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    Chances are you went somewhere fun over the long weekend and took a bunch of photos with your digital camera. Today, our friend and product tester, Trevor Gordon, shares a seemingly rare treat: travel photographs shot on film. 


    There is a beauty to the unpredictable. Whenever I go on a trip I won't let my trustworthy (or not so trustworthy) 35mm film camera leave my hip. The following is a collection of crusty photographs from a recent journey to Canada's Vancouver Island in search of its beautifully unpredictable surf.

    Above: Taken from our tree-house cabin right before the salt and sand claimed the camera for its own, merely a few days into the trip. All photos and captions: Trevor Gordon



    Hitching a ride to the surf with Tofino local Peter Devries.

    Continue reading "Unpredictable" »

    Memorial Day Marg Recipe

    by Kelly Cordes

    Steve h -- kelly black I like the idea of dancing skeletons. They seem happy and free. I like dancing, too, though I don’t do it much, at least not in public (be grateful; I just do the same disco moves over and over again while sporting my whiteman’s overbite). But I love the idea – movement for the joy of movement and expression. Kind of like climbing, in a way. Probably just as absurd, too. Imagine Martians coming down and watching people dance. Or watching people climb. And skeletons, well, let’s be realistic. All of us die. In climbing and any adventurous realms of living, we might die sooner than otherwise. No guarantees, of course.

    [Kelly looking into the awesome Black Canyon. Photo: Steve Halvorson]

    The Memorial Day weekend and the label art on a tequila bottle inspired these babbles (and a margarita recipe, of course). Which also leads me to apologize: I’ve received some flak for not giving kids’ versions of my margarita recipes, and for that I am truly sorry. Thus, in today’s post I shall include my well-researched kiddie version. I even asked my sister about it – right now I’m hanging with her and her adorable 18-month-old daughter, Fia, who’s fascinated by everything in her vast little world, so soon I’ll have her sample it.

    Continue reading "Memorial Day Marg Recipe" »

    Makalu 2011: Safe, Healthy and Heading Home

    Makalu_trekking_2009 Sitting on a warm piece of granite in front of a crystal-clear stream, Steve House called this morning on his way out from Makalu towards Kathmandu. The news you'll hear is both positive and somber. Everyone Steve traveled and climbed with are all safe and healthy. Unfortunately, he and Marko were asked to assist another party in which a Swiss climber died on the mountain.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to Steve House - Makalu Call 3 - May 27, 2011
    (9:08 – right-click to download MP3)

    Stay tuned for some photos from this trip and a final report from Steve. Thanks for listening.

    Previous posts from this trip:
    Makalu 2011
    Sweet and Sour

    [The seventh day of trekking, along the Barun River (2009). Photo: © Steve House]

    Skiing Patagonia, Saving Patagonia - Chile needs energy, but is damming its wildest rivers a price worth paying?


    It was ten years ago when we first pedaled over an obscure pass alongside South America's second largest lake and caught our first glimpse of Chilean Patagonia's wild and wonderful Rio Baker (Baker River) watershed. Never before had we encountered such a vast and ecologically diverse corner of the planet - and our physical and emotional reaction to the power and beauty before us is something we will never forget. We dropped our bikes and spent the good part of an hour treating our senses to this wild place.

    Editor's note: This issue of damming rivers in Chilean Patagonia might seem like a hot new topic, but it's been on the radar for years now. Vermont photographers Brian Mohr and Emily Johnson have visited the Rio Baker Valley three times: first in 2000 on bikes, then in 2004 and 2006, on skis and foot, when they heard about a proposal to dam the Rio Baker. Today, Brian and Emily look back on those trips and their significance in light of the recent decision to proceed with the dams.

    To the west stood the towering peaks of the Northern Patagonia Ice Sheet, which hovered over the glaciers and temperate rainforests beneath them. Rain and snow melt poured into countless streams and rivers, eventually joining forces with the mighty Baker - Chile's most voluminous river - on its way to the Pacific. To the south and east were the countless high mountains and deep valleys defining the drier side of the watershed - a region characterized by the small farms of Patagon families, vast regions of unexplored high country and the high-desert environs of the Argentine border. This area is also the home of the future Patagonia National Park.

    Continue reading "Skiing Patagonia, Saving Patagonia - Chile needs energy, but is damming its wildest rivers a price worth paying?" »

    On the Road with Solitaire, Episode 4 - Low Tide

    "When you land in a freeride mecca and things are neither free, nor rideable, what’s a guy to do? It was time to make lemons into lemonade."

    The fourth in a series of posts from Nick Waggoner and the crew at Sweetgrass Productions. They're currently hard at work on their third movie, Solitaire. Cleanest Line readers are invited to join them on their journey to produce their most ambitious film to date. Part Four of this behind-the-scenes series turns an honest lens on the all-too-grim reality that a ski movie is hard to make when the weather doesn't cooperate - and all your shots are earned with lungs and legs. Look for monthly updates here on TCL shortly after they appear on the Sweetgrass website, scheduled for the 21st of each month . - Ed

    [On the Road with Solitaire Episode IV: Low Tide from Sweetgrass Productions on Vimeo.]

    Episode IV: Low Tide: The Sweetgrass family lands in Las Lenas, Argentina, for several weeks of fending off women, beef, and various strains of the common cold in hopes of actually making some turns on snow.

    As the crew puts it, "if you actually indulged the Las Lenas lifestyle to the fullest, you’ll end up a burnt cigarette of a human being, sweating beef and begging for the days when legos were all you needed to have a good time."

    Dirtbag Diaries: Live from 5Point Volume 1

    Live_from_5_point_logo_small Not long ago, Kelly Cordes gave "Five Stars for 5-Point Film Festival." Today, Fitz Cahall and The Dirtbag Diaires share a very special event from the festival.

