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    Andre's Red Knickers – A Story About Boatmen's Rituals

    By Jeffe Aronson

    Jeffe_2

    “Hey, Reeg,” I say, watching him wading chest deep, offshore in the frigid river, well past sundown, when most normal river guides should be sipping scotch (as I happen to be). He is sponging off the scum line from his handmade dory, the Escalante, his beauty and dream.

    He looks up at my quizzical smile, offering up all I will get: his characteristically inscrutable look through a knowing gray beard and nothing more.

    He doesn’t talk much anyway, though I must admit he himself is probably expecting a typically smart-aleck comment from me. I must, of course, oblige. Over the years I’ve been observing, and finally have been drawn into participating in this little pre-Lava ceremony since I came to the Dories.

    [Above: The author and clients, thankfully still upright, in Hermit rapid’s Fifth Wave. Photo: Rick Box]

    Continue reading "Andre's Red Knickers – A Story About Boatmen's Rituals" »

    Conservacion Patagonica Donates 37,500-acre El Rincon to Expand Perito Moreno National Park in Argentina

    By Rick Ridgeway

    Rincon-photo-3

    This week our friends and colleagues Doug and Kris Tompkins announced a donation by Conservacion Patagonica to the Argentina national park system of Estancia Rincon, a 37,500-acre parcel of wildlands in our namesake, Patagonia-the-place. This former sheep ranch is at the foot of Cerro San Lorenzo – the most Himalayan-like peak in all of Patagonia – and it creates a majestic extension to the existing Perito Moreno National Park.

    The story of this new conservation victory begins in the early ‘60s when Doug, a long-time climbing partner of Yvon Chouinard’s, founded The North Face. Doug sold TNF in the late ‘60s to start Esprit, the women’s clothing brand that he in turn sold in the late ‘80s so he could use the funds to create privately endowed parks and protected areas in Chile and Argentina. Those of you who are fans of the 180° South film will recognize this part of the story.

    [Above: Cerro San Lorenzo. Photo: Doug Tompkins]

    Continue reading "Conservacion Patagonica Donates 37,500-acre El Rincon to Expand Perito Moreno National Park in Argentina" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Live from 5Point Vol. 5

    By Fitz & Becca Cahall

    Dbd_mastWe're back for our third annual Live from 5Point event. The sun was shining, but Steve's Guitars was at capacity. Today we present the first two stories from Kevin Pearce and Chris Davenport. In 2009, Kevin was one of the best snowboarders in the world. On a training run, he had a major accident (his story is chronicled in the film The Crash Reel). Today, he talks about finding happiness after suffering a traumatic brain injury.

    Chris' career as a big mountain skier is impressive – numerous first ski descents of peaks, traveled around the world to ski, a two-time world champion. But I've always been impressed by Chris' creativity in the mission he chooses. Today, he talks about the aesthetics of the lines he chooses and what he loves about mountains, especially those close to home.


    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Live from 5Point Vol. 5"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com to download the music from "Live from 5Point Vol. 5", listen to The Shorts and pledge your support for the show. You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes and RSS, or connect with the Dirtbag Diaries community on Facebook and Twitter.

    [Graphic by Walker Cahall]

    Worn Wear – The Hand-Me-Down

    By Shari Williamson, Bozeman, Montana

    Hand_me_down_label_2

    Dear Patagonia,

    I don’t actually know the original owner of this little red and purple fleece jacket. I do not know several names scrawled on the tag, but I know some of them… We found this jacket in a large ragged cardboard box of hand-me-downs from a family with three kids. The jacket came to them from a co-worker with two boys. 

    Next, with our two girls, this jacket saw hundreds of miles of trail, many nights in tents, from back roads to back yards, and every other day in between.

    Continue reading "Worn Wear – The Hand-Me-Down" »

    Master of Stone: Layton Herman Kor

    June 11, 1938–April 21, 2013

    By Cameron M. Burns

    Glen Denny photos071_3

    One of the greatest American climbers of the late 1950s and ’60s, Layton Herman Kor, died April 21 after a long battle with kidney problems and cancer.

    The son of a Dutch mason (Jacob Kor) who came to the U.S. in 1897 from the Oldambt area of Groningen, the Netherlands, and a second-generation German-American (Leona Schutjer) from Iowa, Kor spent his early life in Canby, Minnesota and was particularly fond of swimming and fishing, especially during Minnesota’s hot summers. He loved the outdoors.

    Editor's note: We're grateful to author Cam Burns for sharing this tribute with us. Layton Kor was beloved by many in the extended Patagonia climbing family. Says Yvon Chouinard of Layton, “He and I were Mutt and Jeff climbers, my 5'4" to his 6' plus. I’d get freaked out belaying as he would quickly run out a long lead; I didn’t know if I was going to be able to hold him. I never had to find out, even though we climbed all over Yosemite and Chamonix. Back in camp he was just one of the guys.”

    [Above: photo courtesy of Glen Denny]

    Continue reading "Master of Stone: Layton Herman Kor" »

    DamNation – The Grand Dame of Dam Busting

    By Katie Klingsporn

    Katie_lee_sing-copy

    Folk-singer, desert goddess, rabble-rouser and all-out spitfire Katie Lee has been raging against Glen Canyon Dam and its reservoir, Lake Powell, for more than 50 years.

