ben clark

November 25th 2015 - Written by: Osprey Packs

Touching the Edge: A Nolan’s 14 Journey with Osprey Athlete Ben Clark

On Friday September 25th at approximately 6:00 am MST Osprey Athlete, mountaineer, filmmaker and ultra-runner Ben Clark kicked off his 6th attempt to complete Nolan’s 14. Nolan’s 14 is a challenging traverse that links 14 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot summits, one that covers nearly 100 miles of some of the Sawatch Range’s toughest terrain, one that must be completed in less than 60 hours.

Ben shares his reflections on “touching the edge” during this attempt:

In frigid air and with dreary gaze I saw that an ascending moon lit the long and toiling spine of rock that sends mountain climbers down the East side of 14,196′ Mt. Yale and back to the lowest point along a route called Nolan’s 14, connecting 14 Colorado 14,000′ peaks-14er’s.

Ben Clark Nolans 14 Osprey Packs September 2015

Just 3 hours in from the summit of Mt. Massive, Ben Clark points to the third of 14 peaks, La Plata Peak (19 miles away)

I was alone in the dark past midnight on my second sleepless night — 10 peaks and 43 hours into a single push across these mountains. An hour after reaching the summit, I laid down in a small pocket of pyramid shaped rocks and layered my storm shell over my legs barely blocking the winds and sub freezing chill. It was my second chance for a 15 minute nap that night. It was here that when I awoke around 3 am, I knew I had pushed my limits and that moving forward was only part of the answer. I had just ramped up the pace for a few hours and I was hypoxic-altitude sick and making slow decisions — my best option since rushing anything through this maze of rock in the predawn hours could lead to amplifying an already temporarily suspenseful fate in what was to be a full and focused effort to descend.

I like challenges — I do.

I am ok chipping away at the most complicated ones that I engage a piece at a time. I can.

An aerial view of Mt. Massive and the northern end of the Nolan's 14 route.

An aerial view of Mt. Massive and the northern end of the Nolan’s 14 route.

But there are some challenges that transform us. If even once, then maybe twice in our lives we will have an opportunity for that.  For me, it is being open to the hard work and reality that those challenges require to execute that reveals the value of the knowledge inside a challenge, the virtue of a transformation I need to make.  I completed an effort like that in my early 20’s, climbing Mt. Everest’s North/NE Ridge.  I think I’m on the second great challenge of my life with Nolan’s 14 and this line has revealed to me more about who I am than any other.

Judiciously and with a cynicism reserved for only my most tired and underfueled self, I talked myself down the ridge, spiting the wind every step of the way. The year before and hours ahead of my current 45 hour time, I had been in a similar circumstance on this peak — Mt Yale — where descending in the dark during freak flooding forced an end to an attempt on this line, just like the previous year when I reached this 70 mile point and the route became engulfed by snowstorms. Both times were heavily supported and I was on the route with great friends — now I was alone and a sniffling mess. As I contoured along Yale’s mighty ridge this third and arguably much more difficult time I began to falter mentally and to lose track of time and where I was. I laid down in a clearing by some dead trees just below treeline and decided to sleep again hoping for daybreak to light and reveal the way, this time I didn’t set an alarm and just like that I was out, out in the cold frozen air.

The last rays of light on the summit ridge of La Plata peak, entering the first night.

The last rays of light on the summit ridge of La Plata peak, entering the first night.

When I approach a challenge in the mountains, it is not always clear at the outset how it all wraps together, or why it will. There are a lot of variables to the type of experiences I wish to learn from. But if the process is always fun, and the long term benefit of health is not risked, then I pursue it based on merits that serve my intrinsic motivation to explore.  I do it to do it. I’d like to think that as a mountain climber I’m pretty fit and that it matters, but more or less, I think I am just strong willed-fitness is a by product of that.  But with that fitness and my experience of adopting challenges I know I have to really work at to complete, I can find myself a long way away from anyone or anything that most folks are going to find reasonable to be living for, therein lies the challenge: I reach beyond limits — others and my own — and hope I have the courage and confidence to stand up against myself all alone in the most extreme low points of circumstance.

The summit ridge of Mt. Missouri at sunrise the first morning

The summit ridge of Mt. Missouri at sunrise the first morning

When I woke up a sliver of faint blue light lit the horizon extending in front of me. I was cold and shivering, my throat was constricted, I had laid there too long and sunrise wasn’t coming fast enough.  I was sick and mentally reduced to just a few thoughts; The memory of popping a Dayquil the day before I started to ward off the cold I had, my hand being my 3 year-old’s Kleenex and us joking about it, how happy it made me to walk him home from school that day—Then back to the mountains my thoughts ran as I waited for direction from inside.

