The Cleanest Line

Weblog for the employees, friends and customers of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Visit Patagonia.com to see what we do.

RSS Feed

Twitter

    Archives

    Search


    Watch "Shattered" a Short Film Featuring Patagonia Ambassador Steve House

    by Tyler Stableford

    Shattered

    You've no doubt seen Tyler Stableford's name many times in the Patagonia catalog – his iconic photos have graced the pages for years. Today, we're excited to share Tyler's new video project featuring Patagonia ambassador Steve House. Enjoy the film and a three-part behind-the-scenes series after the jump.

    We are excited to premiere our new short film Shattered online this week. The 5-minute film, shot with the new Canon EOS-1D X camera, is live on Vimeo and Canon's Digital Learning Center along with three behind-the-scenes features.

    Shattered holds a special place in my heart, as it is a co-creation with the legendary alpinist and writer Steve House. After achieving one of his dream summits, Steve found himself bereft, searching for deeper meaning in his life. Shattered shares a window into his inner journey.

    Steve is heralded in the climbing world for his minimalist approach to climbing, and our filming style echoed this sparsity. We set our intentions on creating a visual poem, a short film sculpted to its ethereal essence.

    Continue reading "Watch "Shattered" a Short Film Featuring Patagonia Ambassador Steve House" »

    Alpine Mentors - A Unique Opportunity for Young Alpinists

    by Steve House

    House_blanchard_josephson

    On March 25, 2010, nearly two years ago now, I was climbing the north face of Mount Temple when a hold broke and I fell some eighty-feet. Far enough to break my ribs in 20 places and my pelvis twice.

    As I lay on the ledge near my partner, Bruce, I quickly got very very cold as my body shunted blood away from my hands and feet and into my core and brain. I felt the agonizing sensation of my own breath getting shorter and shorter as my chest cavity filled with blood due to the numerous fractures.
     
    By this time, Bruce had used our cell phone to call for a rescue, and two hours later I was plucked off the wall by a warden (and coincidentally a friend of mine) on a cable 100 feet below a Parks Canada helicopter.

    Two hours is a long time to think. Long enough for the adrenaline to wash away, long enough for it to feel like a very long time. Long enough to weigh your regrets. To tell Bruce all the things you’re thankful for. The names of all the people you Love.

    During the ensuing months of convalescence I remembered one particular question that had come to me during my wait: Were there climbs I’d wished I’d done, and hadn’t? As the summer rolled by in a blur of narcotics, wheelchairs, and physical therapy I kept coming up with the same answer to my question: No, it was not more climbing that was missing from my life. Chief on the list was to do more for my community, and from this intention Alpine Mentors was born.

    [Above: Steve House, Barry Blanchard and Joe Josephson, from their 1996 attempt at Mount Robson’s Emperor Face. "Though unsuccessful, the trip was my rabbit hole into the world of high-end alpinism with climbers who had done it before." Photo: Steve House Collection]

    Continue reading "Alpine Mentors - A Unique Opportunity for Young Alpinists " »

    Makalu 2011: Safe, Healthy and Heading Home

    Makalu_trekking_2009 Sitting on a warm piece of granite in front of a crystal-clear stream, Steve House called this morning on his way out from Makalu towards Kathmandu. The news you'll hear is both positive and somber. Everyone Steve traveled and climbed with are all safe and healthy. Unfortunately, he and Marko were asked to assist another party in which a Swiss climber died on the mountain.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to Steve House - Makalu Call 3 - May 27, 2011
    (9:08 – right-click to download MP3)

    Stay tuned for some photos from this trip and a final report from Steve. Thanks for listening.

    Previous posts from this trip:
    Makalu 2011
    Sweet and Sour

    [The seventh day of trekking, along the Barun River (2009). Photo: © Steve House]

    Makalu 2011: Sweet & Sour

    Steve_House_Makalu_2009 Steve House called today and shared the latest news from Makalu. He and fellow Patagonia ambassador Marko Prezelj finished their acclimatization and spent some time on the west face where the weather didn't cooperate all that well. But the forecast is improving slightly so the duo are going to head back to ABC and give the west face another go tomorrow.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to Steve House - Makalu Call 2 - May 18, 2011
    (4:41 – right-click to download MP3)

    Let's all wish Steve and Marko good luck and safe climbing. We'll update you again as soon as possible.

