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Osprey Returns to Telluride Jazz Festival Aug. 1-3, 2014

July 30th, 2014
Telluride Jazz Festival

photo via Telluride Jazz Festival

 

The Telluride Jazz Festival is America’s destination Jazz Event. Since 1977, Telluride’s majestic perch high in the San Juan Mountains has been the site of the annual event produced by Colorado non-profit organization the Telluride Society for Jazz. The intimate format, majestic aesthetic, town-wide programming, and superb music come together to create a truly unique weekend experience.

 

2014 Telluride Jazz Festival poster by artist Jennifer Morrison Godshalk

2014 Telluride Jazz Festival poster by artist Jennifer Morrison Godshalk

Osprey will be returning the Telluride Jazz Festival taking place August 1-3 in the beautiful box-canyon town of Telluride, Colorado. This year’s line-up will be nothing short of “Jazztastic” with an array of Jazz talent ranging from the funkified soul-moving sounds of Lettuce to the Jazz classics like Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band! Be sure to check out the schedule and full lineup for complete details!

 

In addition to enjoying performances from world-renowned jazz musicians, one thing you definitely DON’T want to miss is the Osprey booth! We’ll be set-up right next to the stage — so we can talk about packs and wax poetic about jazz while the musicians on stage fill the festival with incredible sounds. Your Jazz experience won’t be complete unless you stop by and say hello!

Here’s what’s happening in the Osprey Packs booth this weekend:

  • Fall 2014 Pack Display- This Jazz Festival, we will have a full display of packs that are just hitting our retail stores! You have the advantage of seeing them first! This will include our new climbing series, new 24/7 series, travel and duffel packs as well as the premiere of our ABS compatible Kode pack! See these packs on our website or preferably…just stop by the booth!
  • 3 Minute Survey (with the chance to win an Osprey Pack) –Take our three-minute Jazz Festival event survey and automatically be entered win a new Osprey pack — winners will be chosen daily, so come by on any of the three days for your chance to win
  • Free onsite sizing & pack advice –  Planning a backpacking trip? Interested in our wheeled travel packs? Looking for a good bike commute bag? Visit the Osprey Packs Jazz Team at the during the festival and get answers to any and all product questions you may have. Don’t forget to get fitted by our Fit Gurus!
  •  All sorts of Telluride Jazz Festival giveaways, including:

Lip balms with SPF 18 to keep your mouth happy & smiling at the festival

Osprey Eco Coozies We are serious about helping you keep your festival beverages cold!

Osprey Packs stickers Show off your Osprey pride!

  • A sweet deal: 20% off Osprey packs at Jagged Edge in Telluride We’ve teamed up with our local Telluride retailer to offer a 20% off our packs in celebration of the Telluride Jazz Festival! Don’t miss out on this chance to get a great new and their shop is right next to the Telluride Park so just a hop, skip, jump away!

 

photo via telluridejazz.org

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contest, Events, Music Festivals, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, Southwest Colorado, Travel, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , ,

They said it was the storm of the century

March 17th, 2014

This story was written by a KEEN Rippin Chix camper, Osprey Packs enthusiast and professional writer, Rachel Walker on Facebook. Special thanks and kudos!

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They said it was the storm of the century.

On Wednesday we watched the weather as it fell by the feet, crossing our fingers and hoping it would roll into Colorado. On Thursday, the storm blew east, dropping over a foot in 24 hours in the Colorado mountains. Powderhounds throughout the state rejoiced—us included, with reservation. We were stoked that the ski areas on I-70 were getting dumped on, but I-70 wasn’t our destination. Our sights were set southwest of Summit County, way southwest. So far southwest, in fact, that we would be closer to New Mexico than to Vail Pass.
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Can you guess where we were headed? Silverton Mountain, Colorado.

The storm flirted with us. It was headed to Silverton, and then it wasn’t. And then it was. And then it stayed. And stormed. And stormed. And stormed.
The storm coated the roads and blocked the visibility and made us—a pack of women, of powder whores, of chicks—giddy with excitement. We threw our fattest skis and warmest coats in our cars and trucks, kissed our people goodbye, and drove into the blizzard. Read more…

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Osprey Athletes, Outdoor Activities, photos, Snowsports, Southwest Colorado, Travel , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Get your Axe into Gear, the Ouray Ice Festival is Here!

