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Scott Reither San Francisco Photo Workshop

July 30, 2014

Sign up for an exclusive photography workshop with ZEAL Ambassador Scott Reither.

Based in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, San Francisco California, a small group of participants will work directly with me to gain new skills, insights, and inspiration toward creating more evocative and compelling photographs.

My photography workshops provide passionate photographers an opportunity to explore their own personal means of expression while I assist and guide them with the important technical and creative aspects found behind every evocative photograph. You will learn how to get the strongest image in-camera, improve your composition skills and exposure techniques, and create more dynamic photographs more often.

But information is nothing without inspiration. 

The enjoyment and adventure of every workshop – from Maui to California to Europe and exotic locations around the world – is getting out into the world and seeing it with a fresh eye, and then learning to communicate photographically that wonder in an expressive way.  The world is alive with beauty and it’s an incredible opportunity to become aware of ways to show its worth. I love when I can share this with others while assisting them develop the skills and senses required to capture that beauty in a photograph.image

 
 

Time For A RE:treat!

July 28, 2014

imageMixing mountains, yoga, and fun around the world, RE:Treat is Yoga done right!

We recently connected with the team behind RE:treat on a trip to Telluride and were truly inspired by their drive to explore more and bring their divers passions together in some amazing locations. 

We caught up with Co-founder Georgie Bishop to learn more…

Give us a little background on RE:treat and what you guys do.

RE:treat was born in 2013 by 3 Telluride friends - Nicole Nugent, Georgie Bishop (me) & Babsi Glanznig. Nicole, a Colorado native had moved to Telluride in 2007 after finishing college and we met soon after. I was an Australian import, ski bumming for the winter in Telluride, and Nicole was my manager at the sports store where we worked. While working in various hospitality & adventure company roles over the ensuing years, me & Nicole discussed our dream of one day owning a business together that would combine their skills & experience, and allow them to show off our beautiful mountain town. Babsi, an Austrian lawyer, (and Powder 8 Ski Champion) turned Ashtanga yogi entered the frame a few years later and her passion for yoga cemented our decision to move ahead with RE:treat - a company that offers yoga inspired adventure retreats in beautiful mountain locations around the world. image

What’s the philosophy behind RE:treat and what is involved with the actual programs?

RE:treat is all about giving busy individuals the chance to come on a solo vacation, reconnect with nature and get involved in activities they love. Our guests can immerse themselves in yoga, hiking, biking, massage, wellness and skiing in a fun, supportive, non intimidating environment. We are fun ladies and we like to have a great time & we love to share this with our guests. We see so many women come to Telluride and take the back seat as they prioritizes their kids and partners. We want those same women to feel confident visiting Telluride along (or with a friend) to do something for themselves. Our retreats are luxurious, and are ‘not hippy dippy’ (as one guests described it last week). Yoga is a top priority, but we are not hard core yogis. You can drink wine, eat meat….It’s all about balance & fun. 

To give you an example of the average day (this is from our most recent retreat here in Telluride). All of our activities are 100% optional. Guests are free to take time out, nap, go shopping, chill by the pool etc:

7am - Morning Yoga

8.30am - Breakfast

10am - Hiking

2pm - Lunch

4.30 - Yoga or Massage

7pm - Dinner (either home cooked or we head out)

We also love to create trips that give our guests the ‘inside scoop’ on the destination. We show them the best coffee spots, restaurants, the most beautiful views and introduce them to the colorful locals. 

We focus strongly on good food - locally sourced organic produce that makes our guests feel healthy & energized. We are all food obsessed & this shows in our food program for the week :)

Our retreats are not solely for women, but a few of our retreats are women only. 

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You guys are all over the place this summer – tell us about some of your adventures in Europe and beyond and how you integrate this into your programs?

The idea behind retreat is to take guests to inspiring mountain locations around the world, combining yoga with adventurous outdoor pursuits. There are so many yoga retreats by the beach in Mexico & Costa Rica, so we really want to offer something that showcases the beauty & magic of the mountains. We are so passionate about the alpine lifestyle and we want to make this more accessible to people. Since we launched retreat last year, we have had an endless stream of people approaching us from all over the world with ideas for retreats in faraway locations. I would love for us to eventually fulfill all of the requests. However for now we decided to stick with locations that are really true to our hearts. We have therefore focused on Telluride & the surrounding areas, and also Austria as that is where Babsi is from. Because we really try and provide a “local guide” we really want to offer retreats in places that we feel we know extremely well. As time goes on we will offer increasing diversity of locations, however we want to become familiar with these places first. image

What have been some of your most successful Re:treats to date?

