Osprey is excited to be returning to Dayton, Ohio — the “Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest”– for the 10th annual Midwest Outdoor Experience, Friday October 2nd & Saturday October 3rd. With more than than 15,500 acres of land, 270 miles of river corridor and 160 miles of managed trails for hiking, cycling, mountain biking and horseback riding, Five Rivers Metro Parks is the place for outdoor adventure in Ohio and is the ideal location to be hosting this extravaganza.
Here are some fun things happening at MOX this weekend – don’t miss out:
Something to do for everyone: Check out the schedule for this year’s Midwest Outdoor Experience — there are activities ranging from being on the river, taking clinics, and hearing live music!
Five Rivers MetroParks strives to make Dayton, Ohio a more vibrant place to live by growing the outdoor community through facility development, programs, activities and events.
So come out, show your support and stop by to say “Hi!” at the Osprey booth October 2nd and 3rd!
Here’s what will be happening at our booth:
Our Anti-Gravity Fit Station: Revolutionary, innovative & maybe a little bit magic: our award-winning Anti-Gravity™ Suspension system provides seamless comfort that contours the body allowing a trail experience like no other. Combined with custom capability and a full feature set, the Atmos AG™ sets a new standard in ventilated backpacking. Interested in finding out what all the fuss is about and checking out for yourself what this award-winning pack feels like? Stop by our booth to try AG™ out at our Anti-Gravity Fit Station. Also, the Osprey Packs team will be on-site to answer all of your questions, chat packs with you and provide you with the exact fit you need for your next Osprey purchase.
How to Pack and Repair Your Pack Clinics: Know before you go! We will be hosting a clinic that reviews all the essential information relating to pack repairs which is invaluable on and off the trail! The first 15 people to sign up for one of these clinics will receive a Osprey Packs Repair Kit and custom Osprey hat – make sure you sign up! Our pack repair clinic is October 5th from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Sign up at the Osprey booth.
20% off Osprey Packs- We’ve teamed up with Great Miami Outfitters to bring you a phenomenal discount of 20% off select Osprey packs in celebration of the Midwest Outdoor Experience! You can get this 20% off in both the Great Miami booth as well as the Osprey Packs booth. Great Miami Outfitters will have all larger model packs (perfect for for multi-day trips) and the Osprey booth will have an assortment of hydration, trail, and day packs.
Talon Guest Appearance on the Osprey Stage- BIRD IS THE WORD! Meet our mascot, Talon, before he takes off for the winter. He will be making a special experience in between sets at the Osprey-sponsored MOX Music Stage. He also brought some treats to throw out to the crowd, so don’t miss out!
Ultimate Swag Giveaway- Looking for chapstick? How about a coozie for your tasty beverage? We have got you covered with some of the “Best Swag You Eva Had” at the Osprey booth: we’ll have stickers, hats, chapsticks, eco-coolie coozies, and much more to give away to anyone visiting our booth. Swing by for high-fives and good times!
At Osprey Packs, we value the experiences that being outdoors allows us to have — there is something truly transcendent about being outside, carrying only the belongings in your pack and being able to step back from the daily grind and the inherent distractions of the everyday hustle. Whether it’s a multi-day backpacking trip, international travel, treks to mountainous peaks, a weekend warrior camping trip, a dayhike or the simple enjoyment of the fresh air on a daily bike commute — the act of disconnecting (a.k.a. actually turning your phone all-the-way-off) and taking a break from daily responsibilities (a.k.a. “Grown-Upisms”) is important and far too often, fleeting. Being able to make time to really be in the present and not concern yourself with anything else but your immediate surroundings and well…yourself – it’s rare and beautiful. The outdoors are one such way to get back to what is sacred, that’s why we so fiercely advocate for their protection and conservation.
There are very few experiences in this world that allow for transcendent breaks the way that nature does but listening to music is definitely one of them. For years the Osprey family has bonded over our collective love of music. Our main connection to music stems, first and foremost from being fans but we’ve also been lucky enough to collaborate with talented artists who are themselves fans of Osprey – there’s definitely a mutual respect on both sides relating to our respective commitment to craftsmanship.
