The Cleanest Line

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    Cold-Water Bali or Myth?

    By Tony Butt

    Near fjord (elli thor magnusson)

    “Just go in,” said the woman’s voice. “There’s nobody there at the moment but the house is always left open. Yours is room two, upstairs.”

    I was calling ahead to the small guesthouse where we had booked a room. Slightly bewildered, I looked across at my traveling buddy, Martín. “It’s cool man, aquí no roban,” he said, in his usual mix of Argentine Spanish and colonial English. This place was nothing like the streets of Cape Town Martín had just come from, or the Buenos Aires he had grown up in. This was officially the safest country in the world, where the most serious violent crime might be a pub brawl between two drunken fishermen.

    Above: Somewhere near a fjord. Photo: Elli Thor Magnusson

    Continue reading "Cold-Water Bali or Myth?" »

    Happy Holidays

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    Every year, we look back on the year that was—and every year, we’re deeply thankful for your support of our mission and your willingness to stand for nature in all its fullness and beauty. May the peace and joy of the holiday season be with you and your loved ones, and here’s to a bright New Year ahead.

    Inner glow meets outer glow in the Alaska Range. Photo: Norio Matsumoto

    In Memoriam: Kei Taniguchi and Kenshi Imai

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    It is with heavy hearts that we share news of the passing of two Patagonia climbing ambassadors, Kei Taniguchi and Kenshi Imai, in two separate incidents.

    Kei Taniguchi passed away on December 22 at Mount Kurodake in Hokkaido, Japan. Our deepest condolences and best wishes go out to her family and friends. She was 43 years old.

    Taniguchi climbed Mount Everest in 2007 and was the first woman to win the Piolet d’Or in 2009 for the first ascent of the southwest face of Kamet (7756m, India) in alpine style with Kazuya Hiraide. She became friends with many Patagonia ambassadors and employees around the world after joining our ambassador program in 2013. Her numerous adventures, ability to climb into the unknown and willingness to thoroughly pursue what she loved, always with a smile, gave us a lot of courage and strength. She has our deepest respect and gratitude, and will be missed dearly.

    Continue reading "In Memoriam: Kei Taniguchi and Kenshi Imai" »

    The Paris Project: COP21 concludes with historic climate treaty and a future full of questions

    By Ethan Stewart

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    This is the second installment from our man on the ground in Paris for the UN Conference on Climate Change, Santa Barbara Independent Editor-at-Large, Ethan Stewart. Catch up with part 1 if you missed it. Above: 350.org founder, Bill McKibben (glasses and Red Sox hat), joins an impromptu protest in Le Bourget towards the end of the two-week climate conference. Photo: Kodiak Greenwood


    Patagonia in Paris

    One of the loudest and most critical messages to come out of Paris during the COP21 was that the international business world is finally getting on board with the benefits of putting Mother Earth before profit margins. As evidenced by testimony provided during countless side panels and spin-off talks between CEOs and various insiders and watchdog groups during the two-week conference, private industry has awoken to the bottom-line benefits of having smaller carbon footprints, planet-pleasing corporate policies and a brand identity that is markedly pro-Earth. Simply put, it is no longer just a moral compass that guides a company to a more eco-savy way of doing business, it is just plain and simple sound financial policy.

    Continue reading "The Paris Project: COP21 concludes with historic climate treaty and a future full of questions" »

    To Those Who Loved Doug

    By Rick Ridgeway

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    In the days since our friend and mentor Doug Tompkins lost his life in a kayaking incident, we have experienced an outpouring of condolences from thousands of people around the world. The sense of loss from people who never knew Doug, but did know his work, is palpable.

    A few days ago, at the headquarters of Tompkins Conservation in the Chilean town of Puerto Varas, we had a service for Doug attended by people from up and down the country and Argentina. Kris, his wife, opened the ceremony and spoke in Spanish of her boundless love for Doug, their love of wildness and their deep commitment to the protection of wilderness and wildlife, and their work to save, then donate, two million acres of land to the people of Chile and Argentina—and to all of us. She spoke with dignity and power, with a force that welled from a place inside her. She gave everything to each sentence and paragraph. Drained, she paused, breathed, and with each breath the power would rebuild until she continued with an even more profound power that none of us had seen before.

