November 25th 2015 - Written by: Osprey Packs

Touching the Edge: A Nolan’s 14 Journey with Osprey Athlete Ben Clark

On Friday September 25th at approximately 6:00 am MST Osprey Athlete, mountaineer, filmmaker and ultra-runner Ben Clark kicked off his 6th attempt to complete Nolan’s 14. Nolan’s 14 is a challenging traverse that links 14 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot summits, one that covers nearly 100 miles of some of the Sawatch Range’s toughest terrain, one that must be completed in less than 60 hours.

Ben shares his reflections on “touching the edge” during this attempt:

In frigid air and with dreary gaze I saw that an ascending moon lit the long and toiling spine of rock that sends mountain climbers down the East side of 14,196′ Mt. Yale and back to the lowest point along a route called Nolan’s 14, connecting 14 Colorado 14,000′ peaks-14er’s.

Ben Clark Nolans 14 Osprey Packs September 2015

Just 3 hours in from the summit of Mt. Massive, Ben Clark points to the third of 14 peaks, La Plata Peak (19 miles away)

I was alone in the dark past midnight on my second sleepless night — 10 peaks and 43 hours into a single push across these mountains. An hour after reaching the summit, I laid down in a small pocket of pyramid shaped rocks and layered my storm shell over my legs barely blocking the winds and sub freezing chill. It was my second chance for a 15 minute nap that night. It was here that when I awoke around 3 am, I knew I had pushed my limits and that moving forward was only part of the answer. I had just ramped up the pace for a few hours and I was hypoxic-altitude sick and making slow decisions — my best option since rushing anything through this maze of rock in the predawn hours could lead to amplifying an already temporarily suspenseful fate in what was to be a full and focused effort to descend.

I like challenges — I do.

I am ok chipping away at the most complicated ones that I engage a piece at a time. I can.

An aerial view of Mt. Massive and the northern end of the Nolan's 14 route.

An aerial view of Mt. Massive and the northern end of the Nolan’s 14 route.

But there are some challenges that transform us. If even once, then maybe twice in our lives we will have an opportunity for that.  For me, it is being open to the hard work and reality that those challenges require to execute that reveals the value of the knowledge inside a challenge, the virtue of a transformation I need to make.  I completed an effort like that in my early 20’s, climbing Mt. Everest’s North/NE Ridge.  I think I’m on the second great challenge of my life with Nolan’s 14 and this line has revealed to me more about who I am than any other.

Judiciously and with a cynicism reserved for only my most tired and underfueled self, I talked myself down the ridge, spiting the wind every step of the way. The year before and hours ahead of my current 45 hour time, I had been in a similar circumstance on this peak — Mt Yale — where descending in the dark during freak flooding forced an end to an attempt on this line, just like the previous year when I reached this 70 mile point and the route became engulfed by snowstorms. Both times were heavily supported and I was on the route with great friends — now I was alone and a sniffling mess. As I contoured along Yale’s mighty ridge this third and arguably much more difficult time I began to falter mentally and to lose track of time and where I was. I laid down in a clearing by some dead trees just below treeline and decided to sleep again hoping for daybreak to light and reveal the way, this time I didn’t set an alarm and just like that I was out, out in the cold frozen air.

The last rays of light on the summit ridge of La Plata peak, entering the first night.

The last rays of light on the summit ridge of La Plata peak, entering the first night.

When I approach a challenge in the mountains, it is not always clear at the outset how it all wraps together, or why it will. There are a lot of variables to the type of experiences I wish to learn from. But if the process is always fun, and the long term benefit of health is not risked, then I pursue it based on merits that serve my intrinsic motivation to explore.  I do it to do it. I’d like to think that as a mountain climber I’m pretty fit and that it matters, but more or less, I think I am just strong willed-fitness is a by product of that.  But with that fitness and my experience of adopting challenges I know I have to really work at to complete, I can find myself a long way away from anyone or anything that most folks are going to find reasonable to be living for, therein lies the challenge: I reach beyond limits — others and my own — and hope I have the courage and confidence to stand up against myself all alone in the most extreme low points of circumstance.

