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    « April 2010 | Main | June 2010 »

    Why We Support Grassroots Activists

    Oil_above13 Two small grassroots organizations that Patagonia supports have hit the news recently for their work on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

    The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig sank after a fire on April 22. Afterwards, John Amos, a geologist and founder of SkyTruth, went to work. Using the skill he once used as an exploration geologist for oil and gas companies, he analyzed satellite images, radar and photos from airplanes of the spill. Then, Amos challenged  both the government and British Petroleum estimates that 1,000 barrels of oil were gushing daily from the wellhead nearly a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

    Once Amos weighed in, federal officials and BP quickly revised the estimated daily rate to 5,000 barrels.

    Recently, Amos estimated that the leak is now at  25,000 barrels a day. He estimates that the slick contains more than 11.1 million gallons of oil, which would make it the largest oil spill in American history.  

    Skytruthlogo SkyTruth was founded by Amos, who works out of his house in West Virginia. For ten years, he worked for oil and gas companies, analyzing images to find oil fields. Then, he had a change of heart. He told Grist, “Those fascinating images displayed unambiguous signs of human-caused destruction: oil slicks in the oceans, forest reserves being chewed away by logging on all sides, mines causing perpetual pollution of lakes and streams, oil and gas drilling spreading inexorably across vast areas of public land. And I couldn't ignore the fact that I was contributing to this both personally and professionally.

    “Finally, I saw … satellite images of the area around Mount St. Helens taken several years after the eruption. It clearly showed the forested area devastated by the blast. But there was something else, something the public hadn't been shown on the TV news: . . .


    [Oil and oil sheen are seen off an island, top, in the waters of Chandeleur Sound, La., Wednesday, May 5, 2010. Courtesy Sacramento Bee's The Frame. Photo: AP / Eric Gay]

    Continue reading "Why We Support Grassroots Activists" »

    Product Testing - Spring Skiing the Tahoe Rim Trail

    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.
    _____________________________________________

    Rose Knob Product Report  - The outfit: Traverse Pull-Over, Backcountry Guide Pants, Merino 1 Tee, and Ultra Heavyweight Socks
    Activity: Backcountry Ski Traverse - Lake Tahoe Rim Trail
    Tested by: Adam Bradley, Patagonia Mail Order Customer Service

    The Tahoe Rim Trail is a 165 mile trail around Lake Tahoe that  “passes through two states (California and Nevada), six counties, one state park, three National Forests, and three Wilderness areas” along the mountain crests above Lake Tahoe. Skiing the Rim of Lake Tahoe has been a goal of mine since becoming more adept at snow- camping over the last few winters. I altered the official route to minimize exposure to avalanche terrain and shorten the trail in the Carson Pass/ Meiss Meadow area, so my route was approximately 145-150 miles. The elevation of the trail ranges from just under 10,000 ft to 6,400 ft. The scenery was, as expected, stunning and took me through places that are way too brushy to access in summer.

    I like to snow-camp as it keeps my skills sharp and compared to the summer's masses, this time of year offers true solitude. I wanted to do this trip unsupported and without any re-supplies. This meant I set out with all my provisions on my back and had to have the willpower to not purchase anything additional along the way (ed note: the trail crosses 6 highways, giving the non-purist many opportunities for re-supplies).  Food packing and planning would have to be dead-on or I wouldn’t make it the whole way around. Of course this made the pack heavy setting out from Tahoe Meadow, but it was worth it knowing I could just move forward and not be delayed by having to pick things up along the way.

    [Looking south from Rose Knob Peak. photo: Adam Bradley]

    Continue reading "Product Testing - Spring Skiing the Tahoe Rim Trail" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Shorts - Scars

    Shorts_NB_man Happy Mother's Day to all the Patagoniac moms out there. Thank you for all you do. In lieu of organic roses delivered to each of your doorsteps, we present a new Shorts episode of the Dirtbag Diaries for you to enjoy in bed while your offspring prepare your favorite breakfast. Show host Fitz Cahall introduces the podcast, and his wife Becca.

    "There is a wonderment in scars, the remnant of a body able to heal itself," writes Becca Cahall. "I love that my skin has chosen to retain memories that I might otherwise have forgotten." We've all got them. War wounds. Battle scars. We get them from crashing bikes in the woods, surgeon's scalpels and cheese grating falls on granite. If you look back at each scar, each of them tells an incredible story, tales to share around campfires and over beers. The real incredible thing is that we choose to see what we want in our wounds and in others. We look past them to the emotion and memory behind them. They become the physical diary of our lives.

