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Whoops Trail

June 28th, 2013

Professional downhill mountain bike racer Dennis Yuroshek sent us this awesome video, accompanied with this to say:

Carolynn and I are spending some time here in Bend, Oregon trying to find a place to call home. In the meantime we shred trail just a few minutes outside of downtown. Whoops trail is one of Carolynn’s favorites to ride, watch to find out why!

Thanks to Dennis for sharing!

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Celebrate Music, Art and the Outdoors at Electric Forest 2013

June 25th, 2013

Electric Forest is a music festival of epic proportions; it’s a celebration consisting of live music performances and life-size art installations set in the depths of the woods amid the trees, which are lit up with an electric, glowing light once night falls. We’re proud to be a part of such a unique festival, which takes place in the Sherwood Forest in Rothbury, Michingan this weekend, from June 27th through the 30th. Check out the music lineup – and buy tickets here. Here’s what you can expect from the Fest in general, from the Electric Forest Website:

By day, the Sherwood Forest is a place to relax in one of the many hammocks that swing between the trees, explore the art installations sprinkled throughout the woods and meander down paths to discover plenty of surprises. At night, the Sherwood Forest comes alive! Witness the extravagant light display, stumble into surprise performances and parties in the depths of the woods, and gather with friends to enjoy the party. Make sure to check out the Forest Stage with live music and performances day and night, as well as unannounced surprise sets!

And here’s what you can expect from us throughout the Festival:

  • 20% off sale offsite via retail partner Bill and Paul’s Sporthaus throughout the event and through the following weekend in celebration of Electric Forest
  • Free onsite sizing and fittings as well as expert advice by Osprey professionals
  • Full display of all that is new for Spring 2013 as well as a preview of what to expect for Fall 2013
  • Daily Pack Giveaways: Take our three-minute Electric Forest Festival event survey and automatically be entered win a new Osprey Pack — stop by the booth for full details
  • All sorts of Festival giveaways including: Epecially created Osprey/Joshua Tree Electric Forest Rum and Pina Colada lip balms with spf 18 to keep your festival lips happy, Osprey Eco Coolies to keep your festival beverages cold and all sorts of cool Osprey stickers!
  • the Electric Forest Ultimate Camp Contest: Contestant submits their ultimate camp plans online for the best campsite infrastructure. Ten semi-finalists will be chosen to build their campsite in various premium locations spread throughout the campgrounds. The best camp infrastructure wins a performance by an Electric Forest provided artist in their campsite, Osprey Packs and other various prizes. Full details here!

The Electric Forest mobile app is exploding with information on everything EF from contests and workshops to food, retail, GOOD LIFE updates and VIP information. Also, this year you can use the EF camera to snap photos to upload to social media as well as create your own schedule and set notifications so that you don’t miss your favorite acts and see what’s happening on  Twitter and Instagram!

Hashtags for the weekend: #ospreypacks#ElectricForest #EF13

There’s so much to be seen and heard at the Fest, and we couldn’t be more excited to sponsor this incredible event. We’ll see you there!

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I Hate Road Trips

June 20th, 2013

Das Rad Haus owner Christine ripping on Xanadu in Leavenworth

I hate road trips. Especially trips to awesome new zones to go bike riding. They are a blur of teases: quick, sneaky peeks into great scenes that you previously didn’t even know existed. One short day of checking the area out, maybe a few if you’re lucky, and you are on to the next spot, fantasizing about pulling up stakes, quitting your job and moving to your new-found riding center of the universe. And if the road trip is anything like the one I just got back from, the next little haven you pull into will have the same effect, making you wonder just what life would be like if you never left this freshly-discovered Shangri-La of bicycling.

My girlfriend Rachel and I left from our home in Vancouver on a trip into Washington with four bikes and one goal: ride a lot. The plan was to minimize the driving by staying in one small corner of Washington State, and riding our road bikes and mountain bikes everyday in a new area. The loop we planned took us through the North Cascades National Park, through Winthrop, down the arid and beautiful Okanogan and Columbia River valleys, up over to Leavenworth, detouring over Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie, and finally back up to Bellingham to end off the six day excursion. No one day did we drive more than two hours, and every day we got in a scenic road ride and a sweet mountain bike ride (or two). In other words, six days of being teased and tantalized by some amazing areas in this part of the state.