January 9th, 2014

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. Read more…

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causes, contest, Events, Non-profits, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, Southwest Colorado, Travel, video , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Adventures of Osprey and the White Rim

November 11th, 2013
About to drop in to the White Rim Trail

About to drop in to the White Rim Trail

With snow beginning to fly and temperatures plunging, our cycling season in southwest Colorado is coming to an end. Of course, there is still riding to be done by the lunatics that get out in the snow on their fat bikes and the hard men and women who suffer through frigid temps on the their cyclocross bikes, but the rest of us are packing away the bike gear and dusting off the skis or snowboards. As a Colorado native, I have been through this annual ritual plenty of times, as have most of my Osprey co-workers. This year it was a little harder to let go so we decided to celebrate a terrific year of biking by going out with a bang. The “bang” being a company-sponsored three-day journey around the White Rim in Canyonlands National Park. The White Rim is an iconic ride that circles the Island in the Sky on a mesa above the Colorado and Green rivers in southeastern Utah. Overall distance for the loop is a bit over 100 miles and with the exception of a few relatively short, hard climbs, elevation change is minimal. The lure of riding the White Rim for us was as much about the scenery, camping and camaraderie as it was the actual riding. One person in our group compared the ride to a river trip for cyclists, which is a perfect correlation.

The Osprey trip started on Thursday night where we all convened for dinner at the Moab Brewery and then headed to a campsite near our ride start point. There was definitely some nervous anticipation among those who were on their maiden White Rim voyage. Those of us who are veterans of the trip were constantly bombarded with questions of, “How far is it again?” and “How hard is the trail?” Our team consisted of a mixed crew of riders ranging from experienced riders, to bike commuters who hadn’t spent much time on the trails, but we had confidence that all would come out the other side with flying colors.

After a quick breakfast and some gear shuffling on Friday morning, we started the ride. A few miles of rolling pavement on the highway served as a perfect warmup. Conditions were stellar when we finally turned onto the dirt road and approached the steep Schafer switchbacks dropping off of the Island. The route we would be riding could be seen for miles in the distance and hundreds of feet below us. The thrill of standing atop the mesa at Schafer and seeing the trail drop down the canyon walls, knowing that you will be down there in a matter of minutes, was pretty special. Once everyone was safely down the descent, we naturally settled into smaller groups and rolled on our way, stopping occasionally to soak in the postcard views.

Each day would be a repeat of riding the rolling terrain while straining to maintain a focus on the route without becoming too distracted by the amazing rock formations, towering cliffs, distant mesas and snow-covered LaSal mountains. Multiple stops along the way for sightseeing and adventure broke up the riding segments. Landmarks such as Musselman Arch, White Crack, Murphy’s Hogback and the Holman Slot Canyon were not be missed and we made sure to spend some time enjoying the spectacular landscapes of this region. An exploration down the Holman Slot Canyon resulted in non-stop laughter as we struggled to climb back out of the slickrock canyon. The group up top had a rope and gear to get us out if needed so we were never in real danger, but instead we took on the challenge of an unaided egress.

Afternoons and evenings were a highlight as everyone reconvened at camp. We settled in to celebrate the day’s ride with cold beers, hot food and great story telling. It is amazing how good everything tastes when you have been on the bike all day! Everyone got to learn a little bit more about the people they work beside every day without the distractions of ringing phones, email and text messages. The skies remained perfectly clear making the stars and moon so bright, we barely even needed headlamps.

After three days of riding and two nights of camping, we ascended our way back off of the White Rim and up the intimidating Mineral Bottom switchbacks. Looking up these switchbacks from the bottom was as awe-inspiring as looking down the Schafer switchbacks the first day. The difference is we had to claw our way up these instead of joyfully speeding down. Eventually, each rider celebrated his and her own personal success and reached the upper rim to the cheers of those ahead of them. We laid out one last, well deserved spread of food and basked in the joyous feeling of a mission completed. Even though it was late on Sunday and we all had to drive for a few hours to make it back for work on Monday, it was obvious that no one was really in a hurry to leave. Our legs were tired and we hadn’t showered for days, but I am almost sure that given the opportunity to keep riding and do the whole thing over again, every person would have jumped on their bike and ridden off into the sunset for another lap.

