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.
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.
Learn more about The 2015 Lost Mountain Next Gen Symposium here: http://www.thelostmountain.org/next-gen-2015-symposium/
Follow the journey:
Twitter: @majkaburhardt and #LostMountain
Instagram: @majkaburhardt and #LostMountain
Project. Restore. Educate.
Osprey is a proud partner of the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative – a collaborative of nonprofit organizations and dedicated individuals who are committed to the development and preservation of our beloved Rocky Mountains in our home-state of Colorado. As great lovers of the mountains and all the experiences that they have given us, we can be so captivated by their presence: the high-country wildflowers in bloom, the sights and sounds of creatures who call the mountains their home, or simply the solitude that these beautiful mountains provide. Of course, it’s important to enjoy the these gifts but is just as important to recognize and support those who make them possible and for Osprey Packs, we realize that without Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, the trail access to Colorado’s 54 14,000 foot peaks wouldn’t be possible.
This coming August 14th, Osprey will support Colorado Fourteeners Initiatives as they announce quite possibly the largest partnership in the program’s history. This partnership would take place with one of Osprey’s long standing retailers, REI, who recognizes the importance of Colorado Fourteeners Initiative and other organizations in trail stewardship across the nation.
More details to follow but we would like to introduce you to this Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, what they do and why you should support them on August 14th, 2015.
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative was formed in 1994 as a partnership of nonprofit organizations, concerned individuals, and public agencies to preserve and protect the natural integrity of Colorado’s Fourteeners after a 1993 study noted significant environmental impacts due to rapidly expanding recreational use. Founding organizations included the Colorado Mountain Club, Colorado Outward Bound School, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and the US Forest Service.
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative protects and preserves the natural integrity of Colorado’s 54 14,000–foot peaks—the “Fourteeners”—through active stewardship and public education.
Colorado’s Fourteeners contain rare and fragile native tundra ecosystems that are uniquely adapted to living on these high peaks. These tundra plants, however, are ill-adapted to being trampled by the half-million people who are estimated to climb these peaks every year. In many places resource damage is past the point of natural recovery.
CFI partners with the US Forest Service, passionate volunteer partners and donors nationwide to:
- Create a structure for engaging local communities in the protection of Colorado’s highest peaks
- Build and maintain sustainable hiking routes on the Fourteeners to accommodate hiking use while minimizing damage to native alpine ecosystems
- Stabilize and restore trampled and eroded areas to protect sensitive alpine plant and animal communities
- Educate Fourteener hikers about Leave No Trace principles and sustainable recreational practices designed to lessen ecosystem impacts
Through this unique,voluntary partnership, Colorado’s Fourteener ecosystems are protected from harm while continuing to make the peaks accessible to hikers without burdensome restrictions and fees.
Stay connected with Colorado Fourteeneers Initiative, both on the Trail and Social:
Hydration packs have come a long way since 1988, the year that a young EMT named Michael Eidson invented the CamelBak by stuffing a pilfered IV bag into a tube sock and safety-pinning it to his back during a century ride. But while hydration packs are ubiquitous today, anyone who has ever attempted a a multi-day mountain bike trip can attest to their main shortcoming: most of them are too damn small. You can’t, however, say that about Osprey’s Escapist 32, which boasts a load range of 15 to 30 pounds.
The Escapist 32 is designed with mountain bikers in mind and if bikepacking isn’t your thing, it also makes for a great day hiking pack…
Known as the birthplace of skiing, Norway has probably been the subject of most backcountry skiers’ dreams. It has always been on my radar after watching the Norwegians dominate the Olympic Cross Country Ski events over the years, not to mention the stories of endless daylight and sweet terrain.
There’s only one problem Norway creates for skiers…it just happens to be one of the most expensive places in the world to visit. Be warned my fellow skiers: Norway is the 5th richest country in world, as is visible in the sculpture-laden streets of all the towns we visited. Here are some examples of what things cost in Norway as opposed to Canada:
- Laguna Burger, no fries: $30 CAD. California patio with beach views not included.
- Corona beer: $25
- Gasoline, per/litre: $2.25
- Last minute car rental: $199 per day
Having a lifetime of practice in ski bohemia, I knew we could stretch a budget. But Norway’s prices and our lack of preparation before this trip made for quite an uphill battle. Luckily we don’t mind ‘earning’ our turns, and our Norwegian Ski-Bus-Skineering mission began.
