Enjoy the Flavor of Vermont

Vermont is home to some of the oldest ski areas in the United States. They crisscross the big, rolling mountains with runs that cut through the seemingly endless New England hardwood forests. It’s this unique combination of pioneering ski history and the abundance of maple trees that creates the unique flavor of skiing found only in the great state of Vermont.

2017-03-20-JA-maple-bragg-0017-3

Maple syrup is a springtime ritual in Vermont. PC: John Atkinson

While western resorts steal most of the limelight when talking about skiing in the US, some areas in Vermont boast more snow fall and longer seasons than their Rocky Mountain counterparts. Killington, which hosted a stop on the FIS World Cup earlier this season, is often one of the first resorts in the country to start spinning their lifts for the public. Lesser known areas Jay Peak and Sugarbush are in the heart of Vermont’s snow belt, and stack up powder days that keep skiers grinning from ear to ear.

Sugarbush spring

Spring sunshine is great for skiers and maple sugaring

The latter, Sugarbush, is the perfect intersection of Vermont culture. Not only is it one of the best skiing hills in the state, its very name speaks to one thing for which Vermont is best known—maple syrup. A ‘sugar bush’ is a term that refers to a stand of maple trees tapped for its sugary sap and used in the production of syrup. And it’s when the days start getting longer and the days warmer in late winter and early spring that the area really starts coming into its own.

Sugarbush lines

Maple sap is fed by a labyrinth of lines to a collection point

When the springtime sun rises high in the sky, the icy grip of New England winter starts thawing giving way to fun corn skiing and maple sugaring. The slopes invite skiers to enjoy the abundant snow, now softened by the warmer weather, and the maple sap starts flowing providing the liquid gold that Vermonters use to turn just about anything into a delicious treat. The unique elements of skiing and maple sugaring come together and serve up an especially sweet Vermont springtime extravaganza.

Sugar on Snow

Snow and maple come together for a special Vermont treat

‘Sugar on snow’ is a long running tradition that embodies spring in Vermont. Back in the old days, folks would literally dish up a portion of corn snow and pour a highly concentrated dose of maple syrup over the top. These days, the concoction is more commonly made with a little more sanitary crushed ice, but the result is largely the same. When the ice and maple are stirred together, it forms a chewy, frozen treat that is one of the sweetest things of the season. It literally and figuratively embodies the flavor of Vermont.

John Atkinson is a Vermont local and a senior photographer and snow reporter for Sugarbush Resort. And like most Vermonters, John has a personal relationship with maple syrup and might well be considered a connoisseur of all things to do with this sweet New England treat. https://atkinson-photo.smugmug.com/

The Ibex CloseKnit Weaves Social Responsibility Into Company Culture

The fibers of Ibex’s relationships–with our farmers, manufacturers, designers, among our staff, and with our customers–are woven into every product that leaves the factory. In the fall of 2016, the Ibex leadership established CloseKnit, an employee-run corporate social responsibility committee that aspires to strengthen these bonds and create new ones.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. To friends of Ibex, the formation of CloseKnit comes as no surprise: the company’s core values of making great product while taking care of the people and places around them are fertile soil for social engagement.

This year, the CloseKnit team will focus their energy on three projects that will illuminate the company’s mission of building Merino wool clothing for people pursuing adventures outside.  

close knit team

Left to right: Caitlin Quinn, Returns & Warranty Manager; Chelsea Pawlek, Supply Chain Manager; Michael Logan, Dealer Services; Keith Anderson, VP of Marketing; Regan Betts, Director of Brand; Lori Charlonne, Graphic Designer; Misti Martin Berry, Sr. Product Manager; Jake Quigley, Dealer Services; Dogs: Vaida, Rusty, Wiley

 

Supply Chain Spotlight 

We can usually remember where we got our favorite t-shirt or how long we’ve had that pair of well-loved socks. But to be able to trace the fiber to its source or even find the folks who laid the pattern on the table? CloseKnit will shine a spotlight on the Ibex supply chain, creating a space for a dialogue between the company’s sourcing partners and curious consumers. 