 

 

 

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adventure, Bike, Osprey Life, Southwest Colorado , , ,

Last Place Becomes the Best Place, and It Never Felt So Awesome…

October 31st, 2013
Alison Gannett trotting - Copyright @Dawn Kish Photography

Alison Gannett trotting – Copyright @Dawn Kish Photography

While I may be a champion freeskier and competitive ultra-mountain biker, I suck at running. I’m not sure if it brings back bad memories of being tortured by sports as a fat teenager in high school, or that I’m just not genetically bred for it, but I will certainly never be good at it. Yet now that my knees are recovered from eight knee surgeries and my brain is healing from tumor removal, I suddenly am drawn to this silly sport. Having never been good at meditating, it feels like an opportunity to clear my brain without all the rush and concentration of the speed of skiing or biking. My Akbash livestock guardian dogs also provide intense motivation, as they love to stop working on the farm and do what dogs do — explore, sniff and trot.

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And that is exactly what I would rather call my form of running: “trotting” because it’s not about speed. I just plod along, sometimes for hours at a time. I love the sense of adventure I get out of it — exploring a new area or trail, watching the leaves turn, the snow fall and generally just enjoying the little simple things in life.

View while running on Jumbo Mountain Trails

View while running on Jumbo Mountain Trails

In fact, I’ve almost never enjoyed the little things in life more than right now. After brain surgery this summer, I was just hoping to live and breath. Then I was re-learning how to walk and talk. Then I got to experience the joy of being outside for the first time, feeling the sun on my skin, breathing non-hospital icky sick air. And so, on the 29th of September, I wanted to make a statement about my return and appreciation of this wonderful life I have. For the second time in my life, and first time in too many years, I entered a 10k, with my doggies of course! That day, I woke up and my scar was sore, but I pried myself out of bed and went for it.

Loving exploring with my Osprey Pack and KEEN shoes

Loving exploring with my Osprey Pack and KEEN shoes

The run was steep and challenging, which reduced the dogs to walking even before I felt the need. My goal was not placing, but just doing. I wanted to soak in the view, enjoy my happy working dogs, smile and have fun. If only we could all teach kids this at a young age, especially in this age of over-competitiveness! One third of the way into the run, I realized I did not see any markers and was lost — a couple extra bonus miles later, I was back on track and climbing the steep Jumbo Mountain trail, leaving third place far behind and now solidly in last place.

But I was LOVING IT. This run/walk represented my return to life.

View of Lamborn from my Holy Terror Farm in Paonia

View of Lamborn from my Holy Terror Farm in Paonia

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Ditch Your Car, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities, photos, Southwest Colorado, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Osprey Verve Hydration Pack Takes Singletracks Editors’ Choice Award

October 17th, 2013

Osprey

Singletracks spent some quality time checking out quality gear this year, and at Interbike in particular. Its editors came away with some great knowledge of the best cycling gear the year of 2013 has had to offer. Here’s how they put it:

The 2013 model year is quickly winding down, and all the companies at Interbike 2013 were displaying the latest and greatest products about to hit showroom floors for 2014. A couple of weeks ago we announced the Top MTB Gear of 2013, as rated by you, our members, in the mountain bike gear database.

Now it’s our turn: we’ve called on our blog team members to choose the best mountain bike gear of the year.

We’d definitely recommend reading the entire post, as it’s chock full of great gear. But we’ll hone in on one specific pick that’s naturally near and dear to us here at Osprey HQ. The Best Women’s Gear was none other than the Osprey Verve. And here’s what Singletracks says about it:

In one week in Park City we took on two different rides of 4+ hours, and having a pack that would hold 3 liters of water, several snacks, a rain jacket, and more, was crucial. The Osprey Verve was up to the task. The padded mesh shoulder straps kept the pack comfortable during even the longest ride, and being able to adjust those straps meant that during rocky downhills the pack stayed firmly in place.

-mtbikerchick

Thanks for the love, Singletracks!

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Active Lifestyle, Bike, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Product, Retail Promotions, Southwest Colorado, The Cycling Buzz , , , , , , , , , ,

Telluride Blues and Blues 2013: Rain or Shine or Snow

October 16th, 2013

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So there I was perusing Facebook as my day was winding down, and that’s when I stumbled upon Osprey’s Blues and Brews Giveaway. I’ve always wanted to attend Blues and Brews, so entering the giveaway was really a no-brainer; the incredible tent by Colorado Yurt along with the two Osprey packs only sweetened the deal and added to an already incredible prize pack!

