The Mightiest “Festival of Freeride and Mountain Mettle” in all of North America is returning to Alpental, WA on the 15th of February. So what does that mean? Well, it means that Osprey will be joining some of the best brands in the outdoor industry, including Outdoor Research, La Sportiva, and Mammut, to bring two full days of demos, clinics, beer drinking, races, snowfall, music, more beer drinking and many other forms of fun (all type 1 of course,) back to the great state of Washington.
We encourage all residents in the greater Seattle area to come out and join us this weekend — there are some events that you do NOT want to miss.
Not thoroughly convinced? Let us elaborate on why this may be the most epic weekend of skiing you’ll have this entire season:
Demo our incredible snowpacks that will Change. Your. Life.- Okay maybe not your life, but our snowpacks are proven to enhance your day! We will be demoing our in-bound ski pack, the Reverb 10, as well as our backcountry pack, the Kode 22. Curious about all the exciting new gear coming this Fall? Swing by to preview our Fall 14′ line even before it hits the market — trust us, it will be worth the visit.
A raffle that will reward you with good karma (and hopefully an Osprey Pack!) -The first thing you’re going to want to do upon your arrival to Alpental is get a raffle ticket. Osprey, along with outdoor industry partners like Outdoor Research, Voile and La Sportiva, has donated product (specifically our Kode 22, Mutant 28, Kestrel 48 packs, plus many more!) to benefit the Northwest Avalanche Center, our backcountry protector and educator of snow & avy conditions! Supporting NWAC by purchasing a raffle ticket is pretty much a win-win for everyone involved — Osprey stands 100% behind incredible non-profits like NWAC and we encourage you to do the same.
Win a pack! - “Come one, come all!” We are challenging your skills at our fundraising game, Shoot the Moon, where a steady hand and a little determination could win you a pack! Donate $2 to play — all proceeds go to the fine folks at NWAC.
Celebrate our 40th with us! - We are 40 years young and want to celebrate our birthday with you! Come by the booth and stock up on our limited edition 40th Anniversary swag. We’ll also have a 40th Anniversary Trivia Game, so be sure to brush up on your Osprey History 101. Did we mention our #OspreyAt40 Photo Contest? This is happening on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and we will be giving away 40 packs in 40 days, so check it out!
Sign up for a Clinic with our Osprey Athlete, Jasmin Caton – We are thrilled to have Patagonia Ambassador and Certified Ski & Rock Guide, Jamin Caton at Vertfest! This will be Jasmin’s first event as an Osprey Athlete and she’ll be guiding clinics on Sunday and hanging with our staff throughout the event. Check out the schedule for time slots and more info.
Osprey Ambassador Chris Gallaway is seeking support through Kickstarter to make his a film, “The Long Start to the Journey” a reality. January 31st is the campaign deadline to support this compelling documentary about the Appalachian Trail and if the campaign does not meet its goal no funding will be collected and given to the movie.
In support of Chris’s Kickstarter campaign, we’re giving away an Exos 48 Superlight Backpack to the next donor to pledge $220. The Exos 48, our newest ultra-light technical backpack, is a masterful combination of ounce-shaving, durable materials and a feather-weight internal frame to keep you fast and comfortable on your next journey. Your pack will have a “The Long Start to the Journey” patch sewn on to commemorate your part in making this film possible. Note: We’ll need to get your unique sizing before fulfilling this reward and you must be a resident of the US to be eligible.
A question I have often heard since completing my 7-month thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail is how the experience changed me. That’s a difficult one for me to answer, and it’s probably better addressed by people who know me well and have observed me from the outside. The images above were taken at the beginning and end of my hike (the third, cold morning in February on Blood Mountain Georgia and the last day in September as I walked down from Katahdin). While I know that these two self-portraits encompass a host of experiences and some of the most significant changes of my life, it’s difficult for me to articulate what’s different between them.
I can begin with the obvious changes. I came away from the trail several pounds lighter and with bigger leg muscles than I’ve ever owned in my life. I felt more uneasy traveling in cars and moving at the pace of the modern world, and I’d developed a very strong distaste for the tone and content of television news. On the other hand, I had developed a very avid appetite for any and all foods that I could get my hands on, no matter how exotic or mundane the cuisine. I’d become much more sensitive to artificial odors like perfume and shampoo, sometimes finding them repellent; while simultaneously I was much more tolerant of the natural odor of human beings when they’d been without a shower for several days. For the first time I was engaged to a woman (Sunshine!) and would in fact be married to her a month after finishing the trail. I had also experienced the sudden death of my younger brother and was still living through the shock of that event, trying to figure out what it would mean to me.
