Project. Restore. Educate.
Osprey is a proud partner of the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative – a collaborative of nonprofit organizations and dedicated individuals who are committed to the development and preservation of our beloved Rocky Mountains in our home-state of Colorado. As great lovers of the mountains and all the experiences that they have given us, we can be so captivated by their presence: the high-country wildflowers in bloom, the sights and sounds of creatures who call the mountains their home, or simply the solitude that these beautiful mountains provide. Of course, it’s important to enjoy the these gifts but is just as important to recognize and support those who make them possible and for Osprey Packs, we realize that without Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, the trail access to Colorado’s 54 14,000 foot peaks wouldn’t be possible.
This coming August 14th, Osprey will support Colorado Fourteeners Initiatives as they announce quite possibly the largest partnership in the program’s history. This partnership would take place with one of Osprey’s long standing retailers, REI, who recognizes the importance of Colorado Fourteeners Initiative and other organizations in trail stewardship across the nation.
More details to follow but we would like to introduce you to this Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, what they do and why you should support them on August 14th, 2015.
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative was formed in 1994 as a partnership of nonprofit organizations, concerned individuals, and public agencies to preserve and protect the natural integrity of Colorado’s Fourteeners after a 1993 study noted significant environmental impacts due to rapidly expanding recreational use. Founding organizations included the Colorado Mountain Club, Colorado Outward Bound School, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and the US Forest Service.
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative protects and preserves the natural integrity of Colorado’s 54 14,000–foot peaks—the “Fourteeners”—through active stewardship and public education.
Colorado’s Fourteeners contain rare and fragile native tundra ecosystems that are uniquely adapted to living on these high peaks. These tundra plants, however, are ill-adapted to being trampled by the half-million people who are estimated to climb these peaks every year. In many places resource damage is past the point of natural recovery.
CFI partners with the US Forest Service, passionate volunteer partners and donors nationwide to:
- Create a structure for engaging local communities in the protection of Colorado’s highest peaks
- Build and maintain sustainable hiking routes on the Fourteeners to accommodate hiking use while minimizing damage to native alpine ecosystems
- Stabilize and restore trampled and eroded areas to protect sensitive alpine plant and animal communities
- Educate Fourteener hikers about Leave No Trace principles and sustainable recreational practices designed to lessen ecosystem impacts
Through this unique,voluntary partnership, Colorado’s Fourteener ecosystems are protected from harm while continuing to make the peaks accessible to hikers without burdensome restrictions and fees.
Stay connected with Colorado Fourteeneers Initiative, both on the Trail and Social:
Osprey Ambassador Chris Gallaway is seeking support through Kickstarter to make his a film, “The Long Start to the Journey” a reality. January 31st is the campaign deadline to support this compelling documentary about the Appalachian Trail and if the campaign does not meet its goal no funding will be collected and given to the movie.
In support of Chris’s Kickstarter campaign, we’re giving away an Exos 48 Superlight Backpack to the next donor to pledge $220. The Exos 48, our newest ultra-light technical backpack, is a masterful combination of ounce-shaving, durable materials and a feather-weight internal frame to keep you fast and comfortable on your next journey. Your pack will have a “The Long Start to the Journey” patch sewn on to commemorate your part in making this film possible. Note: We’ll need to get your unique sizing before fulfilling this reward and you must be a resident of the US to be eligible.
To follow Chris’s journey on the trail last year, visit www.theATmovie.com.
A question I have often heard since completing my 7-month thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail is how the experience changed me. That’s a difficult one for me to answer, and it’s probably better addressed by people who know me well and have observed me from the outside. The images above were taken at the beginning and end of my hike (the third, cold morning in February on Blood Mountain Georgia and the last day in September as I walked down from Katahdin). While I know that these two self-portraits encompass a host of experiences and some of the most significant changes of my life, it’s difficult for me to articulate what’s different between them. (more…)
adventure, Appalachian, appalachian trail, AT Trail, causes, Chris Gallaway, Documentary, Exos, Exos 48, Experiences, film, filmmaking, hiking, Horizonline Pictures, inspiration, journey, kickstarter, mountains, Osprey Packs Ambassador, The Long Start to the Journey, thru-hike, trail, video
Last Thursday evening, a group of Osprey volunteers hopped into our silver Dodge mini van, loaded down with gear and clothing for what was to be a wet, snowy weekend just outside Boulder, CO, and departed for an event called The Backyard Collective.
The BYC is an effort of The Conservation Alliance, which brings together member company employees (in this case, Osprey, La Sportiva, etc.) and local grantees for a day of environmental action. Projects include trail work, invasive species removal and other opportunities for us to get out of the office and get our hands dirty doing good work to preserve and protect the open spaces in our own backyards.
