Silva Acquires North American Distribution Rights

SILVA, the Swedish compass, headlamp and outdoor gear brand, is now becoming truly global by acquiring the North American distribution rights from Johnson Outdoors Inc. (Nasdaq JOUT). The deal, which becomes effective on January 4th 2018, paves the way for rapid SILVA growth in the world’s largest outdoor market.

“This is a crucial step for us from a commercial, as well as a brand perspective,” says SILVA’s chief executive Richard Jägrud. “We are taking over a business potential of sales of 10-12 million SEK from day on. In addition, we gain full control of our brand all over the globe.”

Presently, the SILVA product range in North America is limited to land compasses, which have been developed, produced and distributed by Johnson Outdoor. Once SILVA takes over the rights, the renowned Swedish company, which invented the liquid-filled compass back in 1933, will start selling its original compass versions in the U.S. and Canada.

Bringing in the Whole Product Range
“We will start this new era in the development of our company by safeguarding the compass business together with our appointed distributors,” says Richard Jägrud. Mr Jägrud adds: “We will bring in the rest of our product range stepwise, including world-class headlamps and high-quality outdoor gear. We will se a potential for expansion of our business, since the SILVA brand is already established and we will have full distribution coverage both in the United States and Canada.”

According to the new set-up, Liberty Mountain will handle the SILVA distribution in the United States, while Rock Gear Distribution will cover the Canadian market.

Johnson Outdoors has owned the North American rights since 1973. “Lacking distribution rights to the world’s most vivid outdoor market has of course affected our growth potential considerably,” explains Richard Jägrud. “We are very happy that this issue has been resolved. We have had a good and constructive dialogue with Johnson Outdoor about the transfer.”

SILVA SWEDEN AB has developed and sold high-quality outdoor gear, including headlamps and compasses, since 1933. The products are renowned for their innovative design and outstanding technical functionality. All products are developed in Sweden and tested in the harsh Nordic environment and weather conditions. Silva is owned by Karnell since 2011. Karnell is an investment company that manages institutional capital by investing in small and medium-sized unlisted Nordic companies. Karnell is an active and long-term owner that develop their portfolio companies together with corporate executive teams. Read more about Silva at www.silva.se and Karnell at www.karnell.se

About Liberty Mountain
Liberty Mountain is one of the largest wholesale distributors of technical outdoor products and climbing gear in the U.S. In other words, Liberty Mountain is the one-stop-shop with everything for the outdoors for your outdoor gear store. Instead of contacting, ordering, and managing numerous accounts with various manufacturers to fulfill the store's inventory list, you can simply place your orders--via phone, email, app and/or website--with Liberty Mountain to get shipments that consist of countless brands and products.

About Johnson Outdoors Inc.

JOHNSON OUTDOORS is a leading global outdoor recreation company that inspires more people to experience the awe of the great outdoors with innovative, top-quality products.  The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft Recreation, Fishing, Diving and Camping.  Johnson Outdoors' iconic brands include: Old Town® canoes and kayaks; Ocean Kayak™ and Necky® kayaks; Carlisle® paddles; Extrasport® personal flotation devices; Minn Kota® fishing motors, batteries and anchors; Cannon®downriggers; Humminbird® marine electronics and charts; SCUBAPRO® dive equipment; Jetboil® outdoor cooking systems; Eureka!® camping and hiking equipment. Visit Johnson Outdoors at http://www.johnsonoutdoors.com

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Employee Spotlight - Abbie Brothers

I grew up on the East bench in Ogden, Utah, with miles of hiking trails literally right outside my front door. As young as 6-7 years old, I would walk across the street to the trailhead by myself and explore the hillside, camp out in a grove of trees for the day, or boulder my way up to some of the hidden caves. My family frequently hiked up to Waterfall Canyon on the weekends, and my parents even bravely tried to summit some of the taller peaks with us 4 young kids in tow. Our summer vacations were always spent either going down to southern Utah, or somewhere up in the Uintahs. Some of my best childhood memories are from camping in our pop-up trailer. 

