Archive for November, 2011

November 16th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Patagonia National Park Opens For Visitors + Why We Still Need To Fight Damming Patagonia’s Rivers

At the southernmost end of the Americas lies wild Patagonia, a still unexplored land of legendary natural beauty. Vast expanses of open space stretch out in all directions. A curious geological past has shaped this varied and dynamic landscape. Bordering the fjords of the Pacific coast, the world’s largest extrapolar icefields contain some of the region’s most impressive peaks, while to the east, the windswept steppes stretch out to the Atlantic coast. Glacier-fed rivers, full of some of the world’s purest water, tumble between jagged, never-climbed mountains. Herds of long-necked guanacos gallop across expansive grasslands as Andean condors, one of Earth’s most massive birds, soar overhead.

Six years ago, Conservacion Patagonica launched its most ambitious project yet: the creation of Patagonia National Park in the Aysen Region of southern Chile. When complete, this 650,000-acre expanse of grasslands, wetlands, mountains and rivers will secure permanent protection for an ecologically critical region of Patagonia. Spanning the Jeinimeni and Tamango Mountains and the Chacabuco Valley, the future park will mark a new chapter in Patagonia’s history: from failed sheep ranching to conservation and ecotourism. Simultaneously, the park will counter some of the threats to Patagonia, including desertification, habitat loss and industrial development.

This December, the Patagonia National Park project is opening to visitors. This gallery of photos will have you packing your passport and buying your plane ticket now…

The vision of an expansive wilderness area in Patagonia, where flourishing ecosystems support healthy populations of all native species, where visitors deepen their appreciation of wildness, and where ecotourism and eco-education help local communities thrive, inspires us. It’s a bold vision, but protecting the Earth’s last wild places and diversity of life demands that we think and act big.

One threat especially, requires bold action from not only the community in Patagonia, but the global community as a whole. Together, we must stop the proposed damming of Patagonia’s Baker and Pascua rivers. via Conservacion Patagonica:

Patagonia Sin Represas, the campaign that began in Cochrane as a small grassroots movement to oppose HidroAysén’s plan for five mega-dams, had blossomed into a series of large-scale demonstrations that swept through Chile’s major cities in May and June…

Yet despite these legal advances and the outpouring of opposition to the dams, HidroAysén has managed to push its project forward through the impressive series of obstacles the opposition has thrown in its path…

But the battle is far from over. From here, the case will go to the Chilean Supreme Court. So it seems there is still a chance to turn this roadblock into a dead end for the dams. For those who wish to stand in solidarity with the Sin Represas movement, the best advice is simple: don’t give up. From what we’ve seen so far, public opposition from both in and outside of Chile has been the strongest force in delaying HidroAysén’s agenda. Whether taking to the streets in Santiago, raising awareness about this unfinished story, or engaging in the growing dialogue around Chile’s need for alternative energy.


Patagonia is one of those places that we cannot tame. It’s identity lies in its wildness. And it’s up to all of us to protect it.

Learn more about this special place and how you can protect it here.

November 15th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

I Believe I Can Fly (Flight of the Frenchies)

This video spread like wildfire online over the last week or so, but if you haven’t seen this yet. Take a few moments to watch… we don’t need to say much more than that. Enjoy!

VIDEO by sebastien montaz-rosset

November 14th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Lane Love – NYC

After a tragic end over the handlebars when his front wheel met a pothole, the New York Times critic, Michael Kimmelman is back on the bike — experiencing NYC’s bike lanes from his global perspective and grateful to be back on the bike!  Happy Monday!

PHOTO via Tony Cenicola/The New York Times.

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.

November 14th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

The Moonflower Premiere and SOLITAIRE at Kendal Mountain Festival

The Kendal Mountain Festival kicks off this week in the UK. The festival welcomes thousands of outdoor enthusiasts from around the world to celebrate mountain culture in film, lectures, art and literature. Their mission is to inspire audiences with stories, films and presentations from the outdoor environment encompassing the spirit of exploration and adventure.

Posing Productions is premiering their new mountaineering film, The Moonflower, featuring British alpinists Matt Helliker and Jon Bracey on their first ascent on the hallowed Moonflower Buttress on Mt Hunter in Alaska. Helliker is also an Osprey-sponsored athlete.

Sweetgrass ProductionsSOLITAIRE will also be showing at the festival, featuring fellow Osprey athlete, Kim Havell. Director Nick Waggoner will be on hand presenting.

Whether you can make it to the festival or not, these films sure make us want to get out there! Enjoy!

November 11th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Friday Round-Up: Paradox Sports + Veteran’s Day – Live Life on Your Own Terms

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 week. We call it the Osprey Round-Up… Happy Friday!

Osprey has long been a sponsor of Paradox Sports, a movement created by an eclectic group of individuals with a common desire to integrate the physically disabled into the outdoor community by providing inspiration, opportunities, and the adaptive equipment needed to participate in human-powered outdoor sports. It is the brainchild of Army Captain DJ Skelton and Osprey athlete and professional climber Timmy O’Neill.

DJ was wounded in Iraq and is still on active duty AND works as an advocate for wounded soldiers returning from Iraq. via ABC News earlier this year when DJ left for a tour in Afghanistan.

Capt. D.J. Skelton was blown up the night of Nov. 6, 2004…

Six years have passed since that night. After more than 60 surgeries, Skelton, 33, is back on the battlefield.

