Saturday, February 23, 2008

Canyoneering Related Links

During the course of our Canyoneering courses at North Wash Outfitters, handouts are given to the participants to have something to review with, as well as some critical safety information.  One of those hand outs that is given out is a page of what I call "General Links."  This is a page of Internet links that I have collected over the last few years, and which I frequently find helpful in my Canyoneering pursuits.  Often I have come across a new link that I fill would be useful to our participants.  The problem is that our past participants won't receive this information.  I am posting this information here where former participants can check up on any new information we have come across.

Routes and General
information on Canyoneering:

ACA Canyon Database
ACA Canyons Booklet
Climb Utah
Todd's Desert Hiking Guide
Slot Canyons of The Southwest
Blue Mountains Canyoning FAQ Guide

Anchoring, Knots, Rope Work:

Alternative anchoring by Dave Black
Life on a Line
Considerations for Rope Rescue by Kenneth N. Laidlaw
Animated Knots

Weather and Maps:

National Weather Service
Geological Society
Topo Zone
Google Earth
World Wind
Weather For You

Canyoneering Social Networking Sites:

ACA Forums
Bogley Outdoor Community
Yahoo Canyons Group (Must have a Yahoo Account to view)
Yahoo Chick Fest Group(Must have a Yahoo Account and be Female to view)

If you have any sites that fit in with teaching information or connecting Canyoneers, let us know and if it fits, we will add it here.

Friday, February 8, 2008

North Wash Outfitters Attends Annual San Juan County Business Expo

A business tradition that is starting to take off in San Juan County is the Annual Business Expo put on by The Department of Workforce Services and spearheaded by Tim Chamberlain.  I attended the expo last year for the first time and was impressed with the presentations and business representation they had.  This year it grew into more business representation and just as equally in quality of presenters.  This year North Wash Outfitters decided to have a booth at the expo and I am sure glad we did.  We met a lot of great people there.

One of the hottest topics we discussed at our booth was the SPOT Satellite Messenger.  More and more people are hearing about it and realizing that it has a great potential to save lives and reduce the time it takes Search and Rescue teams to find lost parties.  We had some good discussions involving the SPOT due in part to the recent SAR effort in Cedar City, UT.  It involves a couple that had been lost for 10 days.  They got their truck stuck and were stranded for 10 days before a snow plow driver went down the road they were on and found them.  Searches had been on the ground and in the air for 10 days trying to locate the truck.  During the press conference with the couple, after being found, they stated that they had seen the searchers but had no way of contacting them.  The SPOT Satellite Messenger would have been able to relay their exact location to searchers turning this incident from a 10 day event down to a few hour event. 

Locally we had a similar incident a couple of weeks ago.  A cross country skier from La Sal went into the mountains for a day of skiing and did not make it home by dark.  His vehicle was located and a search began.  It was later found out that while skiing he encountered white out conditions, got disoriented and was unable to make it back to his vehicle.  He spent the night in a lean to, suffered from frostbite in some extremeties, and was found about 24 hrs later by one of the searchers.    One of the comments I received from show participants was, "why is this just coming out now, and no one has thought of this before?"  "This will save lives."

One of the presenters of the show is probably more familiar to some of you than he was to me.  He came to give a discussion on marketing and he is from the company Blend Tec.  With how much time I spend on the Internet I should know who this company is or at least have seen some of their marketing videos, but I hadn't.  This is the company that has videos all over You Tube of them blending items such as magnets, cell phones, light bulbs, full cans of food, and even an iPod and iPhone.

He spoke to us about his marketing strategy and how much PR the videos on You Tube have been for the company.  They went from a small company selling minimal amount of blenders on line to an overnight sensation with these videos.  He even brought a product demonstration for us and blended a hand full of cell phones and then a plastic lawn rake. 

The expo was a great time, and I look forward to going back next year for the 4th annual expo.