We’re proud to have teamed up with some of our favorite musicians to make their travels and adventures on the road easier by providing them with some of our best gear-hauling luggage and packs.
To show their appreciation, some of these musicians have reached out to see how they can provide a similar “ease” by sharing their tunes for our daily adventures. We can’t keep all the good vibes to ourselves and so we’re excited to be sharing #MusicMondays with all of our fans!
If you’ve ever seen Keller Williams perform, then there’s no need for you to read — you’re already familiar with the vibrant energy and exuberant personality that Keller Williams possesses. Keller is one of our favorite artists for those reasons and the undeniable fact that he is one of the most talented guitarists to hit the scene. Furthermore, with Keller you get exactly what you see — a riveting passion for playing music that results in kinetic energy shared by Keller and the audience. That level of authenticity rings true for us at Osprey and we love that Keller’s talent and personality have been responsible for bringing together some incredible musicians for projects like Grateful Grass, Grateful Gospel, Keller and the Keels and many other collaborations. His various Bands projects can lead to some of the greatest live performances of your life, and that same vibrant creative energy, sincerity and skill is ever-present in Keller’s new studio album “Vape”.
When he offered us an exclusive to stream “Vape” on the Osprey Packs website for 24 hours, we jumped at the opportunity to share the creative talent of Keller Williams with you all.
Last but not least, enter to win your own copy of “Vape” (signed by Keller himself) as well as an Osprey Packs FlapJack or FlapJill!
Interested in what Keller carries on tour?
On Friday September 25th at approximately 6:00 am MST Osprey Athlete, mountaineer, filmmaker and ultra-runner Ben Clark kicked off his 6th attempt to complete Nolan’s 14. Nolan’s 14 is a challenging traverse that links 14 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot summits, one that covers nearly 100 miles of some of the Sawatch Range’s toughest terrain, one that must be completed in less than 60 hours.
Osprey employee Scott Robertson pretty much sums up everyone at Osprey’s awe and appreciation for Ben’s efforts and accomplishments with the following reflection: (more…)
Every year I find myself in the same place; ending the previous season, taking some time off to rock climb, and then back into training for the next year’s round (of competitions and winter climbing). It’s a cycle I’ve been following for a few years now-train, climb, compete, repeat. It’s been awesome and I’ve seen a certain level of success that I thought never to be possible. I’ve worked really hard to have been given the opportunity to travel the world and do what I love doing most…to climb. But It hasn’t been an easy road; the sacrifice of time, juggling my climbing career and my family all the while trying to find the balance in my sanity. And let me tell you…it’s been of great effort to hold it all together. Near on every day filled with “To-Do’s” of all sorts, demanding time and energy, commitment at the highest rate. Go ahead, just ask me how many cans of Red Bull I drink to make it all possible.
A couple of months ago, when i Began “this year’s training”, during a session, a coach I work with attached a tag line to a picture he took of me, “Take the ferocity, take the focus, and pour it into this…every day.” I read a lot of motivational content, study mental toughness books, and even work with a sports psychologist, but that quote, the ferocity, it rung so loud in my head, that it did something strange…it changed something, even broke something. Saying it over and over in my head, to pour “it” into this every day. What was “it”, what did that quote really mean to me, in fact…the better question…what was it doing to me?
Mentally I felt like someone had just removed the shackles from my repetitive cycle that I was caught in. A routine that had carried me through the last several years had been overtaken by a deeper willingness, a deeper passion, and more drive than I had ever experienced before. A collaboration between coaches (physical and mental), my family, friends, we all had a new attitude that had reached a heightened awareness of what was actually attainable. Last year I experienced the most success in my climbing journey: I won the North American championships, placed 4th in a world cup, and climbed my hardest route (outside) to-date. Wow. Total success. Or was it?
