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Summer Outdoor Retailer Recap

August 7th, 2013

If you’ve ever gone home from OR to a partner or roommate who’s never been, it can be tough to explain just why you’re so exhausted when you return. But if you’ve ever experienced the madness, fun and fluorescent lights of this show yourself, you know that it takes about a week’s time to recover fully from the happy hours, meetings and never-ending events. Maybe you’re in the recovery phase right now; maybe you missed the show and want to know what happened. Either way, here’s just a bit of what went down at this year’s epic Outdoor Retailer show!

The Infamous Stringdusters play for the 2013 American Rivers Tour Wednesday night.

Day One capped off with a performance from The Infamous Stringdusters at SLC’s Depot, which kicked off their American Rivers Tour, “an epic summer music adventure stopping through, and winding down, some of American’s wildest and most beloved rivers and surrounding communities.”

Osprey Stands up for the Colorado River!

Osprey’s Marketing Manager Gareth Martins shows support for the Colorado River, which supports 250,000 sustainable recreation industry jobs across the southwest. Day two’s Conservation Alliance Breakfast with Pete McBride taught us that” in 2013, American Rivers named the Colorado River the nation’s #1 most endangered river due to drought, over-allocation and climate change.” Visit www.StandUpForCoRiver.com to learn more about the campaign to save the Colorado.

Osprey Happy Hour prizes, giveaways and fun.

We had a great giveaway session of Rev packs at the Sheep Mountain Alliance Booth Party day one, and sold out on all special sales of Rev 6s to supportMountain Project throughout the show!

As always, the end of Summer OR can only mean one thing: it’s time to start the countdown to Winter OR. Ready, go!

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Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Osprey’s List of Events + Promos

July 17th, 2013

We know, we know; How did it get to be this time of year again? We’re wondering the same thing. Alas, it’s Summer OR time, and as always, we’ve all got a lot to look forward to. Here’s our list of events…

OSPREY PACKS/TELLURIDE SKI RESORT BOOTH PARTY TO BENEFIT THE SHEEP MOUNTAIN ALLIANCE

When: Thursday, August 1 — 4 to 6:30PM

Where: Osprey Packs booth #5010

Sheep Mountain Alliance is a grassroots citizen organization dedicated to the preservation of the natural environment in the Telluride Region and Southwest Colorado. They’re currently a key advocate in the effort to pass the San Juan Wilderness Bill and stopping the Pinon Ridge Uranium Mill in Paradox, CO. Drop by the Osprey Booth and purchase a Klean Kanteen cup for $10 to fill it with a tasty beer and enter for a chance to win an Osprey Pack while supporting Sheep Mountain Alliance. Drop your business card for your chance to win our all-expenses-paid summer trip giveaway to Telluride, which will include: a tour of Osprey’s Cortez headquarters before heading to Telluride for two nights’ lodging and two days of skiing for two people or two rounds of golf for two people, as well as an Osprey travel wheels pack and a ski or day pack to get you there. Stick around — the winner will be announced at the end of the party — and while you’re mingling you can learn about the Sheep Mountain Alliance as well as Osprey and Telluride’s efforts to source green power to run their operations.

PACK SALE TO BENEFIT THE LOST MOUNTAIN PROJECT

When: While supplies last, get ‘em while they’re hot!

Where: Osprey Packs booth #5010

Purchase an Osprey Rev 6 for $35 and support The Lost Mountain Project, a collaboration between an international cadre of scientists, conservationists, global adventurers and filmmakers featuring Osprey athlete Majka Burhardt. Put this OR event on your calendar and we will see you there!

http://www.vimeo.com/38544697

AMERICAN RIVERS TOUR

When: Wednesday, July 31 — doors at 7, Show at 8

Where: The Depot Salt Lake City

Grammy-nominated bluegrass outfit The Infamous Stringdusters are kicking off their  2013 American Rivers Tour, an epic summer music adventure stopping through, and winding down, some of America’s wildest and most beloved rivers and surrounding communities at Outdoor Retailer with a live concert at The Depot in SLC! We’re proud sponsors of this event and will be there to help the Stringdusters celebrate their partnership with the nation’s leading river conservation organization, American Rivers, which is celebrating its 40th Anniversary. Come by to help celebrate, raise money and awareness for the organization and its mission to protect and restore rivers and clean water nationwide.