“Could I move?”

“Should I?”

“Man, I had already lost my way looking for a trail and just wanted the sun to come up so I could see.”

“Why the hell isn’t anyone answering me?” I wondered. Because I was alone…

I alerted my friends and family that I was sick and cold using my tracking device and a cell phone. Within 40 minutes, my father had instructed me on how to find the trail. Using my reference point on a track that uploaded every 10 minutes and showed my position on a detailed map online, I was just a half mile from it. I started running, as planned months before, as soon as I reached the trail. My granny gear auto pilot had taken over. After all the starts and stops I still had it; the relentless will to stick to a plan.

The view of Mt. Harvard from the summit Ridge of Mt Columbia, the 9th peak.

The view of Mt. Harvard from the summit Ridge of Mt Columbia, the 9th peak.

In the last 3 summers I have become obsessed with this line and completing it on foot in one single push from start to finish. This was the sixth run over 30 miles I have done on this route. I think that going alone on this 94 mile line with 92,000′ of vertical change has been the most mind-blowing experience of my life. It is the most committing mountain objective, stacked on top of a lifetime of already committing mountain objectives.  No cocaine, no acid, no drug could blow a mind like this…just old dirt and rock.  And they whup.

And I keep coming back to learn from them.


Selfie on the summit of Mt. Columbia, 36 hours in!

As dawn rose and the dim light of my headlamp receded into the suns diffused rays I lay down after running a mile, passed out again on the side of the trail in that old mountain dirt, coughing. I set my alarm on the iPhone and placed it in my chest pocket one last time. I woke 15 minutes later and quickly hustled down the trail. There I saw a man hiking, then another, and then two more. Or maybe I didn’t. I will not exaggerate my state, but many have reported hallucinations near the 40 hour mark of sustained efforts like this. I was sick, I knew that, but felt I could still cough it out and get my head back together.

The view back toward La Plata Peak at sunrise the first morning from Mt. Missouri

The view back toward La Plata Peak at sunrise the first morning from Mt. Missouri

As I neared the valley lowpoint at 9300′ I was not overwhelmed by the heaps of sub-alpine oxygen, instead it was the immediate reentry into cellular reception signaled by text after text coming in. I kept walking, I kept thinking, I kept walking.

“Don’t give up.”

“Keep going.”


People were coming to meet me at the end, I would have support if I needed to get down from the next peak.

I hiked for a few more miles in the honey colored light of a Sawatch sunrise and blinded by the sun embraced the day again from a trailside stump where I brewed one final cup of coffee on the trail, my third since starting two days prior. As with anywhere, this place specifically to find myself having been alone 46 hours and traversed 10 peaks over 70 miles through two nights was a place of sanctity. But not one I could keep up, I was just a visitor. The first one on this end to have gone so far, but not the last.

As the sun slowly crested the ridge it washed over me from my neck down and I sipped that semi-warm brew, just to soothe my throat. That 180 calories fueled the next thought, after running on nothing for 6 hours.

It was time to let go. I was sick, I didn’t recognize myself. I was going to blow it if I kept on. Someone would have to get me. And that would mean losing. This I could own.

And there I figured out why. I figured out why I did it and why I’ll try it again. Why it doesn’t matter. Why it does.

Every moment I was alive and connected to the environment alone for feedback, for stimulation, for direction. I just went out and flowed it and life led around by the mountains was good, until the end when it was just euphoric, when my own limitations brought it down to the human level, to my limit. But unpolished and wild as it may be — I’ve touched the edge for the second time.  I’ll take that time in that place of dreams, it is why I live my life.

Ben and Charlie Clark exploring Town Park in Telluride, Co.

Ben and Charlie Clark exploring Town Park in Telluride, Co.

Watch Ben’s film, “Nolan’s 14

Nolan’s 14 from Pheonix and Ash Productions on Vimeo.

Keep up with Ben:



Read Ben’s thoughts on previous Nolan’s 14 attempts and how he prepares for this formidable traverse.

About Osprey Athlete Ben Clark:

“I have shared some accomplishments with luck, and a couple of great colleagues, like most people aged 35 years. Yes, there are experiences that stand out but the impact of that 17 years and the meaning of what came forward, far exceeded the tangible values of grades on hard things I did with some real strong people that became like family to me.  Nonetheless, my bucket list included Everest’ben_clark_osprey_packs_athletes summit forever ago and putting up a few mixed climbs in the Himalayas while on a quest skiing them. But different from some I backed away-I’ve saved friends lives and my own has been spared, often off nothing but a photo I pursued fresh tracks on virgin terrain-obsessively and then mostly not when I became a dad. Simply put after all that, I am a mountain athlete and pioneering within them motivates me.”