We just hosted our very first Rocky Mountain Maiden Yoga + Hiking RE:treat here in beautiful Telluride. Sometimes we forget how incredible this place is so it’s always nice to see the expressions on people’s faces as they arrive in the box canyon. Everyone is just so stoked to be here in this majestic mountain town, the location really sells itself. When you have a New Yorker staying for a week, you watch them walk down Colorado Avenue and everyone says “hi”. The expression on their face is just priceless! No one wanted to leave at the end of the week which is always what we are shooting for. When a guest tells you that their experience totally exceeded their expectations, we know we have done our job. 

This trip will be back on the schedule for multiple dates next summer. image

What are you most excited about in your future events?

We have our Endless Summer Yoga RE:treat coming up in southern Austria with Babsi from September 7-12. This is Babsi’s home turf, so she will be showing guests the very best of this area. Guests will stay in a medieval castle and enjoy daily yoga practice, delicious food, SUP, waterskiing, bike riding & hiking. The Worthesee is a gorgeous sweet water lake that is really off the main European tourist track. The cool thing about this retreat is that Babsi grew up in the area and she will be the tour guide, speaking German

We also have our Yoga Glamping Safari coming up in September. This ultra luxurious 8 night adventure is truly one-of-a-kind. There really is nothing like it out there right now! We will transport guests in fully equipped 4WD glamping vehicles from Telluride, through southern Utah and northern Arizona experiencing some of the most remote & breathtaking landscapes in the country. Guests will practice yoga, hike and explore some incredible desert landscapes. image

Advice for people looking to recharge their batteries: A retreat experience is really a wonderful way to recharge your batteries. Many of our guests have recently experienced a big life change, and coming to Telluride is a fabulous way to slow things right down and enjoy that things they love. Our retreats are all inclusive - we take care of all logistics (meals, transport etc.) so guests can truly kick back and relax. 

If a vacation is not an option, daily meditation, yoga practice or going for a long hike is a very effective way to maintain a sense of calm and clarity. image

Tips for slowing down your life and becoming more mindful:

Again, taking that time in your day to reset & reflect is so crucial. The ability to slow the mind, and be in the moment is so important to our mental health. Whether it’s 5 minutes or 1 hour in your day, making a habit of making time to do something for yourself is so important. 

One thing I have been doing lately is making more of an effort to not let technology take over my life. No computer after 7pm and I am not allowed to touch my cell phone for one hour after waking in the morning. I use this time to spend “tech free” time with my daughter before she goes to daycare. 

There is such a temptation to be connected 24/7, however I think we can end up validating ourselves through our work (or social media) & neglecting the relationships that are most important!image

Closing thoughts?

Ultimately RE:treat is all about creating life experiences that and meaningful & memorable. Ideally we would love our retreats to be a catalyst for individuals to feel challenged and empowered in their daily lives! The mountain lifestyle creates a vibrant feeling of wellbeing and we want our guests to take a little slice of this back home with them. image

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Last week, Brian Grubb came by ZEAL and we joined him for a guerrilla wakeskating mission on the South Platte. The options are endless. Find yours and Explore More!
July 27, 2014
 
 
Yep, it’s that time again - Woodward at Copper session 4 is a wrap and Matthew Coughlin is bringing the recap and keeping the summer shred dreams alive! K2 Snowboarding Nightmare Development #ZEALOptics Woodward Camp
July 26, 2014
 
 

Brazil Bound - The World Cup Through Our Lenses

July 25, 2014

imageA taste of South America’s one and only with our Aussie friends—Words by Kim Oxenham, Photos by Jason Corroto 

"Brazil, a vibrant mix of stunning scenery and bulging cities of people with a passion for one thing… football. Every four years the sporting world stops as thirty two nations descend on one country to compete in the FIFA World Cup. This time it was Brazil’s turn to host the world’s biggest party and along with thousands of other Aussies we were desperate for an invite. While we love getting behind our country and supporting them against the world’s best this time we wanted a unique World Cup experience. An experience that would take us on a different route, to different regions of the country mixing with different fans. This trip would not be about "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oy, Oy,Oy".

