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    « September 2012 | Main | November 2012 »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Tales of Terror Volume 3

    by Fitz & Becca Cahall

    DBD_Tales_of_TerrorEver walked through the woods late at night and felt like you were being followed? Had a strange feeling about someone you just met? Or had an encounter with the strictly inexplicable that led you, abruptly, to pack up and bail? Often, we rationalize these instincts – just a bird in the trees cracking limbs, just a strange fellow with good intentions, or, well, our senses simply must have failed us. But what about when these warning signals don’t go off? Today, Micah McNulty, Trey Johnson, and George Braun bring us stories of the times that intuition didn’t kick in when maybe it should have.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Tales of Terror Vol. 3"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com to hear or download the music from today's podcast. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes and RSS, or connect with the Dirtbag Diaries community on Facebook and Twitter.

    And just like last year, our cuddly receptionist, Joyce, is ready to greet you at Patagonia HQ today. Just don't make her cry...

    Continue reading "Dirtbag Diaries: Tales of Terror Volume 3" »

    America: the DamNation

    by Katie Klingsporn

    Davis_t_0822_2

    Despite their imposing numbers and size, most people never give dams a second thought.

    Patagonia founder and owner Yvon Chouinard is not one of those people.

    When he sees dams, he sees broken waterways, an antiquated way of thinking and a means of generating energy that is far from green. He also sees the potential to mend the damage by taking down dams.

    “I’m a fisherman, and I want to see fish come back to these rivers,” Chouinard said. “I want to establish that when you put in a dam or when you dig an open-pit mine or scrape down a mountain, that you have to restore it. There’s a public trust there and you have to restore it.”

    [Above: Executive Producer of DamNation and Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, has long been an advocate of dam busting and protecting free flowing rivers. Photo: Tim Davis.]

    Continue reading "America: the DamNation" »

    2012 Recap from Hell – The 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell

    by Sonnie Trotter, with photos by Lucas Marshall

    Sonnie&Tommy_1

    I couldn’t help but laugh. Seeing Tommy Caldwell in a mohawk, a pair of bright green short shorts, and a hot pink sleeveless t-shirt was too much to take. In a way, he reminded me of Kelly Cordes, but I can’t put my finger on why. Anyhow, that’s another story, and this one is all about the shortest day of my life – the 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell.

    Now, one might think by climbing for 24 hours straight that it would feel like the longest day, but that’s the paradox. It’s so much fun that it goes by really fast, and in the end, you wish you had more time.

    [Above: Sonnie Trotter and Tommy Caldwell, team Bonzo s Montreux, in full effect. Photo: Lydia Zamorano]

    Continue reading "2012 Recap from Hell – The 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell " »

    Well-Groomed and Powerful, "Groundswell" is Headed Your Way

    by Chris Darimont, Raincoast Conservation Foundation



    Groundswell – a new film by Chris Malloy of Patagonia, Farm League Productions, and Woodshed Films in conjunction with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation – is setting out out on tour. It's a small film about making a big stand. 

    Groundswell features world-class surfing of Patagonia’s Trevor Gordon, Dan Malloy and Chris Malloy. Canadian phenomenon Peter Devries also joins Raincoast aboard their 70-foot sailboat to discover what the remote coast of British Columbia, Canada, has to offer – and why it must be protected. Together with local indigenous leaders, this group gives voice to a coast in peril from a proposed Tar Sands pipeline and associated oil tanker traffic.

    Take_action_largeUpdate 2: The full-length version of Groundswell is now available at The Surf Network. Profits from the sale of this film are being donated to Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

    Update:
    The tour is almost over (photos after the jump) but you can still be a part of this amazing project. Take Action through the Raincoast website and add your voice to the Groundswell of opposition against oil tanker traffic on the Great Bear Sea. We hope to have news on a digital viewing option from The Surf Network soon.
     

    Continue reading "Well-Groomed and Powerful, "Groundswell" is Headed Your Way" »

    Mikey Schaefer Makes First Free Ascent of Father Time (5.13b) on Yosemite's Middle Cathedral

    by James Lucas, with Mikey Schaefer

    17_home

    The granite burned my forehead. I slumped my body further onto the wall, hoping it would support me. I cried. For the past two hours I seared my finger tips on the hot rock of the Boulder Problem, a twenty-foot section of unforgiving crimps that guarded my path to free climbing El Capitan’s Freerider. I’d spent 16 days over the past year toiling, working, and wanting to send the route. It was destroying me. I stared across Yosemite Valley at Middle Cathedral, El Capitan’s dark brother. How do people complete these enormous routes? [Above: Home in the clouds. Photo: John Dickey]

    The Dark Brother

    For over two years, Mikey Schaefer worked on his mega project. From the Boulder Problem I watched Mikey toil on the cold rock of Middle Cathedral, pushing a line through immaculate slabs and onto the steep headwall of the northwest face. On his fortieth day of climbing, after hand-drilling 113 bolts from marginal stances, after questing on the wall searching for a free passage, after doing the majority of this work alone, Mikey summited. This was the beginning. The route needed to go free.