The summit ridge of Mt. Missouri at sunrise the first morning

The summit ridge of Mt. Missouri at sunrise the first morning

When I woke up a sliver of faint blue light lit the horizon extending in front of me. I was cold and shivering, my throat was constricted, I had laid there too long and sunrise wasn’t coming fast enough.  I was sick and mentally reduced to just a few thoughts; The memory of popping a Dayquil the day before I started to ward off the cold I had, my hand being my 3 year-old’s Kleenex and us joking about it, how happy it made me to walk him home from school that day—Then back to the mountains my thoughts ran as I waited for direction from inside.

“Could I move?”

“Should I?”

“Man, I had already lost my way looking for a trail and just wanted the sun to come up so I could see.”

“Why the hell isn’t anyone answering me?” I wondered. Because I was alone…

I alerted my friends and family that I was sick and cold using my tracking device and a cell phone. Within 40 minutes, my father had instructed me on how to find the trail. Using my reference point on a track that uploaded every 10 minutes and showed my position on a detailed map online, I was just a half mile from it. I started running, as planned months before, as soon as I reached the trail. My granny gear auto pilot had taken over. After all the starts and stops I still had it; the relentless will to stick to a plan.

The view of Mt. Harvard from the summit Ridge of Mt Columbia, the 9th peak.

The view of Mt. Harvard from the summit Ridge of Mt Columbia, the 9th peak.

In the last 3 summers I have become obsessed with this line and completing it on foot in one single push from start to finish. This was the sixth run over 30 miles I have done on this route. I think that going alone on this 94 mile line with 92,000′ of vertical change has been the most mind-blowing experience of my life. It is the most committing mountain objective, stacked on top of a lifetime of already committing mountain objectives.  No cocaine, no acid, no drug could blow a mind like this…just old dirt and rock.  And they whup.

And I keep coming back to learn from them.


Selfie on the summit of Mt. Columbia, 36 hours in!

As dawn rose and the dim light of my headlamp receded into the suns diffused rays I lay down after running a mile, passed out again on the side of the trail in that old mountain dirt, coughing. I set my alarm on the iPhone and placed it in my chest pocket one last time. I woke 15 minutes later and quickly hustled down the trail. There I saw a man hiking, then another, and then two more. Or maybe I didn’t. I will not exaggerate my state, but many have reported hallucinations near the 40 hour mark of sustained efforts like this. I was sick, I knew that, but felt I could still cough it out and get my head back together.

The view back toward La Plata Peak at sunrise the first morning from Mt. Missouri

The view back toward La Plata Peak at sunrise the first morning from Mt. Missouri

As I neared the valley lowpoint at 9300′ I was not overwhelmed by the heaps of sub-alpine oxygen, instead it was the immediate reentry into cellular reception signaled by text after text coming in. I kept walking, I kept thinking, I kept walking.

“Don’t give up.”

“Keep going.”


People were coming to meet me at the end, I would have support if I needed to get down from the next peak.

I hiked for a few more miles in the honey colored light of a Sawatch sunrise and blinded by the sun embraced the day again from a trailside stump where I brewed one final cup of coffee on the trail, my third since starting two days prior. As with anywhere, this place specifically to find myself having been alone 46 hours and traversed 10 peaks over 70 miles through two nights was a place of sanctity. But not one I could keep up, I was just a visitor. The first one on this end to have gone so far, but not the last.

As the sun slowly crested the ridge it washed over me from my neck down and I sipped that semi-warm brew, just to soothe my throat. That 180 calories fueled the next thought, after running on nothing for 6 hours.

It was time to let go. I was sick, I didn’t recognize myself. I was going to blow it if I kept on. Someone would have to get me. And that would mean losing. This I could own.

And there I figured out why. I figured out why I did it and why I’ll try it again. Why it doesn’t matter. Why it does.

