Summer, whatever that may mean in your particular locale, is right around the corner. Here in NW Montana the rain has stopped, for the moment, the sun is shining and the rivers are running high. Snow is melting and the fat season of long easy days, crampons and shorts, tourists driving foolishly, and wide open fast trails is approaching. Even the most passionate skiers here get a bit manic for the next three months, just like the animals, we know that only the foolish and the half-dead do not stuff themselves with all good things while doing so is simple. Soon enough snow and cold will be back which, beautiful though it is, makes life more complicated.

Photo by Dan Durston

To celebrate, I’ll be holding my second vaguely-annual trip report contest. The rules are as follows:

-a report telling the story of a multi-day outdoor adventure must be composed/edited/etc, posted online, and linked to in the comments of this post by July 16th at midnight (MDT)

-said trip must have taken place at least partly in June of 2012

-depending on the number of entrants and my own whimsy, I will select a number of finalists, which will be posted here and voted on by readers for 48 hours

-the author(s) of the report with the most votes will win the race pack, which will be shipped at my expense anywhere in the world

The pack is pictured above, and in the linked-to post from last year.  Since that post I’ve added load lifters, an improved hipbelt (not yellow) and a few other things.   The pack weighs 22 oz, will fit torsos between 19 and 21 inches, and holds around 45-50 liters.  It’s pretty neat, and because of that I really want to see it in someone else’s hands.

As always, selection into the finals will favor creativity, both of the trip itself and of the way in which it is reported upon.  So go.  Do a neat trip and tell us about it.