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    HeadCount & Patagonia Music Interview Series: G. Love and Samantha Stollenwerck

    The Patagonia Music Interview Series continues thanks to our friends at HeadCount. This time, G. Love and Samantha Stollenwerck talk about their benefit track "Ooh Dee Ooh" and why they chose Surfrider Foundation as the beneficiary from the sales. If you missed it, check out the first interview with Blitzen Trapper’s Eric Earley.

    "Ooh Dee Ooh" from G. Love and Samantha Stollenwerck is available now, exclusively through the Patagonia Music Collective and iTunes. Procceds from the sales of this song benefit the Surfrider Foundation and their mission to protect oceans, waves and beaches. Did we mention, it only costs 99 cents?

    [With thanks to Greg Bitsky]

    Surfing Waimea Made Me Bigger - An Excerpt from No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Muñoz

    Munoz_30_Waimea_2 Our friends on the Patagonia Books team are proud to announce a new title by Mickey Muñoz called No Bad Waves. The book was a collaboration between Mickey, who recorded the stories in a series of interviews, Jeff Divine, who culled through Mickey's extensive photo archives, John Dutton, who massaged the transcripts into shape, and Peter McBride, who combined the words and images into what we think is one of our best books to date.

    Today we're happy to give you a taste of the the book. Instead of a long narrative, No Bad Waves features a collection of short stories like this one about Mickey and the first group of West Coast surfers to ride Waimea Bay.

    Surfing Waimea Made Me Bigger

    The next time I went back to Hawai‘i was in 1957 when we spent the whole winter on the North Shore and ended up surfing Waimea. That winter, I rode some big waves and came back with extreme confidence.

    The group of us over there had talked about riding Waimea and had gone by to look at it. Waimea appeared to be the last place on the North Shore that was rideable when everywhere else was closed out. A bunch of us had gathered, and we were standing on the road to check it out. I can’t remember who suggested we go out, but, “OK, let’s do it!”

    Continue reading "Surfing Waimea Made Me Bigger - An Excerpt from No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Muñoz" »

    Ray Anderson 1934-2011


    Patagonia’s friend Ray Anderson, the visionary founder and chairman of Interface, died last week at the age of 77. Ray was an intelligent, soft-spoken entrepreneur, engineer, and businessman who, on reading Paul Hawken's Ecology of Commerce in 1994 called it a “spear into my heart,” embraced environmentally conscious business practices, and became a tireless spokesman for better behavior on the part of business. We interviewed both Ray and Paul in our video “What Is Quality for Our Time?” (pictured) which you can find in our Footprint Chronicles and Video Gallery. Paul has graciously granted us permission to post his moving tribute to Ray.

    We, who were so fortunate to know Ray Anderson, were in awe. He was many people: a father, executive, colleague, brother, speaker, writer, leader, pioneer. But I am not sure any of us quite figured him out. On the outside, Ray was deceptively traditional, very quiet sometimes, an everyman, all-American, down-home. He was so normal that he could say just about anything and get away with it because people didn’t quite believe what they heard. He could walk into an audience and leave listeners transfixed by a tenderness and introspection they never expected or met. Business audiences in particular had no defenses because they had no framework for Ray.

    Was he really a businessman? Yes. Was he a conservative southern gentleman with that very refined Georgiadrawl. Yes. Was he successful? For sure.

    Continue reading "Ray Anderson 1934-2011" »

    Trad Guy Sporto Tips

    Kc - trad guyIMG_3102(LR) I try to embrace all forms of climbing, and I can learn something from everything. Furthermore, the more things I’m willing to climb, the more fun I can have. Jack of all trades, master of none, baby. Wintertime? Don’t whine, ice climb. Only got a few hours? Clip some bolts near the road or go bouldering. Have a full day and clear weather? Head for the mountains. Raining everywhere? Gym climbing.

    Working at the harder technical forms, like bouldering and sport climbing, have paid dividends for my overall climbing (though I don’t boulder much – the ground falls don’t mesh with my battered body; and certain angles on sport routes are too weird on my shoulder; so it goes, we all must live with our limitations). Anyway, no doubt that rock climbing movement provides the fundamental base for all climbing.

    But on to the point of things: we all want to look cool. Or, at least, not terribly dorky (so says the guy with zero fashion sense). And nowhere else in climbing does coolness factor-in than crag-like settings such as sport crags, the gym and bouldering areas. In my attempts to embrace these forms, I’ve learned some tips – often painstakingly.

