The Cleanest Line

Weblog for the employees, friends and customers of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Visit to see what we do.

RSS Feed




    « November 2009 | Main | January 2010 »

    Holiday Music for The Rest of Us

    Treeside I grew up in a family that didn't ski, so it never occurred to me 'til I moved out West that Bing Crosby might have been a total powder hound. Why else would he have been " . . . dreeeaming of a whiiiite chrISTmas . . ."? It can't be because he likes shoveling. And while my mom simply rolled her eyes when I voiced that idle speculation, a recent article lends token support to the theory.

    Whether Bing shredded the gnar or not, he lays claim to recording one of the first holiday songs to speak to the hearts of all those who find themselves in love with the Big Outside, and who love it just a little more around this time of year. Many have contributed to that tradition - knowingly or not - and Cleanest Line fan and contributor Don Darue compiles these tasty holiday music morsels into one of our favorite treats of the season. He's riding his sleigh across the airwaves again with another batch of fine X-mas music for folks who tire easily of the standard fare. Cowpokes, flats fishermen, powder hounds and garden-variety outdoor junkies join hands for a big ol' holiday singalong with the Risky Biscuit Hayseed Hoot's "Treeside Hoot." 

    So Merry Christmas Cleanest Line readers! Settle in by the fire, stack up the logs, and stir up the nog - it's time to relax and enjoy some music, Western style. Click the link, and enjoy a heaping helping of musical goodness served up just for you: Treeside Hoot. Hit the jump for a complete playlist of this year's show.

    Continue reading "Holiday Music for The Rest of Us" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Shorts - Forty Miles A Poem

    The_Shorts_NBB Before you start that next batch of cookies, throw on today's Short and listen joyfully while visions of riding dance in your head. Happy holidays from Fitz Cahall and The Dirtbag Diaries.

    Whether you swing a hammer or hammer on the keyboard, we all find ways to stay sane during the workweek. Maybe it’s a particularly good post-work bouldering session or an hour of yoga, which has been the case for me lately. When Scott Harvey’s poem “40 Miles of Inspiration” showed up in my Inbox, it was a like a breath of fresh air. It’s hard not to smile at this refreshing cure for the mid-week blues. Farm dogs. Wayward bats. Coyotes. All in a day’s commute.

    Download "Forty Miles A Poem"
    (mp3 - right-click to download - music credits)

    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.


    Patagonia Japan Employees Team Up to Defend the Dugong

    Patagonia members, Sho, Hiroyo, Toshimi, Yoko and Tetsu(from left to right) Today's post comes from Yoko Okuya, of Patagonia Japan's Marketing Department. Together with four of her colleagues from a variety of locations throughout Japan, Yoko and her team are taking an innovative approach to Patagonia's Environmental Internship Program by participating in a series of habitat surveys stretching from June 2009 through March of 2010. Their work is focused on the preservation of the radically imperiled population of Okinawa dugong (Dugong dugon).

    In 2009, five Patagonia Japan employees all based in different departments created a team that has been participating in the company’s Internship Program through the Association to Protect the Northernmost Dugong. Patagonia Japan has sent individuals through the Internship Program in the past, however, this was the first time that a group participation was approved. The volunteer work that Tetsu Watanabe of Shibuya store, Sho Fukaya of Kanda store, Hiroyo Sakuba of Osaka store, Toshimi Nasu of Kobe store and Yoko Okuya from the Marketing Department had continued from 2008 individually to this single Association based on their own personal interests eventually led to the company providing support for their group internship.

    [Patagonia members (from left to right): Sho, Hiroyo, Toshimi, Yoko and Tetsu. All photos courtesy of Yoko Okuya.]

    Continue reading "Patagonia Japan Employees Team Up to Defend the Dugong" »

    PSA - Free 2-Day Shipping with $100 Order Ends Tomorrow


    Ready to put the finishing touches on your holiday shopping? Our last Patagonia Shipping Announcement of the year reminds you that free 2-day shipping is available through tomorrow (12/22/09).* Because of the UPS pick-up deadlines however, you must place your order by 11 a.m. PST on 12/22 if you want any gifts to arrive by December 24th. There are plenty of last-minute gifts to be found in Holiday Favorites. Spend $100 or more and get free 2-day shipping by selecting 2-Day Delivery at checkout.

