Archive for August, 2010

August 24th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Music On The Mountaintop: Get Down For A Good Cause

Thousands will trek to western North Carolina’s high country this week for the 3rd annual Music on the Mountaintop festival. The festival is all about sweet tunes, good folks and giving some love to mother nature — and Osprey will be on hand to be a part of it all! We’ll have lots of great gear, demos and swag… And local retailer, Footsloggers in Boone, is offering 20% off any Osprey pack in celebration of Music on the Mountaintop. Swing by our booth and give us a high-five!

More about the event from The Mountain Xpress:

The event bills itself as a “one of a kind, ecologically driven, large-scale music festival, offering first class entertainment, featuring several national acts, creating an eclectic blend of acoustic funk, folk, Americana and bluegrass, and most importantly, providing educational awareness on current environmental issues.”

Among this year’s headliners are local mainstays like Toubab Krewe, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band and Snake Oil Medicine Show, in addition to national acts like Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, Keller Williams, Sam Bush and Acoustic Syndicate.

And while music is the driving force behind the festival, preserving the environment is a top priority of organizers. Alongside solar-powered stages, patrons will find the Green Village, where a variety of local non-profits — including N.C. Green Power, Appalachian Voices, ASU Energy Center, High Country Conservancy, Dogwood Alliance and Habitat for Humanity — will be on hand to provide information and educational materials. There will also be a river clean up, a food drive to benefit the Hunger Coalition, low-impact shuttles and a requirement that all vendors use only compostable materials. Additionally, a portion of proceeds will go to benefit Appalachian Voices, a Boone-based environmental non-profit.

Tickets and more information can be found at http://www.musiconthemountaintop.com

August 24th 2010 - Written by: alison

Osprey’s Gareth Martins Rocks The Sax At The Outdoor Retailer Save Our Snow Benefit

I’ve worked with Osprey’s Marketing Director Gareth Martins (above left and below right) for years, even traveled with him on an epic ski adventure to India, but I’ve never seen him play the sax until the Outdoor Retailer show. And he ROCKED it. Like I knew he would.

The All-Star Industry Jam was a benefit for three wonderful charities, including my own Save Our Snow Foundation. Folks that I’ve worked and played with for years, like Gareth, were suddenly transformed into new beings, shedding their outdoor personalities, morphing into a music stage presence that I only wish I could have. I would go into how I was embarrassed in choir and play tryouts, but we will skip that boring story.

Proceeds will go to our new school program — The Save Our Snow Foundation is partnering with Protect our Winters to bring entertaining presentations and workshops on money-saving solutions to climate change to schools around the US. Thanks Gareth and Osprey!

For more information, or to volunteer or help, check out The Save Our Snow Foundation or contact Alison.

Other notable performances were made by Berne Broudy of Backpacker, James Curleigh of KEEN footwear, and we danced our asses off to the band made up of the boys from Black Diamond.

August 23rd 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Congrats “What’s In Your Pack?” Contest Winners!

Photo by Emily Nuchols

In July we asked all of you to submit photos of “what’s in your pack?” It didn’t even need to be an Osprey pack, we just wanted to see what you’ve been packing on your summer trips, weekend warrior hikes or even just for an afternoon stroll in the city. Congrats to our two winners who both score a Farpoint 70! Check them out below.

Grand Prize Winner

How could we not choose this photo (taken by William of Summit 42)? It’s creative, funny, and best of all, cute. Plus, we support people getting their kids out on the trail nice and early. There’s no better way to instill a love of the outdoors than doing it at a young age.

People’s Choice Award

We decided an Osprey contest wouldn’t be complete without the input of our fans, so we got people to vote on photos over on our Facebook page. Congrats to Justin Boland for getting the most “thumbs up” on his photo.

Didn’t win? Don’t worry, we’ll be doing plenty of contests in the near future, so keep your eyes open!

August 18th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Outdoor Retailer Wrap Up!

Showing support for Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance during Keep it Wild Day

We’re still recovering from last week’s Outdoor Retailer show. From happy hours to gear giveaways we had a great time. If you missed out, we’re bringing you a little synopsis.


August 18th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Osprey Keeps It Wild With Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Here at Osprey, we love that we can step right out our backdoor into the red rock of Southern Utah to play. In our humble opinion, we’ve got access to some of the best backpacking, biking and climbing this great nation has to offer — and we’re determined to keep it that way. At the end of the day, you’ve got to take action to protect your own playground… And Keep it Wild!