FOURTH ANNUAL GREEN GURU CRUISER BIKE RIDE
When: Thursday, August 1 — 6:30 – 8:30pm

Where: Meet at the Park N Pedal Booth outsideSouth Entrance of Salt Palace

A casual scenic bike ride around downtown Salt Lake City. Plan for an easy social ride that features a fun stop at Liberty Park where we will have snacks, refreshments, games and giveaways. Ends back at the Palace.


OUTDOOR INDUSTRY ALL-STAR JAM TO BENEFIT NATUREBRIDGE AND PARADOX SPORTS
When:
Friday, August 2 — 9:30pm

Where: Club Elevate @ 155 W. 200 S.

Think Battle of the Bands + OR + Beer… oh and dancing your face off. It’s that good. Witness industry veterans rocking the legendary All Star Industry Jam. Added bonus: Your $10 cover goes to benefit Naturebridge and Paradox Sports, so you can feel even better about dancing the night away.

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Gregg Treinish, A MoveShake Story

June 6th, 2013

Today marks the online release of a film that showcases an incredible story of courage, passion and action for change. Produced by RED REEL and very well-received at its world premiere at Mountainfilm, the fourth MoveShake series presents ‘Gregg Treinish, A MoveShake Story’, which takes us on Gregg’s journey as the founder of the non-profit Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC).

At its core, ASC bases everything on the natural connection between adventure and science. It operates by asking adventure athletes who are traveling the globe to collect scientific data, which is then collected and presented to researchers. In essence, ASC uses the adventurer as the middle man, who willingly performs the task of, as ASC puts it on their website, “getting expensive, time consuming, and difficult to reach information from the remote corners of the globe.”

As this MoveShake film so readily presents, Gregg has dedicated himself to this organization that’s experiencing rapid growth and support. But the film delves deeper, revealing “the reality of day to day life.” From the Vimeo film description:

“In this story we hear how Gregg struggles to balance the responsibility he feels toward the environment with the relationship he holds dear. We’ll follow Gregg during one difficult expedition where he realizes that relationships are what give us the courage to make change in the first place.”

Want to support ASC? The organization is currently raising money to support adventure science expeditions for young students. Donate to the cause and contribute to the experience of a lifetime for some seriously lucky kids.

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Dust Buster

May 22nd, 2013

Wind. Without it we wouldn’t have storms and without storms we wouldn’t have snow. I get it, but in recent years the wind has brought little to the San Juan Mountains each spring but dust. I’m not talking about a few rogue particulates that have blown in from the desert. I’m talking about dust storms that make me think Apocalypse.

I’ve been skiing in the San Juan’s for the better part of two decades, but the dust storm phenomenon has only been plaguing our spring snowpack for the last five years. Local backcountry skiers now know the dust is coming each spring, it is just a matter of when it will come. To add insult to injury, the dust storms of the last two springs have coated an extremely thin snowpack. Scientist are saying that the dust is contributing to about 45 fewer days of snow cover in the San Juan’s each season than a decade ago. The dust storms flare up when we get a stiff and steady wind from the southern side of the compass. This year the first major event hit April 7th the following week. By late April the snowpack looked to be a color best described as somewhere between an off-brown and adobe. Regardless of where the dust comes from, it’s here, so I can either hang up the skis or suck it up and get out while there is still snow to ski.

In late April we get a minor reprieve with half a foot of snow. The dust lurks beneath the surface but for a day I have a small window to get some turns in snow that is relatively free of visible dirt. The objective is a tight couloir off the eastern side of South Lookout Peak near Ophir Pass in southwest Colorado. I have been looking at this line for more than a decade, trying to find a time when coverage is sufficient and the couloir and run out are free of debris. From highway 550 I look at the line through my binoculars and it looks good to go. I drive a few miles up the Ophir Pass road find a small pull-out and put things in motion.

