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    Tracing the Edge - Episode 10 with Krissy Moehl, plus a Look Behind the Scenes

    This is it. Tracing the Edge concludes today with our final episode featuring ultrarunner Krissy Moehl. Kick back and enjoy. You can catch all 10 episodes of Tracing the Edge at or on YouTube via the Tracing the Edge playlist.

    A lot of hard work happens behind the scenes of a series like this. And just like the athletes, who opened up and shared their lives on camera, co-creator Fitz Cahall kindly shared this story about filming a particularly tricky scene with Krissy.

    “Headlamps would have been a good idea,” said Bryan in the darkness. We hugged the tinder-dry pine needle slope to our right and did our best to make light of the 200-foot drop to our left. We were in a gorge, canopied by old growth on the darkest night of the month. It was like being shut in a closet.

    It had been a long time since I’d last forgotten a headlamp. It was a group a decision. Four hours earlier, Bryan Smith, my wife Becca and I stood around the car, bags loaded with the skeleton of a mechanical creature, 1600 feet of rope and two granola bars. We were ready to descend into the Lewis River Gorge in Southwest Washington. We would be 15, maybe 20 minutes tops, away from the car. Do we need a headlamp?

    Continue reading "Tracing the Edge - Episode 10 with Krissy Moehl, plus a Look Behind the Scenes" »

    The 2010 Kids' Catalog Backstory: More About Hiking Lessons


    [The contest becomes official: Essays received from students of Santa Barbara Middle School sit waiting to be read. Photo: Tim Davis] 

    Last January, a half-inch-thick manila envelope was delivered to Patagonia's edit department and that made the contest official. We had 16 essays from students attending Santa Barbara Middle School and now we had to decide which essay – if any – could serve as the field report for 2010 Patagonia Kids' catalog. We had a weak backup plan in case the contest didn't work out, but we basically banked on the idea that the kids could write.

    Continue reading "The 2010 Kids' Catalog Backstory: More About Hiking Lessons " »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Embrace This


    Crank through your week with a new podcast from the Dirtbag Diaries. Show host Fitz Cahall sets the stage:

    I love bikes. I like riding them through the woods. I like working on them. I even like riding bikes on roads, but I've never been a road biker. To me road biking has always seemed a bit like raw oysters.  I take one look at it and I think, "I don't want to try it." Despite their slimy demeanor, I really like oysters. Once I got over their looks, they taste pretty damn good. Maybe road biking would be like that for me. This summer I decided to not only try road biking, I decided to embrace it in all its spandex glory. My climbing could suffer. The mountain bike could collect cobwebs in the garage. Along the way, I discovered the joy of riding through my city.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Embrace This"
    (mp3 - right-click to download - contains some expletives)

    Visit to hear or download the music from today's podcast. Fitz and crew are also holding another Night of the Living Dirtbag Contest. Submit a scary, outdoor-themed story to the Dirtbag Diaries for a chance to win a prize. Submissions are due by October 10th; contest details are on their site.

    [With thanks to Allie. Graphic by Walker Cahall.]

    Just a Five-Minute Run

    Kc - glacier run P1030365(LR) You won’t run again.

    I don’t really set concrete goals. In fact, I find it best to have no goals whatsoever; that way I won’t be disappointed if I don’t reach them.

    Hopefully some hiking by mid-summer, and some easy climbs by fall.

    Seriously, for me the goals are more of a process than an end point. Cliché, I know. But it’s weird how I can have certain ambitions or goals, and once I reach them I’ll allow a moment of satisfaction and enjoy a marg, but mostly I want to move on.

    I want to run again. Even just a little.

    The long grind of recovery. Mental, physical, emotional. Sometimes it’s like the mind games I play with myself in training, when I’m trying to push myself to become better. The little voice that’s always there, sometimes taunting, sometimes encouraging, that helps drive me.

    [Kelly trail running in Glacier National Park, MT. Photo: Cordes collection]

    Continue reading "Just a Five-Minute Run" »

    Farewell to Summer


    Wedge2 Wedge3

    Happy first day of fall everyone. We'll say farewell to summer with some south-swell shots of Keith Malloy dropping into a bomb at the Wedge in Newport Beach. Keith went down to body surf, but was able to get a few on his surfboard before the black ball. There's even some video. For more from Keith, click through our Fall 2010 Online Surf Catalog.

    And while we're on the subject of south swell surf spots, I'm pleased to report that Malibu's Surfrider Beach will be the first official inductee into the World Surfing Reserves. The festivities start at 7am on October 9th with a sunrise paddle out, then a dedication ceremony at 11am and an after-party at 7pm with music by Jon Swift & Friends. You can get the details at Save The Waves' Coalition.

