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Long Start to the Journey: Help Osprey Ambassador Chris Gallaway share his Appalachian Trail story

January 24th, 2014
Chris Gallaway- before and after shots.

Chris Gallaway- Before the AT and after the AT.

 

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.

To support The Long Start to the Journey and learn more about the campaign, visit www.maketheATmovie.com.

To follow Chris’s journey on the trail last year, visit www.theATmovie.com.

 

Long Start To The Journey

 

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. Read more…

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, AT Trail, causes, Conservation, Ditch Your Car, Guest post, Hiking, Non-profits, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, travel, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jazzercise or Ski Touring

December 17th, 2013

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Stretching the legs out, for some early season skiing, is a good way to get yourself in shape for bigger days later in the winter. JAZZERCISE also works well… but I prefer skiing even if the snow conditions are limited. Mt Baker is just the place to get the ball rolling. Let me know if I’m wrong, but I can’t think of a ski area in North America where you can park at the base, skin past the backcountry gates within 20 minutes, and have two world class mountains — Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker — in plain sight. The North Cascades offer unlimited terrain. It would take a lifetime in this zone, just to scratch the surface.
Words: Mike Traslin
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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Osprey Athletes, Outdoor Activities, Uncategorized

Osprey Ambassador Alison Gannett – EPA and Green Sports Alliance

November 27th, 2013
Alison at gala with the Statue of Liberty

Alison at gala with the Statue of Liberty

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

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

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

Alison testing the new Carve Pack by Israel Valenzuela

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Advocacy, causes, Non-profits, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, travel, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Moab Outerbike – KEEN Rippin Skills Camps with Osprey Packs and Western Spirit

October 9th, 2013

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As I swopped and ledge-dropped in Moab at Bar M, I realized that Mountain Biking without a brain tumor is much more fun! At the last minute, I was able to represent Osprey Packs at the famous Moab Outerbike festival! Western Spirit and I teamed up just before the official opening of the event to teach some Rippin Camps for both men and women. I crammed all my ramps, teeter-totters, switchback cones, bridges, log piles, Specialized demos, Green Trivia prizes and farm food into my 200,000 mile Subaru at the 23rd hour, arriving at midnight just in time to get ready for the camps.

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As seen in the video above, we started in the park in downtown Moab. Joining me for coaching were the impressive Western Spirit guides Emily Heikennen, Terrin Frey and Chris Abell. We let the group split themselves up by radness, and rotated through my baby step/fear conquering skill building stations. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a total beginner learn to conquer one log then up to 20! Or watching an advanced rider learn to power pedal onto the rear wheel off a ramp or boulder. Folks came from all over the world for Outerbike and these camps! And almost every person demoed one of the most amazing Osprey Hydration Packs.

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Want more action photos? I posted all the still images from the camp on my KEEN Rippin Camps Facebook Page. Want to demo an Osprey Pack for free and join one of my Rippin Steep Skiing or Mountain Bike Camps? Visit AlisonGannett.com for more info.

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Bike, Bike Europe, Bikes Around the World, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, photos, Travel, Uncategorized, video , , , , , , , , , , ,

Live Every Day as if it Were your Last

August 22nd, 2013


Nothing like an alien brain tumor the size of tennis/baseball to spice up my summer! For the past two years, I had noticed that my coordination and memory were just not spot on, but I attributed it to stress and my insane work, play and farm schedules. But starting in February, things began to get very strange: First I fell asleep at the wheel about a hundred times from the Outdoor Retailer show to Silverton, Colorado. Then I forgot to pack entirely for my three week Canadian adventures and my KEEN Osprey Rippin Chix Camps at Crystal Mtn, Red Mtn and Whitewater. I ceased to pay all house bills, insurance or do any invoicing or sponsor updates and, what’s worse, didn’t even notice. I actually forgot to catch a plane to Reno where I was the keynote speaker for Microsoft and a roomful of CEOs. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was on June 30th when I almost burned the house down cooking our piggy’s bacon for breakfast. While I was oblivious to my actions and just moving through life like everything was normal, Jason was most definitely freaked out by my behavior. It was if there was another person who now inhabiting my body.