Every moment I was alive and connected to the environment alone for feedback, for stimulation, for direction. I just went out and flowed it and life led around by the mountains was good, until the end when it was just euphoric, when my own limitations brought it down to the human level, to my limit. But unpolished and wild as it may be — I’ve touched the edge for the second time.  I’ll take that time in that place of dreams, it is why I live my life.

Ben and Charlie Clark exploring Town Park in Telluride, Co.

Ben and Charlie Clark exploring Town Park in Telluride, Co.

Watch Ben’s film, “Nolan’s 14

Nolan’s 14 from Pheonix and Ash Productions on Vimeo.

Keep up with Ben:



Read Ben’s thoughts on previous Nolan’s 14 attempts and how he prepares for this formidable traverse.

About Osprey Athlete Ben Clark:

“I have shared some accomplishments with luck, and a couple of great colleagues, like most people aged 35 years. Yes, there are experiences that stand out but the impact of that 17 years and the meaning of what came forward, far exceeded the tangible values of grades on hard things I did with some real strong people that became like family to me.  Nonetheless, my bucket list included Everest’ben_clark_osprey_packs_athletes summit forever ago and putting up a few mixed climbs in the Himalayas while on a quest skiing them. But different from some I backed away-I’ve saved friends lives and my own has been spared, often off nothing but a photo I pursued fresh tracks on virgin terrain-obsessively and then mostly not when I became a dad. Simply put after all that, I am a mountain athlete and pioneering within them motivates me.”



November 20th 2015 - Written by: Kelsy

Patagonian Ski Tales from the Road



This October, Osprey Athlete Kim Havell  found herself seeking adventure in the Patagonia region of South America. On this trip, Kim’s goal was to enjoy life on the road while discovering big ski lines before the winter season ended in the mountains of our hemispheric counter-part. As a gear-hauling company focused on design and function, we thought this would to be the perfect opportunity for Kim to test new women’s-specific Osprey Packs gear to be released in 2016. As Osprey Product Coordinator Rosie Mansfield explains, “(Athlete Testing) enables us to provide insight to the unique fit, function and aesthetics of this new technical women’s ski line from the perspective of a professional athlete.

Here is the first recap of Kim’s journey traveling the Patagonia mountains on the open roads with her friend, Jessica Baker. 


There are endless backcountry ski-route options in the Patagonian Andes of Argentina and Jessica Baker and I were interested in getting off the beaten track with just a road map. Put to task by Osprey Packs to gear test a pending new women’s pack for next season, I moved forward with a long-time goal of road tripping down the Patagonian range.


Plans came together quickly – fellow Ice Axe Expeditions Guide, Jorge Kozujli, has a Renault Master van (see his Facebook page ‘Camper Van Rental Argentina’) that was available for rent and the Andes were seeing record snowfall for their spring season. The combination of lodging, transportation and record snow conditions made the decision easy. Jessica Baker, a fellow EXUM Mountain Guide and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Alpine Guide, was able to jump on board as well.


With logistics in place, we assessed options and objectives on-line from our starting point of Bariloche and ending point of El Chalten. The van gave us the flexibility to stay or shift locations depending on conditions and weather; this would prove invaluable to our experience. Jess and I left the US in early October and arrived in Bariloche as a major storm system moved in for the week. The weather resulted in limited snowfall and overcast skies with warm, humid air.

We checked out the classic spots around Bariloche’s main ski area, Cerro Catedral, and then ventured further west to ski tour in the mountains above its famed lake district. The skies were tempermental with fog and low hanging clouds on our approaches. It took two hours or so to reach snowline and transition to ski gear. We quickly found conditions to be isothermal and dangerous for not only climbing but also for making ski turns. The snow was not freezing at night and the snowpack made for challenging ascents and descents. Nonetheless, we found some decent skiing up higher and explored around some beautiful peaks.Osprey_5_6956

After a few days in Bariloche, we decided to move south. It was hard to leave the gorgeous lakeside camping outside the town and, spoiled, we aimed for great camp spots as we headed to El Chalten – big views, level ground and privacy – and with patience and some luck we found a perfect spot to park our trusty camper van each night. Our route traced down the infamous ‘Ruta 40’. Paralleling the magnificent Andes range we crossed the barren Patagonian steppe on a lonely run-down road with a myriad of obstacles along the way and an abundance of native wild life including Guanaco, Armadillo, Condor, Pink Flamingos, Giant Hares, and more.

