The Mightiest “Festival of Freeride and Mountain Mettle” in all of North America is returning to Alpental, WA on the 15th of February. So what does that mean? Well, it means that Osprey will be joining some of the best brands in the outdoor industry, including Outdoor Research, La Sportiva, and Mammut, to bring two full days of demos, clinics, beer drinking, races, snowfall, music, more beer drinking and many other forms of fun (all type 1 of course,) back to the great state of Washington.
We encourage all residents in the greater Seattle area to come out and join us this weekend — there are some events that you do NOT want to miss.
Not thoroughly convinced? Let us elaborate on why this may be the most epic weekend of skiing you’ll have this entire season: Read more…
Osprey Athlete Beth Rodden poster signing at the booth.
The 10th Anniversary of the Red Rock Rendezvous not only had a great attendance rate by pro climbers and climbing enthusiast alike, but also had the best weather it has seen in the past years. The tormenting desert winds took a hike the weekend of the festival, which left climbers with the perfect conditions for enjoying the festival events and outdoor activities.
The weekend was filled with various clinics from wilderness first aid, multi-pitch climbs, trad leads and even mountain bike clinics by our very own Osprey athletes Jeff Fox and Alison Gannett. Osprey provided demo packs to attendees for a chance to test out our new hydration packs and reservoir as well as our climbing specific packs, the Mutant and Variant.
As the festivities began to wind down and outdoor enthusiasts returned from their adventures, Red Rock Rendezvous continued the party with events like the Dyno Competition, where individuals would miraculously dyno to holds 6-9 feet above, and with guest speakers including Conrad Anker and Malcolm Daly who spoke about some of their landmark climbs from the past years, to bumping beats from various DJs later into the night.
Whether you were a local from Las Vegas, a dirtbag from different parts of the country, or a newbie just checking out the scene for the first time, Red Rock Rendezvous offered experiences for all skill sets and allowed strangers from all walks of life to celebrate climbing and outdoor community.
Today marks the kick-off of the Red Rock Rendezvous, and its 10 year anniversary, at Red Rocks Conservation Area in Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. The event is a veritable extravaganza of outdoor adventure, which includes back-to-back clinics focused on climbing, mountain biking, trail running and more. Powered by Mountain Gear and yours truly, Osprey Packs, we’ll be there to help celebrate and make it as unforgettable an event as ever!
Osprey Packs will be providing mountain bike clinics through the weekend at Red Rocks with the likes of Osprey Pro Athlete Alison Gannett and Osprey Amateur Athlete Jeff Fox. We’ll have demo bikes from our friends at Trek Bicycles and much more.
Saturday’s bound to be a big day, with Osprey-sponsored climbing clinics instructed by Osprey Athletes and pro climbers Majka Burhardt and Beth Rodden. Majka will instruct a “Learn to Trad Lead” clinic, and Beth will be leading a clinic on “Intermediate Sport and Techniques.” Adding to that, Saturday we’ll host a “Meet the Osprey Athletes” event from the booth with free poster signings. Come by the Osprey Booth from 6-6:30 to see Majka Burhardt, who will be signing posters and talking about her latest adventures. Right after, Beth Rodden will be signing posters and talking about her latest adventures from 7-7:30! For more information about the schedule and to sign up for clinics, visit the Red Rocks Rendezvous website here.
Throughout the weekend, Osprey Packs will also be stationed at its booth offering free pack demos, and we’ll have the brand-new line of men’s and women’s 2013 hydration packs and Variant and Mutant climbing packs there for you to try on. We’ll also be offering free pro pack sizings, fittings and advice from Osprey Packs experts throughout the event.
Adding a little more recreation to the event’s festivities, come by the Osprey booth to play our Access Fund Bola Bowl/Ladder Toss Game and you may win a free pack as we raise funds for the Access Fund! Then, try your hand at our “Fix a Flat Contest” and race against the clock to win prizes that include our spring 2013 line of Osprey hydration packs! To top it all off, we’ll have daily giveaways with swag, stickers and catalogs — so stop by to say hi!
Saturday was a first…ice climbing in Ouray’s Ice Park during the world’s most famous ice climbing festival! I slinked away from the Osprey demo tent to see just what this ice climbing thing was all about. Osprey athlete Majka Burhardt hosted a climbing clinic and I was lucky enough to squeeze in.
Putting on our harness, crampons, helmet and grabbing our ice axes, we headed up along the ravine edge to our destination, the Schoolhouse area. My eyes widened a bit as I surveyed the metal ladder. Hmmm. Exposure anyone? Ignoring a slight adrenaline surge, I turned around and gingerly made my way down the steps, my crampon points occasionally getting stuck between the inch-thick bars until I met the near-vertical snowy path, where a rope lay on the snow.
“Turn around Kerry!” Majka called to me, “It’s easier to pick your way facing downhill.”
Oh. And indeed it was, as I regained composure coming down.
We followed the path, passing under belayers’ ropes and gathered around. Majka methodically went through all we needed to know before getting on the ice. Harness safely in place. Check. Laces tightened up. Check. “Loose boots are no good ice climbing. You’re pivoting your foot and you want your feet snug in the boots, so make sure you cinch down the laces, especially around your ankles,” Majka explained. Next, she described the differences of tools–the shapes of the handles, what a leash will or won’t do for you and the types of crampons we all had and what they were good for.
Wasting no time, she showed us the motion and plane that the ice axes should be wielded, how far we should reach and where our arms and legs should be positioned to get leverage on the ice. The first two guinea pigs where up (okay, actually…there were only two of us who hadn’t tried ice climbing). As they made their way up the ice she instructed them and gave them pointers, both when they were climbing up and rapping down. A few more went. I happily snapped shots, occasionally chirping in with “Ice!!” as chunks came careening down.
“Alright, you’re up Kerry,” Majka surprised me.
No panseying-around here!
Despite my lack of excitement for heights paired with my cautiousness with two strained wrist muscles, this was just the ass kick I needed. Off I went. I didn’t have time to get worked up, although I did tell my belayer to take up a little more slack, that I preferred to know the rope was a bit more taut. My feet and my arms worked simultaneously in rhythm as I ascended the ice, Majka correcting me from the ground. I could feel the difference–the ease of proper technique versus relying on an awkward hold or foot placement.
So different from rock climbing. But I liked it. And I’ll be trying it again! Time to get back to the tent to help Sam show the Osprey love…