Recently I posed the question on Facebook, “What does ‘Success’ mean to you?” The answers came from every direction with all sorts of ideas. Everything from “winning” to “being happy”. Both equally right in there own sense, and for me…both applicable to my own personal definition of success. But recently that word has transformed into a more personal meaning. Success to me is it’s own form of winning, it’s own form of a podium. Would I feel successful standing on top of a podium? Yes, and I have felt that. But the podium, or “winning” isn’t the success, where as the success for me is the process. Winning is just the by-product. I’ve come to realize that my success is the ultimate effort. Not to be confused with the ultimate sacrifice. These to facets are different. My ultimate effort is full-heatedly believing that I poured every ounce of energy into a task at hand, and then some. Doing that, and knowing you did it, that’s the end of the rainbow…that’s the pot of gold.
Hearing that quote, “Take the ferocity….”, it’s like it opened a door within me that gave way to untapped energy. A resource I knew not of, but that was waiting for the right time to be channeled towards a specific direction or goal. Yes, as I said, last year was successful…to an extent, but deep down I knew there was more, more I could do, more I could try, more I could give. I knew deep down I hadn’t given it “my all”, the ultimate if you will. I could feel that there was still reserve energy but didn’t know how to get to it, how to channel it. Until now.
We took the time to understand. Breaking down the previous cycle of how; the program for preparation‑things needed to be changed, re-invented, and thought through very carefully to how the “absolute” could be attained. My coaches and I analyzed previous years, broke down the errors, weaknesses, and reasonings behind falling short of certain goals. Many were clear, some still unknown, but what was apparent…change was of the utmost. And change? That was associated with me, especially geared towards my “ultimate” (willingness). How bad did I “really” want it? How hard was i truly willing to push (physically and mentally)? Did I have that? The push?
It meant starting earlier; more focus on strength, dynamic technical climbing, more time route setting (focusing on every movement possible), it meant tempo (learning how to climb fast- technically with precision), not necessarily more time per say, but utilizing my time with a new focus, and new effort‑”the ferocity”. It meant “taking the ferocity, the focus, and pouring it into this…every day.” For me to reach my ultimate success, I need to believe in a level of energy that’s beyond my horizon. But that’s what it takes (for me anyways). For me to be successful I need to believe in the impossible. I need to believe that I’m capable of the impossible. There’s a lot on my plate for this coming winter, with competitions and personal climbing goals. To get through it all, I need to go beyond what I thought was my ultimate, and rise to a new level of “try hard”.
It’s a new season, there’s a new focus.
(#risetotheabsolute is a hashtag i created that’s linked to my push for “ultimate success”. You can use the hashtag on Instagram, twitter, and Facebook)
Climbing has become part of my daily routine. Whether training, climbing, or competing, with every hour–physically or mentally, climbing plays a role. I was once asked, “Why do you love climbing?” And the only response i could come up with was, “because without it, I feel short of breath”.
My focus is mixed climbing competitions. I travel the world every winter competing for Canada on the World Cup Ice Climbing Tour. I prepare months in advance in becoming ready to climb at my best. Throughout the “off season” I love to rock climb, spending most nights at my local crag or traveling to amazing places like Wyoming, Las Vegas, Kentucky, and my favourite: The Bow Valley (Canmore, AB).
Over the years I’ve found that in order to be fitted with readiness, you must train…and train a lot. From that I’ve built “the machine” in my backyard. Back there; it’s my fortress of solitude…where i learn, re-group, and try real hard. The backyard is outfitted with a 30ft Arch, bouldering walls/cave, and many training apparatuses.
What I do, where I go, all of it wouldn’t be possible without the support of my amazing family, and sponsors–those who believe in my dream and encourage me daily to keep going after it.
Osprey Athlete, mountaineer, filmmaker and ultra-runner Ben Clark has attempted the formidable challenge of completing Nolan’s 14 multiple times in the past — and he’s getting ready for his next attempt, this weekend. Ben has been candid about the difficulties, the uncertainties and the unrelenting commitment to add his name to the very short list of individuals who have completed Nolan’s 14.