As we took shifts navigating the bumpy highway, separate concentrations of high peaks beckoned in the distance. However, with multi-day approaches needed for each spot, we continued on down the road with our sights set on maximizing our days in the mountains surrounding El Chalten and the renowned Fitz Roy Massif. Access to the mountains would prove to be our biggest challenge for the trip…



Keep up with Osprey Athlete Kim Havell:





October 7th 2015 - Written by: Joe Stock

Chamonix Envers with Osprey Athlete Joe Stock

Chamonix is the world center for climbing. The Envers Refuge is where climbers and guides go on vacation. It’s a mellow scene, but the rock routes are huge. This year Cathy and I came to Chamonix prepared for the Envers with a double rack, twin ropes and our Osprey Mutant packs. Between weather and work, we squeezed in a day and a half of climbing at the Envers. Lucky us!

Cathy Flanagan rock climbing at the Envers, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France.

The Refuge de l’Envers is perched above the Mer de Glace Glacier, on a buttress of rock that splits seas of granite.

Cathy Flanagan rock climbing at the Envers, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France.

It’s a three-hour approach to the Envers after taking the Montenvers Railway from Chamonix. From the Montenvers we dropped down ladders, cables and moraine to the withering Mer de Glace Glacier. Each year the glacier drops, exposing more teetering moraine. We hiked a mile up the Mer de Glace, then climbed ladders to the Envers Refuge. Typical of the Alps, route finding was a no-brainer.

Cathy Flanagan rock climbing at the Envers, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France.

After the approach, Cathy and I dropped our packs and climbed La Piege. Two hundred meters of 6a+ granite crack climbing just five minutes from the refuge.

Cathy Flanagan rock climbing at the Envers, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France.

The next day we climbed Amazonia, a 370-meter 6a+ on the First Point of the Nantillions. Here’s Cathy leading a polished slab on the second pitch. For us the route was 13 pitches of clean granite climbing. It’s not the orange granite like above the Vallee Blanche on the Midi or Capucin, but it’s still really good.


Cathy Flanagan rock climbing at the Envers, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France.

Cathy near the summit of Amazonia. It took eight quick rappels to get down. We’ll be back for more!



Osprey Packs Athlete Joe Stock is an internationally Joe_Stock_Osprey_Packs_Athletecertified IFMGA mountain guide based in Anchorage, Alaska. He has been climbing and skiing around the world for 25 years with extensive time in the mountains of Alaska, the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the North Cascades of Washington and Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Since 1995, Joe has been freelance writing for magazines starting with a feature article in Rock & Ice on climbing the Balfour Face on Mount Tasman in New Zealand. Since then, he’s published numerous articles on adventures and mountain technique in rags such as Climbing, Backcountry, Alaska, Climbing, Trail Runner, Men’s Health and Off Piste.


September 26th 2015 - Written by: Osprey Packs

Nolan’s 14: Follow Ben Clark’s Epic 93 mi Traverse in Real Time

Ben Clark Nolans 14 Osprey Packs September 2015 Day 2

On Friday September 25th at approximately 6:00 am MST Osprey Athlete, mountaineer, filmmaker and ultra-runner Ben Clark kicked off his 6th attempt to complete Nolan’s 14. Nolan’s 14 is a challenging traverse that links 14 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot summits, one that covers nearly 100 miles of some of the Sawatch Range’s toughest terrain, one that must be completed in less than 60 hours.

Ben shared his thoughts on this attempt earlier this week and earlier this month.

