The Cleanest Line


FORCE – The story of Mikey Schaefer [Update: Watch the full film]

FORCE – The story of Mikey Schaefer [Update: Watch the full film]

By The Dirtbag Diaries   |   Sep 11, 2014 September 11, 2014


Update 4/1/15: Previously shown at Patagonia retail stores and film festivals, we’re happy to share the full film with you online. Warning: Contains expletives.

I’m a homebody. My friend Mikey Schaefer is not. I made a conscious choice to develop a lifelong relationship with my local ranges and the urban environment right out my front door. A climber and photographer by trade, Mikey travels the world and he, much like I did, found a landscape that left its mark on him. It was 15,000 miles away, but, hey, when a place speaks to you, you listen.

“Patagonia chose me, as much as I chose Patagonia,” Mikey will tell you if you ask. I’d say the same thing about the Sierra and the Cascades.

Since his first trip as a 21-year-old to this fabled land of wind and granite (and more wind), Mikey has made Patagonia a part of his life. Every November or December, Mikey uproots his life and migrates to the South American summer and the hamlet of El Chalten where the staggering granite spires of Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy loom in the backdrop. Over the years, he fulfilled an audacious goal of establishing first ascents on all seven skyline summits of the Fitz Roy Massif. Take a look at that Patagonia logo on your jacket. That skyline is the defining element of Patagonia’s corporate logo. It’s bigger in real life.

Four years ago, we were having dinner when Mikey starting showing me short video clips he took with his point-and-shoot during his time in El Chalten. Spindrift avalanches. Open bivvies. Terrifying winds. It was gritty, honest and a far cry from the polished, rehearsed, re-enacted, slow-motioned footage we are getting so used to seeing in adventure sports. It looked hellacious, chaotic and real enough that it made me think twice about whether I was the kind of climber who really had what it took to do an FA on a Patagonian spire. “Keep pulling out that camera,” I said. “We are going to need a lot more of that.”

Well, Mikey did. And with the ever shrinking size of video cameras, we had a hunch that others climbers might be capturing their own adventures in this unique range. The inhospitable conditions have a reputation for crushing would-be filmmakers who come in with large crews and big cameras. Climbers have a native advantage. So we came up with an idea to supplement Mikey’s footage by turning to the community and crowdsourcing as much as we could. Could we sift through hours of footage to create a portrait of a climber, a landscape and the intimate visceral relationship between them?

Mikey has his rope and granite towers. I’ve got a desk chair and a mountain of hard drives. We each did what we were put on this planet to do. The result is Force, a short film about Mikey, a community and a landscape. We took it one step further and created an evening of stories, photos, film and community. Now we are hitting the road and visiting Patagonia stores across the globe. Mikey will be presenting some of his favorite photos and we’ve partnered with local non-profits at each stop. At the end of the evening, Mikey will sign and sell nine of his favorite images. Proceeds go directly to the hard-working organizations.

Please join us. I was lucky enough to hear these stories four years ago around the dinner table. I’m so excited that we get to share them with the rest of you.

Patagonia presents a Duct Tape Then Beer film

Mikey Schaefer and FORCE

See it for free at these locations across the country. Refreshments will be served and we’ll be giving away a Nano-Air Jacket at each event (all attendees have a chance to win).

FEATHERED FRIENDS
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2014
DOORS OPEN 7:00 PM SCREENING 7:30 PM
Feathered Friends
119 Yale Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 292-2210

PATAGONIA@BEND
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2014
DOORS OPEN 6:30 PM SCREENING 7:30 PM
Patagonia@Bend
1000 NW Wall St
Bend, OR 97701
(541) 382-6694

PATAGONIA PORTLAND
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
DOORS OPEN 7:00 PM SCREENING 7:30 PM
Patagonia Portland
907 NW Irving St.
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 525-2552

PATAGONIA SAN FRANCISCO
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER, 19, 2014
DOORS OPEN 7:00 PM SCREENING 7:30 PM
Patagonia San Francisco
770 North Point
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 771-2050

PATAGONIA BOULDER
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2014
DOORS OPEN 7:00 PM SCREENING 7:30 PM
Patagonia Boulder
1212 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
(720) 479-2387

PARAGON SPORTS
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2014
DOORS OPEN 7:00 PM SCREENING 7:30 PM
Paragon Sports
867 Broadway
New York City, NY 10003
(212) 255-8889

PATAGONIA MEATPACKING
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2014
DOORS OPEN 7:30 PM SCREENING 8:00 PM
Patagonia Meatpacking
414 West 14th St
New York City, NY 10014
(212) 929-6512

PATAGONIA BOSTON
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2014
DOORS OPEN 7:30 PM SCREENING 8:00 PM
Patagonia Boston
346 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 424-1776

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