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    The Labyrinth - an excerpt from Best Women's Travel Writing 2011

    From The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2011 - an excerpt from “The Labyrinth,” a story about surviving Costa Rican heartbreak and whitewater by Bridget Crocker, Patagonia copy writer. Bridget and fellow BWTW11 contributors will be reading at Diesel, A Bookstore in Malibu on Sun., Dec. 4 at 3p.m.

    Demin BW Portrait Bridget
    [Author and river guide, Bridget Crocker. Photo by Tony Demin.]

    “This upper section is called ‘The Labyrinth,’” Roland says, cinching down his frayed lifejacket. “It’s been run maybe three or four times before today. I’ve seen it a couple times and I’d say it’s pretty solid Class V. Lots of steep drops through tight chutes. There are a few slots we have to make—it’s not an option to miss them. I think I can remember them all, but we’ll have to scout as we go. There’s no way out of the gorge once we start.”

    Normally I would be anxious about taking a flaccid shredder down a little-run Class V boulder garden without the safety of other boaters along or even an evacuation route. Plus, Roland forgot his helmet and we have no throw bag. Oddly, I couldn’t care less. I feel no hint of the usual Class V jitters or concern for our lack of preparedness. It occurs to me that I may be spared a trip to Cathedral Point, as our little daytrip down the Labyrinth is suicidal enough.

    Continue reading "The Labyrinth - an excerpt from Best Women's Travel Writing 2011" »

    Opening Night at the Tin Shed on Broadway

    - By Jeff DiNunzio

    NYC PICS 379
    [The crowd gathers at opening night of the Tin Shed on Broadway. All photos: Anthony Garcia]

    The crowd arrived Friday to join us in welcoming Jon Swift. He had been touring steadily, and this was his last performance before a much needed break. He had flown east to help celebrate the opening of Patagonia’s Tin Shed on Broadway—one of two interim stores we opened in New York for the holiday season. Two-hundred people had come, some by accident, to join Swift in the party. The experiment was underway.

    The Broadway Tin Shed sits smack between West 99th and 100th Streets, with Columbia University to the north, another Patagonia store 20 blocks south, Central Park to the east, the Hudson at its west, and a logjam of baby strollers right out front. “Tin Shed” is a reference to the days Yvon Chouinard first built rock climbing tools in his blacksmith shop in Ventura, CA. To see the structure in person is to recognize the connection immediately – a small corrugated shack, it looks like something a couple of the guys might throw together in an afternoon to keep the drizzle out of their beer while they tinkered around with their toys. A carcass of retail space on the Upper West Side was reincarnated in about a month. The Broadway store opened two weeks ago, followed by the Upper East Side this past Sunday.

    Continue reading "Opening Night at the Tin Shed on Broadway" »

    Body Surf Classic San Francisco and Come Hell or High Water this Weekend in the Bay Area

    by Dan Malloy

    Danny Hess and his friends at the woodshop are hosting the first annual Body Surf Classic San Francisco at Ocean Beach this Saturday, November 5.

    It looks to be more of a gathering than a serious competition so get ready to take your game faces off. The event starts at the crack of nine Saturday morning. Beach entries welcomed.

    Below is a sign the guys at the woodshop made me build when I was passing through town last week. It will be present at the competition for anyone who would like to get pitted Mark Cunningham style.


    Editor's note: Later Saturday evening, after the contest, there will be a screening of Come Hell or High Water at Proof Lab in Mill Valley. Chris, Keith and Dan Malloy will be in attendance. Those who were lucky enough to score tickets will be able to see the film on Friday night at the Save The Waves Film Festival.

    [Video: Get to the Beach! by Alex Kopps]

    Quality AND Quanitity at 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell [Updated with video]

    by Jasmin Caton

    When she's not busy making us jealous about climbing in places like Greenland and France, Patagonia Climbing Ambassador Jasmin Caton guides folks to some of British Columbia's choicest rock climbs and snow-covered lines with Valhalla Mountain Touring, a business she owns and runs together with her husband. Jasmin teamed up with fellow ambassador Brittany Griffith for this year's 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell. We're pleased to share the report from Jasmin's personal blog.  And hit that 2-4 Hell link (rrrright over there, previous sentence) for a cool video recap of the past 6 years of madness. - Ed

    Imagine how you feel at the end of a full day of climbing; the pleasant forearm and back ache, the tenderness of the skin on your fingers and toes, the craving for a cold beer and some tasty food. That's pretty much how I felt 8 hours after the starting gun went off at the 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell in Arkansas. But instead of giving in to fatigue I chugged some canned coffee beverage, scarfed down one of the turkey-hummus-veggie wraps I had pre-prepped to avoid energy-bar burnout and dragged the rope over to our next pitch.

    [A few light snacks for a day of climbing. All photos: Jasmin Caton]

    Continue reading "Quality AND Quanitity at 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell [Updated with video]" »

    A Hootfest for the Torpedo People at the La Paloma Theatre

    ComeHellPremiere-8 After the world premier in New York, Keith Malloy and crew brought their new body surfing film Come Hell or High Water out to the west coast for a screening at the historic La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas, California. We received two reports from the show. First up is Patagonia Cardiff store manager, Devon Howard.

    Keith's film premiere last night of Come Hell or High Water at La Paloma in Encinitas was epic. Nixon did a great job of promoting and putting on the event and after party. We also celebrated Jeff Johnson's birthday. All the Malloys and their family were there, as were the entire Cardiff staff, and surf ambassador Trevor Gordon. Some other great surfers were on hand like Marc Cunningham, Danny Hess, Rob Machado, Taylor Knox, and Kelly Slater. The hoot meter was off the scale. So much fun.
    There is going to be a big buzz about this film. Keith and the crew made a unique waveriding movie that will be celebrated for many, many years, joining the ranks of hit films that guys like Chris Malloy and Thomas Campbell have done over the years. Congrats Keith. Well done!

    –Devon Howard

    Next we have writer and traveler Mark Ayling, who offeres his perspective on the evening in combination with a bunch of photos from Drew McGill and Devon Howard. [Above: Director Keith Malloy fields questions on-stage at the La Paloma Theatre. Photo: Drew McGill]

    A hushed whisper sweeps across the hundred surfers assembled before the La Paloma theater in Encinitas, California. We all peek to catch a glimpse of Mark Cunningham, the silver headed star of tonight's movie, Come Hell or High Water. Our reverence for this legendary waterman would be nothing unusual, except that Mark rarely touches a surfboard – he's a bodysurfer.

    Continue reading "A Hootfest for the Torpedo People at the La Paloma Theatre" »

    Come Hell Or High Water World Tour - A Bodysurfing Film by Keith Malloy

    Come_Hell_High_WaterWoodshed Films, Patagonia and Nixon are proud to announce the world tour for Keith Malloy’s debut film project, Come Hell or High Water. The film explores the history and progression of the sport of bodysurfing and the pureness that comes from riding a wave. Shot primary in 16mm, the film takes a unique look at the culture, beauty and simplicity of the sport, capturing the stories and locations of those who belong to this community.

    While Keith is most widely known for his time in the water as a surfer, his exploration into the world of bodysurfing began some 10 years ago when he wanted to reconnect with the ocean and did so through bodysurfing. Said Malloy about this project, “It’s about taking a breath and kicking your feet in the big blue sea.”

    A sold-out crowd watched the world premiere of Come Hell or High Water last weekend at the New York Film Festival. The film makes its west-coast debut this Friday, September 23, at the La Paloma Theater in Encinitas, California and will continue to crisscross the globe with more stops in Southern, Central and Northern California, North Carolina, London and more. A portion of the proceeds from the tour’s ticket sales will be donated to The Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance aimed at working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts.

    Hit the jump to watch the trailer and see the current film tour schedule.

    Continue reading "Come Hell Or High Water World Tour - A Bodysurfing Film by Keith Malloy" »

    Solitaire: World Premiere in Denver, Sept. 15

    Cleanest Line readers have been joining Sweetgrass Productions on their journey to produce their most ambitious film to date, Solitaire through their series "On the Road With Solitaire." The movie opens this week, September 15th, at Denver's Gothic Theatre. Watch the trailer and attend the premiere if you can, or stay tuned to the Sweetgrass website for the latest on when the film will be coming to a venue near you. Now, here's Nick from the Sweetgrass crew: 

    YoutGreat Scott, the day is nigh! Solitaire, that one confounding cord holding together two long and eventful years, drops on the unsuspecting masses this Thursday, September 15th. Hard for us to believe. Its real. All those 4am struggles with alarm clocks, and sweat-soaked skin tracks, and bus terminals, and luggage, GOOD GOD THE LUGGAGE!-- it all boils down to a 4x6 inch piece of cardboard with a disc inside.

    It's a tough feeling to express-- all of the wonder, all of the mystery, all of the uncertainty of committing to this project in an inhospitable land . . .

    [South America puts a couple wrinkles in your brow. Photo: courtesy of Sweetgrass Productions.]


    Continue reading "Solitaire: World Premiere in Denver, Sept. 15" »

    Vermont’s First Inaugural TU Trout Camp 2011

    Peeps in water
    Today's post is from Warren Coleman, a lawyer whose work focuses on protection of the waterways throughout the northeastern U.S. Warren's also a certified New Hampshire fishing guide, in other words, the perfect person to help host Trout Unlimited's inaugural Vermont Trout Camp. Here's Warren with a recap of the kind of fishing that can be found up in the Northeast Kingdom:

    I’m still not sure who had more fun at the Vermont TU Trout Camp – the campers or the counselors. I guess when it comes to fly fishing, the line that defines a kid and an adult easily blurs if you measure it on a scale of fun: zero (0) indicating that you were skunked and the river was blown out from torrential rain storms; ten (10) being a hurting arm from all the fish you’ve landed on dry flies and raccoon eyes from having polarized shades permanently affixed to your head for days on end.

    I’d have to say that our first inaugural Vermont Trout Camp rated about an 8, which is pretty darn good considering that we had lousy weather (except when it really counted and the sun came out) and the fishing was challenging (again, except when it really counted).

    [Vermont Fisheries Biologist, Jud Kratzer, leads Trout Unlimited's Vermont Trout Camp participants a few counselors on an electroshocking exercise on a nearby stream. Photos courtesy, Kurt Budlinger.]

    Continue reading "Vermont’s First Inaugural TU Trout Camp 2011" »

    Joy Trip Podcast: Shelton Johnson Speaks to the Conservation Alliance about "Diversity and Wilderness"

    Shelton-Johnson2James Mills, host of The Joy Trip Project, brings us a very special podcast today from the recently held, biannual meeting of the Conservation Alliance, of which Patagonia is a founding member. Here's James:

    For those of us who spend a great deal of time outdoors it’s hard to believe that there are many of those who don’t. Especially when it comes to our national parks there is an entire segment of the United States population, natural born citizens who seldom if ever visit. This is particularly true among people of color. African-Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic minorities spend far less time in nature than their white counterparts. And in a shifting demographic where minorities will soon become the majority there’s rising concern throughout the conservation movement that one day in the not so distant future most U.S. citizens will have no personal relationship with or affinity for the natural world.

    This concern is expressed most eloquently by National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson. The only permanent African-American ranger at Yosemite National Park, his mission is to share with audiences, black and white, lessons of stewardship that illustrate the bond with nature that is every U.S. citizen’s birth rite. An interpretive ranger that tells the story of the Buffalo Soldiers, African-American cavalrymen who projected Yosemite at the turn of last century, Johnson puts into context the importance of wilderness not merely as a point of national pride but an intrinsic value of what it means to be human.

    At the biannual meeting of the Conservation Alliance at the 2011 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City Utah, Shelton Johnson was the keynote speaker. Best known for his prominent role in the Ken Burns documentary “The National Parks, America’s Best Idea,” he was also instrumental in bringing Yosemite Valley to the attention of leading black talk show host Oprah Winfrey. In a nationally televised visit to the park in 2010 Winfrey used her media clout to invite millions of minorities across the country to explore the great outdoors.

    In this unabridged audio recording Johnson is welcomed to the podium by Conservation Alliance executive director John Sterling. For 40 minutes Ranger Johnson inspired a rapt crowd with a message to encourage all people, regardless of race, to embrace the wonders of nature and to claim their inheritance of our national treasures.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Shelton Johnson - Diversity and Wilderness"
    (39:40 - right-click to download MP3. Music: Hot Buttered Rum)

    Our thanks go out to James Mills for recording this talk and sharing it with The Cleanest Line. You can keep up with James at The Joy Trip Project website, Facebook page, iTunes channel and Twitter feed.

    For more from Shelton Johnson, pick up his book Gloryland.

    [Update 8/16: edited title]

    Zeb Walsh, Jeff Denholm and Gerry Lopez Set to Compete in Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard Race

    Zeb_walsh_1 Zeb Walsh will be representing Australia in the 15th annual Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboarding Word Championships. Zeb is the assistant manager of Patagonia Torquay, dad, great surfer and all-around talented waterman. I was lucky enough to have a chat with Zeb right before he left for Hawaii.

    Editor's note: Today's post comes from our sister blog at Patagonia Australia. Best of luck to Zeb, Jeff and Gerry in the race. We'll be pulling for you guys.

    Born and bread in Torquay, Zeb says he is a "sucker for white-line fever." Growing up in the surf-lifesaving scene, hard work is nothing new to him. Zeb trains all year-round under a self-disciplined schedule of two shorter 15km paddles, two longer 30km paddles and one "fun" paddle in the waves out front of Torquay point each week -- sometimes breaking it up with a run or good workout in the gym during the winter months.

    Continue reading "Zeb Walsh, Jeff Denholm and Gerry Lopez Set to Compete in Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard Race" »

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