Follow Ben’s Nolan’s 14 journey this weekend:
Delorme: share.delorme.com/BenjaminClark
Instagram: @bclarkmtn and @ospreypacks


Sunrise 14er Ben Clark Nolans 14 Osprey Packs September 2015

Osprey employee Scott Robertson pretty much sums up everyone at Osprey’s awe and appreciation for Ben’s efforts and accomplishments with the following reflection: (more…)

September 11th 2015 - Written by: Osprey Packs

#OspreyInspire: Congratulations to the Winners of our Video Contest!


Banff Mountain Film Festival began more than 35 years ago in 1976 in the small Rocky Mountain town of Banff, Alberta. A tight-knit group of climbers and outdoor folk looked for an annual event to entertain them during the shoulder season between climbing and skiing. As the story goes, several late night meetings and a few beers later The Banff Festival of Mountaineering Films was born. What began as a one-day festival of climbing films, has now blossomed into a nine-day event in Banff and a year-round film tour which encompasses about 840 screenings on all continents.”

Travel. Mountains. Adventure. What inspires you?

This summer we asked Osprey  fans to share their inspirations, passions and adventures in a short film (1 minute or less) for the chance to win the trip of a lifetime to attend the 2015 Banff Mountain Film Festival with a friend, along with packs from of our award-winning Ozone Convertible series: light-weight, durable and highly functional travel gear, ideal adventures to Alberta for the film festival and beyond.

We received some incredible films over the course of the month-long giveaway — and we’re pleased to share the fantastic videos submitted by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of #OspreyInspire!

The complete Grand Prize package included:
• 2 VIP passes to the Banff‬ Mountain FilmFestival‬
• Four nights hotel accommodation in Banff
• Round trip airfare for two to Calgary, Alberta
• Osprey’s all-new 2015 ultralight Ozone Convertible wheeled luggage

Osprey Ozone Convertible

A travel bag you can wheel through the airport and throw on your back when the road gets less traveled: the Osprey Ozone Convertible is the perfect travel companion.

Congratulations to the winners of #OspreyInspire — and thanks to everyone who shared their films!


Grand Prize Winner — Jeremy Boggs:


Second Place Winner — Luke Adams


Third Place Winner — Andrew Bydlon





September 1st 2015 - Written by: Osprey Packs

The Mystery and Magnetism of the Mountains: Ben Clark Runs Nolan’s 14


Morning of September 1, 2015: Ben summits peak #1, Mt. Massive wearing his Osprey Rev 12

Osprey Athlete Ben Clark is in currently in the midst of the awe-inspiring feat of traversing Nolan’s 14. What is Nolan’s 14? 

“After 15 years in obscurity, Nolan’s 14, a hundred-mile traverse of 14 14,000-foot peaks in 60 hours, emerges as a new test piece for elite mountain runners.” –National Geographic Adventure

Yes, that’s correct — completing Nolan’s 14 entails traversing 14 summits, each over 14,000 ft (nearly 100 miles in distance!), in under 60 hours.

Ben shares what this particular group of 14 peaks means to him and how this traverse has shaped the last three years of his life:

In all my life, I have never been so prepared. But in all my life, I have never found the right sequence to complete this unending task, a three year commitment of endurance fitness topping 33 previous years of hard knocks and tussles with progress through the mountains. “Is this time different? Is it worth it?” I have to ask myself — this is the grandest journey on foot of my life — through them and through these years and it has taken longer than I ever thought. It has ground me down while building me up.  It is so long, so enormous.



The last two summers I have “gone for it” 4 times on ultra marathon distance traverses over 10 mountains in central Colorado, on a route known as Nolan’s 14. In that two years I have seen my hopes of finishing crushed more than 75 of 93 miles into it twice.

