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    « November 2012 | Main | January 2013 »

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Sufferthon

    by Fitz & Becca Cahall

    Dbd_sufferthonAlastair Humphreys has biked around the world, crossed glacial highlands and desert lands. But in 2011, he stayed in Britain, focusing on trips close to home. The idea of backyard adventure wasn't new, but he put it in terms everyone could understand. While Alastair was perfecting the microadventure, Josh Norris and Ty Atwater were distilling down the elements of past adventure and cramming them into an all day -- well, Sufferthon. Can they create Type 3 fun without leaving Oregon?


    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "The Sufferthon"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)


    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links to download the music from "The Sufferthon" 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]

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from all of us at Patagonia!

    Wooly in Patagonia

    by Jim Little, Patagonia Creative Services

    IMG_6747

    We have some great benefits at Patagonia. But none is better than the opportunity to volunteer with environmental groups through our internship program. During my 15 years working as an editor here at our headquarters in Ventura, I’ve gotten to follow wild buffalo in West Yellowstone, see the effects of industrial forestry in Chile, learn about the sagebrush environment in northern Nevada, and most recently, spend two weeks in Patagonia, Argentina, working with The Nature Conservancy on its grasslands project.

    Sheep ranching is the most prevalent land use in the Patagonia region, which is three times the size of California and mostly privately owned. Overgrazing is turning its grasslands into desert. To reverse the degradation, preserve biodiverstiy and freshwater resources, Patagonia has partnered with The Nature Conservancy and Ovis XXI, an Argentine company that manages and develops a network of wool producers.

    [Above: A gaucho and his border collie head to their flock.]

    Continue reading "Wooly in Patagonia" »

    Broken Rivers: By the Numbers

    Matilija_dam_cut_here_2

    As Patagonia moves out of its Broken Rivers phase of the Our Common Waters environmental campaign, we wanted to take a look back at what was achieved in the last couple of years as it relates to broken rivers/dam removal. We often don’t take the time to consider these events during or after the course of our campaigns. So, with that in mind, please look at the following list of accomplishments that happened with the hard work of thousands of citizens across our land.

    • Dams taken down in 2012: 53 and counting
    • Major dams removed in Washington: 3 – The Condit Dam on the White Salmon River, Elwha Dam and Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River
    • Size of the Glines Canyon Dam – in terms of all dams removed in human history: Largest, at 210 feet
    • Number of miles of river habitat that Atlantic salmon will be able to access thanks to ongoing Penobscot River dam removals in Maine: 1,000
    • Number of river herring traveling upriver on the Kennebec in Maine before removal of the Edwards Dam: 200,000
    • Number of herring returning to the river after removal of the dam: 3 million
    • Number of emails sent to members of Congress regarding Congressman Hasting’s "worst dam bill ever" to prevent federal funding for dam removal: over 8,000 (opposed)
    • Number of actions taken, encouraging NOAA to continue funding the Community-based Restoration Program and the Open Rivers Initiative: 10,394 (since 2005 these government programs have removed dams and culverts, restored rivers and freed up passages for wild fish)
    • Number of emails sent to protest two boondoggle dam and reservoir 
proposals on the Chattahoochee River, listed as one of the 10 Most 
Endangered Rivers of 2012 by American Rivers: 3,352
    • Number of dams in the U.S. labeled “high” or “significant hazard” by the Army Corps of Engineers: over 26,000

     
    For more, see all blog posts from the Our Common Waters campaign.

    [Photo: Instructions for removal of the Matilija Dam, Ventura County, California. From "We're Just Getting Started: Elwha and Condit Establish Dam Removal Momentum"]

    B.C. or Bust – A Road Trip from Santa Barbara to Tofino

    by Trevor Gordon, photos by Jeremy Koreski

    Bridge cross

    This was my fourth time up to Vancouver Island to surf and camp along its coastline. I’ve sort of made a pact with myself to visit this place at least once a year after first falling in love with it three years ago. The beauty and power of Canada captures you, and it keeps me coming back. Each time I’ve been up there, I say, “It’s so close! Next time, I’m going to drive up!”

    I have a maroon 1988 VW Vanagon that would likely meet its death if I attempted the trip aboard it. My vagabond buddy Foster Huntington has been living in his van for more than 16 months. His is the mature, accomplished, big-brother version of my van – a 1987 4WD Vanagon with an Audi motor.

    I had a window of 12 days to make my trip to BC happen before I had to be back. After that, I couldn’t make it work until spring and by then conditions for surf are even less favorable. I asked Foster if he was around to take a road trip up to Vancouver Island and before I could finish he insisted we take his van. “I’ll get a tune-up tomorrow!” he said.

    [Above: The van charging north through patchy fog in Humboldt County, California.]

    Continue reading "B.C. or Bust – A Road Trip from Santa Barbara to Tofino" »

    2012 Dirksen Derby Snowboard Rally Race Kicks Off This Weekend at Mt. Bachelor – Follow Our Coverage

    by Gerry Lopez, photos by Abe Blair

    Dirksen_derby_1

    Josh Dirksen is a very social, genuinely friendly person with a lot of close friends all over the world. He has been a well-respected and well-traveled professional snowboarder for his entire adult life – a top competitor, free rider and now, for the past 6 years, as an event creator. The 6th Annual Dirksen Derby is Mt. Bachelor’s first snowboard event of the season and will happen this weekend, December 14-16, 2012.

    Editor's note: Follow Patagonia on Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook for #dirksenderby photo updates all weekend long, as well as the Dirksen Derby Facebook page.

