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    « October 2009 | Main | December 2009 »

    Backyard Corridors: What is the largest, wild land animal living in your area?

    Bobcat IMG_0843_2 Thanks to everyone who's shared their Backyard Corridors stories with us so far. We're going big with this week's question.

    What is the largest, wild land animal living in your area?

    Please share your answer, and any stories you may have about that animal, in the comments on our blog, The Cleanest Line, or on Patagonia’s Facebook page. We'd love to hear from you. Here's Pat Cole from New Mexico to get things started.

    Bobcats in the Backyard
    Story and photo by Pat Cole

    We moved from urban Kansas City to the high desert of New Mexico in 2001. Because our house is very near a 44,000 acre ranch surrounded by mountains, we have a lot of wildlife to watch, photograph and enjoy: deer, antelope, fox, coyote and, though we haven’t seen them, even a mountain lion and bear have passed through the neighborhood.

    Continue reading "Backyard Corridors: What is the largest, wild land animal living in your area? " »

    Product Testing - Dressing Right for a Windy Hike

    Whitejones 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: Nano Puff, Merino 1 T-Shirt, Nine Trails Jacket, Simple Guide Pants, Lightweight Travel Tote.
    Activity: Hiking - Jones-White Trail, Carson Range of the Sierra Nevada
    Tested by: Patagonia Customer Service reps OldSchool, Cory E., Andrea W., Dave S., Kevin L., and Megan B.

    Twice a year our happy little work group gets to cut work and take a day to test gear, get a bit of exercise and share some lies. It had been beautiful weather for weeks prior so of course once the appointed day arrived it was howling windy. We had planned to climb Mount Rose but we were overruled by our boss Tammy who was quite worried about being blown off the summit, ripping her Nine Trails Jacket and mussing her hair. The rest of us love being pelted mercilessly by 80 mph winds, but in the name of group harmony we all acquiesced to a somewhat easier (and lower) nine mile hike known as the Jones-Whites Loop. There’s no such thing as a free hike here at Patagonia so all of us were required to fill in our coworkers on just what we chose to wear…Below are some excerpts from these reports:

    First me:

    Merino 1 t Gearing up for any wilderness trip requires the utmost in planning and this trip was no exception. From my vast array of old and new Patagonia stuff, some dating back to the previous century I picked clothing suitable for a summit bid. I went with the Merino 1 T-Shirt, quite possibly the best athletic t I’ve ever worn. It's  light airy, quick drying and incredibly

    [Whites Creek, Mt. Rose Wilderness, Nevada. Photo: Ken Larussa]

    Continue reading "Product Testing - Dressing Right for a Windy Hike" »

    Breakin’ Mama’s China

    By Craig Holloway

    DSC_0397 The Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run through Colorado’s San Juan Mountains starts and finishes in the mountain town of Silverton, and has a total elevation gain of 33,000 feet. I’d met my friend Roch Horton at Grouse Gulch, the 42-mile mark, intending to pace him as far as Ouray. He’d already run the hardest stretch to the highest point (14,048 feet). I filled his water bottle and asked him how he felt.

    “No hail, rain or fog at the top of Handies this year,” he said, “but man it was warm up there. Ready to run, Craig?”

    “Let’s get to work.”

    We hiked up Engineer Pass at a quick pace and at times broke out into a run. At the top, at 12,910 feet, the view to the west of Mount Sneffels and Mendota Peak was a nice reward. When I asked Roch the names of the peaks to the east he didn’t answer – he was already gone. I ran over to the trail’s edge to watch him bombing straight down a long, scary descent into a wide-open valley. I took off with eyes glued to the ground, trying to follow the overgrown trail. Catching a glimpse of a trail marker, then another, I managed to stay on course, and the trail eventually bottomed out. I shifted gears and fell in behind Roch’s long stride. When I caught up, Roch said “Doesn’t that beat any downhill running in Southern California?” Yes, it did.

