EXPERIENCEEXPERIENCE
December 1st 2014 - Written by: Kelsy

Life in the Round: Building a Yurt in Montana

Sean & Mollie Busby are Osprey Packs Ambassadors. Sean is a professional backcountry snowboarder. In 2004, while training for the 2010 Olympics, Sean endured a complicated diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Considering leaving snowboarding all together, Sean was inspired by reading stories of kids living with T1D that inspired him to keep living his dreams. He founded Riding On Insulin, a nonprofit, to honor all the kids who inspired him to keep living. In February 2014, Sean became the first person with T1D to backcountry snowboard all seven continents at the age of 29 in 2014. Mollie Busby graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Journalism and Retail. A series of life-changing events brought Mollie and Sean together in February 2010, and after five months, Mollie moved west. The pair was married in September, 2011 and now resides in a 30-foot yurt with their dogs, Daisy and Glacier, in Whitefish, Montana. Follow their adventures at Two Sticks and A Board and to learn more about Sean’s work educating kids about diabetes and winter sports, visit the Riding On Insulin website.

We had never built anything, let alone a home. But today, I’m proud to say that my husband and I live in an off-the-grid yurt, that we built with our bare hands.

The first part of our story begins in 2012. Sean and I had just begun our journey as Greasecar owners with our 1977 Dodge Travel Queen motorhome that we purchased from our co-owners, Russ and Brittany. We’d gotten a taste of living simply on our drive to Alaska and back (Read more of that here). Not only did we utilize a waste product (waste veggie oil) for our motorhome’s fuel and a natural product (Goal Zero solar power) for our electricity, but we learned a lot about using less. Living in small places, making do with what you have, and using the earth in ways it was intended to be used. (Editor’s Note: I wouldn’t recommend driving to Alaska with 4 people and a dog to figure these things out.)

The second phase of our yurt journey was a trip to Central Asia in December of that year. We visited a small, mountainous country called Kyrgyzstan near the birthplace of yurts (Mongolia) where being a yurt-craftsman is a highly respected, lucrative trade. Families depend on the sale of these structures to support themselves. A yurt — simply defined — is a round structure traditionally used by nomadic tribes in Central Asia. ShelterDesigns.net defines it a bit further: “A yurt consists of a round wall and a roof system that is free standing using a tension ring at the wall and a compression ring where the roof rafters tie together.” Some would call it a glorified tent:

While in Kyrgyzstan, Sean and I fell in love with the symmetry and balance we found in traditional yurts. As opposed to the jagged, 90-degree angles of a traditional house, we felt more at ease in these structures where energy can travel with easy throughout the space. Keep in mind, these photos are of very traditional yurts — not quite the same structure we’re putting on our land (we’ll get to that in a minute). For now, I love this photo of Sean — it captures true happiness:

If this family could sell three yurts a year (which they do — sometimes more), they will have enough income to not only survive, but fare extremely well in comparison to families of other trades in the village.

 

Flash forward to Whitefish, spring 2014: Sean had gone back and forth to determine what sort of “tiny structure” we were going to build on our land — tiny house, yurts, fire towers, tee-pees, etc. After months of research, he landed back on a yurt, officially. As if the universe had been waiting for us to decide, Sean came across a pre-assembled yurt for sale on YurtForum.com 20 minutes from our home manufactured by Montana’s Shelter Designs. A Montana-made yurt available LOCALLY… and technically, we would be buying second-hand. It was perfect.

Here is the yurt before we disassembled it in Kalispell, Montana:

Here is a photo of the yurt, reassembled on our property in Whitefish, Montana:

Some hard facts: Our yurt is roughly 700 square feet of living space, plus a loft (300 additional square feet). It’s 1 bedroom (plus sleeping space in the loft) and 1 bathroom, fully wired and plumbed, although we opt for solar power, a composting toilet, and rainwater collection. We have come so far, and yet have so far to go! Stay tuned for more posts from yurt life!

