Posts Tagged ‘# OmniTen’

My highest summit yet, Mount Crosby

Life has gotten busy in many great ways but fitting in some adventure time has been tough lately. One way to fix that? Take the day off and go climb a mountain! And that is just what I did a few Fridays ago.

My friend Yvette, who is an amazing peakbagging adventure junkie, invited me to head to a part of our beloved Shoshone National Forest that I had never been. As I do as often as I can, I leapt at the opportunity to get out and spend the day immersed in nature.

I also looked at this hike as an opportunity to really test out my Ahnu Sugarpines.  I was lucky enough to connect with Ahnu at this summer’s Outdoor Retailer Show, and they sent the Sugarpines my way to test out.  While I had worn them to work (they are on my feet even as I write this!) and on a few shorter hikes, this hike would be the start of the real testing (more testing to come before a full review, but SPOILER: they are great, lightweight boots).

Our target for the day was the summit of Mount Crosby, which towers over the old, deserted mining town of Kirwin, Wyoming. As we drove the bumpy road to the trailhead, we went over several creek crossings and wound through stands of timber before emerging into a broad valley with the old buildings of Kirwin across the river from the trailhead.

Yvette making her way towards Greybull Pass

Yvette making her way towards Greybull Pass

As we started up the switchbacking trail, we gained elevation quickly and found ourselves rewarded with stunning views surrounding us. As Yvette pointed out in her post for our hike, the trail simply seemed to disappear and reappear several times before we reached Greybull Pass at which point we followed a series of game trails through scree to the summit of Mount Crosby.

This hike was my first time over 11,000ft on my own two feet, so I definitely had some heavy legs going on for a bit until my body caught up!

Yvette at Greybull Pass

Yvette at Greybull Pass

As we left Greybull Pass and headed towards the summit we almost fell for the false summit that looms in front of you; however, thanks to Yvette’s GPS and our pre-trip reading, we knew this shouldn’t be our summit. As we skirted around the high, rugged false summit and made the final push, we were treated to 360-degree views of mountains to include the Tetons waaaay off in the distance.

Stunning scene thanks to Yvette's photography skills

Stunning scene thanks to Yvette’s photography skills

Taking in the view on my highest summit to date (12,449ft!!), I was beyond stoked to be there and thankful that I pushed myself to make time for adventure.

Yep, I did a summit selfie!

Yep, I did a summit selfie!

“David Copperfield” & #OmniGames Team 8

So what is up with the title of this post?? Well, this week-long final challenge for the #OmniGames has been called Charles Dickens.  If you haven’t already figured it out, I have used titles from some of his books for the titles of my posts. I feel that they have all worked pretty darn well. This post has David Copperfield in the title because, much like the book, it tells a story of how Team 8 has found our individual places in the world.

Yesterday my #OmniGames teammate Weston Shirey told you a little bit about himself and that #TryingStuff is not just a saying but is woven into the fabric of his life (check out his post What does #tryingstuff mean to you?).  He is an adventure loving man who has seen great chunks of the world but is always ready for the next journey to come along. 

Today, I would like to tell you a story about a little girl; a girl whose parents always told her she could be and do anything she wanted; a girl who grew into a woman who, regardless of the scar on her chest, will give anything a try, at least once.

Meet one year old Kristie Salzmann

Meet one year old Kristie Salzmann

I kind of think this may have been my cutest stage in life, but underneath the cute face, is a heart that has a hole and will undergo two surgeries to repair it. This heart will cause many tears and fear for her family as her young, then 25-year-old parents, do everything within their power to help her live a life they couldn’t have imagined at the time.

Fast forward 13 years. Meet 14-year-old Kristie.

14, awkward, and happy!

14, awkward, and happy!

She is a bit more awkward than at one, and by this point she has discovered that some people will try their hardest to tell you can’t do something or that you aren’t good enough. Lucky for her, she has a strong family of three surrounding her and still telling her she can do anything she sets her mind to.

