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    Rock Climbing Near Bariloche

    Jeanne Young and I just returned from a rock climbing trip near Bariloche, Argentina. Beautiful alpine rock climbing. It's a five-hour hike into a lake basin where there is free camping and a hut. We ate dinner (and drank red wine) at the hut each night, camped out on the opposite side of the lake, and climbed 10 days in a row. Not bad. I hope these pics motivate you to get out for some spring climbing of your own.


    Once we arrived in Bariloche (we flew from Buenes Aires) we stocked up on groceries and camping fuel and then took a bus up to the ski area, Cathedral. A five-hour hike along the ridge gave us fantastic views of the lake country and the glacier-clad Andes to the east.  Finally, the trail brings you in above Laguna Toncek, the heart of the Frey area.

    [All photos by Steve House and Jeanne Young]

    Continue reading "Rock Climbing Near Bariloche" »

    Get Some Ed in 'Yer Head

    Abbeyvision Boys'n Berries, the time is here once again. It's March 14th. Some might recognize this as the birthday of Albert Einstein. But there's another figure who looms large on America's ideological horizon; one whose personal genius, like Einstein's, exploded in the deserts of the American Southwest. Edward Abbey wandered out into the deserts of southern Utah and found a literary voice that defined a new generation of environmental advocates. On March 14th, 1989 he left his beloved canyons and mesas, and entered the annals of history.

    Grassroots radio maestro extraordinaire Don Darue has been "servin' 'em up covered and smothered" for purt-near 20 years on the homegrown radio show The Risky Biscuit Hayseed Hoot. One of Dondo's specialties is the Annual Edward Abbey Memorial Tribute Edition of the show. March 14 will mark the 19th year since Abbey's passing, and the 18th edition of Dondo's incomparable blend of tasty instrumentals, blues, folk, outlaw country, and a generous helping of Mr. Abbey reading straight from classics such as "In Defense of the Redneck" and Desert Solitaire.   

    Wanna get some Ed in your head? Then sidle on up to the Hoot Hut and have a listen to this year's Ed Abbey show. It's available via podcast at the Hoot website, or by listening live Saturday morning 8 - 10 a.m. at and clicking on the "Listen Live" button (on the right, above the piggy picture).


    Red_dawn_2More exciting than Red Dawn, and cooler than camping with Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, and Patrick Swayze, our friends at the University of California's Sagehen Research Field Station have just reported some pretty outstanding news.

    Imagine you're protecting a piece of land. Imagine people are studying the plants and animals on that land. They're looking at things like lichens and lilies, and rodents and roaches. Then all of a sudden, you find out--surprise!--the acreage under your stewardship is home to some previously-believed-extinct charismatic megafauna. That's a simplified version of the story that broke a little over a week ago in the mountains of Northern California.

    Believed to be extinct since the 1920s or 30s, the Sierra Nevada Wolverine was recently photo-documented by an Oregon State University researcher conductingWolverine_3 weasel studies at the Sagehen research facility. For the latest news on the Sagehen findings, hit the above link. More information is also available at the links below:

    [Photos. Top: "Wolverines!!!" is now more than just a battle cry for the residents of Northern California.  Bottom, a wild wolverine is captured by a research camera in the forested mountains near the town of Truckee.]

    Follow-up posts on this topic:

    Badass But Vulnerable - An Interview with Doug Chadwick, Author of "The Wolverine Way" (April 16, 2010)

    The Wolverine Way - Go Like Hell and Never Back Down (April 11, 2012)

    Reader Photo: Sticker Spotting

    Sticker_spotting2 This just in from The Cleanest Line email bag:

    the back of our work truck!
    keeping us warm out in the elements!

    many thanks, we fly the patagonia flag with pride:)

    smiles for miles from the u.k.

    richard esq  &

    Always good to hear from Patagoniacs across the pond. If you have a few minutes, take a look at Richard's site, Friend of Mine "a collaborative creative breeding ground. Like-minded people with like-minded ideas. A gathering place for those of us who like the more natural side, and the often natural randomness, to creativity."

    Have a photo you want to share? Send it to thecleanestline[[at]]patagonia[[dot]]com and we'll take a look. Please be sure and read our About section before you hit send.

    [Photo: Richard Esq]

    Patagonia T-Shirt Art Exhibit

    Art_show1 If you live in the Los Angeles area, or happen to be passing through, join us at Patagonia Santa Monica on Saturday March 29 from 8-10 pm for an art exhibit by the talented group whose designs grace some of our T-shirts. These professionals – who also work in pen and ink, handprints, oils, paper cutting and other mediums – include Geoff McFetridge, Jason Munn (portfolio), Nikki McClure (portfolio), Jason Stowell, Chris Del Moro (portfolio), Jeremy Collins (portfolio), Peter McBride (portfolio) and Kitty Botke. Some of them will be on hand to meet and chat about their work. We’ll be serving refreshments and their art will be available for purchase. For more information, phone the Santa Monica store at (310) 314-1776.

    Incidentally, Geoff McFetridge created the wonderful Cleanest Line masthead you see at the top of this page. Thank you Geoff! He also did the artwork for our popular surf mini-site Bend to Baja.

    [Flyer artwork by Geoff McFetridge]

    Update: Fixed incorrect date and Jason Munn T-shirt.

    All These Things


    Fitz Cahall hands over the reins of The Dirtbag Diaries this week to his wife Becca:

    The Weather Channel’s Local on the 8’s. NOAA. Surf cams. We’ve all been there – staring at the places we would like to be through a computer or television screen. We shut our eyes at our desks and try to imagine the feel of cutting through powder or climbing on a sun drenched cliff.

    Success in the high country requires early starts and leaps of faith. The same can be said of careers, school and family. Our dreams in the flatlands take nurturing. They require our love and time, and when our personal goals grate against the pursuit of summits, glassy waves and powder days, our heads can fill with a feedback loop of tough questions about where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

    Today, I’m proud to present a new voice. Becca Cahall brings us All These Things – a story about getting older and skiing faster. We’re headed for British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountains – an incredible range of open alpine faces, perfect tree skiing and tight chutes that every backcountry skier dreams of visiting. When life’s pressing questions mount, the only antidote is the inner calm found in cold wind, burning lungs and the hiss of skis sliding across snow.

    Listen to The Dirtbag Diaries:
    Episode 16 – All These Things (mp3)

    Like what you heard? The RSS feed, subscription link to iTunes, and contact information for future story ideas are all available at The music from Episode 16 is performed by Ken Christianson.

    [Artwork by Anya Miller]

    DWR Optional


    Working for an outdoor clothing company affords us the luxury of having not one, but several options to choose from when suiting up for a day on the mountain. Was it the balmy temperature? Or simply the need to stand out in the crowd of Patagonia shells that inspired some of our colleagues to don alternate choices recently at Mammoth? We're not sure. Check out more photos after the jump.

    Continue reading "DWR Optional" »

    Lynn's Tips: Traversing Techniques

    By Lynn Hill

    The weather was so beautiful the other day that I decided to visit one of my favorite local traverses up on Flagstaff (Boulder, CO) called the Monkey Traverse. On this long, overhanging band of rock, I choreographed my own variation that I call Lynnie's Low Down since it eliminates all the good holds on the upper traverse. Though some people might call this contrivance a "butt dragger" it has always been a good fitness barometer and a great way to toughen my skin!

    I asked my friend to take some pictures of a few traversing and resting techniques. Since this traverse is so long with no decent rests before the final crux moves, I try to find the most efficient way to rest whenever possible.


    The knee knocker rest is a simple example of a technique that I call bracing. There are many ways to gain leverage and stability by pressing or bracing one body part against another. In this case, I was able to find opposing foot holds in just the right location to help stabilize my lower body and get a more efficient rest.

    Continue reading "Lynn's Tips: Traversing Techniques" »

    Sitting on the Shoulder

    This story was sent to us by Ari Lurie from Tahiti. He is an avid outrigger paddler and surfer.

    'Haole go home.'  This glaring message was scrawled across a building in the center of town.  I was visiting the port of Fare on the beautiful French Polynesian island of Huahine.  I smiled at its bluntness but stopped to wonder about what had transpired to make local people feel this way.  It's not hard to imagine. Travelers have come to this island for years to surf and enjoy the Polynesian lifestyle.  I'm sure some were gracious and unobtrusive while other visitors probably lacked respect.  Huahine is a gorgeous place, the people are truly welcoming, but like most islands they are protective of their sanctuary.

    Continue reading "Sitting on the Shoulder" »

    Gerry Lopez and Jock Sutherland - Talkin' Pipe Pt. 3

    The Talkin' Pipe series continues with Gerry & Jock reminiscing about the '70s. They discuss a few of the breaks that prepared them for Pipeline, the board designs from that era and some of the masters who rode them so well. If you're new to the series, take a gander at Part 1 and Part 2 while you're here. And for those already on board, hang tight, 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

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