Osprey athlete

November 19th 2015 - Written by: Sara Murphy

Escalante Canyon: Climbing the Forgotten Indian Creek with Ben Rueck

Ben Rueck and Sam Feuerborn figure out a game plan in Escalante Canyon, CO

via Rock and Ice magazine

“Ben Rueck makes the second ascent of the Escalante Canyon test-piece Frank Zappa Appreciation Society (5.13+), Colorado.

With miles of untouched sandstone, splitter cracks and no crowds, Escalante Canyon is “like the Forgotten Indian Creek,” says Mayan Smith-Gobat.”

See Ben sending “Gutless Wonder” at the Poux, Glenwood Springs, CO:

About Osprey Athlete Ben Rueck:

Ben Rueck on Gutless Wonder -- 5.14b, Fault Wall, Puoux -- Glenwood Springs, COI am a professional rock climber focused on reaching my greatest potential in the discipline that I have chosen. Why do I climb?  To put it simply, there is nothing else that inspires me to better myself quite like climbing does.  It has this incredible ability to bolster and humble me as I push harder toward my goals.  Climbing makes me earn every inch– and what one can achieve is simply amazing.  In my pursuit to better myself I travel the world in search of inspiration from people, cultures, and rock.

Follow Ben’s adventures:




October 21st 2015 - Written by: Kelsy

Osprey Athlete Kim Havell Tests Osprey Gear in the Mountains of Patagonia

Osprey athlete Kim Havell has skied on all 7 continents, with 1st descents on 4, and adventured in over 50 countries. During her travels, she has climbed and skied big peaks in the Himalaya & the Karakorum, the highest mountains across the US, with 1st descents both at home and abroad including in the Arctic and Antarctic. Kim has numerous first female descents in Southwest Colorado, climbed and skied both the Grand Teton and Mt. Moran in a 2 day period, completed multiple ascents and ski descents of 13ers & 14ers, and cut lines on peaks in France, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, Alaska, Russia, and Japan.


This October, Kim found herself seeking adventure in the Patagonia region of South America. On this trip, Kim’s goal is to enjoy life on the road while discovering big ski lines before the winter season ends in the mountains of our hemispheric counter-part. As a gear-hauling company focused on design and function, we thought this would to be the perfect opportunity for Kim to test new women’s-specific Osprey Packs gear to be released in 2016. As Osprey Product Coordinator Rosie Mansfield explains, “(Athlete Testing) enables us to provide insight to the unique fit, function and aesthetics of this new technical women’s ski line from the perspective of a professional athlete.”

At Osprey, a key philosophy in designing gear has been “To Inspire & Ease Your Journey.” To stay true to our commitment, it takes feedback at all stages of a pack’s development, from our consumers, professionals athletes like Kim and other Osprey athletes. Kim Havell has been a key player in the design, testing, development, fit and end-use of our women’s-specific pack offerings and will continue to assist us in pushing the envelope so that we can offer innovative, groundbreaking products that provide the best design and function for woman who get outdoors.

We caught up with Kim to ask her a few questions about her upcoming trip to Patagonia.

Stay tuned for more from Kim and her adventures while living on the road in South America.

Ultimate goal for this trip? What about little goals?

KH: Both are the same – ski some fun peaks and great lines and embrace the culture and flexibility of life on the road.

Have you been to South America before?

KH: I’ve been to Bariloche, Buenos Aires, and Mendoza – did a ski expedition on Aconcagua a few years ago.


What makes this trip so special? What are you doing different this time around?

KH: We’re picking up a fellow Ice Axe Expeditions guide’s van and driving and skiing down Ruta 40 from Bariloche to Patagonia. There’s a real freedom to this trip and it is an accessible option for those who love to backcountry ski and explore big mountains.

What do you typically eat on a trip like this?

KH: Well we’re going to meat country so we’ll shop and eat local. And, I’ll have a healthy supply of PROBARS for our ski days in the mountains.


Do you have any special rituals or traditions when you’re on the road for long periods of time?

KH: Check snow and weather every morning and evening. And, I’ll bring some lavender and eucalyptus so the van smells nice.

What are some of the things you’re most looking forward to about this trip? 

KH: Seeing the lake districts and après with local vino.


How do you scout or research trips like this one to Patagonia?

KH: I am always watching weather and conditions in remote or interesting places. When certain opportunities pop up or things align, I make a spontaneous trip happen or plan for something down the road. Usually, I see, hear, or read something that is of interest and a trip grows and cultivates out of that.


In regards to what you pack, how was this trip different and what do you do when preparing for these types of trips?

KH: We are car camping so it is lighter packing than most expeditions but we have a great deal of gear to bring along. My ski companion, Jessica Baker, and I have compiled a comprehensive list of necessary items and we’ll pack off of that.

What do you do when you’re not skiing?

HV: I’m usually in the mountains – hiking, running, climbing, or with horses.


Anything else you’re currently psyched on for this year? 

KH: My boyfriend, a 4th generation Outfitter in WY, and I just adopted 3 mustangs and 3 burros from the BLM wild horse program at the Honor Farm in Riverton, WY. So, I am excited to work with my 2-yr-old horse, Otter, over the coming months and learn how to train and work with him in the field.

Current favorite Osprey pack(s)?

KH: The Osprey Kyte Series, Variant Series & Mutant Series.

Be sure to keep up with Kim as she plans for bigger and better in 2016:





October 17th 2015 - Written by: alison

CROP-fit: Holy Terror Farm Ski Training & Harvesting with Osprey Athlete Alison Gannett

I feel the chill in the air this week, watching the leaves turn, and suddenly everyone starts to talk about skiing/snowboarding. We can’t help ourselves — powder is just too addictive. Here at our homestead, Holy Terror Farm, we can ski and bike out our door AND still manage to grow and raise almost 100% of our own food.

At first I was worried that I wouldn’t be “training” as hard here in Paonia as I was living in Crested Butte. Little did I know how hard farming was! We joke daily about starting a new fitness trend – “CROP-fit” – hauling water, food, animals (weights!), weeding (yoga), herding dogs/animals (cardio). Farming like Little House on the Prairie involves using every muscle in the body, in a fantabulously comprehensive way. Ever tried lifting a 400 pound pumpkin?

Worried that you don’t have a farm for your training? Stay with me and I’ll give you my favorite ski/snowboard trick below.

Right now, we are harvesting about 2000 pounds of winter squashes.


I pick about 100 pounds of tomatoes a day, seed and core them, solar-cook them down to paste and then can them.

Back Camera

For winter preservation of zillions of peppers, I ferment them, dry them, or roast them.


Last week, our Scottish Highland cows met their maker and are now in the freezer, along with their much coveted fat which we use everyday – for cooking, chicken/dog feed, candles and soaps.


I’ve learned firsthand how our ancestors kept fit — and it didn’t involve a gym or any fitness gimmicks. Fitness was an inherent part of survival and life. Incredibly, now when I ski, bike or surf, I find myself even more all-over fit than when I was “training” in a less farm-focused manner and with no injuries.

But asked what my favorite quick way to get in shape for ski season, I will always resort to running in the mountains — preferably bounding downhill with a loaded pack (Osprey of course!). That simulates those muscles that contract when you are riding your board/boards and the extra weight make those muscles respond more vigorously.

You will know that you have achieved your plyometric training when you find it difficult to sit down or go downstairs. Voila – your first days of skiing/boarding will be a piece of cake now.

A silhouette of a woman hiker on the Biafo glacier in the Karakoram Himalaya in Pakistan

ALISON GANNETT is a self-sufficient farmer, World Champion Extreme FreeSkier, pro mountain Alison Gannett and Spot by Jim Brettbiker, award-winning global cooling consultant, and founder of the multiple non-profits. In addition to her busy careers as an athlete, athlete ambassador and keynote speaking, she runs her KEEN Rippin Chix Camps – women’s steep skiing, biking and surf camps around the globe, featuring Osprey Packs. She has starred in many movies, TV shows, and magazines receiving many awards for her work including National Geographic’s Woman Adventurer of the Year, Powder Magazine’s “48 Greatest Skiers of All Time” and Outside Magazine’s “Green All-Star of theYear” next to Leonardo DiCaprio and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Always an advocate of walking the talk, she has reduced her carbon footprint in half and has also spent half a lifetime working to make the world a better place. In 2010, she and her husband Jason bought Holy Terror Farm, beginning the next chapter of personal health and self-sustainability.

October 7th 2015 - Written by: Joe Stock

Chamonix Envers with Osprey Athlete Joe Stock

Chamonix is the world center for climbing. The Envers Refuge is where climbers and guides go on vacation. It’s a mellow scene, but the rock routes are huge. This year Cathy and I came to Chamonix prepared for the Envers with a double rack, twin ropes and our Osprey Mutant packs. Between weather and work, we squeezed in a day and a half of climbing at the Envers. Lucky us!

Cathy Flanagan rock climbing at the Envers, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France.

The Refuge de l’Envers is perched above the Mer de Glace Glacier, on a buttress of rock that splits seas of granite.

Cathy Flanagan rock climbing at the Envers, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France.

It’s a three-hour approach to the Envers after taking the Montenvers Railway from Chamonix. From the Montenvers we dropped down ladders, cables and moraine to the withering Mer de Glace Glacier. Each year the glacier drops, exposing more teetering moraine. We hiked a mile up the Mer de Glace, then climbed ladders to the Envers Refuge. Typical of the Alps, route finding was a no-brainer.

Cathy Flanagan rock climbing at the Envers, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France.

After the approach, Cathy and I dropped our packs and climbed La Piege. Two hundred meters of 6a+ granite crack climbing just five minutes from the refuge.

Cathy Flanagan rock climbing at the Envers, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France.

The next day we climbed Amazonia, a 370-meter 6a+ on the First Point of the Nantillions. Here’s Cathy leading a polished slab on the second pitch. For us the route was 13 pitches of clean granite climbing. It’s not the orange granite like above the Vallee Blanche on the Midi or Capucin, but it’s still really good.


Cathy Flanagan rock climbing at the Envers, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France.

Cathy near the summit of Amazonia. It took eight quick rappels to get down. We’ll be back for more!



Osprey Packs Athlete Joe Stock is an internationally Joe_Stock_Osprey_Packs_Athletecertified IFMGA mountain guide based in Anchorage, Alaska. He has been climbing and skiing around the world for 25 years with extensive time in the mountains of Alaska, the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the North Cascades of Washington and Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Since 1995, Joe has been freelance writing for magazines starting with a feature article in Rock & Ice on climbing the Balfour Face on Mount Tasman in New Zealand. Since then, he’s published numerous articles on adventures and mountain technique in rags such as Climbing, Backcountry, Alaska, Climbing, Trail Runner, Men’s Health and Off Piste.


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.


July 26th 2015 - Written by: Joe Stock

Mountaineering in the Arctic Refuge with Osprey Athlete Joe Stock

Osprey Packs Athlete Joe Stock is an internationally certified IFMGA mountain guide based in Anchorage, Alaska. He has been climbing and skiing around the world for 25 years with extensive time in the mountains of Alaska, the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the North Cascades of Washington and Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Since 1995, Joe has been freelance writing for magazines starting with a feature article in Rock & Ice on climbing the Balfour Face on Mount Tasman in New Zealand. Since then, he’s published numerous articles on adventures and mountain technique in rags such as Climbing, Backcountry, Alaska, Climbing, Trail Runner, Men’s Health and Off Piste.


In 2009, Paul Muscat and I climbed Mount Chamberlin, then considered to be the highest summit in the Brooks Range at 9,020 feet. Now, Mount Isto might be the highest at 9,060 feet. It was just the excuse we needed for another trip to this pristine wilderness.

Joining us was Glenn Wilson and James Kesterson. Over the past 17 years we’ve been on many trips together: Denali, Mount Baker, Marcus Baker, Mount Bona, Mount Iliamna, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Mount Chamberlin, Mount Logan and the Central Talkeetna Mountains. On this trip we didn’t get up Isto, but we had a blast exploring and bagging peaks.

With logistics help from Alaska Alpine Adventures, we flew direct from Fairbanks to the Jago River with Wright Air. It was a two and half hour bush flight, with no in-flight service. This region is better known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where Alaska’s embarrassing half-term governor once said, “Drill baby drill.”

The plane is a Helio Courier, made in the 1970’s and designed for a low stall speed. Supposedly it will fall horizontally rather than nose dive. The tires are Alaskan Bushwheels, made near Anchorage in Chugiak. They are the “premier tire for extreme backcountry adventures.”


Glenn and I got brand new Volt 75 packs for the trip. They were perfect! The right size for our eight days of food, fuel and mountaineering gear. They fit like a slipper, straight out of the wrapper. Once again, Osprey made our trip better.


mtn.anwr.stock-720Our first summit was the 8,625-foot Screepik. While conducting summit LNC (Leave No Cairn) we found Tom Choate’s name in a sodden film canister. In 1999 he climbed Screepik and made the impressive scramble over to Isto. His trip reports are in the October 1999, February 2000 and the November 2013 Scree newsletters from the Mountaineering Club of Alaska. Choate called Peak 8625 “Spectre”. First ascentionists called it Shadow Peak. Keeping with the tradition, we called it Screepik. Scree for the endless boulderfields, and “pik” for the Inuit word for “genuine.”



Descending from the summit of Screepik. Nobody out there. Just us.



After eight days of mountaineering at high camp, we returned to a base camp by the landing strip on the Jago River. Here’s Paul on one of our day-hikes from camp. Our tent is a tundra-colored dot in the tundra fields way down there along the river.


mtn.anwr.stock-790Another day hike along the Jago, this time up the big split in the river. While the first part of our trip was cold, drizzly and snowy, the second part was warm, calm and sunny. The bugs weren’t even out yet. Conditions were ideal for snoozing in the soft tundra.



James, Paul and Glenn mid-layover at the Arctic Village Airport terminal on the flight home. Thanks for another great trip guys! And all the memories. I can’t wait until the next installment. Maybe to try Isto again. Maybe to try the next highest Brooks Range summit. There is a rumor that it’s now some unnamed peak. Oh bummer. I guess we have to go back…. 

July 11th 2015 - Written by: Kelsy

10 Questions with Osprey Athlete Joe Schwartz

10 Questions with Osprey Athlete Joe Schwartz

Joe Schwartz bike

1. What place inspires you? Why does it inspire you?

The mountains. They’re a source of endless inspiration, respect and learning. They’re where I’ve spent some of the best times of my life with the people that matter, and I look forward to many more years exploring in the hills.

Osprey Packs Athlete Joe Schwartz mountain

2. What one item do you always have in your pack?

Leatherman multitool.

3. Who do you most admire?

Anybody who is driven, passionate, and carving out their own path in life.

Osprey Packs Athlete Joe Schwartz skiing

4. What is your favorite food?


5. Which Osprey pack are you using right now? What is your favorite feature about your pack?

I ski with the Kode 32, which is the most thought out and convenient ski pack I’ve ever used. I mountain bike with the Zealot 15, a very well-designed pack perfect for all rides, from backyard epics to full-on days of enduro racing.



6. Do you have a favorite quote? What is it?

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.” –Henry David Thoreau

Osprey Packs Athlete Joe Schwartz snow

7. What’s the number one place you’d love to visit next?

Japan. Either for the plentiful powder, great cuisine, nice people, or the rumoured epic singletrack.

8. What is your favorite nonprofit organization?

Doctors Without Borders

9. Is there an adventure, trip, or journey you’ve taken that you’d say was “life changing?” What was it and how did it change your life or outlook?

Probably a mountain bike trip I did to Bolivia several years ago. It was an amazing trip from a bike perspective: we rode unreal trails in beautiful settings. I was most affected by the locals though: so much poverty in this country, and such hard living circumstances, yet so many happy people.

10. If you could give any advice to yourself at 10 years old, what would you say?

“Keep doing what you’re doing! Make sure to spend time with those that matter. And don’t fall on your head so much.”

 Osprey Packs Athlete Joe Schwartz ski

About Joe Schwartz:


What I do keeps me young, it keeps me engaged and happy. I really truly find myself in the mountains, and I know it’s a place that will always remain special to me. I’m a connoisseur of good times.

Follow Joe’s adventures:







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:

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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.


July 2nd 2015 - Written by: Kelsy

Norway Skibuskineering



Known as the birthplace of skiing, Norway has probably been the subject of most backcountry skiers’ dreams. It has always been on my radar after watching the Norwegians dominate the Olympic Cross Country Ski events over the years, not to mention the stories of endless daylight and sweet terrain.



There’s only one problem Norway creates for  skiers…it just happens to be one of the most expensive places in the world to visit. Be warned my fellow skiers: Norway is the 5th richest country in world, as is visible in the sculpture-laden streets of all the towns we visited. Here are some examples of what things cost in Norway as opposed to Canada:

  • Laguna Burger, no fries: $30 CAD. California patio with beach views not included.
  • Corona beer: $25
  • Gasoline, per/litre: $2.25
  • Last minute car rental: $199 per day

Having a lifetime of practice in ski bohemia, I knew we could stretch a budget. But Norway’s prices and our lack of preparation before this trip made for quite an uphill battle. Luckily we don’t mind ‘earning’ our turns, and our Norwegian Ski-Bus-Skineering mission began.


We started in Oslo, but the classic fjord skiing was waaaaay up in the Lyngen Alps in the North. Following a quick Facebook check, I noticed that our friend Adam U. was in Norway and he diverted us to the much closer Jotunheimen zone and we hopped on the first bus out. This was all good in concept, but after we fell asleep the bus kept on driving right past our desired mountain pass in the night. Good thing camping is allowed anywhere in Norway, so we camped on the grass in Årdalstangen, a quaint little town that reminded me of  Terrace, BC.


In Ski-Bus-Skineering if you don’t plan efficiently you can lose use huge amounts of time, forcing you to spend down time at bus stations (which tend harbour some sketchy characters). Eventually, we did reach snow.


Once on snow and skinning uphill it felt good to be in our natural environment. The variable weather felt like a familiar mellow BC coastal ski tour. Of course in any new area it’s always good to respect the weather — I was feeling confident we’d get up to the peak when BOOM — whiteout, and the classic “stay-or-go” debate began. Fortunately it did clear after 5 minutes and we tagged Turboka peak.


The weather tease proved to be a good warning sign for later in the trip — the next day was a full storm-raining through the tent, indicating that it was time to move on.
Since we were in Scandinavia with funky weather, the trip wouldn’t be complete without a detour to Sweden, then a short stop to the bustling bike city of Copenhagen, Denmark — the #1 bike friendly country in the world! We stretched out the legs and took those rental bikes for a rip.
Riding bikes in Copenhagen was such a cool experience and a definite highlight of the trip. Everyone rides bikes in Denmark, whether they’re a 4 year-old or 80 your-old…or the whole family. North America could really learn a thing or two, especially people who live in cities. The amazing benefits of bikes — they’re cheap, a healthy alternative to driving, good for the environment and you always feel better after your ride your bike.
With more Ski-Bus-Skineering calling, we jumped back to Oslo and then to the other side of the Jotunheimen park, home of Galdhøpiggen, the highest peak in Norway.

24 hours to left to burn meant GO: Oslo to Lom by bus, hitchhiking with a German plumber to Spiterstulen, set up camp. At 7:30pm, climb…then turn around 500 feet from the summit thanks to another whiteout.


Bag some birthday turns off Norway’s ‘almost’ high mark, hitchhike ride from Norwegian carpenter, 40 minutes later bus to Lom, and 20 minutes later bus to Oslo. A dialed skibuskineering connection. #journeyisthereward.
Our first trip to Norway was a rewarding tease and we’ll have to come back. The Northern meccas of the Lyngen Alps and Svalbard are there waiting for us, as long as we stick enough Kroners in our pockets. Until then, local missions to BC’s Waddington Range sound right up our alley: Cheap, big terrain, and guaranteed adventure. Onto the next adventure…
Story: Andy Traslin
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About Osprey Athlete Andy Traslin

“I like to push myself to the maximum in the mountains to see what I can do physically to my abilities. My parents got me into skiing and the mountains at a young age. I progressed to ski racing, to front country, then I started finding powder stashes I had to keep going further and further to see what was around the next corner.

In addition to having worked eight years as a ski patroller, I have been racing in the pro/elite category for several seasons as a mountain biker. Racing enables me to go further and faster in the mountains in pursuit of steep skiing and speed traverses.  Other activities I like: free ride mountain biking, road riding, bouldering, rock climbing, mountaineering, ice hockey, tennis, trailrunning . I like to go see live bands in small venues. I’ve been following the Vancouver Canucks for many years in their quest for the Stanley Cup.”


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