10 Questions with Osprey Athlete Ben Rueck
1. What place inspires you?
The place that inspires me the most is Africa. It is the one continent that offers the most diversity in culture and climbing. Guaranteed if I travel to Africa I am going experience a life changing event.
2. What one item do you always have in your pack?
3. Who do you most admire?
This is a complicated question for me. I think that I admire a person that pursues their full potential– no matter how scared they are. To expand outside your comfort zone is something that is difficult and takes commitment. If I had to narrow it to a person that would be negating many influential people in my life that live this kind of way. So I admire those who try.
4. What is your favorite food?
Mom’s homemade tacos.
5. Which Osprey pack are you using right now? What is your favorite feature about your pack?
Right now I am using the Variant. My favorite feature about the pack is that it can handle all of my climbing gear and still feel comfortable on long approaches.
6. Do you have a favorite quote? What is it? (more…)
As Spring blooms, so does our excitement for the 12th Annual Red Rock Rendezvous which takes place in the beautiful Red Rock Canyon just outside of Las Vegas, NV and is hosted by Osprey Packs retailer Mountain Gear. This year is guaranteed to be a great one — attendees will be coming in from across the nation to enjoy a weekend of climbing, clinics, demos, storytelling and much more!
Those interested in experiencing premiere rock climbing, desert single-track mountain biking, trail running and much more will gather at the mighty red rocks that overlook the event. The crowd will range from top outdoor industry brands to expert outdoor athletes to novice enthusiasts interested in learning more – everyone is welcome and all RRR attendees will leave after an experience like no other!
What’s going on March 27-29, 2015 at
Red Rock Rendezvous:
Clinics with Exceptional Athletes: Mountain biking, climbing, running, or general backcountry skills – you name it and there’s a clinic for it! With over 75+ clinics, you’re bound to find something that interests you. Taught by experts in the field, these clinics provide a unique, hands-on experience in a small group setting.
Dyno Competition, Dance Parties, Pancake Eating Contest and More! Be sure to check the schedule because this weekend is jampacked with a variety of fun games, on-site events, and presentations. You won’t want to miss the famous Red Rock Rendezvous Dyno Comp. in which participants put their dynamic climbing skills to the test! The same goes for the live music and other games put on by the sponsors of Red Rock Rendezvous — there’s a lot of fun to be had this weekend in the desert!
Now that you have an idea of what Red Rock Rendezvous is all about, let’s fill you in on what’s happening at the Osprey Packs booth:
NEW for Spring 2015: Come by to check out the latest at Osprey Packs as we will have our select Spring ’15 product such as the Syncro Series and the revolutionary Atmos/Aura Anti-Gravity Series, and much more! Our on-site staff will show you all the latest and greatest and will be able to answer any questions you may have!
Demo Packs at Red Rock Rendezvous and Feel the Osprey Difference: We’ve got your back and will have our demo fleet of bike, climbing, and running packs available all weekend! Stop by the booth and talk with our team of expert pack fitters and outdoor enthusiasts who can help you make the best selection for your needs. Available demo packs at RRR include our Endurance/Trail packs, the Rev Series and 2015 Syncro Series as well as our Vertical Endeavor packs like the Mutant Series and Variant Series!
Our Anti-Gravity Fit Station: Revolutionary. Innovative. And maybe a little bit magic: our award-winning Anti-Gravity™ Suspension system provides seamless comfort that contours the body allowing a trail experience like no other. Combined with custom capability and a full feature set, the Atmos AG™ sets a new standard in ventilated backpacking. Interested in what it feels like? Stop by our booth to try AG for yourself at our Anti-Gravity Fit Station.
Trail Running Clinics with Osprey Athlete Ben Clark: Interested in getting on the trail? Learn from the best at RRR — Osprey Athlete Ben Clark will be available to share his knowledge of trail running with anyone interested in pursing this growing outdoor endeavor!
“Creme de la Creme” Giveaways: Just another great reason to stop by the Osprey Packs booth — we’ll be giving away custom Osprey hats, coozies for your bevy, organic lipbalm, and much more!
Needless to say, it will be a great time in the desert and we hope to see you there! Don’t forget to the visit Red Rock Rendezvous Facebook page for updates!
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Today marks the kick-off of the Red Rock Rendezvous, and its 10 year anniversary, at Red Rocks Conservation Area in Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. The event is a veritable extravaganza of outdoor adventure, which includes back-to-back clinics focused on climbing, mountain biking, trail running and more. Powered by Mountain Gear and yours truly, Osprey Packs, we’ll be there to help celebrate and make it as unforgettable an event as ever!
Osprey Packs will be providing mountain bike clinics through the weekend at Red Rocks with the likes of Osprey Pro Athlete Alison Gannett and Osprey Amateur Athlete Jeff Fox. We’ll have demo bikes from our friends at Trek Bicycles and much more.
Saturday’s bound to be a big day, with Osprey-sponsored climbing clinics instructed by Osprey Athletes and pro climbers Majka Burhardt and Beth Rodden. Majka will instruct a “Learn to Trad Lead” clinic, and Beth will be leading a clinic on “Intermediate Sport and Techniques.” Adding to that, Saturday we’ll host a “Meet the Osprey Athletes” event from the booth with free poster signings. Come by the Osprey Booth from 6-6:30 to see Majka Burhardt, who will be signing posters and talking about her latest adventures. Right after, Beth Rodden will be signing posters and talking about her latest adventures from 7-7:30! For more information about the schedule and to sign up for clinics, visit the Red Rocks Rendezvous website here.
Throughout the weekend, Osprey Packs will also be stationed at its booth offering free pack demos, and we’ll have the brand-new line of men’s and women’s 2013 hydration packs and Variant and Mutant climbing packs there for you to try on. We’ll also be offering free pro pack sizings, fittings and advice from Osprey Packs experts throughout the event.