South Lookout Peak (El. 13,370) and the couloir from Ophir Pass Road.

The last storm cleared out less than 24 hours earlier, but as I start to skin, I notice shades of brown starting to poke through the brighter snow. As I gain elevation, the depth of the new snow increases and the visible dust dissipates. I traverse a large alpine basin and climb until the pitch exceeds the grip of my skins. I toss the skis on my pack, latch on the crampons and continue to head higher. The couloir narrows and the pitch steepens. I glance down at my bootpack and notice two distinct dust layers within the cross section of snow exposed with each footprint. The dust layers are separated from each other by an inch of snow and from the top by less than three inches. With today’s brilliant blue sky, I know that by tomorrow this white snow I climb will look like a chute of soot.

The pitch intensifies and gets my attention. It is steep enough now that my helmet grazes the surface with each step. This is the only time I ever feel truly exposed when skiing dicey terrain. The fear of sliding backwards, chest down, on a cliff-lined 45-degree pitch keeps me focused, which is probably good given the consequences of a fall.

After the crux, the climb mellows to a more comfortable 45 degrees.

After a period of sphincter-tightening steps, the couloir widens and mellows enough to allow me to take more relaxed steps to the top. The top of the couloir is a narrow notch in the rocks that provides exceptional views of the Wilson range to the west. From my perch I can see that the Wilsons took the brunt of the last dust storm. Being the first major mountains east of the desert has made the Wilsons a geological catcher’s mitt for massive amounts of dust. In terms of coverage, the snowpack looks like it should in early June, but the tone of the surface is sickening.

View west toward the Wilson Range from the top of South Lookout Peak showing dust on the snowpack.

Lunch is consumed, gear is stowed and it is time to drop in. Skiing couloirs is a methodical but detailed process where each turn needs to be executed with precision to avoid putting a disastrous chain of events in motion. I get my game face on and feel the pull of gravity as I aim downward. The goal to skiing couloirs efficiently is to work with gravity, not fight it.

Letting gravity do the work in the couloir.

Rhythm is the key, and within a couple of turns, I have found mine. I stay focused a couple turns ahead and try to keep my speed up fast enough to not let my sluff catch me. I approach the narrow section and swivel a couple turns to dump speed as the slot is too narrow to allow my skis to turn perpendicular to the slope. After I pass the choke I cut right, make a wide turn, and let the sluff pass on my left side. The crux is over and now this is simple high-angle fun. The couloir widens and I gain speed quickly. The last of the cliff walls disappear and I find myself on huge well-sloped apron, where I dump a hundred vertical feet with each arcing turn. The entire run has taken a couple minutes but is well worth the multi-hour effort.

I soak up the San Juan sunshine while waiting for the rest of the crew to join me in the basin. Once we are all back together we start laying out a plan for our next ascent and select some possible lines. The north-facing slope above us still looks to hold some powder from the last storm. The last few turns we made have left white marks on the brown snow.

Art and snow. Interesting but reason for concern as this isn’t what snow should look like in late April.

While it looks interesting, it is another sign that our spring snowpack will likely be gone earlier than ever. Not knowing how much longer our San Juan snowpack will last this spring, we decide that there is no better time than the present to get after it. Skins come out, water goes down and more sunscreen goes on. This is the cycle of my life, and life is good.

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Top 10 Endangered Rivers in the US

April 17th, 2013

Photo: Pete McBride

For more than two decades American Rivers has released its annual list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers. American Rivers released the 2013 list today, and the river at the top—the most endangered river in the nation—is the mighty Colorado.

As Americans we are lucky to have this river in our proverbial backyard. But our demands on the river’s water now far exceed its supply, leaving the river so over-tapped that it no longer flows to the sea. A century of water management policies and practices promoting wasteful water use have put the river at a critical crossroads.

Take action here.

Read more…

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Expose Yourself to Winter: Backcountry Film Festival is Accepting Submissions!

