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    Terror at Jaws

    by Gerry Lopez

    [Editor's note: In honor of his new book Surf Is Where You Find It, we're stoked to have Gerry Lopez sit in as guest editor. Stay tuned for seven days of stories from one of surfing's finest.]

    As I hurried towards the baggage claim at the airport in Kahului, Maui, I noticed the stillness and the very warm air with a distinct salty taste to it. Only Kona winds from the south produce these conditions. I recognized the salty taste. It was mist that is only there when the surf is huge. I knew I would be getting some good waves the following morning.

    I had flown from Oregon to Maui where my brother, Victor, was to pick me up at the airport. I quickly collected my bag and headed outside to look for my brother’s car. Victor, whose wife Terry has been a stewardess for over 25 years, is a veteran of airport pickups; he was rolling up to the curb just as I came out the door. I bundled my luggage into the back of his pickup truck and jumped into the front seat so we could quickly exit the airport mess and head home.

    “Howzit brudda!” I said. We greeted each other with a brief hug across the steering wheel as Victor put the car in gear and off we went.

    “So how’s the surf?” I asked. This is question one, always.

    “Good” he answered, “Kona winds all week.”

    But I immediately sensed something was wrong. He had this faraway look in his eyes like the thousand yard stare that we became familiar with when our friends returned from their tour of duty in the Vietnam War.

    Continue reading "Terror at Jaws" »

    The Golden Hour

    Episode17Today we present a special weekend edition of The Dirtbag Diaries with Fitz Cahall. You might recognize the Tom Broxson from a previous episode.

    In spring of 1991, Tom Broxson survived a 200-foot fall – a full rope length – off the top of Yosemite Valley's Washington Column. To this day, Tom, his climbing partner Pat and the rescuers who saved his life aren't exactly sure what happened. There are guesses and conjectures, but the exact moment that changed Tom's life will always remain a mystery.

    Dr. R. Adams Cowley, the physician who pioneered our modern Emergency Medicine System, once said, "There is a golden hour between life and death." His theory that a patient who survives a grave trauma has 60 minutes to reach the operating table was the guiding axiom in emergency medicine for decades.

    In these precarious, defining minutes between life and death, patients fight to live, rescuers put themselves in harm's way and decisions are made in an instant. Sometimes rescues don't go all that smoothly. Today, with the help of Yosemite's first responders, we bring you Tom Broxson's story of survival, recovery and will. It turns out an hour can last a lifetime.

    Listen to The Dirtbag Diaries:
    Episode 17 – The Golden Hour (mp3)

    Like what you heard? The RSS feed, subscription link to iTunes, and contact information for future story ideas are all available at

    [Thanks to Fitz Cahall for his help with the new promo.]

    What to do on a Stormy Day? - Old School/New School

    P3010345 Something interesting has happened around here. Our crew of reluctantly employed fun junkies has remained largely unchanged since Patagonia first set up shop here in Reno in 1996. Sure, the workplace has changed a little bit (no more camping in the parking lot, to mention one thing), but the people have been more or less the same—that is to say, we’ve grown old together.

    It wasn’t until this year’s big company trip to Mammoth Mountain, California that the shift became clear. What happened was akin to that special moment when two people make plans to, say, go climbing together. After arriving at the crag, one pulls out a fresh quiver of aerospace carabiners strung together with dental floss, the other laboriously drags out a full spectrum of hexentrics and the last three tri-cams to be found on American soil. New School and Old School stare politely at each other thinking: “Uhh . . . What now?”

    Img_0354_2 It was on a Saturday in Mammoth that our coworkers realized a new generation had arrived at Patagonia. What follows is their parallel accounts of how the two clans spent their day. Who had the most fun? You be the judge.  One thing's for sure, it's not hard to guess who was taking the most pictures.

    [Top: That's sooo new school. Bottom: All schools welcome at Mammoth Mtn. All Photos - team reno schralpsteady]

    Continue reading "What to do on a Stormy Day? - Old School/New School" »

    Grassroots Gas: Establishing the Ventura Biodiesel Co-op

    Coopusage_2 Access to biodiesel for consumers in the Ventura area is best described as dismal. Few options exist other than driving to Santa Barbara or Los Angeles to get biodiesel at the pump. Otherwise, you must rely on having drums of fuel delivered to your residence, which is costly and only possible if you have an area for drum storage.

    For several years it was going great. We had B20 and B100 at TW Brown, the first marine fuel dock carrying B100 was in our harbor and then we got the USA selling B99.9, 24/7 in Ventura.

    Now, TW Brown is not in business, the fuel dock converted to selling non-road-tax biodiesel and the USA chain was bought by Tesoro Petroleum Corporation and they decided to only sell B5.

    Those of us who were dedicated biodiesel consumers got left out in the cold.

    There is now a viable option coming for biodiesel consumers in our region. A biodiesel purchasing co-op is being established which will allow members access to at least B99.9 at a reasonable price and in their local area.

    [Photo: Members gather at a Los Angeles Biodiesel Co-op trailer.]

    Continue reading "Grassroots Gas: Establishing the Ventura Biodiesel Co-op" »

    Join Earth Hour on March 29

    Dp2311_3 On March 29th at 8pm my household will join the worldwide stand against global warming. Earth Hour 2008 uses simple methods to send a powerful message on the need for action against global warming.

    Each year my household (Dane and I) produces 13.57 tonnes of CO2.  To offset these emissions we need to plant 82 trees. That is lower than the average household, but when you include our traveling, emissions are raised by over 9 tonnes. This projects us into a higher than average bracket. We do feel guilty and are well aware of this major problem. We are working on slowly building a carbon-neutral lifestyle beginning with setting goals to cut general consumption of goods, clothing, household items, electricity etc, etc. We are doing this by purchasing only what is required for survival rather than surrounding ourselves with frills, buying local and organic products, investing bucks in quality over quantity, turning off lights and televisions, recycling, using less paper, reusing grey water and finally moving towards alternate renewable fuel and electricity options as they become available. Even small things such as energy-saving light bulbs have a huge effect on the electricity we consume. Finally, we have cut down our flight travels, offsetting theses emissions through carbon-neutral organisations that work hard at planting trees.

    To Join Earth Hour 2008 log onto

    Hit the jump to watch the official Earth Hour video.

    [Patagonia surf ambassador Belinda Peterson-Baggs chooses the two-step with her push mower instead of two-stroke fuel for a power mower. Photo: Dane Peterson]

    Continue reading "Join Earth Hour on March 29" »

    Thoughts on the S08 Line

    Earlyspring_bigsur_rj Thank you all for your insight on the Fit of our F07 line. As the dust settles from the Fall 07 Sale, we're getting started with Spring 2008 offering (you can see the new S08 offering at Indeed, it’s an exciting time; this is when we get to see the fruits of the previous year's hard work finally on display in our stores, on the web, and at our dealers. 

    We would like to hear your initial thoughts and feedback on the current S08 line. Let’s hear the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly; anything from fit, quality, design, color choices, etc.

    Why, you may ask? Well, timing is everything, and we like to hear from our customers first-hand.  Your feedback now can positively affect future-season styles. It's a perfect opportunity to identify any immediate issues or concerns so we can correct future styles. It's also nice to know where we are hitting the bull's-eye.   

    As you check out the gear and get some use out of it, we would like to hear your honest opinions on S08 by posting below. Also, please read on for some answers to one of the most recurrent questions in your Fall 2007 Feedback.

    [Photo: California's Lost Coast. RJ Hosking, Patagonia Quality Team]

    Continue reading "Thoughts on the S08 Line" »

    Amen to Physically Separated Bike Lanes

    And while we're on the subject, this Awareness Test video has been forwarded to me numerous times in the last few weeks. I'm glad to know it's making the rounds.

    Update: TwoSevensClash just alerted me to a site he recently added to our links (they're just to your left under Recent Comments, check for new additions often). allows users to document bike lane violations through an anonymous online form. The example is from NYC but you can see and contribute to a list of All Cities too.

    [Video by StreetFilms, with thanks to TreeHugger]

    Paradise Found: Pakistan's Charakusa Valley


    Our friend Kelly Cordes, who tests gear and writes copy for us, went
    climbing in the Charakusa Valley of Pakistan last summer and sent us
    some photos to share. Though Kelly and his climbing partner, Scott
    DeCapio, were unsuccessful on their attempt at a new line on K7, they
    returned with some spectacular images -- enjoy!

    [Photo: Arrival into base camp in Pakistan’s Charakusa Valley, late August, 2007, with K7 in the background. All photos © Kelly Cordes]

    Continue reading "Paradise Found: Pakistan's Charakusa Valley" »

    Gerry Lopez and Jock Sutherland - Talkin' Pipe Pt. 4

    The Talkin' Pipe video series continues with Gerry and Jock reminiscing about the Expression Session of 1970. Definitely some classic stories in here. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 are available for those new to the series, and there's more to come.

    Thanks again to Devon Howard and the crew at Patagonia's Cardiff Surf Shop for hosting the event and sharing this footage. To learn more, or to get on their event mailing list, contact

    Special thanks to Jeff Divine and Surfer Magazine as well. If you want to trip out on more surf shots from psychedelic '70s check out Jeff Divine Surf Photography.

    Patagonia Boulder Now Open; Join Us for the Grand Opening Festivities

    Boulder_store_image Come celebrate the grand opening of our new Patagonia store in Boulder, Colorado at 1212 Pearl Street on Saturday, April 5. You can enter to win some great gifts, including one of four $500 Patagonia Gift Cards; enjoy some refreshments; listen to bluegrass by Steel Pennies (1-4 pm); visit with The Women's Wilderness Institute; and meet Patagonia ambassadors Kelly Cordes, Eric Decaria, Lynn Hill, Timmy O’Neill and Mark Wilford (5-7 pm).

    We will also present a $5,000 donation to the winner of our Voice Your Choice voting. There are many worthy enviro groups in the area and we need your help to select the honoree. Simply click this link to cast your vote: Please vote by MARCH 29, 2008.

    The candidates are:
    Prairie Dog Coalition
    Rock the Earth
    Thorne Ecological Institute
    Wildlands Restoration Volunteers

    Hit the jump for store hours and directions, a brief history of the building and pictures of the interior.

    Continue reading "Patagonia Boulder Now Open; Join Us for the Grand Opening Festivities" »

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