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 2009 | Main | June 2009 »

    Tahoe's Legendary Clarity Faces a New Threat

    Tahoe_east_shore2 There's no question one of the highlights of our Reno location is its proximity to Lake Tahoe. The highest alpine lake of its size in the States, it’s also one of the clearest, with an average underwater visibility of about 70 feet. This stunning clarity muddies in comparison to the 120 feet it boasted when scientists first started taking measurements back in the 60s. Those familiar with Tahoe know its name to be synonymous with crystalline waters the great lapis expanse of its surface as it reflects the skies that so often stretch cloudless above it.

    The lake’s water quality is the cornerstone upon which many communities depend. The tourist community would no doubt stop visiting if the lake’s singularly clear character became compromised. The community of year-round residents depends on the pure water not only for the tourism economy it supports, it drinks from them, too. And while tourists and Algae up close residents alike could theoretically move elsewhere, the unique assemblage of underwater life that have adapted to this austere aquatic environment have few options if the balance of Tahoe’s waters is tipped.

    Some recent and unsettling news from our friends at the Tahoe Divers Conservancy suggests that is exactly what’s happening. Hit the jump for pictures of their recent findings and to read an excerpt that puts these images into perspective.

    [Top - Tahoe as seen from its eastern shore. Photo: David Smoyer. Bottom - An up-close look at one of Tahoe's newest residents. Photo: Tahoe Divers' Conservancy collection.]

    Continue reading "Tahoe's Legendary Clarity Faces a New Threat" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Sixty Meters to Anywhere

    60meters_logo It's time once again to fire up your imagination and take an audio excursion with The Dirtbag Diaries. Host Fitz Cahall is here to introduce today's episode.

    “Is there a statute of limitations on finding something you’re passionate about? Is there a certain age when learning something new becomes too much to take on, or we become too afraid to fail or afraid to let others see us fail?” writes Brendan Leonard. A few Christmases back, Brendan received a rather strange gift from his brother – an old rope. Brendan wasn’t a climber. He had no intention of becoming of climber. Sometimes though gifts can change our lives. It turns out that 60-meters of climbing rope has taken him farther than he could have ever dreamed.

    Audio_graphic_20px Listen to "Sixty Meters to Anywhere"
    (mp3 - 21:00 - right-click to download)

    For more on the music from this episode or to share a story of your own, head over to You can subscribe to the show via iTunes and RSS, or connect with Fitz via Facebook and Twitter.

    Makalu 2009: Collapsed Kitchen

    CRP-Makalu 09-01124
    [Makalu base camp after the storm, May 2009. Photo: Cory Richards]

    In today's call from Makalu, Steve House describes a tropical storm that dropped 36 inches of wet snow in 36 hours on base camp. The weight of the snow was enough to collapse their cook tent. Undeterred and with time running out, Steve is going to head up Makalu one more time with friend and photographer Cory Richards who kindly emailed the photos attached to this post.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to Steve House – Makalu, May 27, 2009
    (mp3 – 5:44 – right-click to download)

    CRP-Makalu 09-01074 Previous posts from the trip:
    Makalu Again
    Getting Acclimated
    High Altitude Pulmonary Edema
    Back to Normal
    Greetings from 24,300 Feet

    [Steve House, Makalu 2009. Photo: Cory Richards]

    A Look Back at the Sacred Craft Surfboard Expo

    The Sacred Craft Consumer Surfboard Expo came to the Ventura County Fairgrounds on Saturday May 16 & Sunday May 17, 2009. Patagonia and Fletcher Chouinard Designs (FCD) were on hand for the festivities. Here's a look back at the show.

    [Video shot and edited by Tim Davis]

    More photos and video after the jump.

    Continue reading "A Look Back at the Sacred Craft Surfboard Expo" »

    Your Thoughts on the Footprint Chronicles – Why don’t you make more of your goods in the U.S.A.?

    Footprint logo We’ve recently released “What’s Done in Our Name?,” the first in a three-part video series called Work in Progress that examines larger social and environmental issues we grapple with as a company.

    ”What’s Done in Our Name” directly addresses what we do to monitor the labor practices of the overseas factories that make our goods.

    The launch of this video comes at a time when Americans are concerned about the further decline of domestic manufacturing. It should be no surprise that a video focusing on overseas production has sparked a number of customers to ask why we simply don’t make more of our goods in America.

    Below, we highlight one of these e-mails as well as a response from a long-time Patagonia employee familiar with both our history and the source of our values in several key areas: product quality, environmentalism and social responsibility.

    We welcome your contribution to this exchange – as well as other thoughts you have about responsible business practices. It's our hope that as the discussion unfolds it will enrich our continued examination of our corporate life – and help us do what we do better and with less harm to the environment and the social fabric.


    Subject: Comments on the Footprint Chronicles

    Patagonia often touts environmental responsibility and claims to have an environmentally-conscious business model yet virtually every single product that Patagonia sells through its catalog is produced overseas. This is despite the fact that the vast majority of Patagonia customers live in the United States.

    Continue reading "Your Thoughts on the Footprint Chronicles – Why don’t you make more of your goods in the U.S.A.?" »

    Makalu 2009: Greetings from 24,300 Feet

    Above camp2 everest on right 2

    Today Steve House makes good on his promise to call from camp 2 on the normal route of Makalu. From the first few heavy breaths to his attempt at simply walking 10 feet, this call will give you a pretty good sense of what it's like to be at 24,300 feet, in top physical shape, without supplemental oxygen.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to Steve House – Makalu, May 21, 2009
    (mp3 – 5:38 – right-click to download)

    In 2007, Steve, Marko and Vince brought us along to the summit of K7 West with their video camera. To put things in perspective, the summit of K7 West is 22,447 feet (6842m) – almost 2,000 feet lower than the elevation Steve called from today and a good 5,000 feet lower than the summit of Makalu at 27,762 feet (8,462m).