Take Action to keep Utah wild!

From SUWA’s blog:

Every summer the manufacturers and retailers of outdoor equipment converge on Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market – an event that this year drew an estimated 20,000 people. SUWA partnered with the Conservation Alliance to participate in the Keep It Wild day which paired environmental groups with outdoor gear manufacturers to take action to protect our natural resources.  SUWA was generously hosted by Osprey Packs, and in their booth at the show we collected over 300 postcards written by folks who were asking the Obama administration protect wild Utah. Participants also posed for photos with “Flat Ken,” a likeness of Interior Department Secretary Salazar who has the power to protect over 6 million acres of redrock land now vulnerable to oil and gas drilling and off-road vehicle abuse. The day was topped off with a party hosted By KEEN Footwear, celebrating a day of conservation advocacy at the show.

Take Action to keep Utah wild!

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August 17th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

The Ballad You Forgot

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An Additive Adventure Entry in Conjunction with OutsideTV.com

Let’s get this out of the way. I was 8. I made bad choices like singing Don’t Fence Me In at my father’s second wedding and lying down on the carpet in the school loft; I had bad choices foisted upon me, like a two-inch buzz cut—billed as a smart fashion move with the added benefit of being easier to treat lice (the loft). No wonder I felt sorry for the people in Ethiopia.

My older sister terrorized me, I had a boy hair cut, and glasses. They were starving, being relocated 400 miles away from their families and heritage, and in the middle of one of the most militaristic regimes in modern Africa called The Red Terror. I did what any person feeling a great sense of connected persecution would do. I wrote a ballad.

Listen along with me. (Click on the video above). If you can’t bear it, here is the chorus: “People in Ethiopia, want to have some food and love.” Although what I am really singing is peee-pole in Eeethiooopia, want to have some foooooood and lo-uv-uv. Remember, think ballad. Either way you write it, it went on, passionately.

I sang about helping the children, holding the children, as if I was not a child myself while singing. There are three minutes and thirty-five seconds of my most heartfelt worries about a place and people I only knew from grainy BBC imagery of utter desolation and haunted skeletal women, men, and children – always too many children.

Over a million people died in the 1984 famine. In Minnesota, our school lives revolved around it with full student body renditions of We Are the World at every assembly. It is that song I remember. I forgot my own.

25 years later, I went to Ethiopia for a story about coffee. I entered a country of extreme duality–both the poverty I expected, and bounty–agricultural, spiritual, and human–unlike I have ever known. It was supposed to be a three-week trip. Instead I followed a trajectory from coffee to a climbing trip for first ascents on sandstone towers and cracks, to a book that asked how adventure offers a lens for a deeper understanding of culture. I then got up in front of groups of six people to six hundred and tried out answers. I learned, and re-learned, how to ask the questions. And then, my mother found the ballad.

I had one lecture left for the Vertical Ethiopia tour when she sent me an email. “Did you know you wrote a song about Ethiopia? I have it.”

Maybe we all know who we will become as adults when we are eight years old. Maybe I am just lucky. Maybe I had to forget to remember. I cringe at my warbling 8-year old voice. At one point I surmise, in song: “They don’t even have a turkey.” To be fair, twenty five-years and five months of time in Ethiopia later, I was pretty dead on about the lack of turkeys. I was also pretty dead on about how much a person can care.

Six weeks from today, Imagine Ethiopia 2010 kicks off.  We’re heading to Tigray, the Ethiopian region at the heart of the 1984 famine.  That is where I climbed, where imagine1day is building their schools, where together we will create a new school. I will, undoubtedly see a lot of eight year olds. I might even see myself.

