Culture Stories

Andrew Burr
Make Blog Not War

On behalf of Patagoniacs everywhere, we dedicate The Cleanest Line to YC and Malinda. Thanks for everything. Patagonia holiday party 2005. Photo: Dave Kanarek

1 min Read
Workin’ For The Weekend

"The time is five o’clock, and I aaaaaaam outta here!" Everyday, all the little worker bees at Patagonia HQ eagerly await those sweet words from our frisbee-freak receptionist Chipper Bro, but never more so than on Friday afternoon. Some folks bust out their aloha shirts to celebrate Friday, while others simply don’t show up to…

1 min Read
Rising Son: Skateboarder Christian Hosoi

As a young skater growing up on the east coast in the 80s, Christian Hosoi had already achieved iconic status amongst my circle of friends. Some of our earliest glimpses of professional skateboarding, which at the time existed almost entirely on the west coast (SoCal specifically), were delivered courtesy of Thrasher Magazine and featured coverage of the scene and contests going on at Del Mar Skate Park. Christian Hosoi’s style practically jumped out of the pages.

2 min Read
Bumming in Eastern Oregon

We got this field report from Laura Cooper, a Virginian living in Oregon. I really liked her story, writing and dedication to the outdoors – she’s an ESL teacher who spends most of her time backpacking, skiing and reading, as well as birding, paddling, and taking pictures.Thanks for the great report Laura! After forty-five minutes…

3 min Read
Introducing The Dirtbag Diaries

Today we have a special treat for you. Patagonia field report contributor Fitz Cahall just alerted us to his new podcast The Dirtbag Diaries. If you’re at all a fan of our field reports please take a moment and listen to Fitz speak his writing to life. You can either listen now via the embedded…

The Dirtbag Diaries
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Dawn Patrol from the Patagonia European Office

You’re all pretty familiar with the Dawn Patrol (DP) idea by this point: wake with the roosters, drive blear-eyed through the pre-dawn black, exit warm car in the belly of the night’s bitter cold, strap on headlamps and start slogging uphill through dark and snow, all for a token taste of skiing before work. I…

localcrew
4 min Read
Teaching 15-Year-Olds to Listen in Nature

Fifteen year-olds scare me to death. I’ve never been cool, and 15 was when my nerdiness fleshedout in all its glorious fullness. And now, the great karmic card dealer has dealt me this hand: I’ll be living with a whole posse of them in the Tetons for the next three weeks. I’m used to guiding…

3 min Read
Listen to “To Helga and Back” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

The latest episode of The Dirtbag Diaries went live on Thursday for your podcasting pleasure. From the site: Many of us associate our vehicles with freedom,independence and youth. Even as we come to terms with the fact thatautomobiles may be an unnecessary evil, it’s hard not to think back tothat first surf or climbing trip…

1 min Read
Next Generation Patagoniac: A Reader Letter

So much of what we do stems from the desire to improve the world for the next generation. And here at Pat. HQ we’re constantly reminded of that responsibility by the kids we see playing at our onsite daycare center. Patagonia customer Chris Stelter makes us optimistic for the future with this heart-warming contribution. Chris…

Patagonia
2 min Read
Where Is He Wearing?

Another great contribution from a former employee of one of our many Independent Patagonia Dealers. The Cleanest Line Crew, Patagonia is about getting to the source. The source of where materials come from. The outdoors, the source of the passion and commitment by the enthusiasts that Patagonia’s products are designed by and for. I worked…

2 min Read
Celebrating Ed Abbey

Need a soundtrack for your Earth Day celebrations?  Thought so. Grassroots radio maestro extraordinaire Don Darue has been "servin’ ’em up covered and smothered" for purt-near 20 years on the homegrown radio show The Risky Biscuit Hayseed Hoot. One of Dondo’s specialties is the Annual Edward Abbey Memorial Tribute Edition of the show. Wanna get…

1 min Read
My Carpool to Work at Patagonia: Kids on Board

The days are gone when I would cruise solo to work, blasting the music, surfboard on the roof, checking all the breaks along the way. Now with two small children in tow, I carpool down the 101 with another mom to the Patagonia headquarters in Ventura. We travel together as families, bringing our kids to…

2 min Read
Who’s That Sitting Next to You?

