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Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack | Gear We Use | Rock Climbing

Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack in use at the crag

Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack at the crag ©Elaina Arenz

I just discovered that my guy “borrowed” my Osprey Ultralight Dry Sacks for his expedition to Pakistan!

Now, not only have I lost my summer cragging partner, I’ve lost my trusty, adventure ditty bags!

Osprey Ultralight Dry Sacks (I call them ditty bags) have a roll down closure and a snap buckle so you can seal in whatever you like.

I use the 3L size for all the little day-at-the-crag items I may need: snacks, athletic tape, sunscreen, nail clippers, chap stick, belay glasses, and all other small items that get lost floating around inside my pack.

The sacks come in 5 sizes: 3L, 6L, 12L, 20L and 30L. I use the larger ones to organize bigger items like my quickdraws and anchor materials—when I keep all my stuff organized, I’m less likely to lose track of things and end up with missing gear.

I recommend that you get a few different colors so it’s even easier to stay organized. If you know which bag holds what, you’ll be ready to rock when you arrive at the crag.

Unless, of course, your partner finds them equally useful and makes off with them without you!

BTW, when you attend a Chicks Climbing or Skiing program you get a 3L Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack in yourWelcome Kit!

Chicks Gear Review: Osprey National Park Foundation Trip 20

Written by: Angela Hawse

We think it’s great that Osprey is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of our National Park Service this summer with this sweet little pack, the Osprey Trip. Osprey has tagged it as a “hiking” pack, but we find it to be a perfect light pack for multi-pitch rock climbs.  It’s low profile enough to easily fit in a larger pack if you hiking in a ways with all your kit, but also carries well enough to pack the rack, shoes, harness inside for shorter approaches. Doubling for a great day hiking pack, this a great addition to your pack quiver.

Osprey TripOsprey has been named an official partner of the National Park Foundation as the NPS celebrates its centennial year.  As a partner, Osprey has pledged to donate a minimum of $25,000 through the sale of specific packs like this to help the NPF protect more than 84 million acres of National Parks we are so fortunate to enjoy.  5% of the proceeds from the sale of this pack will be donated to the National Parks Foundation.

The Trip 20 is a minimalist top loader with no bells and whistles.  It has a comfortable back panel that moves air well with light mesh shoulder straps that allow uninhibited climbing and movement.  The simple hydration system works well and a small zippered lids stows essentials for easy access.  With the National Park Foundation logo prominent on the lid, you’ll show your support for preserving some of the most special places in the world that are unique to America and our national heritage.  Get em while they’re hot and get out and enjoy!

MSRP: $60.00

Angela Hawse is a Chicks Co-Owner and AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide.

Whether on rock or ice, the Osprey Variant 37 is all the pack you need!

Today’s sponsor spotlight is on our dear friends at Osprey Packs, who are year-round loyal supporters of our Chicks Rock! and Chicks with Picks climbing programs. They not only provide us with the financial support to keep our programs running, but they ship packs to nearly half a dozen locations for our Chicks to demo at every single climbing clinic, and donate packs to our annual slide show and auction fundraiser events for the Ouray Ice Park and local women’s shelter! It’s so generous of Osprey to ship packs because it’s really helpful to try out a pack before committing to a purchase so that you can test out the capacity and sizing before making the financial commitment. And Osprey wants you to do just that at our Chicks clinics!

As an individual, I can honestly say that I’ve been a fan of Osprey packs since long before I became involved with the Chicks organization. For several years I had an older version of the Variant 37, which is the focus of this blog post today (the new one that is, not the old one!). My recent upgrade to the Variant 37 was made after one of those fat, greedy squirrels in Yosemite ate a hole through the lid of the pack (which had NO FOOD in it, by the way!). Other than that (which I’m pretty sure I could get fixed if I took some initiative; I just couldn’t deal with not having a lid!) I loved the older version of the Variant *almost* as much as the new one. Let me tell you why.

Since I like to ice climb just a wee bit more than rock climb, the Variant 37 was a pretty obvious choice for me. The exterior features easy storage of not only your ice tools, but your crampons as well. The exterior crampon pouch was the stellar upgraded feature I got with my new Variant 37, and I absolutely think it’s the best part about the pack. The size of the Variant 37 is perfect for stowing all the extra layers I need to bring with not only for climbing in the park, but in Canada’s much colder weather as well. It is no problem to have two water bottles, lunch, three(+) extra layers, two extra pairs of gloves, along with ice screws, draws & helmet comfortably stuffed in the pack. If you also want to get a 60m rope into the pack, well then you may want to upgrade to the 52L, but I don’t mind carrying it on the top, just underneath the lid since there’s a perfect strap for that there, too.