Read more at www.majkaburhardt.com

See the new children of Tigray in imagine1days video trailer, This is Our Story:

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August 12th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Remembering Fredrik

It was a ski shoot in Austria, winter 2006 and we stood on the rim of a huge natural bowl, far from the resort lifts and crowds. Shielding the camera preview screen from the sun, Mikke announced “Not too bad, but I think we can do better”. Fredrik Ericsson had just dropped into one of the steep chutes facing us, cutting smooth arcs in the snow as he descended at speed, as always in total control. The renowned ski photographer and fellow Swede Mikke Pilstrand captured the moment. The two worked really well together, it was their trust and close friendship coupled with Fredrik’s temperament and professionalism that meant their partnership generated such great results. Pretty much everybody can ski and anyone can take photographs, but to do it at a world-class level takes ability and persistence. Pulling his radio out of his pocket Mikke broke the bad news “Fredrik, I need you to hike up and do it again, this time the next chute over”. The hike up and knife edge ridge traverse to reach the required entry point was around 60 minutes of lung bursting effort. In came the response, a simple and good-natured “Yep, OK”. Mikke and I watched Fredrik remove each ski, clipping and swinging them over his shoulder in one smooth motion. He began the ascent, again. Shortly we both got comfortable sitting in the snow to talk about the plan for the rest of the day, future trips, our kids, surfing etc. basically just passing the time. Far below our vantage point Fredrik quietly got on with the less glamorous side of being a pro-skier.

For me that short scene says everything about Fredrik’s personality. Whatever he was doing he wanted to do the best job possible, he would never consider settling for second best just because improvement required effort. He also never complained about anything, ever. ‘I’ll just get on with it’ that was his attitude and he always did everything with a smile. In over a decade of knowing and working with Fredrik I never saw him get angry, frustrated or even slightly annoyed. He was well known around Chamonix after living there for so long, but he never took advantage of the situation. No ego, no attitude and always friendly towards other people. He was modest too, in terms of his ability and his achievements. In the world of pro-skiers and mountaineers I’m afraid to say these personality traits are something of a rarity. When off the mountain Fredrik filled his time organising his next trip and keeping magazines informed of his activity, often supported by Mikke’s great images. I’ve sponsored a lot of well-known people in the Mountain sports arena and without question Fredrik was the most professional and adept at gaining coverage across every continent. From Europe to the US, Japan to New Zealand, Fredrik’s exploits inked the pages of pretty much every core Mountain magazine – regularly featuring on the cover.

He described himself as a “Ski Adventurer” because he wasn’t a cliff jumping extreme skier and he wasn’t a hardcore alpinist either, he was a hybrid of the two. The idea of climbing and ski-descending 8000M peaks is ultimately what motivated and excited Fredrik. He’d already been the first Swedish person to climb and ski down an 8000M peak, but K2 was his ultimate goal. To be the first ever to climb and ski from its summit would have meant so much to him. Although undeniably this was a big challenge, it was definitely within his considerable abilities. Fredrik always climbed in the Himalayas without supplemental oxygen, without Sherpa’s and without fixed ropes. When ascending he always carried a pair of heavy skis strapped to his pack and on his feet he wore ski boots not climbing boots, risking frostbite in the process. For mountaineers the goal is reaching the summit, for Fredrik that is where the challenge and excitement really began. He was incredibly fit and talented, but at 8000M+ it takes huge effort to string two or three turns together and any slip or fall could mark the end. Fredrik was acutely aware of the danger in both ascending and descending any mountain and he never took crazy risks in an all-out effort to achieve his aims. He’d scaled Himalayan giants before and turned back only 200M from the summit because he felt that the risk of avalanche was too high. In 2009 Fredrik was attempting to climb and ski K2 with his Italian friend Michele Fait. Whilst ski descending from one of the lower camps Michele hit some rocks, he fell heavily and slid into a crevasse. Fredrik witnessed the whole event from below and had the traumatic task of recovering Michele’s body. Fredrik immediately called off the expedition and upon his return to Chamonix he was uncharacteristically down. Despite this considerable personal blow a few months later Fredrik announced that he planned to return to K2 in 2010 and re-attempt the mountain that had claimed his friend and so many other hopeful adventurers before and since.

Fast forward to 6th August 2010. I received the terrible news by email that Fredrik had died. He’d fallen an estimated 1000M from the face of K2. It sounds like a terrible cliché, but I really couldn’t believe it, I had to re-read the message five or six times just to take it in. The clear weather window that had been predicted was wrong and Fredrik had been caught in steadily worsening conditions above camp IV but continued upwards in the hope of making the summit and the weather situation improved for the descent. It was I’m sure a calculated risk on his part, but one that ultimately cost him his life. At times like this I really wonder if exploration at and beyond the margins of safety is really worth the considerable risks associated with it. But nobody could persuade Fredrik that his life as a “Ski Adventurer” was a bad idea.