To see photo and read stories of the whole process, from disassembly to building a deck to building the yurt itself and more, click here. You can also follow our travels on Instagram: Mollie @TwoSticksAndABoard and Sean @SeanBusby


November 25th 2014 - Written by: Joe Stock

Chugach Rock Climbing

Osprey Packs Athlete Joe Stock is an internationally certified IFMGA mountain guide based in Anchorage, Alaska. He has been climbing and skiing around the world for 25 years with extensive time in the mountains of Alaska, the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the North Cascades of Washington and Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Since 1995, Joe has been freelance writing for magazines starting with a feature article in Rock & Ice on climbing the Balfour Face on Mount Tasman in New Zealand. Since then, he’s published numerous articles on adventures and mountain technique in rags such as Climbing, Backcountry, Alaska, Climbing, Trail Runner, Men’s Health and Off Piste.

 

The Chugach is not famous for rock climbing. Probably the most fame it received was in a Rock & Ice article containing the Seward Highway among the five worst climbing areas in the United States. But the Chugach does have some solid rock. And if you don’t compare it to Colorado rock or California rock then you’ll have a great time.

The foothills of the Chugach Mountains above Anchorage have some of this solid rock. The problem is finding someone to adventure up there. I recruited my buddy Joshua Foreman to go exploring on O’Malley Peak. After hiking almost two hours we reached the base of a 500-foot buttress. As we climbed we found evidence from other parties, going back forty years: pitons, bongs, nuts, rotting slings. These  climbers had intense personal experiences on this cliffs. They told stories to a few buddies at the bar. The adventure became a faint memory in their lifetime of adventures. Without social media, the adventure was able to refresh itself for the next party.

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Joshua following the first of four long pitches on the Deep Lake Buttress. He’s using the new Mutant 38–light and sleek! The solid Chugach rock has a weathered brown veneer.

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Joshua leading pitch two. He pulled this second roof onto 60 feet of wet and runnout slabs. For an hour the rope inched up the rock as grunts and explicative floated down. Joshua also enjoys high-speed downhill biking and has competed as a speed skier in Alaska’s notorious Arctic Man. Leading a runout wet slab as his first rock climb in six months was perfect.

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Joshua and I with the Deep Lake Buttress behind. Rock climbing in Alaska in mid-May. We are so lucky.


October 25th 2014 - Written by: Kelsy

The Collective Effort at the Backyard Collective

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It’s not often that we can collectively give back to the one thing in our lives that fuels our passion and provides us an escape from reality, Nature. Let’s face the facts, between all of our daily obligations and our personal pursuits, time is stretched thin and we’re just grateful for any spare moments we can spend making memories in the outdoors. As an individual, you can figure out small and unique ways to give your thanks to mother-nature for all that she has provided you, yet joined by hundreds to provide that same gratitude can be remarkable.

The Backyard Collective is an event, organized by The Conservation Alliance, at which those who have dedicated their lives to outdoor stewardship and those who love the outdoor pursuits can come together for the same reason. We at Osprey value this event because although we help others pursue outdoors by providing them highly innovative gear; this is our chance to return our appreciation to the outdoors for all that it has taught us and provided us.

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Founded in 1989 by outdoor industry businesses including REI & Patagonia, The Conservation Alliance began with the mission to increase outdoor industry support for conservation efforts. In other words, the businesses making gear and apparel for use in the outdoors by outdoor enthusiasts committed to protecting the wild places enjoyed by their customers. The Conservation Alliance today is made up of 185 outdoor industry companies (Osprey Packs is a proud member!) that disburses its collective annual membership dues to grassroots environmental organizations, specifically community-based campaigns focused protecting on threatened wild habitat — preferably where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Since inception in 1989, Conservation Alliance funding has helped save more than 42 million acres of wildlands; protect 2,825 miles of rivers; stop or remove 26 dams; designate five marine reserves; and purchase nine climbing areas. In 2014 to-date, The Conservation Alliance has awarded a record $1.55 million in grants.

The Conservation Alliance’s Backyard Collective events further connect members of the alliance with the outdoors by bringing together member company employees and local grantees for a day of environmental action. via The Conservation Alliance:

These events allow us to get out of the office and get our hands dirty; doing good work to preserve and protect the open spaces in our own backyards…The BYC program brings together members of the Conservation Alliance community and illustrates firsthand the benefits of conservation efforts and the larger work of The Conservation Alliance.

