There is nothing quite like standing on an untouched mountain ridge surrounded by friends and looking down at untracked powder-laden rib lines that beckon for a descent.
Last week my team and I were embedded in the Esplanade range, less than a two-hour ski tour from a warm, large ski lodge, where no person had ever skied before and no other person was to be seen for miles around. We were alone in the vast expanse of the backcountry.
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. This month we’re devoting it to all things spring: celebrating sunshine, getting out on late afternoon trail runs and reminding ourselves that summer is just around the corner. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
Spring is the perfect time to not only get yourself outdoors, but encourage others to do the same. We like to call it the buddy system.
So today we’re featuring a couple of ways that you can help your friends (and even strangers) get outside!
Get Someone Climbing
Ready to do a good deed in support of adventure? Take part in the Chicks Ambassador Poster Plaster and encourage women to start rock climbing! They’re looking for help promoting their upcoming 2011 Women’s Rock Climbing Clinics. All it takes is slapping up some posters all over town at your favorite coffee shops, yoga studios, climbing gyms and beyond — pretty much anywhere you think people might be interested in learning about the clinics. For every poster that you put up, photograph and share, you’ll get one entry into the giveaway for an Osprey Hornet 24 daypack, a pair of Julbo Guide Glasses, and a Princeton Tec Fuel headlamp.
Once it is up, take a picture of your poster plaster, then post that photo on your Facebook wall, tell us where you plastered it, and tag us at Chicks Climbing. That photo – with the Chicks Climbing Facebook tag – will be your entry into the drawing for the pack, glasses, and headlamp!
Each poster you plaster, photograph, and share will get you one entry into the giveaway – so you can earn up to four total entries!
The contest will run through May 31, so there is plenty of time to get your posters strategically placed. Please allow for up to three weeks for your posters to arrive (i.e. sign up to get yours now) as we work in batches for shipping!
For 10 years, a dream lingered, but the clutter of modern living pressed it into submission. Still clinging to the pull of wild places and adventure, Fitz and Becca Cahall revived their youthful vision of summits and faint trails by abandoning work and the city for the wilderness. The Love Letter follows a pair of climbers in search of new and classic routes along the difficult to reach stretches of the Sierra spine, focusing not just on the summits themselves, but the process of attaining them. In the clutter of the modern world, can wilderness still restore the human spirit? We would like to think so.
We caught up with Fitz Cahall, one of the masterminds behind The Love Letter, and asked him some questions…
It sounds like The Love Letter was a dream in the making for a long time. What first sparked your inspiration for this project?
I was 22 living in a van that I didn’t own in Yosemite. We were scrambling to find a camp spot and this woman came up and said she had room in her campsite for another car. She was a scientist doing a project in the national parks. She was pretty old — 32. So ancient, I know. Oddly during that time, I’d keep running into her in the Sierra at various parks and campgrounds. She told me about this three week climbing trip she and her husband had done in Sierra and I thought that’s pretty cool. I thought about that trip a bunch then, but I never had the focus required to do a trip like that. I told Becca about it a while back and it was just always something that stayed in the front of my thoughts.
Later I found that Muir had done a similar trip. David Brower, the father of modern conservation, did an 8-week continuous climbing trip in 1934 and followed a similar course. He ticked off 54 peaks in that time. These men began their careers as climbers and writers and evolved into powerful voices. It’s not to say that I think I’m John Muir or David Brower, but they are certainly heroes of mine, and if I can some do a fraction of what they did for the American West, I will be content.
If you love bikes, then the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California was the place to be April 14th -17th. Sea Otter, as it is most commonly called, is a celebration of all things bike and acts as a kick start for the spring cycling season. Besides the jam packed competitive schedule that includes road, short track, cross country, downhill, and dual slalom racing, Sea Otter is an amazing bicycle festival with something fantastic for bicycle lovers of all disciplines.
Companies from around the globe exhibit at the Sea Otter Expo, often introducing new or upcoming products and mingling with the 50,000+ attendees. Non-profits and bicycle advocacy groups are in attendance to promote their cause and raise awareness for cycling related issues. Top name professional athletes use the Sea Otter as an early season test of fitness and shakedown of the new seasons equipment. The entire vibe surrounding the Sea Otter Classic leaves you wanting to hop on a bike and ride, whether it be for a joy ride down the coastal bike route or a top speed flight around the grueling race course.
