Archive for July, 2011
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. It’s July and if you’re anything like us you can’t wait to hit the trail this weekend, so in honor of getting some facetime with nature, we’re dedicating this whole month to posts about hiking and backpacking! Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
We’re gearing up for Outdoor Retailer next week, which is always full of new gear to get you inspired to hit the trail, and we’re plenty excited about the latest and greatest in packs that we’ll have at our booth. Which reminded us of this video, an oldie but a goodie…
Who doesn’t want a Flextrek 37 Trillion?
Bike DealerCamp 2011 began with a bang, literally, as thunderstorms rolled through the Deer Valley area Tuesday night. Exhibitors received an e-mail around 1:00 a.m. notifying them that they should probably show up early Wednesday morning to clean up the carnage from the night before. Wind gusts and rain wreaked havoc on exhibitor tents and displays. There were even a few tents floating in the nearby lake (including an Osprey competitor). Fortunately, we have displayed at enough events during inclement weather that we took no chances and had everything covered and heavily anchored. Other than a few damp boxes, the Osprey booth was unscathed.
I’ve toppled thousands of cairns. I kick them over and scatter the rocks. I then walk away, leaving my trail of no destruction. I admit I feel somewhat pompous about destroying these towers of rocks. Like I was up for an early morning run before work and saw the sunrise while others were sleeping. But should I feel ashamed?
Thanks to Treehugger for drawing our attention to the new video from Oregon Manifest; it’s all about the collaborative design spirit going into building the utility bike of the future.
A lot of fancy futuristic bicycle designs have garnered TreeHugger posts. We all want to know what the future will bring in terms of cooler features and entirely novel forms. You’ll notice, though, that most of those future-oriented bicycle ideas sport a bit of a Jetson’s feel while falling short on amenities city cyclists really need – kickstands, fenders, back racks. Oregon Manifest, a bike design challenged sponsored in part by Levi’s (recently out with bicycle jeans), is aiming to find the future of utility bikes. Competing for a $3,000 prize, craftspeople and student teams are looking to innovate, show off their bike builder chops, and fashion a bike that makes people able and willing to get out of their cars…
A lineup of 34 illustrious bike builders and many student designers from Oregon as well as other U.S. states are working with some fairly specific smart criteria for a city bike. The bikes must have built-in anti-theft devices, fenders, lighting, some load-carrying capability, and some sort of kickstand mechanism so the bike can stand while parked.
Manifest’s panel of judges will be looking for entries that also push the envelope in terms of function, materials used, technologies employed, and the ability of the bike to adapt to different environments and lifestyles.
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!
Five days ago I drove out of Eldorado Canyon after seven pitches of climbing with two professional women who live in Boulder. We’d spent the day climbing sandstone cracks freshly crisped by the proceeding evening storms. The river roared beneath us for the full day making communication difficult and creating isolation of judgment and choices for each of us while climbing. It was a day where climbing was climbing – the complete pairing of mental and physical connection dialed together by focus. As we drove away from the perfect day Tracy and Amy planned future objectives and talk circled to fall climbing plans. Tracy and Amy talked about Colorado; I brought up Ethiopia
This fall I’m co-leading the second annual Imagine Ethiopia expedition. During the trip we will rock climb, mountain bike, do yoga and further the path and possibility of Ethiopia’s education. And is if that was not enough, we will also explore Ethiopia’s coffee heritage and help celebrate one of its greatest economic drivers. I’d like to say it will just be a standard 14 days in Ethiopia, but I’d be lying.
I first went to Ethiopia in 2006 to search for a rare coffee and stayed for the climbing. The climbing, it turned out, was horrifically soft and loose—two characteristics no climber ever wants to have separately or together. Still, I and four other climbers stuck out what we could, made it home, and then I was supposed to write a book about it.
The book had been commissioned before we found out about the rock quality. I’d set off on the trip thinking I would have glorious climbing experiences in Ethiopia. They’d be difficult, but it would be the good difficult—the kind where you triumph over risk. This sort of triumph was at that time what fueled my climbing—I loved the moment when I would commit to a route, extend further in the backcountry, push harder in some way to get to the place of the unknown. I fed off of the intoxicating moment of tipping into that unknown, and the corresponding sense of rightness when I could pull it off.
But then I was climbing in Ethiopia where it was hard to pull anything off except for the physical rock itself, and I was supposed to write about the success of it all. The project was doomed. Or it was until I started talking about it. I told friends, neighbors and strangers about climbing in Ethiopia and soon realized that what I was really telling them about was Ethiopia, not climbing. Climbing was a fraction of the conversation, and one becoming smaller by the moment when I realized what drew people’s interest. It didn’t take long to then realize that I’d been putting the emphasis on the wrong part of the story.