    For years, Becca and I have wanted to create a live performance of The Dirtbag Diaries. But with little extra time and money, the idea sat, waiting for its moment. When 5Point Film Festival gurus Julie Kennedy and Beda Calhoun approached me earlier this year about creating a onstage storytelling hour at the festival, I immediately said yes. We interviewed filmmakers and people who were in films featured at 5Point and let the conversation flow as though we were sitting on the truck tailgate. Today we present two of these stories. An old soul living in a 22 year-old's body who set out to change his own life and has started a movement in his community. And an angler, who gave away a secret in order to protect a place. The audience has settled in their seats and we're set-up to record. Baybe Champ and Frank Smetherhurst join us on stage. Welcome to the 5Point Film Festival.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Live from 5Point Volume 1"
    (35:27 - right-click to download MP3)


    [Baybe Champ and Fitz Cahall talk during the making of this episode. Steve's Guitars, Carbondale, Colorado. Photo: Rob BonDurant]

    Visit for links to the films and music from "Live from 5Point Volume 1" or to download past episodes from the podcast. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes and RSS, or connect with like-minded listeners on Facebook and Twitter.

    Stew-Pot Protest at Patagonia Headquarters for a Patagonia Without Dams - Take Action Today [Updated]


    We came armed with double boilers, frying pans and casserole pots. Banging on cookware in noisy opposition to the proposed construction of five mega-dams in Chile’s wild Aysén region, about 500 employees from Patagonia’s worldwide operations joined the wave of worldwide protests against the proposed industrialization of a wild and irreplaceable landscape. Many of our employees were in Ventura for our bi-annual sales meeting: Nacho from our store in Santiago, Chile; Taka from Patagonia Japan; Raul from Patagonia Buenos Aires. Company officials organized the impromptu gathering because of Patagonia’s long abiding connection to the area that is its namesake. 

    [May 19, 2011, Patagonia Headquarters, Ventura, California. In Chile and other Spanish-speaking countries they call it a cacerolazo – a stew-pot protest. Watch the video version after the jump. Photo: Tim Davis]

    Continue reading "Stew-Pot Protest at Patagonia Headquarters for a Patagonia Without Dams - Take Action Today [Updated]" »

    Beyond and Back: Protest the Dams

    by Jeff Johnson

    During such dire times as we are in now, I would like to pass on this story I wrote in 2008. It is an outtake from the book 180° South. It has never been published. During the making of the film I spent a few months down in Chile hanging out with fishermen and gauchos and land conservationists. I was honored to have heard their stories told around campfires, sitting beneath the stars with the sound of rivers flowing nearby. I saw with my own eyes where the dams are to be built and the land and livelihoods that are threatened. Along with this story I’ve attached photographs I’ve taken of people who are on the front lines and who have much at stake. Some of these photographs have been published and some haven’t. I want to thank them and all of you who have risen to the occasion. The fight is not over.

    3. 227_johnson_j

    [Gaucho Eduardo Castro. Valle Chacabuco, Chile. All photos © Jeff Johnson]

    Valle Chacabuco

    It was early. The sun was still behind the mountains. I was stuffing my sleeping bag into my backpack when one of the gauchos approached me.

    “Café?” he suggested as he handed me a leather bota bag. “Es bueno.”

    “Sure,” I said as I offered one of the three Spanish words I know. “Gracias.”

    I lifted the bladder up high, tilted the nozzle over my mouth and squeezed. I coughed, spat and bent over, rolling the liquid around in my mouth. I wasn’t expecting red wine.

    “Café?” I asked, wiping my mouth off.

    “Si,” he said with a laugh, “Café rojo.”

    I took another mouthful. “Si,” I said, “Bueno.”

    Continue reading "Beyond and Back: Protest the Dams" »

    Makalu 2011: Sweet & Sour

    Steve_House_Makalu_2009 Steve House called today and shared the latest news from Makalu. He and fellow Patagonia ambassador Marko Prezelj finished their acclimatization and spent some time on the west face where the weather didn't cooperate all that well. But the forecast is improving slightly so the duo are going to head back to ABC and give the west face another go tomorrow.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to Steve House - Makalu Call 2 - May 18, 2011
    (4:41 – right-click to download MP3)

    Let's all wish Steve and Marko good luck and safe climbing. We'll update you again as soon as possible.

    Previous posts from this trip:
    Makalu 2011

    To see Steve and Marko in action, check out their 2005 video Cayesh: The Calling.

    [My advanced base camp, at the base of Makalu's west face (2009). Photo: © Steve House]

    America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2011

    [One of America's longest rivers, the Susquehanna provides fresh drinking water to millions of Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic residents. It faces increasing contamination threats as a result of unregulated use of highly toxic fracking chemicals used to extract natural gas from within the river's watershed. Photo: Don Williams]

    This year, Patagonia’s environmental campaign, Our Common Waters, spotlights the need to balance human water consumption with that of animals and plants. We are working with organizations like American Rivers to talk about the most pressing issues surrounding freshwater and can think of no better place to start than our threatened river systems. With that in mind, we are proud to work with American Rivers and share their list of  America's Most Endangered Rivers of 2011.

    Sixty-five percent of our drinking water comes from rivers, yet many of our rivers are too polluted for fishing, swimming, and other basic uses.

    And the threats to this year’s endangered rivers are serious: Cancer-causing mine waste. Record floods. Sewage. Dams. 

    Sign the petition to save America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2011

    The ten rivers named as America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2011 spotlight an issue of urgent concern to all Americans: clean water. Hit the jump to read about the rivers, then take action to save them.

    Continue reading "America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2011" »

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