September 26th 2015 - Written by: Osprey Packs

Nolan’s 14: Follow Ben Clark’s Epic 93 mi Traverse in Real Time

Ben Clark Nolans 14 Osprey Packs September 2015 Day 2

On Friday September 25th at approximately 6:00 am MST Osprey Athlete, mountaineer, filmmaker and ultra-runner Ben Clark kicked off his 6th attempt to complete Nolan’s 14. Nolan’s 14 is a challenging traverse that links 14 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot summits, one that covers nearly 100 miles of some of the Sawatch Range’s toughest terrain, one that must be completed in less than 60 hours.

Ben shared his thoughts on this attempt earlier this week and earlier this month.

Follow Ben’s Nolan’s 14 journey this weekend:
Delorme: share.delorme.com/BenjaminClark
Instagram: @bclarkmtn and @ospreypacks


Sunrise 14er Ben Clark Nolans 14 Osprey Packs September 2015

Osprey employee Scott Robertson pretty much sums up everyone at Osprey’s awe and appreciation for Ben’s efforts and accomplishments with the following reflection: (more…)

September 24th 2015 - Written by: Kelsy

“The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go” Nolan’s 14 Summons Ben Clark for his 6th Attempt


Osprey Athlete, mountaineer, filmmaker and ultra-runner Ben Clark has attempted the formidable challenge of completing Nolan’s 14 multiple times in the past — and he’s getting ready for his next attempt, this weekend. Ben has been candid about the difficulties, the uncertainties and the unrelenting commitment to add his name to the very short list of individuals who have completed Nolan’s 14.

What exactly is Nolan’s 14 and what is its allure to the most elite ultrarunners? Nolan’s 14 is a run — a traverse unlike any other — one without clear markers or even trails at some points, linking fourteen of Colorado’s 14,000-foot summits, one that covers nearly 100 miles of some of the Sawatch Range’s toughest terrain, one that must be completed in less than 60 hours.

Ben’s determination — fed and fueled by moments of elation, disappointment, triumph and patience — has led him to doggedly attempt this physically-demanding, emotionally-challenging route that is undoubtedly one of the hardest in ultrarunning’s history. Join us as we cheer Ben on this weekend as he laces up his shoes, pulls on his pack and sets out on his final attempt this summer to achieve this incredible, daunting feat.

Follow Ben’s Nolan’s 14 journey this weekend:
Delorme: share.delorme.com/BenjaminClark
Instagram: @bclarkmtn and @ospreypacks

We caught up with Ben recently to better understand some of the mental and physical preparation for  Nolan’s 14 and to get a sense of what it’s like to answer the mountains when they call.

Osprey Packs: This will be your sixth attempt at breaking the 60 hour mark; what about Nolan’s has its claws in you?

Ben Clark: Nolan’s makes me miss the Himalayas. Not a day goes by that an image or memory doesn’t haunt me from there. So I’d say the mountains, in my experience, are the essence of “infectious” to me.

I learned that there are safe ways for me to venture deep into the mountains, and my own soul for that matter, that if I am truly reaching I will not need the fear of deadly consequence to attain my goal. I used to need that fear, as much as I might deny back then I didn’t. The motivation of having the knowledge of what it is like to execute something like Nolan’s 14 in the way I want — safely but with no distraction — is a nice motivator for me to keep seeing what I can do.

60 hours is a long time to immerse into the heart of a range of 14ers. But you can walk away from the mountains if they gets too rowdy, so that means I have to really want it in my heart, to be willing to keep trying until I’ve experienced it.  I feel like maintaining the health and fitness to do so is a lifelong reward as well.

OP: After spending countless hours on the Nolan’s “course” — both training and during the main event — what has gone well?

BC: I think being prepared for anything is probably the best evidence I can offer of anything going well. It has been exhilarating at times, but always safe, thanks mostly to the crews that supported the early attempts.

OP: On that note, what hasn’t gone particularly well in the past? Is there anything you are planning to change significantly this time?

BC: I feel sometimes when people fail to meet their expectations in the mountains they will say that the mountains are humbling. I don’t think that. I think the mountains are “mountainy.”

If I start my expectation equal to their conditions then I’m never humbled — schooled sometimes, yes, because rather than scale them down to me I accept them for how much more beyond my control and scale they are and I like that about them. That has led to an appreciation of their many moods and an attitude of embracing them to have an understanding of this or any mountain line.

