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    Interviews from 2008 Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival - Majka Burhardt

    Tbclogo75th Fitz Cahall and Sarah Garlick are back with part two of their coverage from the 2008 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. Today, Sarah interviews mountain guide, author and Patagonia ambassador, Majka Burhardt, about her book Vertical Ethiopia: Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa.

    Audio_graphic_3 Listen to Banff 2008 Interview – Majka Burhardt
    (mp3 - 5:25 - right-click to download)

    We thank Majka for taking the time to chat. If you're interested in reading Vertical Ethiopia, check out this excerpt and then head over to to purchase the book. It makes a great gift for the holidays.

    Tomorrow, Fitz brings us an interview with Jennifer Lowe-Anker.

    Interviews from 2008 Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival - Dawa Steven Sherpa

    Tbclogo75th Dirtbag Diaries host Fitz Cahall was fortunate to attend last week's Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival about which he says, "For the dirtbag nation, this is our cultural center, the point from which all information disseminates outward. Whether it's films, books, discussions on the state of the mountain world, it all begins here."

    As a treat for everyone who couldn't make the trek to Canada, Fitz put together a series of interviews with some of the presenters. He enlisted his good friend and fellow Patagonia field report author, Sarah Garlick, to conduct today's interview with Dawa Steven Sherpa, creator of the Eco Everest Expedition 2008, which, through a combination of mountaineering and scientific research, strived to achieve widespread awareness on the impact of climate change. Dawa is also the managing director of Asian Trekking and owner of the world's highest bakery at Everest base camp.

    Audio_graphic_3 Listen to Banff 2008 Interview - Dawa Steven Sherpa
    (mp3 - 7:23 - right-click to download)

    Our thanks go out to Dawa Serpa, Fitz Cahall and Sarah Garlick for bringing a taste of Banff to The Cleanest Line. Be sure and check out Sarah's new book Flakes, Jugs, and Splitters: A Rock Climber's Guide to Geology, and Fitz's podcast, The Dirtbag Diaries, via iTunes or at

    Stay tuned for part two from Banff tomorrow.

    Makalu: The Last Installment

    Makalupostcard_2 The last time Steve House called from Makalu base camp in Nepal, we heard that strong winds had kept he, Vince Anderson and Marko Prezelj from even starting up the West Face. It was a major disappointment after all the team went through to get to the mountain.

    But that's not the end of the story. After hearing about another weather window Steve decided to try climbing the West Face solo on November 4. Today, in his final call of the trip, Steve tells us about his solo attempt and shares some final thoughts, especially how it feels to be back down at a more civilized elevation.

    Audio_graphic_3_2 Listen to Makalu Update 9
    (mp3 – 8:01 - right-click to download)

    Our thanks go out once again to Steve for taking the time to call in with his reports, and to Vince Anderson for his emails and the photo of Makalu 2. Steve, Vince and Marko would like to thank the Mugs Stump Award and the American Alpine Club for their support of the expedition, and all of you for listening.

    [Farewell Makalu. Until next time? Photo: Marko Prezelj]

    Complete coverage of the Makalu expedition can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

    Call for Submissions: Backyard Adventures

    Kcdownp3077_2Have you ever had a good adventure close to home? Are you planning one before the new year? If so, we want to hear from you.

    In a recent interview with surf site Patagonia ambassador Dan Malloy said, "My goal these days is to tap into that traveling state of mind while I am home, to do things I have never done in my own backyard. There is more than a lifetime's worth of amazing things to see and do and learn here. For me it is about becoming creative enough to tap into it."

    There's never been a better time to recreate close to home. The Patagonia catalog team has themed the upcoming Heart of Winter catalog around the idea of backyard adventures, and to coincide with that catalog's early January release we'd like to feature your stories on The Cleanest Line.

    [In his story "Vanquished," Patagonia ambassador Kelly Cordes wrote about scoring a fickle mixed route in Rocky Mountain National Park, backyard to his home of Estes Park, Colorado. Photo: © Kelly Cordes]

    From now until January 9, 2009, we're inviting you to write-in (and send pictures or video) describing the outdoor sports you love to do close to home -- whether you live at the edge of wilderness or in the heart of the city. If you get to those places without a car all the better. We'll run your stories on The Cleanest Line every week for a month after the catalog drops in January.

    Submissions can be sent to thecleanestline[at]patagonia[dot]com with the subject line "Backyard Adventure." Before sending please review our Guidelines for Submissions in the About section. Make the jump for a brief description of the backyard adventures you'll read about in the Heart of Winter catalog.

    Continue reading "Call for Submissions: Backyard Adventures" »

    From the Trenches - "Why don't you give temperature ratings?"

    TrenchesOur Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are our front line of communication with Patagonia fanatics far and wide. The crew here at our Call Center in Reno, NV are at it seven days a week, taking orders, helping with returns, and most importantly, answering the astonishing range of questions our customers fire at us. Like flocks of swirling swallows or shimmering schools of tropical fish, our customers swoop in with mysteriously synchronized concerns and questions on a regular basis, prompting the need for ready answers. Times like these, nothing would be more handy than magically beaming knowledge out into the ether. Our very own Old School is here to do just that. He's stepped back from the front lines to answer some of these popular questions, straight from the trenches. ____________________________________________________________

    "Why don't you give temperature ratings on your jackets?" It's a simple question, but like most things in life, there's a lot more to it than first appears. Fiona

    The primary reason we don't give ratings for our outerwear is that they're too subjective. Not only is everybody different, conditions at any given temperature are different as well. Factors such as humidity, wind, sun, and clouds all affect how cold a given temperature feels. And let's face it, some of us just don't handle cold as well as others so the first variable is whether you run cold or hot.

    Consider the number of variables in something as seemingly straight-forward as downhill skiing:

    Continue reading "From the Trenches - "Why don't you give temperature ratings?"" »

    Sunshine, Bug Bites and Sweat

    City_farm Today’s post is about an environmental internship at Chicago’s Resource Center-City Farm. It comes from Dylan Reynolds, one of the staff at our Chicago store who took part in one of Patagonia’s coolest programs. Jenny Demitrio and Ron Hunter took the photos.

    The staff at Patagonia’s store in Chicago decided that after a hiatus of several years, it was high time to organize another summer environmental internship. We wanted to take advantage of the opportunities Patagonia offers its employees to volunteer for nonprofit environmental groups, learn about themselves, and work on behalf of our environment. After a thorough review of our options, we proposed an internship with Chicago’s Resource Center-City Farm.

    Continue reading "Sunshine, Bug Bites and Sweat" »

    What Now?

    As part of Patagonia’s Vote the Environment campaign, we asked Deb Callahan, former President of the League of Conservation Voters and an old friend of Patagonia, to write a brief “letter to President-elect Obama,” with her thoughts on what his priorities should be on behalf of the environment. We also include, after Deb’s letter, a note from us at Patagonia, with our thoughts on the year to come. Here is Deb’s Letter:

    Congratulations President–elect Obama! The country has voted for hope and change.

    Since 2004 when I first met you and worked for your election to the Senate, I have believed in you and your amazing ability to inspire Americans. Now you are about to become our next president, and I send you heart-felt congratulations. You carry the hopes and dreams of a nation as you shoulder the responsibilities of the highest office in the land.

    As challenging as the presidency was when you announced your candidacy back in February 2007, the job has become even harder as our economy has destabilized and the number of people living on the edge grows daily. I know your first order of business is to unravel the mess our country is in, and begin to get things back on track. The list of needs facing the country is long: war, recession, jobs, health care, education. As you begin your transition, you’ll set your priorities and formulate a strategy to drive your top two or three initiatives through Congress.

    Continue reading "What Now?" »

    White House Organic Farm Project Hopes to Change Political Landscaping

    P1010958_2 Here's a story to keep you smiling as we all await the results of today's historic election. On Monday, September 15, Patagonia Ventura employees were greeted by a very unique school bus in the parking lot. Daniel Bowman Simon and Casey Gustowarow, the two-man team known as the White House Organic Farm Project, or WHO Farm, had just rolled into town to share their unique vision: getting the next President to plant an organic garden on the grounds of the White House. Inspired by Chez Panisse chef and slow food activist, Alice Waters, they've been driving across the country drumming up support for the project through an online petition they set up at

    [The bus was purchased from Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's fame who modified it to depict upside-down budget priorities. Daniel and Casey keep an organic garden on the roof and call the inside home. Photo: Free]

    Make the jump for a tour of the WHO Farm bus.

    Continue reading "White House Organic Farm Project Hopes to Change Political Landscaping" »

    Be An Activist, But Don't Dress Like One

    Vte_shirt_2_2 Some sage words of caution from one of our Environmental Program Coordinators here at Patagonia. Please remember to Vote the Environment tomorrow, but don't let your enthusiasm be the reason anyone stops you from casting your ballot. The original message follows:

    A last-minute election heads-up -

    Many of us have received news alerts or emails with stories of people being turned away at the polls for wearing t-shirts, hats, buttons, etc. endorsing particular political candidates. Many states do have bans on "electioneering" as it's called, and in some states you won't be allowed within 100 ft. of a polling place if you are wearing these items.  The rules vary from state to state, and even county to county - so, our recommendation is this:

    Don't risk it:  leave your campaign t-shirts, hats, buttons and other stuff at home when you go to the polls to vote - it may save you some irritation or even a trip home to change!

    Here's a link to a CNN article about the controversy in Virginia.

    Clearcut_3 While it's easy to see why some would chafe at the thought of being told what to wear, the article points out this "electioneering" rule stems from a desire on the part of individual states to create safe polling areas. Legal experts confirm that in this situation, such a rule does not violate our First Amendment rights. Feelings about personal expression aside, one thing is clear:  November 4th is the one day you don't want to be denied your voting voice.

    [Photos: Top - Not a good wardrobe choice for polling day. Bottom - Another reason to Vote the Environment.]

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