By Craig Holloway
When I lived in Chicago I ran like there was no tomorrow. Sundays had me running long steady miles, Mondays were a set up for double-down Tuesdays, and Wednesday’s leg screaming repeats on the University of Illinois’s Circle Campus track provided the week’s endorphin highlight. A friend whom I trained with told me about ultramarathon running and thought I should give it a try. My first 50-kilometer trail run took place on a cool Kettle Moraine day. There were no cars to dodge, no pinballing between pedestrians, only bib-numbered souls encouraging each other along pine-scented singletrack.
As I got more involved in the sport I learned that family and friends crewed and paced runners at 100 milers. Crews wait at aid stations with fresh shoes and clean gear. Pacers get their runners up big climbs, run with them through the night, and keep them running in the morning light. For most of the race, however, the runners are alone and it’s possible to take a wrong turn far away from any help. There is one runner I’d like to tell you about, a unique runner who found me after I had gotten lost during a 50K in the Sierra Nevada.
Photo: Jeff Johnson
Continue reading "See You Out There" »
Patagonia climber Alexander Megos made the third ascent of Lucid Dreaming (V15) this week on the Grandpa Peabody boulder in the Buttermilks. It was a double-milestone effort for the German phenom.
“Feels like a DREAM but it’s not. Finally took down my hardest boulder ever and as well my longest project ever!” Alex said on his newly created Instagram account.
Photographer Ken Etzel was there to capture the climb and share some details.
Continue reading "Lucid Dreaming [Updated with video]" »
By Ron Hunter, Patagonia Environmental Activism Manager
The Obama administration has finalized a sweeping new management plan for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska that proposes designating millions of acres as Wilderness and off-limits to most oil and gas development. President Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell unveiled the Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP), recommending a Wilderness designation for the Arctic Refuge’s Coastal Plain.
This is big news.
This CCP recommendation by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) recognizes the value of the Arctic Refuge as a wilderness-quality ecosystem that supports a full range of arctic and marine animals and habitats. The coastal plain of the Refuge provides critical habitat for migratory birds, polar bears, wolves, muskoxen, and caribou and for thousands of years has provided sustenance and sustained the lives and culture of the Gwich’in and Inupiat people.
Above: Rainbow on the Brooks Range, Marsh Fork of the Canning River. Western boundary of the "1002" area of the Arctic National Wildlife Area. All photos: Ron Hunter
Continue reading "President Obama Calls for Wilderness Protection of the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge" »
We are saddened today to give you the tragic news that Patagonia ski ambassador Dave Rosenbarger—“American Dave” as we knew him—died on Friday, January 23 when he was caught in an avalanche while skiing on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif. Dave has been a part of the Patagonia family since 2010. Our hearts go out to Dave’s family and friends. He was an inspiration to many and his loss will be felt around the world.
Josh Nielsen, Patagonia Global Marketing Director, Outdoor, shares this remembrance:
“He was the epitome of a pure passion skier—someone who didn’t do it for the cameras or for the limelight—and was deeply committed to the sport for all of the right reasons. Dave was a calculated risk taker and a talented athlete who dedicated his life to climbing and skiing some of the most challenging lines in the world, especially in Chamonix, his winter home. Dave was known for having an effortless style while skiing in steep and precarious places but also for his infectious glowing personality. He contributed to our Patagonia family in so many ways. He had a natural eye for product design and became one of our most articulate and valued product testers. He was beloved by fellow ambassadors, a friend to all and the catalyst for many powder-laden Chamonix adventures. Dave was one of a kind and will be deeply missed.”
Above: David Rosenbarger stands below the North Face of Mont Blanc and looks across to the Chamonix Valley. Chamonix, France. Photo: Christian Pondella
Continue reading "Dave Rosenbarger 1976-2015" »
By Matt Rott, photos by Matt Shepherd
It’s funny how easily we miss out on opportunities lying just under our noses—especially when we’re trapped in the narrow-minded, one-dimensional pursuit of something as fleeting as a wave. I’d been chasing the left-hander breaking into Lelu Harbor for nearly fifteen years, enduring lengthy flat spells and months of inclement weather conditions in hopes of scoring extra large northeast swells and rare west winds. Yet, after a decade-and-a-half’s worth of trips, waiting impatiently for waves that never seemed to arrive on time, I remained completely ignorant of the adventure awaiting 80 feet beneath the surface and a few hundred yards to the south.
Continue reading "Freediving the Wreckage of Lelu Harbor" »
We’ve been watching the updates with bated breath and now all of us at Patagonia are thrilled to congratulate Tommy Caldwell and his partner Kevin Jorgeson on the first free ascent of the Dawn Wall in Yosemite Valley. Tommy first conceived the idea of the climb in 2007 and, seven years later, summited the route on the afternoon of January 14, 2015 after spending 19 days on the wall—and with much of the climbing world viewing the last pitches via live video stream. Longtime readers will be familiar with our coverage of the Dawn Wall dating back to 2010. It’s been a long haul and we couldn’t be happier for Tommy.
From Yvon: “When we first climbed the North American Wall on El Cap in 1964, we thought, ‘Well, that proves that any big wall in the world can be climbed.’ We never dreamed they could be climbed all free! Sending the Dawn Wall leaves Pope Francis with no choice but to admit our closest relative is the chimpanzee.’”
Above: Seven years of relief. An elated Tommy Caldwell at the top of the Dawn Wall. Photo: Chris Burkard
Continue reading "Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson Make First Free Ascent of Yosemite’s Dawn Wall!" »
By Beau Fredlund
I'm sitting in a bar with Doug Chabot, director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. The man has more enthusiasm for snow science, alpine climbing and general life than about anyone I know. And the best part: it's infectious.
We are both a couple beers deep before our pizza arrives. The conversation floats, with laughter and zest. We talk of the day, the avalanche activity we investigated and the landscape surrounding the tiny mountain town where I live and work as a ski guide. “It’s a special place, no doubt,” Doug says with authenticity. I nod my head and gesture with deep agreement. Nowhere else quite like it I figure, as far as quality mountain towns go. Obviously, the topography is an integral aspect, but it’s the weather and snowfall that sets the place apart.
Above: Avalanche forecaster Doug Chabot, approaching the crown of a slab avalanche, just north of Cooke City, Montana. Photo: Beau Fredlund
Continue reading "You Know What They Say About the Weather" »