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Upon deciding not to follow the army of Green and Gold around Brazil it was time to pick a new side to adopt for the tournament. Cameroon, a country of twenty-two million people in west-central Africa, had just secured World Cup qualification with a 4-1 win at home against Tunisia. While our knowledge of their native French was limited, it was agreed that they were as good a choice as any and we’d have plenty of time to learn a few chants. So Les Lions Indomptables it was.

The Cameroon World Cup draw had them playing in three vastly different regions of the country paving the way for an exploration of Brazil’s landscape and cultural diversity. The endless sweeping dunes surrounding the city of Natal on the north coast portrayed the vast scale of the country and this was only emphasised upon flying into the city of Manaus over the mammoth Amazon rainforest. A two hour boat ride up the Amazon River took us away from civilisation and the World Cup crowds and into nature. Here the sense of openness was replaced with that of enclosure. We were confined to our canoes as flooded mangroves towered above us. A three hour hike into the rainforest further intensified this feeling. Dorm beds were replaced with hammocks and the hostel shower with a natural waterfall we shared with a snake.image

In contrast to the isolation of the Brazilian rain forests are the colorful tourist beaches of Rio De Janeiro. With the World Cup in town Brazilian beauties shared the sand with fans from across the globe playing their own football matches as far as the eye could see. Beyond Rio our travels would take us further abroad to explore more of the Brazilian coast including the picturesque island of Ilha Grande and the chilled out Praia Da Pipa with its long right hand break. Each spot the perfect location to enjoy a fresh coconut followed by a caipirinha or two.image

The real highlight of an adventure like this is the people. Stadiums, town squares, bars and anywhere else with a big screen served as a meeting point for locals and fans from further abroad to mix, cheer, boo, sing and laugh. The feeling of being in a stadium as seventy thousand Brazilians belted out their national anthem or seeing the look on our fellow Cameroonian supporters’ faces as our team conceded yet another goal showed us that football really is a global passion and more than just a game. This journey allowed us to experience it in its basic form in the back alleys of a favela all the way to a packed Estádio Nacional de Brasília. The end result of this World Cup may not have been to the locals’ liking but the memories they have provided will last a lifetime.”

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Jason Corroto is a professional photographer based out of Sydney, Australia. He focuses on documenting special moments in life in a way that tells a story and makes those special occasions last forever. To see more of Jason’s work, check out his website and blog - jasoncorrotophoto. Follow him on Instagram @jasoncorrotophoto and on Twitter @liquid_visions.

Kim Oxenham is a producer at Fox Sports Australia whose combined love for travel and sport have taken him across the globe. Follow his adventures on Instagram @kimoxenham, on Twitter @kimandcourtney, and on YouTube.

 
 

PedALL The Peaks In The Elk Mountain Range

July 24, 2014

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Join Morris Hogan and Austin Johnson as they conquer the Elk Range on their mission to hike and bike all of Colorado’s Fourteeners - with PedALL The Peaks.

— Written By Morris Hogan and Austin Johnson

It was Wednesday morning and the 4:45 alarm woke the lot of us. We crawled out of our tent and strapped on our packs. Today was day one of our to be seven day trek through the Elk Mountain Range, which hold some of Colorado’s deadliest peaks. We were on our way up Pyramid Peak, our second summit of the range-Castle happened a few days prior.

From the get go we caught up to a mountain goat, the keeper of the mountains, whom showed us the way towards the east ridge of Pyramid. From here we parted ways with animal and began our own journey towards the summit. We scrambled and navigated the loose upper section but arrived safely at the summit around 9 am, we had it all to ourselves. After a quick lunch we began the decent back down, which is always more exciting than the ascent on these technical climbs.

Around 12:30 we arrived back at Crater lake, located at the base of the Maroon Bells, and we were starving. We went through our food supplies and realized that even if we rationed properly we could maybe consume about 2,000-2,500 calories a day, which is suitable for a 13 year old, but here we are burning about 4,000-5,000 a day and we’re lucky to re-nourish half that. Shit.

We ate dinner and crawled into our tent. Throughout the night, numerous animals came to pay us a visit. In the early morning, Austin was startled by an odd noise, he woke the two of us and we spotted a porcupine nibbling down on Morris’ pack. A quick yelp and the animal lazily scurried off. In the morning we wrapped up the shoulder strap of the pack with athletic tape, which would hopefully hold it through.

