Sedona Or Bust with the #OmniTen: Part One

Now that y’all know the entire purpose of the trip, aptly titled Project Z, let me fill you in on how we got to test that bad boy out!After turning down a $500 voucher to take a bump on my flight to Phoenix (seriously!), I arrived in Arizona not really knowing quite what to expect. I wandered around the Phoenix airport until this guy caught my eye….something told me that I was supposed to stick with him 🙂

Photo cred to Rebecca

After I solved the mystery of who to go with, the group of us loaded ourselves into waiting Cadillac Escalades and headed off for Sedona. Naturally, Columbia couldn’t allow us a 2 hour drive without any suspense or excitement, so I can’t say that I was super surprised when our Escalade exited the highway at “Bloody Basin Road.” What was waiting for us at this dry, dusty and wicked hot parking lot? ICE CREAM OF COURSE!

Photo cred to Heidi

By now, I’m sure y’all know I’m not one to ever turn down food! I scarfed that ice cream right up like the little pig that I am!

We all loaded back in the car and started to chat, getting to know each other. It was during this car ride that I realized this trip was not just about Columbia and the OmniTen like I had originally thought. Half of the Escalade seats were filled with reporters from various publications. I even had a reporter from Outside magazine in my car! THAT IS MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE MAGAZINE. Just saying. Meeting all of these writers made me realize that Columbia and Mountain Hardwear were about to announce something huge. Y’all, I seriously could.not.believe that I was getting to be a part of this whole thing!

Because I had to go into work on Friday morning, I caught a lunchtime flight. This meant that I was one of the last members to arrive at the Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa. I quickly checked in and wandered up some stairs to check out my executive suite. The room was absolutely beautiful, but even more awesome?

The fantastic amount of gear that was waiting for me!


The packs were exciting enough, but when they exploded? I about lost my cool. Good thing I was in a room by myself because it may have been one of my top ten most humiliating moments!


I quickly tried everything on to ensure that it fit properly, and then I headed downstairs to meet up with the rest of the OmniTen for dinner.

As per (what I came to realize was) the norm, Columbia took us to dinner that first night in style. Our shuttle whisked us into a canyon and dropped us at this gorgeous location:

Of course I had to take pictures of the flowers. Would you expect any less?!
Katie (an OmniTen member) and Will (freelance reporter for Backpacker)

After a spectacular dinner, we all headed down to a wooded area for the Omni-Freeze Zero presentation. I was fascinated by the walkway to the seating area because, let’s face it: lights and flashy things catch my eye!

Photo cred to Heidi

After the presentation, the OmniTen and all of the reporters headed back to the Hilton in Sedona, all chatting excitedly about the new Omni-Freeze Zero. Quite a few went out to a bar afterwards and had a few drinks, but I headed back up to my room. Why? 1) Because I am like a grandma and incredibly lame and it was way past my bedtime 2) Saturday was slated for mountain biking and I NEEDED to go to sleep immediately to make the day o’ fun arrive sooner!

To be continued…!

Does new gear excite anyone else as much as me?! It is seriously my favorite thing ever!
Yes, I may or may not have a reputation as a “gear whore,” but I see nothing wrong with that. It means I can give you an opinion on practically anything! 🙂


  • Reply Kovas Palubinskas at

    I can’t even imagine being part of this – my wildest gear whore fantasy come true! 🙂

  • Reply heather at

    This sounds like an amazing adventure- I can’t wait to hear more!

  • Reply Steph-Fit Mom in Training at

    Wow! What a fantastic adventure! I’m so unbelievably happy that you got to experience this!! I can’t wait to read more!

  • Reply winehiker at

    Your excitement is contagious, Heather. Keep on shining!

  • Reply rockthedogs at

    LOVE new gear, and I’m really loving the updates on the new Columbia gear that’s coming up. Sounds fantastic, and what a classy company!

  • Reply Suzanne at

    So exciting! I have to admit I’m a HUGE sucker for free swag. This experience sounds amazing! I honestly just can’t wait til my company has enough money to be able to do stuff like this! haha

  • Reply Katie at

    I think my heart stopped when I saw the greeter in the airport 🙂 Love this post, and can’t wait to read the rest!

    • Reply Heather @ Just a Colorado Gal at

      I was slightly concerned I wouldn’t know where to go but I figured “hey, you made it around South America just fine. If need be, you can just catch a cab to Sedona.” And then I saw this man….and felt like an idiot for worrying 🙂

  • Reply Chris at

    FKNA that’s awesome!!

  • Reply Suz and Allan at

    That looks like a lot of great gear that you will get tons of use from! This whole thing just seems to fit you perfectly!

  • Reply Becky at

    This is incredible! I’m absolutely jealous. What a fun adventure! I can’t wait to hear more.

  • Reply at

    THAT IT AWESOME!!! What a cool experience to be part of – SO COOL!

  • Reply at

    How cool is that? I am a self proclaimed and other’s proclaimed gear whore as well. Our house is pretty well stocked with every outdoor pursuit times about 5. Sounds like Columbia/Mountain hardware treated you very well.

  • Reply Jamie at

    Amazing!! Everything looks great, the gear, the dinner, the people! I can’t wait to read more 🙂

  • Reply Suzi @ confessions of a fitness instructor at

    I would have been right there with you freaking out! Looks like it was a wonderful trip!

  • Reply AmyC @ running escapades at

    Super exciting! One of my favorite part of running is shopping for new gear & clothes!

  • Reply Charlotte (@Char__Latte) at

    wow the views from dinner look unreal. I’m so happy for y’all that you got to experience such an incredible “announcement”… can’t wait to hear more.

  • Reply RoseRunner at

    Your sponsor is awesome. Or how does your relationship with Columbia gear work? I have to read the archives to figure this out…thanks Diana/mymarblerye for the work distraction! 😉 Love Colorado and adventures so am excited to read on….

  • Reply Jen at

    Oh my! So jealous of you right now. My husband has called me a shoe whore for sure. I’d sure love to be a gear whore too.

  • Reply Julie at

    Heather how fun for you this must have been! I can’t think of any blog that I read that this seems more perfectly suited for. I can’t wait to read the rest!

  • Reply Shannon at

    This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to hear how the rest of the week went!

  • Reply Heidi Nicole at

    Amazing. Seriously. I might hate you just a tiny bit, but in the best way possible! 🙂

  • Reply Let’s Talk Love Life | Just a Colorado Gal at

    […] and I met back in June on the Columbia press trip to Havasupai. Obviously, I was there with the rest of the OmniTen, but Will was checking out Omni-Freeze Zero […]

  • Reply Splashing Around in Havasu Falls with the #OmniTen - Just a Colorado Gal at

    […] Columbia OmniTen trip to Sedona and Havasu Falls (if you missed them, you can check the recaps out here, here, or […]

  • Reply That Time Columbia Sportswear - The Morning Fresh at

    […] trip to Havasu Falls. Columbia Sportswear blindly threw ten strangers together (first at a huge media event in Sedona, then at the bottom of the Grand Canyon where we jumped off waterfalls all weekend), and ended up […]

  • Reply Running the Grand Canyon {R2R2R} - Just a Colorado GalJust a Colorado Gal at

    […] last returned to the Grand Canyon in 2012 during the OmniTen trip where I met Will {<—-Catch the first photo of Will I ever snapped! I took a photo at dinner without ever […]

  • Reply Have Baby, Will Travel: Road Trip 2K18 -Just a Colorado Gal at

    […] itself is a beautiful spot to visit, but it has sentimental value for Will and me since it is where we met. Again, we’re well aware that Liliana won’t understand the importance at her age, but […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.