I spent several minutes (okay, maybe a bit longer) daydreaming about the possibility of winning the contest, picturing myself in Telluride Town Park listening to legends like The Black Crowes and Otis Taylor while sipping on (or maybe chugging) tasty glasses of Colorado microbrews. I thought about what colors my new Osprey packs would be – I thought about how wild it would be to even win two new Osprey packs, and I thought about how serene and luxurious it would feel to “glamp” in a tent referred to as “a dwelling for the soul.” Then reality hit me and my fleeting thoughts reminded me that I’ve never won anything, and I likely wouldn’t start now. It was a nice dream though!

It was only once I completely forgot about even entering the contest that I received a message from Osprey saying: “Congratulations! You won the Blues and Brews Giveaway!” Well, holy guacamole, Batman – the odds were definitely in my favor this time. I quickly began making arrangements to pack up and head to Telluride for what would turn out to be an unforgettable weekend thanks to Telluride Blues and Brews, Osprey Packs and Colorado Yurt.

While I was still riding high on a wave of, “is this really happening?” the mail man assured me it was when he delivered a great big box of new Osprey packs right to my door! My plus one and I packed up our new Porter 46s with all of our overnight glamping essentials and our new Talon 22s with our daily festival supplies and headed out the door for our trip to Telluride!

The tent by Colorado Yurt Company was pitched in a prime camping location in the far corner of the campground behind Telluride Town Park. We could even see the stage from our patio (and yes, you read that right – there was a patio)! In true glamping nature Colorado Yurt Company ensured we had all of the essentials – and then some. It was luxurious to camp in a tent so big you could walk around in it; the tent included a full-size bed with two comforters, a leather chair, a power strip, a heater, a rug and more.

This year was Telluride Blues and Brews’ 20th anniversary, and they did not disappoint. The music kept people dancing even when Town Park turned into a mud pit and the rain had no end in sight. The grand tasting was incredible; we were able to sample a couple dozen different microbrews in the course of three hours, and let me be the first to tell you they were all unique and delicious. Old man winter even made a debut during the grand tasting as the snow capped peaks surrounding Telluride came out of the fog – it really was the icing on the cake.

This unforgettable weekend came with a little bit of everything: we ran into some old friends, made some new friends, danced in the rain, got sunburnt, enjoyed killer views complete with rainbows and snow, drank just the right amount of beer and enjoyed the local scene.

Thanks to Osprey Packs, Telluride Blues and Brews and Colorado Yurt Company for a truly unforgettable experience!

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photos, Retail Promotions, Southwest Colorado, travel , , ,

Celebrating 20 years of Telluride Blues & Brews, Osprey Style!

September 11th, 2013


Once again, Osprey will be sponsoring the annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, located just around the corner from our headquarters, in one of the most scenic and intimate festival hubs located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains: Telluride Town Park.

You may be asking yourself, what makes this year so special?

Undoubtedly, every Blues & Brews is a unique experience, but this year marks the 20th Anniversary of Blues & Brews and we are ecstatic to be a part of that! This year will be the 6th year that Osprey has sponsored and vended at Blues & Brews and we are looking forward to yet another jam-packed weekend full of laughter, music and top-notch brews.

To celebrate 20 years, Osprey will be giving 20% off of our current line, which is a chance you don’t want to miss! We aren’t the only ones looking forward to celebrating 20 years of awesomeness…

“We are truly looking forward to celebrating our 20th year in Telluride. With 20 years of community support, we want to show our appreciation with this show to kick of the festival weekend in Telluride. We want to give back for all the wonderful years of fan and community support. We dedicate our success to our fans and the community of Telluride and we couldn’t have made it this long without their support.” -Steve Gumble, Festival Director

As part of the celebrations, the Festival will be having an additional day of complimentary music on Thursday, September 12th, to warm you up for the several days of blues music to follow! Check out the schedule to see the entire list of artist playing Thursday, but headlining will be Brooker T. Jones!

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Aside from the free performances on Thursday, followed by an entire day of music on Friday, we would be mindless not to mention the “Brews” part of the festival on Saturday. That’s right, Saturday is the Grand Tasting in which you get to vote for the top tastes from over 100 different micro-brews from regional breweries competing for the Blue & Brews Title! Let your taste buds run wild and free as you will be tasting anything from a classic Pale Ale or an exotic specialty beer such as a chocolate stout or green chili spice.

