Primal Quest 2009

August 15th 2009 - Written by: Kelsy

Primal Quest 2009 – Day 2, PM Update (Team Cordura/Osprey up to 2nd place)

Hello All,

WOW!!!  Team Cordura/Osprey is rocking!!!  It is now almost midnight on Day 2 (over 40 hours into the race) and Team Cordura/Osprey has moved up to 2nd place, and it looks like they have at least a couple mile lead over 3rd place (Team Bones, who finished 3rd last year in PQ Montana) right now.  Not sure what has happened with Salomon/Crested Butte as they were in 2nd place 8 hours ago, but appear to have not left the transition from the last orienteeting leg. Our team continues to make up time on bike legs!!  The leader is still Team OrionHealth (from New Zealand) as they have managed to build a fairly large lead at this point, now having completed the big bike leg and currently trekking towards the massive climbing circus set up by Jay Smith and Dave Medera, of Moab climbing fame.  Jay’s wife, Kitty Calhoun, is one of the volunteers on the climbing section.  Wouldn’t that be cool for our females in the race to show up and see Kitty (who is one of America’s most accomplished female mountaineers) as your “volunteer”. Speaking of volunteers, kudos to ALL the volunteers out there on the course.  We met a great guy, Richard at the check-in who totally remembered Scott and Tom from their amazing PQ Moab experience where they continued just the two of them after their original teammates all dropped out with injuries. Great story!!!

Saw a great photo today of Stacy taping up here feet and she had a huge smile on her face.  Rock on Stacy!!!  Hey Josiah, your Mom rocks!!!!

And if anyone gets a chance to watch the video clip playing on the Leaderboard page, watch it to the end.  Huge call out from a team leaving the start to Osprey Packs, and I did not pay them to say that.  I cannot get over over how overwhelming it was to watch all the teams blast out of the start line yesterday morning and over 50% of the packs were Osprey.  Can’t say I had any expectations, but that sure was rewarding!!! Big kudos to everyone at Osprey!!!!!!

I am off to bed and have a radio interview in the morning to update folks on the race! Sure am glad to be reporting some great news.  Hope the crew keeps it up through the night!!!  At this pace, they should arrive at the daunted rope section sometime during the dark.  WOW.  Sunrise from a tyrolean traverse in the middle of the Needles would be pretty awesome.

Keep smiling all!!!

August 15th 2009 - Written by: Kelsy

Primal Quest 2009 – Day 2, AM Update (Team Cordura/Osprey now in 3rd place)

Hello again from Primal Quest.  Racing continued through the first night.  Team Cordura/Osprey arrived at the cave a little before 7pm (35 miles into the long bike leg) in 5th place, having made up three spots already on this first bike section.  During the team orientation presentation on Thursday afternoon, when the disciplines and distances were revealed, we were stoked to see that 355 of the total 606 miles were to be on bikes, as we feel like we have a pretty strong biking team.  And to see a few pure orientation sections is great too, as Tom is a very strong navigator, and we felt this could be a strength especially with Kiviok on board as our back-up navigator!!  Our speculations are coming to fruition, as we have risen up the leader board during these biking and orientation sections.  Team Cordura / Osprey arrived at the first transition from the long opening leg run in 8th place and through the first orientation section and onto the bike we have moved up to 5th.  Now, it is Saturday morning, the caving section is complete and the team has rocked through the next bike leg.  52 miles from the cave exit to the transition to a bike orienteering section in just under 12 hours, so they must have taken a nap for a while.  And Tom’s navigational skills obviously came into play as they found a sweet shortcut to avoid the town of Deadwood and moved up in the overall standings.   Coming out of the bike nav section, Team Cordura/Osprey has moved up to 3rd place, only 4.5 hours behind the leaders.  Back onto a long biking leg, which will take them to a trekking leg that includes the much anticipated climbing section, with some supposedly spectacular climbs and traverses across the towers of the Needles area, all in the shadow of Mount Rushmore.

More later!!!!  Rock on!

