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    « July 2009 | Main | September 2009 »

    New Tin Shed is Live - 14 Fresh Stories to Fuel Your Stoke

    Patagonia's Tin Shed

    Friends, the new Tin Shed is now live. Within its walls you'll find 14 inspiring stories from around the globe covering alpine climbing, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, environmental activism and cultural connections. Go bouldering with Lynn Hill and surfing with Wayne Lynch and the Malloys, hear Steve House's  thoughts on climbing partners, go fly fishing with Tom Brokaw, explore the deserts of Namibia, travel to Patagonia -- all of these stories and more are waiting inside.

    Step into the Tin Shed

    Tip: clear the cache on your browser if you don't see the new content right away.

    A new Tin Shed means the old stories have been moved to the archive. You can click View All Stories within the Shed to see all the past-season content, or, hit the jump for a YouTube playlist that contains most of the videos from the spring '09 issue of the Shed.

    Continue reading "New Tin Shed is Live - 14 Fresh Stories to Fuel Your Stoke" »

    Skiing Pico de Orizaba

    Many of the crew here at Patagonia del norte (aka, Reno Distribution Center) scattered to the hills this weekend for some summertime fun, only to be served up a reminder that summer's coming to an end. Sure, there's another month+ of clear skies and warm weather, but two cold storms in the month of August are enough to get some of us 'round here started on thoughts of wintertime fun. And what better way to ease the seasonal transition than with a little adventure that delivers a taste of both. Today's post comes to us courtesy of Cleanest Line reader, Ryan Lynch. Ryan's a climber and skier who lives in Jackson, WY and works on a "hotshot" crew, fighting wildfires. During his time off last year he headed south with fellow skier/climber/hotshot, Matt Castellon, to do a little skiing off of North America's third-highest summit. Here's Ryan:
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    PicoOrizaba Not many people go to Mexico for the skiing, but that is exactly what we did on a month long rock-climbing and skiing road trip south of the border. The main objective for the trip was to climb and ski off the top of the 18,490 ft. volcano, Pico de Orizaba. Along the way we were able to stop and check out many of Mexico’s lesser known sport climbing areas. My partner on this adventure was Matt Castellon, who, like me, is a wildland firefighter just off of his first year as a McCall, Idaho, smoke jumper.

    Pico de Orizaba is a dormant volcano located southwest of Mexico City and just 68 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Orizaba, also known as Citlaltépetl by the Mexican people, is part of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range and reaches a height of 18,490 ft. (5,636 m), making it the third highest peak in North America. The first known ascent of the peak was completed by a group of Europeans during a botanical expedition on August 22, 1838. Members of this expedition included Henri Galeotti, Augusto B. Ghiesbreght, Jean-Jules Linden, and Nicolas Funck. This group ascended the peak by way of the Jamapa Glacier, which is on the north face, and is now known as the “normal route.”

    [Pico de Orizaba. Photo: Ryan Lynch]

    Continue reading "Skiing Pico de Orizaba" »

    Summer Reading: "Beyond the Mountain" by Steve House, plus Book Tour Dates

    Beyond_the_Mountain_cover "22,000 feet on the Rupal Face, Nanga Parbat, Pakistan: August 15, 2004. I take a deep breath and push the honed edge of the knife against the rope. It doesn't cut. I whetted the edge for just this reason. Frustrated, I look at the small knife in the palm of my mitten. I have carried this knife upwards for four days, on a climb where every ounce counts both towards and against my own survival. The rope is sacred, both a symbol and the truest expression of partnership, but if I can cut it Bruce and I can rid ourselves of four pounds and climb to the summit."

    And with that Steve House begins his new book, Beyond the Mountain, the latest title from Patagonia Books. In the foreward, Reinhold Messner says, "[Steve] is at the top of mountaineering. He climbs the right routes on the right mountains in a time when everyone is climbing Everest. He is also a great storyteller: he tells about doing, not about morals or lessons." Beyond the Mountain is available now from Patagonia.com and other online booksellers.

