The Cleanest Line

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    « January 2012 | Main | March 2012 »

    Van Yoga

    By Lydia Zamorano

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    13 tips for on-the-road yoga when it's too cold to practice outdoors:

    1. Have at least a 6 by 3 foot level floor, and a nice traveling companion who doesn't mind making space for your swinging limbs.

    2. The more height the better. A fiberglass raised roof works well. Being 5 feet tall works very well.

    3. A little buddy.

    4. A pee bottle if it's cold and your partner doesn't mind you getting too comfortable with them.

    5. A small broom to keep it free from last nights food crumbs and hair. Where does all the hair come from!?

    [Above: Morning meditation in Bishop, California. Photo: Andrew Burr]

    Continue reading "Van Yoga" »

    Current Events

    by Kelly Cordes

    Crazy world we live in. Somebody ought to sell tickets. Hell, I’d buy one. Some thoughts on current events, large and small:

    • Wednesday was National Margarita Day. It’s about time, what with all this recent climbing world drama. Surely a little drinky can soothe some nerves, maybe temper the frenzy. Me, I’ve been fine all along (calmer than you are, dude...) – but I guess when you live it, every day is margarita day.

    Related: Got an email that made me blush. By one reader’s count, I’ve posted at least six margarita recipes on this blog, including The Cleanest Marg (my first post as a TCL regular), The Shackboy Marg, The Damiana-Sotol Marg, The Memorial Day Marg, The Uri No-Exposed-Bone Marg, and The Trying Hard Marg. Whoa. I wasn’t keeping track myself, ya know I’m really not into the numbers. Sure, some people might feel compelled to say things like, like… “Greatest marg drinker ever!” or, “How does he do it? This marg rules!” or, “For being short and gimpy, he sure does make a damn good margarita!” or even, “I think Cordes is the world margarita champion!” But that’s just a vanity thing that I try to steer clear of. I mean, it’s really all about the experience.

    Continue reading "Current Events" »

    Grown in Vermont - A Patagonia Environmental Internship with Post Oil Solutions

    by Cadence Reed

    Last summer, Cadence Reed embarked on a two-week-long environmental internship through Patagonia’s internship program. She was one of 18 individual employees, along with 11 stores that went on group internships, to volunteer for environmental work this year. Cadence repairs broken clothing at our Reno Service Center, thereby helping the company fulfill its commitment to our Common Threads Initiative.

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    I headed east from Reno to Vermont on August 15, 2011, for a two-week long environmental internship with Post Oil Solutions in southern Vermont. As I flew east over the arid Nevada landscape, I looked forward to the lush vegetation that awaited me in the Green Mountain State. I was quite familiar with Vermont, having grown up there. Once I hit the ground and was heading north on Highway 91 to Bellows Falls, a peaceful feeling came over me as the green landscape and warm, humid air rushed by the car windows.

    Vermont has historically been known for spearheading new and innovative social and environmental practices. Act 250 outlaws any big box stores from building in non-existing buildings in order to support small businesses, and billboards are illegal statewide. A group like Post Oil Solutions (POS) fits in well.

    [Above: Cadence Reed gleans a field for red leaf lettuce at Harlow Farm in Westminster, Vermont. All photos courtesy of Cadence Reed.]

    Continue reading "Grown in Vermont - A Patagonia Environmental Internship with Post Oil Solutions" »

    El Berberecho

    by Dr. Tony Butt

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    One would think that the early nineties would be a relatively late stage to discover new surf in Europe. When I set off from Cornwall to Galicia in November 1992 in a van with two mates, all we were expecting to do was satisfy our own curiosity. Nobody we had spoken to in the UK seemed to know about any surf further west than Rodiles but we were sure there would be a thriving surf community west of there. It was just that we had not heard about it. We would start in Baiona, just north of the Portuguese border, and work our way around the coast. We had the whole winter.

