Notes from WELD's Laboratory
Ask A WELDer – Parker Cross
Want to know who works at WELD? There’s no better way than to ask. Here’s a little Q and A with Parker Cross, WELD’s Special Content Project Manager.
In three sentences, tell us what you do.
I like to think of myself as a professional adventurer. I ride, climb and hike anywhere I can, and I tend to view my world from the receiving side of the lens. I’ve found photography and videography to be the best way for me to share the adventure and satisfaction of a lifetime spent in the outdoors.
Ok, I was talking about what you do at WELD (Special Content Project Manager), but let’s keep going. Got a good metaphor for how being outside makes you feel?
Being outside (particularly in climbing and mountaineering) is a lot like life; there are always obstacles that you encounter regardless of your chosen path. Part of the whole experience is to figure out the best way to overcome those obstacles, and transform those “roadblocks” into “building blocks” for the next experience; so it goes with life.
What makes you trust a brand when it comes to getting outside?
Authenticity is really important for an outdoor brand to push its wares on me. If the catalog looks hokey or staged, I tend to turn away pretty quickly. I’m not saying that every ad needs to be fueled by no-holds-barred-adrenaline-pumping-thrill-rides, but I need to believe that these people care about being outside as much as I do.
What’s your biggest outdoor achievement? Your biggest business one?
Biggest outdoor achievement? Sheesh, that’s a tough one. I like to think that everything I’ve achieved so far is just a stepping stone of sorts for what the future holds. I’m pretty pleased with the direction I’ve taken with my snowboarding, and some of the rowdy lines we got in the bag in 2011 with the Wasatch Mountain Podcast. From a business perspective, I guess I was pretty hyped to be featured in a commercial for the new Apple TV. I was in the limelight for approximately 1 1/2 seconds of glory! Haha.
I know you’ve got a secret stash. Time to give up the goods. Where should I go ride?
Shhhh, don’t tell anyone: It’s called Utah. More specifically though, I’d say the Knuckledragger Couloir in American Fork Canyon is about as secretive as it gets. 45 minute snowmobile ride plus 1 1/2 hours of touring into the wilderness area to gain the ridge to this really wicked northeast-facing chute for about 1400 feet of vertical. You can nail that puppy 4 or 5 days after a storm and get nipple-deep Utah champaign every time.
Get right on that. So what drew you to WELD?
WELD has this neat way of embodying in a brand the passion for the outdoors that I’ve always felt. I can’t think of a better place for me to exhaust my energies promoting an active lifestyle.
Where are outdoor sports headed, in your oh-so-humble opinion?
Adventure is the key to the future of the outdoor industry, and you can definitely see it within the action sports brands. Ski and snowboard companies are aligning much more closely with climbing and mountaineering brands because they expect a welding of the sports in a big way. It’s a lot more like it was in the 90′s, and the marketing focus is about getting wild. Sometimes that means getting wild in-bounds, but often it means the backcountry, and I’m glad to be on or near the cutting edge of where things are headed.