    Next-day delivery will be available on Wednesday (12/23), but again, you must place your order by 11 a.m. PST if you want any gifts to arrive by December 24th. Our handy chart breaks it all down. Cheers!


    Yosemite Dispatches with Ron Kauk: The Next Hold

    image from

    At the age of 14, Patagonia ambassador Ron Kauk left for a 20-day backpacking trip through the Sierra with a high school group and the hook that would tie him to large, expansive spaces was set. After that trip, he didn't want to ride bikes with the other teenagers. He wanted to rappel. He traveled to Yosemite in 1972, signed up for a rock climbing class and has been living there ever since.

    Ron has been pushing the limits of free climbing worldwide for three decades: from the first ascent of Astroman and Midnight Lightning in the late '70s to the first 5.14 in the Valley in the '90s. Focused and passionate, he is a minimalist, well-grounded in all aspects of the rock. And when he's not climbing, Ron works to protect Yosemite from over-development and abuse.

    "It's important to me to inspire people to get out in nature," he says. "I like to question: What's influencing them? What will get them out there? That's what I'm interested in."

    Today we bring you the first in a series of audio dispatches from Ron and his home in the Yosemite Valley. Some of you may already be following Yosemite Bob on Twitter. Now we have another voice in the Valley and another way to keep the magic of Yosemite a little closer to our hearts and our daily lives.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "The Next Hold" (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Music: "Big Sur A.M." by Sus Corez

    For more from Ron, check out his DVD Return to Balance: A Climber's Journey available through the Ansel Adams Gallery.

    Tear Gas For Breakfast

    By Ethan Stewart


    You met them first on the Obama Express. Now, Santa Barbara Independent reporter Ethan Stewart and freelance photographer Kodiak Greenwood are in Copenhagen to cover the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change. This morning the boys -- who've dubbed themselves "Operation Copenhagen" -- awoke to violence in the street and tear gas in the air.

    Before we even had a chance to find our morning cups of coffee, Kodiak and I were breathing tear gas for breakfast at the COP15. An organized march called the "Push for Climate Change" took a radical turn this morning outside the Bella Center as protesters and police clashed. More than 250 people have already been arrested in the several hours long stand-off while other, smaller, confrontations have broken out in the city's center. For a complete report on the unfortunate and violent developments at the United Nation's Climate Change Conference check back soon at

    [Above: Images like this were par for the course before lunch today in Copenhagen. Photo: Kodiak Greenwood]

    Continue reading "Tear Gas For Breakfast" »

    Just Visiting

    IMG_0684 We don’t keep a formal visitor log here at Patagonia headquarters in Ventura; we don’t keep a formal anything. But we do see a steady stream of students interested in sustainable business practices, journalists who come to cover various aspects of the company, environmentalists promoting their issues, and athletes visiting friends and giving their input on our technical clothing and gear designs.

    In recent months, we’ve also seen visitors from Wal-Mart intent on greening their company. We got a drive by from Tesla Motors, complete with test rides in their new fully electric roadster. And just the other day we were treated to a beer tasting by one of our corporate customers and favorite brewers, Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales.

    Over the years, we’ve received visits from many amazing people from all walks of life who’ve come to Patagonia for lots of different reasons. We’ve seen and heard authors, activists, athletes, scientists, politicos, and futurists, among others. Below you’ll find the names of some of the people we’ve been fortunate to spend time with – some we invited, some who just dropped by to say hello.

    Hit the jump for a partial list of some notable visitors, and links to find out more about their work.

    [A couple of guys from Sweetgrass Productions dropped by in early December to promote “Signatures,” their new backcountry ski film. Photo: Jim Little]

    Continue reading "Just Visiting" »

    Backyard Corridors: What obstructs animal movement in your neighborhood?