    Steve will soon be embarking on a 20-city book tour to promote Beyond the Mountain with readings, signings and slide shows. Details are still being solidified but we can share dates and times for the first seven stops. Hit the jump to see when and where you can share an evening with celebrated alpinist Steve House.

    Continue reading "Summer Reading: "Beyond the Mountain" by Steve House, plus Book Tour Dates" »

    My Footprint series - Learning by Osmosis

    Series intro: The “My Footprint” series shares the stories of Patagonia friends and employees who have been inspired by The Footprint 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.
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    My wife and I turned a blind eye for a long time to the rainbows swirling in our coffee mugs as we sipped in the morning light. They looked kinda cool, but we knew their cause was probably not. We could see a film on top of the water that reminded me of the gutter puddles my sister and I used to stomp in when it rained where we grew up in Los Angeles. The water also had a slightly funky taste and silky texture, regardless of whether it ran through a Britta filter.

    For a couple years we shrugged it off, telling ourselves it was probably from the hard water in the area. Articles in the local Ventura County Star suggested the area’s water quality was okay, despite an occasional “musty or earthy taste and smell” from the seasonal migration of algae in the reservoir. I surely appreciate the rhythms of nature, and even a bit of earth and must in my cuisine, but it was more difficult to brush aside our doubts about the pipes in the early 20th century house we were renting, complete with built-in ironing board and dumbwaiter in the kitchen, and our kind-but-parsimonious landlord.

    Continue reading "My Footprint series - Learning by Osmosis" »

    Summer Reading: "My Favorite Place on Earth"

    Cover In a new book from National Geographic called My Favorite Place on Earth, Yvon Chouinard talks about Wyoming’s Wind River Range, where he started climbing at age 18. For the book, award-winning writer Jerry Camarillo Dunn rounded up 75 remarkable people – ranging from the Dalai Lama to Jack Johnson to Jane Goodall – and asked them a simple question: What place do you love most in the world?

    Jerry was kind enough to share Yvon's section from the book which gives a good idea of what you can expect from the rest of the polled personalities.

    Yvon Chouinard
    Wind River Range, Wyoming

    I’m not the kind of traveler who only goes and looks at stuff. I go places to do something. I’m there to fish or climb or kayak. And one of my favorite places is the Wind River Range, where I started climbing when I was 18.

    I grew up in Burbank, California, where I learned to hunt with hawks and falcons. An adult in our little falconry club was a climber who taught us to rappel down the cliffs to the falcon aeries. In 1956, we all decided to meet up in Wyoming – I drove out by myself in my old car – to go into the Wind Rivers together to climb Gannett Peak, the highest one there. That was my first mountain climb.

    Continue reading "Summer Reading: "My Favorite Place on Earth"" »

    Product Testing - Paddling and Camping in the New Nano

    Mary 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.  

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    Product Report: Nano Puff, Wool 2 T-shirt, Capilene 1, Gi II Pants

    Activity: Paddling and camping in the Colorado Rockies 

    Nano Tested by: Peter H., Patagonia Customer Service and resident gear tech-spert

    I went on a trip with Mary out to the Salida/ Buena Vista area last week for some kayaking fun and a chance to breath before the August sale. Weather was low 50s to mid 70's so really a great temp but we did have rain and thunderstorms most days. Not ideal weather maybe but great for product testing.

    I took a few items, some old and some new to play with and test. The most useful pieces I had were an old Supercell/ Rainshadow Jacket, and the new Nano Puff. The Supercell is  

    Continue reading "Product Testing - Paddling and Camping in the New Nano" »

    The Great Jonny Copp

    New Picture (10) It's been a little over two months since we lost our dear friend Jonny Copp and needless to say the healing continues. Pete Takeda, a close friend and climbing partner of Jonny's -- and the author of An Eye at the Top of the World which recounts their attempt on Nanda Devi -- sent in the following story and photos. Pete was one of the six members of the American team that went over to China and recovered Jonny and Wade's bodies from the avalanche debris on Mount Edgar.

