The Cleanest Line

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    « June 2011 | Main | August 2011 »

    Notes from Ten Sleep

    by Kelly Cordes

    In contrast to the mountains of Chamonix, but in a similar vein of easy access, I recently headed north to a beautiful spot in Wyoming called Ten Sleep. I took a few notes:

    Kc - appr IMG_0655

    [Approaching one of the cliffs in Ten Sleep Canyon. Photo: Kelly Cordes]

    • The official name is Ten Sleep. I thought my illiterate friends who pronounce it plural (“Ten Sleeps”) were mere simpletons. I have, however, learned that the name relates to travel distances expressed by Native Americans. Like it’s ten nights’ sleep from the nearest place (presumably the nearest climbing area). So I’m told. This distance thing must have been before cars got fast, because it’s not that far from other climbing areas. Of course I didn’t follow-up on any of this, so I still insist that it’s “Ten Sleep.” One letter? Sure, but standards matter. This is not ‘Nam, there are rules here.

    • Just outside the town of Ten Sleep (note the lack of “s” at the end) is Brokeback Road, which, being the astute literary type, made me wonder if this is where Wyoming writer Annie Proulx got the title for her superb short story (later made into an Academy Award-winning film), Brokeback Mountain. But then I noticed that, unlike the story and the film, the road outside of town is actually Brokenback Road (note the “n” in the middle). But it’s just one letter – whatever. Ten Sleep, why can’t I quit you?!

    Continue reading "Notes from Ten Sleep" »

    Zen and the Art of Rest-Day Laundry

    by Brittany Griffith

    OMG I was so stressed out. I had a million errands to do before meeting Nancy at the climbing gym: post office… liquor store… vacuum bag store (yes, I have this special vacuum that I can only find bags for at one store in SLC)… Whole Foods… bank… the electronics recycling center… UPS… hardware store… a special “local” olive oil store. How did this happen? How did my life become so complicated? I was driving around town in the Gypsy Van and as I anxiously waited for a never-ending red light, I noticed a laundromat on the right. I remembered that I had been wanting to wash the dog-hair-infested throw rug that was in the van. Because it just didn’t seem like I had enough things to do, I impulsively pulled into the parking lot and grabbed the filthy rug.

    As I rummaged around the van trying to find enough coins (this was harder than it used to be) or even cash, I mentally plotted out what I would do with the time it took for the wash cycle to complete. Run over to the post office? Buy a bottle of tequila? Deposit an insurance refund check for $57 that I’d had in my wallet for three months. Get my favorite organic yogurt? Drop off the box of old modems and VCR? The lines on my forehead deepened as I pondered the most efficient use of time.

    Continue reading "Zen and the Art of Rest-Day Laundry" »

    The Dirtbag Diaries: You Are Not Alone

    You Are Not Alone half Thank you to the entire Dirtbag Diaries community for all of your support and for helping the show recently surpass one million downloads. Here's Fitz to tell you about today's new episode.

    How do you start to see the complex relationships that make up a community? The first time I sat around a climber's campfire at 19, I could sense that though our lives were superficially different with jobs and responsibilities, something greater connected those gathered around the fire. It was the first time I felt a sense of belonging. Since then, my community has grown, and encompasses just about anyone who understands dawn light and type-three fun. But getting into the spider-webbing network can be difficult even if you know it's there. Today, we present two stories from women -- one a climber and one a creator -- about the moment when the random became connected at a time when it mattered most. Gather 'round.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "You Are Not Alone"
    (30:38 - right-click to download MP3)

    Make the jump to watch the trailer for 23 Feet, Allie Bombach's film about "people who make the conscious choice to live simply in order to pursue their outdoor passions."

    Continue reading "The Dirtbag Diaries: You Are Not Alone" »

    Zeb Walsh, Jeff Denholm and Gerry Lopez Set to Compete in Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard Race

    Zeb_walsh_1 Zeb Walsh will be representing Australia in the 15th annual Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboarding Word Championships. Zeb is the assistant manager of Patagonia Torquay, dad, great surfer and all-around talented waterman. I was lucky enough to have a chat with Zeb right before he left for Hawaii.

    Editor's note: Today's post comes from our sister blog at Patagonia Australia. Best of luck to Zeb, Jeff and Gerry in the race. We'll be pulling for you guys.