When I set out on the trail in February of that year I felt that it would be a journey that would challenge me greatly and change me forever. Yet I held that “knowledge” lightly, fully aware that it was purely theoretical and that the challenges and changes I would face would surely surprise me and maybe overwhelm me. Beginning a thru-hike you have to make commitments that are not unlike those made on your wedding day, reaching as they do beyond your power to know. You commit to yourself that you will struggle through hardships that will wear you down and rub you raw, but you cannot know how deeply they will test you. You acknowledge that you will observe many beautiful things and meet many fine people along the way, and yet you really don’t know what kind of gifts these things will be to you.
I remember that early on in my hike when people asked if I was a thru-hiker I responded “Yes,” but that it was a statement of intent and not one of accomplishment. Now I have achieved it, and it surely ranks as one of the greatest, hardest journeys of my life. I’m glad that I got to experience this journey immediately before embarking on the much grander adventure of marriage. The butterflies I experienced on the drive down to Springer were much like those I felt as I stood before friends and family and waited on my bride to walk down the aisle. On both of those days I was at the threshold of a journey that stretched far beyond my vision, and yet I had a deep, abiding confidence that it would be good.
Sunshine and I feel a similar excitement and anxiousness now as we raise support to make a documentary film about the Appalachian Trail. It’s unclear if we will succeed in raising the support we hope for to make this film, but we know that the story will be told in the end, whatever it takes. We feel that that this is a good story, one worth telling, and we’re inviting people who believe in it to help us make the film. It will be another long, good journey to complete this film, and we’re thankful to have the support of many fellow travelers!
Note: We’ll need to get your sizing before sending you your bag and you must be a resident of the US to be eligible. In order to win this pack the person donating to the campaign will have to select the pack as their reward on Kickstarter. In order to win the pack, simply log in to Kickstarter and pledge your support to The Long Start to the Journey film at the $220 level; then select the “OSPREY EXOS 48 SUPERLIGHT BACKPACK” as the reward you would like to receive for your pledge.
If the campaign meets its funding goal by January 31st your pledge of support will go through and the pack will be shipped to you. If the campaign does not reach its funding goal, Kickstarter will collect none of the pledged support for the film and no rewards will be delivered. Many other prizes and rewards are available to those who would like to support the film at a lower level: everything from calendars to a copy of the finished film itself.
What better way to kick off 2014 than with a few jitters, chattering teeth, and a full serving of adrenaline as you carefully choose where to swing your axe next??
That’s what will be happening in the little town of Ouray, Colorado, as people from all over the country travel to Ouray to participate in one of the largest ice festivals in the nation. This will be our 10th year attending and there are MANY reasons we keep coming back!
It will all kick off on Thursday night, January 9th, with presentations and delicious beers brewed in the heart of the San Juan Mountains.
As we roll into the weekend, all the action will be at the Ice Park from 8 AM until 3 PM. Here is where you will find our tent with an array of activities and overall awesomeness.
-Demo our packs- Whether you own an Osprey Pack or in the market for a climbing pack, come try out our Mutant or Variant packs designed for all your winter endeavors.
-Win a pack!: Do you “Shoot to the Moon”? We challenge you to reach for the stars as we will have a game with prizes such as shirts, hats, and even a pack! All proceeds will go to CAIC, a non-profit organization that reports avy conditions for the great state of Colorado.
-Majka Burhardt Poster Signing: That’s right folks! We have the lovely Majka signing posters at the Ouray Community Center on Friday! Stop by between 6-7:30 PM to meet the Ice Queen and receive a signed poster!
-Fit Specialist on Site: Our staff are the cream of the crop when it comes to fitting the pack of your dreams. Feel free to stop by and ask questions, geek out on our gear, or receive a life-changing high-five.
-20% off all Osprey Packs at Ouray Mountain Sports: Its a “Win-Win” sort of deal as you can demo first and receive a 20% off the pack of your dreams!
-Clinics With San Juan Mountain Guides: San Juan Mountain Guides is the premiere guide company of the San Juans. They work with top tier athletes from all over the world to bring you the highest quality of clinics and experiences. Maximize your experience at Ouray Ice Festival by signing up for their variety of courses, happening on both Friday and Saturday. Our own athletes, Ben Clark and Majka Burhardt will be teaching clinics as well! Check out the available clinics here.
