Six Month Review: Introducing Allyson

By Allyson O’Connor

Mountain biking in the La Sals is Moab's sweet summer escape, even when things get torrential. So this is what rain jackets are for...

Mountain biking in the La Sals is Moab’s sweet summer escape, even when things get torrential. So this is what rain jackets are for…

What better place exists to inspire gear design than Moab, Utah? I find inspiration at every elevation. One of my fondest early memories as resident of Moab was floating around a bend on the Colorado River and being presented with a stunning view of the snowcapped La Sal Mountains 8,000 feet above. The river brought me to Utah in 2008, and the diversity of people and landscape keeps my home here in this remote little desert town. My first few years working as an environmental educator fostered a deep curiosity about the region, and the opportunities to explore by boat, hiking, biking, and skiing in such close proximity to my front door makes it hard to imagine life any other way.

I did an Avalanche training course over the winter. Max Forgensi, the local avalanche forecaster, is explaining stability tests to the class.

I did an Avalanche training course over the winter. Max Forgensi, the local avalanche forecaster, is explaining stability tests to the class.

Moab, as a community, is small. Really small. That’s what I love about it. And if you decide to live here it can take some creativity. I started working for Dave about a year ago managing the accounts, and this past winter more opportunity for more involvement in the gear development arose. In the past 6 months I’ve learned much about gear development as a global industry and gained respect for the time and thought put into every minute detail on each design. Nothing happens by accident, nor should it. Each design decision is earned through experience using the equipment in its most natural setting. Whether we are working on apparel, backpacks, or the litany of other gear accompanying the outdoor life, it’s exciting to help drive that development process. Afterall, these tools help me down the trail, river, or route. On top of working on the business and development side of Outdoor Labs, I will be updating the blog and managing OL’s social media. This is where we can share our passions and inspirations, such as Dave’s upcoming expedition paddling across Lake Michigan. More adventures coming soon!

Moab is nestled in so incredible wilderness. Here I am at the top of the Sundance Trail headed down to Dark Canyon.

Moab is nestled in such incredible wilderness. Here I am at the top of the Sundance Trail headed down to Dark Canyon.

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