What exactly is Nolan’s 14 and what is its allure to the most elite ultrarunners? Nolan’s 14 is a run — a traverse unlike any other — one without clear markers or even trails at some points, linking fourteen of Colorado’s 14,000-foot summits, one that covers nearly 100 miles of some of the Sawatch Range’s toughest terrain, one that must be completed in less than 60 hours.
Ben’s determination — fed and fueled by moments of elation, disappointment, triumph and patience — has led him to doggedly attempt this physically-demanding, emotionally-challenging route that is undoubtedly one of the hardest in ultrarunning’s history. Join us as we cheer Ben on this weekend as he laces up his shoes, pulls on his pack and sets out on his final attempt this summer to achieve this incredible, daunting feat.
We caught up with Ben recently to better understand some of the mental and physical preparation for Nolan’s 14 and to get a sense of what it’s like to answer the mountains when they call.
Osprey Packs: This will be your sixth attempt at breaking the 60 hour mark; what about Nolan’s has its claws in you?
Ben Clark: Nolan’s makes me miss the Himalayas. Not a day goes by that an image or memory doesn’t haunt me from there. So I’d say the mountains, in my experience, are the essence of “infectious” to me.
I learned that there are safe ways for me to venture deep into the mountains, and my own soul for that matter, that if I am truly reaching I will not need the fear of deadly consequence to attain my goal. I used to need that fear, as much as I might deny back then I didn’t. The motivation of having the knowledge of what it is like to execute something like Nolan’s 14 in the way I want — safely but with no distraction — is a nice motivator for me to keep seeing what I can do.
60 hours is a long time to immerse into the heart of a range of 14ers. But you can walk away from the mountains if they gets too rowdy, so that means I have to really want it in my heart, to be willing to keep trying until I’ve experienced it. I feel like maintaining the health and fitness to do so is a lifelong reward as well.
OP: After spending countless hours on the Nolan’s “course” — both training and during the main event — what has gone well?
BC: I think being prepared for anything is probably the best evidence I can offer of anything going well. It has been exhilarating at times, but always safe, thanks mostly to the crews that supported the early attempts.
OP: On that note, what hasn’t gone particularly well in the past? Is there anything you are planning to change significantly this time?
BC: I feel sometimes when people fail to meet their expectations in the mountains they will say that the mountains are humbling. I don’t think that. I think the mountains are “mountainy.”
If I start my expectation equal to their conditions then I’m never humbled — schooled sometimes, yes, because rather than scale them down to me I accept them for how much more beyond my control and scale they are and I like that about them. That has led to an appreciation of their many moods and an attitude of embracing them to have an understanding of this or any mountain line.
This line’s lack of consequence has completely transformed me physically and mentally, it has innovated everything about what I think I need to move along on a big day and what I don’t. This time I’ll be carrying just an 18 L pack, with a better and more substantial sleeping/shelter kit.
OP: Endurance athletes can be incredibly particular about food and fueling, are you a supplement/gel/salt-tab scientist or more of a cheeseburger/candy/whatever-I-can-find fueler; what’s your strategy?
BC: I eat a mix of things — some that I make myself, mostly a higher fat concentration during sustained endurance efforts. Of packaged food, Clif Bar products keep me well-fueled and allow me to change it up both flavor- and calorie-wise if/when I’m “over” my other food. McDonald’s plain double cheeseburgers also happen keep well.
OP: What puts your mind at ease the day/night leading up to the main event? Do you have any pre-run traditions?
BC: I’m as at ease with any event, including this one, as I can be. I travel half the month and I am a Dad. Even though I have all the commitments that come with that, I have very few things that are as much a pillar to my daily routine as my training as I balance a career as a filmmaker and athlete. It’s all in the numbers when it comes to training and as long as I restrain enough to avoid injury and I’ve put in the time and miles, I look forward to the release I feel the moment I hit the trail. It is all fun to me, to just go and do it.
