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3rd Week Winner in The Love Letter Photo Contest: Beauty in the Backyard

May 4th, 2011

“My love letters could quickly become a book, so many are the places that have touched my life. The Adirondacks where I discovered the beauty and solitude of self sufficiency as a backpacker, the Appalachian Trail where I learned exactly how much tenacity it takes to reach one’s goal, the Himalaya where I learned to appreciate the scale of nature and the depth of warmth a people can have, Cambodia where I was given a glimpse of a beautiful Phoenix rising from the ashes… But my heart bursts with love in the canyonlands and San Juan mountains of my own backyard where now I can give my daughters the gift of backpacking so that it can lead them into a life filled with confidence, beauty and a love for all things wild.” — Alisa O’Hara Gardiner

Congratulations Alisa! Ready to post your own love letter? Just one more week in the contest! Here’s how you enter

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The Love Letter: An Interview With Becca Cahall

April 27th, 2011

For 10 years, a dream lingered, but the clutter of modern living pressed it into submission. Still clinging to the pull of wild places and adventure, Fitz and Becca Cahall revived their youthful vision of summits and faint trails by abandoning work and the city for the wilderness. The Love Letter follows a pair of climbers in search of new and classic routes along the difficult to reach stretches of the Sierra spine, focusing not just on the summits themselves, but the process of attaining them. In the clutter of the modern world, can wilderness still restore the human spirit? We would like to think so.

We caught up with Becca Cahall, of The Love Letter, and asked her some questions…

It sounds like The Love Letter was a dream in the making for a long time. What first sparked your inspiration for this project?

The inspiration for the trip and the movie came from Fitz. I loved the Sierra and wanted to see it in a different way, so I was along for the ride. Yet when we talked about doing it over the last few years, it always seemed so far away… a goal that wasn’t getting any closer. When we started talking about it early last year, it started to consume our thoughts — a culmination of longing and inspiration.

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2nd Week Winner in The Love Letter Photo Contest: Night Sky in Norway

April 27th, 2011

-23 degrees C, 04:00 in the night at Finse, Norway. Sleeping alone outside with the stars, indescribable. — Håkon Broder Lund

Congratulations Håkon! Ready to post your own love letter? Here’s how you enter

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The Love Letter: An Interview With Fitz Cahall

April 21st, 2011
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For 10 years, a dream lingered, but the clutter of modern living pressed it into submission. Still clinging to the pull of wild places and adventure, Fitz and Becca Cahall revived their youthful vision of summits and faint trails by abandoning work and the city for the wilderness. The Love Letter follows a pair of climbers in search of new and classic routes along the difficult to reach stretches of the Sierra spine, focusing not just on the summits themselves, but the process of attaining them. In the clutter of the modern world, can wilderness still restore the human spirit? We would like to think so.

We caught up with Fitz Cahall, one of the masterminds behind The Love Letter, and asked him some questions…

It sounds like The Love Letter was a dream in the making for a long time. What first sparked your inspiration for this project?

I was 22 living in a van that I didn’t own in Yosemite. We were scrambling to find a camp spot and this woman came up and said she had room in her campsite for another car. She was a scientist doing a project in the national parks. She was pretty old — 32. So ancient, I know. Oddly during that time, I’d keep running into her in the Sierra at various parks and campgrounds. She told me about this three week climbing trip she and her husband had done in Sierra and I thought that’s pretty cool. I thought about that trip a bunch then, but I never had the focus required to do a trip like that. I told Becca about it a while back and it was just always something that stayed in the front of my thoughts.

Later I found that Muir had done a similar trip. David Brower, the father of modern conservation, did an 8-week continuous climbing trip in 1934 and followed a similar course. He ticked off 54 peaks in that time. These men began their careers as climbers and writers and evolved into powerful voices. It’s not to say that I think I’m John Muir or David Brower, but they are certainly heroes of mine, and if I can some do a fraction of what they did for the American West, I will be content.

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1st Week Winner in Love Letter Photo Contest: Steps on the Appalachian Trail

April 19th, 2011

Steps halfway on the AT, courtesy Robert Nicholas

It took me nearly 40 years to reach these steps. These steps lead to a trail of a life of dreams unfullfilled, heartache, blood, sweat, tears, joy, War, Marriage, and the birth of my children. These steps are the result of trials and tribulations of a life lived and dreaming of a day I’d be able to walk down these steps. The sights and sounds that led to these steps will never be forgotten. And the first time I stood and listened to what was at the bottom of these steps made me realize how amazing this planet is and how lucky I was at that moment to be standing in that spot to hear those sounds. The day I walked back up these steps and back to my life was a sad day and happy day. I don’t know when I’ll see these steps again but I will keep walking and living until I can walk back down these steps again someday and back to the Appalachian Trail.

Robert Nicholas lives in Olathe, Kansas. He grew up hiking in Missouri. Rob hiked this section of the AT near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia on April 9, 2011 while out east on a business trip, and plans to chip away at the 40-mile long Maryland Trail each year until it’s completed. His favorite weekend activity is hiking with his wife and two daughters.

Ready to post your own love letter? Here’s how you enter

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Friday Round-Up: Love For The Wilderness + Inspiration in Images at 5Point + Mountainfilm

April 15th, 2011

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. This month we’re devoting it to all things spring: celebrating sunshine, getting out on late afternoon trail runs and reminding ourselves that summer is just around the corner. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!

In the clutter of the modern world, can wilderness still restore the human spirit? Our good friend Fitz Cahall sure thinks so. He and his wife, Becca, left behind their city life in Seattle for the wilderness… Weeks in the Sierras backpacking and climbing away the stresses and constant chatter of their daily grind. This film is less about the adventure and more about the path to finding that adventure and how that quenches the raw human need for wildness and wilderness. Watch and be inspired to get outside…

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Post A Love Letter To Your Favorite Wild Place + Be Entered To Win Sweet Gear!

April 12th, 2011

Courtesy Becca Cahall

Do you have your own love letter? Have you ever visited a place that changed your life? Have you found a secret climbing crag where you seek refuge from the daily grind, or a surf break on a secluded beach that only you can find? Do you have a stretch of trail that brings you back in tune with nature, or maybe even your own urban sanctuary in the midst of a whirring city? We want to see and hear about the places that make you whole, that fill your heart with solitude and wildness — the places that have the power to restore the human spirit.

Ready to post your own love letter? Here’s how you enter…

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The Love Letter: Can Wilderness Restore The Human Spirit?

April 12th, 2011

For 10 years, a dream lingered, but the clutter of modern living pressed it into submission. Still clinging to the pull of wild places and adventure, Fitz and Becca Cahall revived their youthful vision of summits and faint trails by abandoning work and the city for the wilderness. The Love Letter follows a pair of climbers in search of new and classic routes along the difficult to reach stretches of the Sierra spine, focusing not just on the summits themselves, but the process of attaining them. In the clutter of the modern world, can wilderness still restore the human spirit? We would like to think so. This is our love letter to wild places…

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Have your own love letter to a wild place? Enter our Love Letter photo contest here!

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