    [Lookout, it’s trad guy! Photo: Cordes collection]

    Continue reading "Trad Guy Sporto Tips" »

    Climbing, Catering, Community & Quinoa

    by Brittany Griffith

    When JT and I were in the desert of Algeria, our Touareg guides, after preparing an elaborate four-course meal for the two of us, would prepare their own and then eat it from a single big bowl. They’d sit on the ground, in a tight little circle, each with their own spoon, sometimes no spoon but a bit of bread instead, bent over the bowl, chatting, laughing and eating. Each time I watched them do this, I felt a bit left out and pined to be sitting there in the dirt with them. There was something about their closeness, both physical and intimate, and the cooperative sharing of food that was extraordinary.


    [A warm bowl of soup shared high in the Algerian Hoggar region. Photo: JT]

    I thought about all the meals I’ve shared throughout the years with my climbing friends and although we don’t eat from the same bowl (well, not usually) there is profound harmony between us, as well.

    Continue reading "Climbing, Catering, Community & Quinoa" »

    Take Action! Tell President Obama: Stop the Tar Sands Pipeline

    Bill_tar_sands_Shadia_Fayne_ Wood

    For the past four days, concerned groups of Americans have gathered at the White House in protest of the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline. Our friend and founder of, Bill McKibben (pictured, photo: Shadia Fayne Wood), was arrested on Saturday along with 64 other brave people for engaging in a non-violent action of civil disobedience in front of the White House. Their goal is to send President Obama a simple message: “Stop the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline.” Today, we're asking you to send the same message.

    The protests are being organized by will continue over the next two weeks. But the President needs to hear from every person on the planet who’s concerned about a dangerous and destructive project that would pump over one million barrels of dirty "tar sands" oil from Canada to the USA ... every day. Here’s how you can help:

    Take_action_large 1. MOST URGENT: Sign the petition at telling President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline. The pipeline cannot be built without a "presidential permit" from the Obama Administration. are hoping to add as many names as possible before they deliver it to White House officials on September 3rd.

    2. Send in a solidarity message or photo to the people taking action at the White House.

    3. Take part in Moving Planet – a worldwide climate rally on September 24 – and move beyond all fossil fuels in the loudest, most beautiful way possible.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline project, continue reading for a list of background links and a video highlighting the first day of sit-ins at the White House.

    Continue reading "Take Action! Tell President Obama: Stop the Tar Sands Pipeline" »

    On Tumplines


    Today’s post – about one of the simplest pieces of gear we’ve ever made – comes from Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard. It originally appeared in the 1980 Chouinard Equipment Catalog. [Photo: Yvon Chouinard screengrab from The Simplest Solution and 180° South.]

    When I was at a ski show recently, walking by the booth of one of the largest pack manufacturers, a salesman/designer insisted I come in to look over his new pack design. He was terribly proud of it. We spent twenty full minutes going over its sophisticated load distribution features and anatomically S-curved frame, welded with tungsten/inert gas and its wonderful bag made of 420-denier Super-K-coated eight-ounce parapack nylon held together with 18 stitches per inch of cotton-wrapped Dacron thread. Finally, after reaching a fever pitch of enthusiasm and exhausting every aerospace term he knew, he stepped back beaming proudly. As his eyes gradually returned to their respective sockets he asked, “Well Mr. Chouinard, how do you like it?” I shrugged. “It looks like you’ve put a lot of thought into this thing,” I said, “and it certainly looks and feels good with all this display foam in it. But I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint you. I carry all my loads with a tump line now. And with one of those it doesn’t matter what you have on your back – a fearsome astro loader like this or a sack of potatoes.”

    That riled him a bit, but he didn’t know how I’d reached my tump line conclusion. In 1968, in the jungles of Colombia, I injured my neck while diving into a shallow river. Shortly after that faceplant, the muscles on one side of my neck atrophied, which in turn, has caused me classic back problems – nagging lower back pains and various muscle spasms. I’ve seen orthopedists and chiropractors and I’ve read every book I can on back problems. The consensus is this: most back problems are caused by a weak back or stomach muscles. Great. So how do I exercise muscles that have nerve damage? And I can’t stand to do any sort of exercise for exercise sake anyway...