At around 5:30 we were back on the trail towards South Maroon peak. Steep and dirty; the trail was unrelenting. We were burning calories we didn’t have, but that didn’t matter, there is no place we would rather be. Around 7:30 we hit the ridge of South Maroon, where the technical aspects of the day would began. We crossed numerous gullies of loose limestone. Kyle unfortunately stepped on a microwave sized block that was everything but solid, the block broke loose and tumbled down into oblivion, fortunately Kyle stayed put.

After that little scare we continued up to the summit of South Maroon, from here we gained a great perspective of the traverse over to North Maroon. We enjoyed a quick snack and began the traverse around 9:30. The decent off South proved to be loose and scary. Towards the saddle we endured a solid 30 foot down climb into the bell cord. From here we quickly regained the elevation with the 50 foot climb back up the blocky ledges.

imageThe remainder of the traverse involved navigating wet, loose, and steep limestone. We safely arrived on North around 11. After a quick lunch we began the decent down the steepness that is North Maroon Peak. It wasn’t till around 2 when we arrived back at camp, starving as usual.

For whatever reason, these more difficult peaks were extremely clean compared to most other mountains we’ve seen this year. We found some trash, but really not a lot. Maybe these mountains require more experienced climbing abilities, and with experience comes the respect for the mountains that results in clean trails.

Back at camp we took a quick snooze next to Crater Lake and awoke right in time for dinner. We ate what little we had and went to bed still hungry, per usual. The following morning we packed up camp began the trek towards Snowmass Lake. We couldn’t get there soon enough, we knew there would be fish in that lake and those fish would soon be our dinner.

We passed over Buckskin pass at around 11 and arrived at Snowmass Lake no later than 1. Along the way we scooped a good bit of trash compared to the amounts we found on Pyramid or the Bells. The weight of our packs nearly threw out our backs each time we bent down to clean up nature, but as always it was worth it.

Once we arrived at the lake we were greeted with an infestation of mosquitos and people alike. We quickly set up camp then moved lakeside. Within 20 minutes we reeled in the first catch, and then another, and another. Before long we had four decent sized fish. Head, tail, and guts, all that was left was tender succulent meat.

We kindled up a fire a decent distance from the water and cooked the deliciousness. When it was all said and done we had nearly a pound of fresh fish, the perfect additive to our freeze dried meals. After dinner we crawled back into the tent and caught some much needed rest.

That evening our friend and Morris’ brother showed up-Mike. We had no idea he was going to join and it was quite the pleasant surprise. We groggily greeted but were soon fast asleep.

Knowing that Snowmass was slightly less technical than the rest of the Peaks throughout the trek, we allowed our selves the luxury of an extra hour of sleep. After a small, quick breakfast, we finally set out for the day’s mission around 7:00 AM. We somehow managed to find ourselves off trail and inhaling a fresh bug-hatch as we bushwhacked through the swampy landscape. Twenty minutes of hell brought us to some steep scree which we quickly scurried up. A little tundra, glacier, and more scree travel brought us to the top of the ridge around 9:00. And thirty minutes later, the four of us were celebrating on top- peak 31! 

A short discussion on the summit led to the decision to descend the opposing North Ridge rather than what we came up. It was a tad more sketchy, but it was a short route down to a long glissade. We were down in no time and hanging out around the beautiful Snowmass Lake around noon with cold, delicious beers in our hands (Mike was an animal and carried em’ up for us).

A few hours later we were greeted with another surprise, and yes, it may have saved the lives of a a few fish. Another group of friends had heard that we were up at Snowmass that night, and they knew that we were extremely hungry. All of the sudden, we were rich in ramen, it was a salty and satisfying filler to add to our freeze-dried’s. We finally went to bed full, it felt amazing. 

It was a late start for us the following morning, and we knew we had a long day ahead of us. Shortly after 10:00 AM we marched down from Snowmass Lake to set up camp for the next days summit of Capitol Peak. Six miles down, an extreme creek crossing, more than enough bushwhacking, and 5 miles of up finally brought us to the base of the east side of Capitol around 5:00 PM. We set up the tent, cooked dinner, and passed out before sunset. 

imageThe alarm sounded forty-five minutes before sunrise, which allowed us just enough time to break tree-line as the light peaked over the horizon. It was a perfect morning. A couple hours later, after scrambling up large boulders and steep snow, we were enjoying a snack at the start of the true ridge to Capitol, which starts from K2. The exciting class-4 traverse took us another couple hours or so, and before we knew it the summit was all ours. We high-fived, relaxed, ate an early lunch, and then realized it would be the last thing we would eat until we made it all the way out and back to the trailhead. 

