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    Vote the Environment


    From our boss, a note about voting. [Yvon Chouinard. Photo: Bill Klyn]

    My friend Tom Brokaw recently wrote an op-ed about an issue gone missing in this election -- the war, the two wars, we’ve been involved in for the past decade, that so far have taken 5,000 American lives and a trillion dollars out of the treasury. Tom’s call for voters to take a more sober look before casting ballots on Tuesday inspires me to call attention to another issue that goes unheralded in this election, and every election in recent memory.

    The health of our environment never makes it to the top list of voter concerns. But it has everything to do with all the major issues our elected officials face. Everything we make ultimately comes from the ground, or what’s beneath it, or from our common waters. Every job and every economy depends ultimately on the health of the natural world of which we’re a part.

    Continue reading "Vote the Environment" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Tales of Terror

    Tales of terror_logoIn lieu of candy, we're happy to share an equally sweet treat for your Halloween weekend. Fitz Cahall is back with his annual Halloween episode of The Dirtbag Diaries.

    It's that time of year. Leaves line the sidewalks. Darkness tugs at the soul. A cold wind blows. Today, we present Tales of Terror, two stories from the most terrifying moments of our contributor's lives. This year's contest winners reminded me why I love working on the Diaries. Sometimes the stories are serious. Sometimes they're funny. They come from all over the world. Our first story was recorded in the field somewhere in Afghanistan. The second comes from my old stomping ground -- Tahoe. Despite the differences, both stories are the result of passion, imagination and creativity. Today's contributors reached these terrifying moments because they have chosen to live both the width and length of their lives.  Thanks to everyone who participated. We had great submissions this year. Becca and I really appreciate it. Happy Halloween!

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Tales of Terror"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit to hear or download the music from today's podcast.

    Double-shot: We missed posting the last Dirtbag Diaries Short. Here's a quick recap and a link to the podcast: "Can your packing style influence how you experience a new place? After traveling by bike for four months through Africa, Dean understands that what we bring dictates what we take home from our distant travels." Listen to "Packing"


    The Wilderness Conflict in Utah

    Bridger Jack

    Utah is a state of superlatives. Geographically, its borders enclose one of the most scenically spectacular, iconically “western,” ecologically unique, and archaeologically rich landscapes in the United States. Politically, the persuasions of the majority of its citizens make it the reddest state in the Union. The land and politics of Utah stoke fervent passions amongst its citizens that are often at odds with one another. Nowhere else is this more evident than in the fight over wilderness legislation that has been raging for more than four decades.

    Vote_sticker_[2] Editor's note: Midterm elections are fast approaching and Patagonia Salt Lake City employee Anne Kaferle offers her perspective on why it's important to Vote the Environment.

    [Red rocks and moon, Bridger Jack Mesa proposed wilderness. Photo: Anne Kaferle]

    Continue reading "The Wilderness Conflict in Utah" »


    Kc - meadowIMG_2816(LR)

    After the fifth lower I called “off,” grimaced, untied with one hand and walked cautiously to a flat rock. Dammit, I’m getting sick of this. Across the valley El Capitan rose straight skyward and I sat down, surrounded by dirt, pine and granite. Clouds moved, darkening, signing an incoming storm.

    I held my left arm above my head, the only place comfortable or something like comfortable. I did what I could with one hand: removed my rock shoes and pulled on my sneakers. Mikey rapped to the ground, stripped gear from my harness and tied my shoes. The guy is dialed and got us down the DNB from five pitches up in no time flat, and with no added damage to my now damaged shoulder. I thanked him for everything. But I had to piss. With one hand. I gave Mikey a tender look and a wink.

    “What?” He shot back with justified suspicion.

    “Mikey,” I said. “I have to take a leak.”

    “No way, dude,” he said, shaking his head, “I’ll do a lot of things to help an injured partner, but you’re on your own there.”

    [Laying in El Cap meadow after the dislocation. Photo: Kelly Cordes]

    Continue reading "Dislocated" »

    Conservation Photographers Focus on Canada's Sacred Headwaters

    _MG_3587Nacimiento-de-dos-rios We first learned about the work of the International League of Conservation Photographers through their compelling work on behalf of threatened regions in Patagonia. This summer, they've been lending their honed expertise and incomparable imagery to the fight for some of Western Canada's most treasured landscapes. We're pleased to share this story, from National Geographic Explorer and award-winning author, photographer and researcher, Wade Davis, on behalf of Canada's Sacred Headwaters region.

