In Conjunction with OutsideTV.com
Two weeks ago I was in Minneapolis—the city where I grew up—for a showing of Chris Alstrin’s and my movie Waypoint Namibia. Afterwards, a man from the audience asked me what I did in the winters when I was not in Africa. I told him I ice climbed. Midwest Mountaineering, the gear shop in Minneapolis, had partially sponsored the evening’s film. I figured I had a 50/50 chance this man would know what I was talking about.
“Ice?” he asked.
I shrugged. Minneapolis had just had a major snowstorm. I’d almost eaten it in the parking lot, several times. I tipped my head toward the doors. “Someone’s got to do something with all of that stuff,” I said.
We chatted for a while. I tried to convince him ice climbing was a good idea—fun even—and he told me he liked to scuba dive. I told him I was afraid of dark water. He said he was afraid of frozen water. We accepted each other’s differences right up until he asked me where I ice climbed.
“This year?” I said, “Bozeman, MT, Ouray, CO, Cody, WY, Munising, MI, North Conway, NH…” I rattled off my winter schedule. “I go for ice, and for the ice festivals,” I said.
He nodded and thought for a while, as if mentally mapping out the locations in his head. “Is that really necessary?” he asked.
Less than a week later I was in Hyalite Canyon, Montana. At the Bozeman Ice Festival. The day started with sixty women in a circle on a slicked over icy parking lot. We were all there for a women’s clinic day—six us as guides, several volunteers, and the rest climbers eager to learn. We lit off onto snow packed trails lacing together ice flows under steel skies. Sixty women swung and kicked and pulled and danced that day. It snowed on and off, the Montana wind swirled spindrift, and pretty much everyone was happy and game.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t normally go climbing with sixty people, let alone sixty strangers. Granted, I personally worked with fifteen over the course of the day. But I felt the mass. There are days you climb for yourself, and days when you climb for others, and still other days when you help other people climb for themselves. The Women’s Clinic at the Bozeman Ice Fest was the latter. The day wrapped up, demo ice tools, jackets, boots, crampons, gloves and more were returned, and that was that.
Except it wasn’t. A few hours later, the day’s climbers joined others (men, women, children, though sadly, no poodles) in the heart of Bozeman. I couldn’t walk more than five feet without seeing an old friend or a newly familiar face. This didn’t let up for three days. In the end, I still didn’t even get to say a proper hello to everyone I knew.
To the outside, assembling dozens of people to swing sharp things at a breakable surface is illogical. But on the inside, it makes more and more sense to me every year. If you know me, or you read what I write, you know I’ve been looking for home for the past three years. Last weekend, the ballroom of the Emerson Cultural Center became home. It’s the gift of this community. It’s the result of the work of those who create these gatherings. It might be temporary, but it’s the moment to mark in a winter of moving on a temporarily frozen surface. So this winter, I get to feel at home in a half dozen icy communities in the country. I’m lucky. But is it, as the man in Minnesota asked, necessary? Two weeks later I have an answer for him: It feeds the soul, powers the swing, and helps us all understand how those two things come together in ourselves.
Get Revved up for the Following Ice Festivals
January 6-9, 2011: Ouray Ice Festival, Ouray, CO (http://ourayicefestival.com/)
February 4-6, 2011: Michigan Ice Fest, Munising, MI (http://www.michiganicefest.com/)
February 4-6, 2011: Mt Washington Valley Ice Festival, North Conway, NH (http://www.ime-usa.com/imcs/ice_fest.html)
February 18-21, 2011: South Fork Ice Festival, Cody, Wyoming (http://www.southforkice.com/)
December, 2011 : The Bozeman Ice Festival starts it all off again. (http://www.montanaalpineguides.com/bozemanicefestival/index.html)
And there are more cropping up every day…
Read More from Majka at www.majkaburhardt.com
We’re working our way towards 10,000 fans by the end of 2011, and along the way our very own Timmy O’Neill is visiting some of our lucky fans.
Want the chance to win some free gear too? All you have to do is friend us on Facebook! Help us get to 10,000 fans by the end of the year by spreading the Osprey love and encouraging your friends to do the same.
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’re smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season, we figured there was no better them than giving. So all month we’ll be tipping you off to cool organizations, initiatives and campaigns that could use some of your holiday dollars. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
88Bikes was our Pedaling Change profile last month over on the bike blog, and for good reason. The organization provides bikes to young people in developing countries around the world. As founder Dan Austin says, “Bike are that magical vessel of freedom and fun, equally useful and enjoyable. I think folks are finally starting to realize that happiness must be addressed in addition to sustenance, and that bikes offer assistance with both!”
They just launched a new website and are working on plenty of cool projects that need your support. Learn how you can help by clicking here.
Bikes to Rwanda
Another awesome cause that we profiled on our Bike Blog, Bikes to Rwanda combines two of our favorite things: coffee and cycles. Read our interview with Executive Director Brian Gilmore to learn more about how the organization is empowering coffee workers in Rwanda and helping to rebuild a country that was less than a decade ago ravaged by genocide.
