The last two weeks has had it all in British Columbia. It started with blue skies and a bomber snow pack, and then the snow hose got pointed at us, for 130cms of new snow in the last week. This quick video gives a taste of a few runs from the last few weeks at Valhalla Mountain Touring. Enjoy!
Evan Stevens is a fully certified IFMGA Mountain Guide, examiner and instructor for the AMGA, a member of the AMGA Board of Directors, and owner and lead guide of Valhalla Mountain Touring, a backcountry ski lodge in the Selkirks of British Columbia. Somehow he managed to do all of this whilst only escaping from the suburbs of New York City just 10 years ago. When not on his skis, he can be found climbing hard rock in his summer home of Squamish, BC, or trying to fire off alpine rock free ascents through out the world. Highlights include numerous first descents in the Valhalla Range of BC, traditional rock ascents of up to 5.13, first free ascents in BC such as IV 5.12 Man of Steel in the Adamants, IV 5.12 R Lost in Space on Mt. Gimli, and speed ascents of big walls in Greenland. Besides that he is usually being humbled by his super human wife Jasmin, and trying to keep up to his dog Benny on the skin track.
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!
The snow is falling in the West and if you’re like us, you’re probably getting your gear ready for the weekend ahead. But with the loss of four more incredible people in last weekend’s avalanches in the North Cascades, our excitement is bittersweet. For all of you who have loved and lost someone in the mountains, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Ski hard, be safe and love the life you live.
Forty-eight inches of snow in 48 hours. It was indeed a white, powdery Vertfest.
Another exciting VertFest has been wrapped in a blanket of fresh snow and put safely to bed, and oh what a fantastic event it was! The biggest side and backcountry skiing/boarding festival and rando race in the Northwest lived up to its billing and was certainly filled with plenty of “awesomesauce” and “mountain mettle” as promised.
I recently returned from my first trip to Kauai, which also happened to be my first non-climbing vacation ever as an adult. For those of you who have not been, it’s breathtaking. The landscape is straight out of Jurassic Park, literally, and the topography provides for some of the best hiking I have ever experienced. I broke my ankle this past fall and the hiking on Kauai more than made up for the break I had to take over the winter.
Waimea Canyon is home to my favorite hike I did on the island. It lives up it’s name as the “Grand Canyon” of the Pacific. The hike weaves around huge canyons with near vertical walls. Coming from the mountains of Yosemite, I am not used to the lush plant life that grows on the sides of the steep walls. But just like the Valley, waterfalls jettisoned out from the walls, making for some of the most spectacular views I’ve seen.
I’m practicing owning up to my origins. Colorado used to just roll off my tongue. New Hampshire? It’s clunky, it’s two words, and it takes explaining.
Contrary to what many presume from my quick speech and intense personality, I am not an easterner and never have been. Until now. In January Peter and I packed up the van and headed east. I’ve flirted with living in New Hampshire for the past three years (read more in my Go East Article in Alpinist Magazine). Now we’re going steady.
We’re pretty excited to be en route to the Alpental at Snoqualmie Pass in Washington for Vertfest this weekend, so in order to keep our energy up and our toes tapping we’ve been rocking out to beats from Daydream Vacation and Head Like A Kite. The bands will be performing at Vertfest on Saturday. What’s better than ending a day of skiing with a beer and a dance party? That’s right. Nothing.
But even if you can’t join us for the festivities this weekend, you can still have a dance party… enjoy!
The Colorado River from the book "Chasing Water". Photo by Pete McBride
Last year, we watched photojournalist Pete McBride’s film Chasing Water at 5Point Film Festival. We always had an idea of the dire straits on the Colorado River, but the images in the film and accompanying book made it impossible to forget. Our mighty Colorado River that cut the Grand Canyon, that flows powerfully through the western states has been pushed, pulled and sucked dry — so much that it rarely reaches the ocean.
KEEN Rippin Chix Steeps Camp at Silverton with Osprey Packs
Silverton brings me back to what skiing was like as a kid — no frills, no heat, no fancy food, but great skiing with great friends. Again this year, we had several feet of powder… I’m knocking on wood as we speak.
We’re not huge on Valentine’s Day, but we think that these outdoor-inspired greetings from our friends at Eastern Mountain Sports are pretty clever. Definitely gave us a chuckle. So, send one to the dirtbag you love and have a happy Valentine’s Day! See more on the EMS Facebook page.