The Loop

The path of most resistance.

Our schedule was simple: Wake up in our new locale, go for a morning road ride, eat breakfast, go for a mountain bike ride, eat a late lunch and head off to our next destination, usually making plans for the next time we found ourselves passing through that area again.

The roads in America are great, often much better than in Canada. Where we have a decrepit, pot-holed forestry road, Americans have a smooth winding strip of asphalt through some amazing country. We took advantage of this fact on the uber-scenic North Cascades drive, and on some memorable road rides through miles of orchards and vineyards in Chelan and Leavenworth, and along quiet country highways along the Methow and Snoqualmie Rivers.

Tuscany?

Nope, the rolling hills and smooth pavement of Lake Chelan.

Rachel is relatively new to mountain biking, and I have had mixed success with introducing her to the joys of riding. One decent pedal in Squamish is quickly overshadowed by a horror-fest of technical roots and rocks on the Shore, or a crazed B-Liner running her off a berm on his personal race to Strava glory. Washington gave up the goods for her, with a variety of trails that were a lot of fun for the both of us. Highlights included the Sun Mountain trails in Winthrop, the amazing variety of the Duthie Hill Bike Park near Seattle, the long climb but epic descent of Fruend Canyon in Leavenworth and the flowy goodness of Galbraith Mountain in Bellingham. I got out on a couple shreds as well, on a super cool ridgeline DH off of Chelan Butte, and a sweet rip down Xanadu in Leavenworth with some locals.

The towns beguiled us with their charms as well. Winthrop has gone with the Western theme, but pulled it off in fine style. As we walked up the main street taking in the views, Rachel noted: “Even the gas station is adorable!” Can’t argue with that. We had a quick peek into the potential of the Methow Valley, but barely scratched the surface. The fellows at Methow Cycle and Sport (a fine Kona dealer) alluded to many more singletrack epics up in the surrounding hills above Mazama and Winthrop. But, like any road trip, we shelved those ideas for later, and carried on.

Taking in the views on Echo Ridge, Chelan.

With my F.O.M.O. (Fear Of Missing Out) disorder going into overdrive from all the epic spots we were merely sampling, I almost blew a gasket once we arrived in Leavenworth. Two weeks, let alone our two days (actually only one night and a day) would not be enough to experience everything this town has to offer, once you look past the kitschy Bavarian theme that pervades every element of the main drag, including the McDonalds sign. It would take me at least a few days just to get through the menu at South, an amazing Mexican restaurant in town. Trails abound here, leading out of every corner of this alpen town. Rivers cascade out of the tight mountain valleys, climbable rock spires reach for the sky, and friendly locals (like the ones at Kona dealer Das Rad Haus) point visitors in the direction of the singletrack goods (while probably saving a few secret nuggets for themselves).

Ridge Ride

Taking in the views from the top of Xanadu

Fantasizing about our new lives in Leavenworth, we carried on our way, spoiling ourselves for a couple nights at the fancy Salish Lodge and Spa near Snoqualmie (thanks Groupon Getaway deal!) and riding the very unique and super fun Duthie Hill Bike Park, which is located just minutes from the Lodge. Coming to terms with the realization that we could not live in the Lodge full-time, we drove up to Bellingham to end off the trip with some fun exploration of the Galbraith Mountain trails, with a side trip to Boundary Bay Brewery for some eats, and Trader Joe’s to stock up on some cheap cheese and Two Buck Chuck.

So, like I mentioned, I hate road trips. Especially when they are as awesome as this one was.

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Solid Sound Music & Arts Fest Lights Up Western Massachusetts

June 19th, 2013

Music, art, comedy and community are the elements that combine to make Solid Sound, a three-day festival celebrated at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in the small town of North Adams in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. As proud sponsors of the event, we’re excited for this year’s festivities, set to kick off in just a couple of days!