So, even though Osprey makes packs specifically for rock climbing, I actually prefer to continue using my Variant 37 year-round. Why? Not only because it’s so comfortable and the hipbelt is absolutely right-on for my torso but…(drumroll please) the crampon pouch is the perfect place to stuff flip-flops for cragging days, or even a guidebook for multi-pitch and/or route finding days. I actually love that feature, as silly as it sounds, but it’s actually quite practical. Let’s say, for example, you’re at Indian Creek and you don’t want to hike up to the base in sandals. Right on, I am with you. However, after jamming and twisting your feet in cracks for hours on end, a little bit of flip-flop time can feel like absolute heaven, and it’s just the perfect storage space. It’s also really nice to have the guidebook easily accessible on the outside of the pack in the perfect spot for your partner to pull out and consult – sometimes quite frequently when you’re in an unfamiliar area!

[I should mention that the Variant 37 capacity is a perfect fit for rock climbing too – when I’m carrying ropes it’s no trouble to fit two 60m doubles inside along with all of my other assorted gear, and my partner Tonya is able to easily fit her large trad rack into her own (identical!) 37L along with the rest of the day’s climbing supplies.]

The only issue I have with the Variant 37 is that lots of us Chicks have the exact same pack (literally) so I put a piece of (pretty) duct tape on mine just to decrease the amount of random goodies I’d sometimes find in my lid 🙂

Learn more about all the technical features the Variant 37 has to offer here, and for those needing more space here’s the link to the Variant 52. Those of you signed up for a clinic you can look forward to checking out even MORE Osprey packs (and getting a MAY-JAH coupon for purchasing one afterwards 😉 since Osprey takes good care of us Chicks!)

Finally, thanks again to the team at Osprey for seeing the value in our Chicks Climbing women’s climbing clinics. If you are so inclined, you too can say thank you to them here on their Facebook page.

Jess’ Chicks transformation

I don’t look like a climber.

I don’t have strong, beautiful muscles bulging out of my arms and back. I am terrified of heights. I’ve never been able to do a pull up. I am 6’ tall and weigh 180 pounds (oh my god, I just admitted to that. *Breathe*). So believe me when I say that signing up for my first Chick’s clinic was a huge and scary step for me.

Before my first clinic, I had been climbing on and off for a couple of years. I climbed with people I knew and was very comfortable with, and I still felt incredibly self-conscious every time we would go out. I was certain that people were looking at me, the fat lady trying to climb and wondering why the hell I even bothered. Since most climbers are shaped a little differently than I am, even the gear provided challenges. I felt like I was the only one ever doing the “butt wiggle” trying to stuff my ass into my harness. I had to get a size medium so that I could snug the waist up enough to be tight, but it’s ridiculously tight going over my butt. And the adorable brightly colored bras by Verve that everyone around here is wearing? Yeah, forget about it. Approximately half of one of my breasts actually shoves in to a size large. But I kept going.

I went to crags and climbing gyms whenever I could. I wanted more of those few minutes on the rock or ice where my mind is focused only on my next move and my breath. I craved the feeling of power in my legs as I stand up on a tiny hold. I was fueled by the shift in my energy when I was at home in my own body and feeling the strength it possessed. So with massive trepidation, I went to my first Chicks clinic. I wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that I hardly slept the night before. I envisioned a group of strong, badass women – thin with beautiful muscle definition, who would all be gracefully prancing up the rocks scoffing at me as I tried to haul myself up. I was afraid that I would be paying to go to a clinic only to be hurt and embarrassed. I could not have been any more wrong…

Sure, there were absolutely beautiful, strong, badass women there; women who easily climbed routes that I found to be challenging. But there was no scoffing, no judgment, and no hurt (other than some bruised knees!). I found myself in a new mini-family of women who were all just putting themselves out there, doing the best they could and supporting one another no matter what ‘level’ they were at.

I was both humbled and inspired by the Girly Guides. What an amazing feeling to be coached by the legendary Kitty Calhoun or ass-kicking Dawn Glanc! And even though both of those ladies could run up the routes I was climbing, they still genuinely celebrated MY successes. They cheered the times when I’d feel exhausted and frustrated and on the brink of tears pull out one more move than I thought I could. It didn’t matter that we were climbing 5.9 and these women don’t even sink that low to warm up…they were supporting me the whole way.