    Needless to say, with three people in a small van for several months, rain every day and nothing to do between surfs, and a van plagued with mechanical problems, it was a fairly hardcore trip. In the end, the trip only worked through strict military-like discipline and co-operation between team members.

    After spending the first two months scouring the coast of Galicia for waves with a fine-toothed comb, all we found were huge close-outs on sandbars half a kilometre offshore. We endured day after day of rain, endless coffees in smoke-filled bars and conversations with crazed Galician fishermen, all of whom warned us not to go in the water along this treacherous part of coast, aptly named La Costa de la Muerte.

    [Above: The author rides a different wave on a different day in northern Spain. Photo courtesy of Tony Butt]

    Continue reading "El Berberecho" »

    Mokelumne River – Filming and Fighting for Wild and Scenic Designation

    by Mike E. Wier

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    For years, my brother and I had to sneak into one of our favorite sections of our home river, the mighty Mokelumne. The land surrounding both sides of this section of the river is owned by the East Bay Municipal Utility District. They had big “No Trespassing” signs up along their barbed wire fences.

    We, however, strongly considered the river to belong to everyone. So every once in a while we would float down through the rapids on inner tubes and stop in the beautiful and secluded pools to swim or try catch-and-release fly fishing. Along the way we’d check out the old miners’ trails and wild flowers, or stop at the ruins of the historic mining town of Middle Bar, or imagine we were Mewuk people catching Salmon in the river and admiring the giant blue oaks that produce so many acorns.

    Continue reading "Mokelumne River – Filming and Fighting for Wild and Scenic Designation" »

    Buy a Song, Benefit the Environment: New Benefit Tracks from Patagonia Music

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    Looking for some good music to enjoy over the long President’s Day weekend? Love supporting grassroots environmental groups? You're in luck! A bunch of new Benefit Tracks have been added to Patagonia Music:

    • "AMEN (LIVE)" by Edens Edge benefits Urban Farming
    • "THE WANDERING (ACOUSTIC)" by Ryan Bingham benefits Surfrider LA
    • "DON'T GIVE UP (LIVE)" by Green River Ordinance benefits Urban Farming
    • "TONIGHT" by Sugarland benefits Surfrider LA
    • "ODETTA" by Joe Henry benefits Friends of the Los Angeles River
    • "DJEGH ISHILAN (LIVE)" by Tinariwen benefits Nevada Wilderness Project
    • "SLOW DOWN" by ¡MAYDAY! benefits ECOMB
    • "OPEN THE ROADS" by Chuck Ragan benefits Gulf Restoration Network

    Each one of these songs is exclusive to Patagonia Music -- you won't find them anywhere else -- and at least 60% of the proceeds will benefit the associated environmental group. Visit Benefit Tracks to preview these songs and more.

    If you’re looking for a good mix to stream from your iPhone or computer, hit up the New Music Stream and launch the Patagonia Music Player, or download the free Patagonia Music app for your iPhone. Note: Patagonia Music is only available in the United States.

    Have a great weekend everybody.

    Grand Canyon Wins New Protections From Uranium Mining

    by Taylor McKinnon

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    The Obama administration rang in the New Year with a gift to wildlands and wildlife: a 20-year ban on new mining on 1 million acres of public lands around Grand Canyon National Park. The move, in the face of a rash of new uranium-mining claims, bans new claims and prohibits exploratory drilling and mining on existing claims lacking “valid existing rights” — the vast majority of claims in the area. It’s a historic decision for an iconic landscape that will save streams and rivers from pollution and protect scores of species from the scourge of industrial mining waste.

    Editor's note: We're late getting this good news posted, but it's worth celebrating nonetheless. We asked you twice to take action on this issue — first in February with a special video from Jonathan Waterman, then again in April — and your voices have been heard. Thank you. Photo: James Q Martin

    The decision is clearly popular. Nearly 400,000 people from 90 countries wrote the Interior Department urging the ban. And since it was enacted, it’s won praise from Indian tribes, businesses, elected officials, scientists and outdoor enthusiasts who value the canyon’s environmental health and its economic value as a tourist attraction.