When I moved to Salt Lake to attend the U, I was excited to explore a whole new set of hiking trails. Shortly after graduating from college, my husband and I decided to move to Seattle, and one of the things that drove our decision was the opportunity to explore an entirely different type of terrain. Hiking the rainforest and exploring the rocky beaches was definitely cool and new, but we quickly realized that nothing really compares to the Wasatch front. After 4 years (and twins!), we decided it was time to come back home. We now live at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon, so I feel almost like I’ve come back to my roots of having access to hiking trails right outside my front door. I love that working at Liberty gives me the opportunity to combine my work and my personal passions in a way I’ve never really been able to before!    

Name: Abbie Brothers
Time working for Liberty Mountain: 8 months
Job title: Executive Assistant/Human Resources
Short description of what you do at Liberty Mountain: In short, help hire people, pay people, and help Gary!
What do you like most about your job? I love that both as HR and as Gary’s assistant I get the opportunity to interact with each department and employee in one way or another.

Active in the following sports/activities/hobbies: Hiking, running/trail-running, yoga, camping
Favorite activity: Hiking
Favorite outdoor areas: Little Cottonwood Canyon, and Lake Washington (Seattle)
Piece of outdoor gear you most wish you had: I’d love a SUP, but don’t think that I live near enough to a body of water to justify the purchase. If not that, one of those old school silver bullet campers!
Most interesting place ever lived: In college I lived in a very old, creepy, run-down, tiny house with a roommate. It had zero insulation, one tiny heater, and an empty room with just a stove and a fridge for a kitchen. But we loved it!

Top-five favorite movies: The Labyrinth, Love Actually, Titanic, Mean Girls, Old School
Top-five favorite books: Pride and Prejudice, Animal Dreams, The Great Gatsby, Harry Potter series, Bossypants
First memory spending time Outdoors: Not necessarily the first, but the most memorable is being maybe 10 or so and being swept down a river while swimming in Yellowstone. Obviously, I survived, but I now have a healthy fear of swimming across deep rivers. 
What or who inspires you: My parents successfully instilled their love of nature and being outside in their kids, which inspires me to try to do the same for my own children.

Dream vacation: I have never been to Europe, but really hope to go someday.
Favorite food to eat outside: Peanut butter and honey sandwiches
Cake or pie: Cookies
Dogs or Cats: Dogs (but I like cats, too…)


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VAUDE CEO Antje von Dewitz Receives Merit Award

Antje von Dewitz, CEO of the outdoor supplier VAUDE, was honored with the Order of Merit from the Minister President of the state of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, on Saturday, May 6th. As the Minister President, Winfried Kretschmann, stated at the Mannheim Palace: "Every community urgently depends on exceptionally committed people, such as those being honored today, because they are so actively involved. Because they think ahead and outside of the box. Because they raise their voices and speak out on the behalf of others."

Antje von Dewitz was one of twenty-two to be honored this year. The judges were clear in their reasons for her commendation: "She has clearly been able to build on her father’s success with innovative spirit and conviction, as well as a sustainable, fair and environmentally friendly business approach. Furthermore, her keen instincts, farsightedness, and great sense of responsibility for society and nature distinguish her." "I am very proud to have received this award," the dedicated entrepreneur stated at the ceremony in Mannheim Castle. As the managing director in second generation of the family-owned and run company in southern Germany, she accepted the order: "Such an award for civic engagement is important and naturally it makes me proud because it validates what we are doing. The ceremony was very touching and I really feel honored to be amongst such interesting personalities, who received the Order of Merit with me."

VAUDE focuses on social and ecological commitment
Under Antje von Dewitz, the outdoor manufacturer VAUDE has consistently pursued a path of sustainability and social management, which has now been successfully implemented in all areas of the company. A leadership culture of trust, a 40 per cent share of women in management positions, an outstanding commitment to refugees within Germany, and the company's own organic canteen are just a few examples of how responsible entrepreneurship becomes visible. VAUDE has received numerous prizes for the company's dedication to sustainable and environmentally friendly business, including the German Sustainability Award in 2015 and the recently received European Business Award.

About the Order of Merit
The Baden-Württemberg Order of Merit – also known as the "Merit Medal" until June 2009 – is conferred by the Minister President for outstanding contributions in the state of Baden-Württemberg, especially in political, social, cultural and economic sectors. The number of people who can receive this honor is limited to 1000 living people.