    Continue reading "Mikey Schaefer Makes First Free Ascent of Father Time (5.13b) on Yosemite's Middle Cathedral" »

    Armenia Bound

    by Majka Burhardt, with Kate Rutherford

    1_armenia_rock

    Any climbing trip starts with a conversation. Kate and mine went something like this.

    Kate: “What’s your fall look like?”
    Majka: “October’s wide open.”
    Both of us: “Want to go somewhere good?”

    We considered Norway but were scared off by the rain; Germany was a strong contender but neither of us wanted to drink that much beer; and as crack climbers (aka sport climbing on tufas feels demoralizing) we were seeking a new ascetic in both the climbing lines and the surrounding culture.

    [Above: The basalt columns of Armenia. Photo: Gabe Rogel]

    Continue reading "Armenia Bound" »

    In Dag We Trust – A Rock Climbing Trip to Turkey's Ala Dag Mountains

    by Jonathan Thesenga

    Parmakayya

    “You’re going sport climbing at Antalya?” That was the question nearly everyone asked me when I told them that Brittany and I were headed to Turkey for a three-week climbing trip. A fair assumption – you gotta dig into a third or fourth level of research before you read about any sort of climbing in Turkey besides the bolt-clipping paradise of Antalya. A cushy sport-climbing vacation to the Mediterranean coast, however, was not in the travel plans this time around – we were headed for central Turkey’s Ala Dag Mountains, a Teton-esque range of rugged limestone peaks, walls and spires.

    DSC01717
    [All photos by Jonathan Thesenga (@jthesenga).]

    Continue reading "In Dag We Trust – A Rock Climbing Trip to Turkey's Ala Dag Mountains" »

    Slow is Fast, Part 2 – Biking and Surfing down the California Coast

    by Dan Malloy

    1

    In the last month I have learned more about the people and places along the California coast than I had in 34 years and a thousand trips by car.

    Maybe slow is fast.

    We have been on the road for five weeks now and we are thoroughly convinced that we have found the fabled confluence of old California and new California.

    The bummer is, it’s not a physical place and the only way we seem to be able to track it down is by bike. I don’t really understand why. Every time we hit the road pedaling good things just start happening, strange coincidences, random happenings, happy accidents and all-around ridiculous stuff. If I tried to explain it you might think I was on something. So, I’ll save the explanation of this epiphany and post a few photos from the most recent leg of our trip, San Francisco to San Luis Obispo. [Editor's note: Get caught up with Slow is Fast, part 1.]

    [Above: This one is for the FCD crew, who after the first post asked me to stop barrel dodging. A warm and friendly day at the great white petting zoo. Photo: Kanoa Zimmerman]

    Continue reading "Slow is Fast, Part 2 – Biking and Surfing down the California Coast" »

    Beyond and Back: Father Time

    by Jeff Johnson

    004

    Middle Cathedral: the ugly stepbrother of El Capitan that sits just across the valley, shoulders slumped, hiding his dark north-facing flanks that almost never see sun. The monolith hosts many seldom-climbed classics: Stoner’s Highway, the Direct North Buttress or DMB (more commonly known as the “do not bother”), Quicksilver and Mother Earth, to name a few.

    In the fall of 2010, Mikey Schaefer asked if I’d like to check out the Smith-Crawford way over on the right side. “Sure”, I said, thinking, I can always follow. Making our way up the first few pitches I was surprised by the quality of rock and how good the climbing was. At each belay I noticed Mikey scrutinizing the rock to climber’s left. I should have guessed he was up to something. The next thing I know we’re back up there with a bolt kit, hooks, and an assortment of pitons, hand drilling from small stances and marginal gear placements. Note to self: always think twice before accepting an invitation to climb with Mikey Schaefer.

    [Above: Mikey Schaefer rests on a relatively large stance as he contemplates his gear options. Photo: Jeff Johnson]

    Continue reading "Beyond and Back: Father Time" »

    Wild Salmon Get a Champion in Gov. Kitzhaber, but are Under Attack in Congress

    by Bobby Hayden, Save Our Wild Salmon

    If you’re excited by the progress being made to restore healthy free-flowing rivers and recover wild salmon across the country (think the Elwha, White Salmon, Kennebec, Penobscot, Sandy, and Rogue Rivers) – and you want to see more – please read on.

    Gov_Kitzhaber

    First, the good news: salmon get a political champion.

    Every so often – even in our currently highly polarized political climate – elected-leaders work to rise above the fray and seek new, collaborative solutions to tough challenges.

    [Above: Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. Photo courtesy of the State of Oregon.]

    Continue reading "Wild Salmon Get a Champion in Gov. Kitzhaber, but are Under Attack in Congress" »

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