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    Introducing Tracing the Edge a Ten-Part Video Series featuring Gerry Lopez, Colin Haley & Krissy Moehl

    [Tracing the Edge playlist, kick back and watch episodes 1-5. Video: Fitz Cahall & Bryan Smith]

    Our friend Fitz Cahall, who you know from The Dirtbag Diaries, and his partner Bryan Smith have created a new 10-part video series, Tracing the Edge, that peers into the lives of three Patagonia ambassadors. You saw the first four episodes in the Tin Shed. Today we're picking up the series with episode five. Read on for some background on the project from Fitz, then watch episode five with Gerry Lopez. You can look forward to a new episode every week from here on out.

    Adventures don’t always begin at trailheads. They can start in the most mundane places. Take for instance this dorm room at the Banff Centre for the Arts I’m currently calling home. The bedspread is the most wonderful floral pattern. Just lovely. Canadian reality TV is just as inane as its American counterpart – you lose just as many brain cells watching it, so I don’t. Whenever I’m here, lovely Banff always provides perfect working weather – steady rain.

    Continue reading "Introducing Tracing the Edge a Ten-Part Video Series featuring Gerry Lopez, Colin Haley & Krissy Moehl" »

    Backyard Adventures: Pioneer Trifecta (aka. Fatherhood Shakedown)

    Jj_Hyndman A little over a year ago, we invited readers to submit stories of their own Backyard Adventures and announced a deadline of January 9th, 2009. Here we are in 2010, and still (happily) receiving submissions. Today's post is from previous Backyard Adventure contributor Steve Graepel, author of an earlier piece about traversing central Idaho's Sawtooth Range. Steve's been working hard on his plan to thread a 900+ mile route through Idaho's wilderness by foot, raft and mountain bike. This installment of Steve's Backyard Adventures could be considered a recon-mission for his big trip, but with a new baby on the way, Steve had something different in mind . . .

    __________________________

    After ten years of marriage, life finds a comfortable rhythm; it’s a well-tuned circuit of work, exercise and leisure.

    And then along comes your first child...

    "It will change your life...your life will never be the same...parenthood gives back so much more than you put into it...". Growing wary of the overabundance of encouragement, or perhaps out of sheer panic, I jumped at the chance to get lost during the baby shower. There aren’t many problems you can't solve after an 8.5 hour push.

    I wanted to knock out a trip I'd heard rumors of. Nestled in Sun Valley's backyard, three hours from Boise, the "Pios" court those with a zest for adventure. . . .

    [Above: The view of Hyndman Peak from Cobb's south face. Photo: James Just]

    Continue reading "Backyard Adventures: Pioneer Trifecta (aka. Fatherhood Shakedown)" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Fueled by Strawberry Jam - The Year of Big Ideas 2010

    Big_ideas_2010 The Dirtbag Diaries kick off 2010, and your weekend, with their annual Year of Big Ideas episode (2008, 2009). Do you have aspirations for the new year? Becca Cahall takes the mic today for an episode that's full of great goals:

    Ski filmmaker Nick Waggoner knew what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to be a skier of the diehard variety. There were two obvious hurdles. First, he lived in New York City. Second, he was 11 years old. He found a way to make it work and before he was legally behind the wheel of a car, he was squeezing adventure out of skiing. In the last decade, his passion for skiing evolved into a passion for making films about skiing, but his approach has remained the same. Today, we bring you another Year of Big Ideas -- a time to turn daydreams into concrete goals. Professional athletes, weekend warriors, and full time dreamers present their goals for 2010.

    Download "Fueled by Strawberry Jam - The Year of Big Ideas 2010"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Head over to the Dirtbag Diaries for information on the music from today's podcast. You can also connect with the show via Twitter and Facebook. Fitz's new Web TV show, The Season, is due to begin at the end of the month.

    Fittingly, I just watched Nick Waggoner's latest film, Signatures, again the other night. I love how the lines Taro Tamai draws inspire me to both strap on my snowboard and paddle out for a surf. He calls his brand of riding "snowsurfing" and for good reason. The trailer for Signatures can be viewed in the Tin Shed; visit Sweetgrass Productions or Patagonia.com to pick up your copy.