Packaging Reform

Fortunately, the industry standard for environmental responsibility in packaging demands constant improvement and innovation. CloseKnit will embark on its own initiative to ensure that Ibex’s commitment to environmental excellence in its products are duly reflected in the way they’re packaged.

The Ibex Impact Fund

Ibex’s most important relationship may be the one that’s most in its infancy. The mission of the recently launched Ibex Impact Fund circles directly back to the company mission of outfitting people for adventure in Merino wool, only in a slightly different context: to reach folks who have challenges in accessing the outdoors. The Impact Fund will select non-profit organizations that:

* Get people outside

* Support environmental stewardship

  • * Support animal advocacy
Ibex-Day3-SV-winter-405 REV copy

The organizations will then receive monetary and product donations that will enable them to help more people spend more time outside, in clothing that makes the adventure even better.

For more information on the Ibex Impact Fund, go here.

Ibex has always been a company that wears its heart on its sleeve, literally. It’s love of adventure, dedication to innovation, and commitment to progressive production form the foundation of the company and the products. Now, the CloseKnit crew will stitch in the fine details of social responsibility, philanthropy, and local/national environmentalism. Stay tuned to see what’s in store.

Inside the The Renewal Workshop with Founder Jeff Denby

“We truly believe that companies who participate early in the development of a circular economy are going to have a competitive advantage.”
-Jeff Denby, co-founder of The Renewal Workshop
Jeff Denby holds an Ibex + TRW garment

With over a decade of combined experience in the apparel supply chain business, Jeff Denby and Nicole Bassett were used to visiting factories, not owning one. This all changed when the duo pivoted their career tracks and opened The Renewal Workshop (TRW), a business designed to improve the sustainability of the garment industry, particularly with the brands whose ethos and products exist for outdoor application.

Get to know Jeff’s story in this quick interview; at Ibex we are thrilled to have TRW as a pillar of our sustainability portfolio.

(more…)

Badass Outdoor Women

As part of Women’s History Month, Ibex’s web developer, Amanda Kievet shared with us some of the women who inspired her. These portraits illustrate 9 badass women, who’ve inspired all through their feats as mountaineers, environmentalists and bicyclists.

Annie Smith Peck

Annie Smith Peck (1850-1935) — American mountaineer, lecturer and writer. She ascended Matterhorn wearing pants and a long tunic, prompting public debate about what women should do and can be.

Heather Anish Anderson

Heather “Anish” Anderson (1981) — American hiker and ultra runner. She set the Appalachian Trail un-supported speed record in 2015 finishing in just 54 days, 7 hours, 48 mins.

(more…)

3 Steps for Springing Forward in Style

DJC_3126You must have noticed it. Light in the sky where only a month ago was darkness. A gentle warming of the air. The first bird song in the trees. There are changes happening as we move toward spring, most noticeable with our calendar’s time change.

Setting our clocks ahead may be perfunctory, but this is the time of the year to be renewed, enthusiastic and inspired. Don’t just mumble about an hour less sleep on Saturday night. Instead, find a more optimistic motto and “Spring Forward!”

In the natural cycle, spring is the dawn after a long night, the moment of birth. This is a time brimming with potential. In his book, “Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature,” Jon Young describes this as a time to look ahead with energetic plans, where the horizon is limitless with possibility.

Perhaps we have it all wrong when we make resolutions on the eve of the new calendar year? Instead, we should be setting our goals for the year on the eve of this time change. If we adopted this as a new tradition, what goals would you set for yourself this spring? Here’s help on getting started.
(more…)

Ibex Community Profile: Lisa Roberts on the Importance of International Women’s Day

We put out a simple query to the Ibex community: who is a woman in your life you want to publicly celebrate for International Women’s Day? We could’ve honored a pro athlete or other well-recognized person but our goal was to give shine to the women in our community who are kicking ass at a high level in everyday life. We think we struck gold with our winning recipient, Lisa Roberts.

Let’s meet her.

Tell us who you are and where you live? 

Lisa_2I live in Elverson, Pennsylvania. I am a wife, a mother to two amazing boys, a sister to three brothers, and a friend to many.

Are you an athlete? An artist? A professional?

I’m a full-time systems engineer in the defense industry.