As always, don’t forget to stop by our booth for a coozie to keep that beer cold, to check out our new Fall lines, such as the Portal Series, or simply to receive the most epic high-five you could ever imagine.

Here is a list of some other things that will be going down at our booth as well:

• If you can’t find the pack you are looking for, no problem! A 20% discount will be extended to Jagged Edge, our Telluride retailer, who will have a bountiful stock of Osprey Packs!

• Free fitting and torso measuring by our professionals at the Osprey booth.

• Take a 3-minute event survey to win a pack! Winners will be drawn daily.

• Bola Ball Contest: Donate a couple dollars that will be going to the non-profit organization EcoAction Partner. You’ll have a chance to see how your throwing arm is and if you’re lucky, you could win either a Osprey hat, Digistow, or even a pack!

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Events, Music Festivals, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities, Product, Retail Promotions, Southwest Colorado , , , ,

100k is not 100 miles!

August 30th, 2013

The weather of the Sawatch mountain range in Colorado looming over Mount Massive-the first summit in Nolan's 14

At 13,710′ at 4:41AM and groping for any landmark within a 20′ margin of visibility, moments passed frantically like the winds that whipped me and my friend Kendrick Callaway from side to side. I had been moving for almost 24 hours straight at that point and had just an hour earlier collected a fifth 14,000′+ summit on an obscure mountain path in central Colorado known as Nolan’s 14. Around noon that day a cloud layer settled at 13,000′ and began dumping rain before enveloping the next three summits in a row that I would visit (the last two in the total darkness of night). It was at that moment, 4:41AM, that a small clearing in the clouds revealed a flat basin to the South where two pond-sized lakes shimmered through a muted silvery veil and above us, the summit of 14,075′ Missouri Mountain silhouetted our next steps. In that brief 25 second window, I could see that we were in for a tough night. In the shivering cold I had backed us down the wrong ridge and we now had to go up and over the summit of Missouri Mountain a second time in order to find a certain way down. We were hemmed in by a massive storm cell, which meant that even though we could navigate the correct line forward with my GPS watch, we couldn’t see more than 6-8 feet in front of us until hours away at dawn, which stifled our efforts on the slender unmarked ridge to a crawl over moisture-soaked ground.

The clock was ticking and my patient struggle neared a critical mass of moments where I was running out of time to complete the other seven summits on the 60-hour journey of Nolan’s 14 that I was living on August 25th and those early morning hours on the 26th. Nolan’s 14 is a former ultra marathon race course of near 100 miles in distance that visits 14 summits over 14,000′+ with no set path. Nolan’s 14 has only been finished by seven people a total of eight times and has but one widely accepted social rule: a set time at which all successful attempts are judged, which comes to 14 peaks in under 60 hours. There are no DNF’s on Nolan’s, so you show up and try it and you’re added to a list on website. After this summer of traversing the course and 14 years climbing peaks in and around the area, this was my final exam: part one and what I thought would be a straightforward yes or no navigating at night that turned out to be a multiple choice test of efforts.

19 hours, 17,500' and 40 miles in receiving aid (food and fluids) at Clohesy lake between Mt. Huron and Mt Missouri

I don’t consider myself a runner. I spent a decade pioneering several rock, ice and ski routes mostly in the Himalayas before applying a year’s worth of focus on “running only” to understand what I do about Nolan’s 14. The approach to this ambitious experience has been a long and exacting process encompassing four runs of 50 + miles and two dozen or so 20 + milers in the last 11 months. And all of this from a guy who had never entered a marathon before but ran to train for high mountains my entire life.

When daylight broke around 6:40AM, the clouds remained for another hour and a chilly remorse for missing dinner and rest lingered as fuel for forward motion. We went up the ridge, down the ridge, over sandy sections of meager trail peppered by lichen-covered rocks and clumps of wet grass and sandy patches of pebbles and rocky fins. In running shoes and a full shell top and bottom, dressed as if for skiing, we continued the hunt until finally we saw 14,203′ Mt Belford — the next summit — and made sense of what we could see on other peaks below 13,000′ to determine that our epic was over and the light of a new day arrived with two more summits to gain before dropping into a new valley and below treeline for the first time in 11 hours. It was in the gentle rays of sun that I first saw opportunity again for a resurgence and it was here that my brain rejoined my body and my friends were able to help me make a safe and rational decision in the face of my driving ambition to complete Nolan’s 14, even in what were recognizably near disastrous conditions.