The Conservation Alliance organized seven Backyard Collectives in 2014, bringing together over 1,000 member company employees, 39 member companies and 36 nonprofits,  to accomplish an amazing amount of work including trail building and maintenance, tree planting, invasive species removal, habitat restoration, and flood debris removal. Each event included a volunteer fair, allowing volunteers to learn more about local nonprofit organizations and projects they can get involved with in their local community.

On September 19th, we were joined by almost 200 people at the 2014 Backyard Collective in Boulder to reconstruct trails in Golden Gate Canyon State Park that were drastically affected by the mud-slides of 2013. The year of 2013 was a rough one for the front-range of Colorado. Record-breaking mudslides and fires took their toll on our State and National parks, depDSC03346ositing debris in small streams and channels that have altered countless trails.

Our team of 7 volunteers drove a total of 16 hours from Southwest Colorado so that we could partake in this event. To hear about an environmental tragedy in the local news and to see the results of it are two entirely different experiences. To listen to the State Park Ranger explain the effects of what these mudslides did to the trails, such as diverging streams and bringing down trees, was a point in which I realized that we as a community, as a collective effort, were responsible for the reviving the trails and areas that we are so fortunate to enjoy.

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That day, 175   volunteers showed up with the same idea and enthusiasm. The collective energy of these outdoor enthusiasts was contagious and inspiring. We all went to work, reviving 4-6 large areas of the State park. We worked side-by-side, complete strangers, yet all with the same commitment.

I am personally honored that my company and our employees, have always valued the outdoor experience above all. The Conservation Alliance provided a unique experience for both our 7 volunteers and the 164 others that joined us that day. Although our individual actions may have been small such as clearing steams and trail work, our collective effort will provide outdoor memories for those to come.

If you would like to be a part of collective effort to protect and conserve our outdoors, be sure to check out the campaigns and grassroots organizations funded by the Conservation Alliance or any of the other non-profit organizations that participated in the Boulder Backyard Collective, including:

Volunteer for Outdoor Colorado

The Access Fund

1% of the Planet

Conservation Colorado


October 3rd 2014 - Written by: Kelsy

Midwest Outdoor Experience: Get Out & Live!

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 “This event is a celebration of the many outdoor recreation opportunities our region and Five Rivers MetroParks offer,” Said Rebecca Benna, Executive Director of Five Rivers MetroParks. “It is a way for everyone to personally connect with nature and experience the outdoors. It’s a chance not only for expert adventurers to further their skills, but for families to try something new.”

We are thrilled to attending this year’s Midwest Outdoor Experience in Dayton, Ohio, the “Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest.” With more than 15,500 acres of land, 270 miles of river corridor and 160 miles of managed trails for hiking, cycling, mountain biking and horseback riding, the Five Rivers Metro Parks is the place for outdoor adventure! On October 3rd and 4th, the Five Rivers MetroPacks will host Outdoor events and the best part is the event is free! Here are some key events you will want to check out while at the Midwest Outdoor Experience:

IMBA Bike Village- Osprey partner and non-profit IMBA, whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve great mountain biking experiences, will be sponsoring the Bike Village. Add to your mountain bike skills by visiting the Bike Village. Don’t forget to bring your wheels for the group rides and skills clinics!

Compete in the Great Outdoors- You can also enter several competitions, including a 12-hour endurance race or the disc golf tournament on a special course created just for this event! There is something for everyone — so check out the full list of competitions.

Live Music- Take a break and enjoy live music programmed by 91.3 FM WYSO and the Dayton Music Fest, featuring local acts at the Osprey stage! As you can tell from our #MusicMondays, we dig those live beats so we are sponsoring some amazing live music. Look for an array of our packs that will be decorating the stage!

Waste Free in 3- Festival vendors and volunteers have committed to keeping this event plastic-free and will not sell plastic water bottles or use Styrofoam. Instead, they will provide compostable or locally recyclable utensils. Show your support for this initiative and take part by bringing your own water bottle, pint mug, utensils — or purchase a reusable stainless steel bottle for the water stations and Great Lakes Beer Garden.