At this event in particular, there were a few new volunteers (myself included), and we were all anxious to arrive, layer up, get our boots muddy and do our part to help the Boulder community that’s very much in need.
During the more than seven-hour drive from our Cortez headquarters, I thought quite a bit about what trail work really means — and what it would mean for me at this event. The first image that came up was of myself swinging a pickaxe on some dry single track with a weathered pair of leather gloves, sun shining on the hillside with an epic view of early high-altitude snowfall, and a deep blue sky filled with puffy clouds that seem close enough to run across. Then, I imagined, I’d break for a morning Clif bar and refill my green tin cup with a few more ounces of hot John Wayne-style coffee. Oh, I imagined, it’d sure be glorious and rewarding. That’s the definition of trail work right?
We awoke Friday to a rain-snow mix and temps in the low 30s. We sorted our way through a light morning commute toward Broomfield, made a quick stop for coffee and finally arrived at the Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm. After an initial meet-and-greet and a disbursement of tools, we received our group assignment and grabbed the wheelbarrows to head down the path.
The expected turnout of 20 people was a sure underestimation of our group’s commitment to help The Conservation Alliance. I took a quick count of about 50 people dressed in Gore-Tex rain shells, with hats pulled over their ears and smiles on their faces as they huddled around the free hot chocolate.
The trails here at the farm have been closed for some time, and after our work, nearly 125,000 people will regain access to them. We worked seamlessly with great instruction — and nearly four hours later, noticed that we had created one thousand feet of new path for the locals to enjoy. Six hundred more feet was our initial task. We crushed it. My hands were sore, my back a little tight, but I didn’t quite feel exhausted or fulfilled like I had originally anticipated the week before. Hmm…
For myself, I think there were a few greater questions and lessons that I took away from the morning. I certainly contemplated my self-interests in the volunteer day. Why did I really sign up to help? To feel good? To get out of work for a day? It’s cliché to say ‘to help those in need’, but maybe it was just as simple as that?
The reality of the work and location was nothing like the perfect Colorado day I had imagined when I signed up and stepped away from my desk. It frankly reminded me of the days growing up in Michigan and having to help a relative with chores around their acreage. It was flat, grey and damp. Turns out, it didn’t matter.
As the weekend continued in the hustle of downtown Denver, I looked around watching other’s interactions in the city, and it seemed as though our efforts began to sink in on another level. We all love nature for different reasons. Whether we’re taking a personal break from our jobs, on a vacation we’ve filled the money jar with for a few months or simply heading out of town with a group of friends to have great stories to share on Monday morning: it’s all the same.
I realized it doesn’t matter where the trail leads or what the view is. It’s a trail, which means it’s an opportunity to be outside: and it’s that simple. It’s a way to improve someone’s day whether it is used on a lunch break walk or the start of a multi-week adventure of not regularly washing your hair. Whatever the function, we took time out of our lives, our weekends, our days, to help something and someone else. Each of us is capable of, if we so choose, taking advantage of these small opportunities to positively impact the places that we love. And more importantly, help places that other people love.
Tim Calkins / Senior Graphic Designer Osprey Packs
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!
With the arrival of spring comes the introduction of new trails, poking up out of the melting snow like so many April flowers. They may have been lovingly crafted over the previous summer, granting a lucky few passage before the winter took hold, or they are a result of a trail builder’s many dark, wet, cold days digging and sculpting while others are riding powder on the higher reaches of the mountains (myself included).
Regardless of when they were built, these fresh nuggets of mountain biking pleasure reveal themselves to us in the spring, bringing exciting new experiences to share with our friends. New climbs to conquer, gaps to clear, or technical DH lines to master, these handcrafted pieces of dirt artistry hold in them the potential for another season’s worth of adventure, fun and challenge.
Nowhere is this celebrated more than at a trail opening. I grew up in Nelson, a town where these events were revered, looked forward to. The trail builder was not asked about certain nuances of their work in progress, but rather the details of the celebration that would take place once the trail was complete.
The openings would be a raucous affair, including all the characters that made my home what it was. More frat party than group ride, entire crowds would gather around key features on the new trail, cheering on the local legends and heckling others that timidly approached the line. Riders, spurred on by the crowd, took their risk taking to a whole other level, greeted by loud cheers upon success, and catcalls and laughter with failure. This would continue all the way down the trail, adding an element of spectator sport to the ride.
At the trail end, the rowdy group would then spill out onto the beach, or backyard, or backroad and the real trail opening celebrations would commence. My few friends and I were youngsters amongst this motley group of mountain freaks, and we would watch from the fringes, content with the ride we just had the chance to share with this crew. Eventually we would pull ourselves away, resigned to a curfew imposed by parents, riding away from the crackling bonfire, skunky clouds of smoke, and laughing voices recalling trails of the past, and talk of ones in the future.