Ray King, the manager of our Santa Cruz outlet store, sent us his take on the 2007 Surf Kayak Festival held at Steamer Lane, where Patagonia’s director of direct marketing, Morlee Griswold, took first place in the women’s international division. Generally speaking, if it’s foggy in the morning the sun will burn through by the…

3 min Read
“The Big Open” by Rick Ridgeway

If you live in the Reno area or happen to be there on May 17, please join Rick Ridgeway for this special event at the Patagonia Service Center. Those not in the area can read about Rick’s journey in his book The Big Open: On Foot Across Tibet’s Chang Tang. THE BIG OPEN On Foot…

2 min Read
Listen to “A Thousand Words” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

We just got word from Fitz Cahall that the newest episode of The Dirtbag Diaries is now live. In this special episode Fitz adds photographs to his podcast to help tell the story of adventure photographer Corey Rich and his unique profession. Watch and listen on your computer or download it to your photo-ready iPod…

The Dirtbag Diaries
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Freestylin’ with Bro

You’ve heard of the dude. But unless you’ve visited Patagonia HQ, taken a Surfclass in Ventura or happen to be a freestyle Frisbee player, chances are you haven’t heard of the bro. I’m talking about Chipper "Bro" Bell, the voice of Patagonia and 11-time World Freestyle Frisbee Champion. Check out Chipper Bro in action 0:42…

1 min Read
NPR Segment on Patagonia

Have a look/listen at a segment from today’s Morning Edition on how businesses are trying to reduce their impact on global warming: California Company Works to Cut, Adapt to Warming And for what it’s worth, I’ve never been fortunate enough to see a mouse scurry across the floor during a line presentation (listen to the…

1 min Read
Boulder Adventure Film Fest. Starts Tomorrow

If you live or happen to be in the Boulder, CO area this weekend, be sure and stop by the Boulder Adventure Film Festival and Dirt Days. The festival, which starts tomorrow (May 11), is wonderfully organized by climber/writer/photographer, and Patagonia catalog contributor, Jonathan Copp. The films look great and the Dirt Days events will…

1 min Read
World Freestyle Kayaking Championships

Congratulations are in order for Patagonia paddling ambassador Eric Jackson and his family. Mark, our product line director for paddling, sends word: I’d like to share the great news that our paddling ambassadors Eric, Emily, and Dane Jackson took home top spots in this year’s World Freestyle Kayaking Championships: Eric Jackson – Men’s 1st placeEmily…

2 min Read
“The Utility Bike as Art” by Grayson Schaffer

For most of us at Patagonia, biking to work is choice versus driving our cars. But for the world’s poorest communities, a bicycle is one of few affordable transportation options. Grayson Schaffer, Associate Editor for Outside magazine, has written a post for the blog Those Responsible about hardcore kayaker Ed Lucero and the bike he…

1 min Read
The Kids of Patagonia Bike to Childcare

Yesterday, some future Patagoniacs from our onsite childcare got into the spirit of Bike-to-Work Week. Their enthusiasm was so infectious. Listen carefully for some priceless remarks and look for a cameo appearance by Uncle Dave. I think biking to work has brought out the inner kid in a lot of us this week.  

1 min Read
Riding into the Sunset

We just wrapped up Bike-to-Work Week here in Ventura with a groovy happy hour and raffle. A quick tally shows that Ventura employees rode 1,979 miles this week and Reno rode a whopping 2,789 miles! (Stay tuned for the Retail store totals.) According to Bike Metro and the EPA, by riding our bikes instead of…

2 min Read
Listen to “A Brief Moment in a Beautiful Place” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

Fitz Cahall helps us shake off the Monday blues with a wonderful tale of travel improvisation as told in the newest episode of The Dirtbag Diaires. There is a fine line between a life-lasting memory and disaster. Whatever the discipline – alpinism, big wave surfing, foreign travel – we calculate risk, formulate plans and sometimes…

The Dirtbag Diaries
2 min Read
Nordic Skiing Music Video: “Belarus” by Low

You don’t hear those terms used together very often, if ever. But when former Patagonia sales rep turned filmmaker, Hansi Johnson, got the call to produce a video for the band Low, he drew on two of his passions to make a very strong point about the state of the environment. Hansi decided to focus…

4 min Read
Beyond and Back: Liz Clark and Belinda Baggs

by Jeff Johnson Editor's note: We're stoked to introduce a new feature on The Cleanest Line from Bend to Baja author/photographer Jeff Johnson. Jeff's work has appeared in The Surfer’s Journal, Surfer’s Path, Alpinist, Surfing, Surfer and the Patagonia catalog. When we don't have him chained to a desk at Pat. HQ in Ventura, Jeff…