    Previous posts from this trip:
    Makalu 2011

    To see Steve and Marko in action, check out their 2005 video Cayesh: The Calling.

    [My advanced base camp, at the base of Makalu's west face (2009). Photo: © Steve House]

    Makalu 2011

    Steve on Sat Phone 2009 Makalu West Face by Steve House

    Editor’s note: Patagonia ambassadors Steve House and Marko Prezelj are back at Makalu. Longtime Cleanest Line readers will recall their previous attempt to climb Makalu’s West Face in 2008 with Vince Anderson, and Steve’s subsequent trip in 2009 when he made an emergency solo decent from 21,300 ft. with High Altitude Pulmonary Edema. Similar to the previous trips, Steve will be calling in with reports from his sat phone. Today, we’re happy to share his first call from this trip, and some background on the expedition.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to Steve House - Makalu Call 1 - April 29, 2011
    (7:52 – right-click to download MP3)

    From stevehouse.net:

    Marko Prezelj is organizing an expedition to Makalu this Spring and I will be joining him as will Rok Blagus (SLO), Luka Lindic (SLO), Boris Lorencic (SLO), and Dr. Scott Boughton (USA). The average age of Marko and I will be 43.5. The average age of the other five climbers; 24.6 years. Dr. Boughton will have ample opportunity to explore and trek, but will also endeavor to keep us healthy and light-hearted. I’m confident that he can do both.

    [Left: Me on the phone with you from 7400 meters (24,270 ft) in 2009. Lhotse is behind me. Right: Located 14 miles east of Mt. Everest, on the border between Nepal and China, Makalu is the fifth highest peak in the world (27,762 ft). All photos © Steve House.]

    Continue reading "Makalu 2011" »

    Cayesh: The Calling

    Cayesh_the_calling_2

    In 2005, Marko Prezelj and I planned an expedition to the (still) unclimbed north wall of Kalanka, a formidable 21,000 foot peak in the Indian Himalaya. With three weeks to go, the bureaucrats who hold the key to that fine mountain threw up one final hurdle, a second permit fee to be paid to the state government. For our thin pocketbooks, this was over the line and we scrambled for new ideas. Pakistan? No, we had only four weeks, not enough time for the remote Karakoram. Nepal? We'd both been there too many times already and craved a change of scenery. Alaska? Ditto. Patagonia? Out of season. Peru? Why not? Neither of us had been there, it has a reputation for stable weather, no permit fees, and stunning peaks approachable in 1-2 days in most cases. We rebooked our tickets after a short Skype-fueled discussion.

    [Screen grab from Cayesh: The Calling with Steve House on the 11-pitch route he and Mark Prezelj established in 2005, Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Watch the entire film after the jump. Photo: House/Prezelj]

    Continue reading "Cayesh: The Calling" »

    Hoo-ray for Ouray! Steve House Reports from the Ouray Ice Festival

    Sunny1_2 The Ouray Ice Festival, one of the highlights of the ice climbing season, is in full swing this weekend. It blasted off Thursday night with slide shows from Caroline George and Andres Marin. By all reports Caroline’s show was great and Andres' was hysterically funny. Tonight myself and Majka Burhardt go on at 8:30pm with Majka starting off with clips from her new film Waypoint Nambia. I’ll be presenting my talk I’ve done throughout the tour for my book, Beyond the Mountain and hosting book signings at the local community center from 5:30-7:30 both Friday and Saturday night.

    Today dawned bright and cold with a biting temperature of just +4 in town. (This afternoon it warmed up to a balmy 34.) Once it warmed up I threw a pair of Micro Puff Pants over my jeans and grabbed a DAS Parka and went out to visit several couple climbing clinics that were going on. These clinics pair a top climber with a local guide and cover topics from beginning ice climbing to advanced mixed climbing. It’s a great way to both spend a few hours with some of the stars of climbing as well as get some professional instruction in the intriguing sport of ice climbing. In fact I am teaching two clinics over the weekend: one on moderate mixed climbing and another on advanced ice techniques.

    [An unidentified climber tries his/her hand at mixed climbing in one of the many climbing clinics offered at the Ouray Ice Festival. All photos courtesy of Steve House]

    Continue reading "Hoo-ray for Ouray! Steve House Reports from the Ouray Ice Festival" »

    Patagonia Ambassdor Steve House - Tonight in Ventura

    Beyond the Mtn Cover "22,000 feet on the Rupal Face, Nanga Parbat, Pakistan: August 15, 2004. I take a deep breath and push the honed edge of the knife against the rope. It doesn't cut. I whetted the edge for just this reason. Frustrated, I look at the small knife in the palm of my mitten. I have carried this knife upwards for four days, on a climb where every ounce counts both towards and against my own survival. The rope is sacred, both a symbol and the truest expression of partnership, but if I can cut it Bruce and I can rid ourselves of four pounds and climb to the summit."

    If you're in the Ventura area tonight, come on by Patagonia Headquarters. We'll be hosting Ambassador Steve House as he offers photos and stories from his alpine adventures and shares excerpts from his newly released book, Beyond the Mountain. Says Alpinist editor-in-chief Michael Kennedy, "In Beyond the Mountain, Steve gives us a rare and profoundly personal glimpse of the drive, dedication and focus behind today's light-and-fast ascents."

    Come spend the evening with Patagonia and Steve House. Copies of the book will be available and Steve will be offering signings.

    September 10th, Ventura, CA

    Patagonia’s Headquarters (The Grand Room)
    6:30 pm – reading and signing with slide show
    259 West Santa Clara St
    Ventura, CA
    805-643-6074

    Summer Reading: "Beyond the Mountain" by Steve House, plus Book Tour Dates

    Beyond_the_Mountain_cover "22,000 feet on the Rupal Face, Nanga Parbat, Pakistan: August 15, 2004. I take a deep breath and push the honed edge of the knife against the rope. It doesn't cut. I whetted the edge for just this reason. Frustrated, I look at the small knife in the palm of my mitten. I have carried this knife upwards for four days, on a climb where every ounce counts both towards and against my own survival. The rope is sacred, both a symbol and the truest expression of partnership, but if I can cut it Bruce and I can rid ourselves of four pounds and climb to the summit."

    And with that Steve House begins his new book, Beyond the Mountain, the latest title from Patagonia Books. In the foreward, Reinhold Messner says, "[Steve] is at the top of mountaineering. He climbs the right routes on the right mountains in a time when everyone is climbing Everest. He is also a great storyteller: he tells about doing, not about morals or lessons." Beyond the Mountain is available now from Patagonia.com and other online booksellers.

    Steve will soon be embarking on a 20-city book tour to promote Beyond the Mountain with readings, signings and slide shows. Details are still being solidified but we can share dates and times for the first seven stops. Hit the jump to see when and where you can share an evening with celebrated alpinist Steve House.

    Continue reading "Summer Reading: "Beyond the Mountain" by Steve House, plus Book Tour Dates" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Dreamers

    Epi29_logo It's Friday, and the Dirtbag Diaries are here to help you celebrate solstice with some sonic storytelling. Show host Fitz Cahall has the beta on today's episode:

    “I had convinced myself at that point that my goal was so important it was worth dying for,” says alpine master Steve House about his 15-year-old dream of climbing the Rupal Face. Big Dreams require big commitment. We may not all dream on the same scale and commitment levels, but we all share dreams. They pull us through our lives on solid ground. Today writer and climber Sarah Garlick presents: The Dreamers – reflections from four generations of the world’s best climbers: Steve House, Henry Barber, Steve Schneider, and Colin Haley. In the process Sarah found out a little bit about herself. Do you have a life long dream? What if you completed it? What if you never realized it?

    Audio_graphic_20px Listen to "The Dreamers"
    (mp3 - 31:15 - right-click to download)

    You can subscribe to the Dirtbag Diaries via iTunes and RSS, or connect with Fitz via Facebook and Twitter. For more from today's guest host, Sarah Garlick, check out her book Flakes, Jugs, and Splitters: A Rock Climber's Guide to Geology or her Patagonia field report "Open Bivy."

    Visit the myspace page of The Secret Life of Sofia to purchase their album Seven Summits -- the featured music on today's episode. Says Fitz, "I really dig this album. It's very difficult to write songs that speak to the power of high places without falling into ridiculous cliché. I've listened to this album dozens of times and at each listen I find some new historical reference or emotion I recognize from my own connection to the mountains. It is in some ways as much a novel as it is a record and [lead singer Kyle] Wilson avoids the cliché by sticking to inventive images that we all know and recognize but would never think to include in a song. Seriously, check it out."

    One Percent for the Planet
    © 2010 Patagonia, Inc.