It’s five years later and I have another book about Ethiopia coming out on August 6. Coffee Story: Ethiopia is the first book ever to chronicle the culture behind the commodity of coffee in the country of coffee’s origin. I have small aspirations with it—such as changing the economy of Ethiopia.
Do I sound crazily optimistic? Good. Just as I believe a book on Ethiopia’s coffee culture can change Ethiopia’s economy I believe climbing can create massive impact in the world—via the climbers. Just like the boaters, the skiers, the runners, the paddlers and even the rollerbladers* can.
That feeling of triumphing over risk I spoke about is present daily for me when I create possibility in Ethiopia. And it’s contagious. My co-leaders and the participants of Imagine Ethiopia 2012 feel it too. It’s why we are all together doing this fabulous trip and raising $100,000 to build a new primary school in a remote rural community in Tigray, Ethiopia. We’re not doing it because it’s the right thing to do in some esoteric way. We’re doing it because it feels right with each step—just like the perfect climb.
If you adventure in any way, chances are high that you would like to have that adventure feeling more in your every day life. Who wouldn’t? I used to think that this always meant I needed more outlandish adventures. But now I know there are other ways to create that elation. And I know when I find the right way when it feels just as good as that moment when you pull off a heady choice in the outdoors. It’s the click. The click of making it and of it making you feel more like you. I spent years thinking I could only find this outside, and now I find it was actually the thing I could use to know what was right in the rest of my life beyond the outdoors.
Tracy and Amy might not be able to join me in Ethiopia in body, but I bet they are going to join me in spirit. Most people want to. You can too. Or you can get fired up about another project and place that creates that click for you. I’d love to know about it.
Coffee Story Ethiopia
What if a food crop could change a nation’s future?
Pre-order the book, watch the trailer, read an excerpt,
believe in changing the world.
Imagine Ethiopia 2011
Support the school, become on of the final participants on this year’s team, catch more inspiration.
The book that started it all.
Catch Coffee Story Ethiopia at the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show
Saturday August 6th
Osprey Packs Booth
10am – 12pm
Book signing and tasting of Ethiopian Tchembe coffee.
This blog was in conjunction with the good people at Pemba Serves
More from Majka at www.majkaburhardt.com
As an outdoor company, our roots are set deep in our wild lands. Our favorite places to hike, ski and climb are the very places that inspire us to create our packs. With Summer Outdoor Retailer madness upon us, we’re psyched to be a supporting member of the Conservation Alliance. The Alliance is a is a group of outdoor industry companies that give back to the outdoors by disbursing its collective annual membership dues to grassroots conservation groups.
Mountaineers see climate change. It’s shoved in our face as an observable fact. On approaches to mountains we deal with miles of moraine where maps show glacier. Once on route, we find that steep glacier headwalls, once covered by spongy neve, have become black ice. And with less neve, we see more rockfall, such as during the summer 2003 heat wave that closed Mont Blanc.
Non-mountaineers have heard that glaciers are vanishing worldwide, yet most have never actually seen a glacier. They’re often curious about our encounters with these climate-change barometers.
A race, in its most basic form, breeds heroes. These heroes usually take the form of the champions, the athletes that rise above to conquer his or her field, besting all contenders.
The demanding format of the BC Bike Race allows for new heroes to emerge. These are the folks that may not be the fastest of the day (heck, some of the heroes end up being some of the slowest riders out there). But these unsung heroes are the ones grinding and toiling out on the course, leaving behind their day jobs and lives back home to focus on one thing and one thing only: getting across that finish line each day of the race.
There are people like Dave, who spent the whole first night in Cumberland overcome with a vicious flu. The night was passed curled up in a dirty bathroom, alternating between bouts of vomiting and fitful sleep. He crawled to the start line in the morning, and fought through the day. The next day his flu subsided and he kept going strong on course.
Speaking of overcoming challenges, there was the couple from Austin that was looking forward to a week of racing without their kids in tow. Their nanny fell through at the last minute, and undeterred they changed their race entry to tag-team, brought their kids, alternated days of racing and had a great BC Bike Race family vacation. Not Disneyland, but the kids didn’t seem to mind.
Do you know your state’s motto? Fifty and Fifty is a cool project that has brought together 50 designers, one per state, and graphically depicted all of the state mottos.
A sunny summer day in Stockholm, perfect for taking the family out for a ride. Even better when the child seat matches the color of your bike.
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.
Image: Anna Brones