    Continue reading "Grand Canyon Wins New Protections From Uranium Mining" »

    A Word …

    by Yvon Chouinard

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    The siege tactic used on Cerro Torre’s Compressor Route is perhaps the most egregious example of alpinism’s egoistic “manifest destiny” philosophy, one that calls for conquering the mountain by any means, then leaving in place the pitons, bolts, ropes and cables. This debases a route, leaving it accessible to those without the skill or nerve to climb in good style. It is the alpinist’s equivalent of hunting with headlights.

    Unfortunately, you can see the damage in so many places, in the Dolomites especially, where routes first done in great style in the 1920s now sport bolts every few meters.

    Thank God there are a few young climbers like Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk who exemplify the best qualities of alpinism. The magnificent southeast ridge of Cerro Torre has been unshackled and can now be an inspiration to future alpinists who have the courage to climb rather than merely summit by any possible means.

    [Above: Doug Tompkins and Yvon Chouinard in Patagonia. Conservacion Patagonica archives. Photo: Rick Ridgeway]

    Yvon Chouinard is the owner and founder of Patagonia, Inc. In 1968, he made the historic first ascent of the California Route on Fitz Roy, the highest peak in the Chalten Massif, with Doug Tompkins, Dick Dorworth, Lito Tejada-Flores and Chris Jones. His 1972 Chouinard Equipment catalog was hugely influential in the clean climbing movement (the title of this post harks back to the introduction), and relates to the recent controversy surrounding Cerro Torre. It’s also refreshing to know that, as the decades roll past, Yvon still practices what he preaches. For more on the Cerro Torre controversy, check out Kelly Cordes’ recent post and Doug Tompkins’ letter to Carlos Comesaña on La Cachaña. 

    Action Alert: 24 Hours to Stop Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

    by Hans Cole

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    Last year, we joined 350.org and concerned citizens across the country in spreading the word that the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has no place in a national vision for clean energy. On November 6, 2011, citizens surrounded the Whitehouse, over 1200 people were arrested during several weeks of peaceful protest, and thousands of voices from across the country helped provide the political leverage to stop forward movement on the pipeline. It was a real victory in the battle to re-shape our energy future.

    But – today, the fight against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has reached another crucial turning point. The Senate may vote as early as tomorrow to green light construction of this project without additional environmental or economic review. Senators in favor of the pipeline are trying to attach a measure to the current transportation bill that would likely lead to approval of the project.

    Continue reading "Action Alert: 24 Hours to Stop Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline" »

    Tortilla Español

    by Brittany Griffith

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    Here’s a recipe that every dirtbag should learn to make; it’s exotic sounding, yet relatively simple to make from basic, easy-to-find ingredients. Also, since it requires nothing much more than a fry pan, spatula, bowl, and plate, this one can be made in your van or campsite.

    I first became familiar with the ubiquitous Spanish omelet (aka, Tortilla Español) on a climbing trip to Spain (surprise, surprise). This delicious, versatile, Spanish staple was offered in nearly every tapas bar we experienced. They even sell them in the grocery stores, sealed in plastic wrap. Tortilla Españols quickly became essential crag food since they pack easily, have lots of protein and can be enjoyed warm or room temperature.

    I’m going to use my climber friend, Andy, as my subject for the following reasons:

    1. He’s a dude, and, like our young friend Hayden from the Secret Weapon, is always looking for a way to impress the ladies with his cooking.
    2. He actually has his own chickens in downtown SLC and provided the eggs for the recipe (impressive, right ladies?)
    3. I love men in aprons.

    [Andy subscribes to Backyard Poultry Magazine and cans his own tomatoes. Photo: Craig Armstrong]

    Continue reading "Tortilla Español" »

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