Posts Tagged ‘ice climbing’

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

January 9th, 2014

What better way to kick off 2014 than with a few jitters, chattering teeth, and a full serving of adrenaline as you carefully choose where to swing your axe next??

That’s what will be happening in the little town of Ouray, Colorado, as people from all over the country travel to Ouray to participate in one of the largest ice festivals in the nation. This will be our 10th year attending and there are MANY reasons we keep coming back!

It will all kick off on Thursday night, January 9th, with presentations and delicious beers brewed in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. Read more…

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Dreams of Brown Moose: A Classic Alaska Ice Climb

November 14th, 2012

Joe Stock is a mountain guide and photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska.

Dreams of Brown Moose is a classic early-season ice climb in the Portage Valley near Anchorage. This 500-foot, Water Ice IV route has the ingredients of a proper Alaska adventure with a bushwacking approach, dodgy thin ice, overflowing water and deathly avalanche terrain. I went with Sam Johnson, a life-long Alaska climber, artist and Ph.D candidate to give it a shot.

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West To East, and A Dinner To Celebrate It

February 21st, 2012

The view of Mt. Washington 87 steps from my front door

A Call to Action for the American Alpine Club Annual Dinner, where climbing is climbing.

I’m practicing owning up to my origins. Colorado used to just roll off my tongue. New Hampshire? It’s clunky, it’s two words, and it takes explaining.

Contrary to what many presume from my quick speech and intense personality, I am not an easterner and never have been. Until now. In January Peter and I packed up the van and headed east. I’ve flirted with living in New Hampshire for the past three years (read more in my Go East Article in Alpinist Magazine). Now we’re going steady.

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Munising and the Michigan Ice Fest 2012

February 10th, 2012

This past weekend Osprey Packs was happy to be a part of the Michigan Ice Fest in the incredible Upper Peninsula of Michigan. With basecamp set in Munising at Sydney’s Restaurant, the climbs start east of town stretching for the next 30+ miles along Lake Superior in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. More climbs than can be counted form every season, with more than one hundred forming in a good year. Some of these routes seep directly into the big lake or onto a wild new world of shelf ice once the lakeshore is frozen solid and you can walk on it below the 150 to 200-foot sandstone cliffs.

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Friday Round Up: Welcome Back Winter

February 3rd, 2012

More from Kim Havell... shredding. Photo: Perpetual Weekend

Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each week. We call it the Osprey Round Up… Happy Friday!

The season took its sweet time to come in this year, but it’s finally here. Over the last few weeks, mountains have been dusted and in many cases, pounded, with snow and waterfalls have frozen into walls of ice. We’ve got great plans for the next few days — skiing, ice climbing, cycling and hiking our way through this first weekend of February. A lot of great shots of people out enjoying the elements have come our way, so we thought it would be best to put together a quick photo gallery of our favorites to really kick the weekend off right.

Enjoy, and happy Friday!

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The Ouray Ice Festival Kicks Off January 5

January 3rd, 2012

The Ouray Ice Park is the world’s first ice climbing park and we’re lucky enough to have it right in our backyard. The Ouray Ice Festival kicks off this Thursday, a celebration of all things climbing and a competition attracting climbers from across globe.

Home to dozens of 80-to-200-foot waterfalls along a one-mile stretch of the Uncompahgre Gorge, climbing routes scatter the length of the park. Just looking at the series of frozen waterfalls is spectacular, and watching climbers make their way up the vertical ice sheets is an experience — not to mention getting on the ice yourself.

We’re excited as always to support this great event. If you’re planning on traveling to Ouray, here’s what we have in store for you…

  • Full selection of free pack demos.
  • Free professional onsite pack sizing and fittings.
  • Full display of all that is new for 2012.
  • Great giveaways and daily pack giveaways from the Ice Park booth.
  • Intro to Ice Clinics with osprey athlete Ben Clark.
  • Killer deals on Osprey Packs throughout the festival and beyond from local Osprey Retailer Ouray Mountain Sports.

Hope to see you there!


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Changes in the Weather Bring Changes in the Soul

November 9th, 2011

Photo by Doug Hemken

The other day it snowed. That’s right, I got snowed on… It was cold and it was wet and it was miserable. I was on a rock climbing trip to the Red River Gorge for a long weekend of clipping bolts, pulling pockets and enjoying one last warm weather rock trip. All I wanted to do was bask in the sun, wear a t-shirt and cook breakfast on the camp stove without shivering.

I got snowed on… It was cold and it was wet and it was WONDERFUL! I forgot what it was like and my mind started to wander to other things. I dreamed of frozen waterfalls, deep snow,  groomed trails. I dreamed of waxing my skis and sharpening my ice picks. I dreamed of winter and what it will all bring.

The new season called winter is coming and I am excited for it!

Jon Jugenheimer is an Osprey sales rep with Ames Adventure Outfitters. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, is addicted to climbing and loves fried chicken.

