These snocavores base their businesses in Colorado.
Support them and you support and grow the local economy. Plus, they make some damn good swag.
Last winter, Elevation Outdoors spent a weekend riding the cat and shredding Monarch with a gang of core local Colorado brands. Put together by a group called Something Independent (somethingindependent.com), the event was designed as a celebration of Colorado’s ability to support companies who have made the decision to support local economies while building gear made for the mountains out our backdoors. This event was just the start. “Something Independent will kick-off its 2011 event schedule with the return of the SI Lounge and a Business Forum during the SIA Snow Show in January. And look for the SI Rendezvous to return to Salida and Monarch Mountain in late March. If you weren’t there last year, you better start lobbying soon for your invite. There’s only so much room on the snowcats,” Something Independent’s Chuck Sullivan told us.
Here’s the downlow on three local brands who participated. Support them and support Colorado.
Folsom Custom Skis
Philosophy: “We are one of only a few companies that consult with each person individually to determine the best flex pattern, overall stiffness and camber profile for each of our pre-tooled ski shapes or we design unique shapes and lengths if needed. We then hand build each pair in Boulder to make sure each person gets exactly what they need right down to the graphic. It’s entirely different from going into a ski shop and buying a ski,” says Jordan Grano, Folsom founder and principal designer. “When I founded this company it was really important that we were going to make and source everything in the U.S.A. Currently we are proud to say that over 90 percent of our materials are sourced from within the U.S. and everything we build and test is done right here in the heart of the Colorado Rockies.”
Folsom Johnny C. Line
Since Folsom is a custom brand, so each ski it builds is unique. It does offer pre-tooled shapes that it will customize at a lower cost. The versatile Johnny C. Line (135-107-125 at 185 cm) is designed for everything from backcountry pow to lapping groomers at the resort. The flex pattern is custom designed to a customer’s wants and needs as is the overall stiffness and the graphics.
Homebase: Grand Junction
Philosophy: “Colorado is the ultimate state for outdoor apparel development and testing—we find the inspiration for our products while exploring Colorado’s great outdoors. We design them to adapt to the always changing Colorado weather,” says co-owner Jess Rigg. “Our world headquarters are located in Grand Junction and all of the company owners have a history of living and growing up, at one time or another, in the Grand Valley. G.J. has non congested access to unlimited miles of single track, and a central location between Denver, Salt Lake and Las Vegas. Access to all major industry tradeshows (and every mountain in-between) is a quick half-day drive away.”
Loki Men’s Mountain Hoodie
Built with Midgard fabric—a two-layer, wind- and water-resistant soft shell, this mountain hoodie would be a fine piece for resort skiing or snowshoeing on those merits alone. But the built in mitts and face shield make it even more versatile, especially when the weather changes in a hurry.
Philosophy: “We manufacture in Colorado because we live for the outdoors. It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to manufacture a product one day and play on it the next. With an open training ground out your back door, what’s not to love about Colorado?” says Fortitude president and founder Nicholas Whittemore. “Fortitude represents strength, courage and durability. This is what we represent in our handcrafted skis. We strive to have a ski that is sustainable, durable and doesn’t break your bank too much. We put passion and detail into each and every pair of skis we manufacture. We feel that purchasing material from local businesses and supporting our local community in Colorado is what Fortitude is all about.”
A big reverse-camber powder ski, the Krumholz was designed to float pow and crush crud. But it’s not just a backcountry board—at 154-128-146 in a 190 cm length, the ski’s still boasts enough sidecut to hang in the resort.