It is six in the morning and I am wide awake. Excited and nervous for the adventures to come. The sun is still sleeping the fire is roaring and there is coffee starting to brew. I hop out of bed fix my coffee and sit looking out upon the snow covered hills watching the snow blow and the wind howl pondering what might be on the schedule for the day. I finish my coffee and get ready for epic day ahead. I put on all of my layers of #omni heat and my final layer of #omniawesome and head over to the Columbia #omnihub for breakfast.
The room is full of fellow #omniteners eating breakfast chatting about the events from yesterday and speculating on what might be next. We had been provided a list of all the events the previous day but that was just a general idea. We truly had no idea how incredible the day would be. I looked over at Daniel (head ruckus maker and mr beard extraordinar). He seemed to be in deep thought about something. He was gearing up to make the morning announcements. Something was up he was hiding something that from his lack of a poker face behind the bear it had to be bad news. He gets our attention and tells us that due to the weather conditions the ski lifts were closed and other events of the day might be effected. Like a great bearded lion he pounces on his prey coming up with a new plan and we head off into the snowy abyss.
We are taken to the Olympic Park in Park city where we “SUITED UP” with climbing gear and are taken down to a ropes course. Both Ed and Myself have lots of experience on ropes courses over the years. I however was not expecting anything like this. Two stories over twenty obstacles. The #omniteams clipped on and attacked with full gusto. Very similar to yesterday it was a battle of strength, wits, and body. A passerby would not think there was a competition underway with all of the “way to go”, “keep it up” and “you got this” type phrases being yelled out. With a group like this even in fierce competition underway the natural instinct for everyone to be one big team instead of 20 teams of two shines brightly. #Team3 (Ed and myself) tackled it hard. Not being a huge fan of heights did not stop me from taking the first few steps into the abyss. About half way through the first course I stepped out onto a beam slipped on some Ice and pulled myself up and continued across. Lost my footing and again fell into my harness. Stuck in the middle of the obstacle and no good way for me get back on my feet I enlisted the help of the staff to give me a push to the next platform. After struggling on that section of the course the last few obstacles were challenging but were much easier to complete.
Once everyone had completed as much as they could and with smiling faces we headed back to warm up eat lunch and dawn our chosen ski or snowboard equipment. This was going to be the event in which I dreaded the most. I had brief ski lessons nearly ten years ago. I was not of a fan of skiing back then and to this day still not. I wanted to try snowboarding so I strapped in and got ready. We were all bunched up on top of the hill outside the hotel ski valet. The race had started. The goal was to get as many vertical feet in an hour and a half as possible. This is where I will admit I did not feel comfortable at all. Everything else I had no issues trying but something like this bothered me. I strapped in stood up on the snowboard looked at the little hill just to get to the ski lift and threw in the towel. I have great respect and admiration for those who ski and snowboard. I just shall never be one.
After our ski competition it was a rush to get to our next event. A happy hour, a fashion show, and a meet and greet with product designers at Columbia. The food was great the company was even better and the new line of gear for 2014 is going to be awesome. Not to mention that Columbia is sponsoring the American, Canadian, and Russian ski teams.
It was really neat to talk to the designers of the new olympic uniforms. I was also able to talk to the shoe designer about new hiking products that they are working on. An experience that I shall never forget.
Tomorrow we all head home and it will be hard to say goodbye to everyone and leave all the adventure and fun behind. Being selected as an #omniten member has been truly an amazing experience and I am very excited to see what the future holds for all of us. I do not think that I can thank Columbia enough for such amazing experiences.