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    Climbing Season in Patagonia – Season Goals

    By Kelly Cordes

    Scariot - guillaumet_-1000637.jpg

    I came here with one goal. A New Year’s goal, despite my avowed no-resolution resolution of a year ago: Don’t un-send the Torre.

    My prolific spray about the single climb I’d done in Patagonia, a link-up on Cerro Torre with Colin Haley in 2007, might lend the illusion that I’ve climbed a lot here. Nope. I’ve just been meaning to climb a lot here. Anyway, now I’m here and I ain’t touching the Torre because a guy like me needs to protect those memories, not undo them.


    Every year, Patagonia ambassadors, along with climbers from around the world, visit the small town of El Chalten in Argentina. Their goal: climb huge granite peaks in the Patagonia region, some of the most challenging in the world. Follow the updates from our ambassadors and friends on these Patagonia channels and #vidapatagonia:

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     So Craig Scariot (formerly known as CFS) and I rolled into town with a ton-minus-one of possible objectives. We promptly ran into my good friends Chris and Justin. They’re animals, motivated, and had returned a few hours earlier from climbing Poincenot. Chris, aka The Chief, is one of my longest-running climbing partners, from back in the Missoula days (sordid story of me and The Chief here). Justin and I climb together back home in Estes Park, and he and his wife own Ed’s Cantina, my favorite local margarita eatery.

    [Above: Justin, The Chief, and Kelly at Piedra del Fraile. Photo: Crampon Craig Scariot]

    Continue reading "Climbing Season in Patagonia – Season Goals" »

    Taking the Oars

    By Bridget Crocker

    Bridget_Crocker_Zambezi_River

    Sometimes a woman has to paddle against the current.

    When I’d first met Doreen, last season, she was a highsider – a porter and training guide who helped weight the rafts through the Zambezi’s high-volume hydraulics. She was barely five feet tall and less than a hundred pounds, but as a highsider, Doreen carried heavy coolers, oars, and rafts in and out of the steep Batoka gorge, matching the men load for load. The other highsiders, all male, started complaining that she was taking more than her share, making it harder for them to provide for their families. Doreen didn’t have a family of her own, they argued, so she didn’t need the money like they did.
     
    It was decided that Doreen must quit being a highsider and become the manager’s “house girl” – and so she came to work for us, doing the washing, ironing, and floor polishing.

    [Above: Bridget Crocker and crew take on Rapid #8 (aka Midnight Diner). Zambezi River, Zambia. Photo: Greg Findley/Detour Destinations]

    Continue reading "Taking the Oars" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Magic of Serendipity – The Year of Big Ideas 2013

    By Fitz & Becca Cahall

    Dbd_YOBI_2012You might remember a story about climbers in the Magic Kingdom. It sounded like a dream job- climbing, secret lairs and cutting to the front of the roller coaster line. Our inbox flooded with emails about how to apply. But the program was canceled in 2005. Until last year. In an audition room filled with sponsored climbers and underground crushers, Susanica Tam felt her resume paled in comparison. Could climbing a mini-Matterhorn change Susanica's outlook on climbing?

    Today, we present our annual Year of Big Ideas. We went out into our community and listened to what you want to do in 2013. Here's to saying yes to new opportunities, stretching ourselves, and embracing a little spontaneity.


    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "The Magic of Serendipity"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)


    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links to download the music from "The Year of Big Ideas 2013" 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]


    Long Treks China – Skateboarding Through Tibet (Xining to Chengdu)

    Words, photos and videos by Adam Colton

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    My name is Adam Richard Colton and on August 30th, 2012 I set out on a solo self-supported journey to see what the outskirts of Tibet had to offer. I did not speak any Mandarin, I did not speak Tibetan but I am an expert at facial expressions and hand signals. Below is a bit of a recap of the trip. And videos after the jump. --Ed.

    [Above: Skating at 15,000' and stoked, just over the big pass.]

    I hit the ground running after a 25-hour flight from LAX to XINING, CHINA, elevation 7,000 feet. I felt like a wreck (hahah) and I knew this was going to be a hard trip. It was like waking up from a horrible sleep and rushing outside to run a marathon with no training or warm up. First day, right off the plane, I started skating. I was already being bombarded by big trucks, nasty smoke, and mountains to climb. Towards the end of the day I was so exhausted, I found shelter from all the stares and people in a gutter on the side of the road. When you are tired, gutters are comfortable.

    Continue reading "Long Treks China – Skateboarding Through Tibet (Xining to Chengdu)" »

    Happy 90th Birthday to the Master, Fred Beckey

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    Foreword

    By Fred Beckey

    We live on an astounding planet, punctuated by mountains on every continent. The mere presence of mountain ranges has long drawn the human imagination as an invisible force. Some say mountains have a “psychic gravity” enticing us into their grip. There is a magic among great peaks as a location of splendor, where changing light plays games with intense colors, affecting the tones of snow and ice and many gleaming ridge outlines.

    Editor’s note: In honor of Fred’s milestone birthday, we’re pleased to share the foreword from his most recent book, Fred Beckey’s 100 Favorite North American Climbs. Happy Birthday Fred, from all of us at Patagonia. Photo: Jim Stuart

    Mountain peaks have long filled humanity with a sense of the supernatural, and in ancient times were holy places, and in some cultures were considered sacred – the abode of the great spirit. In Asia, millions of the devout regard the Himalaya as the dwelling place of gods and a pathway to the heavens. Certainly the potentially dangerous nature of such mountains has tightened their grip on the human imagination.

    Continue reading "Happy 90th Birthday to the Master, Fred Beckey" »

    Excerpt from "The Plight of the Torpedo People" a New Bodysurfing Book from Keith Malloy

    By John R.K. Clark

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    I always notice the sea birds when I’m out in the lineup, waiting for waves. On the south shore of Oahu, where I bodysurf most, I see manu o ku, or white terns, doing their aerial acrobatics. I see iwa, or great frigates, hovering almost motionless high above. But the birds that I really like to see are the kaupu — the brown boobies who fly fearlessly through crowds of surfers. Kaupu love to ride waves, and they get everyone’s attention as they skim through the lineup, wings spread wide, surfing the air currents along the face of a breaking wave. Native Hawaiians called their flight kaha, or gliding, and this is the word they used for bodysurfing: kaha nalu, wave gliding. To me this is the essence of bodysurfing: gliding across the face of a wave. Bodysurfers are wave gliders whether they’re making a death-defying drop at the Wedge, powering through a perfect barrel at Pipeline, or just cruising with their kids in the shorebreak at Makapuu.

    [Above: Keith Malloy in Tahiti, from page 52. Photo: Chris Burkard]

    Continue reading "Excerpt from "The Plight of the Torpedo People" a New Bodysurfing Book from Keith Malloy" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Sufferthon

    by Fitz & Becca Cahall

    Dbd_sufferthonAlastair Humphreys has biked around the world, crossed glacial highlands and desert lands. But in 2011, he stayed in Britain, focusing on trips close to home. The idea of backyard adventure wasn't new, but he put it in terms everyone could understand. While Alastair was perfecting the microadventure, Josh Norris and Ty Atwater were distilling down the elements of past adventure and cramming them into an all day -- well, Sufferthon. Can they create Type 3 fun without leaving Oregon?


    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "The Sufferthon"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)


    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links to download the music from "The Sufferthon" 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]

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from all of us at Patagonia!

    B.C. or Bust – A Road Trip from Santa Barbara to Tofino

    by Trevor Gordon, photos by Jeremy Koreski

    Bridge cross

    This was my fourth time up to Vancouver Island to surf and camp along its coastline. I’ve sort of made a pact with myself to visit this place at least once a year after first falling in love with it three years ago. The beauty and power of Canada captures you, and it keeps me coming back. Each time I’ve been up there, I say, “It’s so close! Next time, I’m going to drive up!”

    I have a maroon 1988 VW Vanagon that would likely meet its death if I attempted the trip aboard it. My vagabond buddy Foster Huntington has been living in his van for more than 16 months. His is the mature, accomplished, big-brother version of my van – a 1987 4WD Vanagon with an Audi motor.

    I had a window of 12 days to make my trip to BC happen before I had to be back. After that, I couldn’t make it work until spring and by then conditions for surf are even less favorable. I asked Foster if he was around to take a road trip up to Vancouver Island and before I could finish he insisted we take his van. “I’ll get a tune-up tomorrow!” he said.

    [Above: The van charging north through patchy fog in Humboldt County, California.]

    Continue reading "B.C. or Bust – A Road Trip from Santa Barbara to Tofino" »

    2012 Dirksen Derby Snowboard Rally Race Kicks Off This Weekend at Mt. Bachelor – Follow Our Coverage

    by Gerry Lopez, photos by Abe Blair

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    Josh Dirksen is a very social, genuinely friendly person with a lot of close friends all over the world. He has been a well-respected and well-traveled professional snowboarder for his entire adult life – a top competitor, free rider and now, for the past 6 years, as an event creator. The 6th Annual Dirksen Derby is Mt. Bachelor’s first snowboard event of the season and will happen this weekend, December 14-16, 2012.

    Editor's note: Follow Patagonia on Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook for #dirksenderby photo updates all weekend long, as well as the Dirksen Derby Facebook page.

    The idea for it came from Josh wondering what else he could do with his snowboard career as far as giving something back to the community and having fun with his pals. A longtime contender at the well-known Mt. Baker Banked Slalom, Josh thought, with a little help from his friends and a few days of serious digging, he could create a fun rally race of some sort at his home mountain. The Derby naturally turned into a fundraising event when young, Bend local, Tyler Eklund, was tragically injured and paralyzed in an accident at the USASA Nationals in 2007.

    [Above: Josh and crew building this year's course.]

    Continue reading "2012 Dirksen Derby Snowboard Rally Race Kicks Off This Weekend at Mt. Bachelor – Follow Our Coverage" »

    Don’t Wait for Good, Go Find It – Full Circle

    by Laurel Winterbourne

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    The world needs GOOD stories. Fortunately there are people like Trevor Clark who put it all on the line, travel thousands of miles and spend countless hours, days and months to get these stories out there. Trevor is an outdoor adventure photographer and friend of Patagonia who decided that he wanted to tell stories that mattered to him.

    After meeting Jessie Stone and hearing her story, there was no question in Trevor’s mind that this story needed to be told. Jessie is a professional whitewater kayaker and medical doctor who went to Uganda to paddle the Nile, but what she saw, changed the course of her life and the lives of many others.

    [Above: Dr. Jessie Stone is a member of the US Freestyle Kayak Team and a Medical Doctor. In 2004, she founded Soft Power Health to provide malaria education, prevention and control for the people of Uganda. Video frame: Trevor Clark]

    Continue reading "Don’t Wait for Good, Go Find It – Full Circle" »

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