The Cleanest Line

Trail Running

Walker Ferguson laid low by a high-quality effort. Tuolumne Meadows, California. Photo: Jeff Johnson

Three Hours, Max

By Will Leith   |   Apr 17, 2018 April 17, 2018

The map showed an unbroken line contoured to the ridge. We started running along that line and ran past its end, into a space between two worlds. A few orange ribbons hung on branches in natural openings, marking what might eventually be the beginning of a trail. We followed it. Read More

Disaster Style on the Sierra High Route

Disaster Style on the Sierra High Route

By Luke Nelson   |   Sep 23, 2015 September 23, 2015

By Luke Nelson There is something unnerving about waking up shivering. I rolled over and did a dozen or so push-ups in an attempt to get warm enough to fall back asleep. My commotion led to Cody pressing the light on his watch. “It’s almost 4 a.m.,” I mumbled. Read More

Red Shins

Red Shins

By Craig Holloway   |   Sep 15, 2014 September 15, 2014

Back in February, I started volunteering for the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (OVLC), a nonprofit that protects open space through land acquisitions and conservation easements. They have a number of preserves scattered across the valley and the Valley View Preserve was their newest one. OVLC volunteers had already… Read More

Above: Camping along the Marsh Fork of the Canning River, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. All photos by Ron Hunter.

Innovation and Wilderness

By John Wallin   |   Sep 5, 2014 September 5, 2014

I started selling fleece for Patagonia in 1993, and for six years I worked in Washington D.C., Bozeman and Reno in various customer service functions. I had a blast, learned a ton about product and people and made a network of friends who are as important to me as… Read More

The Measure of a Mountain

The Measure of a Mountain

By Steve Graepel   |   May 18, 2012 May 18, 2012

  I remember the feeling more than the sound; a palpable ‘crack’ shattered through the bones of our house. At first we thought it was a car accident or maybe a gas explosion, but as we looked out the bay window to the north, we knew it was far worse…… Read More

What Inspired You?

What Inspired You?

By Old School   |   May 7, 2012 May 7, 2012

We recently received this email from Ross Curwen, a reader from, as he says, "rainy old England." Just a letter saying thanks to The Cleanest Line community from rainy old England. About a year ago I injured my shoulder. This meant I had to cut right back on two things… Read More

[Above: The author jogs up to Cache Col from Cascade Pass. All photos courtesy of Steve Graepel]

The Ptarmigan Traverse

By Steve Graepel   |   Feb 2, 2012 February 2, 2012

Scott scrambles up to Cache Col and drops his pack besides mine. We’ve been moving just over two hours since the trailhead and have stopped to get our first glimpse at the route before us. Our goal is the Ptarmigan Traverse – a 35-mile off-piste, haute route traversing the… Read More

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