    [Roch Horton running down into American Basin after a long descent off Handies Peak at the Hardrock 100. San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Photo: Luis Escobar (AllWeDoIsRun.com).]

    Continue reading "Breakin’ Mama’s China" »

    Growing Organic Fibers

    Davis_t_0169 As a founding member of Organic Exchange (OE), a nonprofit dedicated to expanding the production and use of organically grown fibers, Patagonia recently attended their annual conference and board meeting in Seattle. At the meeting, OE members - which include companies like Nike, GAP, Nordstrom, REI, Walmart and Target - decided to broaden their traditional focus on organic cotton “to the emerging field of sustainable textiles, in order to better support both their needs in organic cotton and to help identify other sustainable textile solutions.”

    Given the collective influence of OE members, which represent some 750 billion dollars in retail sales demand, and their ambitious goals (like increasing the amount of land used for farming organic fiber by 50 percent per year), this seemed like a significant change. I wondered if it reflected a greater willingness among businesses to take a more comprehensive look at their footprints, a frustration among businesses with existing solutions to their environmental problems, or something else. So I caught up with Jill Dumain, our Environmental Analysis Director, to find out what she thought.

    Hit the jump to read the full interview.

    Continue reading "Growing Organic Fibers" »

    It’s the Freakin' Weekend

    Rain-drops The rain has come back today, this time it looks as though it might never leave. Dark and dreary. We did however have a relatively nice week in general. Climbing was good all day yesterday, and we had a couple of beauties two days before that.

    [Editor's note: Today's post from Patagonia ambassador Sonnie Trotter originally appeared on his blog on October 25th, 2009. It doesn't look like the weather's changed much in three weeks. Sonnie is currently in Moab doing some product testing with Kelly Cordes and other Patagonia climbing ambassadors. Special thanks to Andrew Burr for the great shots of Sonnie climbing. Rain drops photo by Sonnie Trotter.]

    One of the first places to dry out after a good rain day is the Smoke Bluff area. There are a metric tonne of routes scattered about the park, and hundreds of climbs I still haven’t done, or tried to do, all within a 5 – 10 minute walk from the car. On a cold October day, the Bluff climbs are more like grit, than granite. One of these special lines is called ‘Dog Face’. Rated 5.12b in the book and put up by local legend Perry Beckham in 1989. Crickey that was a long time ago. 20 years now. Respect. The line is situated RIGHT beside the main trail – and I’m talking like 13 inches from the edge of the grass. It’s a striking feature really, a shallow corner, three rusty bolts, with three obvious crimps leading into a blank bulge of nothingness. The guidebook describes it as 5.12b if you’re 8 feet tall. As far as I know, the line is unrepeated, or so that’s the rumor I’ve heard since moving here. It’s hard to say because it was done so long ago and Perry the mullet sporting hardman ‘IS’ in fact 8 feet tall. Plus, when I got on it last Wed, I broke two holds, and spent 15 minutes scrubbing moss from the top 1/4 of the route. There’s no anchor and you need to build one with a few number 2’s.

    Continue reading "It’s the Freakin' Weekend" »

    Miracle Grants Gets Employees Involved in Giving

    Terra Photo Patagonia employees are given a lot of latitude: flexible work schedules, hall passes for surf and snow, no one looking over shoulders making sure we’re working. In essence we’re treated like the big kids we are and trusted to get our work done.

    We’re also invited to help determine which groups receive money through the company’s environmental grants program. Miracle Grants are the most direct method.

    Our Miracle Grants program was initiated three years ago to encourage more employees to get involved in our grant-giving process and become better acquainted with local environmental issues. Presently, only employees at our Ventura headquarters can participate, though the program will likely be expanded next year to include employees at our Reno Distribution Center.

    In September, $40K was divvied up among eight work groups here at headquarters. Members of each group nominated deserving nonprofit environmental organizations (mostly local ones) as possible grant recipients, then made a case for each to their colleagues, either in writing, orally or, as our accounting department did last year, with a bit of theater, margaritas and organic peanut butter (Who knew accounting could be such fun!).

