September 27, 2013

An Unplanned Encounter

I just returned from a rain-drenched elk hunt in Colorado in which I witnessed many boots fail, except for my Lowas that I picked up along the way.

As I was preparing for this trip in the weeks before, I did a lot of research on boots, and saw tons of great reviews for Lowa, but none of my local stores carried the brand so I hesitated buying without trying them first. Thus, I tried some other brands, and none fit quite right so I opted to stay with my tried and proven hunting boots.

Come to find out, those boots were a little too tried and proven, and leaked on the very first day. We tried for two nights to dry them out to no avail, so off to town I went with my wet and blistered feet. At the 4th store I visited in Durango, they brought out a pair a size larger than I normally wear in the Zephyr GTX model.

I am not sure if it was the fact that I was finally wearing something dry after 2 plus days, but it was like euphoria. With precious time from my hunting trip ticking away there was no time for breaking them in, so it was straight to the torrents of rain in the hills for me.

Over the next 3 days, and close to 30 miles, of steep mud bogged trails, rivers crossings, downed timber, soaked grassy meadows, my feet could not have been happier. Especially as I watched the likes of my hunting partners wearing other brands of boots come up short at the end of the day as their boots succumbed to the punishment of the elements that we dealt them.

But not my Lowas. Dry, stable, and making me forget that I even had the blisters produced from my busted boots. Although it was not a planned first encounter with Lowa, it was a great experience, and the next time I purchase I can guarantee it will be Lowa for me.

~ Craig R.

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September 25, 2013

4 Weeks in Norway

On July 16th, my husband and I went on a 4 1/2 week trip to Norway. I was very interested in getting a pair of hiking boots because I knew that I would be doing a lot of hiking. I bought the boots l week before we went on the trip. I was a little bit nervous about buying the boots because it usually takes me a long time to break in shoes.

I wore them around the house for one day and decided to take a leap of faith and take them for a real hike. The hike was for several miles with uphill elevation. I was prepared for my feet to be in agony. To my delight, I felt nothing but goodness in my feet after completing the hike.

I confidently brought the boots to Norway with no problem! This was unheard for me. I am now looking to buy another pair 2 months after buying the first pair. I LOVE THEM! THANK YOU!

~ Gail L.

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September 24, 2013

Jasper and Banff

I went to the Canadian Rockies (Jasper and Banff) for my honeymoon and hiked in your Lowa boots.

They were amazing!

They survived the backcountry (mud, river crossings, mountain passes, snow, and grizzlies) and were the best boot I've ever owned!

Thanks for allowing me to make some great memories in these!

~ Emily T.

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September 23, 2013

Mt. Rainier

My wife and I took a vacation to Mt. Rainier National Park in August. We hiked for five days all over the park covering 35 miles and gaining a total of over 15,000 of feet of elevation.

We had great weather and a really fantastic time. We saw mountain goats, deer, lots of marmots and one bear.

The alpine meadows and views are some of the best we have ever seen.  I wore my Lowa boots the entire time, but had a problem with the boot during the final day of hiking. When we returned home, I contacted Lowa and they took care of the issue.

When I purchase high end products I expect longevity, support from the company and/or serviceability.

The support from Lowa was outstanding. I would like to thank the entire Lowa organization and Christian M, in particular for his help.

Lowa boots are very comfortable and I highly recommend them. I look forward to many years of hiking in Lowa boots.

- Ed S.

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September 5, 2013

500 Miles

Trail marker along the Camino De Santiago trail, Spain
I and my LOWA Boots walked the 500 mile Camino De Santiago in Spain this last spring, encountering all types of weather along the way.

I am proud to report that my Lowa Renegades held up admirably.

I believe - no, I know -  that my Lowas could walk another 500 miles!

Thank you for creating such a fine product!

- Peter C.

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September 3, 2013

Surviving Manhattan

* Dan Nash, of Satori Adventures, is a LOWA sponsored athlete. This is his story from his most recent trip to Peru.

Waiting out a storm high in the mountains is the side of mountaineering that is not thrilling, exciting, or flashy. They don’t make movies about it, magazines don’t right about it, but we have all had done it numerous times. Waiting, sometimes for hours and sometimes for days, means a lot of time in a tent with someone that you (hopefully) like. Your time is spent trying to find ways to beat down the boredom of listening to the wind pound on the tent and peering through the vestibule to see if the skies are clearing, only to find less visibility and more snow than the last time you looked outside.

Waiting, eating, talking, waiting, reading, listening to your iPod, going outside to pee, waiting, playing solitaire, eating, sleeping, waiting, reading, listening to the same songs again on your IPod – the cycle becomes endless. Small details that were not important a few days ago start permeating your thoughts as you battle the boredom. Who still has chocolate? How many pages do I have left to read in my book? Do we still have toilet paper? How much power is left in the Goal Zero: if it runs out of power, no more solitaire or music. Not to mention, you can really tell that you need a shower when you are stuck in a tent. This is exactly what happened to me during this last trip to Peru. After 3 days of climbing, there we were, stuck high up on Alpamayo, just waiting for the weather to clear.

But finally, after 36 hours of heavy wind, no visibility and heavy snow, I was relieved and energized to finally be freed of the tent prison. Feeling the sun warm my face and the fresh clean air I felt alive again. The feeling of moving, walking, climbing, feeling the muscles in my body working was invigorating, even as my lungs searched for oxygen in the thin air at 18,000 feet. This was so much better than the past two days of lying in the tent, talking about how to solve the U.S. debt crisis, mastering solitaire and discussing why our girlfriends don’t want to spend their vacations with us enjoying the big mountains. Being able to do what we came here to do – climb – felt great.

As we descended from 18,000 feet in the deep snow, zigzagging through the minefield of crevasses, one of my climbing partners walking ahead lost his footing. One of his crampons slid in the 14 inches of fresh, powdery snow causing him to fall onto his side. He then began to slide down a 40 degree snow slope, picking up speed as he went. My eyes immediately fixed on him, but as I saw him role to his stomach, I expected him to self arrest and stop his slide. But, as I watched, I saw him struggling as his ice axe failed to bite into the ice covered by the deep powdery snow.

He continued his slide toward a large crevasse that spanned some 25 feet wide and at-least 100 feet deep. These types of crevasses are a combination of beauty and concern but at the moment, only concern as I watched the rope between us rapidly going out. I immediately dug into the deep powder looking for the hard ice hiding beneath. I plunged my ice axe and crampons into the ice and positioned myself for the force that was going to come from the momentum of my partner.

Soon enough – fractions of a second actually – I felt the pressure on my harness and my partner’s weight pulled on me and my ice axe. The ice axe slid a few inches and the ice cracked in my ears as I kept my weight positioned to secure the axe.

To my relief I was able to stop the fall about 10 feet before my partner reached the crevasse that we later affectionately named “Manhattan.” My partner yelled, “Do you have me”, in his tough cool voice, but I knew that inside he was just as relieved as me.

 I told him I had him and he began the short climb back up to my location. He gave me a high five and we began to laugh and joke about the events that happened so fast, but seemed to play out in slow motion. It always amazes and amuses me that mountaineers, after avoiding tragedy, usually laugh and joke, and later tell animated stories about the adventure. I can see why a non-climber may find this a little crazy, especially when we recognize these are circumstances that can take our lives. I think it’s a way not only to relieve stress but also to serve as good (and important) reminders as to just how vulnerable and fragile we really are and that in mere moments, things can drastically change – for better or worse. We are free when we are climbing, master of our own domain, or so we think. In reality maybe we are just fragile specs of dust passing through time in the mountains.

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