    Audio_graphic_4  Listen to "The Shorts - Scars"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    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.

    Adventure Film Festival Comes to Santiago, Chile

    _DSC0350 Editor's note: Ignacio "Nacho" Morales from Patagonia Chile brings us a recap of the Adventure Film Festival's (AFF) recent screening in Santiago, Chile. After enduring the recent earthquake that hit the region, it's great to hear the store is up and running, and bringing positive events to the people of Santiago. Our thanks go out to Mark Reiner of AFF for his help, and Claudio Vicuña for his photo contributions.

    When people come to an event like Adventure Film Festival for the first time, most are expecting to just get their fix of the raddest action in the mountains, the rocks, the snow, the waves or on wheels. But what happens when on top of such an adrenalin shot, what they see are powerful stories, capable of producing positive changes in ourselves and the world around? After the first wave of surprise and strong emotions, what remains is pure inspiration. And at Patagonia Chile we had the chance to witness it firsthand a couple of weeks ago.

    [Not only the audience went away fully inspired - juicy door prizes were also given away. Photo: Claudio Vicuña]

    Continue reading "Adventure Film Festival Comes to Santiago, Chile" »

    SWIP Trip: Speaking Art to Nothing

    Colossus of roads It wouldn't have been so bad if the dog didn't try to chew the photographer's face off. But that was just the start of it, and besides, how could he have known? All he knew is that there he was, huddled alone in the middle of a Nowhere most folks can't even imagine; a nowhere without many reminders of somewhere. A nowhere chock-full of things like space, shadows, light, and silence, and - at this particular moment - one hell of a springtime snowstorm.

    What this piece of nowhere had was a connection to somewhere and someone in the form of a seldom-used road. It was on this road that the Someone he knew was due to arrive with something he needed badly: food and water. With the full weight of the crushing storm bearing down on him, the snow and ice being driven like a fistful of pulverized glass by the storm's hurricane-force winds, he probably wasn't thinking about someone's dog, or the photographer's face - he was cold as hell and too hungry to think. An hour of expectation in a position of desperation is tough to handle - with one Warmth card left in his deck, Adam stood up, threw on his pack, and played it. He set out at a stiff stride toward the nearest piece of pavement - a solid day's walk away - determined to win back some warmth and get - god willing - close enough to civilization to pick up a signal. One bar was all he needed on his phone to ask, "Where are you?"

    If he'd have been able to make the call, he would have heard about the dog, about the mad scramble to hold the photographer's face together, the rush to the hospital, and maybe the location of his support vehicle. But this day on the SWIP route already felt different. The suspicion was confirmed when, against the odds, a vehicle materialized out of the storm. It had already had the makings of a day Adam would be telling stories about in years to come.

    And this was before he found himself strapped to a wheelchair, hurtling down a dirt road in a van full of drunken Indians.

    [An original Colossus of Roads, somewhere along a forgotten line. Goshute Valley, NV. Photo, Adam Bradley.]

    Continue reading "SWIP Trip: Speaking Art to Nothing" »

    Inaugural Copp-Dash Inspire Award Grant Recipients Announced

    CoppDash Inspire Award 2The Copp-Dash Inspire Award, sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia, announced the first winners of the new climbing grant established in memory of American climbers Jonny Copp and Micah Dash, who were killed in an avalanche in China in May 2009 along with filmmaker Wade Johnson. In addition to providing financial support to perspective expedition teams, the goal of the Copp-Dash Inspire Award is to provide mentoring before and after the expedition to help the climbers bring back inspiring multimedia stories of their adventures.

    Continue reading "Inaugural Copp-Dash Inspire Award Grant Recipients Announced" »

    Spring 2010 Online Surf Catalog Now Live; Chance to Win Patagonia Wetsuit Inside

    050310_F1_Surf_e-catalog_S10

    Our new online Surf Catalog is a rallying call on behalf of threatened surf breaks around the world. It's packed full of stunning images, compelling videos, the best surf gear available and action alerts from our friends at Save The Waves Coalition. Give it a look and share with your friends – it's time for all surfers to come together and protect our precious surf breaks.


    Sign up for FCD Surfboard emails inside the online Surf Catalog and you'll be entered to win a Patagonia Wetsuit. Click "Join Our Mailing List" to enter (lower-right corner). Existing Patagonia email subscribers must sign-up in order to be entered. *No purchase necessary; see official rules at Patagonia.com.

    Our thanks go out to everyone who contributed to this issue. We hope you like it.

    One Percent for the Planet
    © 2014 Patagonia, Inc.