Despite the setbacks along the way toward reaching an understanding of visiting all 14 of Nolan’s 14’s fourteen thousand foot summits in one push, its mystery and magnetism continue to compel me because I love the mountains and big days.  I have made mistakes out there but had a satisfying and safe time pursuing this adventure and don’t want to give up on my original purpose for engaging with the line in it’s totality. It’s the biggest effort I can reach for these days and I feel like is suited to the most focused strengths I have trained for and within reason.  Now that the time approaches for another long stretch, I’m happy to be exploring it on the best terms I can-those grounded on experience gained on the line and preparation refined each time.

My plan is to start at the north end of the trail and go in one long push from the Fish Hatchery in Leadville, Co. to the summit of Mount Shavano near Poncha Springs, Co. I’ll have no crew, but will have one pair of shoes, one pack (my Osprey Rev 12) and some pretty sweet food, enough gear to do all 14 of the fourteeners. I’m psyched about this. You might be wondering, how the hell is that possible if it took so much crew before to not finish?  It will, after all, be me alone.


And this brings me back to the point of this journey, to answer my own questions, to staying committed to a purpose, to answering “is this time different?”  No. This time is the same. I began my journey as a mountaineer in this same mountain range 16 years ago, before a decade committed to high altitude Himalayan exploration. In that time I lived many impressionable memories and shared moments with friends that indemnify a lifetime of happiness.  It is worth it to know the mountains, and also their uncertain moments.  I stopped taking physically consequential risks in the mountains when i became a father 3 years ago. I will always love the mountains and I wanted a safer way to explore them when pushing myself. Nolan’s 14 is for me, that path.

It is a return to my roots as a climber, I view it as the biggest climb in the world.  It is minimal and asks for a high level of concentration and accountability during the experience. I will need to be present and own the outcome of every decision for days on end…and nights.  I perform my best and truly enjoy the mountains when I have to do that. So many great friends helped me learn it is possible, only in the doing of this would we have known.

With 4 attempts already under my belt, the first 3 adhering to a set of pre existing conventions that led to 13 others completing sub 60 hour finishes on the line since 1999, and 6 since I first attempted it in 2013, I have learned a thing or two.  Organized more like a competitive event than a mountain traverse, those rules can lead to success if the timing is good.  But with so many opportunities to figure it out in that way specifically and still not completing it due to my own timing and logistical complications, I’ve had to forget those conventions and slowly develop my own personal style based on my experiences on it, what mountaineers would call our “fair means”.  The means is a simpler version of things than what I had been doing or what might normally be done.  Fewer things to line up means better chances, I believe, and still a whole lot of fun.  I hope to flow over it now and to just “surf the chaos” as a good friend would say. I’m excited about the start rather than coordinating a party of people. :)


Getting the rocks out of my shoe during the 22nd hour of my third 60 hour attempt of Nolan’s 14. Here I am at Elkhead Pass between the summits of Missouri Mt and Mt. Belford-2 of the 14 peaks over 14,000′ on the 93 mile line. Photo: Kendrick Callaway

I will do my best with what knowledge I have to “finish” with as little time on my feet as possible and per the schedule below, which is still below the 60 hour goal I have had previously. This is not implied to be a “solo” journey as there are many people climbing fourteeners every day of the week and being alone out there any time other than night would be rare, it is just an unsupported trip alone and based around the most ideal weather window.  I am heading out there to finish safely, under my own power with all my stuff on me and within a single push.  There are no guarantees, but if history is any indicator and the X factor I have been missing is present then I believe it’ll go!!!!


“Having fun, now it really starts!” September 1, 2015: Ben summits peak #2, Mt. Elbert

Join us in following Ben’s amazing journey:
Delorme: share.delorme.com/BenjaminClark
Instagram: @bclarkmtn and @ospreypacks


August 26th 2015 - Written by: Osprey Packs

Happy National Dog Day!

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring — it was peace.”

-Milan Kundera

National Dog Day serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day – for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for a child who is disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage.”