I got a surprise call the other day from the EPA/The White House asking me to speak at the Green Sports Alliance gala in NYC. My dream topic? Women, Sports and the Environment. Seeing as this opportunity was basically just that, I could only think that they must have created this symposium just for me! Osprey stepped up and helped me attend the prestigious event, where I was able to represent Osprey, myself, and also my Save Our Snow Foundation.
Transported from rural Colorado and our Holy Terror Farm, I suddenly felt underdressed mingling with NBA, NHL and NFL stars and team owners. I had thought that my all-black ensemble would fit in for “NY Casual” but apparently New York City casual involves five-inch heels, black sequined dresses, tuxedos and diamonds. At least I had my bright pink KEEN sneakers and Osprey pack, so that I looked a bit intentionally like a pro athlete?
EPA/Green Sports Alliance Gala in NYC
I made some small talk – “and what do you do?” and got some not-so-typical answers – “I run Nike,” “I own the Philadelphia Eagles” or “I play for the Edmunton Oilers” were some typical answers. I quickly realized how high-powered the corporate executives were at this event, and became intensely excited about speaking to 500 of these impressive women the next day.
Finally I ran into a familiar face – Kimmy Fasani – Pro Snowboarder and rider for Protect our Winters (POW), and Klean Kanteen’s marketing director and POW’s executive director turn out to be my dinner seat mates.
Pro Snowboarder Kimmy Fasani with POW
The next day brought one of the biggest keynotes of my life – such big names, such huge corporate successes, and WOW, so many green success stories that one would think sustainability was cool and mainstream. I was super impressed by the work of the National Hockey League, not so impressed by the National Football League and blown away by Philly Eagles owner Christina Weiss Lurie who received the Environmental Leadership award for their zero-wast, 100 percent renewable-powered football stadium/team. I was honored to kick off the talk for “Women, Sports and The Environment” with my steep skiing crazy videos transitioning into how to green your business while saving money. Special thanks to Osprey for helping me get to this special speaking event! The crowd was equally inspirational and there to learn from other success stories. Maybe next year we go to The White House and present the President with our latest greatest recycled material pack? Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Vote with your dollars and support companies that make products with iron-clad guarantees! The greenest pack is one that you don’t have to buy again!
Alison testing the new Carve Pack by Israel Valenzuela
“Nothing is possible without the participation of females today.”
In Afghanistan, females riding bikes is still considered taboo, and is hardly considered a given right. But some brave women are working very hard to change that by way of the Women’s National Cycling Team of Afghanistan. From Vimeo:
“Afghan Cycles introduces the first women to ride bikes in the country, illustrating the gender and social barriers that the team is breaking, one pedal stroke at a time. Highlighting 4 of the 12 teammates, we look at their lives on and off the bike. From training on dangerous trucking highways to following them through a typical day in Kabul, the film shares the intimate story of these brave and passionate young women who feel free when they are on their bikes in an otherwise oppressive culture.”
So, you’ve got the perfect pack for your next adventure in hand. But this very fact has you wondering what the crucial items you need to carry might be. Fret no more! Our Osprey athlete ”What’s in Your Pack?“ video series will give you the expert advice you need to be sure you’re dialed for that next adventure. In this month’s video, pro climber and executive director of Paradox Sports, Timmy O’Neill, shows off what’s in his Mutant 38.
Check out the first installment of this exciting series – and never be afraid to ask What’s in Your Pack?! We’ll have a new video each month to help you see what our Osprey athletes are packing.
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.”
Six years ago, Shannon Galpin walked away from her career as an athletic trainer and used her own limited funds to launch Mountain2Mountain and “be the change” she wished to see in the world. Today, Shannon and the M2M team, are just returning from their latest trip to Afghanistan where they launched the Streets of Afghanistan project and rode bicycles through Kabul to raise awareness of cultural barriers and empower women and girls in conflict regions.
As big supporters of Shannon and the M2M work she does, we’re happy to stay in touch with her and get period updates throughout her travels. That said, we’re also excited to share what she has to show and tell from those very journeys, the latest of which center around the Streets of Afghanistan project. Here’s the latest from Shannon both in words and in pictures. Enjoy!
