The Cleanest Line

Weblog for the employees, friends and customers of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Visit to see what we do.

RSS Feed




    « October 2012 | Main | December 2012 »

    DamNation – Free-Flowing Again

    by Katie Klingsporn


    A little over a year ago, a 125-foot-tall dam stood in Washington’s White Salmon River, a concrete plug with a serene reservoir at its back and a trickle of river spilling out downstream.

    But it’s hard to tell that today.

    The Condit Hydroelectric Dam, which was built in the early 1900s to harness the energy of the White Salmon for local industry, was blasted into the history books in October 2011 with 700 pounds of carefully placed dynamite.

    The explosion, part of a phased project orchestrated by dam operator Pacificorp as an alternative to building costly fish passages, released the White Salmon River in a torrent of muddy water, debris and sediment, draining Northwestern Lake in less than two hours and freeing the river for the first time in almost a century.

    Since that time, demolition crews have completed the removal of some 35,000 cubic yards of concrete, as well as logjams and other debris in the river.

    And when public-access restrictions were lifted in early November, a group of boaters, river activists, biologists, rafting guides and kayakers converged for a historic float.

    [Above: Washington’s White Salmon river was officially opened to boaters this month after the removal of the Condit Dam, and spawning salmon have already been spotted upstream for the first time in a century. Photos by Ben Knight/DamNation]

    Continue reading "DamNation – Free-Flowing Again" »

    Led By The Winds & Sea

    by Belinda Baggs

    This was a slide show titled "Led By The Winds and Sea" presented on a tour of Japan in August 2012. We were honoured that people enjoyed a little insight into our family's adventures.

    Belinda Baggs is a Patagonia surf ambassador from Australia’s Sunshine Coast. You can read more from Belinda and the Patagonia Australia crew on the Patagonia Australia Journal or follow her family's adventures at On The Road with Rayson. Music by Todd Hannigan.

    Being Thankful

    by Annie Leonard

    Annie_leonardIf you ask people what they’re most thankful for in life, three things nearly always come out on top. Not their car (even if it’s a hybrid), their shiny new ultrathin laptop or a 700-fill-power goose down ski jacket. Surveys consistently find we’re most thankful for friends and loved ones, good health and the wonders of nature. What’s more, clinical studies show that gratitude is good for us. Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, more satisfied with their lives and better able to cope with problems. Being thankful even helps us sleep better.

    It’s a good time, then, to ask: Why don’t we walk the talk?

    Continue reading "Being Thankful" »

    Copp-Dash Inspire Award Accepting Applications for 2013


    The Copp-Dash Inspire Award is currently accepting applications through December 31, 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 and Sender Films, the Copp-Dash Inspire Award will distribute $20,000 in 2013 to North American applicants.

    [Jonny and Micah. Photo courtesy of Copp-Dash Inspire Award]

    Continue reading "Copp-Dash Inspire Award Accepting Applications for 2013" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Making It

    by Fitz & Becca Cahall

    Dbd_making_itWe've all day dreamed about it – becoming a pro. What would it be like? Well, besides getting to do the thing you love everyday, you'd probably get free gear, meet incredible people, get your photo taken, maybe travel the world. You might even get paid. We call it living the dream. And it's good work if you can get it. But, how do you get the gig? And is it really all that it's cracked up to be? Zack Giffin and Timmy O'Neill share their stories of finding the spotlight and moving beyond it.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Making It"
    (mp3 - right-click to download - contains expletives)

    Visit for links to download the music from "Making It" 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]


    2013 Mugs Stump Award - Application Period Ends December 14


    The application period for the 2013 Mugs Stump award is quickly dwindling. Established in 1993 to honor the late Mugs Stump, the award provides grants to a select number of individuals and teams whose proposed climbs present an outstanding challenge – a first ascent, significant repeat or first alpine-style ascent – with special emphasis placed on climbers leaving no trace of their passage. Interested parties have until December 14, 2012 to apply. Visit the official Mugs Stump Award page for application details.

    We asked a few Patagonia ambassadors to share some memories from trips they were able to take because of the Mugs Stump Award.

    Steve House: “The MSA helped me fund my crucial, early expeditions in Alaska. Yet as my ambitions expanded, the award kept pace, helping me to launch an expedition to Nuptse in Nepal, attempts on Masherbrum and Kunyang Chish in Pakistan and successful climbs of K7 West and Nanga Parbat's Rupal Face.”