OP: Gear choice is critical on something this demanding, which Osprey pack do you bring and what’s critical about that piece of gear? What else is on your gear list?
BC: The Rev 18 pack is as light and small as I can go but substantial enough to handle the weight of 3 days food and all my gear, roughly 25 pounds. Because it fits more like an article of clothing than a traditional pack suspension, the Rev stays snug and compact while I move quickly and doesn’t snag as I bushwhack through dark forests or bounce while I quickly trot downhill through loose terrain! My Rev has been modified to include a Stow-On-The-Go™ system for my trekking poles when I need my hands free and has an in-line water filtering system so I don’t have to pump water.
My gear list includes:
3 peanut butter cookies
10 kits organic Clif Bars
12 Clif gels
6 Clif organics pouches
12 salt tablets
5 via lattes
9 Clif electrolyte drink mixes
3 litre reservoir
Sawyer inline water filter
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro
Superfeet Carbon Pro insole
2 Smartwool compression sock
2XU calf sleeve
Patagonia Strider short
Patagonia fleece tights
Patagonia Forerunner L/S Shirt
Patagonia Fleece vest
Patagonia Leashless jacket
Patagonia Super Cell pants
Patagonia Nano Air hoody
Patagonia Ultra Light down Sweater
Patagonia Duck Bill Hat
Osprey Packs beanie
4 pairs of gloves
Esbit fuel cell stove
8 fuel cells
Montbell 10oz summer seeping bag
Outdoor Research Helium Bivy Sack
Sol 96″ x 54″ emergency blanket
Stainless steel cup
Med kit with bandages
3 spare batteries
Goal Zero Venture 30 Charger
1100 Lumen compact Flashlight
Delorme InReach Explorer
Suunto Ambit 2
On the weekend of August 22nd, I was joined by 5 other Osprey employees on a mission to climb Mt. Sneffels just outside of Telluride, CO. The plan was pretty basic and thrown together at the last minute, but the weather was shaping up to be great and we had an awesome crew that was both excited and eager for the adventure ahead.
Geoff, Rosie, Scott, Rob, Vince, and I all left work Friday evening and piled into cars headed for Ouray, CO – a short 2 hour and 15 minute drive away. After a pit stop in Telluride for some food and cheap beer, we made our way around the Sneffels Range to Ouray. After trying and failing (multiple times) to get past a section of the “4wd Only” Yankee Boy Basin Road in my Subaru Outback we made camp by the creek about 2 miles away from the trailhead. With a clear night in front of us we made up our cowboy camps and got to rest under a blanket of stars.
I always enjoy the hustle and bustle of a campsite early in the morning before a big objective –6 people and 3 dogs all scurrying about getting their packs in order, eating breakfast, drinking coffee, and conversing with one another at the same time makes for a lively environment to start the day. Admittedly, time slipped away from us more than we’d liked it to that morning and we started up the Yankee Boy Basin Road just after 7:00am. We had seen a multitude of cars and trucks drive past our makeshift campsite earlier that morning so we knew it would be a busy day on the mountain.
The first 2 miles leading up to the trailhead were simple. We moved quickly up the slopes of the 4wd road, occasionally making way for a family of four in their Jeep Wrangler (or another type of engineering marvel that gobbles up rocky terrain as if this road should be its daily commute). The sun was shining and the views were stunning, for all of us in the group it was our first time in this basin and on this mountain – 4 of the 6 in our group have only moved to Southwest Colorado in the past year!
At the trail-head we began to see what was in front of us: just over a mile of terrain left to cover, but over 1,500’ of elevation gain in that distance. Pushing on with Scott and Geoff out front with the dogs we made great time ascending the loose, scree-covered col. At “the notch” below the summit we took turns in groups staying with the dogs, and groups heading up for the summit at 14,150’. Spending almost an hour near the summit resting and enjoying the views, we ran into our US Sales Director, Brad Bates, and his wife Vicky celebrating their wedding anniversary in style. After a few more minutes enjoying the thin air, we made a plan with Brad and Vicky to rendezvous at our campsite for beers and started our descent down the mountain. The steep, loose scree made for some interesting moments on the way down, but we all made it down in one piece. Well, almost all of us… Vicky fractured her wrist in 2 places after slipping on the descent. Like the true badass she is she came down to camp, drank some moonshine, and then went to get her injuries treated.