Happy National Dog Day! We’re in favor of any day that recognizes and celebrates our steadfast canine companions — especially since so many of our favorite memories, trips and hikes wouldn’t have been complete without these adventure dogs. Here’s to our loyal friends on the trail and off, whether they’re Desert Dawgs or office dogs. Below are a few of our favorite photos from fans, Osprey Athletes and Osprey Packs employees of their adventures with their #OspreyDogs.

Have a four-legged friend you’d like to celebrate today? Share your #PupsAndPacks photos by tagging us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter or share a link in the comments. (more…)

August 12th 2015 - Written by: Kelsy

The Lost Mountain: Sourcing the Brain Power of Future Leaders in Conservation

Osprey  - 2 (1)Written by Majka Burhardt – Director of The Lost Mountain and Osprey Athlete

This morning I woke up to a baboon howling outside my safari tent in the middle of Mozambique. As the sun rises over Gorongosa National Park, I set my intentions for the day for me, my five-person team from Additive Adventure, and 35 emerging leaders in the field of disruptive conservation. Disruptive? You bet. It’s disruptive because it’s a new model for building community-driven conservation in some of the world’s most remote and biologically diverse places in the world. Mount Namuli, the site of my now four- year initiative in northern Mozambique called the Lost Mountain, inspired this all.

I believe one of the most fundamental challenges facing our world today is summed up by this one question: can there be powerful collaboration between communities and ecosystems that allow them to both thrive? And to answer this question, we brought the young minds and future leaders of tomorrow into the conversation here at The 2015 Lost Mountain Next Gen Symposium.Osprey  - 3 (1)

Which is what I was explaining recently to Geraldo, my Mozambican counterpart for our ongoing conservation and rural development work on Mount Namuli. “I want their brains,” I said.  Geraldo coughed. We’ve been chatting on Skype for three years and I know by now that his well-timed cough means I need to explain myself better.  “I am not trying to take their brains. I promise. I want to use them…How would you say that in Portuguese?”  It’s the first time we’ve run this Symposium, and it’s been a wild ride.  To me, you can be the best scientist or researcher in the world but without a solid foundation of personal vision, strong leadership skills and a deep respect for the natural environment, all that science and research means nothing. So we’ve taken a multi-disciplinary approach to engaging the next generation.

Since we began just a few days ago, the participants have been thrown into the deep end of leadership training, best practices in conservation and wilderness management, and more. Combining a 5-day intensive in the Open Standards approach to Conservation Management with the first-ever delivery of the Leave No Trace platform in Africa (outside of NOLS trainings in Kenya) and transformative leadership training.  These classroom activities have been punctuated with visits to Gorongosa National Park for a safari, a lab tour of the E.O. Wilson Center for Biodiversity, and for a visit to the Vinho community. Our ultimate goal is that students will draw from all of these disciples and experiences for the final days of planning and creating a plan for Mount Namuli which will then be vetted with Namuli community members and implemented in August.

Put another way, we’re open-sourcing Namuli. And I can’t wait to see what comes of it. Consider what Gerson Timbissa, a Masters candidate in Rural Engineering at Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, wrote when we asked him why he wanted to take part in the Next Gen Symposium: “Humans have produced profound changes in our habitat – much more than any animal species. These changes have often been in one direction that veers away from the natural capacity for regeneration of ecosystems. We have acted in our own interests in short term and have not considered the long term implications…today my spirit is captivated by an even greater enthusiasm for those questions – questions that make me invest time in looking for new perspectives. To me, exploring and conserving nature is like moving a chess piece: the victory depends on the way of thinking.”Gerson is one of 21 African university students who have full scholarships to the Symposium. Meet them and the rest of this crew here.

And that’s enough from me. It’s time to give the next generation the floor.

