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FloydFest13: Revolutionary at its Best!

July 19th, 2014

ATW599.Floydfest13PosterArt_2

For five glorious July days of the year, this quiet 80-acre plateau off the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway is transformed into a temporary ‘burb of music aficionados.

 

And Osprey wouldn’t miss it for the world! FloydFest is an Osprey favorite: we can’t resist good music, great people and of course, the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia! This year the line up is jam-packed with an incredible assortment of musicians ranging from straight-funk to reggae-vibes (and even some down-home bluegrass!). Check out the full line-up to get the all the details on who’s playing July 23-27, 2014.

If you’re thinking to yourself that this festival couldn’t possibly get any more inviting, then we’ve got to mention the wide variety of Outdoor Activities that will be going on all weekend! Take a break from the vivacious jams and get some fresh air in the Blue Ridge Mountains — there will be fantastic outdoor events happening each day of the festival. Read more…

Events, Music Festivals, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, Product, Retail Promotions , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trail Days 2014: Celebrate the Spirit of the Appalachian Trail in Damascus

May 15th, 2014

Trail Days 2014 | Osprey Packs

The year 1987 was the 50th anniversary of the Appalachian Trail, which passes right through Damascus. That year, members of the Town Council decided to celebrate the anniversary with an event for hikers. At that time, there was no town park in Damascus, so the small festival was held in the parking lot of the town hall and behind the bank. The festival was held again the following year, the year after that, and every year that’s followed, growing to the tens of thousands. In the early years of Trail Days, a street was sometimes roped off for a dance, but there were no vendors. There were only the hikers and the cyclists who followed, who inspired the town to rebuild its economy, which had been devastated by flooding and the loss of most of its industry. Read more…

AT Trail, Backpacking, Events, Hiking, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dominion River Rockin’ Fest: The Best of the Best!

May 14th, 2014

Dominion River Rock 2014 | Osprey Packs

Dominion Riverrock is the East Coast’s premier outdoor lifestyle festival: bringing athletes, spectators, musicians, and even dogs to Brown’s Island for a three-day festival against the backdrop of downtown Richmond’s urban riverfront. The festival features a variety of outdoor sports including trail running, kayaking, biking, bouldering, slacklining, stand up paddleboarding, and dog jumping. The event was designed to promote Richmond’s unique riverfront, downtown trails and whitewater rapids to outdoor enthusiasts. dominionriverrock.com

Dominion River Rock 2014 | Osprey Packs

We are delighted to announce that once again we will be attending Dominion RiverRock, the greatest outdoor lifestyle festival in the Southeast and quite possibly in the world! After attending for our first time last year, we wouldn’t miss it for anything — the Southern hospitality of Richmond, VA, the contagious enthusiasm on Brown’s Island, and the incredible artist line-up get better and better each year! Read more…

Active Lifestyle, Bike, contest, Events, film festivals, Mountain Games, Music Festivals, Non-profits, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, Packing in the Streets, SouthEast , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recovery

June 10th, 2013

How did I get from here to Richmond, Va? Skiing 20,201' Thorung Peak in the Annapurna Himal

Let’s face it, every now and then we just hit the dirt. I don’t mean it figuratively; I mean sometimes we are muddy, wet, out of energy, used up and spent. I’ve been reduced to a swim up the last 10 feet to the world’s highest summit, a crawl across exposed ridgelines with lightning dancing around and once — only once in my life — have I been as muddy, wet and spent, and actually attained something without fear guiding me, just pure bliss and the unbridled confidence it inspired. It was two weekends ago in Richmond, Va. of all places.

I’ve had an interesting year. My family had a major emergency in the fall, business was tough as we dealt with an unfortunate loss of an inspiring ski guide we had filmed and when I thought it couldn’t get any more complicated or challenging… my ski clothes and most of my outdoor gear was stolen out of the back of my car in Grand Junction, Co. just as I was considering putting them on and finding the wind in my face again. “Damn!” I thought, “what next?” I drove to REI that day and bought the Brooks Pure Grit 2 trail shoe and started over on rebuilding my kit from the ground up. A frugal man, the task of re assembling $4,700 worth of gear seemed daunting as medical bills got larger and larger. I just wanted to keep it simple so right then and there I committed to running and nothing else until next winter. I had already run two 50 milers that fall and drank the Kool-Aid of simple travel on foot, so the crook who stole my gear only affirmed this decision.

