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    « August 2012 | Main | October 2012 »

    The Phreenix – Copp-Dash Inspire Award Leads to New Route in Ragged Range

    Words by Jeremy Collins, Photos by James Q Martin

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    The Phreenix, (5.11, 800m, Phoenix Wall on Mount Dracula, Vampire Peaks, Ragged Range, Northwest Territories, Canada, North America, Planet Earth)

    A year and half ago, I sat at a dive bar in Kansas with Pat Goodman. Bob Seger jammed some "Old Time Rock & Roll" on a bejeweled jukebox in the background. Halfway through a batch of chips and salsa, I told him I was looking for a unique climb to do as far north as possible that included good, unclimbed rock, culture, and wildlife.

    He smiled, took a sip of local brew and began to tell me about "The Phoenix" a 2,600-foot wall of perfect granite that had been climbed but not free climbed. On top of the climb was an untouched ridge of porcelain snow and ice leading to Peak 2451, also unclimbed. All in all, a 3,500-foot vertical route on one of the big remaining un-free-climbed features in North America. It was love at first bite.

    "There's a caveat, though," he whispered. "If you want to go, you gotta go with me."

    Sip. Smile. Handshake.

    [Above: The Phoenix Wall. "The Phreenix" follows the prow of the formation.]

    Continue reading "The Phreenix – Copp-Dash Inspire Award Leads to New Route in Ragged Range" »

    Register to Vote Here – It’s National Voter Registration Day

    by Andy Bernstein

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    Presidential elections are the most popular and least popular event in America. In 2008, 131 million Americans voted for President. That's three times as many people as watched the Oscar's. A full 90 percent of registered voters turned out and more than four out of five young registered voters cast a ballot in 2008, marking the largest total turnout in history.
     
    But that leaves about 70 million eligible Americans who sat it out. Think everyone you know votes? Think again. Across the board, in every demographic, people choose to let others decide who should determine the future.
     
    There are many reasons for this. When unregistered voters are asked why they aren't registered, about half say they just don't care (give them points for honesty). But that leaves over a huge swash of Americans who found the voter registration system too confusing or missed the deadlines and didn't register for that reason.

    [Above: Jack Johnson breaks his no-social-media rule for National Voter Registration Day. http://bit.ly/registertovotejackjohnson]

    Continue reading "Register to Vote Here – It’s National Voter Registration Day" »

    Slow is Fast, Part 1 – An Attempt at Going on a Mini Adventure in My Own Backyard

    by Dan Malloy

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    After being on the road for a good part of the last 15 years, I have a lot of catching up to do at home. The truth is, for about ten of those years I didn't  think twice about California, never felt home sick or that I was missing a thing. Well, that time has passed. I am not sure if I'm just getting older or whether I've figured out that there are a 100 lifetimes worth of adventure here at home.

    A while back I had an idea that seemed like a really fun way to see our coastline like I do the far away coastlines that I have visited over the years. I mentioned it to two friends and they were all in, planning and packing, and all of the sudden the trip was on.

    So, three weeks ago, Kanoa Zimmerman, Kellen Keene and myself jumped on a train headed north with bicycles, a surfboard, wetsuits, flippers, a microphone and a couple cameras. The idea was to surf down the coast by bike, staying with friends, family and acquaintances, poaching camps when we had to, doing our best to earn our keep and to learn from folks that are doing good work and getting by along the California coast.   

    Here are a few photos from the trip so far.

    [Above: Dan Malloy and his rig. All photos by Kanoa, Kellen and Dan] 

    Continue reading "Slow is Fast, Part 1 – An Attempt at Going on a Mini Adventure in My Own Backyard " »

    Remembering Russell Train

    Russell Train, who led the Council on Environmental Quality under President Nixon and then the Environmental Protection Agency under Gerald Ford, died Monday, September 17. The New York Times in its obituary said that Mr. Train, "shaped the world’s first comprehensive program for scrubbing the skies and waters of pollution, ensuring the survival of ecologically significant plants and animals, and safeguarding citizens from exposure to toxic chemicals."

    [Above: Remembering Russell Train. Video: World Wildlife Fund]

    I had the honor of working with Mr. Train on an essay Patagonia published in 2004, when George Bush was president. We run the essay here again because of its strong support for the environment, because of Mr. Train’s bi-partisan approach to the world we live in, and because of its elegance. (Some parts of the essay relate only to the Bush administration but most of the essay could have been written very recently.)