Solid Sound was envisioned by musical geniuses Wilco, though the Fest features many other artists, including those listed in this year’s lineup. Other activities include exhibits at Mass MoCa, an offsite hike led by Patagonia and yours truly on Saturday, a scavenger hunt and bike raffle, art contest, outdoor installations, yoga and more. Check the Activities portion of the Solid Sound website to learn more about some of the other activities you won’t want to miss. For Osprey-specific events, keep reading.

Together with Osprey Athlete Timmy O’Neill (who’ll be at the Osprey booth all weekend signing free posters), we’ll be holding a Primary Expression Art Contest at the Osprey booth on the following days:

  • Friday, June 21st from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 22nd from 3-5 p.m
  • Sunday, June 23, 2 pm – 4 p.m.

The contest will allow participants to choose their form of expression (they’ll choose between drawing, writing or composing) and will have a time limit within which to create their masterpiece. We’ll post images of your painting or prose on Instagram and video on Facebook. Expressions with the most Likes each day will win an Osprey Festival Survival Pack!

Be sure to stop by the Hunter Theatre on Friday at 4:30 p.m. or Sunday at 3 p.m. to watch Osprey Athlete Alison Gannett‘s MoveShake Story, which will cover her personal story as the woman behind three non-profits who also runs a 75-acre farm in Colorado.

Whatever you do, be sure to enjoy as much of Solid Sound’s activities as possible — and to head over to the Osprey booth at any time! Purchase tickets here. We’ll see you there.

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Mile… Mile & a Half Screenings Around the Country

June 14th, 2013

“In an epic snow year, five friends leave their daily lives behind to hike California’s historic John Muir Trail, a 211-mile stretch from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the contiguous U.S.). Their goal — complete the journey in 25 days while capturing the amazing sights & sounds they encounter along the way. Inspired by their bond, humor, artistry & dedication, the group continues to grow: to include other artists, musicians & adventure seekers. Before they all reach the summit, hikers and viewers alike affirm the old adage — it’s about the journey, not the destination. Mile… Mile & A Half is the feature-length documentary of that journey…”

Can’t wait to see Mile, Mile & a Half? We’re with you. And you’re in luck; the MMAAH crew is arranging screenings of the film in select locations around the country. Check out the list below and follow the links for ticket purchasing.

June 14th / 6pm / Emeryville, CA / ClifBar HQ
Opus Orange performing an acoustic set
Buy tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/381524

June 15th / 1pm / Sacramento, CA / The Guild Theater
Opus Orange performing an acoustic set
Buy Tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/374729

June 26th / 7pm / Santa Fe, NM / The Screen (JUST ADDED)
Tickets Will Be Available Here: http://thescreensf.com/

June 27th / 7pm / Durango, CO / The Gaslight Theater
Osprey Giveaways
Buy Tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/392378

June 29th/7pm/ Washington D.C./ Greenberg Theater, American University in Washington D.C.
Buy Tickets here: http://american.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=583477

July 18/7:30pm/DeLand, FL/The Athens Theater

Buy Tickets here: https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=6bef24530cd077ff08ee04aa7ed35621

August 1/6:15pm/Seatlle, WA/The Mountaineers Program Center

Buy Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/403822

August 9/6:30pm/West LA/Adventure 16
Buy Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/402961

August 23/6:30pm/San Diego/Adventure 16
Buy Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/402968

September 6/8:30pm/Cascade Locks/Pacific Crest Trail Days
Event Details Here: http://www.pcta.org/about-us/events/pct-days/

Check The Muir Project Event site for additional event info and details.

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Cycling Our National Parks

June 13th, 2013

The end of April marked a monumental agreement between our national parks and the Adventure Cycling Association. On April 30th, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Adventure Cycling Association that formalizes “a partnership to promote collaboration between bicycling interests and the National Park Service,” according to the ACA.

More specifically, the collaboration is a five-year agreement that enables the ACA to work directly with the National Park Service to build a bicycle route through national parks that span across the country. Here’s the scoop, via the Adventure Cycling Association:

“Nationwide bicycle routes connect Americans to their national parks in an environmentally friendly manner,” Jarvis said. “Our partnership with the bicycling community presents an opportunity for us to foster connections between national parks and cyclists of all ages.”