Almost two decades later, this same girl has proven her critics wrong by continually #tryingstuff. She has taken leaps of faith by moving across country without knowing anyone, putting herself out there to make the best friends she can ever think of, and always being up for something new, something unknown to push herself further physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Team 8 busy #tryingstuff

Team 8 busy #tryingstuff (courtesy of Gina Begin)

At points, the #OmniGames were physically, mentally, or emotionally taxing for me, but I knew that I had to keep trying; I had to keep pushing myself because I didn’t want to let down my teammate. Along the way I realized that even more so, I wanted to be proud of myself for trying my hardest; to be able to look in the mirror and know that my parents and sister would be proud of me. I know I have once again succeeded 🙂

As I said earlier this week (“Hard Times” bring out the best in #tryingstuff), Columbia developed the #OmniTen program to challenge themselves, but what they may not have planned on is the family that has come out of it.  All I can say is, THANK YOU for expanding my family…the rest is just icing on the cake of life!

Portland & Park City – “A Tale of Two Cities”

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  This is one of the most famous lines ever written by Charles Dickens.  It is something that epitomizes life in general.  Our struggles as individuals, families, friends, companies, you name it, we go through a series of ups and downs throughout our lives.

Portland – In this town Columbia Sportswear has seen struggles and successes.  It has seen the company fight to stay afloat, and it has also seen the company become one of the most innovative outdoor corporations in the industry.  In this city, Columbia has created great technologies for the everyday adventurer and amazing world-class athletes alike.  In this city the motto of #TryingStuff hasn’t been reserved for the elite few but continues to be spread as a way of life for outdoor loving folks everywhere.

This is just one example of an amazing new technology that will hit the streets from Portland this September:

Columbia's Omni-heat, Omni-freeze, & Omni-dry technologies have taken me around the world

Columbia’s Omni-heat, Omni-freeze, & Omni-dry technologies have taken me around the world

 Park City – This town saw 30+ outdoor loving, social media crazed individuals converge for a few days of competition and saw them leave as a family.  The mountains of this town saw friendships forged and beginners battle to stay upright.  This town has been home to competitions long before the #OmniGames were even a glimmer of an idea and will remain so long after we have gone back to our normal lives.  For three days, we reigned supreme (at least in our own minds!) as we fought, often neck and neck, for 10 spots for the adventure of a lifetime.

Taking the fierce competition by storm

Taking the fierce competition by storm

 But why stop at two cities?  Why not bring a third one into the mix…Petra!  This amazing, historic city will no doubt be on the agenda for the 5 teams who are victors of the #OmniGames when they travel to Jordan this coming spring.  Petra saw hills and valleys throughout its existence.  Founded as a capital in the caravan trade during the 6th century BC, this city later became a hub for many trade routes linking China, India and Arabia with Egypt, Greece, Syria, and Rome.  It saw riches until it became what we now call the “Lost City” in the 18th century AD.  For more information on a place I hope to visit this spring (but definitely will within my lifetime!), check out the Jordan Tourism Board’s website.

My sister visited Petra in the past few years

My sister visited Petra in the past few years

Team 8 is battling our way through this last and final challenge.  As we have been telling you a variety of stories over the past week, we are still competing for those top 10 spots, so stick close as Wes & I make a final push!  You won’t want to miss out on what is coming tomorrow!!!

In “The Battle of Life” be #InspiredByGreatness

Over my life I have been lucky to draw strength from various sources of inspiration as I battle tough times. Beautifully written words by poets and authors, the mystery of the ocean, the unbridled beauty of nature in its purest form, and people have all brought me motivation and encouragement to be the best Kristie possible. 

How can you not be inspired by the work, determination, & passion shown by world-class athletes?!

How can you not be inspired by the work, determination, & passion shown by world-class athletes?!

That last one, people, is what I find inspires me most; the greatness of each unique individual.  While I have been inspired by the works of many famous people, it is those who do things not for fame or glory but for the simple reason of pushing themselves beyond their own comfort zones that inspire me most.  Those who try new things, who face their fears, and who bolster others through unbelievable acts of kindness, those are the people who inspire me, and I am dang lucky enough to call them my friends and family!

Over the course of the Columbia Sportswear #OmniGames, I was inspired by my #omnifamily again and again.  The amazing smiles and upbeat attitude of Katie Boue and Aleya Littleton kept me happy and light.

