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Back in the Saddle

November 30th, 2010

After what seems like an eternal Indian Summer, it is winter again in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Our typical mid-October snow provided a short-lived treat and then proceeded to spend the next month rotting under sunny days and cold nights to become our infamous buried layer of facets. However, the last 10 days have been kind, depositing 3+ feet of snow across the zone.

Early last week, when the avalanche danger was high, I spent time touring around Durango Mountain Resort getting my skinning legs back in shape. As conditions stabilized after Thanksgiving, I started venturing out in the backcountry. Snow pits revealed the normal San Juan surprise, 2 to 3 inches of facets on the ground covered with multiple feet of new snow. It appeared that most of the steeps had already run naturally during the most recent storm. The backcountry was very good, especially given that it is not yet December. Hopefully, we will continue to get good snow and build a solid safe base for the upcoming winter. Get out, play and be safe!

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Osprey Athletes, Outdoor Activities, Southwest Colorado, travel, Uncategorized , , ,

5 North American Ski Highways and Byways For Epic Winter Road Trips

November 30th, 2010

Who says roadtrips are just for summer? Here, 5 ideas for trips through North America’s best ski highways, connecting resorts and grinning powder heads from coast to coast.

Via Chris Weiss on Matador Network:

For me, mountain picking is usually a 3-3-3 game: 3,000+ acres skiable terrain, 3,000ft vertical, 300+ inches snow/year, give or take.

Truly epic ski trips, on the other hand, I measure by a different count: number of resorts. No matter how close together two areas are, each has its own vibe, its own terrain, its own locals, its own stashes.

Here are some of the best thoroughfares on the continent that weave big mountains into big trips…

1. Wasatch Boulevard, Utah

Ski Areas: Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, Solitude

Cuttingbelow the 11,000ft peaks that look much larger up close than they do lining Salt Lake City’s skyline, Wasatch Boulevard is the ticket to the “Greatest Snow on Earth”…
 

2. I-70, Colorado

Ski Areas: Loveland, A-Basin, Breckenridge, Copper, Vail, Beaver Creek, and more

This Interstate is not only the road to just about every one of Colorado’s 26 resorts — it’s the gateway to the Rockies in general, where the plains of the American Midwest finally give way to more dynamic topography. And when an Interstate climbs and drops through valleys and passes below 13 and 14,000ft mountains, it’s not the typical exhaust-huffing highway experience…
 

3. Icefields Parkway, Alberta

Ski Areas: Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, Marmot Basin

More than a road to a resort parking lot, Trans-Canada Hwy 1 and the branchoff onto the Icefields Parkway (AB-93) is one of the most spectacular roads in the world, any time of year. National Geographic ranked the greater route one of its “Drives of a Lifetime”…

 

4. Route 100, Vermont

Ski Areas: Mt. Snow, Okemo, Killington, Sugarbush, Stowe, and nearly every other Vermont ski resort

This is one of the highways I grew up skiing. It cuts down the center of Vermont, roughly paralleling the Green Mountains to the west and passing by more than a dozen ski mountains on its way…

 

 5. Powder Highway, British Columbia

Ski Areas: Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberly, Panorama, Red Mountain, Revelstoke, and Whitewater, plus dozens of cat, heli, and touring operations

The most famous ski highway on the continent — the one named in honor of the sport — isn’t even a highway at all. It’s a whole network of them…

More info, including road-condition links, on Matador Network.

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Uncategorized

American Alpine Club’s Snowbird Hut

November 29th, 2010

The American Alpine Club owns a single backcountry hut. It’s the Snowbird Hut, up in the Talkeetna Mountains of Alaska. Through the hard work of AAC Alaska section president Harry Hunt, James Brady and Cindi Squire, the new hut is functional for this winter. The Snowbird Hut sits above the Snowbird Glacier. The Glacier is just a stagnant melting piece of ice like all Talkeetna Mountain glaciers, but the skiing is incredible. A popular trip in the area is the Bomber Traverse.

I joined Harry and Cindi for a super fun weekend at the Snowbird. The old dingy, leaky, half-crushed-in-by-snow Snowbird Hut sits below the fancy new Snowbird Hut. The old hut will be helicoptered out next summer.

Cindi reveals the shiny new steel kitchen counter.

Harry fluffs in the R30 duff into the ceiling. Toooooasty!!

In splitter weather we insulated the ceiling, finished sheeting the floor, started sheeting the ceiling, built a bench and a table. It helps that Harry is a carpenter.

We had both a full moon and the northern lights. Become a member of the AAC and visit the best hut in Alaska. P.S. The Mountain House on the Ruth Glacier may be more dramatic, but the location will drive a skier batty.

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Osprey Athletes , , , ,

Cyclocross Bingo!

November 24th, 2010

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!

We posted this on Twitter yesterday, but it was so good we decided it deserved it’s own blog post… here’s to some bike-related bingo over your holiday weekend!

