The Cleanest Line

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    « December 2011 | Main | February 2012 »

    Time On His Feet – A Former Runner Looks Back

    By Craig Holloway

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    I ran my last ultra on a warm, spring day in Wisconsin five years ago.  The course was surprisingly tough – small roller coaster hills come at you like black flies. Crossing the finish line I didn’t feel the exhilaration that I normally do after a race. I chalked it up to burnout and decided to take the rest of the year off. I didn’t run the following year either and eventually packed all my running gear in a box and put it in the garage.

    [The serene one, Craig Holloway, trots the Timberline Trail toward Mount Hood, Oregon. From his 2005 field report "Lost on Adrenaline." Photo: Scott Jurek]

    Two years went by and I still hadn’t laced up my running shoes. I knew it wasn’t going to happen and decided to stop running – after twenty-six years. It felt like the right thing to do. Now I crew for friends and it’s satisfying to be a part of their race day experience. But I do miss pacing and the responsibilities that come with that role. I’d like to share a few stories about the experiences I had with runners on their 100-mile journeys.

    Continue reading "Time On His Feet – A Former Runner Looks Back" »

    Confessions Of A Yoga Non-Believer

    by Brittany Griffith

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    It started off benign enough: Walker sent out an email to all the ambassadors inquiring who did yoga and would be willing to test out Patagonia’s new yoga line. Of course, I bristled at this. Yoga? That’s for girlfriends. I’m a climber, have a black belt, and have raced on the professional downhill mountain bike circuit. But, that noted, I’d be damned if one of the other ambassadors was going to get to test out the newest bra top before for me just because they “yoga’d” and I didn’t.

    So I responded to Walker’s email that yes, I “yoga” and in fact hold bi-weekly yoga classes at my house – which wasn’t a total lie. My neighbor, Porter, who had attempted to espouse the benefits of yoga to me countless times and try to get me to go to a class with her, would come over to my house a couple of times a week for living-room sessions of grammar school PE-style sit-ups and push-ups, and loosely follow a late '90s Rodney Lee “Yoga for Athletes” DVD (fast-forwarding through the parts I didn’t like). No “Oms” or “Namastes” with Porter and I – just general rants about life in SLC (like the local hoodlums’ uncreative tagging of garbage cans, fences and the nearby Mormon church’s dumpster). This was my yoga. No need to pay someone to show you how to stretch, breathe, and recite poetry while you lay on the floor. [Above photo: Porter Teegarden]

    Continue reading "Confessions Of A Yoga Non-Believer" »

    Copp-Dash Inspire Award Accepting Applications for 2012

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    The Copp-Dash Inspire Award is currently accepting applications from January 1, 2012 through February 29, 2012 for small climbing teams attempting fast and light alpine climbing objectives with a desire to creatively document and share their experience. The award was established in memory of American climbers Jonny Copp and Micah Dash, who were killed in an avalanche in China in May 2009 along with filmmaker Wade Johnson.

    Sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear, and Patagonia, with support from the Jonny Copp Foundation, American Alpine Club, Alpinist magazine and Sender Films, the Copp-Dash Inspire Award will distribute $20,000 this year to North American applicants.

    Continue reading "Copp-Dash Inspire Award Accepting Applications for 2012" »

    The Underwear Story

    by Luke Mehall

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    My dream job would be being an underwear model. A friend helped me figure this out one day after I’d just purchased some new undies, and we were looking at the models on the packaging.

    “What a job that would be, wearing underwear for a living,” I said.

    “You could do it,” Amber answered. “And since you’re a climber you could model for Patagonia.”

    A quick check of the Patagonia catalog showed that they didn’t use the same advertising technique that we imagined; my visual image was Victoria Secret style for the female models. Still the dream was planted.

    [Above: The author sent us this photo from his modeling portfolio. Color us impressed. Joshua Tree, California. Photo: Dave Marcinowski]

    Continue reading "The Underwear Story" »

    Les Landes

    by Patch Wilson

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    A friend of mine, Nick Pumphrey, who I grew up with surfing, skating and generally causing mayhem, now lives in South West France. He has called Hossegor home for about six or seven years now. Now turned semi-professional photographer he still works the summers in bars and restaurants and sleeps in his van to save money so that he can head on missions throughout the winter. His van holds this amazing quiver of longboards, single fins, alaias, bodyboards and swim fins. All the wave-riding equipment you could need for whatever one of the best stretches of beachbreak in the world could throw at you.