For more details over the many events taking place this weekend, check out the complete schedule.

Don’t forget to stop by the Osprey booth — we will be having quite a few activities (such as demos and chances to win a pack)! Here’s the scoop:

Get Fitted by our Fit-Gurus: The Osprey team will be on-site to answer all of your questions, chat packs with you and provide you the exact fit you need for your next Osprey purchase.

20% off Osprey Packs- We have teamed up with Great Miami Outfitters to bring you a unique discount of 20% off all select Osprey packs in celebration of the Midwest Outdoor Experience! You will find this 20% off in both the Great Miami booth as well as the Osprey Packs booth. Great Miami Outfitters will have all larger models for multi-day trips and the Osprey booth will have an assortment of hydration, trail, and day packs.

Osprey Demos-14_MidwestOutdrExperience_DemoPacks 403x403 Experience the custom fit and functionality that Osprey is known for by taking one of our packs on your outdoor adventure or competition. We will have a limited supply of day packs and reservoirs for you to demo so don’t delay and be sure to stop by the booth to check them out!

Win a Pack- Take our 3 minute event survey for a chance to win an Osprey Pack! We will announce a winner daily and will be giving away the Limited Edition Trip 20 daypack.

#OutdoorX Scavenger Hunt- Are you on Instagram or Twitter? If so, you are in luck! Osprey has partnered with several Midwest Outdoor Experience sponsors to bring you a fun way to win a Grand Prize package! Visit all of the participating sponsors’ booths and find the scavenger item, then snap a photo, and post it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #OutdoorX. Be sure to tag the sponsor as well for a chance to win an Osprey Trip 20, Zuke’s Gift Basket, REI Mini-Bar Cooler, 3-disc set from Vibram and a $25 Gift Card and Gift Bag from Field & Stream! Visit any of the participating sponsors’ booths for more details!14_MidwestOutdrExperience_ScavengerHunt

Talon Guest Appearance on the Osprey Stage- BIRD IS THE WORD! Meet our mascot, Talon, before he takes off for the winter. He will be making a special experience in between sets at the Osprey sponsored Music stage. He also brought some treats to throw out to the crowd, so don’t miss out! He will be on stage at 6 PM on Friday and 1:30 PM Saturday.

Ultimate Swag Giveaway- Looking for chapstick? How about a coozie for your tastey beverage? We have got you covered with some of the “Best Swag You Eva Had” at the Osprey booth. We will have stickers, hats, chapsticks, eco-coolie coozies, and much more to give away to anyone visiting our booth.

 

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September 24th 2014 - Written by: Joe Stock

Aiguille du Peigne

Osprey Packs Athlete Joe Stock is an internationally certified IFMGA mountain guide based in Anchorage, Alaska. He has been climbing and skiing around the world for 25 years with extensive time in the mountains of Alaska, the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the North Cascades of Washington and Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Since 1995, Joe has been freelance writing for magazines starting with a feature article in Rock & Ice on climbing the Balfour Face on Mount Tasman in New Zealand. Since then, he’s published numerous articles on adventures and mountain technique in rags such as Climbing, Backcountry, Alaska, Climbing, Trail Runner, Men’s Health and Off Piste.

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Half of the reason for coming to Chamonix is to climb with other guides. I’ve spent the last two weeks climbing with Andrew Wexler, an IFMGA guide from Canmore, Alberta. We’ve been buddies for 15 years and been on our greatest adventures together: the Ptarmigan Traverse in a day, the Eklutna Traverse in a day, full-length ski traverses of the Neacola and Tordrillo Mountains and a ski traverse from Anchorage to Valdez. These will probably remain the apex of our athletic careers. Since then we’ve become more work-focused, but that feels right.

Now Andrew and I get to guide and play together in Chamonix. This is one of our free days. We chose the Aiguille du Peigne in the Aiguilles du Chamonix. This is a moderate alpine rock route that starts with the classic Papillion Arete.

The lower altitude of Aiguille du Peigne seemed right for a forecast calling for afternoon thunder showers. Most of the route is easy fifth class like this.