    Marko Prezelj: “Mugs Stump Award is a special stimulation in the process of trusting climbing ideas that are beyond instant reach. Inspiring confidence is very powerful support. Thanks for all that.”

    [Above: Naisa Brakk in the Charakusa Valley. Photo: Marko Prezelj]

    Continue reading "2013 Mugs Stump Award - Application Period Ends December 14" »

    Best Wishes to Liz Clark

    by Dallas Hyland


    It was a random meeting. Okay, it was kind of a random meeting.

    My family has been following Liz Clark’s voyage via Facebook and her website with a mixture of curiosity and inspiration. We live in the high desert of Southern Utah just outside of St. George and suffice it to say getting outside is a daily ritual around here but the ocean is a treat mostly experienced online.

    I grew up twenty-five miles from the place where Yvon Chouinard forged a company that has left an indelible impression upon me – one that I intend to pass on to my children. I surfed the breaks of Ventura County from a young age and spent much of my late teens and early twenties working on or in the ocean in some capacity and like to think, however far-fetched it be, that if Yvon saw me, he might recognize me.

    Continue reading "Best Wishes to Liz Clark" »

    I Voted the Environment

    by Yvon Chouinard

    Now that the election is over, our work continues. I support the front-line activists, the river keepers and tree sitters who work to save a single patch of land or stretch of water. Today in the United States, small groups of kayakers and fishermen work tirelessly to bring down dams; duck hunters toil to preserve wetlands. And it’s mothers who exert the most pressure to clean up local toxic landfills. Activism never dies. Keep up the good work.


    Stay involved with us:


    A Good Ride

    by Kelly Cordes

    Kc - SD bike IMG_5834

    Shadows crept across the pavement, clouds reflected stars and headlamps crawled slowly up the road, bicycles under a full moon at 12,000 feet.

    A month later – just last week, in fact – I parked my beater Honda and stood on the sidewalk outside of Supercuts, on my way home from Patagonia meetings in Ventura, pondering the merits of going out on top. I’d spent five days in a bright red Camaro. Such sweet perfection.

    Our Estes crew had gone for a full-moon bike ride up Trail Ridge Road, in Rocky Mountain National Park – a friendly, fun ride. In it for the experience, you know. We left the parking lot, and Scotty D, Michael B, and me went out front, maybe-kinda fast. Freakin’ dudes. Can’t you guys do anything without it being a race?

    [Above: Scott DeCapio trying to lull us into complacency. Photo: Kelly Cordes]

    Continue reading "A Good Ride" »

    Read an Excerpt from "Closer to the Ground" by Dylan Tomine – Now Available in Hardcover and eBook

    by Dylan Tomine

    Closer_coverBefore reading the excerpt, see what Patagonia's founder, Yvon Chouinard, has to say about
    Closer to the Ground.

    A note from the publisher: Why I love this book

    Dylan Tomine’s Closer to the Ground is a lot more than your usual tribute to local food or to a local sense of place, or how to manipulate your kids into doing what you want them to do. Closer is a good-humored guide to teaching our kids how to learn from nature as teacher and mentor. Chief among nature’s lessons is self-reliance. You can see in Dylan’s kids, the more time they spend foraging and fishing with their dad, just how different their relation is to the food they eat, and how they develop a confidence anyone of any age could envy.

    Patagonia Books is discriminating. Every one of our titles has to be written with strength and clarity, and deliver a message that fits our reason for being—to publish work that supports the conservation and restoration of the natural world (that in turn underpins and sustains human life).

    Closer to the Ground is my favorite so far.

    —Yvon Chouinard


    From the Introduction

    During our first years of living together in Seattle, Stacy and I were dedicated urbanites, working, eating, sleeping downtown and taking full advantage of everything the city had to offer. But gradually, we found ourselves shifting to a strange, part-time rural existence, motivated by our quest for wild foods we could only find out in the country. The life of a city-based dilettante hunter-gatherer, though, is not easy. Try parking a drift boat in a crowded underground garage or finding a place to dump crab guts in a high-rise apartment. Step into an elevator stinking of tidal mud and lugging a bucket of geoducks and your neighbors press against the back wall with fear in their eyes.

    Continue reading "Read an Excerpt from "Closer to the Ground" by Dylan Tomine – Now Available in Hardcover and eBook" »

    One Percent for the Planet
    © 2014 Patagonia, Inc.