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    « October 2010 | Main | December 2010 »

    Inside/Outside: Questions for Patagonia’s Retail District Manager Brooks Scott

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    Editor's note: Craig Holloway continues his excellent interview series today with some questions for Patagonia Retail District Manager, Brooks Scott. Craig chose to interview Brooks for his insightful knowledge and passion for retail. Brooks lives in Chicago with his family and oversees the Patagonia Chicago, St. Paul, Washington DC and Atlanta stores.

    Craig – How did you come to work at Patagonia?

    Brooks – I grew up wearing Patagonia clothes and love the company. After college I worked as a chef, but when my wife and I decided to start a family I had to change my lifestyle. I love to fly fish and got a job with Trout & Grouse, a Patagonia dealer. While working there I developed good relationships with some folks at Patagonia. When they opened their first store in the Midwest (Chicago) they hired me as manager.

    Craig – Were you born and raised in the Midwest?

    Brooks – I’m a native Chicagoan and it’s an amazing city. What I really appreciate is the sense of community I feel in the different neighborhoods. There are so many of them, some as small as a few square blocks. My family and I lived in the suburbs, but we missed the city, so we moved back. While we were unpacking our next-door neighbors stopped by with a pie to welcome us to the neighborhood.

    [Brooks shoulders the load during an internship with Conservación Patagónica. Valle Chacabuco, Chile. Photo: Brooks Scott Collection]

    Continue reading "Inside/Outside: Questions for Patagonia’s Retail District Manager Brooks Scott" »

    California: Save the Waves Film Festival this Friday, featuring 180˚ South

    Our friends at Save the Waves Coalition have been busy lately -- World Surfing Reserves and Chile Earthquake/Tsunami Relief are just two issues that come to mind. This Friday, they're going to blow off some steam in San Francisco and you're invited.

    STWFF-Poster-2010Save The Waves Film Festival + 7PM + November 12 + Victoria Theatre + San Francisco

    180˚ SOUTH
    DARK SIDE OF THE LENSE
    TRANSPARENT SEA
    CHASING THE SWELL
    ...and other short films by local surfer activists!

    Live music by My Peoples and Avasa & Matty Love

    Conveniently located at 2961 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

    More info & film festival program here

    Buy tickets

    [Poster art: Mike Houston & Cannonball Press]

    Adrift in the Sage Brush Sea

    Patagonia’s environmental internship program is sending about 20 employees into the field this year to volunteer with nonprofit environmental groups around the world. The company pays employee salaries and benefits for up to a month while they work in D.C., Kenya, Kauai and other locales. Jim Little, an editor in our marketing department, recently spent eight days in the great outdoors with members of the Nevada Wilderness Project (NWP). Here’s his account.

    IMG_7449 Adrift in the Sagebrush Sea

    Loaded to the gunwales with tents and sleeping bags, ice chests stuffed with food and hoppy beverage, in early October we drove north from Reno in a rented Tahoe to spend a week adrift in the Sagebrush Sea. I was tagging along to experience and write about a 4-million acre landscape the Nevada Wilderness Project, Oregon Natural Desert Association and other groups want to connect and protect as a Sage Grouse Conservation Area for the benefit of the threatened game bird and some 30 other sage brush-dependent wildlife.

    As you might imagine, rigorous field study entails great sacrifice: hiking soaring escarpments, witnessing herds of swift-hoofed pronghorn, soaking in soothing thermal pools and taking to the air in a private plane arranged by LightHawk for a two-hour over-flight. It also meant hanging out with bright, well-informed (and highly entertaining) people determined to preserve a massive landscape for the benefit of all.

    Sage grouse – the bird best known for its thunderous wing flapping, comical mating ritual and sage-infused meat – was once so prolific in these parts that when it took wing flocks darkened the sky. Today, its habitat in decline, sage grouse populations in some areas of the Great Basin are leaning toward extinction. The conservation area would restrict cattle grazing, oil and gas development, poorly conceived renewable energy projects (yes, there are some) and off-road vehicle use that jeopardize sage grouse and the other wild animals. Without a protected conservation area, the bird will most certainly end up on the Endangered Species list, which would put a stop to all activities that threaten it, though by more draconian means.