    Breakin’ Mama’s China

    By Craig Holloway

    DSC_0397 The Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run through Colorado’s San Juan Mountains starts and finishes in the mountain town of Silverton, and has a total elevation gain of 33,000 feet. I’d met my friend Roch Horton at Grouse Gulch, the 42-mile mark, intending to pace him as far as Ouray. He’d already run the hardest stretch to the highest point (14,048 feet). I filled his water bottle and asked him how he felt.

    “No hail, rain or fog at the top of Handies this year,” he said, “but man it was warm up there. Ready to run, Craig?”

    “Let’s get to work.”

    We hiked up Engineer Pass at a quick pace and at times broke out into a run. At the top, at 12,910 feet, the view to the west of Mount Sneffels and Mendota Peak was a nice reward. When I asked Roch the names of the peaks to the east he didn’t answer – he was already gone. I ran over to the trail’s edge to watch him bombing straight down a long, scary descent into a wide-open valley. I took off with eyes glued to the ground, trying to follow the overgrown trail. Catching a glimpse of a trail marker, then another, I managed to stay on course, and the trail eventually bottomed out. I shifted gears and fell in behind Roch’s long stride. When I caught up, Roch said “Doesn’t that beat any downhill running in Southern California?” Yes, it did.

    [Roch Horton running down into American Basin after a long descent off Handies Peak at the Hardrock 100. San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Photo: Luis Escobar (AllWeDoIsRun.com).]

    Continue reading "Breakin’ Mama’s China" »

    Patagonia Ambassador Moehl Takes 1st in Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, Sets Course Record

    Krissy finish2 [Editor's note: The following report comes to us from Patagonia Athlete Liaison, Kristo Torgerson, with photos courtesy of Justin Bastien (www.justinbastien.com).]

    On August 30th, Patagonia Ambassador Krissy Moehl left an indelible mark on the ultra-running world when she crossed the finish line in Chamonix, France to take first place in the Women’s division at the 7th annual Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB); a 103-mile circumnavigation of the Mont Blanc massif, stretching across France, Italy and Switzerland, with over 31,000 feet of elevation gain. Krissy’s time of 24:56:01 also earned her a new Women’s course record, made her the first American woman to cross the finish line, and landed her 11th overall in a race that began with over 2,200 competitors. 2nd place went to last year’s winner, Britain’s Elizabeth Hawker, who crossed the finish line over an hour behind Krissy. Patagonia also had Ambassador John Stamstad and employee Jenny Uehisa finish the race with times of 39:52:14 and 43:23:25 respectively.

    The news of Krissy’s victory has been a jaw-dropping experience for all of us here at Patagonia. Like overjoyed parents, we couldn’t be more proud of her. Many of us have found ourselves reveling, “1st place!…1st American!…course record!…11th overall!…all in the Multi Use Skirt!!”. I’ve even had a few friends who were present at the race say what they found most impressive was how much energy she carried through the finish line with her – all smiles, and laughter and looking fresh.  

    We’ve been privileged to work with Krissy for many years now, and in her role as an ambassador she wears several hats. As an accomplished ultra runner, employee of the Conservation Alliance, and vibrant  (hit the jump to continue reading)

    [Patagonia Ambassador Krissy Moehl crossing the finish line to claim the Women's title in the 103-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Photo, Justin Bastien, www.justinbastien.com]

    Continue reading "Patagonia Ambassador Moehl Takes 1st in Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, Sets Course Record" »

    Interview: Patagonia Employee Sets New Record on the Pacific Crest Trail

    Heart of sierra If you've ever called Patagonia's Customer Service line and asked a question about ultra-light hiking, then chances are good you've been referred to Adam Bradley. He's been working for Patagonia for years, during that time developing a reputation as one of the most fired-up, friendly, and knowledgeable customer service reps out there. He keeps his fire blazing by using his time off each summer to chip away at a personal list of long-distance, ultralight thru-hiking objectives. With each hike, he became more fired-up and serious about bigger and bigger objectives. This summer, he and ultralight-hiking guru Scott Williamson took their passion to a new level, setting the record for the fastest-ever thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. We were fortunate to grab an interview with Adam shortly after his return:

    - First the basics: Tell us what record you set, and how it relates to the previous one.