All sections of the population and all areas of the state are equally considered for the honor. The redesigned Order of Merit is a stylized cross with a medallion in the center, on which the greater state coat of arms with the lettering Baden-Württemberg is depicted. It is worn on a folded ribbon in the state colors. Instead of the order, a black-yellow rosette or a miniature can be worn, which is also awarded. In addition to the insignia of the order, the order recipient receives a Certificate of Award signed by the Minister President.  Prominent awardees of the past have been the soccer player, Sami Khedira, the former Mayor of Ulm, Ivo Gönner, and the cabaret artist, Christoph Sonntag.


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Lessons Learned on Mt. Russell

I got a call from my long-time alpine partner with the news that he was going to be in California for spring break and – in between engagement plans – he had some free time.  He then asked me if I would be down to drive 10 hours to Lone Pine for a shot at a cool summit. This was a no-brainer question for me; of course I was!

Nathan and I have climbed all over together. We have climbed scrappy multi-pitch routes in the City of Rocks, ID, sat in our tent for days at the Cirque of the Towers hoping for good weather, and practiced our drytooling game on the loosest choss pile I’ve ever seen down in Provo Canyon.  Now that Nathan was getting engaged, we wanted to do a last hurrah with the newly discovered free time.  As soon as I left work, I drove 700 miles down to Lone Pine, CA where we planned to meet.

However – like all good adventures – there was trouble.  Due to significant rockfall during the winter, the roads were closed and under construction, which delayed our plans for a day and added an extra 3 miles to our approach.  Neither of us being great backcountry skiers, we fumbled and guessed for a while before getting into a rhythm. And to top it all off, the sleeping pads we relied on to keep us warm and off the snow decided to rupture.  Carefully-arranged backpacks and coiled ropes are a poor substitute for Thermarest pads, sleep was rare that night as we shivered on top of the snow. 

Originally, we had planned to summit both Mt Whitney and Mt Russel during our 4 day window.
With the reduced timeframe, we opted for Mt Russell’s East Ridge only.  While normally a 3rd class scramble in the summer, a winter ascent consists of 1,500’of snow and climbing on loose unconsolidated powder, all while facing exposure on the ridge in stiff AT boots, creating a serious outing.  Around 1:00 pm, after a cruxy 5.6 slab, we decided that continuing on the ridge would put us outside of our return window and above our safe climbing threshold, so we made the painful decision to bail.  While frontpointing down bullet-hard snow with loaded packs and ultralight axes, our decision to retreat was reaffirmed. 

After another cold night without pads, Nathan and I were eager to wake up and get an early start on the day.  We jumped the gun a bit in our haste and started skiing down on icy snow.  Although a rough way to start the morning, the snow eventually turned into perfect corn and the views coming down were beautiful.

We ended the trip with a ritual Chile Colorado burrito at Amigos in Bishop, then started the long drive home to Utah.

Gear Used

Vaude Zerum 58: Ultralight, but with a comfy suspension system, the Zerum carried all of my skiing, climbing, and camping gear, even with the lid removed. 

MSR Windburner 1L: We had to melt all of our water from snow, which takes a lot of fuel.  The MSR Windburner is very efficient and works well even in the wind, when you really want hot water quickly.

Grivel Stealth: Superlight helmet with full head coverage; perfect to protect from rock and ice fall while helping to keep pack weight down.

Grivel Haute Route Axe:  The lightest axe that Liberty Mountain carries.  The Ghost or Flame axes from Grivel would have been much better, but they have not arrived yet.

Grivel G12: These are the standard for mountaineering crampons.  I was tempted to use an aluminum crampon like the Air Tech Lights, but the chromolly steel provided better security on the rock scrambles.

Grivel Ares:  Most of the times that we had harnesses on were while walking or scrambling over easy rock.  The open design of the Ares harness allows for a much more comfortable stride.

Edelweiss Discover 8mm: We went with the Discover over the Beal Opera – one of my favorite ropes - as it was slightly thinner and came in a 30m section.  For scrambly ridges like this, 30m was more than sufficient. 

Thule Stir 15L: Comparably light in relation to other summit sacks on the market, but at a much lower price.  I could stuff this in the bottom of my pack and grab it on summit day.

