I’ve been shooting photos ever since I can remember, but after watching a video a few years ago where the Milky Way sprawled out above a mirror-like lake, I knew I had to try my hand at astrophotography.
It’s not everyday that you get to see the stars clearly when living in New England. I learned this the hard way when I moved out East after living in Colorado for 15 years. It was a whole new world, one that was rainy, cloudy and whose inhabitants were not nearly as friendly. Luckily for me I chose to attend the University of Connecticut, which at certain times of the year has a decent enough view of stars for me to get the shots that I want.
The past few months I have been venturing out into UConn’s woods armed with a 120-lumen flashlight, my Osprey Packs Kode 32 packed with all my camera gear and the ever-important thermal underwear. I try to venture out each week when the conditions are ideal; I’m talking no clouds and little moonlight to get the clearest possible shot. This winter has offered a good amount of chances to get out and shoot. It is an amazing feeling to venture out in the dead of night to gaze up into the sky — especially when everything is silent, muffled by the recent snow. Read more…
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.
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!
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.
998 Exhibiting Brands. 21,814 Total Expo Attendance. 4 days of Outdoors Industry Good Times.
In addition to being the tradeshow “where the latest technical innovations of outdoor gear are found,” Outdoor Retailer could be described as one giant summer camp for any and all retailers, brands, nonprofits, athletes, activists and organizations related to the Outdoor Industry. For Outdoor Industry companies, this tradeshow allows us to come together twice a year (once in summer, once in winter) and connect — whether it’s putting a face to the the person we’ve been emailing for months or seeing our local retailer friends again. It’s a time when people from all over the world gather at the Salt Lake City Salt Palace, take a look at the innovative gear coming out next season and celebrate what brings us together: the outdoors! And while we always have a blast at OR, this summer’s show isn’t going to be just another tradeshow for us — we’re celebrating our 40th Anniversary with our industry friends, partners, retailers and fans alike!
Attending OR August 6-9? Be sure to visit the Osprey Booth (#5010) to see our Spring 2015 product line — we’ve got some exciting new packs and gear debuting at the show! Make sure you don’t miss a beat by checking out the Show Overview ,Event Schedule, and Education Schedule.
And if you’re not able to attend (OR isn’t open to consumers, unlike the majority of the events we attend!) you can get a sneak peek of gear debuting at the show and follow the day-to-day news with outlets like the OR Show Dailies and The Gear Junkie (whose Summer OR gear preview features our Spring 2015 Atmos AG!) as well as following the #ORshow hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. We’ll be posting behind the scenes updates on the Osprey Packs Twitter and Instagram feeds — be sure to follow us for the latest!
If you’re heading to the show for your 1st, 2nd or 40th time, you probably know that there’s never a shortage of activities, parties, panels & events, but because this just so happens to be our 40th Anniversary summer show, we want to make sure you know about some special Osprey Packs events you won’t want to miss:
$40 Spring 2015 Escapist 25– All Proceeds Donated to the Conservation Alliance: We’re proud to be longtime supporters of the Conservation Alliance, an incredible nonprofit that for 25 years has been engaging Outdoor Industry businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. Osprey will be offering our Spring 2015 Escapist 25 (Retail $125) for $40. All proceeds from the sale of this pack (which won’t be available at retailers until Spring 2015!) will be donated to The Conservation Alliance.
Leave No Trace “Great Gear Giveaway”– Make sure you make your way to the Leave No Trace booth as they will be giving out one of the best prizes at OR! The Great Gear Giveaway happens on Wednesday 8/6, Thursday 8/7 and Friday 8/8 of the show and includes 6 boxes of gear filled with an assortment of gear from 20 Leave No Trace partners!
Osprey Packs 40th Anniversary Happy Hour– Free beer and amazing pints provided by Klean Kanteen? We could stop there, but that’s not all! Join us from 4:30-6:00 on Wed. 8/6 and we’ll also have fresh Osprey Packs swag and a very special musical appearance that will surely have you groovin’ during the Happiest of Hours! Come enjoy a beer in a commemorative 40th Anniversary pint, get your Wilderness Ranger Cookbook signed by USFS Ranger Ralph Swain and get in on great giveaways!
The Conservation Alliance 25th Anniversary Party– We’re not the only ones with a milestone anniversary to celebrate at this OR! The Conservation Alliance turns 25 this year, and we are celebrating their tireless dedication to uniting our industry and protecting the wild places we love! The Conservation Alliance is throwing a party to celebrate with their friends & supporters, featuring music from Osprey favorite The Infamous Stringdusters, on Thursday August 7, from 6-10 p.m. at The Lot (115 S. West Temple), directly across the street from the main entrance to the Salt Palace.
Ragnar and OIWC Relay Challenge Presented by Outdoor Retailer — This Friday, August 8, 6am-10am at The Pavilions, relay teams of three will pound the pavement on this 3-mile, out and back course. Come out to cheer on Osprey’s teams – or even better sign up and help us build another team!! Support the work of the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) who provide advocacy, education and resources for women in the Outdoor, Bike, and Snow Industries.
Check out this ZigZagging interview from last OR show with Osprey Founder, Mike Pfotenhauer! Here’s to a great show!