This line’s lack of consequence has completely transformed me physically and mentally, it has innovated everything about what I think I need to move along on a big day and what I don’t. This time I’ll be carrying just an 18 L pack, with a better and more substantial sleeping/shelter kit.

OP: Endurance athletes can be incredibly particular about food and fueling, are you a supplement/gel/salt-tab scientist or more of a cheeseburger/candy/whatever-I-can-find fueler; what’s your strategy?Nolan14_Ben_Clark_Gear

BC: I eat a mix of things — some that I make myself, mostly a higher fat concentration during sustained endurance efforts. Of packaged food, Clif Bar products keep me well-fueled and allow me to change it up both flavor- and calorie-wise if/when I’m “over” my  other food. McDonald’s plain double cheeseburgers also happen keep well.



OP: What puts your mind at ease the day/night leading up to the main event? Do you have any pre-run traditions?

BC: I’m as at ease with any event, including this one, as I can be. I travel half the month and I am a Dad. Even though I have all the commitments that come with that, I have very few things that are as much a pillar to my daily routine as my training as I balance a career as a filmmaker and athlete. It’s all in the numbers when it comes to training and as long as I restrain enough to avoid injury and I’ve put in the time and miles, I look forward to the release I feel the moment I hit the trail. It is all fun to me, to just go and do it.

OP: Gear choice is critical on something this demanding, which Osprey pack do you bring and what’s critical about that piece of gear? What else is on your gear list?

BC: The Rev 18 pack is as light and small as I can go but substantial enough to handle the weight of 3 days food and all my gear, roughly 25 pounds. Because it fits more like an article of clothing than a traditional pack suspension, the Rev stays snug and compact while I move quickly and doesn’t snag as I bushwhack through dark forests or bounce while I quickly trot downhill through loose terrain!  My Rev has been modified to include a Stow-On-The-Go™ system for my trekking poles when I need my hands free and has an in-line water filtering system so I don’t have to pump water.

My gear list includes:

Osprey Rev 18

8 pieces of pizza
2 plain double cheeseburgersOsprey Packs Ben Nolan Rev 18
5 snickers

3 Paydays
3 peanut butter cookies
10 kits organic Clif Bars
12 Clif gels
6 Clif organics pouches
12 salt tablets

5 via lattes

9 Clif electrolyte drink mixes
3 litre reservoir
Sawyer inline water filter
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro
Superfeet Carbon Pro insole
2 Smartwool compression sock
2XU calf sleeve
Patagonia Strider short
Patagonia fleece tights
Patagonia Forerunner L/S Shirt
Patagonia Fleece vest
Patagonia Leashless jacket
Patagonia Super Cell pants
Patagonia Nano Air hoody
Patagonia Ultra Light down Sweater
Patagonia Duck Bill Hat
Osprey Packs beanie
4 pairs of gloves
Esbit fuel cell stove
8 fuel cells
Montbell 10oz summer seeping bag
Outdoor Research Helium Bivy Sack
Sol 96″ x 54″ emergency blanket

Osprey Packs Ben Clark Nolan's 14 Rev 18
Stainless steel cup
Med kit with bandages
3 spare batteries
Goal Zero Venture 30 Charger
1100 Lumen compact Flashlight
Delorme InReach Explorer
Suunto Ambit 2
Microsoft Fitband
Sony RX100


Nolan’s 14 from Pheonix and Ash Productions on Vimeo.


September 1st 2015 - Written by: Osprey Packs

The Mystery and Magnetism of the Mountains: Ben Clark Runs Nolan’s 14


Morning of September 1, 2015: Ben summits peak #1, Mt. Massive wearing his Osprey Rev 12

Osprey Athlete Ben Clark is in currently in the midst of the awe-inspiring feat of traversing Nolan’s 14. What is Nolan’s 14? 

“After 15 years in obscurity, Nolan’s 14, a hundred-mile traverse of 14 14,000-foot peaks in 60 hours, emerges as a new test piece for elite mountain runners.” –National Geographic Adventure

Yes, that’s correct — completing Nolan’s 14 entails traversing 14 summits, each over 14,000 ft (nearly 100 miles in distance!), in under 60 hours.

Ben shares what this particular group of 14 peaks means to him and how this traverse has shaped the last three years of his life:

In all my life, I have never been so prepared. But in all my life, I have never found the right sequence to complete this unending task, a three year commitment of endurance fitness topping 33 previous years of hard knocks and tussles with progress through the mountains. “Is this time different? Is it worth it?” I have to ask myself — this is the grandest journey on foot of my life — through them and through these years and it has taken longer than I ever thought. It has ground me down while building me up.  It is so long, so enormous.