Cypher Logic Approach Shoes: I used these on the hike up to the snow, then stashed them when we switched to skis.  I wish I had brought them up the climb as well, because they would have been perfect on the ridge.

Outdoor Designs Diablo GTT: Perfect gloves for the approach and manipulating tricky ski bindings.

Justin Fisher is a climber, adventurer, and internet sales rep at Liberty Mountain

All photos courtesy of Justin Fisher and Nathan Robinson


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VAUDE Receives European Business Award for Sustainability

VAUDE, the outdoor specialist, was awarded the European Business Award in "Environmental & Corporate Sustainability" on May 4th, and recognized as one of the eleven best European companies. Lisa Fiedler from VAUDE’s CSR team proudly accepted the award at the honors ceremony in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Of the more than 33,000 participating companies, VAUDE was able to win over the jury of experts at the end of a long selection process. As VAUDE CEO, Antje von Dewitz, stated: "This award shows that with our holistic concept of environmental protection and sustainability, we are sending important signals far beyond our industry." VAUDE has already garnered numerous awards, including the prestigious German Sustainability Award in 2015, as Germany's most sustainable brand. That is now followed by this international recognition of the company’s consistent alignment with ecological and social business practices. The award underscores how far the company has proceeded on the path of sustainability and reaffirms its position as Europe's most sustainable outdoor brand.

VAUDE has consequently focused its operating procedures and business activities on promoting environmental friendliness and sustainability throughout the company. Since this decision, it has proven that socially and ecologically responsible business principles can also be economically successful. The company's sales performance is consistently above the industry average. Products are manufactured under strict environmental and social standards according to the Green Shape label. VAUDE publishes an annual sustainability report in accordance with GRI guidelines and is climate-neutral at the company's headquarters on Lake Constance. "Through the EBA, we have been able to once again confirm that our philosophy of sustainability is an economic success factor.” Antje von Dewitz, proudly commenting on receiving this accolade from such a high caliber, international panel of judges stated: “I am very pleased to have been chosen for this award among such a strong international group of candidates. The award for this outstanding performance goes to our whole team, because sustainability is teamwork and a lot of people in the company are involved in this effort.”

VAUDE directs the course in the selection process
Of the 33,000 participating companies from 34 countries, 636 were nominated as "National Champions". In addition to VAUDE, 30 other companies representing Germany were included. In the next round, each national champion submitted a video presentation in a Public Voting process. VAUDE presented itself with the English version of the film "Der Grüne Faden" (The Green Thread). In the subsequent procedure, the company made a personal presentation before an expert panel of judges, which was extremely interested in VAUDE’s sustainability strategy and its practical implementation. At the same time, an independent jury selected 110 companies among the European Champions that were honored with the "Ruban d'Honneur" award. VAUDE also received this award.

About the European Business Award
The European Business Awards (EBA) recognizes and rewards best practices and innovation in excellent companies across Europe. The main objective of the largest European competition is the development of a successful economic community in Europe. Leading representatives from business, academia and politics from all over Europe sponsor the awards, which were awarded for the tenth time this year.
Adrian Tripp, CEO of the European Business Awards, explains: "These companies show innovative spirit, ethical behavior and financial success, and are brilliant examples of the growth potential of European companies in a competitive global marketplace."

Further information on the European Business Awards:
Link to the video "The Green Thread" (VAUDE Philosophy)


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Liberty Mountain Partners with OverBoard

Liberty Mountain is excited to announce its partnership with OverBoard, the UK Based Global Waterproof Sports Manufacturer with a wide range of market leading waterproof accessories including backpacks, Duffel Bags, Dry Bags and Technology Cases. As the exclusive US distributor for OverBoard products, Liberty Mountain will make them available to its vast network of shops, stores, and prodeal customers. The lineup of OverBoard products has received awards globally from reviewers both large and small in the outdoor, cycling, and marine industries. 

OverBoard products are some of the best in the industry and are tested to a very high standard, assuring that they will stand up to the abuse of exposure to water, snow, sand, and dirt. Some of the tests that the products go through include: 

  • Temperature Test
  • Depth Test
  • Strength Test
  • Dust, Sand, and Dirt Tests
  • Dunk Test
  • Weld Pressure Test
  • Load Break Test
  • Repetitive Stress Test 

More information can be found on the product testing process here.