The agreement will promote user etiquette and safety while providing well-managed recreation and tourism opportunities. It preserves the National Park Service’s authority to determine where and when bicycling is appropriate on park lands. The agreement will also help leverage resources, expand volunteerism, and tap expertise in providing best management practices for bicycling activities.

“This agreement could not come at a better time,” said Adventure Cycling Association Executive Director Jim Sayer. “Bicycle tourism is surging in America and around the planet. Bike networks are being developed at a rapid pace. It’s important that the National Park Service is a key player in this effort to make biking safer and more enjoyable, especially in our national parks.”

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Recovery

June 10th, 2013

How did I get from here to Richmond, Va? Skiing 20,201' Thorung Peak in the Annapurna Himal

Let’s face it, every now and then we just hit the dirt. I don’t mean it figuratively; I mean sometimes we are muddy, wet, out of energy, used up and spent. I’ve been reduced to a swim up the last 10 feet to the world’s highest summit, a crawl across exposed ridgelines with lightning dancing around and once — only once in my life — have I been as muddy, wet and spent, and actually attained something without fear guiding me, just pure bliss and the unbridled confidence it inspired. It was two weekends ago in Richmond, Va. of all places.

I’ve had an interesting year. My family had a major emergency in the fall, business was tough as we dealt with an unfortunate loss of an inspiring ski guide we had filmed and when I thought it couldn’t get any more complicated or challenging… my ski clothes and most of my outdoor gear was stolen out of the back of my car in Grand Junction, Co. just as I was considering putting them on and finding the wind in my face again. “Damn!” I thought, “what next?” I drove to REI that day and bought the Brooks Pure Grit 2 trail shoe and started over on rebuilding my kit from the ground up. A frugal man, the task of re assembling $4,700 worth of gear seemed daunting as medical bills got larger and larger. I just wanted to keep it simple so right then and there I committed to running and nothing else until next winter. I had already run two 50 milers that fall and drank the Kool-Aid of simple travel on foot, so the crook who stole my gear only affirmed this decision.

A cold day on the Telluride, Co. valley floor logging some 10 minute miles and really working for them!

Running was all that kept me in place during this last year, moving toward something I could envision and I alone would be accountable for. Running in the morning, mid day or even at night, running in knee deep powder, running on icy roads, running through the empty desert and running when it was dry and then when spring came and it rained. All along I told myself that if I made a committment to one sport for one year, I could see its merits, I could unlock its “flow.” Running in the mountains was the “secret” to my Himalayan speed and strength, it was also the elusive mistress of my imagination living in a wintry wonderland of dawn patrol distractions. I’ll be honest, it was hard wrapping my head around some of the biggest snow days when “running” three miles took nearly an hour, or when I struggled to the finish of my first 50 mile trail Ultra in September after just three months of running. But all along in that year since I last put my skis on and laid down fresh tracks in the high Himalayas, I believed it was time to leave my comfort zone and enter the empty space between pushing the envelope and sending it. This was a space I often visited on my journey from a Tennesse boy in 2001 to learning to climb and ski the world’s highest mountains for a decade. And an empty place where uncertainty isolates what is possible from what is true.

One of those empty spaces I'm referring to. An unmaintained primitive trail through Colorado National Monument

Now what I have to say may not inspire anyone, but for me, small milestones of discovery are the only thing that allow me to truly believe something big is possible. I have to have them at some point or I feel hopeless — don’t we all? But as an athlete who performs for the views as much as the challenges, I soon learned that competition can also inspire… this is where Richmond, Va. comes in.

As I lined up for a 10K in front of over 790 other people at 6PM on a Saturday night, my tight left hip slowly gained range of motion while I bounced around listening to Pink Floyd’s “Run Like Hell.”  It had been a wet, muggy day, I had done my speedwork on a bike at the gym earlier that morning and then was on my feet the rest of the day walking around Belle and Brown Isle as a guest of the Dominion River Rock festival. As the moments counted down, my name came over a loud speaker introduced as an Osprey athlete and suddenly I realized something; I became a runner and somehow the announcer thought I was somebody and the lead pack might too — ha! I’m nobody special, but when that gun shot rang out and it was time to move, I was at least fast and up front.