The last two summers I have “gone for it” 4 times on ultra marathon distance traverses over 10 mountains in central Colorado, on a route known as Nolan’s 14. In that two years I have seen my hopes of finishing crushed more than 75 of 93 miles into it twice.

Despite the setbacks along the way toward reaching an understanding of visiting all 14 of Nolan’s 14’s fourteen thousand foot summits in one push, its mystery and magnetism continue to compel me because I love the mountains and big days.  I have made mistakes out there but had a satisfying and safe time pursuing this adventure and don’t want to give up on my original purpose for engaging with the line in it’s totality. It’s the biggest effort I can reach for these days and I feel like is suited to the most focused strengths I have trained for and within reason.  Now that the time approaches for another long stretch, I’m happy to be exploring it on the best terms I can-those grounded on experience gained on the line and preparation refined each time.

My plan is to start at the north end of the trail and go in one long push from the Fish Hatchery in Leadville, Co. to the summit of Mount Shavano near Poncha Springs, Co. I’ll have no crew, but will have one pair of shoes, one pack (my Osprey Rev 12) and some pretty sweet food, enough gear to do all 14 of the fourteeners. I’m psyched about this. You might be wondering, how the hell is that possible if it took so much crew before to not finish?  It will, after all, be me alone.


And this brings me back to the point of this journey, to answer my own questions, to staying committed to a purpose, to answering “is this time different?”  No. This time is the same. I began my journey as a mountaineer in this same mountain range 16 years ago, before a decade committed to high altitude Himalayan exploration. In that time I lived many impressionable memories and shared moments with friends that indemnify a lifetime of happiness.  It is worth it to know the mountains, and also their uncertain moments.  I stopped taking physically consequential risks in the mountains when i became a father 3 years ago. I will always love the mountains and I wanted a safer way to explore them when pushing myself. Nolan’s 14 is for me, that path.

It is a return to my roots as a climber, I view it as the biggest climb in the world.  It is minimal and asks for a high level of concentration and accountability during the experience. I will need to be present and own the outcome of every decision for days on end…and nights.  I perform my best and truly enjoy the mountains when I have to do that. So many great friends helped me learn it is possible, only in the doing of this would we have known.

With 4 attempts already under my belt, the first 3 adhering to a set of pre existing conventions that led to 13 others completing sub 60 hour finishes on the line since 1999, and 6 since I first attempted it in 2013, I have learned a thing or two.  Organized more like a competitive event than a mountain traverse, those rules can lead to success if the timing is good.  But with so many opportunities to figure it out in that way specifically and still not completing it due to my own timing and logistical complications, I’ve had to forget those conventions and slowly develop my own personal style based on my experiences on it, what mountaineers would call our “fair means”.  The means is a simpler version of things than what I had been doing or what might normally be done.  Fewer things to line up means better chances, I believe, and still a whole lot of fun.  I hope to flow over it now and to just “surf the chaos” as a good friend would say. I’m excited about the start rather than coordinating a party of people. :)


Getting the rocks out of my shoe during the 22nd hour of my third 60 hour attempt of Nolan’s 14. Here I am at Elkhead Pass between the summits of Missouri Mt and Mt. Belford-2 of the 14 peaks over 14,000′ on the 93 mile line. Photo: Kendrick Callaway

I will do my best with what knowledge I have to “finish” with as little time on my feet as possible and per the schedule below, which is still below the 60 hour goal I have had previously. This is not implied to be a “solo” journey as there are many people climbing fourteeners every day of the week and being alone out there any time other than night would be rare, it is just an unsupported trip alone and based around the most ideal weather window.  I am heading out there to finish safely, under my own power with all my stuff on me and within a single push.  There are no guarantees, but if history is any indicator and the X factor I have been missing is present then I believe it’ll go!!!!


“Having fun, now it really starts!” September 1, 2015: Ben summits peak #2, Mt. Elbert

Join us in following Ben’s amazing journey:
Delorme: share.delorme.com/BenjaminClark
Instagram: @bclarkmtn and @ospreypacks


July 8th 2015 - Written by: Kelsy

“Right place, right people, right time.” Behind-the-Scenes on an Osprey Packs Photoshoot

As many of you may have noticed, SW Colorado has been unseasonably wet for the past couple of months.  And I’m not talking a nice and gentle Seattle-like drizzle.  I mean full on thunder-hail, monsoon, wrath of the gods type of weather.  Needless to say, I’ve been chased from the mountains as lightning ripped through savage clouds with my tail between my legs more than a few times this season.