Jeff Johnson
3 min Read
Listen to “Anatomy of an Accident” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

Gather ’round the campfire one and all; embrace a loved one or grab a cold one; smoke ’em if you got ’em and leave your troubles behind. It’s time for another episode of The Dirtbag Diaries with Fitz Cahall: In May of 2007, I made a mistake that should have cost me my life when…

The Dirtbag Diaries
2 min Read
Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest

When I think about Malibu, its usually on the order of Moonshadows, Surfrider Beach or expensive real estate listings. So, a few weeks ago while reading up on the Santa Monica National Recreation Area, I was surprised to discover a listing about a banjo and fiddle contest being held at the Paramount Ranch. It turns…

2 min Read
How Did Fatherhood Change Your Outdoor Lifestyle?

Happy Father’s Day to all the Patagoniac dads out there. Hope you had a good one. I’m sure some of you can relate to this sweet story from Ray Aberle. Read "Smaller Summits" How did fatherhood change your outdoor lifestyle? We’d love to read your story in the comments section if you have the time…

1 min Read
Beyond and Back: A Patagonia Employee’s Travels by Sprinter Van

Ventura, California Departure: June 8, 2007 Let me introduce myself. My name is Jeff though sometimes people call me Tofu. Yes, I am employed by Patagonia. I work as a photographer, writer, and assist in the testing and production of Patagonia products. I am hitting the road in my van for an undetermined amount of time, simply to…

Jeff Johnson
3 min Read
Slacking Off Some Steam

Sometimes you just gotta clear your head of work. For John and Jake that means throwing up an impromptu slackline and getting zen for a few minutes. Here we see Ben from our Facilities department walking the line for the first time behind Patagonia HQ. Smiles all around. [Photo: Free] [L to R: John tests…

2 min Read
Listen to “No Big Deal” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

Fitz Cahall brings us another wonderful tale for the virtual campfire today. In a sea of podcasts the Dirtbag Diaries is a rare species, one of the few honest and inspiring options for outdoor enthusiasts. Please help spread the word by turning on your friends and family to this unique podcast. And now, Episode 7,…

The Dirtbag Diaries
2 min Read
“Swarm Theory” in National Geographic

Working at Patagonia is not like working at most other companies.There are many reasons, but one is the lack of rigid hierarchical structure. The office doors of upper management are always open (when there are doors), questions are encouraged and the company’s managers rarely issue edicts or micromanage employees. This decentralized system of doing things…

2 min Read
Beyond and Back: Climbing in Yosemite

The other day while wandering around Camp 4 in Yosemite I ran into Patagonia ambassador Timmy O’Neill. He was hanging around the SARS site with his brother Sean and some guy named Aron. Timmy asked me if I wanted to climb the Manure Pile with him and Aron. “Sure,” I said. Walking to the parking…

Jeff Johnson
3 min Read
Listen to “The First Time: Part 1” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

Getting started on Monday morning is always rough. Sometimes it's best to just put on the headphones, drown out the rest of the world, and get lost in a good podcast. From Dirtbag Diaries creator, Fitz Cahall: I want you to think back to the first time you touched granite, rolled a kayak or linked…

The Dirtbag Diaries
2 min Read
Listen to “The First Time: Part 2” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

Podcast number two of The First Time series on The Dirtbag Diaries features Patagonia ambassador Tanya Shuman. From Fitz: Every sport has hallowed ground, a place were legends honed techniquesand innovators forged new technology. Climbers have Yosemite Valley.For mountain bikers, it’s Vancouver’s North Shore. If you’re afreestyle kayaker, there’s one wave, far from any damn-controlledriver,…

The Dirtbag Diaries
1 min Read
Tales from a Recovering Dirtbag

This submission came to us from Topher Browne, a Patagonia Ambassador and recovering dirtbag. I have not really been a dirtbag for several years now. I recently traded in the last in a long line of Toyota trucks for an efficient but less than capacious Honda Civic. If I tried to spend the night in…

3 min Read
Listen to “The First Time: Part 3” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

Ice Climbing at night on Valentine's Day after a full bottle of wine: Get ready for some good times courtesy of The Dirtbag Diaries: Valentine’s Day – For some, it brings to mind romantic candle-lit evenings. For others, mere mention of the holiday conjures up cringe-inducing images of overpriced flowers and public displays of affection.…

The Dirtbag Diaries
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Listen to “The First Time: Part 4” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