The first rays of sun after the stormy night. The ridge leading down from right to left is Mt. Missouri

Although moving decently for the situation and having a lot of reserve due to the fact that I could never go too fast in the constantly wet terrain, I knew I could not go forever without true rest and a meal — at least a bowl of pasta and 30 minutes of sleep. To sum it up, I was feeling positive about being halfway at the halfway point even with eight hours lost to weather. As we descended the last summit, 14,106′ Mt. Oxford, to friends camped below in Pine Creek, I took note of my state and the clouds still present over summits eight and nine about to receive their dousing of the day, further adding more wet off-trail terrain that would be painstakingly slow to descend without injury. It seemed a nap might be the only wise thing to do in this case and to hope that when I woke up the mountains would clear.

Having willingly climbed up into and out of three major storms with another one looming large if I continued, I realized that these were not the conditions the other seven finishers had executed in and that I respected the boundaries already being pushed. This was my first time ever moving for 32 hours constantly, I had a 1/4 inch bleeding puncture wound in my left shin, a broken pole, torn gloves and feet that had been wet for 11 hours traversing almost no dry ground in that time and amassing casualties I never took in during the many training runs I did on the course prior in safe and dry conditions. My equipment was not going to and never did fail me having already made it that far in, but I just didn’t know when I would blow up or get really hurt and how that might affect my crew who had so graciously supported me on both ends of the epic section that undid all my padding on the clock. There at treeline, the weight of the scenario lifted from my shoulders as I lay down in the tent Jon and M’lin Miller hiked 7.8 miles in and set up. I slept 26 minutes before my body snapped awake on its own at 12:22PM. I ate some pasta and stepped back into the present situation of being in the middle of a 60-hour mountain traverse and having to make a call. It was clear to me what to do with only 28 and half hours left and at least 25 hours of moving with no errors and the weather forecast more of the same. We had all done our best and for many years in the mountains preceding this, it is not likely that continuing on in those conditions would be safe that much longer.

I had to ask myself: Do I leave it all out here and potentially send these guys in to get me with a broken ankle or arm on Mt. Princeton at 3AM or do I walk out of here and come back in a few weeks with this experience that I can recover from quickly? I’d done 100K and as I write this a day later, I feel awesome for that! I could re-adjust my expectations and stay committed to the old rules of Nolan’s 14 to finish more fourteeners in up to 60 hours and just go with it, possibly fending off more weather, getting off routes of the course I mapped for myself and in the dark and just be done with it, let it go this year, do a few more but not all 14 because of the weather. Most of my friends could stay and they all supported me if I wanted to make that decision, but I’d rather make no excuses, no apologies and no mistake that a course of action like that would not be my best effort this year — or ever. I had gas in the tank and could use this experience to come back in a few weeks and do it better, maybe. I’ll still need luck but I’d rather take a chance at doing it better with all the training I have behind me now. So instead of continuing forward at all costs for a hint of “success” and the mercy of being let go from this committing goal or forever being a failure at getting all 14 in a 60 hour effort, in that little primitive camp at Pine Creek I reveled in the friendship of the amazing crew that supported this endeavor, I marveled at their commitment that every inch of the way inspired me to give every bit of attention to being safe and succeeding — something that I could never do alone. I reflected on a debt of gratitude that warms my heart each moment I realize that in this solitary experience as a human being, together we were all a spirit and together everyone kept me safe. This experience made me feel loved, disappointed, respected… and all in an odd and very unexpected way, it validated to me that I could find the time to do this again next month, that my friends have my back and I have not only the strength to carry on but the spirit of a team I could honor and a goal that I can complete — but do right and within reason.

It is a privilege and a treat to be able to make time for such a thing and it would be silly to complain about having been in this blundering state discovering all the just desserts of a feast of mountains in the middle of Colorado. Please understand, I still dearly enjoyed this time for what it was and wouldn’t change anything. These are mountains and I learned from them, but I’m not done with this. I’ve got 100K of the toughest 100-mile mountain route out there under my belt and for better or worse (no, I actually do not want to have to climb 14,433′ Mt Elbert a 5th time this summer), I plan to set foot there again in September and take one more shot at 60 hours and however many fourteeners I get and if it’s good weather bet I can get all 14. This is my goal this year. It could be just as big a gamble on the weather, but I want to know the outcome for real and not be left wondering the rest of my life what it takes. As comforting as it might be to just go on being a mountaineer, I truly appreciate the art of running and having to transform my passion into an inventive new space that never lets me get too comfortable, never lets me stop exploring. This space between pushing the envelope and sending it that has extended my boundaries further than anything I’ve ever done and shown me results more satisfying than any summit.

