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Community Stories

Andrew Burr
Listen to “El Avalanchisto” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “El Avalanchisto” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “El Avalanchisto” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
The Dirtbag Diaries

When Matt McKee first heard about the position forecasting avalanches for Minera Pimenton, a gold mine in the Chilean Andes, it sounded like the snow geek’s dream job. But mere hours after his plane touched down in Santiago, Matt started getting hints that maybe he had walked into a situation that more closely resembled a…

2 min Read
How to Disconnect for Deeper Connection
How to Disconnect for Deeper Connection
How to Disconnect for Deeper Connection
Cassidy Randall

“Disconnect to connect,” Leah Evans says to us, 13 total strangers standing in a circle at a remote trailhead in British Columbia’s Purcell Mountains. We’re about to embark on the inaugural Airplane Mode Camp led by Evans and her dream team of experts: Madeleine Martin-Preney, a hiking/ski guide and the first woman to traverse the…

5 min Read
Why is Unstructured Play Crucial?
Photo: Kyle Sparks
Why is Unstructured Play Crucial?
Patagonia

An excerpt from the book Family Business by Malinda Chouinard and Jennifer Ridgeway.

9 min Read
Majka Burhardt on Being Asked about Mothering and Climbing
Photo: Peter Doucette
Majka Burhardt on Being Asked about Mothering and Climbing
Majka Burhardt

Dear Kaz and Irenna, Today you are 10-months old. This week, the last of winter’s snow left our garden, and the final crocus patch bloomed and closed just in time to escape your attempts to eat its purple petals. I spent our first winter together pulling you behind me in a tandem sled that gave…

4 min Read
Excerpt from Allen Steck’s “A Mountaineer’s Life” on the First Ascent of Hummingbird Ridge
This distant view of the Hummingbird Ridge shows the immensity of the climb, starting at the rocky cliffs at lower right to the summit three and a half miles away and some 13,000 feet higher. Photo: Roy Johnson Jr.
Excerpt from Allen Steck’s “A Mountaineer’s Life” on the First Ascent of Hummingbird Ridge
Allen Steck

In honor of the release of A Mountaineer’s Life by Allen Steck, Patagonia Books is pleased to share this excerpt from chapter eight.  Camp II was a desperate and fearful place. We spent seven days there in severe weather. We could not leave the tents without going onto the fixed lines; the weakened cornice behind us…

6 min Read
Listen to “Over the Line” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Illustration: Walker Cahall
Listen to “Over the Line” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
The Dirtbag Diaries

“It’s like the Iditarod with a chance of drowning,” says Jake Beatty, one of the organizers of a bizarre, crazy race called the Race to Alaska. The course traces 750 miles of Alaska’s Inside Passage through complicated currents and tides, busy shipping channels and bear-ridden coastlines from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan, Alaska. In June.…

1 min Read
Giants Live Forever: Remembering BC Steelhead Conservationist Bruce Hill
Photo: Steve Perih
Giants Live Forever: Remembering BC Steelhead Conservationist Bruce Hill
Dylan Tomine

Through the years I’ve talked to Bruce Hill on the phone more times than I can count, often at odd hours, about subjects big and small. Recipes for teriyaki sauce and salmon caviar. Conservation campaign strategies. Guitar techniques. Family. Personal issues and challenges. For so many reasons it’s been a steady comfort in my life…

4 min Read
Listen to “Tales of Terror Vol. 8” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Illustration: Walker Cahall
Listen to “Tales of Terror Vol. 8” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
The Dirtbag Diaries

For our eighth annual Tales of Terror episode, we have not three, but five stories that span the range of things to fear—from angry men with shotguns, to bears and mountain lions, to things that really don’t have any explanation in the world of science. First, we visit an abandoned Pennsylvania town with Joe Shearer.…

1 min Read
Painting the Prairie
Artist: Emilie Lee
Painting the Prairie
Emilie Lee