Many of you are familiar with Steve House's incredible accomplishments. But have you ever wondered about his very first climb? In part 4 of the The First Time series on The Dirtbag Diaries we get to hear about it: If you’ve opened an outdoor magazine in the last three years, you’ve probably read about Steve…

The Dirtbag Diaries
2 min Read
Listen to “The First Time: Part 5” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

It’s been a fun week of First Time stories thanks to The Dirtbag Diaries. We’ve heard from an extreme sledder, a freestyle kayaker, an ice climber, an alpinist and now, a snowboarder: Snowboarding can’t change a life. Carving four beautiful turns down an impossibly steep face aren’t going to alter a person’s course through this…

The Dirtbag Diaries
1 min Read
Beyond and Back: Surfing Malibu with Mary Osborne and Chris Malloy

by Jeff Johnson Sometimes you forget about your own backyard. While passing through Ventura the other day I had heard about a building south swell. So I hooked up with Patagonia Surf ambassadors Mary Osborne and Chris Malloy and headed south. We ended up posting up all afternoon at a spot north of Malibu. The…

Jeff Johnson
3 min Read
Seen in the Parking Lot

[Photo: Free]

1 min Read
Remembering Pete Absolon of NOLS

It is with great sadness that we learned recently of the death of a true friend of the climbing community. Pete Absolon of the National Outdoor Leadership School passed away this weekend in a climbing accident in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. It's hard to find the right words at time like this.  We…

3 min Read
Heads up for Bears

It’s not often that a person feels a small thrill at the sight of a pile of poo.  But when ol’ Smokeythrice leaves his calling card in the form of ursine spoor deposited within a short radius of the office, it’s time to take notice.  Rumors of bears coming down from the high country due…

2 min Read
Here Comes the Rain Again

You might have heard stories about the residents of mountain towns doing funny things from time to time. That was us today, here at Patagonia’s Northern Nevada digs. Staring slack-jawed out the windows, running around yelling at each other, spinning in wild circles outside . . . Why? Well, it rained, that’s why. What’s the…

2 min Read
Tom Swedko’s Quiet Commitment to Outdoor Recreation

We talk about being committed to the core. Steve House and Lynn Hill are two Patagonia athletes whose stories (both posted recently here on The Cleanest Line) offer a professional insight into this philosophy. Theirs are tales of the unreal made real through the power of intense professional focus. But "committed to the core" does…

1 min Read
Listen to “A Prayer for a Friend” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

After a well-deserved vacation, Fitz Cahall and The Dirtbag Diaries are back on the air. Episode 9 is presented to you here as both an mp3 podcast and a photo-enhanced video, embedded after the jump. From Fitz: How do people remember the dead? Some people stuff wrinkled snapshots into wallets. Others build ornate mausoleums. Others…

The Dirtbag Diaries
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Straight from Kennan Ward’s Camera Lens

If you’ve visited the homepage of Patagonia.com recently, or flipped through our Fall 2007 catalog, you’ve no doubt seen this incredible image of polar bears lined up on the ice. We’ve already received a few customer comments asking why we would publish a shot that is digitally enhanced. The answer: we didn’t. The masters will…

3 min Read
Innard Mongolia: A Reader Dispatch

We received a note the other day in our e-mail box. Our kind correspondent had a simple request: more Field Reports, more stories of dirtbags doing their thing. So here's a little story from the archives. This one's for you, Kelly: Perhaps it was the ten-hour trip off-roading over the rutted steppe in a Russian…

3 min Read
Listen to “Help Wanted” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

Besides working on today’s episode, Dirtbag Diaries host Fitz Cahall just launched a redesigned version of his Web site, www.dirtbagdiaries.com. Stop by when you have a chance and don’t forget to tell your friends about this one-of-a-kind podcast. Now, without further adieu, Fitz Cahall: There’s no such thing as a perfect job. There’s always a…

The Dirtbag Diaries
2 min Read
Patagonia as… Formal Attire for a Wedding?

This summer my sister got hitched! We grew up in the wilds of Northern British Columbia and you couldn’t find a more spectacular backdrop for your big day. So friends and family made the trek to Smithers, BC for a weekend of festivities to celebrate my sister and my brother in law.  Sure it was…

2 min Read
Listen to “The True Meaning of Radical” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

Epic. That’s all I need to say about this episode of The Dirtbag Diaries. Fitz Cahall will tell you the rest: Forests, rivers, oceans and mountains – to some of us they’re like old friends, but how far would you go to save them? In this era when our wild places exist in a precarious…

2 min Read
Yvon Chouinard and Tom Brokaw Speak at Google Zeitgeist

Tom Brokaw recently interviewed Patagonia owner Yvon Chouinard at Google’s Zeitgeist 2007 conference. The theme: Leading a Non-Virtual LifeTom Brokaw and Yvon Chouinard talk about being intentionally"un-networked" and leading a deliberately disconnected life. Both discuss why living off the grid is critical for a well-roundedexistence.

1 min Read
Remembering Patagonia Employee Linnea Erickson

Recent Patagonia employee Matt Hunt remembers a friend we lost on this weekend four years ago: “Peace and Go Wild” That is how Linnea always used to sign off her letters. Linnea Erickson started at the Reno Service Center in October of 2003, helping out with the holiday rush. Her first weekend in the area, she set…

Patagonia
1 min Read
Book Recommendation: “Plan B 2.0” by Lester R. Brown

We recently received a request to post a list of Y.C.’s favorite books on The Cleanest Line. We’ll do our best to make that happen, but in the meantime there is one book Patagonia has been recommending since the launch of our Common Threads Garment Recycling program. The book is Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a…

6 min Read
How to Measure Your Dirtbag Fitness Level

What is "fitness," exactly? Trainers, elite athletes, and the polished exercise-club crowd have one idea. It involves things like resting heart rate, VO2 Max, reps-per-minute, lactate thresholds . . . lots of numbers. The “fitness” they’re talking about can be measured, quantified, and presumably, understood once the right numbers have been crunched. But wait a…

3 min Read
Belinda Baggs on Her Hero: Her Dad

Life lessons and a love for surfing.

Belinda Baggs
2 min Read
Listen to “The Reckoning” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

I reckon there’s no better way to start off a holiday week than with a fresh episode of The Dirtbag Diaries podcast with Fitz Cahall. From Fitz: Every aspiring photographer dreams of capturing an iconic image. It’s the same kind of motivation that draws young skiers to intimidating lines in foreboding ranges and pulls ambitious…

The Dirtbag Diaries
2 min Read
Pleasant Revolution’s Pedal-Powered Performance

The Pleasant Revolution pedaled through Patagonia Ventura’s campus on Tuesday and shared their music and good cheer with the employees during lunch. Comprised of Xtracycle co-founder Kipchoge Spencer, his band the Ginger Ninjas, fellow bike musicians SHAKE YOUR PEACE! and an eight-person support crew, the Pleasant Revolution are riding their Xtracycles over 5,000 miles from…

2 min Read
We Measured Our Dirtbag Fitness Level

Welcome to part II of this post. If you haven’t already done so, you might check out the first Dirtbag Fitness post for a bit of context. Those of you who read Part I will know part II is about a week late. All I can say is, well, it’s a post about dirtbags. What…

5 min Read
What’s In a Name? Responding to a Customer Letter

W’s Tosh Crew Neck Sweater.  W’s Wailer Skirt.  W’s Trench Town Hoody Jacket/Pants. Do the names of those products prompt anything to come to mind for you?  As a long time fan of reggae music and particularly, the collective and individual members of The Wailers, I was surprised and, initially, disturbed that Patagonia would reference…

3 min Read
Listen to “A Lifeline Home” Dirtbag Diaries Podcast Episode

Amidst the hell of war, Fitz Cahall has discovered a story that will warm your heart: There was nothing exceptional about how Ryan Utz and Micah Helser became friends. After nodding at each other in the office hallways for weeks, they happened to discover that they shared an interest in sustainable building. They got to…

2 min Read
Remembering Kenny Harbaugh

We are deeply saddened to report that our good friend and longtime Patagonia colleague Kenny Harbaugh passed away last week while backcountry touring in British Columbia. Ken was on an inspiration trip with some of our ski ambassadors and members of the snow sports design/development team.  It’s impossible to capture all Kenny meant to us.…

3 min Read
Peace on Earth from Patagonia

Happy holidays to you and yours from Patagonia Ventura (pictured), Reno, Japan, Europe and all of our Retail Stores. Thank you to all of our customers, partners, friends and families for your honest feedback, passionate activism and continued support. We’ll see you 2008. [The tribe in Ventura gathered in front of the original Chouinard Equipment…

1 min Read
Remembering Patagonia Employee Brian Fritz

Update:  A memorial paddle-out will take place on February 3 at 8am in front of Zuma Beach Lifeguard Tower 9. All are welcome. Please continue reading for details. It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of another passing in the Patagonia family. Brian Fritz, a long-time Patagonia employee and manager of our…

5 min Read
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