August 14th 2009 - Written by: Kelsy

Primal Quest update for Team Cordura Brand / Osprey Packs

Hello all – quick report as I get ready to check out of Rapid City.  Almost Noon on day 1, so folks have already been racing for over 6 hours.  Looks like we were about 8th place into the first Checkpoint, at about 10:00am this morning.  The first leg was a 26 mile run, and now the teams are out on a 17 point orienteering course, that when I spoke with the course director this morning, thought it would take most of the teams about 5+ hours to complete, with maybe one or two possibly approaching 4 hours, if they did it at a dead run.  That must put it somewhere in the 10-15 mile range too.  At that point they will transition to a LONG mountain bike leg and start the long haul up into the Black Hills.  At the 35 mile point on this first bike leg, the teams will encounter a 2 mile long cave system, that according to the street gossip yesterday should take teams 6-8 hours to complete, so Team Cordura/Osprey should emerge from the cave sometime in the middle of the first night, mount the trusty steeds again and continue on the bike leg.  This leg will take them on the outskirts of the famous old west gambling town of Deadwood and point south for a total leg somewhere close to 100 miles, by the time they transition into a trekking section and the climbing section, which is reportedly AMAZING!!  Long tyrolean traverses across the rock towers of the Needles.  They will continue to trek down on through Wind Cave NP (Stacy and I unknowingly passed right next to a checkpoint on the drive up here on Wednesday) and eventually turn east.  Somewhere about day 3 or 4, the teams will encounter a 7 mile lake swim and then eventually on to a 38 mile river kayak out towards the Badlands.  The later stages of the race will find the teams trekking well out into the Badlands National Park, trying to avoid any direct interfaces with Bison for sure!!  The final transition will be to the bikes again, for a 100+ mile dash back to the finish right here in Rapid City.  Top teams should complete the course in 6-7 days, so hopefully our crew is amongst them finishing up next Thursday or Friday.

Just wanted to say a special thanks to our sponsors for all the support, some financial, most gear and more importantly, psychologically!!!  This is a tough event and the durability of the people and products will be severely tested!!  Special thanks to Cordura brand for their kind financial support and for supplying some great fabrics for our race packs, which are of course Osprey’s!!  The team will be using a combination of Talon 22’s and 33’s. And thanks to MSR for our water filter and E-wing (manditory sunshade to escape the blazing sun out here).  That water filter will get a real test out in the silty waters of the Badlands.  Thanks and cheers to all.

August 14th 2009 - Written by: Kelsy

Primal Quest – Badlands 2009 is UNDERWAY!

Good Morning to all!

A quick breakfast and off in the buses to the start.  For the first time, I got to see all the teams and, yes, there are tons of Osprey packs in the race!!  Without doubt, the dominant brand for sure, with Salomon and Camelbak a distant second and third, and few Gregory’s and others mixed in.

The drive out to start line took about half an hour in total darkness.  As teams milled about and rested, the sun start to paint the eastern sky a light orange and under growing light at 5:38am, the starters pistol blasted off.  Team Cordura/Osprey, starting lined up right in front, bolted out of the gate and along with a couple other teams quickly separated themselves from the main pack as the runners all disappeared over a rise in the road.  Time to start tracking us on the PQ Leaderboard!!  This can easily be accessed through our team website :


or directly on the Primal Quest website:


As of 6:40am, about an hour into the race, we are currently in 5th place!!!  Rock on team!

That’s all for now!

Navigator Tom Zidek plotting at 11:30pm

Navigator Tom Zidek plotting at 11:30pm

The last real meal for at least 6 days!!

The last real meal for at least 6 days!!

Super Stud Swaney and Rock Star Stacy await the start

Super Stud Swaney and Rock Star Stacy await the start

Team Cordura / Osprey blasts off the line in the increasing daylight.

Team Cordura / Osprey blasts off the line in the increasing daylight.

August 14th 2009 - Written by: Kelsy

Off we go!!!

2:30am – Friday, August 14th.  Off to the start we go.

August 13th 2009 - Written by: Kelsy

Catch a few winks!