My artistic heroes have always been the turn-of-the-century landscape painters: Frederic Church, Sanford Gifford, Thomas Moran, to name a few. They were rugged outdoorsmen, exploring places like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite on some of the very first European expeditions to those places. They trekked into the mountains with primitive camping gear and heavy…

7 min Read
Listen to “Live From 5Point Vol. 9” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “Live From 5Point Vol. 9” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “Live From 5Point Vol. 9” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
The Dirtbag Diaries

Before Semi-Rad.com, Brendan Leonard wrote a Short for The Dirtbag Diaries called “Sixty Meters to Anywhere.” He recently published a book with the same title, documenting his journey from handcuffs to hand-jams, from rural Iowa to the mountains of Colorado and from business casual to assignments for Climbing magazine. We returned from our sixth annual…

1 min Read
“Real Life” Science with the Wild Fish Conservancy
Photo: Dylan Tomine
“Real Life” Science with the Wild Fish Conservancy
Dylan Tomine

Both of my kids love their science classes in school, and Skyla often mentions wanting to be a marine biologist when she grows up. So when the field biologists from the Wild Fish Conservancy invited us to participate in some beach-seine sampling, as part of their project to assess juvenile salmon habitat around Puget Sound, we jumped…

3 min Read
Listen to “Trespassers” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Artwork: Walker Cahall
Listen to “Trespassers” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
The Dirtbag Diaries

Artwork: Walker Cahall “You have to imagine that you’re on the frozen Arctic Ocean. You’re six miles from shore, you can’t really tell where the ocean stops and the white shore begins. All you see is white–and this thing where they’re dumping crap into the ocean to make this island,” says Dan Ritzman. “And, there,…

2 min Read
We Can Be Both: Mothers at Work
Photo: Kyle Sparks
We Can Be Both: Mothers at Work
Patagonia

Every day in America, women return to work after the birth of a child to find an unsupportive environment lacking on-site child care, lactation programs and paid medical leave. No wonder there is an alarming lack of women in positions of leadership, board rooms and public office. Women will never be able to effectively “lean…

2 min Read
What Can Rich Sensory Experiences Teach Children?
What Can Rich Sensory Experiences Teach Children?
What Can Rich Sensory Experiences Teach Children?
Patagonia

An excerpt from the book Family Business by Malinda Chouinard and Jennifer Ridgeway.

7 min Read
Listen to “Endangered Spaces: Boundary Waters” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “Endangered Spaces: Boundary Waters” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “Endangered Spaces: Boundary Waters” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
The Dirtbag Diaries

Raising awareness. It seems like every day, someone embarks on a new project to ‘raise awareness’ about a particular issue, cause, disease, endangered species or threatened public land. But what separates the projects that cut through the noise and the ones that get drowned out in the static of issues competing for our attention? For…

1 min Read
Listen to “Winnebago Warriors” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Illustration: Walker Cahall
Listen to “Winnebago Warriors” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
The Dirtbag Diaries

“When we were living in a house, we were always compromising because we had the weight of a mortgage, of doing what we thought we should be doing,” remembers Kathy Holcombe. Until the day she, her husband Peter and their daughter Abby moved into a Winnebago to travel and work from the road. “I want…

1 min Read
Searching for the Snow Leopard in Tajikistan
Photo: Joel Caldwell
Searching for the Snow Leopard in Tajikistan
Joel Caldwell

March 11, Saidi Tagnob Conservancy, Zighar, Tajikistan Odina, a Tajik ranger from the Saidi Tagnob Conservancy, squats alongside the cliff edge. With large field glasses pressed to his face, he scans the opposite mountainside for familiar movement. He motions excitedly for the spotting scope. I squint hopelessly across the ravine at I-know-not-what. And then I…

9 min Read
Rose Marcario: Our Company Policies for Families
Photo: Somira Sao
Rose Marcario: Our Company Policies for Families
Rose Marcario

Patagonia CEO encourages other business leaders to support working families with paid leave and on-site child care.

6 min Read
United in Suffering at Grinduro Scotland
Photo: Broudy/Donohue Photography
United in Suffering at Grinduro Scotland
Berne Broudy

It’s drizzling and a bag piper is piping—cliché but cute—as I roll through the steep, salty streets of Lamlash, on Scotland’s Isle of Arran, into a rooty, ferny slick single track, with 149 other bikers. Within the first quarter mile of the Grinduro Scotland, about half the participants are already off their bikes and walking.…

5 min Read
Hiding Road Rash at My Wedding
Mountain biking
Hiding Road Rash at My Wedding
Diane French

Fifteen minutes before my wedding, I’m standing in front of my sister in my dress. “Can you see it?” She scans me, tilting her head to each side. “No. Can’t see it. But here, take this anyway.” Two hours from now, when the hailstorm rolls in and turns my lips purple for all my wedding pictures,…

4 min Read
Listen to “A Slosh in the Bucket” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Dirtbag Diaries Podcast: A Slosh in the Bucket
Listen to “A Slosh in the Bucket” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
The Dirtbag Diaries

Artwork: Walker Cahall Eric Johnson lives in Sturgis, South Dakota with his wife and three young daughters. He works as a high school English teacher. He’s responsible—well, most of the time. Half way into his thirties, Eric emptied his retirement account to buy a raft, despite the fact that he lives in a state without…

2 min Read
Strong Families Build Strong Businesses
Photo: Kyle Sparks
Strong Families Build Strong Businesses
Dean Carter

In the United States, up to 35 percent of working women who give birth never return to their jobs. Meanwhile, the cost of replacing employees can range from 35 to 200 percent of a worker’s salary, depending on seniority. If this seems like a shocking economic inefficiency, consider that American businesses provide paid family leave…

4 min Read
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: A New Film
Photo: Garrett Grove
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: A New Film
Eliel Hindert

The road has been my home for the better part of my adult life. That elusive space not quite here or there, but simply a collection of moments in between. Let’s rephrase that. The road has been where I’ve felt most at home for the better part of my entire life. Sure, I’ve had homes…

3 min Read
Listen to “Roll the Dice” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “Roll the Dice” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “Roll the Dice” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
The Dirtbag Diaries

“We started the trip without much of a purpose,” writes Fil Corbitt. “We wanted to be pushed around. Wanted to find something we didn’t know we were looking for. We wanted to take some small chance and see where we landed. And see which side was facing up.” But how do you find that kind…

2 min Read
The 2015–16 Patagonia Season ‘Patagonia d’Or’
Photo: Dörte Pietron
The 2015–16 Patagonia Season ‘Patagonia d’Or’
Rolando Garibotti

While many historic climbs occurred this past season, if I were giving awards, my “Patagonia d’Or” would go to a selfless and lasting non-ascent. The momentum began in late 2014, with climber Steffan Gregory, who sent me an email: “I’m looking at returning to Chaltén next season and wanted to put some time in giving…

4 min Read
Sweet Hokkaido Pow from Sweetgrass Productions
Sweet Hokkaido Pow from Sweetgrass Productions
Sweet Hokkaido Pow from Sweetgrass Productions

[YouTube version – HD available] Reading the Sweetgrass Productions blog, I feel nauseous with envy. “It was beginning to dump in an absolutely ridiculous manner as we left to go to an awesome Japanese-style dinner, where much raw seafood was consumed, priming our bellies for today, which was perhaps the most disgustingly deep powder day…

11 min Read
Listen to “The Year of Big Ideas 2009” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “The Year of Big Ideas 2009” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “The Year of Big Ideas 2009” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
The Dirtbag Diaries

Once again, The Dirtbag Diaries kicks off the new year with a podcast full of inspiration for a fun and rewarding 2009. Show host Fitz Cahall sets the stage: Rangi Smart was riding a small spur of his favorite single-track trail when he stumbled upon a perfectly designed mountain bike jump. A platform of two…