I have been skiing, ice skating, biking, whitewater rafting and hiking since I was a child. I try to seize every opportunity to get outside. It could be a family night hike after a long week at work or a quick mountain bike ride before picking up the kids, there is nothing better than breathing in fresh air and drinking in nature to balance and rejuvenate me.

My family and I also volunteer. We make meals and deliver food and gifts to the underprivileged, homebound and, in some cases, homeless. This year I also volunteered to lead training rides for my older son’s mountain bike team.

(more…)

The Atmospheric River: Adaptability in California’s Sierra Nevada

Words and photos by Ibex Advocate Jake Young

In early January of 2017, one of the largest storms of the past ten years struck California. The storm brought fierce precipitation causing floods, mudslides, and falling trees, but it also helped California escape one its most severe droughts on record. As the storm moved across the Central Valley, it ascended the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and started to dump a heavy blanket of snow across the entire mountain range. There was no other option but to seek out this fresh pow for an epic four-day weekend of resort and backcountry skiing.

IMG_5400

With dreams of fresh powder on our minds, we left the San Francisco Bay Area at 4:30AM Friday morning of MLK weekend to avoid the gridlock caused by fellow snow seekers. There was actually so much snow that the main highway accessing Kirkwood Mountain was closed causing us to take a longer alternate route. As some of the first people on the lifts, the early morning depart and detour were well worth the trouble.

(more…)

Bike Touring the Baja Divide Mountain Bike Route

By Ibex Advocate Spencer Harding

DSCF6861

This past January I embarked for a three-week stint on the new minted Baja Divide Mountain Bike Route from San Diego to the tip of the Baja peninsula in Mexico. Lael Wilcox and Nicholas Carmen had been working on refining the route for the past three years and invited a group of roughly 100 bikepackers to join them on January 2nd for a “grand depart.” The first day was one of the most monumental gatherings of the bike touring community that I have ever seen.
(more…)

Spring 17: New Fabrics and Styles Have Arrived

Spring is around the corner and whether you’re getting ready to posthole through the thawing snow melt or battle the chilly temps at your local crag, Ibex has your back with their new warm weather line. The unpredictable weather of the shoulder season makes scrambling for the perfect layers a lot like playing the lottery, but Merino wool’s breathability and versatility makes it a natural choice.

Our new Spring 2017 line is full of new fabrics, styles and colors as well as some of the Ibex classics you already know and love.

S17_IbexClothingMen_NO LOGO
(more…)

An Outdoorsy Kind of Love

The best relationships have us swearing we could never imagine life on our own; in the not-so-good ones, we’re positive that living alone (dirty laundry on the floor, brewing the coffee to our desired intensity, and going fishing whenever we feel like it) surely beats the heartbreak and drama of trying to manage two souls instead of one.

Whether you’re coupled up with Cupid or throwing darts his way, you can use Valentine’s Day as a time to reflect on the one bond that’s immune to breaking: our love affair with the outdoors. All of those characteristics you’ve been searching high and low for in another person? The outdoors serves them up, plus some, and requires very little in return. We think that sounds like a match made in heaven.

Here are five reasons why the outdoors is the perfect partner:

3rewf5rp4jo-evan-kirby
(more…)

Ibex Advocate Katie Sealer Puts Wool to the Test

By Ibex Advocate Katie Sealer

I must confess, I do not love winter (contrary to the many smiles on my Instagram feed). I am always cold and dressed in too many layers to properly move, but this year I was given the opportunity to work with Ibex to solve this problem. While I loved their products before testing them out fully, I didn’t completely understand WHY they worked so well. I now can tell you how to survive winter with a big smile and how to get more outside when you really don’t want to!

Katie Sealer 1
(more…)

Exploring Eastern Sierra Rock with Ibex Advocate Tammy Wilson

Tammy Wilson moved to Mammoth Lakes, California for the winters, but a drought brought her to Bishop’s Happy Boulders instead of the slopes. She’s been climbing ever since, and while her love for the sport began with bouldering, she quickly started exploring classic sport routes in the Owens River Gorge and has added several of Yosemite’s traditional multi-pitch routes to her resume.

Tammy’s goal is to climb and play in the mountains for the rest of her life, and she works to support other women in their outdoor adventure goals however she can.

img_8872
(more…)