The first six minutes were a blur, but a mile moved underfoot, the second six and change — much the same — but I was holding on. In front there were a few people who knew the way, this was a course that had wild urban intricacies broken by long stretches of single track trails and the occasional rock hop, sewage tunnel or fence and railroad tie climb. Put lightly, a badass sprint through an urban trail system that linked technical trail running with the speed of East Coasters who can crush the road. How did it feel? HARD

Passing a fast guy on a Bridge!

Halfway through it was impossible to pass, the rutted roots, slippery auburn-colored clay and ankle deep puddles put many people down on the ground. Two-thirds in I busted out a 12-mile an hour pace and passed a large group on a bridge and then settled in for what I hoped would subside — nasuea in deep humidity coupled with just under redline output. In the final moments I tapered back as we charged up a steep ramp across a pedestrian bridge and I thought I would have another .7 miles to go and open up into a fast flat homestretch where I could leave what I had left out there.

Instead… I finished. My GPS watch was .5 miles off due to the forest canopy hovering over the single track and there I was cruising softly through the finish line with energy to spare and a time of 45:24; 6.2 miles at 7:18 pace per mile. “Shit!”  I was, as usual, frustrated momentarily at my result (I can’t ever be satisfied-just FYI) and not knowing the end was nearer. I walked away, grabbed my bag and wandered off to the Festival a sloppy mud-and-salt-covered mess and instantly tried to persuade any one who would listen to enter this awesome race next year. I genuinely enjoyed the course and as a mountain and desert open space kind of guy, felt this was every bit as fun –maybe even more so…

The moment of elation came not at the finish line, it came in an e-mail a few hours later. In the e-mail I learned I had finished 39th out of 799 racers. That is the top five percent. I had no idea because I don’t race short distance. I have only raced five times in my life, all over-50K races, and despite moving up each time, you can only see so much progress every couple of months in racing that distance.

I run a lot, every week up, down, across stuff. Often I am totally alone. I don’t care to compare myself to anyone, only to my results yesterday you know, there usually isn’t anyone out there on the trail but me for miles. I can always improve and believe that I always have to, nature certainly has enough spaces out there that take a while to get to. But for one moment, when that e-mail arrived and it set in as I sat there alone, I could call myself elite — something that I never would — and realize that all the miles, time and committing slowness in the snow this winter put me as a 33-year-old adult right there with an Olympic qualifier, college cross country athletes and some of the East Coast’s finest and fastest. What does it mean; I have to keep training harder to pull off what I really want to do — a massive traverse of fourteen 14ers in Colorado in 60 hours, but also that something I put a year into actually was worth it and if nothing else, I held it together that day becuase I held it together a lot of other days. Sometimes life is that simple — a pair of shoes, a small backpack, some water and you can go further than you ever imagined. Now I realize progress doesn’t have to be extreme distances in the wild places that normally inspire me, all it took was a six mile run though the city…

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Springing Spring with Osprey Packs

June 7th, 2013

Osprey Packs is a key partner in my KEEN Rippin Chix Mountain Bike Camps, shown here in Fruita at the Fat Tire Festival. Great event. Great riding, great people, great beer…

I could go on all day! While I could spend all my time off (which is almost none) riding, surfing, skiing and playing, I now teach these women’s camps almost year-round, and many times at least 2-4 days per week. It is rewarding beyond belief, and who doesn’t love giving back to the sports that give so much to our lives? I believe I would have almost zero confidence if I had not discovered skiing, biking and surfing. I LOVE them all.

Speaking of skiing, here I am in California testing the new Osprey Kode Ski Packs for 2014. Great pack, great photographer… but really too much snow to ski anything that was sufficiently steep (and also safe). Most of the time it is “one turn wonders” on the same run all day long, which is quite boring until you see the results (hopefully!!!!!).

I know that often folks mention they want this “testing” job, and how can they apply to become a tester. Firstly, I quit my job, flew to Alaska with some new credit cards, competed in the World Championships of Freeskiing, then asked TGR and MSP almost daily if they needed another athlete for filming, slept in depressing hotels eating junk food and whiskey, called my mom and hoped for the best. Perseverance, right?