    DSCN8281 When we talk about Freedom to Roam it's impossible to make an argument for wildlife corridors without mentioning the obstacles that block an animal's ability to go where it has to go in order to survive. The obstructions we often cite include housing sprawl, energy and resource extraction, population growth, expanding urban areas, and highways and freeways – pretty large scale stuff. On the Backyard Corridor level however there are a myriad of smaller obstacles that must be taken into account as well. Hence, this week's question:

    What obstructs animal movement in your neighborhood?

    Please share your observations in the comments on our blog, The Cleanest Line, or on Patagonia’s Facebook page. Unfortunately, the stories about these obstacles typically aren't pretty, as Martha Sherrill illustrates below. [Wildlife corridor sign in Central Park, New York. Photo: Tom Skeele] 

    Turtle Blues
    by Martha Sherrill

    I’m not sure when the turtle discovered our vernal pond. One day I noticed his head sticking out of the water – slim, pointy, a completely different shape from all the frogs’ broad heads.

    He panicked easily, was shyer than the frogs. For a month or two, he spent his days basking in the sun on a mud island in the middle of the pond. He was yards away, protected by water, but if I moved toward the pond’s edge, he plunged in with a loud splash. Ker-plunk. I began watching him through binoculars from the kitchen window instead.

    Continue reading "Backyard Corridors: What obstructs animal movement in your neighborhood?" »

    Out in the Woods

    PMD road work09 It's easy to think the life of a sponsored athlete is one full of jet-set luxury and hedonistic indulgence. But we try to do things a little differently here, and our athletes are no exception. There's a reason we call them "ambassadors," after all. Yes, we look to them for insights on how to improve our designs, but we're also interested in working with committed environmental advocates with a passion that's inspired - not limited - by their chosen sport. 

    There's no doubt Patagonia Skiing Ambassador Lorenzo Worster was feeling fired up about his job while on location for the latest video (Signatures)  from Sweetgrass Productions. Skiing's not his only job, though. In today's post, Lorenzo makes it clear that he holds just as much enthusiasm for his work as an environmental restoration specialist as he does for deep Hokkaido powder.

    Out in the woods we are pulling off the coolest job I’ve ever worked on. We are restoring a road system and removing an old dilapidated shack, all with a super tight budget and an even tighter time-line. We are 5 miles out on a four-wheel-drive road in the woods near the headwaters of the Yuba River. The area is beautiful - granite domes jut out of lush meadows hazed with wildflowers and giant cedar trees loom over adjacent stands of Lodgepole and Jeffrey pines. To restore the area, we needed to first destroy the road. Ripping up the road and tearing down the dilapidated shack I couldn’t help smiling and thinking, “I can’t believe this is what I get paid to do.”

    Pierce Meadows was bought from a private land owner by the Truckee Donner Land Trust and handed over to the Forest Service for management. Not only is the area an important buffer zone to the proposed Grouse Ridge Wilderness Area, but it also helps cleanse runoff of sediment before it enters the South Yuba River, a federally designated Wild and Scenic River. Before the sale of the parcel it was important to the land owner to decommission several . . .

    [Constructive destruction - the team at Integrated Environmental Restoration Services erases a road near Pierce Meadows in the Tahoe National Forest, and with it, a chance to do further damage to the area through erosion and illegal OHV use. The above photo was taken mid-way through the restoration process. Before-and-after photos of the area are after the jump. All photos: Lorenzo Worster]

    Continue reading "Out in the Woods" »

    PSA – Free Ground Shipping with $100 Order now through 12/14/09


    This Patagonia Shipping Announcement is brought to you by the holiday shopping season. Every $100 order placed on or before 12/14/09 gets free ground shipping,* and that makes now a great time to tick your gift list.

    Looking for a place to start? Try our Holiday Favorites collection or the discounted gear in Web Specials. Or, hit the jump to see six gift-guide recommendations from some top magazines and Web sites.

    Continue reading "PSA – Free Ground Shipping with $100 Order now through 12/14/09" »

    One Percent for the Planet
    © 2014 Patagonia, Inc.