 

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Some places the rock kicked up to 5.8, with lots of exposure.

 

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This is the crux pitch, a delicate traverse to a chimney with perfect finger and hand cracks in the back. The pitch was streaming with water, but the finger locks and hand jams were so solid it didn’t matter. Behind is the north face of the Aiguille du Midi.

 

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Andrew’s beautiful photo of me leading moderate rock on the summit ridge. The new Osprey Mutant 38 worked perfect. Thanks Osprey! Chubby bolts made for four easy rappels, then we lost the rap route in the fog. We ended up slinging horns for rap anchors to get back to the normal descent route.  Thanks for a great day Andrew! See more of Andrew’s photos on his site globalalpine.com.


September 20th 2014 - Written by: alison

Cooking to Conquer Cancer with my own FARM-acy!

AlisonGannett.com by David Wright

AlisonGannett.com by David Wright

As a long-time pro-athlete and Osprey Ambassador, I was perplexed last year with strange balance issues while skiing and riding along with odd moments of memory loss. Being the overly tough person I am, I tossed it aside and continued playing and working, chocking it up to stress from ski and bike work travel, too much exercise/training, too much “trying-to-save-the-world”, and trying to run a self-reliant homestead on the side. On June 30th, 2013, after almost burning the house down while cooking one of our piggy’s bacon, my hubby rushed me to the Emergency room to find a giant brain tumor. After many weeks of discussing death, I suddenly realized I now had yet another mountain to climb, and maybe the biggest one to date.

Alison Gannett by Sarah Mah Withers

Alison Gannett by Sarah Mah Withers

After surgery to remove the giant baseball HemangioPeriCytoma, saving the blood flow to my brain and my life, I luckily had time to ponder how to conquer my tumors/cancer during recovery. They wanted the standard cut/radiate/poison “treatment”, but my internet research showed a 1-3% cure rate with this approach. The radiation would also most likely give me cancer in 10-20years. I now realize how fear sets in, as I actually considered this path out of pressure, despite the crappy success rate.IMG_2274

That goodness for the internet and great friends, as I have learned so much about what “alternatives” are actually out there. I quickly landed at the NamasteHealthCenter.com in Durango, Colorado at a women’s cancer retreat with folks from all over the globe searching for better cancer answers. How cool that OspreyPacks.com has this right next door to their corporate headquarters!

Long story short, the amazing folks there helped me dive into my blood work and DNA – working to find out the reasons I might have gotten cancer, and why I was currently “tumor-ing”. I could now write a dissertation on this, but in short, overuse of antibiotics as a child had damaged my gut and also my DNA through methylation. My blood inflammation markers showed that my vegan diet was causing super high blood sugar (both blood glucose and HgA1C) and very high inflammation (ESR,LDH,CRP). I was doing all the things that our USDA food pyramid said to do – low-fat, lots of whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies, but my blood was proof that this was not working.

Dr. Nasha Winters and Namaste showed me that cancer (and most disease) is fueled some simple things – sugars (including most fruits and grains turning into sugars), estrogen (from almost all plastics), environmental factors, and stress. All of these can damage my gut and my DNA. Good news is, they are all fixable! Even the methylated DNA!

I’m fourteen months into my Ketogenic Diet now – about 80% of my calories from fat, as cancer not only loves sugar, but it HATES FAT. I call it the one-two punch – deprive my cells of sugar and load them with fats, but good fats only! I use only homemade pastured lard and tallow, grass-fed butter/ghee, coconut oil, grass-fed raw heavy whipping cream, and unrefined/unfiltered/chem-free stonehouseoliveoil.com. Its taken me months to get used to dosing my food in these fats, but wow, what a change in my blood work. Side benefits include – great skin, no more colds or migraines, allergies almost gone, weight/fat loss, 6-pack, and no more bronchitis, yeast or bladder infections.