    [Me cruising on my Fark Quad. Photo: Nick Pumphrey]

    Continue reading "Les Landes" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Year of Big Ideas 2012 - Frozen Lemonade

    by Fitz & Becca Cahall

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    When will it snow? It's the question on the lips of ski town locals throughout the West as fluttering flakes have been late to arrive. Sill, the winter provides opportunity: tacky mountain bike trails usually buried under feet of snow, ice climbing on routes normally inaccessible, and ice skating on remote alpine lakes. John Dittli says the skating has been epic in the high Sierra. While others have bemoaned the lack of snow, John has seized the extended window to ice skate on multiple lakes – many more than a typical year allows. He may even secretly hope that the snow remains at bay for a little longer. In the spirit of making the most out of a situation, we present the Year of Big Ideas 2012 – goals from friends, pros and creative thinkers. And no matter what 2012 brings, we'll make sure there's more lemonade in all we do.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "The Year of Big Ideas 2012 - Frozen Lemonade"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links to download the music from "Frozen Lemonade" or to hear past episodes of the podcast. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes and RSS, or connect with the Dirtbag Diaries community on Facebook and Twitter.

     

    Stories and the Lost Coast

    by Kelly Cordes

    Wolf, bear, human – in August 2010 Cameron Lawson and Brett DeWoody took a wild, 350-mile bicycle and packraft journey from Yukutat to Cordova, along Alaska's "Lost Coast," following bear and wolf tracks, navigating heinous brush and swollen river deltas, engaging in true wilderness under their own power. Lawson, a photographer and a pilot, had flown a small Cessna over the Lost Coast the year before, but covering the same terrain by bike and packraft proved a wholly different experience – of course – and Lawson’s images and words give us a fantastic insight into a real-deal adventure. Check out his slideshow in the Patagonia video gallery – here’s the direct link (sorry, techy stuff won’t let me embed it).

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    [Screen grab from The Lost Coast slideshow. Click here to see the whole thing.]

    It’s a video world, and Lawson’s is a still-photos-with-written-captions story, but that doesn’t matter to me: I love good storytelling. I don’t care so much about the medium, though the differences intrigue me.

    Continue reading "Stories and the Lost Coast" »

    Winterless Wonderland: Help Protect New England’s Winters

    by John Kassel

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    In the mid-1990’s a Vermont ski area executive told me this joke.

    “How do you make a small fortune in the ski industry in New England?” he asked.

    “Start with a large one.”

    He was talking about the challenges he faced then, which seemed normal at the time:  limited water for snowmaking, labor shortages, skyrocketing costs of doing business, aging baby boomer population, and inconsistent (though generally reliable) snowfall. The snow sports industry now faces a much more fundamental challenge: a shrinking winter.

    [John Kassel, his brother Peter Kassel, and Peter’s dog Bear (Bear is the one in the middle) on a New Year’s Day hike up Vermont’s Camel’s Hump. Note the extremely thin snow cover – unusual for the Green Mountains at that time of year. Photo courtesy of John Kassel]

    Continue reading "Winterless Wonderland: Help Protect New England’s Winters" »

    The Master's Apprentice - Yvon Chouinard on Climbing with Fred Beckey

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    In honor of the release of Fred Beckey's 100 Favorite North American Climbs from Patagonia Books, we assembled this short podcast. Have a listen and you'll hear Patagonia's founder, Yvon Chouinard, talking about his alpine apprenticeship with sensei Fred Beckey in 1961.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "The Master's Apprentice" by Yvon Chouinard
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    This story first appeared in Alpinist 14, winter 2005. For more epic climbing stories, visit alpinist.com to subscribe to the magazine.

    The featured music is William Elliott Whitmore performing his song "Hard Times" a Patagonia Music Benefit Track for Urban Farming and their mission to create an abundance of food for people in need by planting, supporting and encouraging the establishment of gardens on unused land and spaces. Head over to Patagonia Music to hear more podcasts and more benefit tracks for non-profit environmental groups.

    Fred Beckey's 100 Favorite North American Climbs
    is available now from Patagonia.com and select book sellers. In the book, Fred offers up his characteristic mix of route tips, natural history and climbing lore for his 100 favorite climbs (with honorable mentions of a few more) -- it's the magnum opus of America's most prolific first ascensionist. Check out Patagonia Books for more titles.

     

    Lines of Eleven

    by Kelly Cordes

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    Note: On this blog in 2011 I wrote over 30,000 words in 40 original blog posts (to TCL readers, I apologize for the resultant drop in your IQ). I also edited and introduced another seven posts from other authors, and wrote a little on my personal blog (where I put my inappropriate rants). So I got this idea to paste sentences, or, in occasional spots, phrases from a sentence, from my TCL posts into one randomly connected paragraph. I kept original formatting, like italics, and tried to avoid pasting any consecutive sentences, though I cheated in a spot or two. And with 30k words, I got overwhelmed, so I just did it for the first half of the year (I know, what an overachiever). Here it is:

    Continue reading "Lines of Eleven " »

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