The Cleanest Line

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    Disaster Style on the Sierra High Route

    By Luke Nelson


    There is something unnerving about waking up shivering. I rolled over and did a dozen or so push-ups in an attempt to get warm enough to fall back asleep. My commotion led to Cody pressing the light on his watch.

    “It’s almost 4 a.m.,” I mumbled.

    “I’ve been cold for a while,” he replied.

    “Me too,” I said. “Let’s get moving.” 

    With that we crawled out of what we dubbed our Disaster Style Sleep Systems—emergency mylar bivy sacks, down pants and down jackets—and got ready to start running again. We were on the second morning of an attempt to cover the 195-mile Sierra High Route as fast as possible and we had been getting our butts kicked.

    Above: Rise and shine. All photos: Luke Nelson

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    Rainforest Relief – Why Patagonia SoHo employees scaled Coney Island to save the Amazon

    By Yasha Wallin


    In 1998 the Yankees swept their 24th World Series, Vice President Al Gore symbol­ically signed the Kyoto Protocol and two Stanford Ph.D. candidates established a little company called Google. It was also the year former Patagonia SoHo employees Aaron Petz and Teal Akeret, along with three other young activists, scaled the 250-foot Parachute Jump tower in Coney Island. Their goal? To hang a banner that read “NYC Parks Dept. Stop Killing Rainforest for Boardwalks & Benches.” It would go down as a highly effective grassroots operation to speak out for the Brazilian rainforest.

    Cover_3-70Editor’s note: Today we’re happy to share an excerpt from
    Living & Breathing: 20 Years of Patagonia in New York City, a commemorative book about our double-decade relationship with the Big Apple. Grab a printed copy at one of our four NYC stores or check out the digital version at the end of this post.

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    Lines in the Sand

    By Tim Rogers


    It’s right in front of me now, directly in my face. For weeks it had been little more than a vague concept we kept alive solely by reassurance and persistence, every day moving forward, every day pedaling closer to our fate, waiting to discover if it looked anything like we told ourselves it would. Now we’re here, at the end of the line.

    Amos, Liz and I hopped on our bikes in Washington State with our sights set on Zion National Park, and eventually Salt Lake City. Until now, the line had been a shimmering ribbon of road that stretched to the horizon—a line we couldn’t see the end of as it climbed through mountains, followed the winding path of an oxbowed river, and cut like a laser through the desert. We followed it diligently. Every day was a pilgrimage, every mile earned and etched into our bodies. The land we traveled though burned into our minds.

    Above: Awe and reverence. Arriving after the thousand-mile approach. Zion Canyon, Utah. All photos: Tim Rogers

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    2015 Adventure Film Festival – Inspiration and activism this weekend in Boulder


    Every year around this time, we are vividly reminded of our late friend and ambassador, Jonny Copp. Beside his innumerable climbing achievements, Jonny founded the Adventure Film Festival in 2003. He envisioned a community-based, mission oriented, outdoor film festival that tied indie film with art and activism. Twelve years later, it's an idea that's as important and popular as ever.

    The 2015 Adventure Film Festival is happening this weekend (September 12-13, 2015) in Boulder, Colorado. Check out the trailer and then visit for tickets, the full schedule and more information about satellite screenings later this year in Chile, New York and North Carolina.

    2015 Adventure Film Official Trailer. Video: Adventure Film. Photo at top: Jonny Copp Foundation

    Kiteboarding for a Cause

    By Jessica Salcido


    For the past few years, a small group of kiters here at Patagonia have participated in Kiteboarding 4 Cancer, a spectacularly beautiful kite race in Hood River, Oregon designed to raise money for the survivor-focused nonprofit, Athletes 4 Cancer.

    Cancer has impacted all of our lives—we’ve loved and cared for friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances battling the disease. We know about the treatments, the medications, the prognoses. For survivors, however, life after cancer looks quite a bit different from the lives they put on hold. When treatment concludes survivors must bravely discover their new “normal” in a world where others can’t possibly relate to their unique situations. Often, with little traditional medical support, they must navigate an entirely new physical and emotional landscape, complete with physical challenges, changes in appearance and a lingering uncertainty about the future.

    That’s where Athletes 4 Cancer (A4C) steps in. This nonprofit is dedicated to sending cancer survivors to outdoor adventure camps. More than just another cancer support group, Athletes 4 Cancer’s Camp Koru utilizes the transformational power of nature and the spirit of determination required by outdoor sports to restore and rebuild lives after cancer.