Yesterday I wrapped up my third Chicks clinic. This time we were on the ice at the Ouray Ice Park. As it always seems to, the hurtful voice inside my head was screaming loudly as we started to climb. “You’re too fat. Why are you here? You can’t do this. Go home.” But with each swing of my tools, kick of my feet and bit of encouragement from Kitty or the girls in my group, that voice started to take a back seat. There’s no room for such judgment and self-hate when you’re surrounded by such amazing CHICKS!

It’s my hope that more people will discover Chicks. Especially those girls like me who most people would never expect to actually be rock or ice divas at heart. Feeling (even briefly) at home in your own body and being wholly supported by fierce women you barely even know is a fantastic blessing. I am so thankful for the opportunity to climb with these ladies, and I know I’ll keep putting myself out there. Again and again and again. At some point the voices telling me that I’m not good enough or too fat to do this WILL be replaced by the amazing Kitty Calhoun telling me that I am special. Because if she believes that, who am I to disagree? 🙂

My heartfelt thanks to the Head Chick, Girly Guides and amazing sponsors like Marmot, ColumbiaPatagoniaOsprey, Rock and Ice, First Ascent and The Victorian Inn who make these clinics possible. It’s not just about the climbing. You’re all changing lives.

Summertime and the climbing is fine!

Here on the Chicks Climbing Gossip Report you can catch up on all of the great gossip (articles, videos, and other assorted cool stuff) we talked about over the past week at Chicks Climbing!

Last week we drew the winners of our Chicks Ambassador Poster Plaster! Katie from Pennsylvania took home the Osprey Hornet 24 daypack, New York’s Margaret scored the pair of Julbo Guide Glasses, and Paula from Missouri will never be lost in the dark again thanks to her new Princeton Tec Fuel headlamp! Thanks a million to all of the awesome Chicks ambassadors that helped out with the poster plaster giveaway; it was so fun to see posters popping up across the country. Check out the full wrap-up of the event here.

Also last week our monthly newsletter came out – check out all that is new and exciting in the world of Chicks here!

Finally, we posted a great recipe for happiness concocted by our own Head Chick (who is also a certified life coach)! Check out her wise words of advice here.

All of the other articles we linked to this past week through either the Chicks Climbing Twitter account, or on the Chicks Climbing Facebook fan page (and some on both!). We provide this wrap-up because we come across a TON of great resources each week, but understand that not everyone is online all the time, or even on both (or either) of these social media platforms. So you can check here each and every week for the latest and greatest in Chicks Climbing resources here on the blog.

However, we know WE may have also missed some cool stuff this week, so if there is something of interest we missed that you came across this week please, let us know so we can share with everyone else!

Climbing
– Chicks alumna Vera sends Lobster Claw at Hueco Tanks! Check out the video here:  http://bit.ly/mkQ8R8
– Great blog by Girly Guide Mattie Sheafor up at Pemba Serves (@pembaserves) on how she learned to climb at Devil’s Lake: http://bit.ly/lB6I4H (P.S. You can too in our upcoming Chicks Rock! clinic July 29-Aug. 1!)
– Nice article on Emilie Drinkwater – the lynchpin of our Aug. 19-21 Daks weekend climbing clinic – up at Alpine Athena written by Chick Dara Miles (@daramiles): http://ht.ly/57RLv
– A really lovely article remembering the spark and spunk of climber Karen McNeill written by Girly Guide Margo Talbot (@margotalbot): http://ht.ly/57QFq
– Great report of lessons learned from Lizzy & Luke (@lizzy_t@lstefurak) bailing on an El Cap route last weekend in epic weather http://ht.ly/57MOC
– Great climbing partners aren’t always easy to find; Brendan (@semi_rad) talks about “The Friend You Want Along On Every Climb”: http://ow.ly/58C1O
– Great new blog up at ClimbFind (@climbfind): “Becoming Wily: A Story About Expectations And Failure”: http://t.co/BFZczXV
– Nonprofit set up to honor Chloe Graftiaux with purpose to give small “nudges” to other aspiring climbers http://ht.ly/58P9v
– Climbing mom Erica (@cragmama) has some great advice on choosing a crag when you have little ones tagging along: http://ht.ly/5aUyv

