Photo courtesy of Alison Gannett
Alison Gannett is a World Champion Extreme FreeSkier, professional mountain biker, and runs her KEEN Rippin Chix Camps. Through her work, she has joined other outdoor professionals to test and promote Osprey gear. LifeView Outdoors had the opportunity to listen to Alison’s story.
Tell us about a time when Osprey proved itself worthy as your first choice for equipment.
When we made our first descent of the southwest face of Hanuman Tibba in the Indian Himalayas, Osprey proved itself very worthy.
What do you like about their gear?
Almost no companies design each pack for men and women with such attention to detail. Osprey has never thought, "shrink it and pink it.” Plus, I love their commitment to helping others, saving natural places, sustainability, and their lifetime guarantee. The most sustainable pack is not having to buy a new one!
How did your career start?
I was free skiing in the crested butte and a Warren Miller ski film crew asked me to be in their movie. I had no idea that I was a talented skier at that level. They convinced me to enter free skiing (extreme) competitions, and I just ran with it from there - eventually racking up big wins worldwide and breaking the glass ceiling in big ski films.
What drew you to the brand?
I loved that it was based in Colorado, with passionate founders and employees that cared about detail, women's design, ethics, and the outdoors as much as I did.
Do you think their gear is more style or function?
Osprey designers and founders embody function and style together. It is that combination that makes the packs sexy, yet purposeful.
Photo courtesy of Alison Gannett
What advice do you have for someone who is looking for new gear?
My advice is to try to demo a pack before you buy one. If you join me at one of my Rippin Chix ski or bike camps, we have complimentary Osprey demos. If you can't demo, look for an Osprey retailer that does custom fitting, as they have the most knowledge about helping you pick the right pack for your style, activity, and needs.
What's your biggest gear challenge and how does the brand solve it?
Most packs are not designed for women's curvy hips, shorter backbones, or chests. Nothing fits better for a woman or girl than an Osprey pack!
What kind of gear are you looking to add next to your collection?
I just received the new, final version of the new women's ski pack, the Kresta. At the moment, I’m using the ski pack in a blizzard at Crystal mountain and thoroughly enjoying it.
With all of your years of experience, what still brings you a sense of newness or awe when in the wilderness?
In 2013, I almost died of terminal brain cancer. While I have always loved, and still love, pushing the envelope, I now really cherish every day outside. I relish looking at the bright blue sky, sparkling snowflakes, or rolling waves. Any day not in the hospital is a great day!
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LifeView Outdoors prepares people for their adventures with the right gear and tech. Since 2005, the retail operation in Nashville, Tennessee has delivered award-winning educational content to outdoor enthusiasts like you and schools across the United States.
Photo courtesy of Alison Gannett. Photographer Xandi K.