    Born and bread in Torquay, Zeb says he is a "sucker for white-line fever." Growing up in the surf-lifesaving scene, hard work is nothing new to him. Zeb trains all year-round under a self-disciplined schedule of two shorter 15km paddles, two longer 30km paddles and one "fun" paddle in the waves out front of Torquay point each week -- sometimes breaking it up with a run or good workout in the gym during the winter months.

    Continue reading "Zeb Walsh, Jeff Denholm and Gerry Lopez Set to Compete in Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard Race" »

    Patagonia Time-Lapse Video

    Notice in the video the subtle movement, the wind toppling the foreground.  Imagine the scene you see but in the broader spectrum of the whole surroundings.

    Editor’s note: Last week we shared the trailer for Long Treks on Skate Decks' new video series from Morocco. Adam Colton is one of the skaters from the series; he's also a time-lapse photography enthusiast. During a recent trip down to Patagonia, Adam shot some time-lapse footage that we're happy to share with you today. We publish a lot of images from the region that inspired our company's name, but few from the perspective of a skateboarder. If you're interested in time-lapse photography, check out Adam's how-to page on the Loaded Boards website.

    Patagonia is a massive, untouched, raw land. It is composed of barren wind-swept fields that rock your car when you drive and topple your tent at night. Camping every night, smelling like the animals we are, we came back with a handful of photos and a time-lapse video that I hope you all will enjoy. I tell you though, the beauty you see through your own two eyes is still untouchable. That is why we travel to and explore these magical places. Let these pictures be the inspiration to go there yourself.

    [Above: Patagonia Time Lapse Video. Video and photos: Adam Colton.]

    Continue reading "Patagonia Time-Lapse Video" »

    30% Off Sale Happening Now!

    072111_summer_Sale-main_F11

    On now! 30% Off Sale at Patagonia.com and participating Patagonia Retail Stores, now through July 27, 2011.* Offer valid in USA only.

    Shop the Sale at Patagonia.com

    Get hours and directions to your nearest Patagonia Retail Store

    *Sale limited to stock on hand. Offer valid in USA only. Sale prices apply only to Patagonia® merchandise on days specified. Patagonia Outlets are not participating in the sale. New for fall items, surfboards, wetsuits, wetsuit accessories, DVD’s, books, Frisbee Whirl, mugs, water bottles, gift cards, gift bags, Carry Y’All Bags, repairs, and shipping are excluded. Not valid with any other offer. Sale ends July 27, 2011.

    [Fresh brats, roasted garlic, and Onion Creek, these citi-boys are living it up. Jonathan Thesenga and Brian Edmiston, on top The Citadel. Moab, Utah. Photo: ANDREW BURR]

    Postcards from Chamonix: Sleep Finale

    by Kelly Cordes

    Kc - janet appr cap IMG_0364(LR)

    Ahhh, sleep. Sweet sleep. I drifted off to the soothing sounds of a jackhammer. They’re doing construction at the Torino Hut. 24-7 construction. I’ve long thought of loading my music player with tracks of peaceful sounds like waves gently crashing, the pitter-patter of rain, or birds chirping on a beautiful spring morning. Or maybe a jackhammer.

    At 5 a.m. I dragged my groggy ass out of the bunk, stumbled down the stairs to the barely passable breakfast (but with a huge cup of coffee, thank Baby Jesus), and Janet Bergman and I walked the leisurely hour-or-so across the glacier to the base of the Grand Capucin, a spectacular spire on the Mont Blanc massif. Janet was in Cham for the same reason as me – we’re on Polartec’s Athlete Advisory Board, and this year’s meeting was in Chamonix. Devastating, I know. She was en-route to India, where she’s meeting some friends and her husband, also a friend of mine, Freddie Wilkinson, for an expedition. Me, I’d just slaved away for a couple of months with work, including shipping the American Alpine Journal, hopped a plane and asked them to book my return for two weeks after the meeting’s end. Perfect timing, too, as I’d just gotten cleared to return to the mountains following my last round of surgeries. Sweeeeet.