Via: The Adventure Journal

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Ditch Your Car , ,

Know a River in Need? American Rivers is Accepting Nominations for 2011′s Most Endangered Rivers™

November 24th, 2010
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American Rivers campaign America’s Most Endangered Rivers™ works with local partners, elected officials, media groups and concerned citizens to protect rivers through awareness and action. 2010 marked the program’s 25th year of fighting to save our country’s most threatened rivers.

Via American Rivers:

American Rivers’ successes in our river protection and river restoration efforts would not have been possible without the help of our many supporters With your support, we can continue our work on projects such as dam removal, restoring flood plains, conducting river cleanups, ensuring a clean, safe and reliable water supply, and fighting to secure wild and scenic river designations.

For a list of 2010′s America’s Most Endangered Rivers™  and to submit your nominations for 2011, check out http://www.americanrivers.org/our-work/protecting-rivers/endangered-rivers/.

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causes, Conservation , , , ,

Cross Crusades: Barton, In a Nutshell

November 23rd, 2010

Photo by Dave Roth

Barton Park, the last race in the Cross Crusade series, lived up to expectations and was exactly what cyclocross in Oregon is all about.

Barton is a gravel pit. Piles of gravel line the course, steep run-ups and off-camber descents make it technical and challenging and HARD. Barton is just plain hard. There are a couple of pavement sections, a few gravel straighaways and only one set of barriers, but don’t let that fool you. Barton is hard.

I don’t even know how many laps we rode; and it doesn’t matter. I rode hard and I raced. I held the lead for a while and Wendy went around me, I stuck on her wheel. I held on. SWEET. I am still here. I passed her on the asphalt and led for the next half lap. She took the lead through the mud bog; she is stronger period, but I caught her on the run-up. Together we road down the steep descent; I was still right there.

Read more…

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adventure, Guest post ,

Heli-Ski Photos + Info to Rev up your Snow Stoke

November 23rd, 2010

photo by Charlie Kindel

Via Huffington Post:

The holidays are just around the corner and we all know what that means – winter is on it’s way. But instead of dwelling on the dark cold nights and nasty weather, let’s think for a minute about the upside of the season – the white, fluffy, powdery upside that is. And what better way to enjoy deep powder than jumping out of a helicopter in a remote mountain range for some of the best skiing and boarding of your life?

Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/18/top-9-heliski-adventures-_n_784596.html#s184221

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adventure, travel , , , ,

Friday Round-Up: Travel Can Change the World

November 19th, 2010

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 it’s about this time of year that people seem to start getting antsy with wanderlust, we figured we’d feature one of our favorite topics: travel. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!

***

It’s no surprise that we’ve always got travel on the mind. Exploring new places is a beautiful thing, both because it can change our perspective and connects us to new communities. So this week we’ve got a special Friday favorite: Passports With Purpose.

In its third year, PWP is built on the idea that “travel can change the world.” (We love campaigns that promote travel doing good things!) For the last two years, its founders and a whole lot of travel bloggers have put together their efforts to raise money for a good cause. Last year the initiative raised over $30,000 and built a school in rural Cambodia. This year they’re raising money for LAFTI, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the Dalit (untouchable) population in India. Raising $50,000 will allow LAFTI to build a whole village of homes.

So seriously, as you start to think about things to buy this holiday season, consider putting your money to a good cause; because not only are you proving that travel can change the world, you’ll get the opportunity to score some cool gear — including an Osprey Vector 22!

Read more…

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Osprey Culture, travel , , ,

Speak Up for The Land and Water Conservation Fund

November 19th, 2010

Glacier National Park. Photo by Trey Ratcliff.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been protecting our wild places since 1965.  Now, with Congress back in session, the time is right to voice support for permanent funding for the LWCF.

Via The Nature Conservancy:

Support legislation now before the U.S. Senate that guarantees permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund — the U.S. government’s key program for protecting land and water…

The program is authorized to receive up to $900 million a year. But despite an increase in energy production, funding for land and water protection has been low and unpredictable — diverted elsewhere by Congress…

Some of America’s most important natural areas are supported by the Fund:

  • National parks and forests such as the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest
  • Working farms and ranches
  • Fish and wildlife refuges
  • Neighborhood parks
  • Beaches and land around rivers and lakes.

And the program also benefits people — through ensuring clean water supplies, supporting jobs, reducing the cost of firefighting, and protecting the great outdoors for wildlife and recreation.

Let your Senator know you support legislation for land and water conservation.

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causes, Conservation , , , , , , ,

Free Bike Parking: Taiwan

November 17th, 2010

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!

One of Bikehugger’s bloggers was recently on a trip to Taiwan, where he snapped this shot. Anyone else know of any other good bike parking signs out there? We’re debating on starting a collection…

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Ditch Your Car , , ,

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