Being able to haphazardly throw a plan together and also have 5 of my coworkers added the mix is my favorite aspect of being an Osprey employee: Every person I was with shared my excitement for adventure and was willing to spend 24 straight hours with each other, despite the fact that we still don’t know each other very well. My coworkers are my friends, and my friends are pretty damn cool.
Written by Osprey’s very own Mychal McCormick, our International Sales Coordinator. Mychal has been with Osprey for 2 and a half years now. In his downtime, you can find Mychal perfecting the art of bocce ball as he pursues his semi-pro career under the pseudonym of Demetri Lemeux. On the weekends, Mychal enjoys quiet strolls up the numerous 13,000 foot mountainous peaks that surround our headquarters in Southwest Colorado. From time to time, he makes a quick escape to the residing desert in our neighboring state of Utah. Follow his adventures on Instagram.
Andrew Bydlon, Banff, Banff Mountain Film Festival, film, film festival, inspiration, inspire, Jeremy Boggs, luggage, Luke Adams, nature, Osprey Inspire, Osprey Ozone, OspreyInspire, Ozone convertible, Ozone series, travel, video contest
“Now in its 45th year, our Bumbershoot Festival is one of Seattle’s largest cultural touchstones. Each year, thousands of people across the country flock to Seattle to attend the acclaimed festival, which has become one of the biggest and best-loved contemporary festivals in North America. Bumbershoot’s diverse programming includes live music, comedy, theatre, film, visual arts, dance performance, and more.”
Osprey is pleased to announce that we will be attending Bumbershoot Festival taking place in the Seattle this Labor Day weekend!
As far as festivals go, Bumbershoot might just take the cake for offering an incredible weekend in the heart of a lively city — each day of the festival providing so many stellar options of what to see and do (making it pretty tough to pick and choose when planning your daily festival schedule!). In just three magical days, the historic, iconic Seattle Center comes alive with over 100+ artists from almost every music genre imaginable, performances in comedy, dance and film and endless opportunities to discover something new.
After 45 years, Bumbershoot is Seattle’s longest standing festival and has perfected their wide offering of arts & culture for anyone in the city during Labor day weekend — something that we at Osprey are very excited to be part of!
If you plan on visiting Bumbershoot, make sure to add a visit to the Osprey Packs booth to your schedule – here are more than just a few reasons why:
- 20% off Select Osprey Packs -You heard right! We will be selling select Osprey Packs at our booth at 20% off retail price in celebration of Bumbershoot! We have a selection of day packs and hydration packs and supplies won’t last long! If you don’t find what you are looking for then stop by Osprey Retailer, Second Ascent as they will be doing 20% off all Osprey packs in store! Their location in Seattle is at: 5209 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA.
- Our Anti-Gravity Fit Station: Revolutionary. Innovative & maybe a little bit magic: our award-winning Anti-Gravity™ Suspension system provides seamless comfort that contours the body allowing a trail experience like no other. Combined with custom capability and a full feature set, the Atmos AG™ sets a new standard in ventilated backpacking. Interested in finding out what all the fuss is about and checking out for yourself what this award-winning pack feels like? Stop by our booth to try AG™ out at our Anti-Gravity Fit Station.
- How to Pack and Repair Your Pack Clinics: Know before you go! The Osprey Packs crew is on hand to share all the essential information relating to pack repairs and the what/how/why of packing your pack, which is invaluable on and off the trail! The first 15 people to sign up for one of these clinics will receive free food, drinks, an Osprey Packs Repair Kit, an Osprey pint glass and custom Osprey hat – make sure you sign up! Our pack repair clinics are on Sunday 9/6 & Monday 9/7 from 3-4 pm.