Everyone who had the good fortune to know Fredrik will remember him fondly. One of the last nights out we spent together before he left for K2 was in Gothenburg. He’d been giving a lecture that day for Osprey and it seemed a great excuse for a few drinks after he’d finished. We ended up at a fancy bar where a very attractive girl grabbed Fredrik’s hand and dragged him onto the dance floor. She had no idea he was a famous skier, it was his chiselled good looks that attracted her. Although Fredrik could flawlessly rip apart a powder field on skis when it came to dancing he closely resembled an embarrassing uncle at a wedding. He endured the jibes and hysterical laughter from the sidelines, dished out with great willingness as all good friends would. The girl lasted about two minutes before deciding that her initial enthusiasm was misguided and promptly left Fredrik dancing alone, much to our collective amusement. Fredrik shrugged his shoulders and re-approached us with a big grin on his face “OK” he said “anyone want another drink?”.

Rest in peace Fredrik, you left a legacy of amazing achievements and a lasting impression on everyone you came into contact with. You died whilst pursuing your life’s dream and very few people will be able to claim that.

Rob Wylie
Managing Director
Osprey Europe
August 12, 2010

August 12th 2010 - Written by: Joe Stock

Alaska’s Ultimate Trail Run

Busting through treeline at 2,000 feet. Cathy Flanagan running the Lost Lake Trail, near Seward, Kenai Mountains, Alaska.

Alaska stinks for trails. You could hit every good trail in a month, then you’d realize Alaska isn’t about trails. Alaska is about true wilderness. Saying that, Alaska does have some unreal trails. One of those is the Lost Lake Trail.

Lost Lake is a 15-mile trail near Seward. I’d argue it’s the best trail in Alaska. Hemlock forest cloaks the lower elevations of Lost Lake, the trail-side blueberries are crunchy and the bear poop steaming. The Seward area is a mega playground: boasting two ice fields, steep ski mountains and Prince William Sound.

Want to make the trek on you’re own? On August 21, is the Lost Lake Run, a benefit for cystic fibrosis. Somehow more than 700 people pack onto this trail for the event. If I was into organized sports, then I’d love the Lost Lake Run. Check it out: www.lostlakerun.org

See more of Joe’s running photos at www.stockalpine.com/photos/run/

August 10th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Garibaldi Lake Ski Epic: Mt. Carr, Mt. Davidson and Castle Towers

Up at 3:30 a.m and out the door in an hour, I was excited for a big day out in Pemberton, B.C. to climb and ski the Aussie Couloir. Two minutes into my drive I got a speeding ticket going down the Mt Seymour Parkway in North Vancouver. As a kid in the 80’s I think we were clocked at higher speeds on our skateboards… But once through the formalities of the speeding ticket, I picked up my friend Sky and brother Andy. They quickly persuaded me into going to the Garibaldi area. And knowing these guys — we were in for an epic.

After 11,000 feet of climbing and almost 50 kilometers in 18 hours, we had climbed and skied the East Face of Mt. Carr, the West Ridge of Mt. Davidson and East Face of Castle Towers. Check out photos of our mini epic below!

Written by Mike Traslin. Photos and ski team: Andy Traslin, Sky Sjue and Mike Traslin.

August 10th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Try Taking an Osprey to Cuba and See What Happens

Bags are a hot commodity in Cuba, and I mean all kinds of bags.

A few years ago, customers would be hard pressed to find a store that would bag their goods in plastic sacks; thus, the habit of rewashing and reusing “nylons,” as my mother-in-law calls them. Now, unfortunately, plastic bags are ubiquituous in Havana’s shops.

But personal bags and backpacks… that’s another story entirely.

When we call Francisco’s family before a trip to ask them what they’d like us to bring, the list inevitably includes bags. Purses, school satchels, and backpacks are all hot items. Into my three Osprey bags went a pink backpack for our niece and two large purses — one red, one white — for a sister-in-law and a friend of the family.

It was inevitable that I’d lose one of my Osprey bags; I always come back home lightened of my luggage. Someone in the family decides they need to relieve me of a bag or two, so I knew this time would be no different. Above is Francisco’s son with his newly acquired Osprey pack.

And if you’ve never been to Havana and are wondering what it’s like, you can see photos from my recent trip here.


Whether your pack was purchased in 1974 or yesterday, Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge.