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    Climbing Season in Patagonia – Mate, Porro, y Todo con mi Dama

    By Colin Haley


    My girlfriend, Sarah Hart, is joining me for some of this season in Chalten, and arrived on the same day that Jon took off. We had a week of bouldering in relatively stormy weather, and then yet another weather window descended upon Chalten - this time an extended one. Although Sarah's only two previous ascents in the Chalten massif were Aguja Innominata and Cerro Solo, we decided that we had to try to profit from such a long weather window, and headed to the biggest objective we had planned to try together: the Goretta Pillar of Fitz Roy.

    Every year, Patagonia ambassadors, along with climbers from around the world, visit the small town of El Chalten in Argentina. Their goal: climb huge granite peaks in the Patagonia region, some of the most challenging in the world. Follow the updates from our ambassadors and friends on these Patagonia channels and #vidapatagonia:

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    We decided to try the route, "Mate, Porro, y Todo lo Demas," which was climbed to the top of the Goretta Pillar in 2008 by Rolando Garibotti and Bean Bowers, and finished to the summit in 2011 by Matjaz Dusic and Lovro Vrsnik. Since then it has had a handful of subsequent ascents. Sarah, gracious and generous as always, agreed to a plan to let me do all the leading. Although our rock climbing abilities are very similar, we figured that all my experience climbing in the range would make us climb a bit faster with this strategy. Additionally, since I have already climbed Fitz Roy via the Goretta Pillar two times before, trying to lead everything myself would make it still an exciting challenge for myself. However, to make the experience still enjoyable and exciting for Sarah, we opted not to take jumars, which undoubtably is a less efficient strategy, and more challenge yet!

    [Above: High quality rock climbing. Photo: Sarah Hart]

    Continue reading "Climbing Season in Patagonia – Mate, Porro, y Todo con mi Dama " »

    Climbing Season in Patagonia – Season Goals

    By Kelly Cordes

    Scariot - guillaumet_-1000637.jpg

    I came here with one goal. A New Year’s goal, despite my avowed no-resolution resolution of a year ago: Don’t un-send the Torre.

    My prolific spray about the single climb I’d done in Patagonia, a link-up on Cerro Torre with Colin Haley in 2007, might lend the illusion that I’ve climbed a lot here. Nope. I’ve just been meaning to climb a lot here. Anyway, now I’m here and I ain’t touching the Torre because a guy like me needs to protect those memories, not undo them.

    Every year, Patagonia ambassadors, along with climbers from around the world, visit the small town of El Chalten in Argentina. Their goal: climb huge granite peaks in the Patagonia region, some of the most challenging in the world. Follow the updates from our ambassadors and friends on these Patagonia channels and #vidapatagonia:

    Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Tumblr  Pinterest_logo

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     So Craig Scariot (formerly known as CFS) and I rolled into town with a ton-minus-one of possible objectives. We promptly ran into my good friends Chris and Justin. They’re animals, motivated, and had returned a few hours earlier from climbing Poincenot. Chris, aka The Chief, is one of my longest-running climbing partners, from back in the Missoula days (sordid story of me and The Chief here). Justin and I climb together back home in Estes Park, and he and his wife own Ed’s Cantina, my favorite local margarita eatery.

    [Above: Justin, The Chief, and Kelly at Piedra del Fraile. Photo: Crampon Craig Scariot]

    Continue reading "Climbing Season in Patagonia – Season Goals" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Magic of Serendipity – The Year of Big Ideas 2013

    By Fitz & Becca Cahall

    Dbd_YOBI_2012You might remember a story about climbers in the Magic Kingdom. It sounded like a dream job- climbing, secret lairs and cutting to the front of the roller coaster line. Our inbox flooded with emails about how to apply. But the program was canceled in 2005. Until last year. In an audition room filled with sponsored climbers and underground crushers, Susanica Tam felt her resume paled in comparison. Could climbing a mini-Matterhorn change Susanica's outlook on climbing?

    Today, we present our annual Year of Big Ideas. We went out into our community and listened to what you want to do in 2013. Here's to saying yes to new opportunities, stretching ourselves, and embracing a little spontaneity.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "The Magic of Serendipity"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit for links to download the music from "The Year of Big Ideas 2013" 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 90th Birthday to the Master, Fred Beckey

    000_xxi_Stuart_Jim_Yakutat AK


    By Fred Beckey

    We live on an astounding planet, punctuated by mountains on every continent. The mere presence of mountain ranges has long drawn the human imagination as an invisible force. Some say mountains have a “psychic gravity” enticing us into their grip. There is a magic among great peaks as a location of splendor, where changing light plays games with intense colors, affecting the tones of snow and ice and many gleaming ridge outlines.

    Editor’s note: In honor of Fred’s milestone birthday, we’re pleased to share the foreword from his most recent book, Fred Beckey’s 100 Favorite North American Climbs. Happy Birthday Fred, from all of us at Patagonia. Photo: Jim Stuart

    Mountain peaks have long filled humanity with a sense of the supernatural, and in ancient times were holy places, and in some cultures were considered sacred – the abode of the great spirit. In Asia, millions of the devout regard the Himalaya as the dwelling place of gods and a pathway to the heavens. Certainly the potentially dangerous nature of such mountains has tightened their grip on the human imagination.

    Continue reading "Happy 90th Birthday to the Master, Fred Beckey" »

    Van Life – Lessons From the Road

    Words and photos by Sonnie Trotter

    Van Life-5

    "Don't throw that away" she said, "we can reuse it".

    A small pot of dish water was clutched in my hand, as murky as the amazon,

    "Put it in here instead, we don't have much left."

    She was right, we didn't. It was cold outside, a late November evening in Bishop, California and we had more than everything we needed for another amazing day of bouldering, everything except water. If we were careful, we could scrape by and still be very comfortable. If we wasted it, we'd have to drive all the way back into town, thus wasting gas as well. Or, we could just be dehydrated and miserable.

    I poured the dirty dish water back into another pot, and we reused it to wash our dishes five more times before we ran out of food two days later.

    Continue reading "Van Life – Lessons From the Road" »

    Three Rooms – Packing 101 with The BAG

    by Brittany Anne Griffith


    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" »

    Thinking Like a Mountain Climber

    by Charissa Rujanavech


    Yvon Chouinard first came onto my radar in 1999.

    I was a young lass from the Midwest, transplanted for the summer in southern Utah and awestruck by the dramatic landscapes of the West. Having never traveled beyond the forests of Missouri, I was eager to explore these wild mountains, deserts, and rivers. I soon discovered what would become my greatest passion: rock climbing.

    My early climbing mentors taught me lessons in balance and delicate footwork during the day, and recounted stories of the Yosemite Golden Age rock legends over the campfire at night. The names of Salathé, Frost, Robbins, Pratt, and Chouinard were brought to life, through tales of near-mythical ascents up immense granite walls I couldn’t even begin to imagine tackling.

    [Yvon Chouinard holds forth at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Photo: Anthony Clark.]

    Continue reading "Thinking Like a Mountain Climber" »

    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" »

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