Blog

 
 

Setting Sail To Points Unknown…

October 21, 2014

We never know where Louis Arevalo is going to surface on the globe, but we know it’s going to be an adventure whenever he drops a line.

We recently got the following email from Louis with a tale from the high seas, and images that back up this explorer’s wanderings across the waves, rocks and some of the most amazing places we’ve seen in a while…

"I made it back to the States after the sailing journey and it was an incredible experience. It began in the small city of Haarlem, west of Amsterdam, where we were able to see a few sights and check out the Teyler Museum. Boarding the Anne Margaretha we traveled to the North Sea with 10 other travelers. Heading south our stops in the English Channel included Ostend, Belgium and Cherbourg, France. It took five days to cross the Bay of Biscay and we were blessed with immaculate weather allowing us to commune with the dolphins and a few sperm whales. Spotting the Spanish mainland meant that we were close to the Cies Islands, which are national parks and are only open to day visits. We stopped for a morning swim on the deserted beach of San Martino then feasted on a picnic of fresh baked bread from the oven of the ship. Moving south the weather turned forcing us to seek refuge in the historical city of Porto, Portugal where we finished our voyage then headed to the fishing village of Peniche for much needed surf and down time.”

Enjoy the image, and start planning your next trip today!

 
 
Huge congrats to Ryan Waters on summiting his 15th 8,000-meter peak! He bagged 8,163m Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world, for the third time - getting 100% of his crew and clients to the top! 
October 20, 2014
 
 

Explore More With The ZEAL Explorer Airstream

October 20, 2014

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Hi. Meet the new ZEAL Explorer. Coming to a town near you…

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This bad boy was nearly a year in the making after the Boulder Flood destroyed our last trailer. But this labor of love has been realized and made road ready. Keep an eye out for our captain of events, road warrior extraordinaire, and purveyor of all things awesome - Mike Filander.

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Be prepared to be move to Explore More!!

 
 
Ski season is officially here and we’re getting hyped with Nick Pease!
October 19, 2014
 
 
 

#ExploreFall Photo Contest Starts Today!

October 17, 2014

We’re launching an Instagram contest today in partnership with @Mountainsmith - this is your chance to win a killer Mountainsmith backpack and sungalsses from ZEAL Optics, just for posting to your instagram account!

The rules are simple, just post your best photos of you exploring this Fall and tag them #ExploreFall. Most excellent photo will win.
Winners wills be announced on Monday.
What are you waiting for? 

Rules – or click for Official(long-winded) Rules

1. All entries must be made on Instagram during the period of 10/17/2014 at 12:01AM MST to 10/19/2014 at 11:59 PM MST. Winners will be announced on Monday, 10/20/2014.

2. Entries must be tagged with @mountainsmith@zealoptics, and use the hashtag #ExploreFall.

3. Submissions will be judged on quality, creativity, and overall enjoyment experienced by Mountainsmith and ZEAL employees during viewing of your image.

4. Posts to Instagram are public and may be shared by Mountainsmith or ZEAL without prior written consent.  Your posts will show up below if you have properly tagged them.

5. All time spent creating Instagram posts for this contest are at the contestant’s own risk.  Mountainsmith and Zeal are not responsible for any injuries incurred while creating their post.  Wear a helmet!

6. Enter as many times as you wish. Good luck.

7. The grand prize will be a Mountainsmith Cavern Backpack and a pair of Zeal sunglasses of your choice(excluding the Crafted line).

 
 

Welcome Back To The Water Mike Dowdy!

October 17, 2014

After a long eight-month recovery from a full ACL tear back in February, we’re so stoked to announce that Mike Dowdy is back on his board.

Mike sent us these shots from his first couple “mellow” sessions back behind the boat and from the looks of things, and how stoked he is, Dowdy is coming back strong. Look for him back on the contest circuit next February, putting down some of the most innovative moves we’ve ever seen.

Congrats Mike - here’s to an amazing 2015!

