Podcastto hear from our very own CEO Melanie Cox and CMO Sarah Crockett reflect on gender equity everywhere from the outdoors to the boardroom.


What We’re Reading: “Mud, Rocks & Blazes: Letting Go on the Appalachian Trail”

 The start of spring ushers forth a whole new class to the Appalachian Trail. We’re vicariously living the dirtbag life through PCT superstars’ Heather Anderson’s new account of the AT.


Time For A New Watch? 

Honestly, who uses their watch just to check the time anymore? The smartwatch industry is in an all-out arms race with new technology coming at us faster than we can sprint. The latest on the scene is Polar’s new and improved Vantage M2—a watch designed to take a step back from the overwhelming sight of stats and focus more on user experience and overall training and recovery data. It’s slick, super light, fairly priced, and worth setting aside some time to check out.


Drink Of The Month:
The Basin And Sage Cocktail
It’s starting to warm up out there—enjoy the fresh air with this herbaceous whiskey cocktail.

Whitewater On The Winnipesaukee

Franklin, New Hampshire has a simple goal: Connect the community to the river. In efforts to be the first in New England, the historically industrial town is planning on building a park centered around whitewater rafting. The rapids will be open to kayakers this summer, but if you don’t want to wait that long, just take a peek at the town and river to stoke your hype.


Gearhead Take: We’ve always loved paddle sports, but we’ve also seen a recent swell of all things that float on water. Keep an eye out for new gear & apparel for adventures down the Winnipesaukee or wherever the current takes you.


The O2 Women’s Show Will Go On

After years of planning, Lisa Raleigh, Co-founder of Backbone Media, worried her inaugural O2 Outdoor Women’s Festival would be once again postponed due to the pandemic. But, as we just learned, she is (safely) going forward with the event this fall. Lisa’s vision of making a safe and inclusive place for women to share, educate, and grow in nature is coming to Carbondale, CO in September, so mark your calendar.


Adventure Dog Of The Month

“I. am ready for my closeup.”

– Grizwald “Griz”