    [Our Creative Services department awarded its $5,000 Miracle Grant to Terra Resources Development, helping to bring healthy drinking water to Bolivian villagers.Photo: Justin Bastien]

    Continue reading "Miracle Grants Gets Employees Involved in Giving" »

    Introducing our First Online-only Catalog - Patagonia Surf Fall 2009

    Patagonia_Surf_e-catalog_F9

    Patagonia's first-ever online-only catalog is up and riding. Filled with stunning photography, videos and interactive product pages, our first foray into paperless page-turning highlights our fall surf line just in time for the swell-generating storms of winter. Check out Patagonia Surf Fall 2009 and let us know what you think.

    Online catalogs aren't completely new to us. About six years ago we offered online replicas of our print catalogs. Unfortunately, we were a little too far in front of the curve and there wasn't enough interest to justify the cost. Now times are different and we're giving it another go.

    The amount of resources it takes to produce paper catalogs has always made us squirm. Online catalogs free us from the creative constraints of print and potentially allow us to reach more readers with less environmental impact, but only with your help. Would you consider sharing the link to this catalog on your social networking platform of choice?

    Share with friends: http://www.patagonia.com/surfcatalog

    Continue reading "Introducing our First Online-only Catalog - Patagonia Surf Fall 2009" »

    The Drifter - Rob Machado Presents his New Surf Film at Patagonia Cardiff this Friday

    [Drifter Trailer from Poor Specimen on Vimeo.]

    Devon Howard and the crew at Patagonia Cardiff have another great evening planned for the shop. Here's Devon with the scoop:

    Hey everyone,

    We are super stoked that Rob Machado will be here at the shop this Friday to hang out, play a few tunes with his friend Jon Swift, then show his new film, directed by Taylor Steele, called The Drifter. Hope to see you there. If you can't make it please forward this to your tweets, peeps and Facebook homies.

    Devon

    Hit the jump for details about the event.

    Continue reading "The Drifter - Rob Machado Presents his New Surf Film at Patagonia Cardiff this Friday" »

    Backyard Corridors: Which wild animals did you see in your area this week?

    Squirrel2 8338 The Backyard Corridors series continues with a new question about the animals roaming in your neck of the woods. Last week you told us about all the animals that live in your area. Now we're curious about the ones that are currently out and about.

    Which wild animals did you see in your area this week?

    Please share your stories in the comments on our blog, The Cleanest Line, or on Patagonia’s Facebook page. We'd love to hear from you. [Photo: Ron Hunter]

    Kim Stroud, an employee we've featured before, has a wonderful story to get you inspired to share.

    Continue reading "Backyard Corridors: Which wild animals did you see in your area this week? " »

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Shorts - Friends In High Places

    The_Shorts_NBBKelly Cordes has invited you to listen to The Dirtbag Diaries with host Fitz Cahall:

    Climber and Diaries contributor Kelly Cordes is what you would call an early adopter. Kelly may live in a shack at 8,000 feet, but the guy is no cretin. He’s had an email account for four years now. He knows how to program a VCR. He’s even considered buying one of those new-fangled Blueberry phones. What can I say? Kelly is a mover and a shaker. The guy’s approach to new technology is as cutting edge as his alpine endeavors, but even seasoned pros have the occasional misstep. Two and a half years ago, Kelly signed up for a Facebook account, promptly forgot the password and found out that negotiating social media can be every bit as difficult as picking a path through gaping crevasses, rotten ice and snow-covered rock. It’s certainly just as time consuming.

    Download "Friends in High Places"
    (mp3 - right-click to download - contains some expletives - music from this episode)

    In between full-length episodes of The Dirtbag Diaries, listeners like you have the chance to narrate your own story on the show -- these are the Shorts. To submit your story for consideration, visit The Dirtbag Diaries and look for the Story Suggestions? link in the sidebar. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes and RSS, or connect with Fitz via Facebook and Twitter.

    One Percent for the Planet
    © 2014 Patagonia, Inc.