The Cleanest Line

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    « February 2007 | Main | April 2007 »

    A Drive to the Coast

    We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we'll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn't mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs, our Customer Service staff gets busy ground-truthing the latest offerings. They know the questions our customers will be asking, and turn that attention to our gear.
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    Product Report  - Huckleberry Shoes, Slabstick Capris, Lightwire Pack
    Northern California Coast
    Tested by: Lisa, Patagonia Pro Sales

    Womenshuck The night was humid...I stepped out onto the mist covered ground and it gave a familiar foamy crunch beneath my Patagonia Huckleberry Shoes. My lungs filled with the crisp air that is rejuvenated by the towering 200 year old Redwoods on the Big Sur coast of California. A far cry (and a far drive) from Reno, the surrounding hills are lush with vegetation.  Happy to be out of the car and out of the traffic I stood up and brushed the Crackerjack and Cheeto crumbs off of my  pants and got started on building the fire . . .

    Continue reading "A Drive to the Coast" »

    Raptor Rehab

    Kim_and_owl_3_2 For those who don’t know about the Ojai Raptor Center, run by long-time Patagonia employee Kim Stroud, you should check it out in person or online at www.ojairaptorcenter.org I recently visited the center behind Kim’s home and was amazed at the work she’s doing for orphaned and injured birds of prey. When I first heard mention of the ORC, I thought it was some sort of bird zoo, so was a bit uneasy with the idea. But after seeing the birds and learning about how they got there, I had a totally changed impression. Some of the birds were “imprints”, handled by people when they were young, so could not survive in the wild. Others had injuries from causes ranging from flying into an electric wire to being hit by a paintball...

    [Photo: M. Kim Faust; Continue reading for more photos]

    Continue reading "Raptor Rehab" »

    Climbing Foot With Backbag

    You’re all pretty familiar with the Dawn Patrol (DP) idea by this point: wake with the roosters, drive blear-eyed through the pre-dawn black, exit warm car in the belly of the night’s bitter cold, strap on headlamps and start slogging uphill through dark and snow, all for a token taste of skiing before work.Pc120002

    I had some work to take care of in our Annecy, France office during the months of November, December, and January--optimal DP time for the Patagonia crew in Reno. Annecy is within striking distance of the Alps, but I knew nothing about the terrain, snowpack, or, most importantly, the crew. Was the terrain and snow close enough to the Patagoina Europe office to make a DP run possible? How would I get up there? Did the Annecy office have enough senseless people willing to wake up at 4 a.m. just to make a couple of turns?

    Yannick Clévy of our Pat Europe I.S. department provided an affirmative in the form of an e-mail invitation with pictures. In the pictures, Yannick (pronounced “unique,” rhyming conveniently with “freak”) is shredding 50 degree slopes and hucking 35-foot cliffs. His pre-work game was going to be a little different than what I was used to . . .

    [Nadine Steinmeier of Patagonia Europe's Dealer Services tops out before sun-up along the Combe du Marion, Massif des Aravis, France. Photo: Yannick Clévy]

    Continue reading "Climbing Foot With Backbag" »

    The Dirtbag Diaries

    Dirtbag_diariesToday we have a special treat for you. Patagonia field report contributor Fitz Cahall just alerted us to his new podcast The Dirtbag Diaries. If you’re at all a fan of our field reports please take a moment and listen to Fitz speak his writing to life. You can either listen now via the embedded players, or download his first two episodes for your weekend road trip to the backcountry. If you listen to episode one now, I have a feeling the car might point itself towards the snow for some spring skiing. Enjoy.

    Episode One - The Monoboard (right-click to download)

    powered by ODEO

    Episode Two - The Brotherhood (right-click to download)

    powered by ODEO

    [With huge thanks to Fitz Cahall]

    Charge It with Sugar Batteries

    Batts Though it's not the first battery to run on sugar, researchers at St. Louis University have developed a more efficient version that could last three to four times longer than conventional lithium ion batteries -- a boon for personal electronic devices. The icing on the cake: these new batteries are built completely from biodegradable materials. Let's hope for a rechargeable version so we don't have to test the biodegradability until absolutely necessary.

    Coincidentally, the key part of the battery, a charge-stripping enzyme, is incorporated into a membrane that's made from chitosan -- the same compound that makes up Patagonia's Gladiodor natural odor control in our Capilene Baselayers.

    Read the full story

    [Via Google News and LiveScience; Photo: Batteries awaiting recycling. By: Free]

    Best Job Ever

    This just in...

    From: M.CHOUINARD
    Subject: Surf 3-4ft hot and glassy

    Go now 245pm

    Guess it's time to get the weekend started. Before you leave work, or shut down your computer, please take action on behalf of Yellowstone Grizzly Bears.

    Have a good one everybody and thanks for visiting The Cleanest Line.

    [With thanks to Malinda and NRDC]

    Product Testing - Capilene Comparison

    We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we'll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn't mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs, our Customer Service staff gets busy ground-truthing the latest offerings. They know the questions our customers will be asking, and turn that attention to our gear.
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    Product Report  - Capilene® and new Gladiodor™ technology
    3/9/07       
    Spelunking in Moaning Cavern, Vallecito, CA
    Tested by: Michelle, Patagonia Mail Order Customer Service

    My husband and I took a guided spelunking tour at Moaning Cavern, CA which required a 180-foot rappel down into the main chamber of the cavern. The cavern is mostly vertical, with tons of little nooks and rooms. The lowest point we traveled was in a room called the “Roach Motel” where Jay & I were 270 feet below the surface. We were told that this was a warm cave, so no matter what the conditions are outside it usually stays around 64 degrees.

    We were provided with coveralls, but had to dress accordingly underneath, and we also knew that there would be a lot of water dripping, so it was important to wear garments that would be quick to dry.

    I’ve always tried out the heavier weights of Capilene layers for Alpine activities, so I thought it’d be cool to try out lighter weights in these conditions and see how they did.

    Continue reading "Product Testing - Capilene Comparison" »

    Money Shot

    Fortune_cover_opt_2

    Man oh man, look who made the cover of FORTUNE Magazine. Keep an eye out for the April 2 issue at a newsstand near you, or save a tree and read the article online.

    [With thanks to CNNMoney.com, FORTUNE and author Susan Casey for the great article.]

    Bumming in Eastern Oregon

    Dscn2201 We got this field report from Laura Cooper, a Virginian living in Oregon. I really liked her story, writing and dedication to the outdoors - she's an ESL teacher who spends most of her time backpacking, skiing and reading, as well as birding, paddling, and taking pictures. Thanks for the great report Laura!

    After forty-five minutes of using my arm as a wall, I stopped resisting and let our gear overtake me. One full Volkswagen Rabbit, three passengers, and six days of ski camping in eastern Oregon’s back and front country lay before me. Some believe travel to be a privilege only afforded by the rich, however I have found, the less money I make, the easier it is to leave. 

    Continue reading "Bumming in Eastern Oregon" »

    Don't Forget About Genetic Engineering

    Ladybug Back in '01-'02, well before Oceans as Wilderness, our environmental focus was on genetic engineering. While there were some victories associated with that campaign, the issue has not gone away. The following action alert came from one of our environmental grantees in California. Hopefully, more states will follow suit.

    Support New Legislation Protecting Communities and Farmers from Genetically Engineered (GE) Crops

    Assemblymember Jared Huffman (6th AD) has introduced AB 541, The Food and Farm Protection Act. The bill would establish California’s only state laws related to genetic engineering (GE) in agriculture and protect California farmers, consumers, and the food supply. The Environmental Defense Center has endorsed AB 541, and the bill is quickly gaining support from other agricultural, environmental, health, faith and business organizations.

    Continue reading "Don't Forget About Genetic Engineering" »

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