I was happy to see that the trail opening tradition is being revived here on the Coast, perhaps in a slightly more commercial fashion, but managing to keep the raw excitement and spirit of a new trail launch party. Ted Tempany in Squamish is dropping the ropes on his new masterpiece, Full Nelson, on May 5th. With support from the Province of BC, SORCA, Anthill Films and Red Bull, Ted and others toiled over this berm and jump-filled snake run all winter, and are launching it to the public this coming weekend. The Red Bull-sponsored party is an all-ages celebration, unlike the trail openers of my youth. Lawlessness aside, the spirit is still there: a party to commemorate the hard work of some dedicated and visionary trailbuilders, and a chance to have some fun with your buddies on a brand new mountain bike trail.
This photo was submitted to us during our Adventure Cycling photo contest a few months back, and we liked it so much we decided it needed to be featured as a Lane Love.
Having ridden Mt. Diablo’s road a few times I wanted to ride something I wasn’t familiar with, so I went with Mark. Trying to pick up the pace so I won’t get dropped I catch up to the four other riders. Looking back I find out that no one else follows. Not a good sign. We take Shell Ridge to get to Rock City. The ride was fantastic, hot and dusty. Half because of the trail and half because Mark was giving us a proper lesson of eating dust. I forgot the route we went mostly because I was tried, out of shape and tried to keep up with Mark. One route we went was Dusty Trail. Found out that the trail was in a word, dusty. So dusty is fact that I took a really soft fall down one of the trails trying to avoid a biker coming down.
You can read the full ride recap here.
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.
A race, in its most basic form, breeds heroes. These heroes usually take the form of the champions, the athletes that rise above to conquer his or her field, besting all contenders.
The demanding format of the BC Bike Race allows for new heroes to emerge. These are the folks that may not be the fastest of the day (heck, some of the heroes end up being some of the slowest riders out there). But these unsung heroes are the ones grinding and toiling out on the course, leaving behind their day jobs and lives back home to focus on one thing and one thing only: getting across that finish line each day of the race.
There are people like Dave, who spent the whole first night in Cumberland overcome with a vicious flu. The night was passed curled up in a dirty bathroom, alternating between bouts of vomiting and fitful sleep. He crawled to the start line in the morning, and fought through the day. The next day his flu subsided and he kept going strong on course.
Speaking of overcoming challenges, there was the couple from Austin that was looking forward to a week of racing without their kids in tow. Their nanny fell through at the last minute, and undeterred they changed their race entry to tag-team, brought their kids, alternated days of racing and had a great BC Bike Race family vacation. Not Disneyland, but the kids didn’t seem to mind.
I’m 40 years old, father of a two, Caleb who is four and Sophie, two.
I‘ve always enjoyed riding but I’ve really embraced this passion over the last four years, as I was introduced to mountain bike racing. I race not only for the competitive aspect but also that it motivates me to stay in shape. I bike to work every day. Probably very ordinary to most of you, but biking year round through the Saskatchewan winters where temperatures plummet in -30 degrees Celsius… Not so ordinary. You might say I’m a little nuts but that’s okay — it beats buying a second vehicle!
This weekend my local mountain bike club, Off-road Syndicate (ORS), held its annual race, The Wascana Challenge, at the scenic and popular Wascana trails. This race is part of the Saskatchewan inter-provincial race series.
Saskatchewan is located pretty much in the middle of Canada, right in the middle of the Canadian Prairies. One might think what’s the challenge, when you’re riding on flat prairie landscape. Although the Prairies are flat, erosion by rivers, or maybe even glaciers melting, created a series of valleys which provide us with some interesting trails, perfect for endurance cross racing. Wascana trails offer some steep climbs and technical descents in treed areas and also some nice flats to catch your breath in between.
Our summer here in Saskatchewan has been particular wet this year, as we usually enjoy a semi-arid climate. Heavy rain fall two days prior to the race, made the trails very slippery and made some areas even more challenging to ride. As most of the trails are hard pack, traction was minimal. Heat was also a concern for most of us who are not use to riding in hot and humid conditions. So needless to say the race was pretty demanding.
The first lap was a little frustrating as I caught up with some slower riders and had to wait until after the first climb to be able to pass. Once that was done I was pretty much on my own for the last two laps.
The last lap was, and always is the most demanding as fatigue and pain sets in. I had plenty of water for the entire race and never felt the effects of dehydration. (Hydraulic packs are nice. A hydraulic pack used to be a six pack, stuffed in my back-pack on my way home from work on a Friday!)
I manage to finish forth in my wave, with a time of 1 hour, 44 minutes — 2nd in my category — pretty good considering the conditions. Well that’s it for me this time around, so keep riding and have fun!