    Above: Aerial view of the colorful chaos. Hood River, Oregon. Photo: Richard Hallman

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    The Trip Continues – Full of Adventure

    By Kitty Calhoun

    Yoshiko rapping of p 1, 2

    As my friends and I get older, the threat of slipping into a normal lifestyle becomes more real. I have to mow the lawn, get the oil and filter changed in the car, go to the dentist. These days, given a choice, I would rather do a few sport pitches and get a good workout in, than burn a whole day on a multi-pitch route. My sense of adventure, along with my confidence, is fading with my youth. Yvon Chouinard once said, “When everything goes wrong, that’s when adventure starts.”

    Did I really want to go through an adventure, including all the accompanying fear, unknowns and discomfort that are usually associated with it? On the other hand, I was perfectly healthy with no good reason not to test myself again. I decided Tangerine Trip, a short but steep, moderate aid route on El Cap, would be the perfect experience to get me off the slippery slope to complacency.

    Above: Yoshiko Miyazaki-Back raps off pitch 1 of Tangerine Trip. El Capitan, Yosemite Valley, California. Photo: Kitty Calhoun 

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    Ten Tuamotus Days – Empowering the sisterhood

    By Liz Clark

    Last year I got to meet fellow Patagonia ambassadors Kimi Werner and Léa Brassy for the first time. Patagonia kindly arranged for all of us to meet upon the waters of some remote atolls in French Polynesia that have come to be my beloved backyard and playground. From all that I knew about them, I expected we’d have an enjoyable time but I never imagined that we would connect in such a way that, by the end of our time together, it felt like I had gained two sisters.

    All three of us enjoy very similar things—wilderness, wildlife, waves, conscious eating, etc.—but I feel like it was our open minds and hearts that made this time together so genuine and so special. Whether we were diving, sharing waves, giggling under the stars at night, wandering on the motu looking for coconuts or just watching the seabirds circle and dive, it was like they saw exactly what I saw: divinity, freedom, peace, respect. Being with Kimi and Léa in nature felt like being completely understood.

    Above:  the four-video series documenting Liz, Léa and Kimi’s time together in French Polynesia. Videos: Patagonia

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    The Rescue Box

    By Tom Doidge-Harrison

    Photo credit Tom Doidge Harrison 

    In its deep summer slumber, it is hard to gauge the latent fury this place can serve up to the unsuspecting. There are, however, clues to the power of this landscape that can both give and take in equal measure. The weathered faces of naked shale give evidence to deadly drops of tonnage. The natural order of the rounded boulders, hewn from the limestone shelf that extends at sea level, hints at unseen forces liberally applying Newton’s first law of motion to provide a natural floor, devoid of scale from most vantage points. But much of this runs in the background, as eyes are drawn to the beauty of the place itself.

    The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most cherished landmarks and for good reason. Numerous miles of stacked sea cliffs, gloriously abundant with bird life, are arranged such that each bluff and headland is curiously framed by the next. The beauty, as most surfers are well aware, extends out to sea a few hundred meters where deep lengthy lines of North Atlantic grunt are pulled into form atop a perfect anomaly of faults and features in the bedrock. Aileen’s is a wonder in a wonderous corner of the world’s original ‘island.’

    Above: The dangerously beautiful Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. Photo: Tom Doidge-Harrison 

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    The Chase: a tiny film

    By RC Cone

    Honestly, we went to Iceland to catch big fish. It was that simple. We wanted to bask in the late Arctic sun while bringing dreamy meter-long Atlantic salmon to hand. We wanted to drink whiskey afterwards, go to bed and do it again every day we could. What surprised us wasn’t our ability to check that mission off the list it was the insignificance that those goals held compared to what we actually discovered. The Chase: a tiny film is an ode to the friendships and experiences that were shared while chasing our passions.

    Above: The Chase: a tiny film. Video: Tributaries Digital Cinema

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    Respect for the Past . . . and Rules to Protect a Sacred Place

    By Josh Ewing


    Fifteen years ago, I was drawn to southeastern Utah by the vast tracts of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Forest lands where I could find the freedom to explore and climb and have an adventure—rarely seeing another human other than my climbing partners or an intrepid hiker. I loved the feeling that my every move wasn’t being scripted by a ranger or a regulation, a sense I sometimes get when visiting National Parks.

    Now, years later, these remarkable lands are no longer a place I visit on a quick weekend trip. Literally in my backyard, I work every day to protect this landscape for future generations. Our big project right now is working with a coalition of groups to protect the Bears Ears cultural landscape as a permanent National Conservation Area or Monument.

    Above: Josh enjoys an oil-field-free view from the third belay on Eagle Feather (5.10). Eagle Plume Tower, Valley of the Gods, Utah. Photo: Mikey Schaefer

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