Adding a little more recreation to the event’s festivities, come by the Osprey booth to play our Access Fund Bola Bowl/Ladder Toss Game and you may win a free pack as we raise funds for the Access Fund! Then, try your hand at our “Fix a Flat Contest” and race against the clock to win prizes that include our spring 2013 line of Osprey hydration packs! To top it all off, we’ll have daily giveaways with swag, stickers and catalogs — so stop by to say hi!
We’ll see you at Red Rock!
It was just supposed to be a casual day: go for a short tour and get some photos. The weather was so unpredictable for May and June that we had to ignore the forecast and go for it. I was getting ready for a marathon bike race — The Squamish Test of Metal — the next day, and wanted to take it easy. We started our ski day hiking in a whiteout, but to our amazement when we got to the glacier it was a perfect bluebird day. “Let’s tour for 500 feet,” we said. But once we got going it turned into going another 5,000 feet to the summitt. The skies were clear, the wind was calm and the travel was fast, so we had to go for it.
Volcanoes have an appeal that even sharp peaks in the North Cascades can’t equal. They are massive! From their steep faces and crumbling icefalls, cracked glaciers and sloughing moraines to their encroaching forests, glassy lakes and gorging rivers, their grandeur is far-reaching. From Interstate 5 driving or on the back roads of Washington, you can see their snowcapped facades shimmering under beams of the sun or the moon.
Saturday was a first…ice climbing in Ouray’s Ice Park during the world’s most famous ice climbing festival! I slinked away from the Osprey demo tent to see just what this ice climbing thing was all about. Osprey athlete Majka Burhardt hosted a climbing clinic and I was lucky enough to squeeze in.
Putting on our harness, crampons, helmet and grabbing our ice axes, we headed up along the ravine edge to our destination, the Schoolhouse area. My eyes widened a bit as I surveyed the metal ladder. Hmmm. Exposure anyone? Ignoring a slight adrenaline surge, I turned around and gingerly made my way down the steps, my crampon points occasionally getting stuck between the inch-thick bars until I met the near-vertical snowy path, where a rope lay on the snow.
“Turn around Kerry!” Majka called to me, “It’s easier to pick your way facing downhill.”
Oh. And indeed it was, as I regained composure coming down.
We followed the path, passing under belayers’ ropes and gathered around. Majka methodically went through all we needed to know before getting on the ice. Harness safely in place. Check. Laces tightened up. Check. “Loose boots are no good ice climbing. You’re pivoting your foot and you want your feet snug in the boots, so make sure you cinch down the laces, especially around your ankles,” Majka explained. Next, she described the differences of tools–the shapes of the handles, what a leash will or won’t do for you and the types of crampons we all had and what they were good for.
Wasting no time, she showed us the motion and plane that the ice axes should be wielded, how far we should reach and where our arms and legs should be positioned to get leverage on the ice. The first two guinea pigs where up (okay, actually…there were only two of us who hadn’t tried ice climbing). As they made their way up the ice she instructed them and gave them pointers, both when they were climbing up and rapping down. A few more went. I happily snapped shots, occasionally chirping in with “Ice!!” as chunks came careening down.
“Alright, you’re up Kerry,” Majka surprised me.
No panseying-around here!
Despite my lack of excitement for heights paired with my cautiousness with two strained wrist muscles, this was just the ass kick I needed. Off I went. I didn’t have time to get worked up, although I did tell my belayer to take up a little more slack, that I preferred to know the rope was a bit more taut. My feet and my arms worked simultaneously in rhythm as I ascended the ice, Majka correcting me from the ground. I could feel the difference–the ease of proper technique versus relying on an awkward hold or foot placement.
So different from rock climbing. But I liked it. And I’ll be trying it again! Time to get back to the tent to help Sam show the Osprey love…
Another member of the all-new Osprey Brand Team is Erie, Colorado resident Joe Thompson. Besides being ski patrol at Boulder’s local hill Eldora and an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, Joe is currently enrolled (and on site) in an instructor’s course with AIARE in Valdez, Alaska where we armed him with an orange, Variant 37 pack to assist with his training.
Joe has been checking in with us via Blackberry texts and he was able to send us a nice photo of an iced-over ‘Bridal Veil’ near his group’s base camp. Stay tuned for more from Joe as we get information about how he has put his Variant to the test… So far we know Joe was stoked that despite the Variant’s large carrying capacity and size (the Medium Variant’s specs: 2250 cu. in., 37 liters, and 3 lbs 8 oz.) he was able to successfully stow the pack under his seat on the puddle jumper to Valdez. If that ain’t success for a guy carrying oodles of gear to Alaska, I don’t know what is. Check back soon for a full update from Joey T!
In the case of some San Juan ice climbing, that’s the truth…. Here’s a pic of Whorehouse Hose, above Silverton. (Thank you to San Juan Mountain Guides blog) Usually shaded, this route had a couple of parties on it 12-30, and the link below to San Juan Mountain Guides blog has more on its conditions. The Ames Ice Hose is in and has been climbed many times, as of 12-30, according to Damon Johnson’s blog. He reports that the first pitch is fatter than usual… Here’s a pic of Bridalveil on 12-30… Stairway to Heaven, up the county road from Silverton toward Animas Forks, has a lot of snow on it. (This pic is from Damon’s blog)
Southwest Colorado was hammered with a Christmas storm, and it’s warming up quite a bit. Our guess is that things will phatten up by the time the Ouray Ice Fest rolls into town on Jan. 8-12. The Osprey Variant 37 would be the pack to bring to the Ice Park….