On the weekend of August 22nd, I was joined by 5 other Osprey employees on a mission to climb Mt. Sneffels just outside of Telluride, CO. The plan was pretty basic and thrown together at the last minute, but the weather was shaping up to be great and we had an awesome crew that was both excited and eager for the adventure ahead.
Geoff, Rosie, Scott, Rob, Vince, and I all left work Friday evening and piled into cars headed for Ouray, CO – a short 2 hour and 15 minute drive away. After a pit stop in Telluride for some food and cheap beer, we made our way around the Sneffels Range to Ouray. After trying and failing (multiple times) to get past a section of the “4wd Only” Yankee Boy Basin Road in my Subaru Outback we made camp by the creek about 2 miles away from the trailhead. With a clear night in front of us we made up our cowboy camps and got to rest under a blanket of stars.
I always enjoy the hustle and bustle of a campsite early in the morning before a big objective –6 people and 3 dogs all scurrying about getting their packs in order, eating breakfast, drinking coffee, and conversing with one another at the same time makes for a lively environment to start the day. Admittedly, time slipped away from us more than we’d liked it to that morning and we started up the Yankee Boy Basin Road just after 7:00am. We had seen a multitude of cars and trucks drive past our makeshift campsite earlier that morning so we knew it would be a busy day on the mountain.
The first 2 miles leading up to the trailhead were simple. We moved quickly up the slopes of the 4wd road, occasionally making way for a family of four in their Jeep Wrangler (or another type of engineering marvel that gobbles up rocky terrain as if this road should be its daily commute). The sun was shining and the views were stunning, for all of us in the group it was our first time in this basin and on this mountain – 4 of the 6 in our group have only moved to Southwest Colorado in the past year!
At the trail-head we began to see what was in front of us: just over a mile of terrain left to cover, but over 1,500’ of elevation gain in that distance. Pushing on with Scott and Geoff out front with the dogs we made great time ascending the loose, scree-covered col. At “the notch” below the summit we took turns in groups staying with the dogs, and groups heading up for the summit at 14,150’. Spending almost an hour near the summit resting and enjoying the views, we ran into our US Sales Director, Brad Bates, and his wife Vicky celebrating their wedding anniversary in style. After a few more minutes enjoying the thin air, we made a plan with Brad and Vicky to rendezvous at our campsite for beers and started our descent down the mountain. The steep, loose scree made for some interesting moments on the way down, but we all made it down in one piece. Well, almost all of us… Vicky fractured her wrist in 2 places after slipping on the descent. Like the true badass she is she came down to camp, drank some moonshine, and then went to get her injuries treated.
Being able to haphazardly throw a plan together and also have 5 of my coworkers added the mix is my favorite aspect of being an Osprey employee: Every person I was with shared my excitement for adventure and was willing to spend 24 straight hours with each other, despite the fact that we still don’t know each other very well. My coworkers are my friends, and my friends are pretty damn cool.
Written by Osprey’s very own Mychal McCormick, our International Sales Coordinator. Mychal has been with Osprey for 2 and a half years now. In his downtime, you can find Mychal perfecting the art of bocce ball as he pursues his semi-pro career under the pseudonym of Demetri Lemeux. On the weekends, Mychal enjoys quiet strolls up the numerous 13,000 foot mountainous peaks that surround our headquarters in Southwest Colorado. From time to time, he makes a quick escape to the residing desert in our neighboring state of Utah. Follow his adventures on Instagram.
Ouray is famous for ice climbing in the winter months, but during the late summer becomes home to many amazing waterfalls tucked away inside hidden canyons.
Filmed during the 2014 Ouray Canyon Festival, “Ouray” features some of the best Class C (flowing water) canyoneering that Colorado has to offer.
World Falling Away is an outdoor adventure series with a focus on canyoneering and kayaking in the Southwest U.S.
My name is Paul McDaniel, and I have been with Osprey Packs for over 2 years. Currently I am the Business Process Manager, where my focus is on continuous improvement for all of Osprey’s business processes.
I was born and raised in Arkansas, where I was reared on a steady diet of whitewater, climbing, and general outdoor shenanigans. After living in Florida, South Carolina, and Washington state (due to a 6 year stint in the Navy) I ended up in the Southwest US (Arizona & Colorado), where I was introduced to a relatively obscure sport: canyoneering.
Armed with a climbing background and overconfidence, I set out on my newfound passion, where following a couple of close calls and dumb luck, I quickly discovered about the only thing climbing and canyoneering have in common were the helmet and the harness.
Soon after however, I was able to find a training pipeline that allowed me to bring my technical skillset up to my level of ambition. At this point, I was introduced to some rather talented individuals, with amazing canyoneering expertise, and after introducing them to whitewater kayaking, World Falling Away was born.
With the help of my friends, I started World Falling Away as a way to showcase the unique experiences that culminate from mixing a rugged Southwest environment with the most basic of elements — water. Monsoon storms turn canyons that are normally dry into something else entirely once they flash flood, creating canyoneering experiences only for the brave at heart. Spring-filled creeks surrounded by desert provide year-round kayaking where there shouldn’t be any. Late summer alpine lakes become the headwaters for waterfalls so intense they not only test a person’s rope skills, but also how long that individual can hold their breath. World Falling Away is the about experiencing the moment, and letting everything else fade into obscurity.
I currently live in Cortez, Colorado, where I am also an avid mountain biker, trail runner, and ice climber.
“Public Lands: Valuable to Our Bottom Line and Way of Life,” written by Osprey Packs co-founder & co-owner Diane Wren, originally appeared in the Montrose Press.
Twenty five years ago, my husband Mike and I moved from the coastal redwoods of California to the edge of sandstone canyon country in the San Juan Mountains in the hopes of building a headquarters for our homegrown company – Osprey Packs – that would allow us to test our handmade gear in the most inspiring and rugged of places. After settling in Cortez, Osprey quickly became an international force in the outdoor industry, and we’ve been proud to grow our classic American dream in southwestern Colorado. We now employ over 80 people in Cortez and are still growing. Like many other international outdoor businesses across Colorado, we chose to build a business here because access to public lands makes this the perfect spot for our employees to settle down, for us to try out our next idea in the field, and because so many in our community share our love for getting outside and exploring our wild West.
The same incredible landscapes that drew us to Colorado, though, are now facing a serious threat. Out-of-state special interests like the American Lands Council are pushing legislators across the Rockies to try to seize our national public lands and transfer them into state control, which could bankrupt our states and lead to massive access closures. Colorado is lucky enough to have 24 million acres of federal public lands within our borders, but the state managing them would cost Coloradans over $300 million a year, and a single wildfire could add tens of millions of dollars to the bill. Our state is constitutionally bound to balance its budget – this additional financial burden would likely force the state to prioritize extractive uses or sell off our lands to the highest bidder for private development. (more…)
#KeepItPublic, #OurLand, Canyon of the Ancients, Chimney Rock, Colorado, Conservation, Cortez, Diane Wren, Dolores River Canyon, Osprey Culture, Phil's World, public lands, San Juan Citizens Alliance, san juan mountains, the conservation alliance, the new york times, Uncompahgre National Forest, Western Colorado Congress, Will Rogers
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 Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. We kicked off the month with 5 Point Film Festival, and we’re counting down the days to Mountainfilm in Telluride, so this month we’re devoting it to… you guessed it: film! Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
We know that we dedicated this month to showing our favorite film clips on our Friday Round-Up, but we had so much fun on our backcountry trip last week, that we decided to post a photo gallery this week instead. Each year, we rally a group of our Osprey staff, reps and friends and head to the backcountry near our headquarters in Cortez, Colo. This time we hit up Monument Valley and Bullet Canyon in SE Utah. Here’s just a sampling from our adventure. To see the full slideshow, please check out our Flickr page here.