Most Salt Lake skiers and climbers are at most two degrees of Kevin Bacon from a Black Diamond employee. If you don't know a BD employee, you know someone who does.
It turns out that Innsbruck is the European headquarters for Black Diamond, which seems fitting to me given the Alpine setting and outdoor spirit of the Tirol. Yesterday, a friend dragged me to BD's "secret sale" where they unload sample items and other items at cut rate prices. We arrived late, so sadly things were picked over pretty good, which is understandable as they had some deep discounts. If I could get them home cheaply, I would have bought one of the remaining pairs of skis.
The crowd was pretty comparable to one you would find at similar events in Salt Lake. Predominantly young and fit. I was the oldest, slowest person in the room. Lots of English speakers too. It felt a bit like being at home, except they were serving beer and it was cheap.
I was very excited to score a BD T-shirt for one euro. I haven't put it on yet to see if it is hopelessly stretched out of proportion, but given how few clothes I have here, I couldn't be more excited.
The sale was located adjacent to the Kletterzentrum Innsbruck, which I understand is one of the world's largest climbing facilities with over 6,000 square meters of climbing surfaces. I'm not a climber, but may coerce my son to do a piece on it when he's in town in May as he's planning on spending quite a bit of time there. Below is a teaser shot of one of the outdoor facilities.