    [Janet Bergman on the relatively casual approach to the Grand Capucin (the big spire in the middle), from the Torino Hut. Photo: Kelly Cordes]

    Continue reading "Postcards from Chamonix: Sleep Finale" »

    Long Treks on Skate Decks Morocco Video Series - Watch the Trailer

    Back in January, we shared a story from Aaron Enevoldsen about an unusual trip he and his partners, Adam Colton and Paul Kent, undertook. Over the course of 40 days, the trio rode their Loaded longboards 2,000 kilometers across Morocco, unsupported. They suffered in the heat, dodged speeding trucks, deployed their Sporting-Sails, rattled their teeth on broken pavement, camped on the side of the roads, ate crummy food and cracked jokes throughout the trip to keep their spirits high. Lucky for us, they also brought along a video camera.

    [Longboarding-LongTreks Morocco Trailer from LoadedNewsletter. Video: Adam Colton, Paul Kent and Aaron Enevoldsen]

    The entire trip will be covered in a series of videos on YouTube – similar to how they documented their push across Peru and Bolivia. You can keep up with the series by subscribing to the LoadedNewsletter channel. Episode one is available to watch now.

    Long_treks_on_skate_decks

    [Aaron Enevoldsen, Adam Colton, and Paul Kent. Check out more photos from their trip on Flickr.]

    The 48-Hour Dress

    by Brittany Griffith

    As the sun heated up our little apartment, I drifted out of my dream and awoke to a bizarre scene: people sprawled all over the floor, futon and tiny twin beds…I could hear chatter in half a dozen languages, clinking plates and glasses… the faint smell of tobacco, espresso and butter… a marching band playingoutside the open window. We had all really tied one on last night (and a chunk of the next morning) for Zoe and Max’s wedding in Chamonix, France. My muddied mind failed to function. I tried to assess the situation. What time was it? What felt worse: my jetlag or my hangover? Why had I slept in my dress? Who… the… hell… was typing?

    I rolled past JT, got out of bed, stepped over the floor-bivied Janet, turned the corner, and there was Kelly, on the futon, typing away. Kelly! Was he already writing a TCL post about the wedding? That sneaky bastard!

    “Whatcha writin’, Kelly?” I asked suspiciously. He and I both frequently write posts for The Cleanest Line and I was sure he was trying to beat me to the punch and be the first to write about the wedding. He looked like a little troll, propped up on a cushion, salt-and-pepper mullet wildly disheveled and wearing an unbuttoned rumpled dress shirt and Cap 2 Boxer Briefs (shudder). He was squinting intently at his laptop screen while furiously pecking at the keys. He looked up at me without moving his head, kinda like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

    “Ah… no, no… I’m not really doing anything,” he muttered unconvincingly as he slowly continued to type.

    Damn it! He really was already writing a TCL post about the wedding! Not only was he a better writer than me, he could get up with a Level-10 wedding hangover three hours earlier than me and write! Damn alpinists – why can’t they sleep in like normal people?

    KellyBAGtrain

    [Kelly, telepathically dictating to his laptop back down in town, and I on the train up to the reception. Photo: Jen Olson]

    Continue reading "The 48-Hour Dress" »

    Backcountry Film Festival - Ready to Make You Backcountry Famous

    How many ski movies have you seen that were shot in July and August - in North America? A deep and abiding snowpack across the West (coupled with a cool, wet, and stormy June) has yielded what is, for most of us, an apocryphal anomaly, the "July ski season." Sure, the guys up in the Cascades and north of the 49th make it a habit of enjoying turns all year, but for the rest of us, winter is rapidly fading memory once the fireworks fly.

    Not this year (check the stories from Tahoe, A-Basin, and The Bird). Which is precisely why it's a great time to rally the brethren and sistren, grab your boards, and head for the hills to document this season of epic deepness. For your efforts, the Backcountry Film Festival is ready to provide a screen and an audience of thousands across the country. So whether you're getting fired up to shoot some fresh footage or ready to pull out the powder vids you shot back in the frosty months, read on to find out how to submit your work to the Festival.

    Deeppopecrop
    [Photo courtesy Winter Wildlands Alliance/Backcountry Film Festival. Skier, Sam Pope - KGB Productions. Photographer: Tuck Fauntleroy]

    Continue reading "Backcountry Film Festival - Ready to Make You Backcountry Famous" »

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