Here is a pictorial journey showing a few of my favorite Sea Otter memories.
That bicycling is the second most popular outdoor activity in the United States?
For every 1 mile pedaled rather than driven, nearly 1 pound of CO² is saved?
Biking sure is good for you…
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!
Via: Bikes Belong
We’re excited to announce our continued support of 88bikes, a micro-philanthropy project that gives bikes to kids in developing countries, and their upcoming endowment of 200 bikes and a sustainable bike shop to the Navajo Nation.
Here at Osprey, we first pledged our support for the organization in 2010, when we raised $2,500 for the Navajo endowment through sales of our Raptor hydration packs at Interbike Dirt Demo, with 100% of the proceeds going to 88bikes.
This year, we plan to repeat our successful fundraiser at the Interbike Dirt Demo. In addition, we will recruit employees and friends to volunteer at repair and maintenance clinics for the bike recipients, and help lead the kids on a local bike tour. Additionally, we’re honored and excited to help launch 88bikes’ first sustainable bike shop, to be located in the Navajo Nation.
“Many of our original team members are Navajo, so this is a very special project to us,” said Jeff Fox bike marketing manager at Osprey. “We are thrilled to help bring the happiness and freedom that a bike provides to kids in our own backyard. We look forward to staying involved in other facets of this inspirational project, from bike training and rides to launching the sustainable bike shop.”
On May 3, 2011, 200 young people attending the Whitehorse High School in Montezuma Creek on the Navajo Nation will be given their bikes at the “Moment of Happy.” As part of the endowment, they will also receive the training to maintain them, and have the opportunity to take a guided bike tour with Osprey team members through the southwest desert.
Additionally, 88bikes will unveil their first sustainable 88bikeshop, made entirely from locally-foraged materials, including the hoods of junked cars. Portable and elegant, with ample workspace for workshops and clinics, it will be located in Montezuma Creek.
“We are very grateful to Osprey for their continued support of our mission and of the children of the Navajo Nation,” said Dan Austin, co-founder of 88bikes. “We can’t wait for Osprey team members and the kids of Montezuma Creek to hop on their bikes and head off for a ride together!”
The Navajo Nation endowment is part of VILLAGES, 88bikes’ fifth and biggest project to date with additional endowments in Mongolia, Mozambique, South Africa and Nicaragua. The goal of the VILLAGES project is to distribute 1,000 new bikes to local children. To date, 940 bikes have been sponsored through donations of $88 per bike. 88bikes also plan to set up four to five bike shop “hubs” serving these rural communities and establish bike shop apprenticeships and workshops for each location.
It took me nearly 40 years to reach these steps. These steps lead to a trail of a life of dreams unfullfilled, heartache, blood, sweat, tears, joy, War, Marriage, and the birth of my children. These steps are the result of trials and tribulations of a life lived and dreaming of a day I’d be able to walk down these steps. The sights and sounds that led to these steps will never be forgotten. And the first time I stood and listened to what was at the bottom of these steps made me realize how amazing this planet is and how lucky I was at that moment to be standing in that spot to hear those sounds. The day I walked back up these steps and back to my life was a sad day and happy day. I don’t know when I’ll see these steps again but I will keep walking and living until I can walk back down these steps again someday and back to the Appalachian Trail.
Robert Nicholas lives in Olathe, Kansas. He grew up hiking in Missouri. Rob hiked this section of the AT near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia on April 9, 2011 while out east on a business trip, and plans to chip away at the 40-mile long Maryland Trail each year until it’s completed. His favorite weekend activity is hiking with his wife and two daughters.
Ready to post your own love letter? Here’s how you enter…
Did you know that there are 394 National Parks?
Now is your chance to explore them. Between now and April 24th, it’s National Parks Week and that means that you get free admission to any of your favorite National Parks all the way through Sunday.
Beyond free admission, many parks are hosting special events, like a birthday party for John Muir at the Muir Woods National Monument in California.
To encourage you to get out an explore over the next few days, we’ve rounded up photos of some of our favorite National Parks. Which one will you visit?
Nice to see bike lanes in between the parking lane and the curb. Nice work NYC!
Have a lane that you love? Send us a photo! You can post it to our Facebook page, shoot us an email at blog[at]ospreypacks[dot]com or upload to our Flickr group and we might just feature it here on our weekly photo feature, Lane Love.