    [View from above camp 2 during the 2008 Makalu expedition. That's Everest (29,029 ft) on the right. Photo: Steve House]

    Previous posts from the trip:
    Makalu Again
    Getting Acclimated
    High Altitude Pulmonary Edema
    Back to Normal

    The Outdoor Parent Helps Parents Get Outside With Their Kids

    Lost Coast1 "Today, in conjunction with the Dirtbag Diaries, The Outdoor Parent begins in earnest. Our goal: provide stoke. Stoke to get you out of bed before dawn for a long run through the woods or a solid surf session at a favorite break. Stoke to rally the kids out for a weekend of camping beneath dark, starry skies or just around the corner to edges of your local park. We celebrate skinned knees, hand me down jeans..."

    So begins the first post of Dirtbag Diaries creator Fitz Cahall's new effort, The Outdoor Parent. Says Fitz of this new site: "With my work at The Dirtbag Diaries, it became clear to me that there are a lot of parents looking for advice in nurturing . . .

    [Father and son on the hike in to a great campsite along Northern California's Lost Coast. Photo: Craig Wolfrom]

    Continue reading "The Outdoor Parent Helps Parents Get Outside With Their Kids" »

    Makalu 2009: Back to Normal

    Camp 2 on normal route 3

    After last week's scary call it was great to hear a spry sounding Steve House on the voicemail this morning. He recovered well from his bout with HAPE and will be heading up to camp 2 on Makalu's normal route tomorrow. Have a listen and you'll hear about the healing atmosphere of a yak pasture, some observations on the style in which the Indian army recently climbed Makalu and Steve's thoughts on the use of bottled oxygen in mountaineering.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to Steve House – Makalu, May 19, 2009
    (mp3 – 6:38 – right-click to download)

    [View of camp 2 from the normal route. Makalu, October 2008. Photo: Steve House]

    Previous posts from the trip:
    Makalu Again
    Getting Acclimated
    High Altitude Pulmonary Edema

    Update: fixed caption.

    Bike To Work Week Wrap Up

    Floriston Last week's Bike-to-Work celebrations kept our dedicated team of coordinators hopping - volunteers made sure events were supplied and staffed, area business folks presented informational clinics on everything from bike tuning to trip planning and route-finding, and supporting businesses offered prizes designed to spread the word and keep the stoke alive. Employees rallied, too, with daily cycling participation hovering near the 20% mark.

    In Ventura, motivated commuters staged a Critical Mass-style commute from Carpinteria to the home base in Ventura - many riders joining the pack logged well over 20 miles one way to take part in a fun, no-drop community ride culminating in a victorious arrival and delicious Riders Only breakfast. A rugged duo from our Reno Distribution Center helped set the standard for their crew with a foggy and frosty 30-mile ride through the mountains from Truckee, California, earning them a showcase spot on the local news.

    Great weather, good vibes, and motivated people helped make this one of the best Bike to Work Weeks yet, but the new Goose Tracking System made a special contribution. Hit the jump to check out the results:

    [Patagonia Dealer Services rep, Mark Blume is enjoying a definite transportation alternative - his 30 mile ride with fellow Pat. employee Rob Flesher followed a winding course over the river, through the woods, and along a smattering of climbers' trails - all within sight of the busy interstate that stretches clear from California to Pennsylvania.]

    Continue reading "Bike To Work Week Wrap Up" »

    Sacred Craft Surf Expo & Respect the Gaviota Coast Paddle Through Ventura This Weekend

    Coastal Paddle Odyssey day 1We have two stellar happenings to share with you today: the Respect the Gaviota Coast paddle and the Sacred Craft Surfboard Expo.

    Respect the Gaviota Coast
    On May 12th, two surfer activists, Chadd Konig and Nole Cossart, launched their paddleboards into the glassy waters off the Gaviota coast. The pair will be paddling all the way down to Mexico, surfing their alaias along the way, in order to raise awareness for and the pristine Gaviota coast, which is threatened by imminent development. This Saturday, May 15th, Chadd and Nole will paddle up to the Ventura County Fairgrounds for the Sacred Craft Surf Expo.

    [Chadd Konig and Nole Cassert on day one of their paddle from Gaviota to the Mexico border. Photo: Branden Aroyan]

    Sacred Craft Surfboard Expo
    When last we covered the Sacred Craft Consumer Surfboard Expo, the event was held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. This weekend, Sacred Craft comes to Patagonia's backyard, the Ventura County Fairgrounds, for "two days of surfboards, live shaping, demos, seminars, movies, music and good times…but mostly surfboards." Patagonia and Fletcher Chouinard Designs, along with the Malloy Brothers and Jeff Denholm, will be on hand to answer questions about FCD surfboards and Patagonia wetsuits. On Sunday, Gerry Lopez will be signing his book Surf is Where You Find It at the Patagonia booth and he's scheduled for a live shaping demo that afternoon at 12:30 pm. FCD will also be offering board demos at the point on Saturday morning at 7am.

    Continue reading "Sacred Craft Surf Expo & Respect the Gaviota Coast Paddle Through Ventura This Weekend" »

    One Percent for the Planet
    © 2014 Patagonia, Inc.