“After 15 years in obscurity, Nolan’s 14, a hundred-mile traverse of 14 14,000-foot peaks in 60 hours, emerges as a new test piece for elite mountain runners.” –National Geographic Adventure
Yes, that’s correct — completing Nolan’s 14 entails traversing 14 summits, each over 14,000 ft (nearly 100 miles in distance!), in under 60 hours.
Ben shares what this particular group of 14 peaks means to him and how this traverse has shaped the last three years of his life:
In all my life, I have never been so prepared. But in all my life, I have never found the right sequence to complete this unending task, a three year commitment of endurance fitness topping 33 previous years of hard knocks and tussles with progress through the mountains. “Is this time different? Is it worth it?” I have to ask myself — this is the grandest journey on foot of my life — through them and through these years and it has taken longer than I ever thought. It has ground me down while building me up. It is so long, so enormous.
The last two summers I have “gone for it” 4 times on ultra marathon distance traverses over 10 mountains in central Colorado, on a route known as Nolan’s 14. In that two years I have seen my hopes of finishing crushed more than 75 of 93 miles into it twice.
Despite the setbacks along the way toward reaching an understanding of visiting all 14 of Nolan’s 14’s fourteen thousand foot summits in one push, its mystery and magnetism continue to compel me because I love the mountains and big days. I have made mistakes out there but had a satisfying and safe time pursuing this adventure and don’t want to give up on my original purpose for engaging with the line in it’s totality. It’s the biggest effort I can reach for these days and I feel like is suited to the most focused strengths I have trained for and within reason. Now that the time approaches for another long stretch, I’m happy to be exploring it on the best terms I can-those grounded on experience gained on the line and preparation refined each time.
My plan is to start at the north end of the trail and go in one long push from the Fish Hatchery in Leadville, Co. to the summit of Mount Shavano near Poncha Springs, Co. I’ll have no crew, but will have one pair of shoes, one pack (my Osprey Rev 12) and some pretty sweet food, enough gear to do all 14 of the fourteeners. I’m psyched about this. You might be wondering, how the hell is that possible if it took so much crew before to not finish? It will, after all, be me alone.
And this brings me back to the point of this journey, to answer my own questions, to staying committed to a purpose, to answering “is this time different?” No. This time is the same. I began my journey as a mountaineer in this same mountain range 16 years ago, before a decade committed to high altitude Himalayan exploration. In that time I lived many impressionable memories and shared moments with friends that indemnify a lifetime of happiness. It is worth it to know the mountains, and also their uncertain moments. I stopped taking physically consequential risks in the mountains when i became a father 3 years ago. I will always love the mountains and I wanted a safer way to explore them when pushing myself. Nolan’s 14 is for me, that path.
It is a return to my roots as a climber, I view it as the biggest climb in the world. It is minimal and asks for a high level of concentration and accountability during the experience. I will need to be present and own the outcome of every decision for days on end…and nights. I perform my best and truly enjoy the mountains when I have to do that. So many great friends helped me learn it is possible, only in the doing of this would we have known.
With 4 attempts already under my belt, the first 3 adhering to a set of pre existing conventions that led to 13 others completing sub 60 hour finishes on the line since 1999, and 6 since I first attempted it in 2013, I have learned a thing or two. Organized more like a competitive event than a mountain traverse, those rules can lead to success if the timing is good. But with so many opportunities to figure it out in that way specifically and still not completing it due to my own timing and logistical complications, I’ve had to forget those conventions and slowly develop my own personal style based on my experiences on it, what mountaineers would call our “fair means”. The means is a simpler version of things than what I had been doing or what might normally be done. Fewer things to line up means better chances, I believe, and still a whole lot of fun. I hope to flow over it now and to just “surf the chaos” as a good friend would say. I’m excited about the start rather than coordinating a party of people.