Ready to get after it again!

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words of Inspiration

August 29th, 2013

Making the turn above Telluride

The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” refers to a notion that a complex idea or large amounts of data can be conveyed or absorbed with a single image. While that may be true, I would argue that the saying relates to me in that a picture is worth a thousand words of inspiration, to go see that place or do that thing. Here in the outdoor community, we are continually exposed to many amazing photos of landscapes and destinations, with people doing activities we do or wish we could do. I have to admit many of my trips have been motivated by seeing a photo of a lake surrounded by mountains or red-orange desert canyon, and then I plan a backpacking trip to an alpine lake, or realize it’s been too long since I rappelled down a sandstone cliff. But my favorite images are the ones that inspire me to do something new, an activity I’ve never done, or a place I’ve never been to.

Timmy O'Neill's Instagram Via Ferrata Picture

Last spring I saw a picture on one of our athlete’s Instagram pages. It was Timmy O’Neill doing a via ferrata in Telluride with some friends before the Telluride Mountain Film Festival. They were all in their best ballerina poses, with the ground far below them. Our headquarters is only an hour and a half from Telluride but I’d never heard of a via ferrata there. Via ferrata is Italian for “iron road,” but in climbing, these are typically routes across or up rock walls in which you enlist steel cable to secure yourself to and installed ladders, steps or bridges to travel on when there are no rock steps. They are more popular in Europe than the U.S. but there are a couple scattered around here nonetheless. After seeing Timmy’s picture, I did a quick Google search and found a route description on SummitPost.org. Turns out it was built by Chuck Kroger in the mid-2000s. A local climbing legend, Chuck forged and fabricated the iron steps himself and finished the route just before he passed away from cancer in 2007. It is named the Krogerata in his honor.

After sharing Timmy’s photo with two of my friends here at Osprey Packs, we decided that the morning before a music festival we were going to in Telluride’s Town Park last summer we would go find this via ferrata and do it. After the weekend, we shared pictures with the office and our own social media sites from the trip. People got excited about it and asked details, but like too many adventures, people put it to the back of their mind and didn’t just go do it. Than this summer, a year later, the three of us were again going up to Telluride for another music festival and remembering the buzz our trip across the via ferrata created and how much fun we had. I sent out an all-office e-mail with pictures from last year and basically said ‘We are going here, we are doing this, meet here, at this time, on this date, I’ve got gear, you bring beer’.

Big smile after crossing the exposed section

Big smile on Mychal after crossing the exposed section

You know you work with cool people at a cool company when you get a huge email response from everyone, but you really know it’s a cool group of people when 14 of them actually show up the next morning. After some gear dispersion and a quick safety/procedure talk, we set off. We got all fourteen across, some had never slid on a climbing harness before and had plenty of the ol’ shaky leg on the exposed sections. We all had fun, we all felt accomplished and it personally felt good for the three of us to introduce something new to those eleven friends and co-workers.

Here’s what Lindsey Beal had to say after putting on a harness for the first time ever:

“As we were traversing the most exposed part of the Via Ferrata my Elvis legs really started to kick in. Every muscle in my body was shaking. A big thank you to the veteran climbers in front of me who were physically moving my carabineers for me and to the continuous words of encouragement from those right behind.”

So next time you see that epic Jimmy Chin photo or your friend posts a picture from her recent mountain bike trip to Crested Butte and your first reaction is: “I want to do that!” Hold on to that excitement, that motivation and do it. Or if you’re someone like me who doesn’t always lack the motivation but likes to share the adventure and see the excitement when people try something new or go somewhere they’ve always wanted to go then send out that picture worth a thousand words of inspiration and say ‘We are going here, we are doing this, meet here, at this time, on this date, I’ve got gear, you bring beer’.

-Chris Horton, Osprey Product Guy


Find inspirational pictures and follow us on Instagram
@OspreyPacks
Also Osprey Athlete Timmy O’Neill
@TimmyOneill
And Osprey Product Guy Chris Horton
@HortonLivingLife


Osprey Pack Via Ferrata Crew 2013

All safe and sound at the bottom with beer

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