2 min Read
Backyard Adventures: Camping Cold in San Gorgonio Wilderness
Backyard Adventures: Camping Cold in San Gorgonio Wilderness
Backyard Adventures: Camping Cold in San Gorgonio Wilderness

It’s time for another reader-submitted Backyard Adventure. This one comes courtesy of longtime Cleanest Line commenter CM, otherwise known as Craig Metzger from Southern California. CM’s story first appeared on his blog Get Outside More.   I’d been planning a backpack trip with friends for some time. The plan was to hike in, camp and then…

8 min Read
The Hammer Monkeys Bike Through South America
The Hammer Monkeys Bike Through South America
The Hammer Monkeys Bike Through South America

In early January, former Patagonia performance baselayer developer, Elissa O’Brien, and Chris, her significant other, boarded a plane for Montevideo, Uruguay. Their plan? Eight months on bikes through South America. Elissa and Chris are sharing their trip via a great Web site full of fun narrative, photos and video. So if bicycle touring and/or South…

3 min Read
The Story of Fleece
The Story of Fleece
The Story of Fleece
Rachel G. Horn

A tale of tinkering.

6 min Read
Listen to “The Crusade” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “The Crusade” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “The Crusade” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
The Dirtbag Diaries

After a scorching weekend in Southern California, we start off the work week with an epic episode of The Dirtbag Diaries. Series creator Fitz Cahall introduces Episode 20:  True or False? Standard pushing is for the pros. If you want to shape skiing or climbing, you have to ditch the job, move into the car…

2 min Read
Ari Lurie in the South Pacific
Ari Lurie in the South Pacific
Ari Lurie in the South Pacific
John Dutton

More from our friend Ari in the South Pacific. After three hours in the heavy Polynesian sun I knew it was time to start heading home. I was on an outer reef named Motu Piti Aau two miles east of Bora Bora. I had walked several miles down the beach exploring the coast, and now…

2 min Read
What Can a Brand Name Mean? (And How Did Ours Come to Be?)
What Can a Brand Name Mean? (And How Did Ours Come to Be?)
What Can a Brand Name Mean? (And How Did Ours Come to Be?)
localcrew

Mountain of Storms was released in 1968. It is a film about 5 friends who pile into an old van somewhere in California and surf, ski, and climb their way south toward the then still-mythical land of Patagonia, where they put up the first ascent of Cerro Fitz Roy’s Southwest Buttress, the so-called “California Route.”…

8 min Read
Listen to “The Shorts: Year of Big Ideas Reprieve” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “The Shorts: Year of Big Ideas Reprieve” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
Listen to “The Shorts: Year of Big Ideas Reprieve” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode
The Dirtbag Diaries

Fitz Cahall eases us back into the work week with another “short” episode of The Dirtbag Diaries: In the Year of Big Ideas, my childhood friend Brad laid it out – he was going to climb El Cap in 2008. Never mind that he had minimal climbing experience or had never even been to Yosemite.…

1 min Read
The Day Aloha Returned
The Day Aloha Returned
The Day Aloha Returned

Ray King, the manager of Patagonia Santa Cruz, sent the following dispatch from Gerry Lopez’s book tour: Not since 1969 had the Aloha visited Santa Cruz California. True, there are bits and pieces of it floating around, but true and pure Aloha has been vastly missing. It was May 3rd, 2008 on a clear blue…

8 min Read
Tune Up, Turn Wrenches, Ride Out
Tune Up, Turn Wrenches, Ride Out
Tune Up, Turn Wrenches, Ride Out
Kasey

One of the perks Patagonia riders were given this week was the opportunity to get a free bike tune-up on Tuesday to make the crank turning even more joyous. The grease-monkeys in the company generously donated their lunchtime hour to help the rest of us who don’t have the skills or the tools to properly…

2 min Read
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