March 15th, 2013

The annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival is an outright celebration of human-powered winter adventure. What’s more, it honors environmental preservation while working to showcase the pure beauty of non-motorized recreation. And to put the cherry on top, the Backcountry Film Festival expressly promotes the work of grassroots filmmakers who tell these inherently awe-inspiring stories.

If you spent the winter months playing in the snow, now’s the time to submit your footage of it because the 9th annual Backcountry Film Festival is now seeking entries! Here’s are the requirements for — as well as process of — submitting your quality footage:

Your film should be short—no longer than 30 minutes—and tell a thought-provoking, interesting story of backcountry, nonmotorized recreation or environmental preservation. Your film should take place during or otherwise relate to the winter. We’re open minded about what kind of films we’ll show:
documentaries, fiction and experimental films are welcome.
The Film Festival premieres in Boise November 2013 and travels during the winter months to more than 100 locations worldwide.

Submissions must be in DVD format. Your submission must be received in our Boise office by September 15

Mail package to: Winter Wildlands Alliance, Attn: Shelley Pursell
910 Main Street, Suite 235, Boise ID 83702. Contact Shelley Pursell at
spursell@winterwildlands.org or 208-343-1630 for details.
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Streams of Consequence

March 7th, 2013

The above clip is the trailer for a film called Streams of Consequence, which has been described as “a solution-based film that addresses the hard questions that remained unanswered in Rios Libres’s first film: “What does an alternative energy model look like?” “How do the Chileans feel about it?” and “Could Chile become a global leader by gaining energy independence via green technology?” Here’s the full scoop on how this film came about:

In summer 2010, photographer James ‘Q’ Martin and conservation biologist Chris Kassar started an organization called Rios Libres. The organization uses multi-media to join the fight to protect the wild lands of Patagonia from proposed dams that threaten two of the most pristine rivers in one of the world’s most spectacular regions. Last April, Q traveled south once again and landed in the thick of some of the largest anti-dam protests the country has ever seen. He captured historic footage of the protests, then spent nine weeks traveling the length of the country talking to gauchos, scientists, activists and the public in search of answers.

While the conversations Q captured while in Chile last April continue, the hope is that Streams of Consequence will serve to raise awareness and support those conversations here.

The film premiered at the 2013 Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival and will continue to show across the country via Wild and Scenic, other film festivals and grassroots screenings. Check it out here and be sure to let us know what you think!

Thanks to Patagonia’s The Cleanest Line for posting!

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{worthWild}: Grand Canyon

March 1st, 2013

Today, The Conservation Alliance is proud to announce the release of Grand Canyon, the fourth video in its worthWILD series. This film in particular tells the story of the Grand Canyon Trust’s successful effort to convince the Interior Department to impose a 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims on one million acres of land surrounding Grand Canyon National Park. This ban now provides long-term protection for this pristine National Park.

Behind it all lies the Grand Canyon Trust, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Colorado Plateau. Throughout the process of establishing the protection necessary, the Trust successfully led a coalition of concerned citizens and residents, local and national organizations, and advocates of the National Parks to protect the Grand Canyon from the threats of new uranium mining. The Conservation Alliance funded the Trust’s campaign in 2010, two years into the project.

This film and the Grand Canyon itself depict how these diverse stakeholders’ collaborative efforts resulted in Interior Secretary’s Ken Salazar implementation of a 20-year moratorium on new uranium mining on 1.1 million acres surrounding the Grand Canyon.

“The Trust’s campaign to secure a favorable decision was greatly enhanced through a powerful strategic alliance with national conservation organizations and their members as well as with businesses such as those supporting The Conservation Alliance and Save the Colorado campaign,” said Roger Clark, Grand Canyon Trust Program Director.

“Grand Canyon Trust did a terrific job protecting the Grand Canyon watershed from new uranium mining,” said Conservation Alliance Executive Director John Sterling. “We’re proud to have supported this effort, and are thrilled to tell the story in this short film.”