HT_actionstills_10-1Every day I learn more about how this Ketogetnic diet can often prevent and conquer many diseases beyond cancer, including Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Epilepsy, MS, and Diabetes, while also bringing on the best health and athletic performance of one’s life. I don’t think of it as a diet anymore, as I LOVE The food, love how I feel and look, and love that my tumor is stunted and starving. Cancer may be the best thing that has ever happened to me, as it has helped my family get healthier and my diet can hopefully prevent the Alzheimers that runs in the family. More: ketogenic-diet-resource.com; Books – Keto Clarity and Grain-Brain. I’ve also started a Facebook page – Cooking to Conquer Cancer.

So right now we are busy harvesting all our food for the upcoming winter, today I was focusing on drying eggplant, zucchini and squash “noodles”, canning tomatoes, and curing peppers. The chickens are also going corn and soy free, and the cows are munching their ever-so-healthy salad bar of grasses. In many ways lifestyle is easier, as I don’t have to grow, thresh and winnow as many grains, stevia is easier to grow than raising bees, and raising saturated fats is WAY easier than even attempting olive oil!

I’m a lucky gal – no lasting damage to my memory or my body. I’m back on my bike, surfboard and skis – with a heap more balance than before, and WAY more appreciation for everything. Next I’m off to Moab next to teach my KEEN Rippin Chix Camps with OspreyPacks.com at Outerbike with Western Spirit. I’ve got a full schedule of my Steep Skiing Camps coming up this winter all over, including some of my favorites such as Whitewater, Red Mtn, Silverton, and Crystal. Time to go to bed, as sleep and stress reduction are also very important in my un-cancer-ing and new-found health.

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ALISON GANNETT is a self-sufficient farmer, World Champion Extreme FreeSkier, pro mountain biker, award-winning global cooling consultant, and founder of the multiple non-profits. In addition to her busy careers as an athlete, athlete ambassador and keynote speaking, she runs her KEEN Rippin Chix Camps – women’s steep skiing, biking and surf camps around the globe, featuring Osprey Packs. She has starred in many movies, TV shows, and magazines receiving many awards for her work including National Geographic’s Woman Adventurer of the Year, Powder Magazine’s “48 Greatest Skiers of All Time” and Outside Magazine’s “Green All-Star of theYear” next to Leonardo DiCaprio and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Always an advocate of walking the talk, she has reduced her carbon footprint in half and has also spent half a lifetime working to make the world a better place. In 2010, she and her husband Jason bought Holy Terror Farm, beginning the next chapter of personal health and self-sustainability.


September 15th 2014 - Written by: Kelsy

Hakuba Sanzan

 

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Unless you’ve been living under a very big rock, you’ve heard the tales of Japan’s surreal terrain, neck deep powder on tap — day or night. The hype was buzzing extra strong this season and we were itching to go get a taste of it one way or another. When the plans finally took shape, it was May! Not exactly the prime month for free refills of pow, but if we didn’t pounce on the trip this year, it might have never happened, right? So we went with the flow and booked a ticket.

Touchdown Narita airport where the culture shock began. In a bustling world far from home, we circled through security not once but twice, but it worked out for the better. Our extra lap bumped us right into a Japanese snowboarder wearing a Canada toque, fresh off a winter in Canmore. Turns out our new friend Yuske (last name), local snowboard legend, also rode a G3 split and represented the Caravan crew we were trying to meet. Off to a good start. Yuske led us and our bulky bags through the maze of Tokyo train systems to a meet up with the Caravan crew, G3’s Japan distributors. After food, drinks, and a classic night in a ‘capsule’, we were eager to escape the bustling city for the mountains. Our bus to Hakuba pushed us upstream through nonstop currents of cities and people in constant motion before dropping us at the source…the mountains.

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A world apart, we found mountains quite reminiscent of our Coast Mountains back at home, with multi-peak linkups just waiting to be skied. After a week of fun, we were ready for the bigger days. Fortunately our pension owner in Gakuei-kan was an instructor, guide and pro back in his day, with a wealth of Japanese ski touring history to share with us, shaping ideas for where to head next. The plan hatched for the Hakuba Sanzan, linking the 3 highest peaks in Hakuba in a day.