After I just about killed myself with the now infamous bacon incident, Jason called our local rural Paonia doctor and begged for something to be done immediately. Dr. Meilner obliged and called every hospital within a two hour radius to see who could perform a CAT scan at midnight on a Saturday night. Finally Saint Mary’s in Grand Junction could take us, and Jason coaxed my almost lifeless body out of bed and into our ancient Subaru. Strangely, the alien tumor made a potent move at that point, and about the last thing I remember was directing Jason to where the hospital was located. Next thing I knew it was two days later, I was suddenly entering surgery at the Ann Shutz neurosurgery center at University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. I couldn’t understand why all my family had flown or driven in to see me — luckily I didn’t comprehend the papers I signed, as this surgery is most deadly (hence the sudden arrival of all the family). Next thing I knew, I woke up in the ICU, which was a scene out of the bionic woman TV show, and my brain was clear and sharp. Immediately I demanded my dental floss, much to the glee of the hospital staff, my friends and family, and especially Jason who had not left my side; my feisty normal self was back! Again, I had not known that many people take several years to recover their memories and often have partial paralysis, although I did have amnesia from the bacon moment onward and most of June was a more than a bit blurry.

I’ve been out of the hospital for just over a month now, and can’t believe how fast the recovery is — way easier than it was for eight ACL/meniscus/articular cartilage knee surgeries! I’m back to working planning the upcoming ski and bike seasons, which I love (thanks Osprey!), walking and hiking, lots of farm work and joyous harvesting, fracktivating and planning a big keynote speech next week for the EPA, The Whitehouse and The Green Sports Alliance. More than anything, I notice the wonderful little things in life — a great night’s sleep in a comfy bed, petting the dogs, eating our amazing food and kissing my amazing guy. I’ve reflected on how amazing my life has been — how I have gone after everything like it could have been my last opportunity. And even though I am a bit petrified for my full body PET scan and three spinal MRI’s on September 6th, I feel confident that my neurosurgeon, my naturopath and my naturopathic oncologist Dr. Nasha Winters and my Ketogenic Diet with the Namaste Health Center in Durango will take me to a whole new level of health and well-being. Cheers to this wonderful life — the sky is blue and there is a big puffy white cloud that is so pretty, and I’m actually able to go eat four squares of organic dark baking chocolate right now!

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adventure, Bike, causes, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, photos, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , ,

Electric Forest: Where Weird is Just the Norm

July 16th, 2013
http://www.vimeo.com/70165556

Some call it the modern Woodstock of our electronically-entranced generation; we saw it as a weekend to ditch your current day job and personal worries in exchange for wearing the brightest and most ridiculous clothes you could find and dancing with the hundreds of thousands of strangers from across the nation.

For the Electric Forest Festival, people from all walks of life gather from all regions across North America (Canada included) to the tiny (435-person) town of Rothbury, Michigan. There, they come together for weekend to become whoever they may want to be and to enjoy the constant and wide-range of music from a variety of timeless and new artists alike. By day, the temporary inhabitants of this festival would lounge in hammocks, ride the Ferris wheel or watch the bluegrass shows from underneath the shade of the towering trees. It’s not until 10 PM, when the sun sets, that the forest becomes illuminated by the thousands of electrified colors, sounds and people. Then, the going gets weird, and in the depths of the Sherwood forest you’ll experience things entirely anew: a trading post with time-traveling cowboys from the 1800s, a silent disco of live performances that can only be heard with headphones and large neon lights that give the trees life during these witching hours of Festival.

