Archive for October, 2010

October 26th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Spooky Inspiration: Mexico’s Día De Los Muertos

photo by Giovanna Borgna

Looking for some fresh Halloween inspiration? Check out Matador Trips editor Hal Amen’s photos from the 2008 Día de los Muertos in Mexico City here.

Via Hal Amen on Matador Travel:

No holiday screams “¡México!” louder than Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), celebrated November 1–2 to honor departed family and friends.

The trappings of this annual event are familiar to anyone with knowledge of Mexican culture: carefully constructed altars overflowing with personalized ofrendas for the deceased, bright orange marigolds—la flor de muertos—sugar skulls, an infinite variety of flamboyantly adorned skeletons.

October 25th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Who Inspires You?

Osprey Adventure Envoy Evan Stevens, who normally covers climbing and guiding for us over on the Osprey Blog, shares with us his other love, mountain biking, and reminds us that riding buddies come in all shapes and sizes.

In my life it feels as though you get pigeon holed into a social circle based on your outdoor activities. For me, guiding is my source of income, whether it’s skiing or climbing, small rocks, glades, big mountains, you name it. As a consequence it seems like the majority of my skiing and climbing partners are all guides, as we share the same love for the mountains and very flexible work schedules.

However, I have one hobby which doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest: mountain biking. Where I live in Squamish, BC, biking is just as much a way of life as climbing is, and with all sports like climbing and biking, you can choose to be a queen of one trade or a jack of a few.

I guess I might actually be a 10 of diamonds when it comes to biking, but I do love to hit the local trails here. Problem is I don’t really have a circle of friends that bike with my random riding schedule. Sure I have a few friends who ride, but there is one friend that I do 99% of my riding with exclusively, out there on every single ride I ever do.


October 24th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

With National Championship One Week Away, Osprey Packs Adventure Racing Team hits the Trails for Last Big Training Sessions

Check out the Osprey AR team as they prepare for the upcoming Checkpoint Tracker National Championship in Moab, Utah on October 29, 2010.  The team members are Travis Macy from Evergreen, CO, Gretchen Reeves from Avon, CO, Scott Swaney from Highlands Ranch, CO and Jon Brown, from Gunnison, (Alabama?!).  All will be sporting the tested and true Talon 22.

Next Friday, the Osprey Packs Adventure Racing team will face some country’s best adventure racing teams at the Check Point Tracker National Championship in Moab, Utah (see www.checkpointtracker.com for more information).

With less than a week to go before the big race, the Colorado-based Osprey crew headed out for a couple of final big days before focusing on polishing race gear and details this week.

Fresh off a successful triathlon season full of plenty of fast track workouts, Highlands Ranch’s Scott Swaney got in a fast 15 miles on Saturday morning before heading to the VeloSwap and then cycling in the afternoon.  Jon Brown, of Gunnison, almost took out his randonee skis after some decent snow accumulation up high, but opted instead to paddle on the Gunnison River, where ice accumulated on his boat due to freezing temperatures—JB should be mentally ready for tough conditions in Moab!  Jon also squeezed in a good, long run.  Gretchen Reeves of Avon, who once again ripped up the mountain biking circuit this year, spent the weekend cycling on the roads and paddling at Lake Dillon.  Fresh off a mountain biking season punctuated by course records at the Leadville Silver Rush 50 and 24 Hours of Leadville, Evergreen’s Travis Macy got back on his feet and in the boat this weekend.  Saturday consisted of mountain biking at Deer Creek Canyon with some pro roadie friends before paddling at Chatfield Reservoir and competing in the Rocky Mountain Orienteering Club’s final event of the year, where he finished third.  Back on the mountain bike on Sunday, Macy enjoyed the excellent fall weather of the Rocky Mountain foothills.

The team looks forward a big race next weekend, where Osprey gear will play a huge role in facilitating success in a competition that involves carrying gear, clothing, food, and water for 30 hours of trekking, mountain biking, ropes, kayaking, and river boarding.

With snow falling in the high country, Team Osprey Packs may need 4WD to get to Moab, but that’s all part of the adventure!

