It’s that time of year again! Vertfest is and always will be known as “the best Festival of Freeride and Mountain Mettle in North America,” and it’s back, ready to kick off on February 16th and 17th in Alpental, WA. Naturally, we’ll be there to help celebrate. Here’s the full scope of what you can expect:
The weekend will begin on Saturday with the Monika Johnson Memorial Rally, with a race division that’ll take participants on two laps up Alpental and back — in addition to a recreational division, as well as a 50+ and splitboard division, all of which will offer up just one lap. Saturday will progress with a contest, an awards ceremony and an epic raffle with ski and pack giveaways. Saturday’s festivities will cap off with live music from Head Like A Kite and Daydream Vacation.
Sunday is the day of educational clinics, ranging from an Intro to Splitboarding with Neil Provo to a clinic focused on landscape photography to a Sidecountry Steeps Clinic with our very own Osprey Athlete Kim Havell. This clinic will take place from 9-12 and 1-4 p.m. You can check the full clinic schedule for details here, but be sure to stop by the Osprey booth on Sunday between 4 and 4:30 for a chance to meet Kim Havell, who will be doing a poster-signing!
Throughout the weekend, Osprey will be providing free demos on the Karve series of sidecountry riding packs, as well as the Kode 22 backcountry riding pack, so be sure to swing by to try on a Karve or Kode pack and get fitted by a professional. We’ll have Karve 6, 11 and 16 as well as the Kode 22 on hand for free demos. What’s more, we’ll be there with the entire Osprey winter collection and all of the new packs that will be coming in Spring of 2013. And while you’re at the Osprey booth, be sure to take the 3-minute Osprey Vertfest survey for a chance to win a brand-new Osprey pack. We’ll see you on the mountain!
Oh, the withdrawal. Staring out the window with a distant look. Wandering through the office with hunched shoulders. The utter lack of focus. For several years, I have joined a close (and ever widening) group of friends to spend one week in Canada ski touring at a number of the fantastic huts in the mountains of Southeastern British Columbia. Powder Creek, Kokanee Glacier Lodge, Fairy Meadows and this year, Valhalla Mountain Touring.
I’ve been back for a couple weeks, but the rhythm of VMT is still with me. Our guide and the owner of VMT is Evan Stevens. Along with his wife Jasmin, they have established one of the best powder skiing locations you will find anywhere on the planet. Top it off with incredible food prepared by Annie Strucel, a fellow “tellyer” and the experience is stellar. In fact, I’m pretty sure that VMT is heaven on earth.
Osprey Ambassador Alison Gannett here, writing from Crested Butte, Colorado. Lots of time I’m training for competitions, or fighting to save our snow, but today was one of those days were I just SKIED. Not only was there stellar powder, but I was hanging with my good friends.
Gareth and Sam from Osprey had just sent me a new KODE 30 to test, so I guess I was really working hard today – right? I must say, I loved the gear compartments, the side zipper access, and its sexy look. Another test item I brought along was a jelly jar filled with coffee, wrapped in a hot pink Osprey beer Coozie. I think everyone should have one.
Great powder days like this not only remind me of why I fight to SAVE OUR SNOW (http://www.saveoursnowfoundation.org) but also it really recharges my batteries, gives my life a blissful balance, and reminds me of how damn lucky I am, especially in the wake of Haiti.
Stay posted for my upcoming competition – The 7 extreme hours of Banana, and I’ll try to dig up some good photos of my 42k skate race in a thong bikini.