I will do my best with what knowledge I have to “finish” with as little time on my feet as possible and per the schedule below, which is still below the 60 hour goal I have had previously. This is not implied to be a “solo” journey as there are many people climbing fourteeners every day of the week and being alone out there any time other than night would be rare, it is just an unsupported trip alone and based around the most ideal weather window. I am heading out there to finish safely, under my own power with all my stuff on me and within a single push. There are no guarantees, but if history is any indicator and the X factor I have been missing is present then I believe it’ll go!!!!
“The Pacific Crest Trail spans 2,650 miles (4,265 kilometers) from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. It reveals the beauty of the desert, unfolds the glaciated expanses of the Sierra Nevada, travels deep forests, and provides commanding vistas of volcanic peaks in the Cascade Range. The trail symbolizes everything there is to love—and protect—in the Western United States.
Untold thousands of hikers and equestrians enjoy this international treasure each year. Some only travel a few miles, while others complete every mile in a single season. Tying the trail together is a community of volunteers and passionate outdoor enthusiasts. Together, we explore, create and support one of the best experiences on earth.” -via the Pacific Crest Trail Association
Don’t miss the 9th annual Pacific Crest Trail Days (an event produced by Outdoor Viewfinder), where you can check out the latest outdoor recreation gear from exhibiting sponsors, participate in free classes & activities, win awesome products at the raffles, enjoy local food and beverages, participate in a trail work party, go for a hike or a bike ride, spend the weekend camping under the stars, and enjoy the beautiful setting in the Marine Park of Cascade Locks, Oregon. PCT DAYS is family-friendly and free to attend, with a small fee for overnight camping on Thunder Island. All raffle proceeds are donated to the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the American Long Distance Hiking Association-West. Don’t miss out on being a part of a great time for a great cause!
August 28-30th Osprey Packs is returning to the greatest celebration of trail life on the west coast — better known as Pacific Crest Trail Days!
PCT DAYS is an annual three-day event that promotes outdoor recreation and the products of exhibiting sponsors, with a focus on hiking, camping, and backpacking gear. PCT DAYS takes place in the Marine Park of Cascade Locks, Oregon, located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. There are several reasons why PCT Days is one not to miss. It is not only the breathtaking views from Thunder Island of the Columbia River Gorge or the easy access to trails including the PCT itself but also the strength of community is ever so present as PCT days provides a place of recollection for those touched by the trail. Hundreds of PCT “alumni” travel from the near city of Portland, OR and others from across the nation, head to this event for a weekend to reunite connect with those currently hiking and those who had hiked the trail in past years. In essence, it is one giant “class” reunion that celebrates PCT Thru hikers and the trail itself. As a backpacking company, Osprey wouldn’t want to miss this party as we look forward to hearing the stories of those who depended on our gear and share our love for the outdoors and the trail.
For a full list of events, check out the complete schedule.
If you’re coming to PCT Days, here are just a few reasons to come visit us at the Osprey Packs booth:
- The Osprey Anti-Gravity Challenge: Visit the Osprey Booth at any time on Saturday, August 29th. Try on our new Atmos Anti-Gravity or Women’s Aura Anti-Gravity and you will be automatically entered to win one to call your own!
- PCT Days Celebration Sale with Next Adventure: 20% off any Osprey Pack in stock at Next Adventure, Portland through September 13th, don’t delay on this deal!
- Free Pack Sizing, Fittings and Expert Advice: All Day, every day! We will be offering professional pack fitting and advice from the Osprey experts, so if you are in the market for a new pack come consult with our knowledgeable fit gurus!
- Full Display of all that is new from Osprey for 2015: Get the full download of our latest and greatest for 2015! This includes newly designed luggage, hydration packs, and our new line of accessories. We will be showcasing our Atmos/Aura Anti-Gravity and have a team with all the answers to your questions on our product!
- Giveaways Galore: This includes commemorative PCT Days Stickers, Osprey Packs stickers, Lip Balms and more!
Connect with PCT Days on Social to get live updates and photos: