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    « February 2009 | Main | April 2009 »

    Luxury Liner: The First Ascent of Supercrack - DVD and Film Tour

    One of the highlights from our spring refresh of the Tin Shed was an extended trailer for Chris Alstrin's new climbing film Luxury Liner: The First Ascent of Supercrack. We're pleased to share news with you that the movie is finished, the DVD is now available (orders ship on 4/20) and the film tour will kick off this Thursday night, April 2, in Boulder, Colorado. From there the movie heads to Gunnison (4/3), Golden (4/8), Colorado Springs (4/10) and Durango (4/23), then it's off to Arizona for screenings in Flagstaff (4/24) and Tempe (4/25).

    Check out the tour schedule at Alstrin Films for all the dates and details. Now that the film is finished, Chris hopes to add more dates to the tour. You can visit his Facebook group if you want to suggest a venue, RSVP for one of the screenings or share the trailer on your profile.

    [High-quality version can be viewed in the Tin Shed.]

    Hit the jump for more background on the project and some behind-the-scenes photos.

    Continue reading "Luxury Liner: The First Ascent of Supercrack - DVD and Film Tour" »

    Free Wallpaper Images to Spice up Your Desktop

    Are you a fan of the photographs in the Patagonia catalogs? If so, here's a digital treat to make your Monday all the better. Head over to Patagonia.com and visit our new wallpaper page. There you'll find 13 stunning images available as free downloads for your desktop. Each image comes in two sizes so you can best match you monitor, just right-click to save. Here's a sample:

    COVER_1280x1024_S9

    [Right-click to download: 1280x1024 or 1024x768. Photo: Janine Patitucci]

    Visit the Patagonia Wallpaper page to view and download all 13 images.

    Today's post is dedicated to the Patagonia Photo Team and all the amazing photographers who've contributed to Patagonia over the years. Thank you for sharing your visions and for inspiring each of us to get out there and get on it.

    ED NOTE: Hi folks, This round of wallpaper images is no longer available. Many thanks to our photographers and our photo department for making this possible. Please stay tuned - if we ever offer a fresh round of desktop images you'll here about it here first.

    Product Testing - Soft Shells Weather the Storm

    Adam b 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: Wool 3 Zip Neck, R1 Pullover, Capilene® 1 Bottoms, Ready Mix Jacket, & Backcountry Guide Pants
    Activity: Winter traverse of the Carson Range (2 nights, 3 days) - Tahoe City to Sky Tavern 45+ Miles
    Elevation Lo 6,300 ft Hi 9,500 ft - Temps 28°F to 45°F
    Tested by: Adam B., Patagonia Customer Service

    2/21

    Wool 3 Shelly and I left Tahoe City on about 3 ft of snow.  It was warm leaving the car so I pretty much snow-shoed all day in a Wool 3 Zip Neck and Capilene® 1 Bottoms with a pair of Backcountry Guide Pants [Ed note: At time of publication, only Women's Backcountry Guide Pants remain available for this season. Look for Men's availability in late August 2009.] Wool 3 is a really good weight for me - not too warm that I end up overheating, but warm enough when I need it at night in camp [closest current equivalent is the Wool 2 Zip Neck]. I like the vents on my Guide Pants as well. The gaiters on the pants have worked well for me this winter.  I also like all the pockets on the pants for chapstick, extra batteries, map, etc. When Shelly and I topped out on the ridge we got some nice views of the Squaw Valley area. We found some deep untracked powder following the rolling ridge over to Painted Rock.  That was fun being in the deep snow in the shady side of the ridge. I practiced a new trick at lunch today: take fresh snow add it to what water you do have and sit it on a black rock for 30 minutes and presto! more water. This is for the most part a waterless stretch, so any water I could get without melting snow is a good thing (don’t want to carry too much fuel).

    Continue reading "Product Testing - Soft Shells Weather the Storm" »

    Backyard Adventures: Fear of the Dark

    We're pleased to offer today's Backyard Adventure from Patagonia Climbing Ambassador, mountain writer, and senior editor for the American Alpine Journal, Kelly Cordes. Patagonia's Ambassador Liaison and all-around Grassroots Guy, Kristo Torgersen recently asked our climbing and skiing athletes for some notes about their favorite clothes. The request entered the Cordes Mental Cuisinart and came out like . . . well, just check out the soundtrack-enabled report . . .

    Cordes - view

    If I could only have one piece per body part category to do the coolest things I want to do all year, it would be the following - I call it my Kit For Life. Here it is:

    - Wool 1 T-shirt
    - R1 Hoody
    - Houdini
    - Simple Guide Pants
    - Nano Puff (coming, Fall 2009)

    A few days after getting Kristo's request, Friday the 13th struck [insert creepy Fear of the Dark sound here]. I’d been frantically working on deadlines, and wasn’t doing any of the cool things intended with any of the stuff in my Kit4Life (K4L - the catchy nomenclature arose as a compensatory mechanism).

    It was mid-afternoon and I was still in my sweatpants drinking coffee and typing away. Butt-rock blared through the speakers. From the desk in my office-kitchen-living room at my tiny cabin in Estes Park, I can shift my eyes slightly left of my monitor and the window frames Hallett Peak and the Rocky Mountain National Park skyline. On this day, snow-capped peaks glittered between rocky buttresses under perfect skies, pulling my view from the screen with increasing frequency. Holy Diver, you’ve been down too long in the midnight sea, ohhh what’s becoming of meeeeee...

    [The enviable view from Casa de Cordes. Photo: Kelly Cordes]

    Continue reading "Backyard Adventures: Fear of the Dark" »

    What's Your Classic Climb?

    El_cap_j_johnson Those of you who receive the Patagonia catalog will have noticed by now that the recent Spring 2009 edition was themed "Classic Climbs." Through field reports, photos and captions, we highlighted a handful of routes that consistently capture the minds and hearts of climbers from around the world.

    If you didn't get the spring catalog, our Classic Climbs field reports are now up on Patagonia.com, including the introductory essay by Climbing Magazine founder and new Editor-in-Chief of Alpinist Magazine, Michael Kennedy.

    The Nose. High Exposure. Pinch Overhang.
    By Michael Kennedy
    "The best-of-the-best, every one a masterpiece, an outstanding example of its particular discipline, a line that begs to be climbed. A classic."

    Aguja Guillaumet, Chalten
    By Rolando Garibotti
    "The route climbs a steep pillar of wind-sculpted golden granite; its pockets and steep cracks would fulfill anybody’s expectations."

    Hotline, Yosemite
    By Ron Kauk
    "This was the beginning of a real push of opening up free climbing in Yosemite."

    Vandals, Shawangunks
    By Russ Clune
    "We had been looking for a climb to eclipse Supercrack as the pre-eminent hard route in the ’Gunks, and we had finally found it."

    Ahab, Yosemite
    By Nicolas Favresse
    "I shook a few minutes at the last resting position, reminding myself what brought me here: On expedition in Patagonia I was once told, 'No Euro can onsight Ahab.'"

    Zap Crack, Squamish
    By Jasmin Caton
    "Despite the fact that I had only seen the climb in the guidebook photo, I recognized it immediately as I walked along the base of the cliff."

    These routes represent the tip of the iceberg. Everyone has their own classic and we've surely missed some favorites. What's your classic climb?

    [El Capitan illuminated by a full moon, stars and headlamps on the wall. Photo: Jeff Johnson]

    Item #1 on the Simple Living List: Duct Tape

    Duct wallet I used to teach some classes at the local university. Feeling a little smarmy one-day, I assigned one group a research project, the topic: duct tape. And boy did those students deliver. While I can't recall a thing about their research paper, everyone in that class will remember 'til their dying day the presentation that accompanied it - a duct-tape fashion-show and exhibition par-excellence, featuring all manner of men's and women's fashion and accessories, even--yes, it's true--duct-tape "lingerie" (these were not, thank goodness, functional prototypes).

    Though we can't claim to personally know the individuals who recently surprised our Reno crew with this most excellent gift, I have suspicions one of those former students may be involved. Check out this handiwork from Duct Tape Creations. They're a small custom shop who's time has no doubt arrived. In the spirit of FCD's recent launch of wetsuit beer cozies, Duct Tape Creations is here to remind us that great timely inspiration comes from simple things. Purses, backpacks, wallets, guitar straps are just some of the fun and practical items they make. And while they don't appear to offer lingerie, they do take custom orders.Inner wallet

    Thanks to the Duct Tape Creations crew for a great surprise, and thanks for keeping things simple, fun, and positive.

    [A custom parking place for our spare simoleons. This gem is going in the archives!]

    My Footprint series - A Word on Spreading the Word

    Series intro: Today's citizen is engaged, concerned, and most of all, confident; confident in his or her choice as a consumer, confident in his or her power as an employee, confident that change is possible.

    The Footprint Chronicles were developed to document the changes we’re making as a company to lighten our environmental impact and do less harm. These chronicles are as much an inspiration to Patagonia employees as they are an outgrowth of our personal values. The “My Footprint” series shares the stories of Patagonia friends and employees who have been inspired by the Chronicles, and whose inspiring lives help fuel the vision of what we can do as a company.

