Photo courtesy of Joe Stock
We all want gear that can stand up to the toughest of tests. But how can we be sure of its true quality until we’ve actually put it to use? Fortunately. we have the luxury of getting in touch with the pros who, more often than not, have their lives depending on the quality of their equipment. LifeView recently had the opportunity to talk with Osprey brand ambassador and internationally certified IFMGA mountain guide Joe Stock about his personal opinion of the quality of Osprey packs.
Joe’s love for the mountains can be traced all the way back to age five, but by twelve years old he began climbing and backcountry skiing. “Mountain guiding was the logical progression. Now my favorite is sharing Alaska's snow-covered mountains with the easy-going backcountry skier crowd,” he states.
The question beg’s, what is so attractive about Osprey’s packs that makes a pro like Joe Stock stand behind their gear? First and foremost, they offer a balanced range of options that suit the needs of almost all consumers. In truth, Joe explains, “The masses want features. Mountain guides want simplicity and durability. I can recommend Osprey to anybody and they will like the product.” Not only that, but Osprey manages to provide the best of both worlds by creating stylish packs that are full of function, something Stock deems very important because as a Mountain Guide (IFMGA) it can be quite important to look the part.
Photo courtesy of Joe Stock
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for Joe Stock is finding a lightweight yet still practical pack containing all the features he needs to get him through the toughest climbs. Multipurpose is key, and durability is never downplayed. Joe explains that his favorite pack is the Mutant 38. Almost unanimously he exclaims, “For the past five years I have spent about 200 days a year wearing this pack! It works for rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, day backcountry skiing, multi-day ski mountaineering tours.” In short, it does it all and then some.
For someone with years of experience and time spent in the outdoors we wanted to learn what still brings a sense of newness and mystique to Joe Stock while in the the wilderness. “The unknown keeps me interested in the wilderness. What's the view like from that summit? What will the snow be like on that face? Is that chute skiable? The unknown is why I especially love avalanches. It is impossible to fully understand avalanches.”
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Photo courtesy of Pixabay (Philip von Geyr)