October 22nd 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Friday Bike Polo

Fridays are the best!!  There is the entire weekend to look forward to and if you live near Cortez, CO you can join in the weekly bike polo match!

Bike polo in its simplest form is two teams of four people competing head to head with the objective of scoring more goals than the opponent. Goals are scored by hitting the polo ball into the net using a polo mallet while riding a bicycle. A standard bike polo field is 100 yards long by 60 yards wide but any open area will suffice. A playing field of grass is recommended but not required. Our games take place in a wide open asphalt parking lot which makes for a much faster (and much more dangerous) game. Evidently there are some rules to the game which can be found at the U.S. Bicycle Polo Association website. However, our games are simple with only 2 primary rules; you have to hold the mallet with your right hand and if your foot touches the ground you are “out of play” until you ride one complete 360 degree circle.


October 22nd 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Friday Round-Up: Rethinking, Repurposing and Rejoicing Over Bikes

Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. Since we were so excited for the launch of our bike blog last month, we decided to continue with that theme for all of October. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!


Think Europe’s ahead of the game on bike policy? Well San Francisco’s trying to catch up. David Chiu, the president of the Board of Supervisors, announced this week that the city wants the official target to be 20% of trips by 2020, which would be double the current target of 10% for this year.

But what does it take to change the transportation habits of a city? Start small. In fact 40% of U.S. urban travel is 2 miles or less, and 90% of those trips are by car. That means it’s smart to focus on policies and infrastructure that make it easier for people to do their everyday quick errands — going to the post office, grocery shopping, dropping off a book at the library — by bike. San Francisco’s commitment takes inspiration from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s plan, “Connecting the City,” to create 27 miles of safe crosstown bike paths that would facilitate those shorter trips, certainly a step in the right direction.

What is your city doing to inspire more trips by two wheels instead of four?


October 22nd 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

The End of the Beginning, An Additive Adventure Entry

Mango Tree Planting at Laelay Wukro School Grounds

In Conjunction With OutsideTV.com

The bowels of the Addis Ababa airport are laced with sweet, thick exhaust. Five minutes ago–forty-five minutes before my departure back to the United States–a man in a sharp-creased navy uniform summoned me away from the fluorescent passenger holding tank with a gun holstered at each hip. He didn’t give me his name, just confirmed mine. Now I’m trying to keep up as he strides quickly over the oil stained concrete floor in the dim light of the airport underbelly.

I know what this is about, but I’m not about to tell the man. The gun. It keeps coming up in my travels in Ethiopia. The gun; and the forty pounds of metal with it.

The first time I went to Ethiopia, I brought along a climbing harness, shoes, and a chalk bag as a gesture of optimism. This time, four years later, I’d brought three duffel bags full of climbing equipment, but only one gun. I’d also like to take it home with me.

My two overstuffed bags– the massive Shuttle and the biggest Vector–, flanked by two guards, mark a lonely destination in the middle of an otherwise empty floor. Under three watchful sets of eyes I unzip the biggest bag.

I have learned to ask questions of the men and women who want to ask questions of me when I travel.

“Did you grow up in Addis?” I ask the man in the blue uniform.

“No,” the man says.

I smile. Look him in the eye. “Then where?”

“In the north”

“Where?” I ask again.

“Adrigat,” he says, shrugging.

By now I’ve gotten hold of the orange backpack that holds the prize inside my duffel. I start tugging it out of the bag. “I was just in Adrigat,” I say.

My speech—one month into this trip in Ethiopia—is well practiced and quick. “I was there working with schools in small villages. Do you know Wukro?” I ask. Abada?” I mention big and small villages and cities. “Near there.” The orange backpack is in full view; I reach in. “And in the Gheralta,” I add, “where the rocks are.”

The man nods. “It’s dry in the Gheralta,” he says. “Very dry.”

“But there are good rocks,” I say, and I pull out the blue and black Bosch Annihilator.

Toproping at the Gheralta Massif, Photo By Peter Doucette

It’s a drill, not a gun. But we all know what it looks like in the x-ray machine. I plug in a battery pack, depress the trigger, and it whirrs in the silence.