    On the evening of August the 12th Scott Williamson and I set the unsupported Pacific Crest Trail speed record. Our time from the international border of Baja California Norte to the northern terminus was 65 days 9 hours 58 minutes and 47 seconds. This is 21 hrs faster than David Horton’s supported 2005 Pacific Crest Trail speed record, and 6 days faster than Scott Williamson and Tatu Joe Kisner's 2008 unsupported record.

    [Scott Williamson in the High Sierra, on his way - with partner, Adam Bradley - to a new PCT speed record. Photo, Adam Bradley.]

    Continue reading "Interview: Patagonia Employee Sets New Record on the Pacific Crest Trail" »

    Backyard Adventures: The Sawtooth Traverse

    Morning after Central Idaho's Sawtooth Mountain Range offer a stellar backyard for Steve Graepel's adventures. A Boise resident, he wedges his endurance training around family and a full-time job. His Backyard Adventure gives us a glimpse at a beautiful section of country to be included in one of his bigger projects: connecting 1,200 miles across Idaho’s backcountry by foot, raft and mountain bike. We can't wait to read that Backyard Adventure. Until then, here's Steve in the Sawtooths.
    _______________________________________

    “Steve, I’ve got an idea ...”

    This is how it always starts. One of us drops the bait. Only this time it wasn’t me.

    Alice lake2 Scott and I have both been caught up with middle management - middle life. He runs a lab in the Bay area, and I've been tasked with leading a creative department at my place of work. Our schedules have been forged out of early mornings and late nights. Workouts squeezed between bottles and diapers.  We've both grown soft under our heavy shells of work, kids and family, barnacled with noon-meetings and mortgages...second mortgages. Our early trips together, traveling to climb in far-flung ranges have become cob-webbed memories and we now feel fortunate when we can carve out a weekend together every other year or so. As incentive to extract us from the grind of our day jobs, Scott makes the pitch.

    “Let’s do the Wonderland...in two days.”

    Like carp to corn, I’m hooked.

    [Top, Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains in early morning light, as seen from the author's bike after running over 40 miles of trail to traverse the length of the range. Above, the route as it runs past an un-named lake below Alice Lake. Photo: Steve Graepel.]

    Continue reading "Backyard Adventures: The Sawtooth Traverse" »

    Fastpacking the Pacific Crest Trail

    Krudmeister Patagonia Customer Service Rep, Adam Bradley, aka “krudmeister,” aka “El Monstro” has been taking some time off this summer to do a little hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail. Before he left, we’d asked him if he wouldn’t mind sending updates. His reply: “Well, I guess, but I don’t know how much of a story there is to tell you. The trail’s the story. When it comes down to it, I’m just a guy out walking in the woods.”

    This is all well and true, and many a person has hiked the PCT. But he left out a small detail: how FAST he’s walking through those woods. He’s been on the trail now for a little over a month and recently sent word about his progress. 45 days, 18 hours, 27 minutes, and 45 seconds to be exact. Most folks take somewhere between 150 – 180 days to cover the PCT's 2650 miles, so by day 45 they might find themselves somewhere around, say, Agua Dulce, CA – still quite a hump from the southern tip of the 400+ mile-long Sierra Nevada. So we had to double-check to make sure we heard The Mighty Krud correctly. He’d just told us the Sierra Nevada were a memory at this point, and he was entering Oregon with 1720 miles already behind him.

    Here’s some excerpts from the trail journal he’s been keeping of this year’s hike:

    Sunset This year is different than last year for me . . . I have actually trained for this. . . .[but] training aside, I don't think there is really anything that can prep oneself for being on your feet 14hrs a day for 65 days. Of course I am referring to the mental aspect of the walk, which is about 90% of it. The up side is that I have done it before, so unlike last year there isn't the unknown factor. I also understand the pace of the first 35 days. But the first 700 miles of the PCT in my opinion are grim. I couldn't ever walk that section again if I didn't have a goal like this to spur me on.

     

    Hit the jump for more excerpts, or click here to check out them out in their entirety:

    [Top, Adam Bradley (aka krudmeister) on his way through the dry lands of Southern California. Bottom,  food for the soul at the end of a long day on the trail. Photos: Adam Bradley]

    Continue reading "Fastpacking the Pacific Crest Trail" »

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