We started in Oslo, but the classic fjord skiing was waaaaay up in the Lyngen Alps in the North. Following a quick Facebook check, I noticed that our friend Adam U. was in Norway and he diverted us to the much closer Jotunheimen zone and we hopped on the first bus out. This was all good in concept, but after we fell asleep the bus kept on driving right past our desired mountain pass in the night. Good thing camping is allowed anywhere in Norway, so we camped on the grass in Årdalstangen, a quaint little town that reminded me of Terrace, BC.
In Ski-Bus-Skineering if you don’t plan efficiently you can lose use huge amounts of time, forcing you to spend down time at bus stations (which tend harbour some sketchy characters). Eventually, we did reach snow.
Once on snow and skinning uphill it felt good to be in our natural environment. The variable weather felt like a familiar mellow BC coastal ski tour. Of course in any new area it’s always good to respect the weather — I was feeling confident we’d get up to the peak when BOOM — whiteout, and the classic “stay-or-go” debate began. Fortunately it did clear after 5 minutes and we tagged Turboka peak.
24 hours to left to burn meant GO: Oslo to Lom by bus, hitchhiking with a German plumber to Spiterstulen, set up camp. At 7:30pm, climb…then turn around 500 feet from the summit thanks to another whiteout.
“I like to push myself to the maximum in the mountains to see what I can do physically to my abilities. My parents got me into skiing and the mountains at a young age. I progressed to ski racing, to front country, then I started finding powder stashes I had to keep going further and further to see what was around the next corner.
In addition to having worked eight years as a ski patroller, I have been racing in the pro/elite category for several seasons as a mountain biker. Racing enables me to go further and faster in the mountains in pursuit of steep skiing and speed traverses. Other activities I like: free ride mountain biking, road riding, bouldering, rock climbing, mountaineering, ice hockey, tennis, trailrunning . I like to go see live bands in small venues. I’ve been following the Vancouver Canucks for many years in their quest for the Stanley Cup.”
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The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The Trail goes through fourteen states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail’s northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine.
Known as the “A.T.,” it has been estimated that 2-3 million people visit the Trail every year and about 1,800–2,000 people attempt to “thru-hike” the Trail. People from across the globe are drawn to the A.T. for a variety of reasons: to reconnect with nature, to escape the stress of city life, to meet new people or deepen old friendships, or to experience a simpler life. Appalachian Trail Conservancy
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Osprey Athlete Payge McMahon is an adventure athlete, ‘rockin’ yogi’ and journalist who travels the world inspiring others to get outdoors, try new things and start checking off that bucket list.
2015 U.S.A. Adventure Recommendation
…and which Osprey Pack you should take!
I’ve backpacked all over the world and the JMT is my all time favorite!
Located in Northern California, this breathtaking trek takes you 221-miles, up and over 11 mountain passes, ranging from 9,703 ft. (Cathedral) to 14,496 (Mt. Whitney), for a total of 84,000 feet of elevation gains and losses.
If you’ve ever wanted to trek the Pacific Crest Trail, but thought the 2,650 miles was just a bit much, do the John Muir Trail instead! A 170 of the 221 miles are on the PCT and you will trek through the most beautiful national parks in the United States. From Yosemite Valley, the John Muir and Ansel Adams Wildernesses, Kings Canyon, Sequoia National Parks and up and over Mt. Whitney to Lone Pine, CA. Enjoy remote the wilderness from; rivers, blue lakes, waterfalls, forests, mountains, deer, marmots to the occasional bear – you will see it all.
The best time to go is from June – August. The trek is traditionally done in 14-21 days, and if preferred, can also be section hiked. Most start in Yosemite and go south, but if you want to get the hard elevation out of the way first, start in Lone Pine/Mt. Whitney and go north. Get your permits early, pack clothes for hot to freezing weather and plan your food wisely.
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The Inca Trail in Peru is perhaps the world’s most famous trek. This four-day camping trip follows a 500-year old stone path that ends at Machu Picchu, an ancient city reclaimed from the jungle. I hiked the Inca Trail with my Dad, my sister Kate and her girlfriend Kim. We started and finished the trip in Cusco.
A mushroom cloud of smoke from hundreds of barbecues rises from Inti Raymi celebrations in Cusco. Inti Raymi is the biggest festival of the season. This party is taking place at Sacsayhuaman (pronounced “Sexy Woman”), a location famous for 100-ton stones fitted together so tight that a toothpick can not be fitted in.