    * * *

    In a rugged knot of mountains, in the remote reaches of northern British Columbia, lies a stunningly beautiful valley known to the first nations as the Sacred Headwaters. There, on the southern edge of the Spatsizi Wilderness – the Serengeti of Canada – are born in remarkably close proximity three of Canada’s most important salmon rivers: the Stikine, Skeena and Nass.

    [A calm lake in the Sacred Headwaters. Photo: Claudio Contreras, courtesy of iLCP]

    Continue reading "Conservation Photographers Focus on Canada's Sacred Headwaters" »

    Product Testing - Getting Soaked on El Cap

    We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our Athletes & 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.

    DCampbell_clouds_lowres Field Report: Climbing El Cap, Yosemite Valley, early October 2010
    Conditions: Kinda like rock climbing, kinda like paddling whitewater.
    Products Tested: Nano Storm, M10 Jacket, R1 Hoody, Rain Shadow Jacket
    Tested By: Dave Campbell, Patagonia Pro Sales

    There’s a saying in China: If you’re ‘one in a million’, then there are more than 1,300 people just like you here. Climbing El Capitan in the 21st century is a similar scenario; during peak season, handfuls of climbers top out on various routes each day. Things have changed greatly since 1965 when TM Herbert and Yvon Chouinard did El Cap’s first ever ground-up first-ascent via the Muir Wall.

    Nevertheless, El Capitan will always be there to offer super-surreal experiences to those who wish to paddle out onto its vast sea of granite. Earlier this month we were caught high on the wall in one of the worst storms I’ve seen roll through Yosemite Valley. Below is a report about how our Patagonia clothing - and spirits - handled the abuse.

    [Caleb enjoying the views from Salathé Wall. Photo:©Dave N. Campbell]

    Continue reading "Product Testing - Getting Soaked on El Cap" »

    What can you buy for eighteen bucks anymore?

    As the election season kicks into high gear, we're urging friends, family, colleagues, and community not to miss their chance to cast their vote. The issues we face are much bigger than political parties or individual candidates, that's why we encourage everyone to get informed and Vote the Environment. - Ed.

    DLBliss1 Eighteen bucks. What does a Jackson (less a couple Washingtons) buy nowadays? Lunch out for two at your local deli, a tank of gas (not really), a week’s worth of lattes at Starbucks . . . You get the picture. Eighteen dollars does not buy much anymore. But what would you say if your $18 would help keep California’s 278 state parks open, clean, and safe . . . and fetch you a free pass for the year to all of them?

    That’s what the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act (affectionately called Prop 21) would do if passed this November. It will provide a stable, reliable, and adequate source of funding to protect state parks and conserve wildlife. Prop 21 will be specifically dedicated to state parks and will allow California vehicles a free day-use admission in exchange for this fee.

    [A couple enjoys the view from DL Bliss State Park's Rubicon Point Trail. Photo: Ron Hunter]


    Continue reading "What can you buy for eighteen bucks anymore?" »

    Fuerza Chile! T-Shirt Benefits Save The Waves Chilean Earthquake Relief


    FCD has partnered with Save The Waves to produce a benefit T-shirt for the Chilean Relief Fund. Five dollars from every tee will go to Save The Waves to help rebuild areas affected by the earthquake. Made of 100% certified organic cotton, this T is recyclable through Patagonia's Common Threads Recycling Program.

    T-shirts are available exclusively through the FCD shop. You can read about Save The Waves' relief efforts here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

    [From Josh Berry, STW Environmental Director: "Save The Waves Chile Team spent several months cleaning this beach after February's tsunami. Last Friday was our final visit, but the work will continue at least through the end of the year." Photo courtesy of Save The Waves Facebook page]

    180° South Tour Schedule Update; Yvon Chouinard to Introduce Oct. 28 Screening in New York


    Those of you living in the New York area have two chances to see 180° South very soon –  this Saturday (10/23) and next Thursday (10/28). The event on Thursday the 28th promises to be extra special as Yvon Chouinard will be in town to introduce the screening which is a benefit for Riverkeeper, New York's clean water advocate.

    This Saturday's event, which is part of Mountainfilm New York, will be no less exciting as Jeff Johnson, Timmy O’Neill, and Rick Ridgeway will all be in attendence. There are also Saturday (10/23) screenings in Colorado and (heads-up U.K. readers) Wales.

    Hit the jump to see the latest 180° South tour schedule.

    Continue reading "180° South Tour Schedule Update; Yvon Chouinard to Introduce Oct. 28 Screening in New York" »

    Fark: New England


    FCD friend DL has been enjoying our wetsuits for some time now. He sent us a couple of photos from a Nor'Easter swell that he scored with his Fark last winter.

    Editor's note: To see the Fark in action, check out the video on page 38 of our Fall 2010 Surf e-Catalog.

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