    Above: Doug Tompkins, Rick Ridgeway, Yvon Chouinard on the summit of Cerro Kristine in 2008. Photo: Conservacion Patagonica Archives

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    Dirtbag Diaries Podcast: Everybody Loves LeeRoy

    By Fitz & Becca Cahall

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    God told Steve Wescott to walk from the Space Needle to Times Square, NYC, with a goat named LeeRoy, to raise $200,000 for an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. Or at least that’s the elevator pitch. In truth, when Steve started out of Seattle in 2011, it had much less to do with God, and much more to do with running away from himself and the mistakes he had made as a Christian rock star and sex-and-love-aholic. You probably don’t want to listen to this one with your kids.

    Continue reading "Dirtbag Diaries Podcast: Everybody Loves LeeRoy" »

    I Heart The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Here’s Why You Should Too

    By Cindy Shogan

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    Full disclosure. As the executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, I’m slightly biased when it comes to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    Alaska Wilderness League exists today with the mission to “lead the effort to preserve wild lands and waters in Alaska by engaging citizens and decision makers with a courageous, constant, victorious voice for Alaska,” but when the League was born more than 20 years ago, protecting the Arctic Refuge from the imminent threat of development was the number one priority. The Arctic Refuge is an unparalleled landscape, one of the most pristine and beautiful places on Earth, and one that can and should be mentioned in the same breath as the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park in terms of iconic American destinations.

    Above: Reflection of the Brooks Range in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Photo: Hillebrand/USFWS

    Continue reading "I Heart The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Here’s Why You Should Too" »

    Douglas Tompkins 1943–2015

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    We are deeply saddened to learn of Doug Tompkins’ death. Doug was a dear mentor to our company and a good friend to many of us here at Patagonia. Our hearts go out to all of his loved ones.

    Please read this powerful piece, “Douglas Tompkins: A Force for Nature,” to learn about his legacy. We will share more memories of our friend in the coming days.

    Above: Doug Tompkins, Rick Ridgeway, Yvon Chouinard on the summit of Cerro Kristine in 2008. Photo: Conservacion Patagonica Archives

    The Paris Project: Looking back at week one of the United Nationsʼ Conference on Climate Change

    By Ethan Stewart

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    For the past month, the entire world has been focused on Paris. First, an act of pure and peace shattering barbarism brought the City of Lights directly into focus in the hearts and minds of all of us just two weeks before Thanksgiving. And then, with the hurt still raw and hemorrhaging in worldwide waves of fear, arguably the biggest environmental gathering of this modern age descended upon the scene. 2015 is about to conclude as the warmest year on record here on Planet Earth, just a year after 2014 earned the same distinction. The planet, like it or not, is changing, and 194 countries from around the world have come together to try and do something about it.

    Above: Public assembly has been shut down during the conference due to security concerns, but the arts community has found creative ways provide a voice for the many. #HumanEnergy display by artist and researcher Yann Toma. Photo: Kodiak Greenwood

    Continue reading "The Paris Project: Looking back at week one of the United Nationsʼ Conference on Climate Change" »

    Two in the Tsaranoro Valley: A report from the rock walls of Madagascar

    By Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll

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    Fire in the Belly

    What were we thinking? Was it arrogant of us to go straight up this blank-looking headwall? The chances that this line would go free were pretty slim. Was it the aesthetics of the blankness and steepness that had attracted us? Why didn’t we choose to follow more obvious features that were more likely to go?

    After having climbed some of the classics in Madagascar’s Tsaranoro Valley with Argyro Papathanasiou from Greece in July, I was joined in August by Siebe Vanhee from Belgium, who immediately spotted a major unclimbed line on Tsaranoro Atsimo, to the right of Mora Mora (a line freed by Adam Ondra in 2010 at 8c).

    Above: Deciphering the puzzle of Fire In The Belly: One finger razor blade edge with right hand to bad sloper with left. Photo: Siebe Vanhee

    Continue reading "Two in the Tsaranoro Valley: A report from the rock walls of Madagascar" »

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