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    Postcard from Chamonix: Wedding Gifts

    by Kelly Cordes

    Kc - max zoe hotel IMG_0293

    “Just follow the scent of love and eternal commitment!” JT said.

    We were lost already. Or maybe not.

    “Yeah, c’mon! There’s booze!” Brittany chimed in.

    Zoe looked beautiful. And Maxime, what a handsome devil, fancy suit and all. And the ceremony? Short and sweet. (Ceremonies in France – at least if this was representative – are brief, and then you get to the important part: celebrating looooove!). Pretty vows, some nice words, then some papers – kind of like they were signing a car loan. Formalities finished, it was time to celebrate. To the reception, all aboaaarrrd!

    Editor's note: In the midst of our grief from losing Bean, Kelly Cordes lifts our hearts with a story about the joyful marriage of two Patagonia ambassadors: Zoe Hart and Maxime Turgeon. Congratulations Zoe and Max!

    We found our way to the Montenvers train station (I can’t recall how finding the train station in downtown Chamonix, just a few blocks from the wedding ceremony, became an issue…), had a drink, piled into train cars and started singing.

    [The happy newlyweds (that’s Max on the left, Zoe on the right) outside the Hotel. Photo: Kelly Cordes]

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    Bean Bowers 1973-2011


    It is with profound sadness and respect that we share news of the passing of our friend and ambassador, Bean Bowers, after his six-month battle with cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bean’s wife, Helen, and his friends and family.

    We’ll share more in the coming days. For now, you can read about Bean’s Battle in our previous post or visit Bean Fever, a site created by his friends to update everyone on his progress and raise funds to help pay for the medical expenses.

    [Helen and Bean Bowers on the summit of Fitz Roy. Photo: Bowers Collection]

    Postcard from Chamonix: Totally Casual

    by Kelly Cordes

    “Hot damn, how cool,” I said, flipping my mullet to the side. “Totally casual day in the mountains? Yeah, I’m in. Rock on.”

    The forecast was for marginal weather, so I met Chip at a very civilized hour – quite civilized, in fact (everyone says “quite”). Time for coffee, breakfast, and then, by 9 a.m., nearly 10,000 feet higher we exited the tunnel atop the Aiguille du Midi téléphérique. 12,600' elevation. Howling winds. Blowing snow. Uhhh, casual? A sign warned us that we were on our own.

    Kc - IMG_0151

    You walk through a little gate and onto a foot-wide, knife-edge snow ridge; one slip and you’re done, save for a partner versed in the Alaska Belay (jumping off the other side of the ridge – and I’m quite certain that, to his credit, Chip has no idea what I’m talking about). No safety net, no guardrail, nothing. An American lawyer’s wet dream.

    [Chip Chace exiting the top-station of the Aiguille du Midi. Photo: Kelly Cordes]

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    Just Released: SoulFish 2 - Fish Mode

    Mikey weir Good news to all you trout-chasers sidelined by swollen creeks this season: SoulFish2, Fish Mode from the Burl Productions is now available on DVD. Fire up the video while you're waiting for the waters to mellow out and enjoy footage from choice locations around the world. Here's a note from Burl Productions' founder and Patagonia Flyfishing Ambassador, Mikey Weir. - Ed

    After 3 years in the making, SoulFish 2, Fish Mode is ready. It’s been an amazing journey that has taken us all around the world and allowed me the fortune of spending time with some of the most dedicated anglers on this planet. It’s a privilege to finally share these stories in our latest feature-length flyfishing travel documentary.

    Our crew survived camping near black wolves during a 140-mile float in remote Mongolia; scorpions, spiders and man-eating crocodiles in Egypt; banditos in Mexico; freezing temperatures in B.C.; rugged and remote backcountry hikes in California; suprising cold on the marshes of Louisiana; and the hot tropic environments of Belize and Hawai'i; all to bring you the very best in flyfishing videography. SoulFish2, Fish Mode explores the minds and travel habits of some of the most notable characters in the fly-fishing industry today including: Ralph Cutter, April Vokey, Jeff Currier, Brent Dawson, Jonathan Boulton, Coach Duff, Richard McPherson, Mike Copithorne, Bryan Carter, Peter Mullett and myself (Mikey Wier), among many others. Join us for the ultimate adventure in search of the world's greatest fishes. With over 10 years of filming experience behind us, I’m proud to say that this is BURL Productions finest work to date. 

    Hit the jump to watch a trailer from the new movie, and find ordering information.

    [Mikey Weir on location in Mongolia, from the original SoulFish video.]

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    Don't Dam Patagonia - Now Is the Time to Dig In

    As the new Patagonia catalog hits your mailbox, we asked Craig Childs the author of "Rios Libres," the environmental essay in that catalog, to give us a little background on the essay. - Ed

    [Taking the power of the Rio Baker's still-wild waters. All photos: ©James Q Martin]

    We did good work down there - interviews and camera lenses. We sat in a bishop's house in Coihaique, his cigarette tucked into his palm as he blew smoke to the ceiling and told us Chile's water is not for sale. A young man sitting by a warm cocina in a one-room shack explained to me that he is a habitante, one who inhabits this place. Because of that, he said he was necessarily an activist.

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    Tales from Winter Tour - Skiing with moe. Guitarist Al Schnier


    When I graduated from college in 1990 (SUNY Oneonta), I always thought I'd end up moving out west to ski. I'd already had plenty of years of experience in both pizza making and delivery so I was primed for a life of scraping by and dawn patrols in a town like Alta or Jackson Hole. I also figured, at some point, I'd end up taking the requisite post-graduate cross-country trek with some of my buddies -- likely coinciding with Dead tour -- and see the country before "settling down."

    Editor’s note: We’re grateful to the band and management of moe. for being one of the first artists to join the Patagonia Music Collective. Not only are they fantastic musicians but they have a long history of philanthropy, they’re always up for trying new things (check out the All Good Challenge) and … they love to ski. Today, guitarist and singer, Al Schnier, gives us a peak into life on the road during moe’s 2011 winter tour. Photo: Jim Shaw

    I'd always been passionate about music. I've played music since I was a little kid and settled on guitar when I was in my teens. I've played in bands ever since I could play a few chords. Almost immediately after college I met Rob Derhak and Chuck Garvey, who'd already started the band moe. in Buffalo, NY. I joined the band a mere few weeks after moving to Buffalo and we've been together for over 20 years.

    While I never got to take that initial cross-country trek I'd set my sights on, I've crossed the country probably a hundred times or more with these guys and it's been nothing short of awesome. I never got to settle down out west and do the ski bum thing either, but my "job" allows us to tour some of the finest skiing in the country. This year was a banner year for skiing, and I was lucky enough to ride some of the finest vertical in the USA.

    Continue reading "Tales from Winter Tour - Skiing with moe. Guitarist Al Schnier " »

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