    The idea for it came from Josh wondering what else he could do with his snowboard career as far as giving something back to the community and having fun with his pals. A longtime contender at the well-known Mt. Baker Banked Slalom, Josh thought, with a little help from his friends and a few days of serious digging, he could create a fun rally race of some sort at his home mountain. The Derby naturally turned into a fundraising event when young, Bend local, Tyler Eklund, was tragically injured and paralyzed in an accident at the USASA Nationals in 2007.

    [Above: Josh and crew building this year's course.]

    Continue reading "2012 Dirksen Derby Snowboard Rally Race Kicks Off This Weekend at Mt. Bachelor – Follow Our Coverage" »

    Don’t Wait for Good, Go Find It – Full Circle

    by Laurel Winterbourne

    Cover_1

    The world needs GOOD stories. Fortunately there are people like Trevor Clark who put it all on the line, travel thousands of miles and spend countless hours, days and months to get these stories out there. Trevor is an outdoor adventure photographer and friend of Patagonia who decided that he wanted to tell stories that mattered to him.

    After meeting Jessie Stone and hearing her story, there was no question in Trevor’s mind that this story needed to be told. Jessie is a professional whitewater kayaker and medical doctor who went to Uganda to paddle the Nile, but what she saw, changed the course of her life and the lives of many others.

    [Above: Dr. Jessie Stone is a member of the US Freestyle Kayak Team and a Medical Doctor. In 2004, she founded Soft Power Health to provide malaria education, prevention and control for the people of Uganda. Video frame: Trevor Clark]

    Continue reading "Don’t Wait for Good, Go Find It – Full Circle" »

    Three Rooms – Packing 101 with The BAG

    by Brittany Anne Griffith

    Boatload

    This may sound weird, but I love packing. When essentials are limited to two 50-pound bags – what a van can carry – a 40-liter backpack, or even just a carry-on, the things you think you need to take versus the things you actually do take is a fun game for me.

    My most recent trip had a slightly different take on our typical domestic climbing adventure and my packing volume was restricted to a boatload – literally. We were going to take a boat down southern Utah’s Green River, camp on a sandbar, prepare Thanksgiving dinner, and climb desert towers. That’s a lot of shit to remember to bring, and it all had to fit on a raft. We would be somewhat remote, a day’s boat ride and drive from Moab, so forgetting an essential could range from a hassle to devastating. JT gave me his short list as he rushed out the door to work the day before we left: pruning shears, axe, hatchet, waders, two each of #4, #5 and #6 Camalots, and three cases of beer. I don’t know what concerned me more: the request for an axe or that we might be climbing something that would require all that wide gear.

    [Packing the boat along the shores of the Green River. Photo: BAG’s iphone]

    Continue reading "Three Rooms – Packing 101 with The BAG" »

    Bridges for Wildlife – Migrating Pronghorn Encounter a New Overpass and the Freedom to Roam

    by Emilene Ostlind, photos by Joe Riis

    Overpass1

    The pronghorn antelope that migrate 170 miles from Grand Teton National Park south to their winter range face plenty of obstacles: rivers, fences, a high mountain pass, subdivisions, energy development. The most dangerous place in the migration corridor is the geographic bottleneck known as Trappers’ Point six miles west of Pinedale, Wyoming. Here, two rivers swoop toward one another and then apart, outlining a mile-wide strip of land the shape of an hourglass. A subdivision blocks half the bottleneck, and Highway 191, the main roadway connecting I-80 to Jackson Hole, runs across its middle flanked on both sides by barbed wire fences.

    Editor's note: Today we're pleased to share a follow-up story to our Freedom to Roam campaign. Patagonia's Rick Ridgeway first teamed up with Joe Riis four years ago to document migrating proghorn and the man-made obstacles they faced.

    One October day in 2008 Joe Riis, a National Geographic Young Explorers Grantee, photographed some 700 pronghorn crossing the highway at Trappers’ Point. He was part way into a two-year-long project to document the entire migration in photographs. The animals packed a trail in the snow as they ducked under one barbed-wire fence. They sprinted between cars and trucks on the highway. A dog from the subdivision chased them as they tried to find an opening under the second fence. In a panic, they continued south.

    [Above: Wyoming pronghorn and mule deer migrate over the new highway overpass at Trapper's Point, Wyoming. All photos: Joe Riis]

    Continue reading "Bridges for Wildlife – Migrating Pronghorn Encounter a New Overpass and the Freedom to Roam" »

    Deep Water Video Series – Ocean Adventures with Kohl Christensen



    Kohl Christensen's life balances the search for the biggest waves with building and farming at home in Hawaii. Deep Water, a new short video series, follows Kohl and his friends as they chase huge surf around the world.

    Hit the jump to watch episodes two and three.

    Continue reading "Deep Water Video Series – Ocean Adventures with Kohl Christensen" »

    Black Tide

    by Dr. Tony Butt

    Prestige_oil_spill_Grueso

    We are constantly reminded that our oil-based consumer society, with our excessive use of plastics, obsession with air travel and inefficient ways of heating and lighting our homes, will eventually lead to environmental suicide in the form of global warming and resource depletion. But for many people, including surfers, global warming and resource depletion are a little hard to grasp; because they are difficult to actually see happening. However, our addiction to oil is one of the ultimate causes of another, much more tangible effect: when oil that is being transported spills into the sea and arrives on the coastline.
     
    Almost exactly ten years ago, the Prestige oil spill occurred off the coast of Galicia, in Spain, very close to where I live at the moment. It was the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of Spain and Europe, and I don’t think it should be forgotten. So I apologize in advance if you find this article a little gloomy.

    [Photo: Stéphane M. Grueso]

    Continue reading "Black Tide" »

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