by Kelly Cordes
In early 2009, Kelly took a trip to Northern Chilean Patagonia with climbing legend Jim Donini. Here, Kelly revisits his notes from an adventure with Jim. This is the third in a series of short posts from their trip. Read the first here, and the second here.
When we stood there, scoping the face with binoculars and discussing possibilities, somehow I thought of Jim’s story about why he got into the military some 45 years prior. He was a teenager driving on the turnpike in PA – near Philly, where he grew up – and had two buddies with him in the car. Last thing Jim remembers was having his driver’s window down and his arm hanging out. It was late at night and his buddies were asleep. Next thing he remembered was waking up in the overturned car. His best friend and the other buddy were both dead. As Jim told me the story, his voice didn’t waver and he didn’t elaborate, he just told it. Maybe it’s the passage of time. He said nothing about emotions or scars, and I didn’t ask. Then he paused and said, “So then I joined the Army.”
He wanted to be in the action, and he likes solving puzzles. He did extremely well in the admissions tests, and got into Special Forces (a.k.a. Green Berets; back then there weren’t sub-divisions). They initially had him training for radio repair, of all things. He said there’s a B-team that does crucial intelligence and logistics work. Then there’s the A-team, which doesn’t do radio repair, but that goes in and does the doing.
[Above: Donini high above the glacier in Northern Chilean Patagonia. Photo: Kelly Cordes]
Continue reading "An Outing with Donini: Puzzles (Part Three)" »
by Devon Howard
The first time I entered the hallowed doors of my local surf shop – Mitch’s on La Jolla’s Pearl Street – it felt like a rite of passage.
As a 10-year-old grommet, I was in awe of all the cool surf and skate gear crammed on the store’s narrow, cluttered walls. I stood there, paralyzed, imagining what it would be like to ride one of the shiny new Puringtons, Bessells, Craigs or Staples surfboards lined up along the back room. I eventually gazed toward the glass counter, and drooled over all the Gullwing trucks, riser pads, O.J. wheels, Powell decks, stickers and grip tape that I would later nag my folks to buy me for upcoming birthdays.
[Devon Howard grabs an FCD Fish off the rack. Patagonia Cardiff, California. Photo: Jeff Johnson]
Continue reading "Patagonia Surf Stores - The Wave Riding Collective" »
by Emily Nuchols
Chances are if you’ve perused the Patagonia website or catalog, you’ve caught sight of a few of Ben Moon’s images. From surfing and climbing to capturing the music scene, the self-taught Moon took the photography scene by storm more than a decade ago.
Moon’s work will be featured this weekend at the 5Point Film Festival in Carbondale, Colorado. I caught up with Moon in between travels at his home-base in Portland, Oregon and asked him a few questions.
[Above: Portrait of Ben Moon in SE Portland, Oregon. Photo: Ryan McDonald]
Emily: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Ben: I love to eat, so breakfast is a great excuse to get rolling on that early in the day. While I’m home, I usually make a green juice first thing in the morning with kale, an apple, a lemon, and fresh ginger. I’m not into big meals because I can’t be productive during a food coma, so a “second” breakfast follows soon after, along with yerba maté to keep the day moving.
Continue reading "An Interview with Photographer Ben Moon" »
by Lisa Polley
As an employee of Patagonia for the past 12 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on many projects. Some of these have been interesting, some just a necessary part of my job. Never have I experienced a project with such a direct impact on the company, on its employees and on myself as The Footprint Chronicles website.
It’s given me hope about the future for the first time in longer than I care to admit.
The epiphany that inspired this hope came during data entry. Sometimes the process of change starts in the mundane, and growth occurs at the oddest, unexpected moments. Anyone who’s filled a database knows that the task is not hard, but it requires headphones and very loud music. My task was to enter the data that would be used to geo-locate points on a Google map so we could show our supply chain online.
[Above: Seeing Patagonia suppliers pinned on a world map, one of the new additions to The Footprint Chronicles. Screengrab: Patagonia.com]
Continue reading "Introducing the New Footprint Chronicles on Patagonia.com" »
Patagonia’s Our Common Waters campaign isn’t only about demolishing dams. The impact of a dam on rivers and ecosystems lingers well past their expiration date, so removing them is still necessary in many cases. But that’s the work of remedying our past mistakes. The future requires that we find new ways to reduce our water and energy footprints so fewer dams are built in the first place.
That’s what this essay, "Putting Water Back," is about – finding creative new ways to alter consumption patterns, and in areas where we haven’t yet found a way to do that, helping others who have.
Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, sometimes quotes environmentalist David Brower, who was once asked why conservationists are always against things. Brower’s reply: “If you are against something, you are always for something. If you are against a dam, you are for a river.”
"Putting Water Back" is also about keeping an eye on what we are for. Doing so opens us up to the wide range of solutions needed to mend the environment and to keep up the momentum on the road ahead.