News
– Climbers boost Arizona’s economy: http://bit.ly/k3d1kX
– This week’s outdoor and climbing news from AAI (@alpineinstitute)! http://tinyurl.com/3ne3rx8
– Congrats to Alex Puccio., Angie Payne, and Alex Johnson for your showing at the 2011 IFSC World Cup Bouldering Final! http://ht.ly/5aTbu

Gear
– Ever wondered how you can be sure your gear is safe? Check out these UIAA Gear Testing Videos posted by the American Alpine Institute: http://tinyurl.com/3nuwwqs
– Erica (@Cragmama) has ended searching for an approach shoe after falling in love with this pair from The North Face: http://ht.ly/578Jm
– Gear review by Katie Levy (@k8tlevy) of the Black Diamond GridLock carabiner, made to prevent cross loading:  http://bit.ly/jm7m92

Fun Stuff
– Maybe you need to start dressing up a bit when you climb??? America’s Next Top Model – Rock Climbing Photoshoot (HILARIOUS!) http://ow.ly/59npw

Inspiration
– She’s almost done (hopefully!) recovering from a broken foot – see what Whitney (@whitneyio) has learned while injured: http://ht.ly/578Hd
– “Make conscious choices that will lead us to our own personal fulfillment” – lovely, short blog from Girlly Guide Margo Talbot (@margotalbot) http://ht.ly/57Lq4
– Michaela, a Vertical Girl (@verticalgirl) climber gets to work with the *next* generation of climbers on a weekly basis: http://ht.ly/58Na4

Trip Reports
– Erica (@cragmama) goes bouldering in Grayson Highlands, VA and reports back on the trip: http://bit.ly/lcjqCV
– Review of the Super Topo (@SuperTopo) Yosemite Sport Climbs & Top Ropes guide book: http://bit.ly/iu6aRV

Giveaways
– Do you know a guy who wears a size L climbing harness? Check out Amy (@TheGearcaster)’s giveaway of an Arc’teryx R320: http://bit.ly/j1hJHy

If you have a blog entry that you think would be of interest to the women of Chicks Climbing please let us know! We love getting contributed content from other women – anything from trip reports, nutrition and training tips, to videos. We want to share your resources with the community – much like we do with the Gossip Report and are more than happy to re-publish and share links on behalf of the women’s climbing community!

Poster Plaster winners & a big thanks to all the Chicks Ambassadors!

One of our winning Chicks Ambassador posters, plastered by Margaret Gorman in the Brooklyn Boulders

Jill, our Head Office Chick, has been packing and shipping out Chicks Rock! summer 2011 posters for our several dozen new Chicks Ambassadors across the country for the past two months.

In that time, our wonderful volunteer ambassadors have plastered the posters in climbing gyms, coffee and gear shops across the states helping us get more exposure than ever before!

We want to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all who took part in the poster plaster to help us spread the word about our summer rock clinics.

As we detailed at the start of the poster plaster, three lucky winners will be rewarded for their efforts as Chicks Ambassadors with prizes from some of our sponsors. Among the giveaways are one Osprey Hornet 24 daypack, a pair of Julbo Guide Glasses, and a Princeton Tec Fuel headlamp!

AND, we are excited to announce that the winners of the Chicks Ambassador Poster Plaster giveaway (who were randomly drawn) are: Katie Levy in Pennsylvania, Margaret Gorman in New York, and Paula  Gillispie in Missouri!

Katie is the winner of the Osprey Hornet 24 daypack, Margaret the Julbo Guide Glasses, and Paula the Princeton Tec Fuel headlamp! We will be shipping out the prizes to the same address we sent the posters, so make sure to check the mail for your prizes!

Thank you again to everyone that helped get Chicks posters up in more than half the states! We’re psyched to know there are now Chicks Ambassador posters up in the following states:
– Arizona
– California
– Colorado
– Florida
– Georgia
– Indiana
– Kentucky
– Maryland
– Massachusetts
– Michigan
– Missouri
– Nebraska
– New Hampshire
– New Jersey
– New Mexico
– New York
– North Carolina
– North Dakota
– Ohio
– Oregon
– Pennsylvania
– South Dakota
– Tennessee
– Texas
– Washington
– Wyoming

And maybe more?! If you’ve seen a Chicks poster up in a state not listed, please leave us a comment so we can add to the list! 🙂