Aleya always makes me smile :) (courtesy of Anne Carney)

Aleya always makes me smile 🙂 (courtesy of Anne Carney)

The compassion shown by Gina Begin  & Ann Driggers  (as well as many others!) when they learned of my emotional struggles during the week, reminded me that love surrounds us at all times.

Gina, one of the sweetest, kindest hearts I have in mylife

Gina, one of the sweetest, kindest hearts I have in my life (courtesy of David Creech)

The ability to remain humble, even when clearly dominating the competition 😉 is something that few people do well.  Beth Bault and Justin Lukasavige reminded me that true champions see themselves as normal people.

I dub Beth & Justin "Team Awesomesauce"

I dub Beth & Justin “Team Awesomesauce” (courtesy of David Creesh) 

With their try anything attitude, Eric Eagan and Heidi Henry pushed me to step outside my normal comforts.  They reminded me that you never know if you like something or are good at it until you have fun trying it!

Skiing is "fun"??

Skiing is “fun”?? (courtesy of David Creech)

If I had been delayed multiple times in my travels to Park City, I am not sure that I would have been as determined to complete every task thrown my way, but Michelle Eady sure was…and she rocked them!

Michelle is all smiles

Michelle is all smiles (courtesy of David Creech)

Again, I was inspired by the greatness that was the Columbia Sportswear.  You all never cease to amaze with the trips you put together, but more importantly with the true level of caring that you have for each person involved in those trips. 

Throughout the entire competition I was inspired by my partner Weston Shirey.  He had fun with everything he did; he cheered on everyone, not only me.  He was always willing to offer a smile, fist bump, high five, or hug.  As he flew by me on the slopes during a challenge to gain the most vertical feet as a team (basically ski or snowboard the most), he would whoop, give me encouraging words, and let me know he recognized how hard I was trying.

That is how I am #InspiredByGreatness.

This is how I am #InspiredByGreatness (courtesy of David Creech)

How are you #InspiredByGreatness in your everyday life?

“Hard Times” bring out the best in #TryingStuff

In 1938 two German nationals, who had fled what was then the embattled country of Germany, bought a small hat company with the hopes of making a better life in the United States; to be more specific in Portland, Oregon.  This company did well built upon the idea that “success comes to those who try” and was later taken over by their daughter’s husband.  While I can tell you the rest of the story, why not see it for yourself!

As you can see, Columbia Sportswear is a company that has long been about #TryingStuff. As was said in the video, Columbia Sportswear is determined to “out try” their competitors.  

It was in this way of thinking that the #OmniTen program was created.  The company decided to push their own comfort by getting reviews and opinions on new technologies from real people who live an active, outdoor lifestyle.  People who would actually be using their company’s gear for everyday adventures in #TryingStuff.

#TryingStuff in Columbia gear way before my #Omniten invitation

#TryingStuff in Columbia gear way before my #Omniten invitation

After three seasons of amazing trips centered around new technologies such as Omni-Freeze, Omni-Freeze Zero, Omni-Dry, and Omni-Heat, the company added one more group of ten and has taken it a step further with the #OmniGames.  As you may have seen in many blog postings yesterday (like some from Joshua and Katie Boue), the games were intense and such a blast.  For Weston and I, it was all about #TryingStuff.  

Team 8 trysing dog sledding!

Team 8 trying dog sledding!

We had never met in person until the morning of our team pairings yet we instantly became friends who not only helped each other through each challenge but had so much fun doing so, that we couldn’t help but share our excitement by causing crazy scenes while loudly cheering on other teams.

For us #tryingstuff not only meant pushing ourselves to new levels in a competition filled with things one or both of us had never done (like archery, building an emergency shelter in the snow, a ropes course over 50ft in the air, & dog sledding), but it also meant testing out amazing new gear like the TurboDown jackets (expertly described here by Katie Levy) and making or strengthening friendships that will no doubt last a lifetime.

Team 8 got busy #tryingstuff & pushing our limits (picture of me on the ropes is courtesy of David Creech)

Team 8 got busy #tryingstuff & pushing our limits (picture of me on the ropes is courtesy of David Creech)

Stay tuned for more about Team 8’s adventures in #TryingStuff during the #OmniGames and what it means to be #Inspiredbygreatness!!!