    Continue reading "On Tumplines" »

    Vermont’s First Inaugural TU Trout Camp 2011

    Peeps in water
    Today's post is from Warren Coleman, a lawyer whose work focuses on protection of the waterways throughout the northeastern U.S. Warren's also a certified New Hampshire fishing guide, in other words, the perfect person to help host Trout Unlimited's inaugural Vermont Trout Camp. Here's Warren with a recap of the kind of fishing that can be found up in the Northeast Kingdom:

    I’m still not sure who had more fun at the Vermont TU Trout Camp – the campers or the counselors. I guess when it comes to fly fishing, the line that defines a kid and an adult easily blurs if you measure it on a scale of fun: zero (0) indicating that you were skunked and the river was blown out from torrential rain storms; ten (10) being a hurting arm from all the fish you’ve landed on dry flies and raccoon eyes from having polarized shades permanently affixed to your head for days on end.

    I’d have to say that our first inaugural Vermont Trout Camp rated about an 8, which is pretty darn good considering that we had lousy weather (except when it really counted and the sun came out) and the fishing was challenging (again, except when it really counted).

    [Vermont Fisheries Biologist, Jud Kratzer, leads Trout Unlimited's Vermont Trout Camp participants a few counselors on an electroshocking exercise on a nearby stream. Photos courtesy, Kurt Budlinger.]

    Continue reading "Vermont’s First Inaugural TU Trout Camp 2011" »

    HeadCount & Patagonia Music Interview Series: Blitzen Trapper’s Eric Earley

    For over seven years now, our friends at HeadCount have been registering voters and making civic participation an easy and fun part of the live music experience. They’ve also been helping us by introducing concert-goers to one of the simplest forms of activism: buy a song, benefit the environment. Today, we’re happy to present the first in a series of interviews with artists participating in the Patagonia Music Collective, appearing on both the Patagonia and blogs. Here’s Headcount executive director, Andy Bernstein talking with Blitzen Trapper’s Eric Earley.

    Blitzen Trapper credit Todd Roeth

    Blitzen Trapper’s roots-driven folk is a living breathing homage to the musical and cultural heritage of the United States. It’s no wonder then that they care about preserving natural resources and the American landscape. The band was one of the first to donate an exclusive track to the Patagonia Music Collective, with the proceeds from downloads going toward SOLV. We caught up with the band’s lead singer Eric Earley, to learn more about the benefit track, the charity, and the natural link between music and protecting the earth. [Eric Earley photo by Todd Roeth. Download "All the Stones" here.]

    Patagonia_HeadCount_InterviewSeries HeadCount: So tell me about the track you donated for the Patagonia Music Collective.

    Eric: The song, “All The Stones,” it’s actually a pretty old one. I wrote that maybe 10 years ago. I was like 21 or something like that – maybe over 10 years ago. I never recorded it and I always liked it. So for the last record I recorded it, but I didn’t put it on the record. But I still like the recording a lot. I really love the song. It’s nice to put it out in some form.

    Have you gotten a nice reaction from it?

    Yeah, lots of people like it.

    Continue reading "HeadCount & Patagonia Music Interview Series: Blitzen Trapper’s Eric Earley" »

    Enduro Idiot

    “You guys are idiots,” Cousin Bob told us over the pay phone. “I’m coming to get you.”

    I don’t know which I do better, come up with stupid ideas or talk others into doing them. In my defense, I will say that my ideas seem a lot less stupid since being hobbled and wiser with age. Granted, I can’t say that the latter came on its own, versus being a de facto function of the former. But I’m getting smarter. Take, for example, last weekend. My good friend Craig Scariot (CFS) did the Kat’cina Mosa 100km mountain trail race. Me? I made margs and cheered him on (a.k.a. “crew” – when you’re as anti-social as CFS, that’s what you get).

    Kc - IMG_0216
    [Hikers and runners along a trail in the Mont Blanc massif, France. Photo: Kelly Cordes]

    OK, so I’m a huge fan of ultras – by the way, Krissy Moehl is defending her UTMB title and women’s course record (from 2009; race was cancelled last year) the last weekend of this month, so a big shout-out to Krissy - Gooooo Krissy, woohoo! – and, truth be told, I’m only a tiny bit jealous. I used to run, before shattering my leg. Used to be my favorite thing besides climbing. Little-known fact: I was the first woman finisher at the 1993 Seattle Marathon. In short, loathe though I am to admit it, I used to have a pony tail; and, of course, I have a girl’s name. So when I crossed the finish line, the announcer surely thought me an ugly girl and announced, “Let’s cheer home Kelly Cordes, this year’s first woman finisher!” I didn’t say a word – a person like me should take whatever he can get, and sometimes it’s the little victories in life that count.

    Continue reading "Enduro Idiot" »

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