Electric Forest Festival is metamorphic experience because for just one weekend, nothing is as it seems and weird is totally the state of norm. Our Osprey crew who attended Electric enjoyed the diverse crowds, the incredible installations of the forest and the memorizing performances by the artists. We appreciate anyone who stopped by our booth to say hello, buy a pack or grab a free coozie. We hope to see you there next year! In the meantime, here are a few of our favorite snapshots from the weird weekend of Electric Forest.

All photos were shot and edited by Pat de Souza, fellow festival attendee

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Events, Music Festivals, Osprey Culture, photos, Uncategorized, video , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Osprey tackles Massive Mountain

July 3rd, 2013

Summit of Mount Massive - 14,428 Feet

From our offices in Cortez, Colorado we can see the cool, alpine peaks rising from the dry, high desert landscape.  As the days of summer get warmer, these peaks become more and more inviting as a place to gain some altitude and enjoy cooler temperatures and spectacular vistas.  When our Spring 2014 product samples arrived in early June, we decided it was time to put together a high country trip that would give us the opportunity to do a little product testing.  We settled on Mt. Massive, which happens to be the second highest peak in Colorado at 14,428 feet.  This was a bit of a journey from the office but we decided the trip to Leadville was worth it.  Six of us plus two dogs embarked on the climb and all were able to summit.  We had a great time and put in some quality time with the new packs which performed flawlessly.  Here is a photo tour of our amazing trip:

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adventure, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities, Uncategorized , , , ,

Front Range Demo Tour

June 5th, 2013

Wish you could try out different hydration packs to see what you like best before committing to a purchase?  Interested in tons of free schwag?  How about a great mountain bike ride followed by an ice cold beverage of your choice?  If the answer is Yes to any of these, come join us on the Front Range of Colorado for the Osprey Front Range Demo Tour.  We are spending the week of June 10th through June 17th riding, giving away promo stuff, and visiting some of the best shops and trails on the Front Range.  Come join us for the following events:

Tuesday, June 11th – Group ride at Redstone Cyclery; Lyons, CO – Ride leaves at 5:30

Wednesday June 12th – Demo event at Castlerock Ridgeline Trail w/ Adventure Cycling – Demo rides @ 3:00-7:00 pm

Thursday June 13th – Group ride at Full Cycle; Fort Collins, CO – Ride leaves @ 6:00pm

Sunday June 16th – MTB rides and Festival w/ Golden Bike Shop at Mountaineering Center; Golden, CO – Osprey ride at 1:00 pm

We will have most styles and sizes of Osprey hydration packs at all of the events so come try them out and see what feels best for you.  The Osprey van is loaded with schwag and great giveaways and we are ready to ride!

Hope to see you there!

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Uncategorized , , , , , ,

Osprey Starts off Bike Month in the Big Apple

May 10th, 2013

‘Tis the season to celebrate two wheels! May is National Bike Month, and there was no better way to kick it off than with the The Bike New York event this past weekend, supported by sponsor and dear friends of ours, Eastern Mountain Sports and the NYC Department of Transportation.

New York commuters and individuals from around the world came to Pier 36 to check out the latest trends and to prep themselves with gear for their ride in the 35th Annual Five Boro Bike Tour in which the cyclists overrun the streets of New York and visit the cities that make up the surrounding areas of the Big Apple. Over 30,000 riders participated in the Sunday ride!

Take a minute to check out some photos and highlights from the trip above.

**We would like to highlight the third picture on the right, this here is Randy. Randy had never heard of Osprey and as a native of New York. Randy spends all her time commuting on her bike, getting from point A to point B throughout the city. Randy had a pack with little support for her back and the necessary things she carried on her commute. Randy told our sales rep, George (in photo) “if you can fit all the things I carry, including the old pack, in this Momentum 34, I will buy it on the spot.” Well, truth be told, George did so, and Randy was welcomed to the Osprey family with open arms!

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Bike, Osprey Culture, Packing in the Streets, Retail Promotions, Uncategorized , , , , , , , ,

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