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle? That’s something we can get behind. That’s exactly the mission of the Adventure Cycling Association, an organization that’s been working to get people out on bikes since 1973. They’re currently working on an ambitious project to establish a U.S. Bike Route System. Learn more and support the cause here.
If you’ve been paying attention to the news at all lately, you’ve probably heard a fair bit about fracking. So what the frack is fracking? Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.
The ongoing debate over hydraulic fracturing for natural gas boils down to: energy companies want to drill, while people concerned about drinking water supplies and the effects of drilling chemicals on human health do not.
Yesterday, New York Gov. David Paterson signed an executive order to halt the controversial natural gas drilling process until July 1, 2011. But it’s only sort of good news. While a moratorium is better than nothing at all, it’s certainly no guarantee of a well-protected environment.
And it’s not just New York that has to worry about it. Fracking is happening right here in our own backyard. The potential drilling threatens the entire region and many others across the country, as exposed by the documentary Gasland…
Watch the trailer:
“The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. But is fracking safe? What do you think?
As we’re speeding to the close of 2010, a lot of folks are starting to think about the last year — the adventures, the people and many times what they’ve missed out on. While these memories usually fuel the New Years resolutions of the next year, why not take some time to think about your bucket list? Yep, we’re talking about that list of things you want or need to do before you die.
Like Osprey? Join us in our quest to break the 10,000 like mark by January 20, 2011! Along the way we’ll be giving away a plethora of packs from our new Spring 2011 product line. A few of our lucky “likers” will receive a very special visit from Osprey athlete Timmy O’Neill! Here’s how it works…
- 10 Lucky Likers will win our new men’s Viper 7 or women’s Verve 7 hydration pack and a trucker’s hat!
- 1 Lucky Liker will receive a visit from our film crew and Timmy O’Neill. Beneath the glare of TV lights they’ll receive prizes, fame and recognition. We’ll post a video of the spectacle for all to see!
- 10 Lucky Likers will win our new women’s Sirrus 36 technical daypack and a trucker’s hat.!
- 1 Lucky Liker will receive a visit from our roaming film crew and you guessed it, Timmy O’Neill. Underneath the even brighter glare of TV lights and news helicopters, they’ll receive a prolific plethora of prizes and instant fame and recognition. We’ll post another video of the spectacle for all to see!
- 10 Lucky Likers will win our new Hornet 24 super light technical daypack and a trucker’s hat!
- 1 Lucky Liker will receive a very special visit from our roaming film crew and yes indeed, Timmy O’Neill. Underneath the blinding lights of Hollywood and Bollywood, they’ll receive an unprecedented and dazzling array of prizes and the mixed blessings that come with fame and recognition. Video? All over the web!
- 10 Lucky Likers will receive our new Momentum 26 bicycle commuter pack and a trucker’s hat.
- 10 Lucky Likers will receive our new Metron 25 urban commuter pack and a trucker’s hat.
- 1 Lucky Liker will experience a life changing event thanks to our roaming film crew and Timmy O’Neill. The world will be watching and prizes will be plentiful. Tears will be shed. An epic video of the entire saga will be shot around the world forall to see!
All you need to do is help us hit our goals all the way to 10,000! We’ll randomly select winners along the way. So get your friends and your friends, friends, friends to join us on the Osprey Facebook page. Odds of winning are better than 1 in 1,000. Let’s see Publisher’s Clearing House beat that!
Here at Osprey Packs, we believe in girl power. The power of women and girls around the world to enact lasting social change in their community and across the planet. So, today, we decided to highlight a few organizations working to make this world a better place by empowering and educating girls.
We believe women and girls are the solutions. As women assume leadership positions in their villages, actively participate in the reconstruction of their communities, start businesses, train other women and serve as role models, they become active citizens who can help to establish lasting peace and economic stability.
Empowering girls and women yields undeniable returns — for everyone. But the challenges are great. Today, women represent 70 percent of the world’s poor. They own 1 percent of the property and earn 10 percent of the income. At the same time, they produce 50 percent of the world’s food and perform 66 percent of the work.Mountain2Mountain is working to create education and opportunity for the women and girls of Afghanistan. We believe that investing in women and girls is the most effective way to achieve stability and economic prosperity. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to complex problems. Instead, we believe in long-term solutions that are user-generated, village to village. We don’t just build schools. We work alongside the Afghan people, other NGOs and local governments to develop programs that will create transformational, societal change.
Mission: To nurture a girl’s innate capacity for confidence, courage and leadership through adventure-based experiential education.We envision a world in which all girls are confident in who they are, filled with self-love and the power of self-definition, and able to be positive members of their communities as they become adults. However, our purpose doesn’t stop there. We want to see girls become agents of change. When girls are empowered and equipped for leadership and self-sufficiency their community changes in positive ways. While our work is about supporting girls to discover and utilize their full potential, ultimately we are committed to using our work as a vehicle for promoting social justice and grassroots social change.