Archive for October, 2011
Some mountain bike meccas have their “mecca” designation handed to them with ease. All of the elements are there for them: the ideal topography, a dedicated bunch of locals with a vision, and the freedom to ride in the aforementioned hills.
Jasper mountain bikers have never had it easy. The town is situated in the middle of a national park, which presents many obstacles on the road to becoming a mountain bike destination. Parks Canada, which was formed exactly 100 years ago in 1911, has never held mountain bikes in high esteem, shutting them out completely from vast areas of national park land. Jasper, however, is a living, breathing anomaly in the Parks world, with mountain bikers slowly carving out a niche for themselves in the middle of the Canadian Rockies.
After a solid weekend I came home to Durango and got in a couple great mountain bike rides taking advantage of the tacky singletrack and sunny days. On Wednesday the weather turned and Indian Summer gave way to winter overnight. By Thursday it was dumping and heavy snow was accumulating in the mountains. By Friday, Wolf Creek announced they would be opening Saturday the 8th of October — their earliest ever. Other resorts around the country had yet to fire up the snow guns and Wolf Creek was going to open with 44″ of goodness. John Trousdale and I rallied early and made it to the hill before the contingent of front rangers. Another 8″ of blower snow Friday night teed up truly epic conditions for any month, but off the chart conditions given the date. In the parking lot it was blustery as I pulled on the puffy and inhaled my first crisp air of the season.
At the top of a mountain, under the hot sun stands a tall eucalyptus tree. Under the tree sit children packed tightly together on stones, dusty earth beneath their feet, no protection from the afternoon heat. There are no desks or books. Yet every day the teacher carries in the one village blackboard and begins a new lesson. And every day the children arrive, some after walking for over two hours, eager to learn.
imagine1day is a group of movers, shakers and change-makers committed to the next generation of leaders who will carry Africa into a new era of prosperity — with a goal to give all Ethiopians access to quality education funded free of foreign aid by 2030 — in a world where all people are connected to their greatness.
Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest nations, but despite this it remains full of promise and its government is cooperative and committed to education for all. Our good friend Majka Burhardt recently landed safe and sound in Addis, Ethiopia with a slew of Osprey Packs for scholarship recipients at imagine1day. Thanks to Majka for her passion and for bringing this incredible story to us here at Osprey. Stay tuned for updates from Majka when she returns from here adventure…
Learn more about imagine1day and how you can help send children to school in Ethiopia here.
PHOTO via imagine1day
I ran in the dark hollow coolness of the Telluride valley this morning, winter’s bite is slowly settling in and the shadows of dawn are arriving much later now. Thumping foot after foot on frosted pavement, I ran with my wife and at the mercy of our galloping Tibetan Terrier, Blitz. I’m happy to call this place home. It’s a transitional season and a pleasure to watch time pass this way — as the mountains change form and winter takes shape.
I’m still loaded with anticipation of adventure — my endorphins sizzle as I gaze up valley and see Bridal Veil falls freezing and windy chutes filling. I expect to take my skis up into the mountains this weekend for the first time since July, It’s nice to spend a fall in the home mountain range and enjoying time with my family. Mountaineering in the San Juans can be really great training any time of year.
A year ago this week, I found myself at the mouth of the second deepest gorge in the world, my next three weeks in the hands of a horseman’s bridle. Ski The Himalayas Season 3, Episode 2 chronicles the day that occurred, this episode tops my list on most shocking cultural misunderstandings I’ve ever had!
The late summer brings me to the Teton Range every year to climb. By August the snow is usually gone, the sun is high and the rock is warm. One of the most popular routes on the Grand is the Exum Ridge. The moderate climb is a long aesthetic line high on the mountain that leads straight up from the Lower Saddle to the summit. Last summer a few friends and I made an attempt to climb this route car-to-car. We decided to leave the valley floor to attempt to summit and get back to the car in time to grab a pizza at Dornans.
We left the trailhead at 3:30 a.m. and started up. It was a bit cold, but as long as we kept moving we were warm enough. A quick few hours later we saw the sun rise and light shine across the valley to explode on the side of Nez Perce. We made it up to the lower saddle just in time to see the guided groups coming down after a failed quick attempt. The problem was it rained hard the night before in the valley, so the whole mountain was covered in ice because of the cold at elevation. Lots and lots of ice…
Two years ago, Shannon Galpin became the first woman to mountain bike in Afghanistan, a country where women are no longer allowed to ride bikes. In 2010, she rode across the Panjshir Valley, a 2-day journey of more than 150 km that tested the perception of women riding bikes, while highlighting the beauty and potential for adventure in this remote area of the world.
On October 8, riders across the US used their bikes as vehicles for social change by participating in the Panjshir Tour — showing their support and raising funds to fuel Mountain 2 Mountain‘s programs in Afghanistan. Well, now it’s time to celebrate.
If you’re anywhere near Denver, don’t miss the finale ride tomorrow at Bear Creek Lake. Show up wat 10a.m. on Saturday, October 15, to empower women and children in Afghanistan. Look forward to delicious refreshments from New Belgium Brewing beer, and Oogave – The original agave soda, sweet gear from from Osprey Packs, a wheel set from Stans NoTubes, and gorgeous red frame from Niner Bikes. All up for grabs and in support of Mountain 2 Mountain.
Shannon wrote on the prAna blog:
It was my goal to challenge perceptions and invite conversation on both sides of the equation. Challenging the stereotypes of women and Americans in Afghanistan, while challenging parallel stereotypes of Afghans as a people and as a nation in the United States. Bridging cultures and communities on two wheels… by coming together with our bikes, we can fight for justice, we can battle for change, and we can do it one pedal stroke at a time.
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. Now that it’s October, we find ourselves looking up at the sky looking, waiting for signs of winter… so we’re dedicating this month to that big, beautiful sky. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
We’ve become big fans of photographer Ben Canales over the past few months. He recently won the 2011 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest and his ability to capture the night sky is pretty incredible — he also applies that skill to moving pictures and is the brainchild behind some killer time lapse production for Uncage the Soul, based in Portland, Oregon.
So in honor of inspiring some fall adventures, which hopefully take you to the kind of places where you can spend hours gazing at the night sky, here are a selection of starry photos.
Images: Ben Canales
by Sven Brunso
A few weeks back Mother Nature gave those of us in SW Colorado a “glimpse” of what lies ahead. After an unseasonable week of wet, cool weather, the clouds lifted to reveal a healthy dose of white gold above 11,000 feet. Some grabbed their skis and rushed into the alpine in an effort to get their fix, but I opted to wait until the odds of face shots exceed those of core shots.
Earlier this week, General Motors launched a new ad campaign on urban college campuses to encourage students to “Stop Pedaling… Start Driving.” But after running this ad in student newspapers across the US, GM is getting an earful, and it didn’t take long for remakes to start popping up.
Here’s on from Giant Bicycles…
And another one from Kieran O’Neill from the AMS Bike Co-op in Vancouver, BC…
What do you think about the ads?
High winds, rain and cold weather greeted us as we journeyed across the state line to Moab, Utah for the 2nd annual OuterBike event put on by the crew at Western Spirit Adventures. As we stood in the expo area, wrapped in down jackets, waiting for the winds to die down so the main tent could be erected, it was hard to believe that we roasted under sunny skies and 100 degree temperatures this same weekend the prior year. The heat in 2010 seemed to do very little in the way of discouraging participants, who came from all over North America, from getting out and having an absolutely fantastic experience.