A cold day on the Telluride, Co. valley floor logging some 10 minute miles and really working for them!

Running was all that kept me in place during this last year, moving toward something I could envision and I alone would be accountable for. Running in the morning, mid day or even at night, running in knee deep powder, running on icy roads, running through the empty desert and running when it was dry and then when spring came and it rained. All along I told myself that if I made a committment to one sport for one year, I could see its merits, I could unlock its “flow.” Running in the mountains was the “secret” to my Himalayan speed and strength, it was also the elusive mistress of my imagination living in a wintry wonderland of dawn patrol distractions. I’ll be honest, it was hard wrapping my head around some of the biggest snow days when “running” three miles took nearly an hour, or when I struggled to the finish of my first 50 mile trail Ultra in September after just three months of running. But all along in that year since I last put my skis on and laid down fresh tracks in the high Himalayas, I believed it was time to leave my comfort zone and enter the empty space between pushing the envelope and sending it. This was a space I often visited on my journey from a Tennesse boy in 2001 to learning to climb and ski the world’s highest mountains for a decade. And an empty place where uncertainty isolates what is possible from what is true.

One of those empty spaces I'm referring to. An unmaintained primitive trail through Colorado National Monument

Now what I have to say may not inspire anyone, but for me, small milestones of discovery are the only thing that allow me to truly believe something big is possible. I have to have them at some point or I feel hopeless — don’t we all? But as an athlete who performs for the views as much as the challenges, I soon learned that competition can also inspire… this is where Richmond, Va. comes in.

As I lined up for a 10K in front of over 790 other people at 6PM on a Saturday night, my tight left hip slowly gained range of motion while I bounced around listening to Pink Floyd’s “Run Like Hell.”  It had been a wet, muggy day, I had done my speedwork on a bike at the gym earlier that morning and then was on my feet the rest of the day walking around Belle and Brown Isle as a guest of the Dominion River Rock festival. As the moments counted down, my name came over a loud speaker introduced as an Osprey athlete and suddenly I realized something; I became a runner and somehow the announcer thought I was somebody and the lead pack might too — ha! I’m nobody special, but when that gun shot rang out and it was time to move, I was at least fast and up front.

The first six minutes were a blur, but a mile moved underfoot, the second six and change — much the same — but I was holding on. In front there were a few people who knew the way, this was a course that had wild urban intricacies broken by long stretches of single track trails and the occasional rock hop, sewage tunnel or fence and railroad tie climb. Put lightly, a badass sprint through an urban trail system that linked technical trail running with the speed of East Coasters who can crush the road. How did it feel? HARD

Passing a fast guy on a Bridge!

Halfway through it was impossible to pass, the rutted roots, slippery auburn-colored clay and ankle deep puddles put many people down on the ground. Two-thirds in I busted out a 12-mile an hour pace and passed a large group on a bridge and then settled in for what I hoped would subside — nasuea in deep humidity coupled with just under redline output. In the final moments I tapered back as we charged up a steep ramp across a pedestrian bridge and I thought I would have another .7 miles to go and open up into a fast flat homestretch where I could leave what I had left out there.

Instead… I finished. My GPS watch was .5 miles off due to the forest canopy hovering over the single track and there I was cruising softly through the finish line with energy to spare and a time of 45:24; 6.2 miles at 7:18 pace per mile. “Shit!”  I was, as usual, frustrated momentarily at my result (I can’t ever be satisfied-just FYI) and not knowing the end was nearer. I walked away, grabbed my bag and wandered off to the Festival a sloppy mud-and-salt-covered mess and instantly tried to persuade any one who would listen to enter this awesome race next year. I genuinely enjoyed the course and as a mountain and desert open space kind of guy, felt this was every bit as fun –maybe even more so…

The moment of elation came not at the finish line, it came in an e-mail a few hours later. In the e-mail I learned I had finished 39th out of 799 racers. That is the top five percent. I had no idea because I don’t race short distance. I have only raced five times in my life, all over-50K races, and despite moving up each time, you can only see so much progress every couple of months in racing that distance.