    Continue reading "Adrift in the Sage Brush Sea" »

    Skunked or Scored? Summer Ski-Gear Testing in Chile

    IMG_9902 How do you get to work in morning? Are you stuffed into a sweltering New York subway car? Crammed fender-to-fender along LA’s mind-numbing 405? Either way, our morning commute to work was way more stressful than yours. I promise. We chased the sun across the Inca Lake in Portillo…

    Editor's note: Freelance writer Greg Fitzsimmons shares a story today about summer skiing and Patagonia product testing in Chile.

    I was tagging along with Patagonia Senior Designer Glen Morden, Patagonia Ski Ambassador Robin McElroy, and a few others. Our room in Hotel Portillo was overflowing with Patagonia gear. The closet was stuffed with brightly colored technical pieces and time in between ski sessions was spent writing field reports (or playing soccer against the Chileans that work in Hotel Portillo’s ski shop). All week we were putting the soft goods through their paces, making sure that the soon-to-be-released ski jackets, pants, and layers were up to snuff. The conditions couldn’t have been better for a day of R&D. The air was bitterly cold in the mornings and it would warm up considerably in the afternoon, simulating mid-winter and spring conditions for the gear.

    [Robin M close to the couloir; the conditions not looking as sweet as we thought. Photo: Frank Shine]

    Continue reading "Skunked or Scored? Summer Ski-Gear Testing in Chile" »

    Down and Dirty with Sonnie Trotter

    The-Squamish-Butt-Face1 One of the coolest things about climbing is how everyone can get their fix – whether you climb 5.5 or 5.14, we can all find that same feeling, that same immersion, focus and engagement at our own levels. This summer, Patagonia rock climbing ambassador Sonnie Trotter devoted himself to two, long new routes with very different difficulties. Here, he shares the experiences.

    "This is the last route I put up this summer, I promise," I told Lydia, my girlfriend. I stared into her beautiful eyes and she smiled back as a twig fell out of my hair. She’d been up with me on the first recon of the route. That was enough for her. She has balance.

    “Seriously, baby, the climbing on the Butt Face is gonna be really good.” I said, looking down and scratching dirt out of my ear. “Total classic.”

    She giggled as we both watched a leaf fall from my nappy head and float to the floor.

    Well, I guess I knew I was lying about the “last route” part, because every time I was up there I looked across the South Gully and saw this clean shield of rock: steep, blank, unbelievable positioning…

    [Sonnie and a hoe, taking five while establishing a soon-to-be classic moderate. Photo courtesy of Ben Moon and Sonnie Trotter.]

    Continue reading "Down and Dirty with Sonnie Trotter" »

    Yosemite Dispatches with Ron Kauk: Sacred Rok Summer

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    It’s been a nice summer.  Sacred Rok had four camping trips, two in Yosemite Valley in May and June and two at Tuolumne Meadows in July and August.

    Editor's note: Last December we started a new series, Yosemite Dispatches,with longtime Patagonia ambassador Ron Kauk. In his April dispatch, Ron described a new summer project called Sacred Rok. Today, Ron fills us in on how the summer went and how Sacred Rok affected the young people who visited Yosemite Valley, many for the first time. Stay tuned for more summer stories all this week on The Cleanest Line.

    On our last trip, we had seven teens from Merced County foster care. We camped at Tuolumne Meadows Campground. I got to share, with those from the group who got up early, my ritual of greeting the sun with my campfire. It was good to see Rafael smiling and enjoying the fire and the sunrise, something that he might not forget for a long time.

    [Ron Kauk watches the sun rise on another day in his Tuolumne Meadows camp. All photos courtesy of Sacred Rok]

    Continue reading "Yosemite Dispatches with Ron Kauk: Sacred Rok Summer" »

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