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Successful Failure: A Rope, a Rack and an Osprey Pack on my Back

October 17th, 2011

Photo by Eric Dacus

The late summer brings me to the Teton Range every year to climb. By August the snow is usually gone, the sun is high and the rock is warm. One of the most popular routes on the Grand is the Exum Ridge. The moderate climb is a long aesthetic line high on the mountain that leads straight up  from the Lower Saddle to the summit. Last summer a few friends and I made an attempt to climb this route car-to-car. We decided to leave the valley floor to attempt to summit and get back to the car in time to grab a pizza at Dornans.

We left the trailhead at 3:30 a.m. and started up. It was a bit cold, but as long as we kept moving we were warm enough. A quick few hours later we saw the sun rise and light shine across the valley to explode on the side of Nez Perce. We made it up to the lower saddle just in time to see the guided groups coming down after a failed quick attempt. The problem was it rained hard the night before in the valley, so the whole mountain was covered in ice because of the cold at elevation. Lots and lots of ice…

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March 26th, 2011

Ice Climbing, 1996 season, age 20. Ready for a seson switch?

In conjunction with

It’s spring. It’s time to emerge from winter. It’s time, for me, to stop wearing long underwear. This is hard, because I have been wearing the same pair all winter long. One pair. It’s been easier this way. This wooly bottom/top combination has swathed me while I swung at ice in Montana, Wyoming, Ouray, Michigan, New Hampshire and Vail, throughout a dozen journeys to ice climb this winter.

But on Monday I am headed to a tropical island with daytime highs in the 90’s. I keep putting those long-underwear into my luggage, right by my second bikini, and keep taking them out. This—not the rope, quickdraws, or bolts—will be what gets me flagged as a suspicious suspect in customs. It’s time to move on.

I am a grudging participant in the multi-sport revolution. I live in Boulder, and my opposition is thus poorly chosen. Boulderites switch deftly between a morning ski, an afternoon mountain bike, and an evening climb of the flatiron by headlamp. Over the past six years of living here I have learned that I am good for a two-fer, but that the trifecta continues to allude me. It’s therefore time for new rules.

1: Rollerblading is a sport.

2. Hula hooping counts.

Work with me. Wait—hold on. I just hula hooped. It’s 7 am and I’ve already got one sport down.

Island Bound

I’ve always secretly thought that the tri-sport addicts were ostentatious athletes in need of showcasing their talents on a revolving basis. But now I’m starting to understand that we might add a sport to be bad at a sport. The good part about this rational is also that the more you do it, the more tired you are, and the more chances you thus have for mediocrity at more sports, and thus you have more and more motivation to get better.

This is why this spring, I am embracing the multi-sport lifestyle. In part I am doing this because I got too good at packing for ice climbing, and it seems that my clutch pair of long underwear are permanently forged in the shape of my body. Something needs to shake loose. So I will travel to sport climb and then come back and slide into the wool to go and ski in Canada’s Adamants when I return. I will change my cadence and see if I can keep up. Maybe this is why we have seasons—why the sun, wind and precipitation force us to make different decisions throughout the year. We can cheat the system by hopping on a plane and chasing the sameness in our lives. But eventually we will get a window seat and fly over snowy mountains when we’re pursuing summer’s permanence, or sunny beaches when we’re hot on winter’s tail. Eventually we will want to try our hand at it all. But to do this, we sometimes have to be willing to try more than one at a time.

I’m making the move, but maybe not how you’d expect. The long underwear are not island-bound. I’ve taken them out to make room for the hula-hoop. I’ve got climbing and hula-hooping, guaranteed in the next week. I just need my third sport. Right now, I’m betting on salsa dancing.


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Getting it Anyway

April 26th, 2010
Life in Action, by Peter Doucette

Life in Action, by Peter Doucette

Climbers can, as a rule, break rules. We expand our youth, our shoulder stamina, and, most commonly, our seasons. How many people do you know who go crack climbing in shorts in January? Ice climbing in puff jackets in June? Sport climbing in bikinis February? Hyper-mobility and air travel lends itself to this, but so does the split personality of any excessive outdoorsy person.

I’m one of the worst offenders. To make it more interesting (read: personally challenging), I try to be prepared for any activity at any time. This works. Or it does until you have back surgery.

Two weeks ago, I packed up my rental apartment in North Conway, NH. I lovingly placed my monopoint crampons next to my leashless tools. I stuffed my ice climbing packs with every extra down/synthetic/wool/fleece layer I had.  I took my boots and filled them with screws, and then nestled them into duffles. In the beginning, I held up each piece of gear as if honoring it before mashing it into a temporary resting place. I mourned that I would not use it for more than a half dozen months. And then I got a shooting pain down my right leg, stood up with the help of the wall and a chair, limped to my bed, and laid down.

Read more…

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