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Meeting at precisely 6:00am on his orders, we hopped in the van and headed up with a vengeance. With only a brief pause before the off-road section, he pinned it and we held on for the ride. This wasn’t his first rodeo. Even the river wouldn’t have stopped him but we insisted on saving his car (and us for that matter), so we jumped out and let our feet do the rest. Most people enjoy the luxury of a 2 day trip with a mountain lodge overnight stay, but with our fine thread budget it wasn’t an option. So we slogged in the spring heat and enjoyed it for all it was worth, transition after transition – hike, skin, ski, repeat.
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But even we were hardly roughing it. With a cafe 500 ft from the last summit, we couldn’t say no to a soup and coffee before bagging the last peak. Solid weather, fun skiing, and our unstoppable shuttle driver all made for a great trifecta of the three high peaks of Hakuba.
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With one amazing Japan ski trip in the bag, we’re already plotting a mid-winter return for the legendary winter conditions. With any luck we’ll once again land in the hands of friendly,  seasoned locals, and the powder refills will flow as constantly as the sake from our first night in Tokyo.
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Story: Andy Traslin

September 13th 2014 - Written by: Joe Stock

Inca Trail

The Inca Trail in Peru is perhaps the world’s most famous trek. This four-day camping trip follows a 500-year old stone path that ends at Machu Picchu, an ancient city reclaimed from the jungle. I hiked the Inca Trail with my Dad, my sister Kate and her girlfriend Kim. We started and finished the trip in Cusco.

Cusco, Peru.

A mushroom cloud of smoke from hundreds of barbecues rises from Inti Raymi celebrations in Cusco. Inti Raymi is the biggest festival of the season. This party is taking place at Sacsayhuaman (pronounced “Sexy Woman”), a location famous for 100-ton stones fitted together so tight that a toothpick can not be fitted in.

Cusco, Peru

While city center Cusco is tidy and historic for tourists, the surrounding streets are real Peru. This woman is selling chopped up snakes in a soda bottle. Other bottles contain the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus juice and various  potions for what ails you.

 

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru.

The Inca Trail is lined with ruins. Here’s Kate exploring the Phuyupatamarka ruins.  The fascinating thing about all these Inca ruins is that nobody really knows what happened. There was no written language before the Spanish arrived. And all of the written accounts have a Spanish Conquistador twist. This results in each Inca history buff having their own theory of what happened. Historical spiels by tour guide’s often start with “I believe….”

Inca Trail, Machu Picchu Cusco, Peru.

Dad eleven hours into the second day. What is a comparable trek in the US? Rim-to-rim on the Grand Canyon? The Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier?

Dead Woman Pass on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru.

Porters resting at the high point of the trip at Dead Woman Pass at 13,829 feet. Porters carry 20 kilos of group gear plus their personal gear. We carried our sleeping bag, pad and hiking stuff in 35-liter Mutant 38s.


September 4th 2014 - Written by: Kelsy

PCT Days: Celebrating the Trail of the West!

PCT Days PosterThe 8th annual Pacific Crest Trail Days takes place in Cascade Locks, Oregon, which is surrounded by the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and where the Pacific Crest Trail offers access to some of the most beautiful scenery in Pacific Northwest.

Osprey Packs will be returning to the annual PCT Days to celebrate one of our nations most prominent trails on the West-Coast!  From September 5th through the 7th, people from all corners of the North West will come to visit with old and new friends, check out the latest outdoor products and gear, participate in classes and activities, listen to music & watch movies, and celebrate the past, present and future of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Event Website:  http://oviewfinder.com/

Event FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/pctdays

Twitter: #pctdays

This weekend will include something for everyone such as the Gear Fair, Free Classes, Trail Work Parties, and a film/slideshow celebrating the PCT!

 

For a complete list of all PCT Days events please visit the website.woodemblem1

Don’t forget to drop by our Osprey booth as we will be offering some great freebies, pack repairs, solid high-fives, laughs and even a few of chances to win one of our packs!

Check out what we will have going on:

Fall 2014 Pack Display- We will be displaying our Backpack specific line so that you may see the fit and functional difference that sets Osprey apart from the rest!  Stop by the booth to talk with one of our staff about which pack may be right for you. For our full product line visit our website.

The Osprey Packs Fit Gurus- Come experience the customized fit and functionality Osprey Packs is known for! Have questions or need to get sized for your next adventure- no problem! Swing by the booth as we will have our fit experts ready for any questions or suggestions you may have!