It’s that time! We excited to once again be attending the Sea Otter Classic, April 10-13, 2014! In addition to having the worthy mission of “making people’s lives better through participation in sport and recreation and through celebration of an active outdoor lifestyle,” Sea Otter is known for its incredible attendance — some 65,000 fellow bike folk (including professional riders, cycling enthusiasts, and the best bike gear companies) will be out and celebrating all things cycling at this weekend’s season opener in beautiful Monterey, California.
Here’s a resolution worth keeping in 2014: learn how to float effortlessly through powder, catch air off rocks, and shred trees and steeps. Did we mention you can win an Osprey Kode 32 pack as well? This week, World Champion Freeskier and Osprey Ambassador Alison Gannett will be giving away an Osprey Snowsports Pack to one of the lucky skiers that register for her KEEN Rippin Chix Steeps and Powder Camp. Our Kode 32 is a dedicated, technical backcountry snowplay pack that was designed specifically for the backcountry and after testing it out for their Gear Guide, Backpacker Magazine said the Kode 32 is “perfect” for both backcountry skiing or snowboarding.
Singletracks spent some quality time checking out quality gear this year, and at Interbike in particular. Its editors came away with some great knowledge of the best cycling gear the year of 2013 has had to offer. Here’s how they put it:
Now it’s our turn: we’ve called on our blog team members to choose the best mountain bike gear of the year.
We’d definitely recommend reading the entire post, as it’s chock full of great gear. But we’ll hone in on one specific pick that’s naturally near and dear to us here at Osprey HQ. The Best Women’s Gear was none other than the Osprey Verve. And here’s what Singletracks says about it:
In one week in Park City we took on two different rides of 4+ hours, and having a pack that would hold 3 liters of water, several snacks, a rain jacket, and more, was crucial. The Osprey Verve was up to the task. The padded mesh shoulder straps kept the pack comfortable during even the longest ride, and being able to adjust those straps meant that during rocky downhills the pack stayed firmly in place.
Need an excuse to get out for a weekend of riding bikes, trying out cycling gear and entering to win rad prizes? We didn’t think so. Hence, our announcing that the second annual Southeast Bike Expo is right around the corner! For the second year in a row, the SE Bike Expo will head to Conyers, GA for a three days of cycling festivities; the weekend will kick off with a free dealer-only day on Friday, February 22, followed by open public access on the 23rd and 24th.
Here’s some background from last year’s event, as well as what to expect this year, via Cycling News:
In 2012, there were over 600 bikes of all types for demo by attendees. With the addition of other major bike brands, up to 1,000 demo bikes are expected to be available for the weekend.
The expo will again include not only mountain bike and road manufacturers, but also other cycling industry vendors.
“Our goal is to put on a fun event in a great location for very low cost to manufacturers, retailers, and consumers,” said Brian Molloy.
Part of the excitement of the SE Bike Expo is that it allows consumers to see the newest and most exciting gear out there. There will be a ton of new product there, including Osprey Raptor/Raven and Viper/Verve packs available for demos. What’s more, if you join IMBA at the Osprey booth, you’ll be immediately entered in a raffle to win a brand-new pack. And even if you don’t win the raffle, there will be plenty of take-away schwag (think: stickers and tire levers) to take home with you.
There will be tons of vendors and fantastic bike companies to check out at the Expo, including Vee Rubber, Felt Bicycles, Rocky Mountain Bicycles, and Skanunu Lubricants. Add to that companies such as Tifosi Optics, Light & Motion, Camelbak, Shimano, Kenda and Thomson — and you’ve got the world of bike gear and garb nearly at your fingertips. We’ll see you there, rain or shine!
Mountain 2 Mountain’s Shannon Galpin has spent the past several years pedaling in Afghanistan, and in the midst of her journeys, she’s observed the following: “… usually the only bikes I see are simple Pakistani made commuters bikes, ridden around the country on dirt roads and highways by men and boys of all ages.” But last November, Shannon met the Men’s National Cycling Team, which made a huge impression. As Shannon put it, “They have a real love of the sport, racing in Kabul and in Pakistan. Several mentioned their hope to compete one day in the Olympics.” What’s more, even though it is culturally unacceptable for women to ride in Afghanistan, Shannon found out that there happen to be 10-12 women on the Cycling Team with the support of the coach.
While the cycling community in Afghanistan is there (and slowly gaining ground), it remains fact that those riding are doing so with virtually no support, on bikes that don’t always suit their needs and with gear that’s less than ideal. That’s why Mountain 2 Mountain is organizing a month-long bicycle gear drive that will begin on Friday, February 15th. Here’s the full run-down of details:
The most-needed items (i.e. suggested donations) are, for both women and men, both road and mountain bike: “helmets, pedals, shoes, cleats, seats, chammies, long pants, jerseys, gloves, jackets, windbreakers, sunglasses, socks, tools, tubes (no 29′ers please), tires, lube, air pumps. Lightly used old gear and new gear is welcomed!!” Cash donations to help with transport costs will also be accepted. There will be four drop-off locations in Colorado (Denver – Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop, Boulder – Boulder Cycle Sport, Golden - Rise Above Cycles, Frisco – Podium Sports). Additionally, individuals are welcome to send a box of their gear donations directly to Mountain 2 Mountain (PO Box 7399, Breckenridge, CO 80424). All gear will be picked up on March 15th, so gather your goods and get them out the door ASAP!