2009-02-07 10:09:09.000 – Jordan Scampoli, Summit Intern
Last Wednesday was a slightly different shift change. First was the ride up in our plush new snow cat. The Observatory upgraded to a new (to us) cat from BitterRoot Resort in Montana, complete with bucket seats, a TV and Alpine speakers. We also had some guests up from LL Bean, one of our chief sponsors.
It was great to meet the folks from LL Bean, two of which were gentlemen from the research and product design wings. We are all outfitted with LL Bean gear, and the purpose of their trip was to come and speak with us about how we felt about their gear. Recently the observers have been testing their Ascent series outerwear.
It was great because they wanted input not only on LL Bean gear, but also on why we like gear from other companies. Everyone always has something to complain about: that a pocket is placed in a useless location, or a zipper that opens down instead of up, and these guys were more than happy to listen to every little complaint. Take Mike Finnegan, IT Observer – he noticed early on that he ripped his wrist tabs off of both his sleeves. While he assumed it was due to his unnatural strength, not an inherent flaw in the jacket, he went ahead and told the designers at LL Bean. They in turn took his recommendation and were able to change the design before commercial production began, saving the company from the headache of returns and lots of outdoor enthusiasts from the chill of snowy wrists.
I was thrilled to be a part of this process and to have an outlet to air thoughts we all have about each piece of gear we use.
Jordan Scampoli, Summit Intern