It’s not like I’m not checking the weather reports before heading out on assignment.  In fact, I’ve been studying over weather forecasts like it was my job.  Well, because it kinda is I suppose.  But at the end of the day, you just can’t predict mountain weather.  So if they’re calling for 60% chance of thunderstorms, that’s a 40% chance to catch some amazingly dynamic light.

That’s exactly what Ben Clark, Sam Feuerborn and I were facing when we went out to shoot a video of the Osprey Packs Anti-Gravity series in the Telluride backcountry last week.  As soon as we rolled into town, we found ourselves at the local dive bar, waiting for a glimmer of sunshine to pierce the gray curtain.  Hunkered down by the plate glass window of The Buck, we watched our day’s plans wash down Main Street in the daily deluge.

‘Yet, another shutdown brought to you by Mother Nature’, I thought.  Feeling obligated to be at least somewhat productive, I suggested that we head up to Imogene Pass and scout a little.  We loaded up the truck, put it in four-wheel drive and headed up hill.

It did not take me long to discover that Imogene was not a path for the faint of heart.  Imagine a very technical and frighteningly narrow road strewn with melon-sized boulders which occasionally fall from the crumbling San Juan cliff side.  On your right is an unguarded 1500 foot drop to oblivion.  On your left, cascading waterfalls crashing over your hood. White-knuckled, but grinning ear to ear, we continued on. And so did the rain.

At nearly 11,000 feet, we rolled into the ghost town of Tomboy.  And within moments, the storm that had shrouded us in defeat began a hasty retreat.  We all looked at one another, shrugged our shoulders and without a word, donned our gear.

We knew our window would be a brief one, so we focused on the task at hand and knocked out six scenes in less than an hour.  When the rain clouds rushed back in, we charged back to the truck, loaded the gear and reveled on the fact on how lucky we were to have that window.

Closing the tailgate and about to head home, the clouds decided to part for us one last time.  As they did, we found ourselves wrapped in the some of the most incredibly beautiful, golden light we had ever seen.  Diving headfirst into the truck, Sam soon emerged with an Atmos AG pack.  I grabbed my MKIII, locked on a 70-200mm lens and we sprinted up to an overlook, racing the light with every step.  When we reached the top, we had just enough time to snap this frame before the magic was gone forever.


Right place, right people, right time.



Stay tuned for Dan’s forthcoming 2016 Osprey Anti-Gravity Series video — subscribe to Osprey Packs on YouTube and Vimeo to be the first to see the footage once it’s released!

Here’s the first video featuring our award-winning, innovative 2015 Anti-Gravity series:

ARVE Error: no id set


My name is holz2Dan Holz, and I have the good fortune of being the staff photographer for Osprey Packs. Photography has been a passion of mine since grade school and I’ve used it as a vehicle to take me everywhere from my backyard in Colorado to the lush jungles of Borneo and the glaciated landscapes of Patagonia. People often ask if I have a ‘specialty.’ It’s kind of a tough question, because while I specialize in active lifestyle and mountain sport photography, I find myself chasing the magic light more than anything else. If the face of a Nepali farmer is suddenly cast in the beautiful shadow of contrast, I become a portrait photographer in that moment. Or if a setting sun embraces a rice paddy outside of Chiang Mai, for an instant I’m a landscape photographer. As a photographer, I am always exploring self-expression and pushing the limits of what I – and my camera – can do. It’s a passion, it’s a job, it’s a lifestyle all wrapped up in a single package. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


March 25th 2015 - Written by: Kelsy

2015 Red Rock Rendezvous: Climbing, Clinics, Demos, and More!


As Spring blooms, so does our excitement for the 12th Annual Red Rock Rendezvous which takes place in the beautiful Red Rock Canyon just outside of Las Vegas, NV and is hosted by Osprey Packs retailer Mountain Gear. This year is guaranteed to be a great one — attendees will be coming in from across the nation to enjoy a weekend of climbing, clinics, demos, storytelling and much more!

Those interested in experiencing premiere rock climbing, desert single-track mountain biking, trail running and much more will gather at the mighty red rocks that overlook the event. The crowd will range from top outdoor industry brands to expert outdoor athletes to novice enthusiasts interested in learning more – everyone is welcome and all RRR attendees will leave after an experience like no other!

What’s going on March 27-29, 2015 at

Red Rock Rendezvous:

Clinics with Exceptional Athletes: Mountain biking, climbing, running, or general backcountry skills – you name it and there’s a clinic for it! With over 75+ clinics, you’re bound to find something that interests you. Taught by experts in the field, these clinics provide a unique, hands-on experience in a small group setting.