    [Photos: Lauren Coffield]

    Tracing the Edge - Episode 9 with Colin Haley

    Colin Haley used the Cascades as a springboard onto the world's hardest-to-reach summits. The range's fickle weather, arduous approaches and complex glaciers were perfect tests. Summit by summit Haley connected the dots until multi-day outings like Mount Shuksan and Mount Slesse became day trips.

    Stay tuned for the series finale next week. You can catch up on previous episodes at

    [With thanks to Bryan Smith and Fitz Cahall]

    Granite China - Part Three


    We’ve been reporting on Tommy Caldwell and crew’s trip to northern China’s Keketuohai National Geological Park, rumored to be a granite wonderland – but with challenging access (see parts one and two). Well, it turns out, both rumors proved true. But hopefully the latter will fade away with time and good behavior (like getting early parole). It’s always an adventure in so many ways, and, here, we’ve got Tommy’s superb trip report with photos by Corey Rich, Jeremy Collins and Rebecca Caldwell. Enjoy.

    That nervous quaky feeling in my stomach has become quite familiar. Fifty feet run out, standing on nothing but a few sketchy looking pebbles covered in moss, I look down at my feet, then at the rope running freely down the wall to my two climbing partners … who are chatting away seemingly unconcerned. “Why have I sworn off free soloing when I seem to find myself in no-fall situations all the time anyway?” I think to myself.

    I decide to commit to the next move, smear my foot high and start to put weight on it … crackle, crackle. Flakes of moss grind themselves like seeds in a mortar and pestle. I wipe my foot off on my pants, then try it again. Whoosh! A small flake of rock cleaves off the wall and goes flying straight at my belayers. “Rock!” I yell as it goes whizzing by their heads and suddenly they become more attentive. With just six more feet to go I decide to haul up a quarter inch drill bit, hammer, and tiny removable bolt. I sketchily balance myself with one knee against the wall for the ten calf-burning minutes it takes me to drill the tiny hole. Then, with a little more confidence, I climb to the next crack system, which is chocked full of hardened dirt. I dig for another ten minutes until I uncover a tiny place for a RP; that will have to do. I nervously balance myself across tiny knobs to a clean hand crack and hastily put in a belay.

    [Tommy Caldwell showering in moss and lichen on The Divine Bell, Keketuohai National Geological Park, China. Photo: Corey Rich]

    Continue reading "Granite China - Part Three" »

    Conspiracy or Transparency?

    For the past nine weeks I’ve been taking a course in fiction writing. As part of the class, we write short stories and critique each other’s finished works.  The other night we critiqued a classmate’s story about a woman who worked for a corporation that took extreme measures – from forcing employees to sign far-reaching confidentiality agreements to installing cameras on campus – to protect its secrets.

    As with other stories, we eventually got around to discussing the believability of this one. I thought the level of secrecy at the company was a bit overdone (and not intended to be), but my classmates reached an unusual consensus on this point: it was a very realistic portrayal. They agreed that regardless of the size of the corporation or the type of industry, executives spared no expense to keep information from the public, and even from employees.

    The discussion reminded me of this widely held perception. It also reminded me of the purpose of a project I’ve been working on for Patagonia – to increase the transparency of our work.

    Footprint That project – The Footprint Chronicles – puts this notion about corporations and transparency to the test more than any other I’ve worked on. It originated from the belief, citing Socrates’ philosophy on leading an examined life, that we need to continuously learn about ourselves in order to lessen our own footoprint. It also grew from the belief that by sharing what we learned with the public, we would earn customer confidence and inspire other businesses to be more transparent, too.

    Continue reading "Conspiracy or Transparency? " »

    Backyard Voting

    Bill Times Sq wide 2

    The election season has begun (at least according to the media) and here at Patagonia, we’ve revived our Vote the Environment campaign. We especially want to hear from you about what wild environmental issues are roaming through your backyard, neighborhood, or town. Let us know why people in your neck of the woods should “register to vote, know the environmental records of your candidates and vote the environment.”

    You can post your stories here or on Patagonia’s Facebook page. Please keep ‘em short and civil. Here’s one from our friend, Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth and founder of [Bill McKibben speaking at Times Square. Photo: Bill McKibbon Collection]

    My Backyard

    Vermont faces one of the most interesting environmental challenges in the country right now—and it’s a result of one of the most obvious environmental decisions any legislature has made in recent years.

    Continue reading "Backyard Voting" »

    Tracing the Edge - Episode 8 with Gerry and Alex Lopez

    Whether he's on glassy Indonesian waves or fresh Bachelor powder, 61-year-old Gerry Lopez understands the ins and outs of carving. How did the Pipeline master end up landlocked in Oregons high dessert? It's a family thing.

    The next episode of Tracing the Edge revists Colin Haley and will air on September 22. To catch up on the series, visit the playlist on our YouTube channel.

    [With thanks to Bryan Smith and Fitz Cahall.]

    One Percent for the Planet
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