South america

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:





June 14th 2012 - Written by: Kelsy

Seven Weeks, Seven New Episodes of On The Road With SOLITAIRE

The guys behind the beauty at Sweetgrass Productions have done it again; On The Road with SOLITAIRE is an emmy-nominated twelve-part series that delves into the details of two long years skiing the Andes, filming the incredible Western-inspired, beautifully-filmed SOLITAIRE and making friends (and enemies) along the way.

Over the next seven weeks, we’ll bring you a new On The Road With SOLITAIRE episode every seven days. Every Thursday, look on the Osprey Facebook Page and Osprey Twitter stream to find a brand-new, never before seen episode of On The Road With SOLITAIRE and — as is the case with all Sweetgrass films big and small — prepare to be awed.


August 29th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Lane Love: Rio de Janeiro

We decided the sunny, sunny lanes of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was an excellent choice for our last Monday in August. Anyone of you ever ridden in this city?

Have a lane that you love? Send us a photo! You can post it to our Facebook page, shoot us an email at blog[at]ospreypacks[dot]com or upload to our Flickr group and we might just feature it here on our weekly photo feature, Lane Love.

Image: Dylan Passmore

April 6th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

To Drink From a Glacier in Argentina

Forget bottled-at-the-source. How about dunking your entire face into the source!?

In the Andes near El Bolson, Argentina

David and I woke to a drizzle that shimmered in sideways curtains. The camp grounds of Refugio Heilo Azul stirred with hikers waking, packing, coming and going.


March 23rd 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

On The Road with Solitaire Episode 2: In the Cradle of the Cordillera

In the high desert of South America, winter takes hold, devouring bleached bones and abandoned shacks. Into these most inhospitable of lands, a handful of drifters emerge from the whiteout, ready to cast their lot on forsaken peaks both merciless and magnificent. Venturing beyond the frontiers of most mountain films, Solitaire is backcountry riding forged in the tradition of Western cinema. Born in the spires of Argentina’s legendary Las Lenas, a lonely two-year journey begins through an abandoned world, wandering the length of a continent from Peru’s Cordillera Blanca to Chilean Patagonia. Lost in the winds of snowbound badlands and the blizzards of primordial forests; seen from a horse’s saddle and a paraglider’s wings; ridden on ski and board and telemark…

Solitaire fuses western-inspired tales of backcountry gambles into landscapes never before visited on film.


March 16th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Flamenco Guitar and Fly Fishing on Lago Yelcho

Down a dirt road, kicking up a roiling tail of dust behind the boat trailer we drive beside the Futaleufu river, further and further into Chile’s wild interior.



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