It’s that time of year again! Vertfest is and always will be known as “the best Festival of Freeride and Mountain Mettle in North America,” and it’s back, ready to kick off on February 16th and 17th in Alpental, WA. Naturally, we’ll be there to help celebrate. Here’s the full scope of what you can expect:
The weekend will begin on Saturday with the Monika Johnson Memorial Rally, with a race division that’ll take participants on two laps up Alpental and back — in addition to a recreational division, as well as a 50+ and splitboard division, all of which will offer up just one lap. Saturday will progress with a contest, an awards ceremony and an epic raffle with ski and pack giveaways. Saturday’s festivities will cap off with live music from Head Like A Kite and Daydream Vacation.
Sunday is the day of educational clinics, ranging from an Intro to Splitboarding with Neil Provo to a clinic focused on landscape photography to a Sidecountry Steeps Clinic with our very own Osprey Athlete Kim Havell. This clinic will take place from 9-12 and 1-4 p.m. You can check the full clinic schedule for details here, but be sure to stop by the Osprey booth on Sunday between 4 and 4:30 for a chance to meet Kim Havell, who will be doing a poster-signing!
Throughout the weekend, Osprey will be providing free demos on the Karve series of sidecountry riding packs, as well as the Kode 22 backcountry riding pack, so be sure to swing by to try on a Karve or Kode pack and get fitted by a professional. We’ll have Karve 6, 11 and 16 as well as the Kode 22 on hand for free demos. What’s more, we’ll be there with the entire Osprey winter collection and all of the new packs that will be coming in Spring of 2013. And while you’re at the Osprey booth, be sure to take the 3-minute Osprey Vertfest survey for a chance to win a brand-new Osprey pack. We’ll see you on the mountain!
Know the poorest of the poor are among your neighbors, in your neighborhoods, in your town, in your city, perhaps in your own family. We must look first to our own streets. — Mother Teresa
Last month, five climbers and I went to climb Mt Kenya for Challenge21 in hopes of raising money and awareness for Water For People. Through the process, we learned far more than we had anticipated.
The dynamic Kenyans we met demonstrated that the first place to make a difference is in our own neighborhoods—in our own country. For those with greater wherewithal the help can and should extend further. In the big picture, our greatest hope is to educate as many people as possible in the areas where our world is struggling and losing balance: clean water, sanitation, wildlife poaching, climate change, poverty, illiteracy etc.
Pete McBride and Jake Norton teamed up to film the trip. Their talent is exceptional with stunning imagery that captures the path of water from its origins on Mt Kenya, which supplies the country with 70 percent of its water, through the bush to the city where it runs dry in the slums. This film will show even those in the first world that there is a lot at stake as we lose our watersheds.
Great deeds are usually wrought at great risk. — Herodutus
This has been a tough season and the losses are overwhelming. Because so many friends died in the backcountry this year, it is in the spirit of discussion and education that I thought I would share more about some latest adventures.
There have been many moments of confusion and sadness. It has been a difficult process of personal internal recovery to get back out there.. but, the mountains are what move me.
In 2007, I skied the Grand Teton in WY. It was a long and exciting day, but fairly easy going. Everything fell into place and the mountain welcomed us at each pause. My ski partner Karen and I had planned the trip and took a long weekend off from work. We drove 10 hours from Telluride, arrived at 8pm, and our team left for the park at 12am. We climbed 7,000 ft, covering some miles with heavy packs. Conditions were great for climbing and for skiing so we pulled it off. It was my first time skiing in the Grand Teton National Park, and 16 hours after we started we were back in the parking lot, elated with the accomplishment of a great ski descent.
Skiing the Grand Teton along with climbing Lobuche and Ama Dablam in Nepal in 2005, were notable turning points for me because both endeavors went so smoothly. With these two successful experiences I was deeply enchanted with the big mountains and with bigger possibilities in ski mountaineering.
Osprey athlete Kim Havell sent this video to us this morning and it’s a perfect mental health break to kickstart your day. This beautiful short from Fisher Creative captures the beauty and the reality of ski attempts in the high Himalaya — in this case on the 14th highest peak in the world — without the use of any oxygen and with no one else on the mountain with them at the end.
Kim, and the rest of the team, was attempting to complete a first descent on the mountain, but not the first descent. The peak has been skied before… they were just hoping to ski a new route from the top. The crew turned around just shy of the final summit push because of a sick teammate and other factors. Take a few minutes, grab your cup and enjoy.
Kim Havell finds powder in Antarctica. Photo: Jim Harris via Outside Magazine
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.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” — Helen Keller
We saw this photo of our friend and Osprey athlete Kim Havell over on her latest article for Outside Magazine and it got us thinking of all of the people we know who are out exploring this world and living life to it’s fullest right at this very moment. So here’s to our friends and to all of us who “behave like free spirits”… And here’s to finding some adventure this weekend. Happy Friday!
Osprey athlete Kim Havell, sent us the link to her latest Salomon Freeski video this morning. We love getting new stuff from Kim, because it gives us a little mental health break in the day watching her carve into big, beautiful powder and also, it makes us jealous — giving us a kick in the pants to get into the mountains even more than we already do. Thanks Kim!
Deep in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia Chris Rubens, Elyse Saugstad and Kim Havell put the new Salomon Guardian binding to the test. Beautiful conditions, deep powder and good folks to tour with… just another day at the “office”.
Based in Salt Lake City, Kim Havell began her career in the mountains as an alpine ski coach. From there she gradually made the transition to climbing and ski mountaineering. Kim has since been an instructor for the San Juan Outdoor School, CVA, and Babes in the Backcountry. She has also tail-guided for H2O Heli Guides, and been a twelve year member of the San Miguel County Search and Rescue Team, with medical and rescue certifications. Kim is the only woman (& one of less than 5 people) to ski the direct couloirs of the infamous Little Wasatch Ridge in Telluride, Colorado.
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!
This week has been a busy one for us here at Osprey, so we figured the best way to wrap it up was to give shout-outs to some of the folks who have us inspired this week…
Welcome home to Majka Burhardt! Majka just returned from her expedition to the Lost Mountain of Mozambique where she explored the cracks and recesses of Mt. Namuli’s 700-meter cliff face, searching for new species of life. Before that, Majka spent a few weeks in Ethiopia with the great folks of imagine1day. Thanks for all of your incredible work, Majka!
Another big welcome home to Kim Havell who came home after an epic ski expedition to Antarctica. Kim had this to say about her trip to the bottom of the Earth: “We arrived to a place with no one else, with endless first descents and up to 9,000-foot peaks straight up from the ocean. This is a backcountry skier’s dream realm…” Glad you’re home safe and stoked, Kim! To read more about an Antarctic ski adventure and to check out some beautiful photos, please visit powdermag.com.
A huge congratulations from us here at Osprey to Krista Park and other Osprey Bike team members Stephen Ettinger and Chloe Woodruff who will represent the US Mountain Biking team in the 2012 Olympics!
And because the snow is falling here in Colorado, we decided to leave you with a great short video filmed in our own backyard from our friends at Felt Soul Media. Just watch. It will have you packing up your Kode and heading up to the mountain in no time.
As one of the best last ski frontiers on our planet, Antarctica is a remote ski destination. Slowly exiting the Beagle channel on November 9th, it took us two days to cross the infamous Drake Passage to reach shelter within the South Shetland islands, a chain that buffers the Antarctic Peninsula from the big seas. The islands also offer a first glimpse at some of the spectacular and easily accessible ski terrain.
We arrived to a place with no one else, with endless first descents and up to 9,000-foot peaks straight up from the ocean. This is a backcountry skier’s dream realm, but it also comes with some harsh realities. Antarctica is a moving target.
With endless route possibilities, Antarctica also puts forth challenging obstacles that have to be carefully navigated such as abrupt weather changes, tricky small boat “zodiac” landings, pack ice movement that can trap a ship, lurking crevasses in the glacier, and other objective hazards.
To read more about an Antarctic ski adventure and to check out some beautiful photos, please visit powdermag.com.
Kim Havell has been peppering our email with endless shots of deep powder from across the world — Norway and Argentina to name a few — and good ol’ lines in our own backyard in Utah, Colorado and the Pacific Northwest. Needless to say, we’re already dancing for the snow gods in September. Thanks to Kim for the early fall ski stoke. We look forward to lots more of it from you!
Check out just a bit from Kim in the new film Breaking Trail via Powderwhore:
Warning! There are no shots of helicopters filming other helicopters or hankie-clad 16-year-olds hepped up on energy drink spinning to rap music. And you won’t win a Jeep if you come out to a premiere. You will find a mixed bag of highly talented and dedicated individuals who enjoy hiking out into the unknown in search of turns and adventure.