    Continue reading "Remembering Russell Train" »

    Unplugging to Get in Touch - A Kiteboarding Dispatch from the Tuamotus

    by Jason Slezak

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    There is something I love about recording a voicemail greeting that says I will be out of the country, with no cell phone access, for a few weeks. Usually included is the customary, “You can try to reach me by email…” but even that was questionable. This time, I’d be traveling somewhere so remote it’s basically be off the grid. And that “something” I love about the voicemail? It actually has more to do with everything that leads up to the point of making the recording.

    The weeks of pre-planning and packing were over. The hours and hours of watching swell charts on the Internet, hoping to see a solid blob of swell pop up in the proper direction, and the incessant studying of wind graphs and forecast sites to determine what size kites and boards to take had all passed. The stresses of showing up late (as always) for the airline check-in, the roulette wheel of excess baggage fees and the long security lines had faded into faint memories. I sent my last farewell texts to family and friends, and finally, switched my phone and my contact with the everyday world… OFF.

    [Jello-blue lagoon, Ninamu. Photo: Jason Slezak, GoPro]

    Continue reading "Unplugging to Get in Touch - A Kiteboarding Dispatch from the Tuamotus" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Crash and Burn

    by Fitz & Becca Cahall

    Crash_and_burnDrive it until it dies. That's the motto I lived by as my truck, Crash, crisscrossed the West. Family members would doubtfully ask, "Are you sure you want to drive there?" I did. Friends would ask about Crash's well being as though he was my aging dog. Though I knew the day was coming, I was still blindsided when the gears ground to a halt on my way to Yosemite. Could my belief in Crash transcend beyond the hulk of metal?


    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Crash and Burn"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)


    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links to download the music from "Crash and Burn" 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.

    [Graphic by Walker Cahall]

    Kamchatka Surf Trip – Phone Call and Fresh Photos

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    Hopefully, you've been keeping up with the Kamchatka surf crew during their travels through remote eastern Russia. We just received a new sat-phone call from Patagonia ambassador Keith Malloy and our on-the-scene reporter Foster Huntington describing the latest leg of their journey.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Kamchatka Surf Trip 2"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    [Above: Made to order fun. Keith Malloy deploys the tray for a body surfing session on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. Photo: Foster Huntington]

    Hit the jump for a fresh batch of Instagram photos from the trip.

    Continue reading "Kamchatka Surf Trip – Phone Call and Fresh Photos" »

    Patagonia Books Presents an Interview with Audrey Sutherland, Author of Paddling North

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    Our good friend Dale Hope took the long drive from Town out to the North Shore of O‘ahu and sat down with Audrey Sutherland. While they sat on her deck (which overlooks the surf break named Jocko’s, named after her son Jock) they talked about Audrey’s new book, Paddling North, just out from Patagonia Books. Here’s that conversation.

    DALE HOPE: Tell me about your latest book, Paddling North.

    Pn_coverAUDREY SUTHERLAND: It’s a story of a trip I took from Ketchikan around Revillagigedo Island and then across to Prince of Wales Island. I then hitchhiked with my boat deflated and folded up from Hollis to Craig, and then continued on the water to Point Baker and across Sumner Strait. From there I went up to Kake and crossed over to Baranof Island, then on the outside of Chichagof Island. I ended up in Skagway via Icy Strait, Chatham Strait, and the Lynn Canal. That’s the actual boat right there, on the deck against the house.

    DALE HOPE: What inspired you to write about that trip?

    AUDREY SUTHERLAND: I keep journals on all my trips, whether the trip was to Moloka‘i or wherever. I have always kept a diary, even when I was a kid. I don’t know maybe it’s ego, but it helps if you want to remember something later. I’ve got diaries from way back, every trip I always kept a journal. Here’s one. What year is on there?

    DALE HOPE: Alaska Volume One. Wow, Audrey you wrote long stories, these are big journals.

    AUDREY SUTHERLAND: I wrote everyday in my journal: where I went, what I saw, what I ate….

    Continue reading "Patagonia Books Presents an Interview with Audrey Sutherland, Author of Paddling North" »

    Kamchatka Surf Trip – Follow our Live Updates

    by Foster Huntington



    On August 30th, surf ambassadors Keith Malloy and Trevor Gordon, along with Chris Burkard, Cyrus Sutton, Dane Gudauskas and myself set out on an exploratory surf trip to the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia. For two weeks we'll be camping out, looking for waves and doing some fly fishing.

    [Above: Preparing To Surf In Russia. Video by Arctic Surf]

    After the second World War, the Russian Government limited all travel, including Russian citizens, to this remote area, making the Peninsula one of the most remote and undeveloped places in the world. Since opening up in 1990, limited development has affected the area, but swell forecasting cannot dictate a trip to Kamchatka – like most surf trips these days – because of the difficult travel plans required to visit.

    Continue reading "Kamchatka Surf Trip – Follow our Live Updates" »

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