In another lifetime, I would wish to be witty and funny. After a depressing day of sitting around waiting for the weather to clear, I went back to the hotel for a cat nap. I flopped on the bed, not realizing that there was a queen mattress on top of a twin box-spring, which left me on the floor before I could realize what had happened. Big bonus, under the bed had not been cleaned and I collected a recent issue of Hustler. Luckily, nothing else more personal!!!

OK – back to this blog and something more PG rated. Gareth at Osprey recently asked me to photograph what was in my pack:

Osprey Raven 6 w/Reservoir (100L)
Patagonia Traverse Jacket
Crank Brothers mini-pump w/gauge, Crank Brothers multi-tool 17
Solar flashlight w/hand crank backup, Juice multi-tool
Osprey tire levers, First aid tape and electrical tape, zip ties, Clif Shot Blocks, Elemental Herbs sunscreen, all-good goop and all-good lips
lighter, Cash.

Missing: Map and guide book, compass.

So, those who know me from my youth, I’m the chubby-dorky-math-geek. I’m going to skip the photo, as I’m still sensitive. One of my biggest fears was biking down stairs, so this is a skill that I now teach as much as possible. This video below is from the Red Rocks Rendezvous with Osprey this spring:

Ok, I know many of you are out there with me wanting MORE SPRING WEATHER. If there is dust in the snow, I would rather be biking, surfing, rafting, gardening… blah blah blah. Speaking of growing food, I’ve got to go fix the backpack sprayer so we can treat the peach trees with very very very diluted neem oil (aphids and leaf curl). I’m not very good at the pest end of chemical-free growing, but I’m learning! The hay fields got their first cut yesterday, summer here we come!

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Life, photos, Travel, video , , , , ,

First Day Follies

June 7th, 2013

12.5 years after the first date, back in Yosemite on top of El Cap.

All of this couch and recovery time makes you reflect on the past a bit. Just recently I had to fly down to Colorado for a meeting with Osprey Packs and my three month post operation visit with my knee surgeon. After a few tugs and pulls, the doc, ironically named “Hackett,” said pretty casually that it was looking tight, and to keep it up, but not to try climbing on it too hard in any tweaking kind of way. The rest of my week was spent driving across Colorado visiting with old friends, with whom it has been too long since I have crossed paths. Visiting one friend in Carbondale and meeting his new girlfriend, I was egged on to talk about how I met my wife, and the story of our ‘first date’. I feel like it is a good one to recount here…

This story takes place in 2002. All spring my friend Jon and I had been on the Astroman Training Program, (ATP), which in Indian Creek consisted of doing an Astroman style day at the crags every day – this translated to 6 pitches of 5.10 and 5 of 5.11. This was our dream route and we wanted to send. Needless to say we got fit. We hit the valley and quickly dispatched of our goal. And then of course I was fired up to climb as much stuff as possible, especially considering I had a big wall trip to Greenland coming up that summer.

In total I spent about six weeks in the valley that spring. While hanging out in Camp 4, single, you are constantly scanning the campground for any and all available ladies. Trust me, the odds are not in your favor as a single guy, but as a single girl they say the odds are good, but sometimes the goods are odd. I often think of a scene where there is some roadkill and a few dozen vultures are circling overhead waiting to swoop in for their opportunity. So the scene is set for dating and meeting ladies in Yosemite. This fateful summer though, the odds might have been in my favor.

Jasmin was a cute climber/skier from British Columbia. I had met her in the spring of 2001 in Camp 4, but we were both dating other people. I quickly learned that her parents owned and operated a backcountry ski lodge in BC. “What?” I thought; “a cute girl who climbs hard, skis hard and whose family owns a lodge in BC? Was this too good to be true?” The next summer we would hang out and run into each other climbing in Squamish, and again the next spring we crossed paths in Indian Creek. Here she literally caught me with my pants down. I was changed to shorts for an approach to an out of the way cliff in the creek, thinking no one would drive up and of course, with pants around my ankles, she drives up. She was in the car with some other guys she had met, but I had convinced her to come cragging with me that day. It was the only day we shared in Indian Creek, and who knew if we would ever see each other again.

