The Cleanest Line

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Chip Chace exiting the top-station of the Aiguille du Midi. Photo: Kelly Cordes

Postcard from Chamonix: Totally Casual

By Kelly Cordes   |   Jul 8, 2011 July 8, 2011

“Hot damn, how cool,” I said, flipping my mullet to the side. “Totally casual day in the mountains? Yeah, I’m in. Rock on.” The forecast was for marginal weather, so I met Chip at a very civilized hour – quite civilized, in fact (everyone says “quite”). Time for coffee, breakfast,… Read More

Walker Ferguson coming up the final pitch of the Frison-Roche route on the south face of the Brévent. Photo: Kelly Cordes

Postcard from Chamonix: Access

By Kelly Cordes   |   Jun 29, 2011 June 29, 2011

I’m in Chamonix, France, for a couple of weeks. Weather started bad on the Mont Blanc massif, so we drove through the tunnel and climbed sunny rock in Italy. An 800-foot roadside dome with 40 routes, all bolted. The bolts weren’t too close, nor were they beside cracks. The routes… Read More

The Cartwright Connection

The Cartwright Connection

By Matt Helliker   |   Jun 3, 2011 June 3, 2011

Unrelenting spindrift avalanches and gusty winds constantly blasted and buffeted our portaledge. Our small cocoon of safety on this harsh and hostile mountain was slowly being engulfed, as we nervously watched the snow level rise up the fly walls. Five of the toughest days climbing of our lives it… Read More

Makalu 2011: Safe, Healthy and Heading Home

Makalu 2011: Safe, Healthy and Heading Home

By Steve House   |   May 27, 2011 May 27, 2011

Sitting on a warm piece of granite in front of a crystal-clear stream, Steve House called this morning on his way out from Makalu towards Kathmandu. The news you'll hear is both positive and somber. Everyone Steve traveled and climbed with are all safe and healthy. Unfortunately, he and… Read More

Makalu 2011: Sweet & Sour

Makalu 2011: Sweet & Sour

By Steve House   |   May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

Steve House called today and shared the latest news from Makalu. He and fellow Patagonia ambassador Marko Prezelj finished their acclimatization and spent some time on the west face where the weather didn't cooperate all that well. But the forecast is improving slightly… Read More

Makalu 2011

Makalu 2011

By Steve House   |   May 5, 2011 May 5, 2011

Editor’s note: Patagonia ambassadors Steve House and Marko Prezelj are back at Makalu. Longtime Cleanest Line readers will recall their previous attempt to climb Makalu’s West Face in 2008 with Vince Anderson, and Steve’s subsequent trip in 2009 when he made an… Read More

Going Up

Going Up

Oct 1, 2010 October 1, 2010

In the dank and smoky Fairview bar in Talkeetna, Alaska, 2003, I learned the simple secret to hard climbing. Jonny Copp and I had just come out of the Range, and we swilled beers with a couple of rowdy Brits. As usual, Jonny had been the driving… Read More

The Tin Shed Gets Tuned Up for Spring

The Tin Shed Gets Tuned Up for Spring

Mar 31, 2010 March 31, 2010

We’re sliding open the doors to the Shed and sweeping it clean this spring. Tune into the season with a fresh batch of stories from our friends and ambassadors out in the wild – in videos, audio and written word. And don’t worry, just like our favorite… Read More