The descent, as always, was more testing than the way up. We took our time and stayed focused on the technical sections, but as soon as there was solid ground under our feet, we were going for gold. Not ordinary gold though, this gold consisted of Wings, Burgers, Philly’s, Beer, and Ice Cream- all the cravings we had been waiting to satisfy. 

 
 

Capturing Light Through The Lens Of Seth Andrew

July 23, 2014

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ZEAL Optics Ambassador Seth Andrew shares some amazing insight on taking amazing photos in the first of a series - this week we kick things off by “Thinking outside the box”

Broken down into its simplest form, photography can be described as the act of capturing light.  As simple as it may seem, it is actually vastly complex to use the light to capture a beautiful moment in time.  Here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of the moment. image

If you are a photographer, then you have probably heard of the “Golden Hour.”  This phrase is used to describe the soft natural light given off within the hour of sunrise and sunset.  As a general rule of thumb, the Golden Hour will be your best bet for getting the most out of your photos.  And honestly, who doesn’t love a good sunset?  But this doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t go after a shot outside of these times.  Some of my favorite shots were taken at various times throughout the day.  It just depends on where the light is located and what surroundings it is effecting. 

For example, there is a beautiful waterfall located on the Sacramento River near Shasta, CA that faces west.  I chose to wait until mid morning (far past the Golden Hour of sunrise).  This location is heavily shaded due to the shadows from the rising sun. There would have been too little light to bring out the bright greens and yellows that I was looking to capture.  Even though the light in the sky was technically less desirable for shooting, waiting for the brighter, mid-morning light allowed the trees just behind my position to help illuminate the scene.  Think: bounce flash off of a ceiling or wall, but on a much larger scale.  This ambient light is what made the shot possible.image

Another time that I shot using “less-than-desirable” light is when I went to the lava caves in the Mojave Desert.  Some of the lava caves have open portholes, where sunlight can shine down into its chambers.  The trick here is to know where the sun will be in the sky and at what time.  Once you know this, you can use it to choose when you need to be ready at your location.  In my case, it happened to be right around mid-afternoon, which is normally not ideal.  Had I taken the shot any earlier, the beam of light would have been too bright.  It would have filled the entire chamber with far too much light, creating less of a “beam” look and washing out the entire scene. On the other hand, had I waited any longer, the beam would have disappeared altogether.  Waiting for that perfect moment got me the exact results I had envisioned… and in photography, there is no greater feeling than looking down at the camera and saying to yourself, “Got It!” image

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Sometimes it’s a good idea to bend rules and think outside the box.  So get out there and explore some new locations.  Maybe even check out a few places that you have already shot at different times.  Who knows?  You just might find a hidden gem by using the shade, clouds or a certain time of day to really capture the light.

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Join ZEAL Optics for our biggest Industry Night ever. Run For The Hills with a talk by Jon Kedrowski, and help raise money for Second Mile Water and The Colorado 54 with a huge raffle and silent auction with great items like a guided fourteener experience, a tour and tasting fromSilver Oak Cellars, prints from Chris Burkard Photography and Artifact Uprising, and beer for a year from Sanitas Brewing. Did you mention the after party at Nod & Rose Storehouse? Music by Nate Hrivnak and much more!!
July 22, 2014
 
 

Amateur Hour: Skate Slayer Tyler Quigley

July 22, 2014

Name: Tyler Quigley

Hometown: San Clemente, CA

Current Location: San Francisco, CA

Sport: Skateboarding was never a sport until recently.  Thank you Street League…

How long have you been skateboarding? 15 years

Hobbies other than skateboarding:  Grilling, biking, cruising, scooting and dogs

What do you love about ZEAL? I love the technology behind the sunglasses and how aware of the environment the company is.

Favorite ZEAL product and why? I enjoy the MEMPHIS because they are sleek and light.

What inspires you? Friends and the ‘lil groms who shred way harder then me.

Top 5 songs on rotation on your iPod right now:

Check out time - 2pac

DJ Cam - Summermadness

Duangdao Mondara & Chailai - The Black Superman

Janis Joplin - Summertime

King Diamond - Charon

 
 
Got your tix for @SanitasBrewing's #SanitasFest? It’s gonna be a heater. See you on July 26. GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY!
July 21, 2014