But as is common with the travelling dirtbag climber show, we all end up in the same places. A week or so later, she strolled into camp 4 and it was then that I knew I had a chance. What else does a climber do for a ‘date’ than say, “Hey, let’s go climbing!” So we made plans for tackling the classic NE Buttress of Higher Cathedral Spire, a long 5.9+ that we could both easily do but had never done. Thinking we had it in the bag, we started casually around 9 or 10 o’clock in the morning. Thinking retreat was not even a possibility in our young cocky minds (maybe it was just my young cocky mind?) we didn’t bring a second rope. Of course arriving at the base we counted at least five or six teams ahead of us. But we started up anyway. We were cruising along, having fun, and halfway up we caught up to everyone. There was no passing on this route, too many chimneys and small belays with parties stacked up one after the other. So we sat on a ledge, shot the shit, and enjoyed the valley, the views and each other’s company. After a half hour or so, we gave up. There was no summiting before darkness and neither of us had a headlamp. So we bailed. Rapping down we only had to leave one or two pieces behind for anchors on this fifty crowded classic.

But halfway down on the rappels, something hit my bowels in a major way. There was no making it back to the base, I had to take a dump NOW! I quickly rapped down to the next small stance two pitches above the ground and yelled back up to Jasmin to wait for a few minutes. She was puzzled. I was mortified. Here I am, no TP, on a small ledge on one of the most classic routes in Yosemite and I was going to defile it. So I did the best I could, wiping with small rocks and strategically squatting over a small flat rock. Upon finishing my movement, I took the flat poo-laden rock and played ‘shit frisbee’ so that I would leave no poo behind on the route. Leave no trace they say. After releasing the identified stinky flying object I realized that I didn’t get the toss as far away from the wall as I had hoped. Instantly fear came over me that I had just tossed my poo on my dates’ back pack at the base of the wall. Oh shit, pun intended. Jas, wondering what was going on, and the lingering aromas letting her know, didn’t say anything and we rapped to the ground. Sweating and nervous that I had just ruined all of my chances, I rapped down to the ground first and ran over to the packs. In some weird twist of fate, my pack was conveniently covering over Jasmin’s, meaning only my gear was coated in specs of poo from the impact of the shit Frisbee. It didn’t take long for laughs to come out and jokes to flow freely, letting me know I still had a chance to make this all work. And now 11 years later, we are still going strong, having adventures, climbing and skiing all over the world. I must have known that I had a keeper after a date like that.

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The GoPro Mountain Games, a Celebration of Sports, Art and Music

June 6th, 2013
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The Mountain Games will be returning to Vail, Colorado this weekend from June 6th through June 9th, 2013, when professional and amateur athletes from around the world will come to Vail to participate in the nation’s largest celebration of adventure sports, art and music. The athletes will compete in nine sports events and 25 disciplines for more than $100,000 in prize money.

There will be sporting events ranging from various kayak competitions, rafting, mountain, road and slopestyle biking, world cup bouldering, fly fishing, stand-up paddling, slack lining, trail, mud and long distance running. If that isn’t enough to choose from, there will also be a big air competition for canines, as they compete for the longest measured distance into the pool.

While you’re there, don’t forget to check out Gear Town, where Osprey will be posted up with incredible 20 percent off sales in celebration of the Go Pro Mountain games! The packs will range from technical daypacks, to our revamped hydration line and stylish line of active everyday packs to fit your specific pack needs. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the Gear Town location then head over to our retailer store, Ptarmigan Sports, located in Edwards to receive the same killer deal on our larger pack line.

Visit the Osprey booth at the Bouldering World Cup to check out all that is new for 2013, score some free daily giveaways and cheer on your favorite athlete with the Osprey crew! Speaking of giveaways, Osprey has teamed up with Ruffwear and will be doing a Day Pack for You and Your K-9 Companion! Come by either the Osprey or Ruffwear booth to enter.

On Saturday, Osprey will also have an in-booth poster signing session with Osprey athlete and Pro Mountain Biker Macky Franklin from 4-5 PM in the Gear Town booth location.

So whether you’re competing, spectating or dancing to the live music, be sure to stop by our booth to check out the various sales and giveaways going on all weekend!

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