While city center Cusco is tidy and historic for tourists, the surrounding streets are real Peru. This woman is selling chopped up snakes in a soda bottle. Other bottles contain the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus juice and various potions for what ails you.
The Inca Trail is lined with ruins. Here’s Kate exploring the Phuyupatamarka ruins. The fascinating thing about all these Inca ruins is that nobody really knows what happened. There was no written language before the Spanish arrived. And all of the written accounts have a Spanish Conquistador twist. This results in each Inca history buff having their own theory of what happened. Historical spiels by tour guide’s often start with “I believe….”
Dad eleven hours into the second day. What is a comparable trek in the US? Rim-to-rim on the Grand Canyon? The Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier?
Porters resting at the high point of the trip at Dead Woman Pass at 13,829 feet. Porters carry 20 kilos of group gear plus their personal gear. We carried our sleeping bag, pad and hiking stuff in 35-liter Mutant 38s.
The 8th annual Pacific Crest Trail Days takes place in Cascade Locks, Oregon, which is surrounded by the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and where the Pacific Crest Trail offers access to some of the most beautiful scenery in Pacific Northwest.
Osprey Packs will be returning to the annual PCT Days to celebrate one of our nations most prominent trails on the West-Coast! From September 5th through the 7th, people from all corners of the North West will come to visit with old and new friends, check out the latest outdoor products and gear, participate in classes and activities, listen to music & watch movies, and celebrate the past, present and future of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Event Website: http://oviewfinder.com/
Event FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pctdays
This weekend will include something for everyone such as the Gear Fair, Free Classes, Trail Work Parties, and a film/slideshow celebrating the PCT!
For a complete list of all PCT Days events please visit the website.
Don’t forget to drop by our Osprey booth as we will be offering some great freebies, pack repairs, solid high-fives, laughs and even a few of chances to win one of our packs!
Check out what we will have going on:
Fall 2014 Pack Display- We will be displaying our Backpack specific line so that you may see the fit and functional difference that sets Osprey apart from the rest! Stop by the booth to talk with one of our staff about which pack may be right for you. For our full product line visit our website.
The Osprey Packs Fit Gurus- Come experience the customized fit and functionality Osprey Packs is known for! Have questions or need to get sized for your next adventure- no problem! Swing by the booth as we will have our fit experts ready for any questions or suggestions you may have!
20% off with Next Adventure- If you have been thinking of getting an Osprey and had all your questions answered at our booth, the wait is over! Our retailer partner Next Adventure will be at the event, offering 20% off all Osprey product in celebration of PCT days! Osprey has strategically placed our tent across from Next Adventure so you can see the selection of Osprey packs they have at the event and make your purchase on the spot!
PCT Event Survey– Take our three-minute event survey and automatically be entered win a new Osprey pack — We will have daily winners throughout the PCT days!
Bola-Ball Fundraiser- We want to give back to the non-profit who is making this event possible, the Pacific Crest Trail Association! Stop by and try your luck at our Bola-Ball game in which you could win an Osprey hat, shirt, or even a pack! All proceeds benefit the trail and PCTA which makes it all possible!
Best Freebies this side of the Mississippi- This is no joke! Don’t forget to load up on Osprey Chapstick, Backcountry repair kits, stickers and coozies as we spread the #Ospreylove!
Why do we obsess about the destination? We hyperfocus on the goal, the trip at the end of the road, the special place that needed a special permit reserved six months in advance by the luck of a lottery draw. The plane tickets, the hotel reservations, the airport parking shuttle. It seems that we can sometimes forget the adventure and freedom of the road, forget what it’s like to explore the world in person. Living out of a car for a long road trip should be a rite of passage for Americans, young and old. Our country is so vast, one trip will never be enough, igniting fervor inside for a journey through the nation. (more…)
Crystal Henson is our #WhatsInYourFestyPack winner who will receive two GA tickets to this year’s Electric Forest as well as two customized Ospreys to carry her Festy Pack Essentials! Here are a few words of wisdom from Crystal, for those of you attending Electric Forest or any Festival for that matter.
My festy pack embraces the sustainability practices encouraged by Electrology, and three years of first-hand experience at Electric Forest. My festy pack is an Osprey Sirrus 24 and contains around 83 items.
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