20% off with Next Adventure- If you have been thinking of getting an Osprey and had all your questions answered at our booth, the wait is over! Our retailer partner Next Adventure will be at the event, offering 20% off all Osprey product in celebration of  PCT days! Osprey has strategically placed our tent across from Next Adventure so you can see the selection of Osprey packs they have at the event and make your purchase on the spot! 

PCT Event SurveyTake our three-minute event survey and automatically be entered win a new Osprey pack — We will have daily winners throughout the PCT days!

Bola-Ball Fundraiser- We want to give back to the non-profit who is making this event possible, the Pacific Crest Trail Association! Stop by and try your luck at our Bola-Ball game in which you could win an Osprey hat, shirt, or even a pack! All proceeds benefit the trail and PCTA which makes it all possible!

Best Freebies this side of the Mississippi- This is no joke! Don’t forget to load up on Osprey Chapstick, Backcountry repair kits, stickers and coozies as we spread the #Ospreylove!

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August 28th 2014 - Written by: Kelsy

Global Solidarity August 30th: Support Afghan Women Who Dare to Ride

“By connecting communities and cultures we believe that change only happens with a change of perception and the power of voice.  Giving women and children a voice creates a much more powerful ripple than a handout, and empowering them to use their voice can change their lives, their communities, and their countries from within.  Organically and sustainability creating change with the individual which acts as a catalytic spark through the entire global community at large.”

Osprey Ambassador Shannon Galpin is the founder of  Mountain2Mountain, an organization that works to empower women & girls in conflict zones. The following is reposted from the Mountain2Mountain blog.

Strength in Numbers Global Solidarity Ride

August 30th, 2014

Bikers around the world join to pedal a revolution on two wheels for women’s rights!

This Saturday, August 30th, we will pedal a revolution! Bikers, cyclists, commuters, and striders will take to their wheels in solidarity with the Afghan women who dare to ride, and in remembrance of the women that dared to ride before and in doing so, paved the way for independent mobility and freedom for women around the world. Create your own ride and join us.

Inspired?  Get involved this Saturday, August 30th as part of the Global Solidarity Ride.  Over 60 bike rides in 13 countries creates a global movement on two wheels in support of the Afghan women who dare to ride.  You can join one of the existing rides listed here, create your own, or simply dedicate your bike ride on Saturday to the Afghan girls.  Send us photos, tell us where you rode, and instagram or tweet with #solidarityride2014.  You can join the conversation on Facebook here.  You can support this work and donate at www.mountain2mountain.org/donate

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Thanks to our incredible partners at Liv/giant we have been continuing to support the Afghan Women’s National Cycling Team with bikes, gear, clothing, and I have been working to help with training and coaching over the past few trips to Afghanistan.  In a country that has never allowed its women to ride bikes, a group of Afghan women have been quietly making history.  The women have been steadily improving, and they have an invitation to race at the Asian Games in South Korea this September.  This ride will directly support their efforts in its inaugural year to show the world what Afghan women are capable of.

The Global Solidarity Ride is based off our original Panjshir Tour which we started in 2010 as a way to engage cycling communities in support of our projects in Afghanistan that benefited women and girls.  I was the first woman to mountain bike in Afghanistan, and those first rides took place in the Panjshir Valley.  I asked men all over the country in rural and urban areas, can women ride bikes?  Would you allow your wife, daughter, sister to ride a bike?  The answer was always no.  So I created the Panjshir Tour as a way to use the bike as a vehicle to raise awareness and funding for our projects in Afghanistan.  Now that we have seen Afghan women riding bikes, making history, and pedaling a revolution, the Solidarity Ride seemed like an incredible way to unite communities around the world on two wheels and show the Afghan women that they are not alone, the world sees what they are doing and supports them.

The Afghan women will be riding too, so that on August 30th no matter where you are the in world, men and women will be spinning their wheels on concrete and in dirt, united in the freedom of a bike!

For more information, visit the Global Solidarity Ride Facebook page, Mountain2Mountain & Afghan Cycles.

 

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