    Their stories are offered here, glimpses of individual footprints spotted along the path toward positive change. We invite you to enjoy these personal accounts, and share your own in the Comments section included with these posts.
    __________________________________________________________

    Liz - seedlings [Ed note: Everyone concerned with the state of the environment has their coming-of -consciousness story. Psychologist Elizabeth Mosco has worked for years on motivating people to make positive changes in their lives. Here, she turns the lens on herself. Her account of living with a "green" significant other, Patagonia Web Editor Mike Colpo, graciously offers some insights about her own transformation from eco-nightmare to composting queen. Enjoy reading about Dr. Mosco's footprint, and remember to click the "About" section if interested in submitting your own.]

    When I first met the environmentalist in my life, I was an eco-conscious individual’s nightmare. I remember him glancing in my trash can as he threw something away and I cringed at the number of plastic bottles and aluminum cans staring him in the face. He used to leave our empty wine bottles on the counter of my kitchen, likely hoping a recycle bin would materialize for them, but I would just throw the bottles out when he left. He would use my fluoride-laden toothpaste in my bleach-scrubbed bathroom with petroleum candles burning. He saw me make multiple car rides to the supermarket—well within walking distance—for one or two items. He watched me exterminate all excess veggie matter in the garbage disposal. Here was my new boyfriend, freshly back from four weeks in the wilderness and ready to go back to his enviro-friendly job at Patagonia. And here was me, wantonly creating waste without a thought in the world to do anything but chuck it in the trash can. Looking back, I am struck by one very simple thing Mike did, something that has changed the way I look at waste, environmentally-friendly products, and life…he said nothing.

    [Liz tending the season's first seedlings, which will soon receive a fresh helping of homemade compost.]

    Continue reading "My Footprint series - A Word on Spreading the Word" »

    Sweetgrass Video Update Two from Hokkaido, Japan

    I’d never found the howl of gale force wind to be a serene experience until last week when Nick Waggoner and the Sweetgrass Productions crew dropped a February teaser on their blog for their upcoming feature ski film based in Hokkaido, Japan. Nick’s ability to capture the essence of skiing in an artistic, hypnotic and emotionally evocative manner delivers a heightened appreciation for the snow carving sensation we crave. And just as he’s changed my perception to suddenly recognize serenity in the howling wind, he’s changing our perceptions of what a ski film can be. Serenity now…

    Continue reading "Sweetgrass Video Update Two from Hokkaido, Japan" »

    Backyard Adventures: Squirting Blood

    #1 I lay in bed the other night, a lot tired and a little bloodied, but smiling, thinking about the horned toad Alex and I had managed to catch earlier in the day. I’ve only seen a couple of these prehistoric-looking reptiles in the mountains of Southern California, because they’re kind of scarce and accomplished masters of camouflage. To find one was a simple treat that had made the day’s backyard adventure all the more memorable.

    I like to get out on my mountain bike as much as time permits. Like most riders, I generally spend a few hours on the weekend riding a local trail I know well, sessioning the more challenging parts, enjoying the workout and the company of other middle age kids.

    #2 A couple of years ago, one of my more adventurous mountain-biking cohorts, James Ross, died suddenly during a ride at the age of 54. He and I had trespassed together in the name of mountain bike adventures over the years, and I resolved to honor his rogueish exploring spirit by pedaling trails in my area I’d never been on before. Living in Ojai, which borders the nearly 2 million-acre Los Padres National Forest, there’s lots of opportunity to do that.

    [Horned toad and rogueish friend, Patagonia editor Jim Little has discriminating taste in play-time companions. All photos: Jim Little]

    Continue reading "Backyard Adventures: Squirting Blood" »

    The Present - Recap of the Encinitas and Ventura Screenings

    Thomas Campbell's new surf film, The Present, continues its journey through California towards a theater, hopefully, near you. The next stop is this Friday, March 20, in Santa Barbara, California for a 7pm screening at the Arlington Theatre. From there it's up to San Luis Obispo (Mar. 25), San Francisco (Mar. 28), South Lake Tahoe (Mar. 30) and Arcata (April 1). Tickets and tour details here

    I know most of you couldn't make it to the world premiere in Encinitas earlier this month. Thankfully Devon Howard, manager of Patagonia's Cardiff surf shop, was on hand for the event.

    [Video: Tough Pug Pictures]

    Ventura, California, home of Patagonia HQ, also had a successful two-show screening last Friday. Hit the jump for more coverage from both events.

    Continue reading "The Present - Recap of the Encinitas and Ventura Screenings" »

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