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    Further 2012: Greetings from Wrangell-St. Elias

    by Ryland Bell

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    Today, Patagonia snowboarding ambassador Ryland Bell checks in from the largest non-polar icefield in North America. Ryland made his big-mountain debut in the highly acclaimed human-powered snowboarding film, Deeper, and rejoins Jeremy Jones and the Teton Gravity Research team this spring on the Bagley Icefield in Alaska to film Further.

    The crew flew from the Ultima Thule Lodge with legendary bush pilot Paul Claus into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park to set up camp for a month and climb everything they ride. TGR’s Further is set to release in September. The two-year project has chronicled big-mountain snowboarding in Japan, the Arctic Circle, Austria, the High Sierra, and now Alaska. Calling in with the sat phone, Ryland updates us on the scene and the progress of the project so far.

    Ryland

    Audio_graphic_20px Listen to "Ryland Bell calling from Bagley Icefield"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit Teton Gravity Research for more on Further and to watch a preview.

    Skimo in Black

    by Kelly Cordes

    Bang. The gun went off. I was wearing a suit. First time in a couple decades or more (for the suit, not the gun). All black, like Johnny Cash.

    But I wasn’t robbing a train or singing the Folsom Prison Blues; I was doing a randonee ski race. Don’t think I’ve done a formal race in nearly 20 years – maybe since I was the first woman finisher in the Seattle Marathon. And this was a sprint race, a distance I’ve never been good at, but so what.

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    [The Gimpy Man in Black before the race at Eldora Resort. Photo: Cordes collection]

    I’ve been loving ski touring, a.k.a. randonee, a.k.a. ski mountaineering – skimo for short. I love how stupid that name sounds, too. I’m not a skimo. You’re the skimo. The gliding motion is easy on my cankle, and allows me glimpses of that feeling I love more than anything: moving in the mountains.

    Continue reading "Skimo in Black" »

    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:

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    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 dirtbagdiaries.com 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]

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

    by Fitz & Becca Cahall

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    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 dirtbagdiaries.com 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

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    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" »

    Portillo, Chile: Snow Product Testing with Josh Dirksen

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    Following up on Monday’s recap of the Dirksen Derby, here’s the latest edition to the Patagonia Video Gallery featuring snowboard ambassador Josh Dirksen and snowsports designer Glen Morden. The guys were testing designs for next fall on this particular trip.

     

    The Fifth Annual Dirksen Derby Supporting Tyler Eklund

    by Aimee Lyn Brown

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    Right about the time contest organizer and Patagonia snowboard ambassador Josh Dirksen yelled go, professional snowboarder Scotty Whitlake fell over laughing, legend Terje Haakosen cracked a smile and 28 shreds of all ages and genders grabbed splitboards and took off running uphill in shitty snow and poor visibility for no prize money and nothing but bragging rights, was when I fell back in love with snowboarding. The best part? I wasn’t alone.

    [Above: Burton team rider Terje Haakonsen on the descent. Photo: Aimee Lyn Brown]

    Continue reading "The Fifth Annual Dirksen Derby Supporting Tyler Eklund" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Transitions - Efficiency Manifesto

    Dbd_transitionsParents new and old will be especially touched by this episode of The Dirtbag Diaries. Show host Fitz Cahall sets the stage:

    No one skins uphill to put together a splitboard efficiently. They do it to shred down. Making a transition at a belay is part of the process, not the main event. Transitions may not be sexy, but they make or break us. They are the difference between a cold night spent shivering on a ledge and walking out in perfect evening light. Almost five years after I wrote the Monoboard and started The Diaries, I find myself in a metaphorical transition. My passions run from the mountains to the Seattle music scene and I've become adept at moving between them. My life is about to change. My passions won't. It's time to refine the transition.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Transitions - Efficiency Manifesto"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links to download the music from "Transitions - Efficiency Manifesto" 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.

    Special shout out to Walker Cahall for this episode's clever show graphic, and to Fitz and Becca Cahall as they near delivery time.

    Riding Frozen Oceans

    The Patagonia ambassador team is pleased to share today's interview with one of their newest members, snowboarder Forrest Shearer. Forrest joins fellow riders Ryland Bell, Josh Dirksen and Taro Tamai in the lineup. Raised as a surfer at the famed Dana Point, Forrest made the transition to snowboarding with his move to the foot of the Wasatch Range in Utah. We caught up with Forrest recently to ask him a few questions about what has been an eventful year of riding, and his plans for the upcoming season.

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    [Patagonia snowboarding ambassador Forrest Shearer surfs one of his new favorite winter breaks. Photo: Yoshiro Higai]

    TCL: You recently traveled to Japan to film for the new TGR film Further. What was the terrain like and how was it unique?

    Forrest: There was tons of good powder riding and big alpine terrain. A lot of people don't know that Japan gets so much snow – it's insane. I couldn't think of a cooler place to snowboard and experience a different culture.

    Continue reading "Riding Frozen Oceans" »

    Surfing Waimea Made Me Bigger - An Excerpt from No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Muñoz

    Munoz_30_Waimea_2 Our friends on the Patagonia Books team are proud to announce a new title by Mickey Muñoz called No Bad Waves. The book was a collaboration between Mickey, who recorded the stories in a series of interviews, Jeff Divine, who culled through Mickey's extensive photo archives, John Dutton, who massaged the transcripts into shape, and Peter McBride, who combined the words and images into what we think is one of our best books to date.

    Today we're happy to give you a taste of the the book. Instead of a long narrative, No Bad Waves features a collection of short stories like this one about Mickey and the first group of West Coast surfers to ride Waimea Bay.

    Surfing Waimea Made Me Bigger


    The next time I went back to Hawai‘i was in 1957 when we spent the whole winter on the North Shore and ended up surfing Waimea. That winter, I rode some big waves and came back with extreme confidence.

    The group of us over there had talked about riding Waimea and had gone by to look at it. Waimea appeared to be the last place on the North Shore that was rideable when everywhere else was closed out. A bunch of us had gathered, and we were standing on the road to check it out. I can’t remember who suggested we go out, but, “OK, let’s do it!”

    Continue reading "Surfing Waimea Made Me Bigger - An Excerpt from No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Muñoz" »

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