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NO SWEAT

For women on the edge

Dandelion magazine Teal Mountain Media Group; $4.95

September 16, 2003|Pamm Higgins

You could fill a canyon with all the female-specific gear -- shorter, snugger sleeping bags to reduce the dead zone where cold air collects, etc. -- available these days. Yet the publishing world can't seem to crack the code of hard-charging girls. Despite a strong demographic (64 million American women routinely play outside, according to the Outdoor Industry Assn.), Conde Nast's Women's Sports & Fitness and Time Inc.'s Sports Illustrated for Women both fumbled with the athletic anti-glam formula and folded.

Without the conglomerates sucking up ads and readers, Dandelion, a new glossy out of Boulder, Colo., has space to bloom. And the current issue, with rock climber Lynn Hill on the cover, lives up to its mission statement: "We speak to you not about weight loss or fitting into a size two dress, but about living life to the fullest through outdoors experiences that will refresh your body and soul." A certain echelon of Birkenstockers will thrill to the soulful article about Hill's transition to motherhood, and the too-many pages of disembodied travel apparel. But won't anyone weaned on the far-flung adventures in "men's" outdoors titles, and sadly that's a lot of us, wonder: Where's the fun?

-- Pamm Higgins

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