About OverBoard

It all began on the beaches of Thailand and Australia - back in 2006. Having been friends since uni, Dan and Joel had quit the rat race and slipped on their flip-flops to spend six months on an epic beach, boat, surf and scuba holiday.
For weeks they fought to keep their technology, valuables and clothes safe from the impact of water and sand. And finally light dawned – what they needed was a totally trustworthy waterproof bag that guaranteed them peace of mind without slowing them down. More than that, if this was their need it had to be true for thousands of others too.
Back home, even before their tans had faded, they were researching, designing, innovating and producing their first prototypes – the perfect dry bags. And the bags became their first OverBoard products.
The response from friends, family and a growing band of highly satisfied customers spurred them on and so the range had to grow. More colors, sizes and solutions to protect everything from phones and iPads to emergency supplies – from the ravages of water, snow, dirt and sand.
Fast forward and today they are leaders in waterproof bags and cases, with customers and distributors in over 70 countries. Sure, it’s been hard work – but there are perks. Not only do they test everything in the factory, the ultimate trial is in real life situations, ideally with the sun beating down. And somebody has to do it!
Wherever you go, whatever you do, there’s an OverBoard 100% waterproof product for you.

Keep it dry!

For more information, visit over-board.com

About Liberty Mountain

Liberty Mountain is one of the largest wholesale distributors of technical outdoor products and climbing gear in the U.S. In other words, Liberty Mountain is your one-stop-shop with everything for the outdoors. Since 1952, Liberty Mountain has been making outdoor gear stores profitable by reducing holding costs, keeping shelves stocked, and providing the most intuitive products on the market.

As a wholesale distributor, Liberty Mountain carries thousands of products from over 900 different brands and is the exclusive U.S. distributor of the following brands: Beal, Edelweiss, Equinox, Grivel, Kong, Singing Rock, Stram, Trangia, Valandre, Vaude and many more. Liberty Mountain also manufactures its own brands including Peregrine, Olicamp, Cypher, Outdoor Designs and others.

Where We Are
Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and reaching into the roots of the Appalachians, Liberty Mountain operates out of two major warehouses in Sandy, UT and Montoursville, PA. With these two locations, Liberty Mountain is able to offer 1-2 day ground shipping to most of the United States.

How We Do It
Liberty Mountain is committed to great customer service, unrivaled in-stock percentages, on time error-free shipments, and easy-to-receive packages.

Great Customer Service
Fast, dependable service is more than just a goal – it’s the standard. Liberty Mountain’s experienced and knowledgeable sales staff is ready to help with all your outdoor product needs. As proof of this, in 2016 the Liberty Mountain sales team made around 600 shop visits and was present at nearly 40 trade shows throughout the year.

In Stock and Ready to Ship
Liberty Mountain is committed to having both warehouses stocked with the products you need. When your customer needs it tomorrow, it’ll be out of our door today and usually to your shop within two days. The moment your shelves get low, visit LibertyMountain.com, email, or give us a call.

Getting You the Product…When You Need It
Liberty Mountain’s two locations in Pennsylvania and Utah enable fast shipping—within two days via ground to almost everywhere in the lower 48. Order by 1:00pm Mountain Time and your package will be shipped that very same day. Most of the time even orders placed later in the afternoon will ship the same day.

Keeping Shops Profitable
Liberty Mountain’s goal is to help shops become more profitable and increase sales. Liberty Mountain keeps products in stock and available, eliminating the need for shops to keep stacks of product on hand. Because it’s so easy to top off inventories, shops can achieve faster turnover and increase their margins. In addition, Liberty Mountain’s freight allowance helps keep costs down and margins high. See our terms & conditions for all of the details.

No Order Minimums
With no order minimums at Liberty Mountain, shops can get exactly as much or as little as they need, every single time.  

Consolidation of Orders
Because Liberty Mountain carries so many products, you are able to purchase from hundreds of brands on the same order. This means fewer orders and an easier time keeping products in stock.

