The Cleanest Line

Weblog for the employees, friends and customers of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Visit to see what we do.

RSS Feed




    « April 2008 | Main | June 2008 »

    There's a Moose Loose Aboot This Hoose

    Dsc02708 We found this e-mail from one of our European climbing ambassadors, Matt Helliker, in our inbox recently. Matt writes:

    Sorry for the group email, but im not long off the mountain and just wanted to give some info, on the Alaska trip.

    Myself along with Jon Bracey have climbed a new route on the East Face of the Moose's Tooth and maybe a new route on the Mini Moonflower on Mt Hunter.

    We have named the route, "There's a moose loose aboot this hoose" 1400m long, (ED4, M8, A2, AI6).

    Check out,, and for a short route report and some photos.

    I'm back to the UK on Friday, to eat and rest, will be in touch thereafter.

    Matt's partner, John Bracy reports from Alaska:

    Matt Helliker and I are back in Talkeetna after a brilliant trip on the 'Buckskin Glacier', Alaska. We climbed a new route on the amazing East face of the Moose's Tooth. “There's a Moose Loose Aboot This Hoose” climbs the obvious big fault line to the right of Arctic Rage (VI WI6+R A2, 4500', Mahoney-Gilmore, 2004). I was initially inspired to check out the area after Paul Roderick’s (Talkeetna Air Taxi owner and infamous bush pilot) spectacular photo of the East Face of Moose's Tooth in Alpinist magazine. We had intended to look at other objectives in the area, but because of poor conditions turned our focus to the obvious fault line on the right hand side of the Moose's Tooth tried by Christophe Dumarest and Aymeri Clouet in 2006.

    [Photo: Mooses Tooth, East Face (c.Matt Helliker)]

    Continue reading "There's a Moose Loose Aboot This Hoose" »

    Contest - Five Words for the Webby Awards

    Pvwinner_black_high Thanks to all the folks who voted for us, The Footprint Chronicles is a 2008 Webby Awards People's Voice winner in the Corporate Communications category. Dubbed "the Oscars of the Internet" the Webby Awards ceremony has all the red-carpet splendor of its big-screen brother, with one marked improvement: acceptance speeches can only be five words long.

    Bill Boland,'s creative director, will be accepting the award on June 10th in New York City, and he's asked me to ask you what his five-word acceptance speech should be.

    So, if you could only say five words on behalf of Patagoniacs everywhere, what would they be?

    Leave your five words in the comments by June 9 and we'll select our favorite. The winning entry will receive a very rare Cleanest Line T-shirt. This contest is open to everyone, including Patagonia employees (official rules here). When you leave your comment, be sure and include your email address in the email field so we can contact the winner (email addys are not displayed). And while you're thinking about what to say, check out some of the five-word winner speeches from ceremonies past.

    Update: The contest is now closed. We'll announce the winner in a separate post. Our thanks go out to everyone who participated.

    Product Testing - Climbing Lovers' and Beating the Heat

    Lovers3_2 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.


    Product Report  - The outfit: Long-Sleeved Runshade™ Top, Active Classic Boxers, and Sender Shorts
    Activity: Multi-pitch trad climbing, Lovers' Leap, CA
    Tested by: Peter Harvey, Patagonia Mail Order Customer Service

    Inyo So I took a field day last Friday to go climb down at Lovers' Leap with Meghan and give her a little intro to multi-pitch trad climbing. We had climbed before over at River Rock, but this would be her first time off the deck and a good early-season warm up for me. I caught up with Meghan and made the drive down to The Leap with the obligatory stop to get coffee. Highs were expected in the 70s but I think we got into the high 70s in the sun.

    I wore a pair of the Sender Shorts, part of the climbing-inspired Lifestyle line, and an old Inyo Shirt (Spring '05, I would guess). These shirts were always a little "disco" for my tastes, but I think they are incredibly comfortable and manage moisture very well.

    Continue reading "Product Testing - Climbing Lovers' and Beating the Heat" »

    The Shorts: Year of Big Ideas Reprieve

    Shorts_small Fitz Cahall eases us back into the work week with another "short" episode of The Dirtbag Diaries:

    In the Year of Big Ideas, my childhood friend Brad laid it out – he was going to climb El Cap in 2008. Never mind that he had minimal climbing experience or had never even been to Yosemite. We schemed and scheduled a “vacation.” We planned and tried to convince others to join us, but in the end, Brad and I were on our own to wrestle with one very big – arguably bad – idea. We had four days to pull it off. We would have to climb faster than we could manufacture excuses.

    A third of the way through 2008, where are you in your year of big ideas? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and a little inspiration. What have you ticked off the list? What’s left?

    Listen to The Dirtbag Diaries:

    The Shorts - Year of Big Ideas Reprieve (mp3)

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

    The Day Aloha Returned

    Sc_staff_alex_tray_kgerry_ltim_e508 Ray King, the manager of Patagonia Santa Cruz, sent the following dispatch from Gerry Lopez's book tour:

    Not since 1969 had the Aloha visited Santa Cruz California. True, there are bits and pieces of it floating around, but true and pure Aloha has been vastly missing. It was May 3rd, 2008 on a clear blue day with a nice little two to four foot south swell. The day had taken some string pulling to accomplish but it was now happening. The venue was set at UCSC’s media center; books and tickets were being sold at the Patagonia store, and the UCSC bookstore. The money from the ticket sales ($5 each) was going to the Ride a Wave foundation and the UCSC Recreation Department Scholarship Fund. The day’s events were scheduled and it was go time. Something was in the air: Aloha. Gerry Lopez was in Santa Cruz on a book signing tour for his new book, Surf is Where You Find It.

    [Some of the staff from Pat. Santa Cruz pose with the man (L to R): Alex, Ray, Gerry and Tim.]

    The coconut wireless was buzzing as many of the town’s ambassadors of surfing, forgotten friends, worshipers, and self appointed mayors started to gather around the return of their king. I got the phone call from Gerry, “were about four miles from the beach, meet us there.” By the time I got there a small and very happy crowd had gathered. Most of this crew was with Gerry in one way or another with their Aloha flowing. As we chatted, surfers from all walks of life started to approach Gerry, most he knew from their visits to Hawaii. As the sun beat down and the temperature rose we knew it was time to hit the water. Gerry and his buddies were using SUPs (stand-up paddleboards) but I opted for my trusty 10’4” noserider. The place we surfed is fairly “private” but the line-up was not. In an attempt to avoid the crowd we decided to paddle in between two spots and found ourselves on a nice rolling point-like wave. It was glassy and consistent with two to four foot waves but, of course, some bigger sets came in to Gerry.

    Continue reading "The Day Aloha Returned" »

    Retail Bike Challenge Winner Announced

    Retail_challenge_3 The results are in!  It has been an interesting Bike to Work Week in the retail sector with many east coast stores battling less than favorable weather conditions as well as unseasonably warm temps in the west.  The great thing about Bike to Work Week is that it’s different for every location.  The commuting distance, terrain, traffic, weather, all play a large part when relying on human powered transport.  For some locations biking just makes sense and for others it takes a little creativity to make it work.  Even with the challenging conditions, the stores stepped it up and remained committed to human powered transportation.   

    It was a tight race to the end between the top two locations, Westport, CT and Palo Alto, CA.  We’ve kind of been looking at it as an East vs. West battle for the New Belgium Cruiser.  The stores had been swapping rankings going into the weekend with leads as high as 50 miles or more.  It was close, but Palo Alto was able to pull off the win with 993.7 miles while Westport came in just shy with 982.5.  Congratulations to Palo Alto, the cruiser is pretty sweet!  The total mileage for all of the stores came out to 8,707.72 with an average of 378.6 miles per store. 

    According to Bike Metro and the EPA, our Patagonia Retail employees kept the following amounts of pollutants out of the environment:

    Total Hydrocarbons = 53.704 Lbs
    Total Carbon Monoxide = 400.862 Lbs
    Total Carbon Dioxide = 7976.272 Lbs
    Total Nitrous Oxide= 26.66 Lbs
    Total Gas= 395.8 Gal


    While some stores racked up the mileage others were more focused on complete employee participation.  Portland, Boston, Washington D.C., Reno and Freeport Outlets, Seattle, Pasadena, Santa Monica achieved or came near to 100% human powered during the week.  Check out our Soho store as well, with an average of nearly 11 people riding to work per day!  Portland, the winner of last year’s Retail Challenge, also does a year long in-store commuting incentive program and Boston decided they want to keep the event going for the entire month of May!    Great work stepping it up again this year and showing the difference human powered transportation can make.    

    Video Highlights from the T-Shirt Art Show

    Not long ago we mentioned an art show that was happening at Patagonia Santa Monica. Many of the artists who contributed to the spring 2008 line of Patagonia T-shirts were on hand to show off their own art and talk to folks about the designs they created for our tees. We know geography kept many of you from attending so here's a short video from the event.

    [With thanks to Sarah and Michele]

    Thanks for a Great Bike to Work Week!

    We're pleased to offer this recap of BTWW '08. We couldn't have asked for better participation, or for more generous sponsorship. Our pedalers covered some serious mileage (breakdown after the jump), but thanks should always come before stats. So without further ado, a hearty THANK YOU to all of the sponsors who generously donated raffle prizes and giveaways:

    Mass_ride_1 Aveda
    Ben & Jerry's
    Planet Bike
    Sus Corez
    New Belgium
    Resource Revival
    Clif Bar
    Tom's of Maine
    The City of Ventura
    MDH Skin Care Studio
    Anacapa Brewing Company
    Cafe Fiore
    Cafe Bariloche
    Bad Ass Coffee
    Lotta_bikes1_2Lotta_bikes4_3Jersey Mike'€™s
    The Sojourner Cafe
    Island Packers

    [Reno's en masse ride and the DC's crowded bike racks.]

    Continue reading "Thanks for a Great Bike to Work Week!" »

    Gas, Mass, and Smiles Per Mile - Bike To Work Week Brings Smiles and Solutions

    Honest_gas_price_4 The politicians keep saying it: "We need energy solutions now!" Stuck in the more-is-better mentality, their idea of solutions often involve more drilling, more exploration, more production, more . . .

    Bike to Work Week is always a good reminder that less is often a more rewarding option. Whether it's the rising gas prices or just the unbeatable good feeling that comes from making birdsong and breezes part of the morning commute, pedaling to work has been reason for more than a few smiles this week. Hit the jump for more pictures and happy faces.

    [The last honest gas station, Reno NV. Photo: localcrew]

    Continue reading "Gas, Mass, and Smiles Per Mile - Bike To Work Week Brings Smiles and Solutions" »

    Tune Up, Turn Wrenches, Ride Out

    Bike_repair One of the perks Patagonia riders were given this week was the opportunity to get a free bike tune-up on Tuesday to make the crank turning even more joyous. The grease-monkeys in the company generously donated their lunchtime hour to help the rest of us who don't have the skills or the tools to properly care for our bikes.

    Big thanks to the Ventura bike tune-up crew for all their hard work: Chad P, Damien F, Steve R, Maggy W, Steve S, Stuart B, Alex Y and Mike B.

    Btww_events[It's high noon in Ventura and all the bike stands are full. Tune-up traffic steadily increased throughout the lunch hour. Photo: Free]

    From localcrew: Up here in Renoland, the great greasy light of bike love shone upon us as well. At left is a list of the week's events, complete with an ample sprinkling of tune-ups, safety tips, and how-to clinics.

    Quiver2The wrench turners among our ranks turned out in force to help their less-savvy brethren get tuned up and stay in shape. And as if that weren't enough, we had the extreme pleasure of multiple visits from über-cool self-propelled bike/ski mechanic extraordinaire, Matthew Larsen. Matt is the proprietor of The Stable Quiver, an on-call bike and ski-tuning service that comes to your door, your workplace, or your garage. Matt pedaled his person and repair equipment down to our digs on more than one occasion last week to lavish his loving bike touch on the crew's road-weary steeds.Quiver3

    Many kind thanks go to Matt and the Patagonia grease-monkeys for making Bike to Work Week something to get excited about.

    [Matt Larsen of the Stable Quiver puts the personal touch on his bike maintenance clinics for Patagonia Reno. Photo: localcrew]


    One Percent for the Planet
    © 2014 Patagonia, Inc.