Great Expectations…the #OmniGames

My life has been a bit of a hectic whirlwind lately.  A big part of the reason?

 omnigames

That’s right!  I was honored to get to be a part of another Columbia Sportswear event.  If you will recall, I had a life-changing trip on the Rogue River this summer.  Well in true #tryingstuff style, Columbia Sportswear brought all four seasons (including the brand new crew) together in Park City for a few days of adventure, playing in the snow, testing new gear, and competing for a chance to be part of the Spring 2014 crew; this crew will get to go to….JORDAN!!!

Over the next few days, my awesome partner Weston Shirey, and I will recap our adventures in a unique way that we hope will help you feel like you were right there in Park City with us for #OmniGames. Here is a preview of things to come!

#TryingStuff video preview (courtesy of Wes!)

Wes & yours truly on a snowmobile on day 1 of #OmniGames

Wes & yours truly on a snowmobile on day 1 of #OmniGames

The Rogue is forever in my heart

Every once in a while you are fortunate enough to have an experience that is so fantastic that it can take some time to really wrap your brain around it.  It can take time to put your thoughts and feelings into words which will truly express how profound of an experience you have had. 

We are the #OmniTen!! (picture courtesy of David Creech)

We are the #OmniTen!! (picture courtesy of David Creech)

As my fellow #Omniten friends began posting their write-ups on our awesomesauce (that’s just for you Krystl!) trip with Columbia Sportswear, I found myself flailing to find a way to express what the trip meant to me.  After almost a month, I have finally come to the point where I have found the right words:

THANK YOU!!

Thank you to the guides from Rogue Wilderness Adventures for being amazing, telling good jokes, sharing stories of flaming salmon spears, cooking superb food, and “allowing” us to jump off things when your backs were turned 😉

Thank you to the team from Columbia Sportswear.  Daniel, Krystl, Katie, Kristen, Mark, and Becca: You made the experience of rafting the Rogue River one I will truly never forget.  Not only do you do amazing work, but I am happy and proud to now call you my friends.

Day 1: Leaving the hotel, paddling lessons, I climbed rocks, we drank beers on inflatable couches, and Ducky Wars were born! (pictures courtesy of Columbia Sportswear and Mark Going

Day 1: Leaving the hotel, paddling lessons, I climbed rocks, we drank beers on inflatable couches, and Ducky Wars were born! (pictures courtesy of Columbia Sportswear and Mark Going)

Thank you to Columbia Sportswear for picking me to be a part of such a great adventure with amazing people and stunning views.  Thank you for allowing me to become a part of your #Omnifamily and for trusting me to be a part of your online reviewing team.  Thank you for the oodles of amazing gear.  Thank you for being the company that you are, focused on real people living everyday adventures in the name of #tryingstuff.

Day 2: Morning coffee, I can teach you how to Ducky, we saw bears, we made it through the "Coffeepot"!, and no campfires allowed, no problem (pictures courtesy of Columbia Sportswear and Mark Going)

Day 2: Morning coffee, I can teach you how to Ducky, we saw bears, we made it through the “Coffeepot”!, and no campfires allowed, no problem (pictures courtesy of Columbia Sportswear and Mark Going)

Thank you to my #Omniten family for reminding me that by taking chances, jumping off things, paddling through Class III rapids in a Ducky (inflatable kayak), creating Ducky Wars, and enjoying good ol’ camp shenanigans, I will always be me, a “fearless” woman 🙂

Day 3: No one wants to leave the river, we saw amazing sights, beer on the river for no reason :), I smiled A LOT, and Aleya lived the easy life (pictures courtesy of Columbia Sportswear and Mark Going)

Day 3: No one wanted to leave the river, we saw amazing sights, beer on the river no reason needed, I smiled A LOT, and Aleya lived the easy life (pictures courtesy of Columbia Sportswear and Mark Going)

My three days on the Rogue, as well as the time in Grants Pass with the entire crew, were full of memorable moments through which I believe I have strengthened and established lifelong friendships.  After all, isn’t that what #tryingstuff is all about?  Getting out of your normal comfort zone and doing something different is what it means to me…what does it mean to you?