Osprey  - 6 (1)

Learn more about The 2015 Lost Mountain Next Gen Symposium here: http://www.thelostmountain.org/next-gen-2015-symposium/

Follow the journey:

Facebook: facebook.com/lostmountainorg

Twitter: @majkaburhardt and #LostMountain

Instagram: @majkaburhardt and #LostMountain

Osprey  - 4 (1)


July 26th 2015 - Written by: Joe Stock

Mountaineering in the Arctic Refuge with Osprey Athlete Joe Stock

Osprey Packs Athlete Joe Stock is an internationally certified IFMGA mountain guide based in Anchorage, Alaska. He has been climbing and skiing around the world for 25 years with extensive time in the mountains of Alaska, the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the North Cascades of Washington and Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Since 1995, Joe has been freelance writing for magazines starting with a feature article in Rock & Ice on climbing the Balfour Face on Mount Tasman in New Zealand. Since then, he’s published numerous articles on adventures and mountain technique in rags such as Climbing, Backcountry, Alaska, Climbing, Trail Runner, Men’s Health and Off Piste.


In 2009, Paul Muscat and I climbed Mount Chamberlin, then considered to be the highest summit in the Brooks Range at 9,020 feet. Now, Mount Isto might be the highest at 9,060 feet. It was just the excuse we needed for another trip to this pristine wilderness.

Joining us was Glenn Wilson and James Kesterson. Over the past 17 years we’ve been on many trips together: Denali, Mount Baker, Marcus Baker, Mount Bona, Mount Iliamna, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Mount Chamberlin, Mount Logan and the Central Talkeetna Mountains. On this trip we didn’t get up Isto, but we had a blast exploring and bagging peaks.

With logistics help from Alaska Alpine Adventures, we flew direct from Fairbanks to the Jago River with Wright Air. It was a two and half hour bush flight, with no in-flight service. This region is better known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where Alaska’s embarrassing half-term governor once said, “Drill baby drill.”

The plane is a Helio Courier, made in the 1970’s and designed for a low stall speed. Supposedly it will fall horizontally rather than nose dive. The tires are Alaskan Bushwheels, made near Anchorage in Chugiak. They are the “premier tire for extreme backcountry adventures.”


Glenn and I got brand new Volt 75 packs for the trip. They were perfect! The right size for our eight days of food, fuel and mountaineering gear. They fit like a slipper, straight out of the wrapper. Once again, Osprey made our trip better.


mtn.anwr.stock-720Our first summit was the 8,625-foot Screepik. While conducting summit LNC (Leave No Cairn) we found Tom Choate’s name in a sodden film canister. In 1999 he climbed Screepik and made the impressive scramble over to Isto. His trip reports are in the October 1999, February 2000 and the November 2013 Scree newsletters from the Mountaineering Club of Alaska. Choate called Peak 8625 “Spectre”. First ascentionists called it Shadow Peak. Keeping with the tradition, we called it Screepik. Scree for the endless boulderfields, and “pik” for the Inuit word for “genuine.”



Descending from the summit of Screepik. Nobody out there. Just us.



After eight days of mountaineering at high camp, we returned to a base camp by the landing strip on the Jago River. Here’s Paul on one of our day-hikes from camp. Our tent is a tundra-colored dot in the tundra fields way down there along the river.


mtn.anwr.stock-790Another day hike along the Jago, this time up the big split in the river. While the first part of our trip was cold, drizzly and snowy, the second part was warm, calm and sunny. The bugs weren’t even out yet. Conditions were ideal for snoozing in the soft tundra.



James, Paul and Glenn mid-layover at the Arctic Village Airport terminal on the flight home. Thanks for another great trip guys! And all the memories. I can’t wait until the next installment. Maybe to try Isto again. Maybe to try the next highest Brooks Range summit. There is a rumor that it’s now some unnamed peak. Oh bummer. I guess we have to go back…. 

July 20th 2015 - Written by: alison

Why Wheelies Rule (and how to land one…) with Osprey Athlete Alison Gannett

Wheelies Rule. Period.

Is it the coolness/radness factor? For sure.

Fun and thrilling? Yep.

Are they a trophy to add to your collection of tricks? Yes!
Many folks dream of doing a wheelie and they are surprisingly easier than you might think.



Whether your pack was purchased in 1974 or yesterday, Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge.