I usually try to avoid the opening weekend of the Whistler Bike Park. Some reasons for my refusal to participate in this annual event are paltry, being that there are just a few muddy trails open, huge lines and the fact that other Sea to Sky venues are in mint shape this time of year, including, well, everywhere else.
All of that aside, I went this year. I think the Whistler Corp would like to hear that it was because of their barrage of marketing prior to the lifts firing up. Not really, although I did enjoy the first Force of Nature Video released before opening, featuring their motley bunch of bike athletes. The video shows riders carving perfect corners and lofting sculpted lips in what looks like epic mid-season conditions. Pretty convincing stuff, but the deciding factor for me was some good ‘ol fashioned arm-twisting by a group of buddies. A deal was struck where we worked out a balance of park and pedal, in a few Sea to Sky locations, over this Canadian long weekend.
It was a good decision. The bike park was all-time. The trail crew put in their due diligence, preparing almost every lower mountain trail in time for the gates to drop. The dirt was tacky and the riding was heroic. We had a casual start to the day, nothing like the kids who waited in line from 3 a.m. in order to secure first chair. The casual start was no hindrance though, as we were greeted by mellow lift lines that grew progressively larger over the afternoon. The wait in line was welcome though, as I could rest my cramping hands and catch up with friends. “How was your winter?” and “Epic conditions, eh?” were refrains echoing through the queue.
I had my own “Force of Nature” Friday night after a questionable chicken burrito wreaked havoc on my guts for the next 36 hours. I almost pulled the plug and hightailed back to Vancouver to recuperate, but the weekend was heading into high gear, so I decided hang around to see if things would improve.
The next day dawned wet and rainy, and my guts were still churning something fierce, so we abandoned the “official” opening day of the Park for a pedal in Squamish. A lush rainforest met us there, along with some fun new trails that magically sprung up over the winter, not unlike the mass proliferation of green undergrowth that appears with the spring rain.
The weekend was a blur of riding, eating and sleeping. My food poisoning waned, so with renewed energy I sampled more bike park, usually riding the lifts in the morning until the lift line got too oppressive, and then trading bikes for a pedal in the Whistler Valley or Pemberton. An amazing way to spend this Victoria Day long weekend!
If you are in the Big Apple May 3rd and 4th, don’t miss the chance to attend the Bike Expo New York as there will be more than 60 vendors attending, one of them being yours truly, Osprey Packs! This event is great for road bike aficionados, and we’ll be showcasing and selling our recently redesigned line of hydration packs.
Over 50,000 spectators are expected to attend and admission is free and open to the general public. Hours of the show will be from Friday, May 3rd from 10 a.m. -8 p.m. as well as on Saturday, May 19th 9 a.m.-7 p.m., so come after work and check out the product tonight or head over first thing tomorrow. The event takes place at the Pier 36, 299 South Street, Basketball City, New York, NY.
Want to know a little bit more about what to expect? Here’s the rundown from last year’s awesome Expo:
In keeping with its mission to provide free bicycle education in New York City, Bike New York held several of its signature Learn to Ride classes throughout the event. Garnering more than 43,000 attendees, Bike Expo New York 2012 presented by Eastern Mountain Sports was the most attended inaugural consumer bike expo in the country. BE NY carried an unmistakable New York flair with street signs, carpeted bike lanes and even a massive Verrazano Bridge suspended from the ceiling.
We hope to see you this year!
We love when we get the opportunity to see our packs in action — especially when our very own customers send shots of themselves or their friends getting everything out of a pack we had ever intended for it. The photo above, posted to our Facebook Page by Melissa Liebling, is an incredible shot of the Osprey Verve 9 doing it’s duty out on the trail.
Thanks to Melissa for sharing!
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!
It’s that time of year again — the biggest ice festival in North American is nearly here! This weekend, The Ouray Ice Festival will be back for three days of ice climbing, chatter, gear, equipment and competitions among world-class climbers. Held every January since 1996, the Ouray Ice Fest brings enthusiasts from around the world to Ouray, Colorado, with the end result being that the fest itself has become the primary fundraiser for the Ouray Ice Park.
This year’s event will be held this weekend, from January 10th through the 13th. And what’s more, we’ll be there to contribute to the festivities with a full display of all of our newest 2013 packs; free demos of Osprey Packs all day throughout the weekend, as well as free onsite professional pack fittings and daily pack giveaways. All you have to do is come by the Osprey Ice Fest booth to take a two minute event survey and you’ll be entered to win a Variant or Mutant climbing pack of your own. Adding to all of the goodness of the Ouray Ice Fest, swing by on Saturday between 2 and 3 p.m. to meet Osprey Athlete and pro climber Majka Burhardt!
Alison Gannett is a World Champion Extreme Freeskier, founder of The Save Our Snow Foundation and an award-winning global cooling consultant who has spent her life dedicated to solutions for climate change.
A reporter asked me yesterday how I find time to shovel pig poop and run a farm with my busy schedule. In general, I avoid this job at all costs, but for some weird reason, I bonded with it this week and decided that it is extremely similar to skiing powder.
“219 miles and 25 days to complete the John Muir Trail. Each day another story, another achievement and another photo. The smiles sometimes wavered, but my Osprey backpack never did.”
We always dreamt of creating a documentary to share the adventure and grandeur of the John Muir Trail, and after nine years our eclectic group of five finally stepped into the California wilderness. Truth is, that first day on the trail, July 10, 2011, we didn’t know what all to expect. It was a record snow year, which in and of itself presented a formidable challenge. We had no idea whether we’d be able to overcome the endless obstacles set out before us, let alone capture enough footage along the way to produce a feature-length film.With a bit of luck and a lot of perseverance, we finished all 211 miles of the JMT (as well as the 8 miles required to return to civilization after summiting Mount Whitney). As we had cautiously hoped, we left the trail with more than just sore feet. Our packs were often ridiculously heavy and the amount of work was no small task, but we truly exceeded our own expectations in capturing the images, sounds, and experiences of the trail.
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is the biggest and most challenging bike race ever held on U.S. territory. This year, it’s back with a vengeance. Starting August 20, for seven consecutive days, some of the best cyclists from around the world will take on 683 miles of the Rocky Mountains and ride through some of Colorado’s most beautiful cities. Osprey is proud to be the official pack sponsor of the Challenge and we brought you photos from each day’s events right here on the Osprey Bike Blog.
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge stayed exciting from its start at Stage 1 all the way through the monster climb of Stage 4 and into the final flat and fast moments of Stage 7 when American Christian Vande Velde sped his way through Denver to win the 2012 race. As Vande Velde himself put it, “The opportunity to participate in a race like this, of this caliber is a beautiful thing. As long as there are races like the USA Pro Challenge in America, I want to race as long as I can. The crowds are so positive and so happy.”
From the USA Pro Cycling Challenge site: “We have some of the best cyclists in the world racing in Colorado,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the Pro Challenge. “This is one of the biggest stage races in the history of our country. We call this America’s race, and it really is. The crowds were even bigger than they were last year; Golden to Boulder was pretty magical. I can’t wait for 2013 and we are already talking about routes.”
Today marks the start of The USA Pro Cycling Challenge — so it’s only fitting that we have what Osprey Packs Assistant Product Line Manager Chris Horton calls “Osprey’s hippy van” all set for this year’s cyclists to ride up Lizard Head Pass for Stage 1 of the race!