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    Worn Wear – a Film About the Stories We Wear

    We would like to invite you to be among the first to watch Worn Wear, a new film from Keith, Lauren, Chris, and Dan Malloy.

    Worn Wear is an exploration of quality – in the things we own and the lives we live. This short film takes you to an off-the-grid surf camp in Baja, Mexico; a family's maple syrup harvest in Contoocook, New Hampshire; an organic farm in Ojai, California; and into the lives of a champion skier, a National Geographic photographer, and a legendary alpinist. It also features exclusive interviews with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard.

    Released as an antidote to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy, Worn Wear is an invitation to celebrate the stuff you already own.

    [Video: Worn Wear - a Film About the Stories We Wear]

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    Viva Los Fun Hogs – A #Funhogging Origin Story

    By Jeff Johnson


    I used to dread the summers on the North Shore of O’ahu, Hawai’i. Famous for its winter surf, surfers from all over the world come to see what they are made of during a certain time of year. In the summertime, the waves go away and the crowds dissipate. My friends and I dreaded the four months of flatness. We eventually realized if we remained surf-centric we would have been primed for the loony bin. So we began embracing other ways to entertain ourselves.

    We got into paddleboarding, which was perfect for staying fit for the next winter season. Then we got into outrigger canoe surfing and bought a four-man for the job. This eventually led to building a six-man sailing canoe to circumnavigate the island. Then a few of us bought one-man canoes for times when no one else was around. During the summer, our beach was packed with a fleet of ocean craft, ready for any condition, waves or no waves. Eventually, we all started looking forward to the summer months. No crowds, a flat, beautiful ocean, and all sorts of ways to enjoy it.

    [Above: The author has finally joined Instagram. Follow his antics at @jeffjohnson_beyondandback. #funhogging]

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    2013 5Point Film Festival Trailer

    Let's do this! From April 25 - 28, 2013 the 5Point Film Festival will take over your senses, transport you to another place and leave you inspired for adventure. Join us. Visit for more information and tickets.

    [Video: 2013 5Point Film Festival Trailer from 5Point Film Festival.]

    Backseat of the Ford – An Excerpt from “Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods”

    By Christine Byl

    Chevy Vs.Ford_2006_2

    Back in 2007, author Christine Byl sent a juicy little story entitled “Innard Mongolia” to our fledgling blog. Today, we welcome Christine back to The Cleanest Line with congratulations on the publishing of her first book,
    Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods by Beacon Press.

    The first half of
    Dirt Work is set in Montana's Glacier National Park. This excerpt, from the second chapter, finds the novice traildog out with a new crew in the Middle Fork district on Glacier's west side.

    One of my first days in the Middle Fork resembles my firsts nearly everywhere in Glacier: out of my element, eager to get in, following along quietly until the former state gives way to the latter. This particular day found my own crew leader sick and me shipped off for the day with Brook and his Middle Fork guys to get a jump-start on the heavy clearing in the Coal Creek burn. I knew Brook by reputation only. Thirty-something, wiry, hyper, and flat-out hilarious, Brook was at the center of some of the most outlandish pranks and stories in the trails canon. He was drawn to drama, calamity, and excess. Brook loved attention. If he was on a search and rescue, he’d end up on the local news, and you could see why. He told a monologue worthy of a one-man show, complete with pantomime and imitations. He teased until the butt of the joke was ready to throttle him, stopped just before he was resented. His crews worked hard, hiked hard, drank hard, laughed hard. I was eager to see him in action.

    [Above: Fording Riley Creek. Photo: Gabe Travis]

    Continue reading "Backseat of the Ford – An Excerpt from “Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods”" »

    The Measure of a Mountain

    By Steve Graepel


    I remember the feeling more than the sound; a palpable ‘crack’ shattered through the bones of our house. At first we thought it was a car accident or maybe a gas explosion, but as we looked out the bay window to the north, we knew it was far worse... a mushroom cloud vigorously boiled up over the Portland skyline.

    The youngest of the Cascade volcanoes, Mount St. Helens has always had the geological temperament of a teenage girl, marked by no less than four Current Era outbursts rivaling that which we experienced the morning of May 18, 32 years ago today. The peak's personality played a prominent figure in Native American oral history. According to the Klickitats, she was caught in a love triangle with two brothers who destroyed villages and territory while vying for her attention. As punishment, the chief of the gods turned all three to stone: Adams to the north, Hood to the south, and Loowit, to the west, became Louwala-Clough—or smoking mountain.

    [Above: Mount St. Helens's yawning breach from the northwest. Photo: Steve Graepel]

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    Dirtbag Diaries: Origins

    by Fitz & Becca Cahall

    Editor's note: Hard to believe it's been five years since The Dirtbag Diaries was born onto the Internet. There have been so many good stories, so many inspiring people. Now, we can't imagine an Internet (or this blog) without them. Thank you Fitz and Becca for all your hard work. And thank you to the fans of the show for your passionate support. Here's Fitz and here's to five more years:


    The Dirtbag Diaries turns five. This also happens to be our 100th episode. To celebrate the occasion, we reached out to our collaborators, our contributors and our friends and asked for ideas. I pitched them a bunch of ideas. They shook their heads. Their response was resounding. "We want to hear your story, the story of the Diaries," they said. Our intern, Austin Siadak, stepped forward to do the interview and relay the story. The tables were turned. By nature, we like our creation stories simple. An idea appears in the void.  A light bulb goes off. The apple hits Sir Isaac Newton on the head. In reality, creation stories are messier, more complicated and more interesting than abbreviated elevator pitches. They are a sum of parts. So here goes.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Origins"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit for links to download the music from "Origins" 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]

    The Ptarmigan Traverse

    By Steve Graepel


    Scott scrambles up to Cache Col and drops his pack besides mine. We've been moving just over two hours since the trailhead and have stopped to get our first glimpse at the route before us. Our goal is the Ptarmigan Traverse – a 35-mile off-piste, haute route traversing the southern upheaval of the North Cascades.

    This terra incognita was first explored in July of 1938 over a period of 13 days. The Ptarmigan Climbing Club made numerous first ascents along the route – an effort that is still recognized as one of the greatest feats in the North Cascades… ever. Their report was never published, and due to tumultuous world events, the traverse wasn't repeated for 15 years. In September of 1953, Dale Cole, Bob Grant, Mike Hane, Erick Karlsson and Tom Miller reversed the route and published their report in The Mountaineer. It was this second traverse that turned the Ptarmigan Traverse into the classic it is known as today. Miller’s photos were published as a book, The North Cascades (1964), and later submitted as supporting documents in a bill sent to Congress that established the North Cascades as a National Park (1968).

    [Above: The author jogs up to Cache Col from Cascade Pass. All photos courtesy of Steve Graepel]

    Continue reading "The Ptarmigan Traverse" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Year of Big Ideas 2012 - Frozen Lemonade

    by Fitz & Becca Cahall


    When will it snow? It's the question on the lips of ski town locals throughout the West as fluttering flakes have been late to arrive. Sill, the winter provides opportunity: tacky mountain bike trails usually buried under feet of snow, ice climbing on routes normally inaccessible, and ice skating on remote alpine lakes. John Dittli says the skating has been epic in the high Sierra. While others have bemoaned the lack of snow, John has seized the extended window to ice skate on multiple lakes – many more than a typical year allows. He may even secretly hope that the snow remains at bay for a little longer. In the spirit of making the most out of a situation, we present the Year of Big Ideas 2012 – goals from friends, pros and creative thinkers. And no matter what 2012 brings, we'll make sure there's more lemonade in all we do.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "The Year of Big Ideas 2012 - Frozen Lemonade"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit for links to download the music from "Frozen Lemonade" 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.


    Mike Colpo 1975-2011 - Raising our Glasses to Localcrew


    Mike Colpo, associate editor of this blog and frequent contributor (as “localcrew”), died suddenly on December 7 while trail running on his lunch hour near the Patagonia Distribution Center in Reno. He was 36.

    [Above: Mike and Skeena share some love. East Humboldt Range, Nevada. Photo: Old School]

    All of us who worked with him are in shock: Mike was young, fit and apparently healthy, his loss unexpected. And Mike was so modest about his talents and accomplishments that, now that he has gone, we’re coming to realize how much he took with him. He was a graceful writer and fine editor and a Zen-like master of the 140-character Tweet. He was a committed, and knowledgeable environmentalist who had a special love for Nevada’s wild places. He was a monster on his mountain bike and his beloved Xtracycle, an excellent backcountry navigator, telemarker, fly fisherman and alpinist who took a month out every summer to guide for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Wyoming.

    Guys like Mike never just disappear though. He’ll pull away and maintain a pace you can’t quite match. You see him cresting the hill way ahead and dig deep to catch him. He’ll drop in on the pow stash and you’ll just see him, a speck on the horizon until you’re not sure he’s still there at all. But like all adventure hounds, he’s there somewhere, among the trees and tall grass, his nose to the ground, thinking and looking for something fun. –Team Bacon Strip from “R.I.P. Mike Colpo

    Continue reading "Mike Colpo 1975-2011 - Raising our Glasses to Localcrew" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Way of the Underdog

    The_Way_of_the_dog_small_300 After a well-deserved summer break, Fitz is back with another episode of The Dirtbag Diaries.

    The Underdog is the most potent myth in America. It pervades film, pop culture, music and sports. Politicians use it to frame their campaigns. Professional sports teams use it to psyche themselves up before big games. In theory, we've always liked the long shot. Is this special type of hero just a myth or is the underdog real? Contributor Brendan Leonard thinks it's real because he's seen it in person. Jayson Sime was a small town Iowa kid from the tough part of town. He was told he wouldn't amount to much by his teachers and hazed by his peers. The greatest successes require the most difficult obstacles. From north of nowhere to a career in politics to Mount Shasta's summit, Jayson has overcome. Maybe heroes are real. To be in their presence is a powerful thing. Can you learn how to emulate the underdog by watching one?

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "The Way of the Underdog"
    (30:38 - right-click to download MP3)

    Actually, Fitz wasn't totally relaxing over the summer. He posted his annual Dirtbag's Playlist Volume 6, a special episode that highlights the music from all of last year's podcasts. He and his partner Bryan Smith also released The Season 2 video series.

    Visit for links to download the music from "The Way of the Underdog" 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.

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