Bike enthusiasts and photographers Stan Engelbrecht & Nic Grobler spent two years traveling in and around South Africa — capturing portraits of people and their beloved bikes along the way. The culmination of their project is a book, Bicycle Portraits, divided into three parts that encompass the portraits, stories and essays about the South African people they encountered during their journey. As stated on the home page of the Bicycle Portraitswebsite, “Bicycle Portraits has turned into a portrait of a nation through the bicycles that they own and ride every day —revealing all manner of social, class, historical and cultural nuances never imagined.”
Yosemite. Just the name is enough to set an adventurer to day dreaming. It’s a place that stokes our inner fire, our wildness and gives us the escape we hunger for. For the climbers among us, Yosemite is our mecca. In last year’s story in National Geographic, photographer and climber Jimmy Chin said:
Visiting a Yosemite climbing camp today, you’re just as likely to meet a divorce attorney from Delaware as a wild-haired dirtbag. Walking through Camp 4 one morning, I hear a dozen languages-Czech, Chinese, Thai, Italian-and meet climbers from all walks of life. A young German engineer, grinning ear to ear, has just completed a five-day ascent of El Cap. A barefoot young woman from Denmark, with nose ring, dreads, a tattoo, walks a slackline-a tightrope strung three feet off the ground between trees. A mom and dad from Washington State teach their two kids how to climb. Rock climbing is no longer a fringe sport. It’s mainstream. And unlike the early years, there are nearly as many women as men on the rock…
Whether you’re a climber or not, it’s difficult to dream up a place more awe-inspiring than Yosemite National Park. In fact, it’s difficult to describe in words this special wild place. Yesterday our friends at prAna posted this incredible timelapse video on their Facebook wall. Do yourself a favor; grab your mug of coffee, sit back and watch…
Some days, actually many days, I wake up with nothing more than a hint of what may be possible. Seeing new things all the time motivates me — it’s my routine, a gig for life. At some point, after lots of plane tickets, duct tape fixes and miscommunications, Darwinian principles begin to crest. I call it “dumb luck”, it’s saved some great times from becoming total losses. This one in particular.
As our expedition to ski in the region of Mustang fails when horses can’t negotiate landslides that have pummeled the approaching hillsides, we’re stuck in a location I have hung in three other times on three other expeditions. The location is Jomosom, it’s like the Denver of Nepal. In this episode we reorganize our gear for the next leg of our journey to ski powder in the Himalayas and visit a village that not too long ago was a hallowed spot on the Annapurna Circuit trekking route. Today fewer visitors explore the town of Marpha, known for it’s apple brandy, and steps leading to 26,795-foot Dahaulagiri, as vehicles carrying time sensitive travelers pass by.
Wonderful aurora display in Michigan's Upper Peninsula via Aaron Peterson.
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. Now that it’s October, we find ourselves looking up at the sky looking, waiting for signs of winter… so we’re dedicating this month to that big, beautiful sky. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
This week one of our reps turned us on to this awesome photo of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern lights, up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Thanks to a massive solar storm on Monday, the sun is in an active phase right now, leading to displays of Northern lights as far south as Alabama. The Northern lights are caused by charged solar particles colliding with atoms in the upper atmosphere near the North Pole.
Here’s a few more images of this spectacular light show in action this week… along with some words of wisdom via Grist.org: “Just a little reminder that there’s no point in trying to save the planet if we don’t occasionally pause to enjoy it.”
And because they mention “The Northern Lights” in their song…
We’re working with American Whitewater to protect a river close to home — the Dolores River. But today, we’re pretty excited to celebrate with them on a momentous victory in the Northwest. Today at 1p.m. Mountain Time, Condit Dam’s de-construction will begin with a boom when crews blast a tunnel through the 95-year old, 125-foot dam.
Boaters, flyfishermen, and long-time community members are looking forward to a White Salmon River that once again flows freely. Documentary film-maker Andy Maser is tracking the story of Washington’s effort in his beautiful “Year of the River” series.
Stay tuned to Andy Maser’s website for first images from the blast, and you can also watch the main event live on the American Rivers website.
I ran in the dark hollow coolness of the Telluride valley this morning, winter’s bite is slowly settling in and the shadows of dawn are arriving much later now. Thumping foot after foot on frosted pavement, I ran with my wife and at the mercy of our galloping Tibetan Terrier, Blitz. I’m happy to call this place home. It’s a transitional season and a pleasure to watch time pass this way — as the mountains change form and winter takes shape.
I’m still loaded with anticipation of adventure — my endorphins sizzle as I gaze up valley and see Bridal Veil falls freezing and windy chutes filling. I expect to take my skis up into the mountains this weekend for the first time since July, It’s nice to spend a fall in the home mountain range and enjoying time with my family. Mountaineering in the San Juans can be really great training any time of year.
A year ago this week, I found myself at the mouth of the second deepest gorge in the world, my next three weeks in the hands of a horseman’s bridle. Ski The Himalayas Season 3, Episode 2 chronicles the day that occurred, this episode tops my list on most shocking cultural misunderstandings I’ve ever had!
Iceland. Just the name inspires visions of toasty wool sweaters, steaming geothermal pools and those mind-blowing Northern Lights.
Well, after stumbling across this video over on Huffington Post today, we also realized just how adorable and awesome Icelandic people can be. Their Tumblr blog is definitely worth a visit. In this video by Inspired by Iceland, locals invite us to come and visit their island and their homes — offering to take us kayaking, play a concert in our hotel room and even to teach us how to knit those cozy Icelandic sweaters. To top it off, the President of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson invites us to his home: “We will give you delicious pancakes.”
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. Now that it’s October, we find ourselves looking up at the sky looking and waiting for signs of winter… so we’re dedicating this month to that big, beautiful sky. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
We stumbled across this incredible timelapse today from Dustin Farrell and we don’t need to say a whole lot to set it up… just watch. Oh, and do yourself a favor and watch it full screen with sound.
I was just sitting on the ski area in Telluride watching the leaves change today in a drizzly meadow. I love living in the mountains in the fall. There is snow on the ground in the high country and looking west to the desert a blanket of clouds peter out and lead to splitter cracks baking in sunshine. Transitions between seasons are always so dynamic here—you can see from mountaintops to arid sandstone plateaus, summer’s orange alpenglow fades into blazing Aspens and ominous grey clouds. I’m glad to slow things down, return to the desert and rope up for a little while, this year has been a fast ride with speedy ascents and a lot of great downhill filled with giggles and whoops.
This time last year, I was gearing up for a trip with friends that challenged me in many ways but brought the team a rewarding lesson that I wanted to share. One that gave me the best winter of my life after that expedition and a lesson that I hope inspires others in how we approach back country avalanche terrain. Leading into ski season, I hope you’ll view the Ski the Himalayas Season 3 episodes here over the next 13 weeks and learn a little bit about the culture, terrain and risks that make ski mountaineering so important to us. A trailer is below, I’ll be posting each week and I look forward to sharing the adventure!