Produced by Alexandria Bombach’s Red Reel Video, Grand Canyon is the fourth documentary the Conservation Alliance has produced as part of the worthWild series launched in 2012. Four additional films will be made in 2013.

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Winter Outdoor Retailer & a WILD Conservation Alliance Breakfast

January 11th, 2013

The cold, dark month of January is plodding along after the madness of the holidays and a New Year Celebration. And that can only mean one thing, Winter Outdoor Retailer is nearly upon us again! The show kicks off with an all mountain demo on the 22nd, and the trade show will take place from January 23rd through the 26th. Of course, we’ll be there to showcase our brand-new packs and innovations, roosting at  Booth #5011. We hope to see you there!

We’re excited for the show as always, but we’re also stoked to announce that this OR, The Conservation Alliance Breakfast will welcome the incredible Cheryl Strayed, author of the incredibly powerful memoir WILD, which details Strayed’s journey as a 22-year-old solo-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. Strayed will present on Thursday, January 24th from 7 to 9 a.m. at The Marriott, Salons F-I in Salt Lake City. This is a breakfast you won’t want to miss, and we hope to see you there!

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Climate Change to Dent Ski Industry $12.2 Billion?

December 14th, 2012

Alison Gannett is a World Champion Extreme Freeskier, founder of The Save Our Snow Foundation and an award-winning global cooling consultant who has spent her life dedicated to solutions for climate change.

While I’ve been working to save our snow from climate change for over 20 years, superstorm Sandy was still a huge wake up call for me. One of the biggest problems for us global warming geeks is that “it” was always happening to someone else, usually thousands of miles away in a third world country. My skiing travels certainly made it more real for me as glaciers and snowfields I had skied just a few years ago disappeared forever in just five years or so. But the impact of Sandy hit close to home, so to speak.

For years, arguments have passed back and forth regarding what “safe” amounts of carbon dioxide emissions that we could emit might be. A recommended 80 percent reduction by 2050 was often seen as the only sensible way to keep extreme weather at bay, save our snow, and keep low-lying countries above water. Yet this was often regarded as too extreme and unreasonable to reach. While at Copenhagen in 2009, I watched the U.S. delegates actually argue for a one percent reduction over 1990 levels, while most of the rest of the world argued about 80 percent not being sufficient. McKibben’s recent speaking tour, along with a demonstration of actual higher-than-projected-emissions, are now showing us on path for a 7-14 degree temperature increase. Considering a two degree increase is most likely to put many countries under water and most ski and snowboard resorts out of snow, we now need to really skip the baby steps and focus on real and meaningful reductions.

This all doesn’t have to mean doom and gloom and crawling into a cave – I’ve happily reduced my energy use and carbon footprint in half in the last several years – all while saving money and increasing my quality of life. We are able to do this, but it means that we have to get real with reductions and stop being so damn nice about it. Forget recycling and driving your Prius; What is your carbon footprint and can you cut it to three tons from 40? This is going to involve some hard choices for all of us. In 2001: I gave up heliskiing; in 2005: my snowmobile; and in 2010: my ski pass. Each one involved tears and temptation, yet in the end I believe I am happier and healthier.

All of this leads me to another report I read this week, this time from Protect Our Winters (POW) and the National Resources Defense Council. It’s called the Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States. So often, folks tell me that we can’t afford to implement changes in our lives due to the economy, yet (as this report shows) it is the very economy that will suffer the greatest in a world with super wacky weather such as droughts, floods or a combination thereof: super storms. Yet until now, no one has ever attempted to put a financial figure on the losses that the winter sports communities might incur, or the amount of jobs that might be lost. While skiing and snowmobiling contribute $12.2 billion dollars and 600,000 jobs to our national economy, the numbers from the state of Colorado alone are staggering; a $154 million in revenue could be lost due to the impacts of climate change.

“In order to protect winter – and the hundreds of thousands whose livelihoods depend upon a snow-filled season – we must act now to support policies that protect our climate, and in turn, our slopes,” wrote study authors Elizabeth Burakowski and Matthew Magnusson of the University of New Hampshire.

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