I run a lot, every week up, down, across stuff. Often I am totally alone. I don’t care to compare myself to anyone, only to my results yesterday you know, there usually isn’t anyone out there on the trail but me for miles. I can always improve and believe that I always have to, nature certainly has enough spaces out there that take a while to get to. But for one moment, when that e-mail arrived and it set in as I sat there alone, I could call myself elite — something that I never would — and realize that all the miles, time and committing slowness in the snow this winter put me as a 33-year-old adult right there with an Olympic qualifier, college cross country athletes and some of the East Coast’s finest and fastest. What does it mean; I have to keep training harder to pull off what I really want to do — a massive traverse of fourteen 14ers in Colorado in 60 hours, but also that something I put a year into actually was worth it and if nothing else, I held it together that day becuase I held it together a lot of other days. Sometimes life is that simple — a pair of shoes, a small backpack, some water and you can go further than you ever imagined. Now I realize progress doesn’t have to be extreme distances in the wild places that normally inspire me, all it took was a six mile run though the city…

Osprey Athletes , , , , ,

Dominion Riverrock: Let the Festivities Begin!

May 13th, 2013

Osprey is proud to announce that we will be attending the action-packed Dominion Riverrock Festival in Richmond, Virginia during the upcoming weekend of May 17-19. We’re super excited to be a part of the only festival of its kind, one that combines the best of both the outdoor adventure and the music worlds. Throughout the Fest, there will be endless competitions in biking, hiking, running and climbing, as well as performances by top notch artists such as Toots and the Maytals and many more!

Not only will there be on-going comps, music and fun, we’ll be there hosting our own events. One such activity will be the infamous Osprey Packs bola ball toss, which you can play to win a pack! All proceeds will be donated to the Blue Sky Fund, which makes your chance to win a pack that much better. We’ll also be selling packs in alliance with Blue Ridge Mountains Sports at a killer 20 percent off, and our very own Osprey Athlete Ben Clark will be guiding hikes with Virginia Trail Blazers and signing free posters throughout the weekend.

If you’re in the area and looking for a mind-blowing good time with loads of things to do, stop by our booth to check out the packs, get a poster or try your chance at bola ball for a good cause! Connect with the Fest on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and share the #riverrockrva love!

Bike, contest, Events, Music Festivals, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities, Retail Promotions, travel , , , , , , , , , ,

A Slice of Americana–backpacking style. Welcome to Trail Days…

May 13th, 2010

The hikers have begun to descend on Damascus.  We find ourselves in a world of kilted bald men with unkempt beards.  The women tend to be more, shall we say, varietal.  Yes, it’s another Trail Days and to say Damascus will never be the same is a misnomer, because quite evidently, it never was.  Crispy Critter, Buttercup, Blue Eyes, Dead Man Walking – just a few of the folks that have stopped by and said hello today.

This is the largest trail event (probably in the world) for one of the longest trails in the world.  It represents a desire that we all hold somewhere – to unplug and escape for months, to be in a place (both mentally and physically) where time does not matter.  It also represents the proverbial slice of Americana, the kind of thing that can only happen in – America.

Over the next few days we’ll repair dozens and dozens of packs – Osprey and any other brand.  We’ll meet more folks by trail name only and yes, we’ll see more kilts and beards – none of them on women.  This is our time to literally get in the trenches, to truly learn what our customers need our packs to do.  Every success and failure of our product is amplified here. What better place than the AT to learn if that pack really does what it is supposed to do?

Written by Gareth Martins, Director of Marketing

Events, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities, Product, Uncategorized , , , , , ,

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