 
 

Craftsmanship - Sizzle & Depth

October 16, 2014

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Words, Photos & Video by Chris Morgan

We’ve heard it so many times before—the US is shifting away from an industrial economy creating tangible goods to a service economy focused on digital creations.  At a staggering pace, our personal interactions, our creative inventions, and our new products are becoming less material in nature.  Apps are replacing everything from magazines to concierges. More and more of the products we purchase can only be found in the digital realm.  In return our lives have exploded with a cornucopia of information, wonderment, and learning that no period of human history has even come close to matching. 

Whole industries now devote themselves to supporting this new cyber age, and the greatest minds of the most recent generations are hard at work making life easier, safer, richer, and ultimately more fulfilling.  These people are brilliant, cutting edge, and entrepreneurial…and I would argue that they are craftsmen. 

By definition, a craftsman is someone who pursues the perfection of a craft, but strangely we don’t seem to carry this label over to those who design the newest iOS, the greatest apps, or any of other brilliant creations we use on a daily basis.  We hold aside the revered label of “craftsman” for those who master age old traditions combining intellectual and hands-on skills to create tangible, unique products. 

Despite our shift towards the digital, there are still people who choose to focus their brilliance on the tactile, and we in turn have kept a special place in our hearts for them.  Day in and day out, year after year, they work at perfecting their crafts, and I’m happy to say I know such a person.

His name is John Young and he’s a luthier (a person who makes stringed instruments), and he’s the quintessential craftsman.  For over twenty years John has been quietly laboring to create the finest violins in the world.  It’s all done with his hands, his mind, and especially his heart.  While he knows he’ll never achieve perfection in his craft, it doesn’t deter him—for what is perfection in a subjective field anyway?

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True craftsmen are on a journey to a goal they know they’ll never achieve.  A Bridge Too Far.  The end of the rainbow.  A Shangri La.  But to these craftsmen they have discovered the real secret of life and their work.  The secret that all of us inherently know, but have difficulty stepping back and employing.  The secret truth that it’s the journey and the process that is the true reward.

In recent years Malcolm Gladwell famously espoused the concept that a person can achieve greatness in a craft if they are willing to put in 10,000 hours of practice.  That’s an daunting amount of time spent focused on what can be minute, repetitious, time-consuming details.  To remain committed, then the hours of work need to be fulfilling and exciting unto themselves.  Minutiae work can’t be thought of as drudgery, but rather the pursuit of continuing improvement.  As John Young and other craftsmen would agree—you have to do what you love and love what you do.

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For John, the joy is in the trip to the forests of the Northeast to discover trees that provide the primary building material for his violins.  He loves the time alone in his shop surrounded by the comforting quiet and the smell of wood and lacquer.  He loves the on going experimentation to find the perfect oil finish to make his violins vibrant and glowing.  He loves becoming friends for life with the people who buy his violins.  He loves every step in the journey of creating a violin.  He has surpassed the 10,000 hour mark and will continue working and learning for the rest of his life.  He can’t imagine doing anything else.

Being a craftsman is to appreciate the art and the journey.  While John is such a craftsman, he’s only one of many throughout the world.  On a daily basis craftsmen are bringing their passion to a wide range of specialties, including the digital realm.  They don’t just have to be the people like John who practice an age old art.  Being a craftsman is a state of mind and an attitude carried into what ever endeavor a person commits themselves to mastering.  We can all become craftsmen.  We just need to find what we love to do and pursue it with passion.

Chris Morgan is a former fighter pilot turned filmmaker living in northern Utah.  You can find him online at www.twosherpas.com and on Instagram @chris_twosherpas.

Learn about ZEAL’s Crafted line here.image

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Check out more photos HERE!

 
 
"Don’t confuse me with being anything else other than proud. Proud to be a hunter. It’s time we stop apologizing for how we get our protein. This is who we are. Unless you’re a small time rancher, small time farmer, a hunter or fishermen… you really have no idea where your food comes from. Most people don’t even think about it. Well, we think about it. ” - Donnie Vincent.
October 15, 2014