Dyno Competition, Dance Parties, Pancake Eating Contest and More! Be sure to check the schedule because this weekend is jampacked with a variety of fun games, on-site events, and presentations. You won’t want to miss the famous Red Rock Rendezvous Dyno Comp. in which participants put their dynamic climbing skills to the test! The same goes for the live music and other games put on by the sponsors of Red Rock Rendezvous — there’s a lot of fun to be had this weekend in the desert!

 Now that you have an idea of what Red Rock Rendezvous is all about, let’s fill you in on what’s happening at the Osprey Packs booth:

NEW for Spring 2015: Come by to check out the latest at Osprey Packs as we will have our select Spring ’15 product such as the Syncro Series and the revolutionary Atmos/Aura Anti-Gravity Series, and much more! Our on-site staff will show you all the latest and greatest and will be able to answer any questions you may have!AG Fit Station_Final_resend

Demo Packs at Red Rock Rendezvous and Feel the Osprey Difference:  We’ve got your back and will have our demo fleet of bike, climbing, and running packs available all weekend! Stop by the booth and talk with our team of expert pack fitters and outdoor enthusiasts who can help you make the best selection for your needs. Available demo packs at RRR include our Endurance/Trail packs, the Rev Series and 2015 Syncro Series as well as our Vertical Endeavor packs like the Mutant Series and Variant Series!

Our Anti-Gravity Fit Station: Revolutionary. Innovative. And maybe a little bit magic: our award-winning Anti-Gravity™ Suspension system provides seamless comfort that contours the body allowing a trail experience like no other.  Combined with custom capability and a full feature set, the Atmos AG™  sets a new standard in ventilated backpacking. Interested in what it feels like? Stop by our booth to try AG for yourself at our Anti-Gravity Fit Station.

Trail Running Clinics with Osprey Athlete Ben Clark: Interested in getting on the trail? Learn from the best at RRR — Osprey Athlete Ben Clark will be available to share his knowledge of trail running with anyone interested in pursing this growing outdoor endeavor!

Wscreen-shot-2014-11-28-at-8-09-23-pmin an Osprey Pack: Have 3 minutes to spare? Great! Couldn’t be easier to enter to win! Take our short event survey for a chance to win an Osprey pack!

“Creme de la Creme” Giveaways: Just another great reason to stop by the Osprey Packs booth — we’ll be giving away custom Osprey hats, coozies for your bevy, organic lipbalm, and much more!


Needless to say, it will be a great time in the desert and we hope to see you there! Don’t forget to the visit Red Rock Rendezvous Facebook page for updates!

2014-03-29 17.44.08

January 7th 2015 - Written by: Kelsy

The Largest Ice Festival In North America: Ouray Ice Festival Celebrates 20 Years


If you’ve never attended the largest ice climbing festival in North America, we can certainly give you a few reasons to come out for the 20th Annual Ouray Ice Fest. This celebration of ice climbing takes place in our beloved backyard of Southwest Colorado, January 8th-11th. Osprey Packs has been attending the Ouray Ice Festival for almost a decade and each year the festival manages to outshine the previous year with exceptional clinics from professional athletes, gear demos from over 20 sponsors, and, most importantly, awe-inspiring ice climbing competitions featuring top competitors from all over the world.

Ouray Festival Clinic

The park itself is an attraction worth seeing — for months preceding the festival, the Ouray Ice Park “Ice Farmers” have been cultivating immaculate, deep blue pillars of ice. The pillars stand a few hundred feet tall, towering above festival-goers in the small box canyon outside of Ouray. The stent of the ice-formed “hallways” provides over 200 ice climbing routes and makes a perfect playground for every ice climbing enthusiast, from skilled professional athletes to aspiring first-timers.

Need another reason to head to Ouray? How about demos from some of the top outdoor industry companies in the sport? Each day of the festival includes the opportunity to demo the latest and greatest from gear and apparel companies like Outdoor Research, Petzl, La Sportiva and of course, Osprey Packs! If you find gear that you like, you can test it out in one of the many clinics offered by San Juan Mountain Guides. All of the clinics offered during the Ouray Ice Festival are taught by world-class ice climbers and athletes, including Conrad Anker, Will Gadd, Kyle Dempster, and Osprey’s very own Ben Clark and Marcus Garcia!

After an exhilarating day of watching the competitions, testing gear and perfecting your ice techniques in the park, you’ll want to check out the additional events happening after-hours in the town of Ouray. There will be a celebratory kick-off on Thursday, a fashion show on Friday and “Prom Night” put on by Petzl on Saturday! Here’s a complete list of events.