“Yesterday we had the finale show of the Streets of Afghanistan exhibition at the Sound Central music festival — its up for four days throughout the incredible four-day alternative music festival. Yesterday was the women’s only day to kick off the festival, where young Afghan school girls attended the festival for slam poetry, a fashion show, Afghan rap duo, Afghan singer songwriter, Ariana Delwari, and White City — fronted by my long time friend, advisor, and founder of Sound Central, Travis Beard. We brought three members of the cycling team to watch the concert and to help with the M2M Bike School.
All in all a full day. Streets exhibition set up and finale show at Sound Central Festival, M2M bike school and rock concert, finished with filming at Darul Aman Palace. Whitney, the co-director of Afghan cycles is leaving today, and then our crew is just a duo until we leave. Whitney has been amazing, and creates a sense of community, friendship, and openness wherever we go, she interacts with the Afghans we meet with grace, humor, and authenticity that I have rarely seen. Her infectious laugh combined with everyone’s exhaustion at the end of the long days makes for a slap-happy crew.
Exhaustion is starting to take hold, but perhaps that will just make the plane ride home go quicker as we sleep our way home.”
Mountain 2 Mountain’s Shannon Galpin has spent the past several years pedaling in Afghanistan, and in the midst of her journeys, she’s observed the following: “… usually the only bikes I see are simple Pakistani made commuters bikes, ridden around the country on dirt roads and highways by men and boys of all ages.” But last November, Shannon met the Men’s National Cycling Team, which made a huge impression. As Shannon put it, “They have a real love of the sport, racing in Kabul and in Pakistan. Several mentioned their hope to compete one day in the Olympics.” What’s more, even though it is culturally unacceptable for women to ride in Afghanistan, Shannon found out that there happen to be 10-12 women on the Cycling Team with the support of the coach.
While the cycling community in Afghanistan is there (and slowly gaining ground), it remains fact that those riding are doing so with virtually no support, on bikes that don’t always suit their needs and with gear that’s less than ideal. That’s why Mountain 2 Mountain is organizing a month-long bicycle gear drive that will begin on Friday, February 15th. Here’s the full run-down of details:
The most-needed items (i.e. suggested donations) are, for both women and men, both road and mountain bike: “helmets, pedals, shoes, cleats, seats, chammies, long pants, jerseys, gloves, jackets, windbreakers, sunglasses, socks, tools, tubes (no 29′ers please), tires, lube, air pumps. Lightly used old gear and new gear is welcomed!!” Cash donations to help with transport costs will also be accepted. There will be four drop-off locations in Colorado (Denver – Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop, Boulder – Boulder Cycle Sport, Golden - Rise Above Cycles, Frisco – Podium Sports). Additionally, individuals are welcome to send a box of their gear donations directly to Mountain 2 Mountain (PO Box 7399, Breckenridge, CO 80424). All gear will be picked up on March 15th, so gather your goods and get them out the door ASAP!
Osprey was introduced to 88Bikes when we first entered the bike industry with our Osprey Hydraulics™ line of hydration packs. Their model is simple yet incredibly powerful: provide bikes — often the first — to young people living in challenging environments across the planet. In places like Cambodia, Uganda and Peru the addition of a bicycle to a young person’s life almost always is a life-changing event.
It’s undeniably the season of giving, which can equate to added stress over finding the right thing to give the ones you love. The good news is, if you want to embrace the spirit of the season and gift up something meaningful, it’s easy. Through the non-profit 88bikes, you can donate a bike to a child in the name of your special someone and know that you’re quite simply helping to pedal change on a global level.
Bike contributions are $88 each, which will be used to purchase one bike for one child for the project. Your name will be added to the website, and we ask that you send a photo of yourself to us by email so that we can print it out and give it to the child who receives your bike. We’ll take a picture of the child holding your photo, with her new bike, and send this back to you. 88bikes is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and your donations are fully tax deductable. 88bikes does not maintain a staff or an office, so that 100% of your contributions go towards our projects.
You can choose to donate a specific dollar amount, one bike or multiple bikes by going here. You can even print your own gift certificate to personalize and wrap up for the holidays yourself. However you choose to donate, 100 percent of your donation goes to the cause. What’s more, “Each child is given his or her bike in person by the founders or an 88bikes volunteer, on behalf of the individual Sponsor who donated the bike. The child is also given a postcard with a photo of their Sponsor and a world map, indicating the Sponsor’s hometown. Photos and film of the project are made available to the Sponsors, and each Sponsor receives a thank-you letter with a photo of the child who received their bike.”