Skelton said he is missing one eye, has partial use of his left arm, is missing the roof of his mouth and has limited mobility in one ankle. He cannot eat or drink without a custom prosthetic.

“Those are the details,” he said. “The reality? I rock climb, run marathons, mountaineer, ice climb, pogo stick, hula hoop… I just figure out new ways to do the old!”

In his Paradox Sports Founder’s Statement, DJ said:

Life is too easy, folks. Once you get over the fact that life is not supposed to be but just is as it is right now, life becomes too easy. Deal with it and keep pushing forward. We are not teaching you anything you don’t already know. We are just reminding you that you are amazing and you have unlimited potential to achieve greatness in this life.

Live life on your own terms…

Thank you to all of the Veterans out there.

PHOTO via Paradox Sports

November 11th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Ski The Himalayas Season 3: Episode 5

Head spinning, eyes darting backward and sitting on a giant tractor tire, I wondered how next picking up a sledgehammer was going to make me feel any better. I wasn’t roadside in the third wold, I was in a ski conditioning class in Telluride, Colorado with the Allman Brothers blaring in the background. Men and women of all ages were pumping through difficult 1-minute circuits. At that moment, hovering in a sweat-drenched haze over the precipitous center of the tire I thought to myself…”barf” but fought it back and somehow managed to jump over the stupid tire again before moving to the next station.

I ended up at this class after making my friend go to yoga. Never underestimate what your friends will get you into, if it is hard enough to shake earwax loose, it’s OK, that’s why they are your friends. After all, if the car ride we experienced in Ski the Himalayas episode 5 didn’t make me chuck it, shaking some booty and cross-fitting it up should be A-OK.

Enjoy the Episode…

November 9th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

How Biking Might Just Save Your Life and Your City Billions

When this photo popped into our email inbox with our daily dose of GOOD in all it’s carfree, windswept glory, we knew we were going to like the accompanying story. And it turns out, it’s just as awesome as the photo. A new study shows that biking is not only good for your gams, but good for your city’s economy. Read more via GOOD:

Last week, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives published findings from a study by scientists at the University of Wisconsin on the economic and health benefits of switching from a car to a bike for trips shorter than five miles long in 11 metropolitan areas around the upper Midwest. Combining data on air pollution, medical costs, mortality rates, car accidents, and physical fitness, the researchers found that if inhabitants of the sample region switched to bikes for half of their short trips, they’d create a net societal health benefit of $3.5 billion per year from the increase in air quality and $3.8 billion in savings from smaller health care costs associated with better fitness and fewer mortalities from a decreased rate of car accidents.

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!

Photo via (cc) Flickr user kamshots. Found on GOOD Finder by Morf

November 9th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Changes in the Weather Bring Changes in the Soul

Photo by Doug Hemken

The other day it snowed. That’s right, I got snowed on… It was cold and it was wet and it was miserable. I was on a rock climbing trip to the Red River Gorge for a long weekend of clipping bolts, pulling pockets and enjoying one last warm weather rock trip. All I wanted to do was bask in the sun, wear a t-shirt and cook breakfast on the camp stove without shivering.

I got snowed on… It was cold and it was wet and it was WONDERFUL! I forgot what it was like and my mind started to wander to other things. I dreamed of frozen waterfalls, deep snow,  groomed trails. I dreamed of waxing my skis and sharpening my ice picks. I dreamed of winter and what it will all bring.

The new season called winter is coming and I am excited for it!

Jon Jugenheimer is an Osprey sales rep with Ames Adventure Outfitters. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, is addicted to climbing and loves fried chicken.

November 7th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Lane Love: Seoul

We love this awesome “Xylophone Bridge” by Yeon Jae Won and Woo Jeong Heo, which interactively plays music and lights up when riders glide over it. The bike lane took top honors in last year’s Seoul Cycle Design Competition. Pretty cool.

PHOTO via Treehugger

November 7th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Majka Burhardt: Setting Off For The Lost Mountain in Mozambique

Osprey athlete Majka Burhardt is making her way with a team of climbers, biologists and filmmakers this week to Mt. Namuli, a remote granite peak in northern Mozambique. Their mission: to explore the cracks and recesses of Mt. Namuli’s 700-meter cliff face, searching for new species of life.

via Majka on The Lost Mountain blog:

Over two years ago I came across photos of granite faces in Mozambique. I had no idea that those photos would lead me to today, November 6th 2011, packing for one of them in room 108 in the Jupiter Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is fitting that Ethiopia—the place that has given me so much unexpected adventure and even more of life from adventure—is my staging ground for this next journey.

I’m lucky on this trip to be joined by Sarah Garlick and Paul Yoo. Sarah and I have been climbing partners and friends for years but this will be our first big trip together. Paul is a filmmaker base in LA and this is the first project for the three of us as a team. We really have no idea what we’re in for. None of us would want it differently. We have the basics—an unclimbed granite face, a landscape in Mozambique that is a hotbed of biodiversity, a group of local stakeholders who care about that landscape and need it to live off of to survive and flourish.  And we have the intent to find all that we can in ourselves and in the journey.

Read more

Majka Burhardt is a writer, climber, and AMGA-Certified Rock Guide who lives in Boulder, Colorado… when she’s home. Lately she’s been spending a lot of time searching for stone in Africa. Stay posted on her adventures in Mozambique over on The Lost Mountain site.


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