    And she’s not slowing down.

    Lee, who is featured in DamNation, a documentary film produced by Patagonia and Stoecker Ecological in conjunction with Felt Soul Media, has penned protest songs and authored books about Glen Canyon, the dam and the Southwest over the years. Just now wrapping up her latest project, “Dandy Crossing,” she tells the story of the handful of people who once lived at Hite, a river crossing that was drowned by Lake Powell, and what happened to them after they were forced from their homes.

    Lee, who is in her 90s, also serves on the advisory board of the Glen Canyon Institute, an environmental group that advocates the draining of Lake Powell and the restoration of the Colorado River. She still performs and speaks for educational and non-profit organizations, as well.

    [Above: The one and only Katie Lee, outside her home in Jerome, Arizona after her interview for DamNation this fall. Photo: Ben Knight]

    Continue reading "DamNation – The Grand Dame of Dam Busting" »

    2013 5Point Film Festival Trailer



    Let's do this! From April 25 - 28, 2013 the 5Point Film Festival will take over your senses, transport you to another place and leave you inspired for adventure. Join us. Visit 5pointfilm.org for more information and tickets.

    [Video: 2013 5Point Film Festival Trailer from 5Point Film Festival.]

    Backseat of the Ford – An Excerpt from “Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods”

    By Christine Byl

    Chevy Vs.Ford_2006_2

    Back in 2007, author Christine Byl sent a juicy little story entitled “Innard Mongolia” to our fledgling blog. Today, we welcome Christine back to The Cleanest Line with congratulations on the publishing of her first book,
    Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods by Beacon Press.

    The first half of
    Dirt Work is set in Montana's Glacier National Park. This excerpt, from the second chapter, finds the novice traildog out with a new crew in the Middle Fork district on Glacier's west side.

    One of my first days in the Middle Fork resembles my firsts nearly everywhere in Glacier: out of my element, eager to get in, following along quietly until the former state gives way to the latter. This particular day found my own crew leader sick and me shipped off for the day with Brook and his Middle Fork guys to get a jump-start on the heavy clearing in the Coal Creek burn. I knew Brook by reputation only. Thirty-something, wiry, hyper, and flat-out hilarious, Brook was at the center of some of the most outlandish pranks and stories in the trails canon. He was drawn to drama, calamity, and excess. Brook loved attention. If he was on a search and rescue, he’d end up on the local news, and you could see why. He told a monologue worthy of a one-man show, complete with pantomime and imitations. He teased until the butt of the joke was ready to throttle him, stopped just before he was resented. His crews worked hard, hiked hard, drank hard, laughed hard. I was eager to see him in action.

    [Above: Fording Riley Creek. Photo: Gabe Travis]

    Continue reading "Backseat of the Ford – An Excerpt from “Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods”" »

    The Usual x Patagonia

    By Patagonia Surf Europe

    The_Usual_X_Patagonia

    The Usual magazine teamed up with Patagonia’s NYC surf crew to put together this unique edition. Check it out.

    “On the following pages, we start on the Bowery, where our favorite company Patagonia will take over the old CBGB gallery to open their first East Coast surf store in early 2013. Just like CBGB’s nurtured New York’s alternative music culture, Patagonia’s shop will be a hub for surfers — the misfits of the global brand.”
    Hit the jump to read the full digital edition of the magazine.

    Continue reading "The Usual x Patagonia" »

    Africa-Americas Rowing Voyage – Four Guys in a 29-Foot Boat Rowing from Senegal to Miami

    By Hillary Fleming and the crew of the James Robert Hanssen

    Aerial_view

    When Patrick first called to tell me he’d been asked by his good friend Jordan to join the Africa-Americas rowing voyage I knew there was no way he would turn it down. Though he spent a few weeks mulling it over, he wasn’t fooling me. His biggest concern was missing out on his 5th season of Ski Patrol and the guarantee of fresh powder and the chance to throw dynamite across mountain tops.

    Patrick is not a waterman. Even though he spent years’ worth of mornings on the Long Island and Puget sounds as a competitive rower he always remained more tied to the mountains. During prep for the trip he would call me and talk about his crash courses in ocean weather, marine charts and nautical tools. I don’t think he ever spent a night at sea before this trip! I knew he’d be a pro in no time, he guided whitewater rafting trips with no previous experience, guided backpacking trips, was on ski patrol at Crystal Mountain for four seasons.

    I don’t know whether this trip will turn him into a salty dog looking for a live-aboard sailboat or make him run back to the mountains as fast as he can, but I know either way he’ll be glad he had the chance to be on the Oar Northwest team. And, as his protective older sister, I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys for him to be out there with. Sometimes I look at their location on the map, think, “they are literally a tiny dot in the middle of the ocean,” and then remember the great crew. Then, I’m just stoked to live vicariously through their adventure.

    Continue reading "Africa-Americas Rowing Voyage – Four Guys in a 29-Foot Boat Rowing from Senegal to Miami" »

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