Custom Silk Screening
Liberty Mountain offers customized printing on six brands of water bottles, Zippo lighters, Voile ski straps, Kershaw knives, and much more. Contact us about ordering custom Nalgene bottles or other products with your shop’s logo.

Reduction of Carbon Footprint
Ordering from multiple brands at once rather than from each company separately can lower the environmental impact of your business. Your entire order will ship together and eliminate the need to place several orders.

Vendor Specific Benefits

Sophisticated Tools
Due to the ever-changing online retail landscape, Liberty Mountain has developed software that can target or block specific customers and segments. Your product will only be sold to the shops and segments that you approve. The software also allows strict enforcement of MAP and provides the option of blocking habitual MAP violators.

We work with all the larger specialty retailers in the US. We are fully EDI compliant and are setup to meet retailer shipping and labeling requirements. Being a vendor, we make it easier for larger chains to pick up your products without the need to expose yourself to chargebacks and other compliance costs.

Increasing Sales
Liberty Mountain’s goal is to help vendors become more profitable and increase sales. Liberty Mountain keeps products in stock and available so that shops won’t need to carry as much inventory, and won’t need to place as many small orders with the vendor. 

When a shop runs out of one or two items but cannot meet vendor minimum orders, both the vendor and the shop lose out on sales. Liberty Mountain keeps your products in stock and with no order minimums, shops can order exactly what they need to keep their shelves stocked and your products selling.

Shops view us as the one-stop shop, everything for the outdoors. Working with Liberty Mountain opens up thousands of smaller shops to your products without the additional sales costs of maintaining thousands of small accounts. 

Large Prodeal Presence
Liberty Mountain will expose your product to its network of over 10,000 Outdoor Industry professionals who qualify for personal prodeals. These customers are very valuable as they often influence purchases made by friends and family members. Unlike other prodeal providers, there are no additional fees on pro orders. Liberty Mountain can also manage pro purchase requests for your entire brand.

To learn more about Liberty Mountain, visit our website or contact us here

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Employee Spotlight - Jessica Powell

I grew up outdoors. My dad is a giant gear head, and I grew up following him around in the mountains on dirt bikes, four wheelers, and snowmobiles. After I moved to Utah for college, I realized there was an entirely different way to enjoy being outside that didn’t have anything to do with engines or gears, and I jumped right in. Since that point, the outdoors has kind of swallowed most aspects of my life; my work, my free time...and most of my paycheck. While I was in school studying recreational therapy, I worked at a local gear shop selling backpacking and climbing gear. I fell in love with the outdoor industry in that shop, and am so grateful to be able to continue being a part of it here at Liberty Mountain.

Name: Jessica Powell
Number of years working for Liberty Mountain: 1 year
Job title: Sales Rep
Short description of what you do at Liberty Mountain: I work with the brick and mortar shops in Colorado and the Midwest.
What do you like most about your job? I love getting out and visiting the shops-especially when we have time to get out and climb!
Active in the following sports/activities/hobbies: Climbing of all types, Canyoneering, Backpacking, Biking, Splitboarding, Trail Running, playing the guitar, reading
Favorite activity: Climbing!

Favorite outdoor areas: Red Rocks National Conservation, The Uinta National Forest, The Wasatch, St George, Utah
Piece of outdoor gear you most wish you had: SUP or Kayak-I don’t know how to do any water things.
Most interesting place ever lived: Tavua, Fiji
Top-five favorite movies: Tommy Boy, Home, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Sixth Sense, Baby Momma

Top-five favorite books: This question is too hard. The 5 most recent were A Dog’s Purpose, The Wilderness Essays, The Light Between 2 Oceans, Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, and Alone on the Wall.
First memory spending time Outdoors: I come from a family of 5 girls, so my dad gave up on having a boy to take on “man adventures” and started hauling me around instead. My first real “outdoor” memory is of a hunting trip we did. He made me pick up deer poop and pinch it between my fingers to see if it was fresh. It was an interesting daddy-daughter bonding experience for a 6 year old.
Inspirational Hero: Steph Davis. She’s so hardcore.
Dream vacation: A climbing trip to Thailand.

Favorite food to eat outside: Those peach cup things. But with fruit juice not syrup.
Cake or pie: Popsicles.
Dogs or Cats: Dogs. Specifically my dog, Ande.


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