12:40am and we are off to sleep for an hour and a half.  Nothing like starting a major race on sleep deprevation!!!

Happy Birthday to Josiah!!!!!  Your Mom is rocking with the boys and can’t wait to hear all sorts of new jokes!

Tom, Scott and Kiv say “I love you” to Anna, Jen and Ann and that they are not gay, but their boyfriends are!!!

Keep smiling all!

August 13th 2009 - Written by: Kelsy

Check-in and final packing

Check-in for Primal Quest 2009 started this morning at the Holiday Inn of Rapid City.  Good to see some old friends and meet new ones!  The team had to get all gear inspected and approved for the trekking, biking, caving (yep, caving!), climbing, swimming and kayaking sections and the medical check.  All the check-ins started about 9:00am and we did not get completed until 2:15pm, then off to the race orientation meeting at a local theater.  We got introduced to all the organizers and local folks who have put this whole carnival together.  This was followed by a mass invasion of a local street music festival and introductions of each team to the festival goers and collecting our passports and maps for the whole event.  All the teams then dashed back to the hotel to make final gear preparations and the navigators started the plotting process.  It is now 11:00pm and we are just past half way through the plotting process.  Stacy has crashed out to get a couple hours of sleep and us guys are trying to figure out which course to take.

I was absolutely blown away today with how many Osprey packs are in this race.  I’ll know tomorrow at the start but it seems that well over 50% of the packs in the race are Osprey.  Sweet!!!!

More in the wee hours of the morning!!!  Sleep tight all!Gear sortingMandatory Gear CheckKayak Test

Stacy, Tom, Scott and Kiviok - Team Cordura / Osprey

Stacy, Tom, Scott and Kiviok - Team Cordura / Osprey

August 13th 2009 - Written by: Kelsy

On the way to Rapid City for Primal Quest

We all collected at Scott’s house in south Denver for a quick sort and pack for the trip up to Rapid City.  6+ hour drive up to race headquarters at the Holiday Inn of Rapid City.  Stacy and I took a quick detour through Wind Cave NP to check out the bison, antelope and wild turkeys about!Sorting Gear at Scott's HouseEntrance to Wind Cave NP on the drive to Rapid City

August 11th 2009 - Written by: Kelsy

Primal Quest Update from Osprey Product Manager Stephen Barnes


Stephen broke a rib on a mountain bike ride a few weeks ago, but he’s still rallying his team on to victory.  He’ll be reporting from the Badlands regularly!

Noon on Tuesday and we are loading up the vehicles for the drive to Denver today and tomorrow on up to South Dakota!  Kiviok and I will meet up with Scott, Stacy and Tom tonight and all caravan to Rapid City in the morning.  Thursday is race check-in, with the start on Friday morning.  50% of our original team has turned over due to injuries, with both Dan Busse and I out with injuries. Scott Swaney (from Denver, CO) and tom Zidek (from Canmore, AB) have replaced us and I must admit, make the team much faster!  Our captain, Kiviok Hight (of Cortez, CO) and Stacy Moller (from Golden, CO) will team with Scott and Tom for a super strong effort, supported by Cordura Brand and Osprey Packs.

More later, once we are settled into Rapid City.

August 7th 2009 - Written by: Kelsy

Final Prep for PQ


We are making final arrangements and packing the vehicles for the journey to Rapid City, South Dakota. We depart on Tuesday, for Boulder, then on up to SoDak on Wednesday, for check-in. Race starts on Thursday morning!!!
Our team had undergone a few roster alterations in the past couple of weeks, as both Dan Busse and myself have been injured during training. Dan broke his foot and has been replaced by super stud Scott Swaney, and I just broke a rib and beat myself up something wicked in a bike crash last week in Park City. Ahhh, the sleepless nights! Anyway, we managed to convince another super stud from Canmore, AB, tom Zidek, to join up. Should hopefully make for a pretty fast team, with our fearless leader, Kiviok Hight and super mom, Stacy Moller. Rock on Team Cordura Brand/Osprey Packs.


Whether your pack was purchased in 1974 or yesterday, Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge.