Oh, the withdrawal. Staring out the window with a distant look. Wandering through the office with hunched shoulders. The utter lack of focus. For several years, I have joined a close (and ever widening) group of friends to spend one week in Canada ski touring at a number of the fantastic huts in the mountains of Southeastern British Columbia. Powder Creek, Kokanee Glacier Lodge, Fairy Meadows and this year, Valhalla Mountain Touring.
I’ve been back for a couple weeks, but the rhythm of VMT is still with me. Our guide and the owner of VMT is Evan Stevens. Along with his wife Jasmin, they have established one of the best powder skiing locations you will find anywhere on the planet. Top it off with incredible food prepared by Annie Strucel, a fellow “tellyer” and the experience is stellar. In fact, I’m pretty sure that VMT is heaven on earth.
Which is why I keep ogling at pictures and movie clips of limbs and skis occasionally emerging from a blur of cold smoke as my mind drifts away. I mean, when you go to heaven why would you want to come back? Little by little though, I am transferring the energy of that week into my return to reality. With many Osprey pack users on the trip as well as some very nice products from other companies, I absorbed a ton of feedback and ideas for the perfect backcountry ski pack. And with it being a tough year on the avy front, the topic of air bag packs was at the forefront of discussion.
Fall 2013 will be a big season for Osprey in ski packs and we are well into the product development cycle. I was able to distill what I learned at VMT and pass on some great information to our product team. As is true with every Osprey pack, many of the ideas from our customers — the folks out there using our packs — will be integrated into the designs. Additionally, formal feedback and testing from professionals like Evan is key.
You can check out many of Evan’s posts right here on our blog or visit VMT on Facebook. The videos are ridiculous! In fact, I think I’ll take a peek right now and drift away for just another minute… or two…
Gareth Martins is the Director of Marketing at Osprey Packs.