    [Recovery team (L to R): Nick Martino, Steve Su, Eric DeCaria and Pete Takeda. All photos courtesy of Pete Takeda]

    Jonny was a friend to more people than I'll meet in a lifetime. He's dead now. He and I faced death together before and based on that alone I'd say we were brothers-in-arms. But we were also climbers to the core. We'd paid our dues and made others suffer for our passion. We'd said farewell to girlfriends, been dumped by girlfriends, passed on career jobs, and cobbled together a living based on a mix of photography, writing, and weird one-off jobs to supplement the odd (and well-below poverty line) sponsorship check.

    For a while I lived with Jonny in a condo out of which we worked. That time was a short chapter in our lives, but to me, it was as memorable and vivid as any era I ever experienced. A year earlier we'd had a near death adventure in the Indian Himalayas -- buried in multiple avalanches in a crevasse with Chuck Bird and Sarah Thompson. I wrote about the experience in a book called An Eye at the Top of the World. Jonny's pictures illustrated the book.

    Continue reading "The Great Jonny Copp" »

    National Parks, Corridors and Climate Change: A New Report

    Wolf The National Parks Conservation Association has released a 54-page report titled "Climate Change and National Park Wildlife: A survival guide for a warming world."

    The report stresses the importance of creating wildlife corridors within and between parks, as "climate change will cause some wildlife to move outside the parks' protected boundaries, while other species may move in. Because national parks, like all protected areas, are interconnected with surrounding landscapes, cooperation and coordination among all landowners - public and private - is essential to preserve functioning ecosystems and the wildlife they support."

    "National parks can play a key role in conserving wildlife across the landscape," the report states. "In some cases they provide natural corridors; in other cases new corridors will be needed to connect parks and other protected lands so that wildlife can move in response to climate change."

    [Photo: Joel Sartore - www.joelsartore.com]

    Continue reading "National Parks, Corridors and Climate Change: A New Report " »

    Photos from the DIY Alaia Class at Patagonia Cardiff

    IMG_1535 Last week we mentioned an alaia shaping class at Patagonia Cardiff. Store manager Devon Howard sent some photos from the event and a brief recap for those of us who couldn't make the trek down south.
    Thanks to Cyrus Sutton of Korduroy.tv for getting us stoked on providing free alaia shaping classes with Jon Wegener -- who did a fantastic job of teaching our customers how to make their own boards.

    We hosted four free classes on our patio with an average of 35 students per class. Jon shared some tips on how to make your alaia surfboard with his special paulownia wood blanks that are available for sale here. The front row was getting dusted from the planer so during the later shows it was empty with people standing back as far as they could. Like getting sprayed by Shamu.

    Make the jump for more photos and a trailer for Cyrus Sutton's new movie Tom's Creation Plantation.

    [Jon Wegener checks his work during one of the four shaping classes he held last weekend. All photos courtesy of Devon Howard and Patagonia Cardiff.]

    Continue reading "Photos from the DIY Alaia Class at Patagonia Cardiff" »

    Oceans as Wilderness: Go See "The Cove"



    [Trailer courtesy of The Cove and Take Part]

    Early reviews from folks around the company are in: go see The Cove. The movie – winner of the Sundance Film Festival's 2009 Audience Award for U.S. Documentary – is playing now in select theaters across the country and coming soon to others. Check your local listings or visit the movie's Web site to find out where you can see The Cove.

    The majority of the world is not aware this is happening. The Taiji cove is blocked off from the public. Cameras are not allowed inside and the media does not cover the story. It's critical that we get the word out. The dolphin drives begin again on September 1. Visit www.takepart.com/thecove to find out what you can do. Additionally, you can help spread the word by becoming a fan of The Cove on Facebook and Twitter.

    Hit the jump for Q & A with former dolphin trainer turned activist Ric O'Barry and the film's director Louie Psihoyos, courtesy of The Cove.

    Continue reading "Oceans as Wilderness: Go See "The Cove"" »

    One Percent for the Planet
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