 Osprey Packs will be located in the Gear Expo area just above the park and we will have several great on-site activities that you won’t want to miss:

Demo our packs: Whether you own an Osprey pack or in the market for a climbing pack, come try out our updated Mutant or Variant packs. Both of these provide unique features that can complete your ice climbing experience, whether it’s in the backcountry or at the park! 15_OurayIceFest_Demo_403x403

Win a pack! Take our 3 minute Event Survey and you will be entered to win an Osprey Packs Limited Edition Trip 20, ideal for multi-pitches, day-hikes and everything in between. We will select a winner each day of the festival at approximately 3 PM.

Fit Specialist on Site: Our staff are the cream of the crop when it comes to finding and fitting the perfect pack for you. Feel free to stop by and ask questions, geek out on our gear, or receive  advice on what is best for your upcoming travels, treks & endeavors.

20% off all Osprey Packs at Ouray Mountain Sports: It’s a “Win-Win” if you’ve found the right pack for you: after trying on and testing out a demo pack you’ll receive a 20% off the at local Osprey Packs retailer Ouray Mountain Sports, located conveniently in town.

Clinic With Osprey Athlete Marcus Garcia: San Juan Mountain Guides is a premiere guide company in Southwest Colorado and a longtime partner of Osprey Packs. SJMG works with top-tier athletes from all over the world to bring you the highest quality clinics and experiences. Maximize your experience at the Ouray Ice Festival by signing up for one of SJMG’s clinics, taking place Friday, Saturday and half of Sunday. Most of the clinics are full or filling up rapidly, but check out the remaining clinic, “Introduction to Ice Climbing” with Osprey Athlete and local CO legend, Marcus Garcia.


Don’t delay — get your axe in gear and get to the

20th Anniversary of the Ouray Ice Festival! 

May 14th 2014 - Written by: Kelsy

Dominion River Rockin’ Fest: The Best of the Best!

Dominion River Rock 2014 | Osprey Packs

Dominion Riverrock is the East Coast’s premier outdoor lifestyle festival: bringing athletes, spectators, musicians, and even dogs to Brown’s Island for a three-day festival against the backdrop of downtown Richmond’s urban riverfront. The festival features a variety of outdoor sports including trail running, kayaking, biking, bouldering, slacklining, stand up paddleboarding, and dog jumping. The event was designed to promote Richmond’s unique riverfront, downtown trails and whitewater rapids to outdoor enthusiasts. dominionriverrock.com

Dominion River Rock 2014 | Osprey Packs

We are delighted to announce that once again we will be attending Dominion RiverRock, the greatest outdoor lifestyle festival in the Southeast and quite possibly in the world! After attending for our first time last year, we wouldn’t miss it for anything — the Southern hospitality of Richmond, VA, the contagious enthusiasm on Brown’s Island, and the incredible artist line-up get better and better each year! (more…)

March 6th 2014 - Written by: Kelsy

Hey Utah! Vertfest is coming to you!



“Vertfest is a multi-stop mountain festival dedicated to raising the level of snow safety education and stoke for backcountry enthusiasts, and supporting the efforts of avalanches centers everywhere. “

For the first time ever, Vertfest is coming to Brighton, UT March 07 – 9, 2014 to bring you the 11th Annual Wasatch Powderkeg Ski Mountaineering Race and a weekend full of top-of-the-line demos from different companies such as La Sportiva, Scarpa, Voile, Mammut, Outdoor Research, as well as yours truly, Osprey Packs! (more…)

May 13th 2013 - Written by: Kelsy

Dominion Riverrock: Let the Festivities Begin!

Osprey is proud to announce that we will be attending the action-packed Dominion Riverrock Festival in Richmond, Virginia during the upcoming weekend of May 17-19. We’re super excited to be a part of the only festival of its kind, one that combines the best of both the outdoor adventure and the music worlds. Throughout the Fest, there will be endless competitions in biking, hiking, running and climbing, as well as performances by top notch artists such as Toots and the Maytals and many more!

Not only will there be on-going comps, music and fun, we’ll be there hosting our own events. One such activity will be the infamous Osprey Packs bola ball toss, which you can play to win a pack! All proceeds will be donated to the Blue Sky Fund, which makes your chance to win a pack that much better. We’ll also be selling packs in alliance with Blue Ridge Mountains Sports at a killer 20 percent off, and our very own Osprey Athlete Ben Clark will be guiding hikes with Virginia Trail Blazers and signing free posters throughout the weekend.

If you’re in the area and looking for a mind-blowing good time with loads of things to do, stop by our booth to check out the packs, get a poster or try your chance at bola ball for a good cause! Connect with the Fest on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and share the #riverrockrva love!


Whether your pack was purchased in 1974 or yesterday, Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge.