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    Patagonia Ambassadors find "Secret Passage" up El Cap

    Victory Great news from Patagonia Europe climbing ambassadors Nicolas Favresse and Sean Villanueva, the pair established a new free route up El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. In their ground-up effort, the team blended elements of current routes Eagles Way and Bad to the Bone on their way to the base of a hitherto-featureless wall. It was only after direct encounter with the face that The Secret Passage was revealed. Read the note Nico sent us upon completion of the climb:

    Sean Villanueva and I just freed a new route on El Capitan! We just came down Friday, October 10th, after 5 days on the wall. It's for sure one of my best accomplishments and strongest climbing experiences. All my years of climbing seem to have blended together to brew this new major piece of climbing. The route tested my physical and mental abilities to their limit with the challenge of many hard pitches to send each day on the wall plus the fatigue of hauling. In order to leave the aid routes their original way, we were pushed to climb sometimes on very poor gear and at other times spaced apart. But beside the physical and mental challenge, the experience exploring the wall for a way to free it felt to me the most powerful. So many sections Secret_passage1 looked at first impossible but with optimism, faith and creativity all of them gave away a solution with an amazing amount of holds, which--if one of them did not exist--the route wouldn't go free. It felt like each solution was a sign of communication with the rock.

    [Top: Nicolas Favresse and Sean Villanueva celebrate their successful establishment of new free route The Secret Passage. Photo: Nico Favresse Bottom: The Secret Passage as seen from the Valley. Click on pic to expand the image. Photo: Tom Evans.]

    Continue reading "Patagonia Ambassadors find "Secret Passage" up El Cap" »

    Makalu: New Route, Kangchungtse

    Makalu_2_4 Some good news to start the week. On Saturday morning at 4:45 a.m. I received the following email and picture from Vince Anderson via satphone (hence the low resolution of the photo):


    On Thurs., Oct. 16, Steve, Marko and I hiked up to C2 (ca. 6,700 m.) on the std. route of Makalu with the intention of staying a few nights for further acclimatization and possibly to climb Kanchungtse (Makalu 2 - 7,600 m.). Steve's cough had not abated so he decided to just rest at C2 while Marko and I climbed. We wanted to try a route on the unclimbed west face (a previous attempt had ended on the ridge, just shy of the summit).

    We woke early the following morning to clear skies, light winds and very cold temps. We left Steve and camp at 7:00 a.m. and approached the base of the face in just under two hours. My feet were so cold that I had to stop in the bergschrund, take off my boots and re-warm them in my hands.

    Continue reading "Makalu: New Route, Kangchungtse" »

    Recap of the One Track Mind Premiere at Patagonia Cardiff

    We've had something of a one track mind this week on TCL -- it's hard not to when Chris Malloy releases a new film. So it's only appropriate that we head into the weekend with a recap of the world premiere of One Track Mind. Devon Howard, store manager of Patagonia's Cardiff Surf Shop, brings the good word and video:

    Since opening the Cardiff surf shop in May of 2006 we’ve had an incredible run of great “happenings” at our store. Customers tell us all the time that the Patagonia Cardiff store has become San Diego County’s cultural hub for surfing. But honestly, we can’t take credit for all of its success. These events wouldn’t have been possible if not for the enthusiastic participation of our customers and many friends in the greater surf community. Thanks to great icons of performance surfing -- and its culture -- like the Campbell Brothers, Gerry Lopez, Jock Sutherland, Dan, Keith and Chris Malloy, Chris del Moro, Andrew Kidman, Richard Kenvin, Nat Young, Tom Wegener, and so many others, we’ve been to be able to give something really unique and special to the local community.

    Continue reading "Recap of the One Track Mind Premiere at Patagonia Cardiff" »

    Watch One Track Mind Online for 48 Hours Starting Tonight

    Admat_onetrackmindflyerfinal If you can't make tonight's screening of One Track Mind in Ventura, turn that frown upside down and point your browser at to watch the movie online -- it will loop for 48 hours starting tonight. We've been talking a lot about Chris Malloy's new surf movie and tonight it will become the first film ever to debut on Facebook.

    Chris and the Woodshed Films crew are celebrating the release by inviting fans to participate in a live chat on the One Track Mind Kyte channel, which will begin at 5:30 pm (PST) tonight, October 16th. World champions Kelly Slater and Tom Curren and other featured surfers from the film such as super grom Kalohoe Andino, along with Brushfire Records recording artist Matt Costa, will join Chris in discussing the film from Patagonia’s headquarters in Ventura, California before the film airs.

    To view the film, head over to and click on the One Track Mind Kyte channel -- it will be available starting at 5:30 pm (PST) and loop for 48 hours. You do NOT have to be a Facebook user to view the film online. And while you're there, stop by the brand new Patagonia Facebook page and become a fan.

    Continue reading "Watch One Track Mind Online for 48 Hours Starting Tonight" »

    Makalu: Happy Birthday Marko

    Makalupostcard_2_2 Two Makalu trip updates for you today, one from Steve and one from Vince. First up is Steve House calling in from the sat phone. He might not sound so hot but his illness is getting better:

    Listen to Makalu Update 4 (mp3 – 5:35 - right-click to download)

    And here's the email Vince Anderson sent yesterday:

    10/13/08 - Happy Birthday Marko!

    We are resting again today and probably tomorrow. Acclimatization is going well. Yesterday, after spending a night at Camp 2 on the normal route (22,000 ft.), we ascended to Makalu La (24,000 ft.). Steve's cough bothered him enough that he stopped 100 meters shy of the pass. We certainly needed not go all the way to the pass, but it was alluring to go up there and take a look at the other side of the mountain and Tibet. It took us just over 4 hours to ascend the 2,000 ft. to the pass. I felt pretty good up there but kept it in a low gear all the way there.

    The views up high were fantastic! Just behind us lay Everest and Lhotse just 12 miles distant. Further off, we could see many other peaks in the Khumbu region and beyond like AMA Dablam and Shishapangma. We've also been blessed with generally very good weather, mostly sunny days and little wind.

    While at camp 2, we were able to test out some of our camping options: tent, sleeping bags, stoves, etc. Will continue to test these on our next trip up there in a few days.


    If you're just tuning in, check out the previous posts from this trip: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

    [Photo: Marko Prezelj. Happy Birthday Marko from everyone at Patagonia and The Cleanest Line.]

    The Shorts: Balance

    Shortz The Dirtbag Diaries is on the air with another Shorts episode this week. Host, Fitz Cahall, also wants to hear your scary campfire tales for a special Halloween episode -- details below. From Fitz:

    The Bohrer clan isn’t your average Idaho Falls family. "Our neighbors have trampolines to break neighborhood children's ankles and wrists. We've installed a slack line for that purpose," writes father of five, Steve Bohrer. Juggling goals in the mountain with parenting is no simple task. Sometimes balancing competing passions requires combining them into a lifestyle. After all, whether you're old or young, everyone likes to play hooky if there is snow on the hill.

    Listen to The Dirtbag Diaries:

    The Shorts - Balance (MP3 - right-click to download)

    Call for submissions: Know a story that will leave me quaking in my sleeping bag? This Halloween, the Dirtbag Diaries presents "The Night of the Living Dirtbag." We'll take your tales of terror and horror and produce them into a blood-chilling fright fest. Campfire ghost stories? Creatures that go bump in the night? Urban Myths? Scare me. I dare you.

    If your story is selected for the show, you'll win a hand-printed, one-of-a-kind sweatshirt from our resident artist -- Walker Cahall. Submissions must be received by Monday, October 20th. Click Here to send us your submission.

    One Track Mind Comes to Ventura Oct. 16

    One_track_mind_posterIf watching a brand new surf film, under the stars, with the director and two world champs, groovin' to live music, and vying to win a new surfboard sounds like your idea of a good time, then do whatever it takes to get to Ventura this Thursday night for the screening of Chris Malloy's new film, One Track Mind, at Patagonia HQ.

    Ventura Premiere of One Track Mind
    surf film, free raffle prizes, live music

    Thursday, Oct. 16, 7:00 PM

    Patagonia Headquarters
    259 W. Santa Clara, Ventura, CA
    Upper parking lot, corner of Main and Olive Streets
    Admission is FREE

    The event is outdoors so please dress appropriately and bring a blanket and/or your own lawn chair. An FCD surfboard and other great prizes will be raffled away before the movie. Pick up a raffle token at Great Pacific Iron Works or Wetsand Surf Shop prior to the event, or at the event itself. Jenkins - Yotzin will kick things off with a 20-minute music set; Matt Costa will close the evening with a short acoustic performance. Tom Curren, Kelly Slater and all three Malloy Brothers are scheduled to attend. For more information, phone 805-643-6074.

    Hit the jump to watch the trailer; download a hi-res version of the poster here (PDF).

    Continue reading "One Track Mind Comes to Ventura Oct. 16 " »

    Getting to Know Jonah

    Jonahcowboy Jonah. That's the title. Simple, direct. About as austere as the landscape it refers to. Jonah is a book, and an unlikely one at that. It’s part cowboy, part environmentalist, part roughneck, and part naturalist. It’s part photo-journalism and part poetry. It’s naked fact and nuanced understanding. And it’s the self-published product of a young woman who, at just 25 years old, has managed to herself live a bit of each of these lives.

    Nikki Mann is the editor/photographer/publisher of Jonah. She is, among many other things, a biologist hired by an oil and gas development company to conduct wildlife surveys of potential drill areas to assist in permit compliance. Officially, her job consisted of assessing the biodiversity of these areas and submitting reports on the various species populations living therein. The purpose of these official reports was to help determine the impacts of oil and gas development. Government reporting is long on facts and lean on story. Mann has long since turned in her fact-laden reports. Jonah is her attempt, along with cowboy poet Andy Nelson, to tell this landscape’s stories.

    [All photos by Nikki Mann, unless noted on photo. Many of Mann's photos are coupled with captions and complimented (or contrasted) with selections of Andy Nelson's cowboy poetry. Click on photos below to expand selections and read the text.]

    Continue reading "Getting to Know Jonah" »

    Last Call, Register to Vote!

    Vote_2 This is a last friendly reminder to register to vote if you haven't yet, and please encourage all of your friends and family to do the same. Deadlines for registration vary from state to state; some have passed but many haven't. You can find a full list of voter registration deadlines at HeadCount.

    Interesting fact: In the 2004 presidential election, 10% of people who didn't vote, claimed that it was because they didn't know where to vote. If you have any questions about registration, voting locations, absentees ballots, etc., check out this YouTube video and Google Maps resource.

    And, of course, remember to Vote the Environment. Our page and Facebook page continue to offer great information to help you evaluate the environmental records of your candidates. See you at the polls.

    [With thanks to Hans. Photo: Free]

    Makalu: All Settled in Base Camp

    No call from Steve today, but we did receive a short email update from Vince Anderson. Sorry the photo is so small; I doubt there's much bandwidth at 18,500 feet in the Himalayas.

    L1060035 Hi, We are all settled in base camp now. All of our equipment finally arrived. We are at 18,500 ft. Steve is still ill with a cough though seems to be getting better. Marko and I hiked up a small peak behind camp that is about 20,500 ft. We will continue to acclimatize and just take it easy for the next few weeks until we are ready to try our route. The weather has been ok but we are getting afternoon cloud build up. Today we all hiked to camp 1 on the normal route. Regards, Vince

    If you're into "true, orthodox, elitist, cask-strength alpinism," check out Vince's blog, Alpine Style!, or visit his guiding site, Skyward Mountaineering.

    [Get better soon Steve.]

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