[Above: An adult steelhead – one of only two seen in 2011 during an afternoon spent looking for steelies on the Ventura River. Photo: Matt Stoecker]
Continue reading "Putting Water Back" »
by Kelly Cordes
Dave Graham wasn’t holding back at the Outlook. For those who don’t know, Graham is one of the best rock climbers to come along in the last decade. We were guests on a live on-stage radio show, by ClimbTalk, at the Outlook Hotel and Bar in Boulder last Monday. The various guests talked usual climber-talk, and the conversation was mostly tame. Until Graham, animated and intense, took hold of the mic. He launched passionate opinions on climbing ethics, the American government, overly restrictive rules in national parks, and the lack of cohesion in the climbing community. As the energy of the audience rose, I overheard a whisper: “I wonder what his sponsors think of this?”
Which got me thinking… is there merit to the notion that climbers are increasingly becoming soulless commodities to their sponsors’ marketing machines, speaking in corporate-friendly trivialities, and that the climbing media has done the same? At the front, it sounds absurd. Then again, this is America 2012.
Issues such as these recently sent the climbing blogosphere abuzz, after climber and art history professor Peter Beal wrote a provocative blog entitled “Sell, Sell, Sell: Is There an Alternative?” Beal writes of the marketing influence on climbers and the climbing media, leading to a dearth of coverage of serious topics and controversial issues, and asserts, “The climbing environment is reaching a tipping point in terms of how much more commodification it can stand before a total vitiation of the core of the sport is achieved.”
Continue reading "Discussions of Influence" »
by Brittany Griffith
[Catch up with Heroes - Part One] We were in Manzanares el Real for less than an hour when a keen local showed up, in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon, driving 45 minutes to meet us and show us around. Which was great and very helpful since La Pedriza is an extensive labyrinth of granite domes, small outcroppings and boulders. Finding the nuggets would be hard on your own; it’s kinda like a cross between Joshua Tree and Little Cottonwood Canyon.
It never ceases to amaze me how generous climbers are, no matter where you are in the world, to complete strangers. Our new friend, Aitor, took us to crags he’s no doubt been to hundreds of times yet with the greatest enthusiasm. He offered up new projects of his to Arnaud and patiently and encouragingly belayed me as I clawed my way up treacherous 5.10 slabs. When they said it was going to be slab climbing, they meant slab climbing – as in 60-80 degree slab climbing, as in holdless friction slab climbing. My pecs ached every night from the desperate squeezing required to adhere to the immaculate granite and my calves bulged like ripe pomegranates from footwork-intensive sequences.
[Above: Me putting the new Patagonia approach shoes to the ultimate test, walking up a rappel line. All photos: Arnaud Petit]
Continue reading "Heroes - Part Two" »
by James Edward Mills
The 5Point Film Festival has a new executive director. Justin Clifton spent six years on staff with the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride. Last summer he came over to the Roaring Fork Valley where he’s applying his expertise and vision to guide an exceptional adventure media event in Carbondale, Colorado. In advance of this four-day mountain movie menagerie, set to start on April 26th, Clifton shared a few thoughts on his new role and what we can look forward to on the cinema scene in 2012. [Photo: Ben Knight]
James/Joy Trip Project (JTP): You spent a lot of time working over at Mountain Film. In your opinion, how does that festival compare to 5Point?
Clifton: The way that I’ve been explaining it succinctly has been that Mountain Film is very much a festival that is activism on the back end. It’s a festival that really is doing a wonderful job of highlighting the problems in the world and talking about things that people need to care about. It truly is an activist film festival. 5Point is not an activist film festival, but it is on the front end of activism. It’s more about connecting people to the wilderness, the outdoors and these places that they’re going to fight (for) and protect for the rest of their lives. That’s the biggest difference that I see. Mountain Film has gone pretty far away from just programming for the adventure community or the outdoor market. They’re kind of spreading their wings a bit more. 5Point to me is fairly rooted in providing a place where that community comes together in a meaningful way.
Continue reading "Justin Clifton’s 5Point of View - Catch the Film Festival April 26-29 in Carbondale" »
by Michael Kew
From “Coral Refuge, Ocean Deep,” Chapter 8
WOULD THEY DO IT IN PARIS?
It’s the second T-shirt I’ve seen today that poses this question, a lingering sting of animosity toward France’s three decades of nuclear testing in L’Archipel. France ignored a 1973 World Court request to stop the practice, sparking protest worldwide, including New Zealand’s delegation of a naval ship to the main atoll, and Peru’s severance of their French diplomatic relations.
Relentless global opposition to nuclear testing saw the French drilling bomb shafts beneath the lagoon in 1975. Rather than blasting motus in plain view, replete with ominous, “harmless” fallout, the endeavor cloaked the tests submarine.
[Above: Fletcher Chouinard on a virgin right-hander. Photo: Michael Kew]
Continue reading "Coral Refuge, Ocean Deep - An Excerpt from “Crossings”" »