I show 12” SDS drill bits, left over 5-piece expansion bolts, hammers, wrenches, a blow tube. I give the airport security staff a mini-bolting clinic in two minutes or less. “For climbing,” I say, again and again. “Climbing and schools. Ok?” And again, “Ok?” Soon, I have everyone nodding.

Four years ago, during that first trip, I was looking only for climbing for me. Climbing to get to the top of something spectacular, something undone, something iconic. This time, I was there to take twenty-three novice climbers to a high point in their Ethiopia experience. They were there, in turn, to take me to mine.

Imagine Ethiopia 2010 was about combining adventure and community stewardship. These participants shared with me the school being built with the funds they collectively raised. We traveled with the imagine1day team to visit a dozen more schools they had built or supported. I met a principle along the way who told me his school used to be called Mogadishu in honor of it’s desolation and lack of hope; now its students rank in the top of the district.

Stay Tuned...(Photo By Peter Doucette)

One of these days, I tell myself that as I re-pack the drill/gun in my bag, I will travel light to Ethiopia. But for now, I stand next to my heavy bags and talk about education in northern Ethiopia with three new friends. They will be sure I get on my way when it is time. I will be sure to be back.

*The Imagine Ethiopia 2010 Expedition just ended, for Majka, on October 14th. Stay tuned for more stories about what happened along the way.

*Read about Majka’s first expedition to Ethiopia in her book, Vertical Ethiopia: Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa.

*Read More about the Expedition from James Mills at The Joy Trip Project.

October 21st 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Ride of the Week: Exploring Nepal

How could we not choose to feature this photo today?

Not only is this ride pretty out of the ordinary, we like that it’s even got a Talon in it. Thanks to Joe for submitting it, and we should add that it was taken during a recent self-supported mountain bike trek around the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. If that doesn’t give you some inspiration to get out on a good ride this weekend, we don’t know what will.

For all of October we’re running our Ride of the Week photo contest. You send us your best shots your “ride” — be that your bike all covered in mud, a shot from your morning commute or your favorite section of singletrack — we’ll feature a weekly photo here on the blog, and at the end of the month we’ll pick a grand prize winner who will score a brand new Osprey hydration pack: the Viper or the Verve depending on your choice! Just upload your photo to our Flickr pool and tag it with “Ride of the Week,” or email us your photo to blog[at]ospreypacks[dot]com.

October 20th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Estonians Love Bikes Too!

Every Wednesday on Ditch Your Car we’ll be bringing you just another reason to spend more time on two wheels. Be it a photo, a statistic or an inspirational video, we want to keep reminding you about why riding is great!

Nothing screams bike inspiration like an Estonian music video. Seriously.

Via: Copenhagenize

October 20th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Increased Snowmobile Access Proposed in Colorado Backcountry

Via Winter Wildlands Alliance:

For over 10 years we have been working closely with Friends of the Routt Backcountry on resolving conflicts in the Hahn’s Peak Area of the Routt National Forest. Unfortunately, the Forest Service has failed to adequately consider the impacts of a proposed snowmobile trail to the local backcountry ski community and we need your help.

The Routt National Forest has issued an Environmental Analysis that ignores the impacts of snowmobiles to the environment and other recreationists. The preferred alternative would establish a new snowmobile trail through the middle of a popular and historic non-motorized ski destination. We have less than 30 days to submit comments in opposition of this ill-conceived proposal.

Concerned about increased snowmobile access in Colorado backcountry? Learn more about the Columbine Access Proposal here.

October 19th 2010 - Written by: Kelsy

Sherwood. Cross Crusade #3

Photo by PDX Cross


That hurt. From the very start that hurt. My legs were burning before we even climbed the hill on lap 1.

Photo by Heidi Swift

WOW. My teeth were covered in dirt. Dust + heavy breathing + sweat = oh so nice. I hang my body over my bike as soon as I roll to a stop on the other side of the finish line.

Limp.  Gasping.  Elated.



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