Our Snowmodo reader meetup was this weekend. Whenever we set one of these events up, there's always the nagging worry it'll be dumb and no one will show up. You proved me wrong.
Geek readers made their way from the surrounding areas—the temperate climate of the bay, the big little glitter of arid Reno, the capital of our state and strip mall hell known as Sacramento, the college town Davis—to the mountains to play with gadgets in the real world setting of Tahoe, in the winter. The day started out slow, with accidents the night before and morning of the event clogging up route 80. But by the end of the day, more than 100 of you made it, with skis and snowboards in hand.
The weather was colder than what I'd expect this time of year, and the high winds swept away the two inches of fresh powder that came on late Thursday. When you did find patches of good snow, they were only covering icy chop. That made for some interesting use of our most engaging outdoor gadgets. First up was MotionX GPS, which we used to track the paths of iphone users through the day, collecting them into a giant map of the paths used. Total mileage for tracked runs was over 111 miles.
We also had snowboards from Lib-Tech there. Lots of boards were snatched up for test runs, and the hard surface was dealt with well by the serrated edges, while the rocker shapes of the board sailed over chop.
The colder than usual temperatures made for some slick surfaces that helped set up some interesting crashes. Some that were captured by the popular GoPro Hero Wide cameras, some mounted to helmets, some mounted to chests. Chris Mascari took a particularly funny fall, captured by Adam Frucci.
Snowmodo Crashes from Gizmodo on Vimeo.
The cold also made Ardica heated jackets much more useful than had it been a mild Spring day. People were ratcheting up the heat on the chair lifts, and turning them off when on the move.
Zune brought loaners loaded with Adrian's playlists for slow mellow runs, fast runs and night runs.
Nokia brought some smartphones and the photos, as usual, were very good. (Especially compared to those photos taken by phones from Apple.)
It's hard for me to express how cool it is to connect readers with the gear I appreciate and use on my own time away from the computer, which is an entirely rewarding thing (as opposed to writing about gear online, where most of the news releases are of new junk that does the same old shit).
And in the biggest mess up of the day, I deleted an incredible slow motion video of a guy in a thong skimming a snowboard across a pond shot with a Casio. Yeah, so instead, I leave you with this video I found on Youtube.
Thanks to all the companies that came and gave away prizes and thanks to Zune for throwing a party after the day was done. And thanks to Northstar I'm glad to see so many companies making the effort to come and talk to you readers directly, face to face—an otherwise impossible thing at trade shows or across the internet.
In the end, Snowmodo was a great time and I made lots of new friends. It's always amazing to meet in meatspace, readers. See you next year.
P.S. Special thanks to AqueousBeef for helping us man the room, and to JT and Tali for the photographs.