Patagonia's Philosopher King


Original Post
Br3tt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/09/19/patagonias-philosopher-king

A really good article I'm sure a few of you have already read. I discovered it last week and must have read it 4 or 5 times already. There are too many gems to post, but I found the discussion around the need to be privately owned especially encouraging. Far too many companies throw their values out the door upon going public, and it's nice to see one that recognizes the necessity of private ownership.

I also enjoyed the discussion around politics and the lack of understanding that comes with someone who has been insulated from the outdoors ("we’ve got another Obama—another city kid who’s never been out in nature"). I fear we'll never see a President who truly understands the importance of protecting our outdoor lands.

Dan Austin · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 0
Br3tt wrote:http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/09/19/patagonias-philosopher-king A really good article I'm sure a few of you have already read. I discovered it last week and must have read it 4 or 5 times already. There are too many gems to post, but I found the discussion around the need to be privately owned especially encouraging. Far too many companies throw their values out the door upon going public, and it's nice to see one that recognizes the necessity of private ownership. I also enjoyed the discussion around politics and the lack of understanding that comes with someone who has been insulated from the outdoors ("we’ve got another Obama—another city kid who’s never been out in nature"). I fear we'll never see a President who truly understands the importance of protecting our outdoor lands.
Thanks for sharing, I'll be interested to read this!

Just a quick comment re: protection of outdoor lands. Obama has protected more acreage than any other President in US history. Not that it's the be-all and end-all of conservation and that we shouldn't demand more from politicians, but I'm not sure it's fair to say that city folk (politicians or otherwise) can't understand the importance of protecting nature.
Clint White aka Faulted Geologist · · Lawrence, KS · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 158

As you said, so many amazing points in that article... The one that resonates with me is the statement near the end about Tenkara rods, women, and children. Teaching them how to fish also teaches them respect for the water. That same reason is why I have taught hundreds how to climb over the years - free of charge. If they get outdoors, I can have a conversation with them about protecting our few remaining natural places. They get it, and many lives have been changed for the better.

Now about the upcoming election...

Br3tt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
Dan Austin wrote: Thanks for sharing, I'll be interested to read this! Just a quick comment re: protection of outdoor lands. Obama has protected more acreage than any other President in US history. Not that it's the be-all and end-all of conservation and that we shouldn't demand more from politicians, but I'm not sure it's fair to say that city folk (politicians or otherwise) can't understand the importance of protecting nature.
Dan,

You make a very good point and I should have been clearer in my original post. President Obama has done more to protect our lands than any president in my lifetime. I guess the bigger point I was trying to make however, is that no matter how much President Obama commits (both $ and time) to preserving our parks, I really feel like someone can't 100% understand their importance until they've spent a considerable amount of time in them.

I loathe analogies because they can be twisted and construed so many ways, but I think of something like surfing. I've never done it. I live in Southern California and I have an immense respect for the beaches, the ocean, and the preservation of our beautiful coastline. That being said, I don't think I can 100% appreciate the impact our oceans and coastlines have because I've never spent considerable time in them. You can try to explain Yosemite to someone who has never been, but stepping foot in the Valley, or the high country, gives it so much more weight.

I was down in Huntington Beach the other day and noticed at least 5 oil rigs that were visible from the coast. What an eye sore. I'm hard pressed those would have been built if we had a President who was a surfer in his earlier days.

I'm not a very political guy -- not many issues push my buttons -- but the preservation of our public lands is of the utmost importance to me. I loved when President Obama flew to Yosemite and talked about its importance. I worry that as more and more "city kids" permeate the upper levels of politics, influenced by corporate money, they will be unable to understand how important protecting our land is. It's one of the reason I enjoy living in California -- our legislature (for the most part), and our people (who support protecting our lands even moreso) would raise hell if anyone tried to sell of or restrict the use of public lands.

Didn't mean to turn that into a rant, but I sometimes worry about the future of our public lands. It's one of the reasons I always urge people to get involved in the Access Fund & Sierra Club. They write a lot of policy proposals that have "real world" impacts for us climbers and, in my opinion, are in a much better position to protect the lands we love than politicians that are replaced every 4/8 years and whose opinions (for the most part) change depending on the direction of the political winds.
Br3tt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
Faulted Geologist wrote:That same reason is why I have taught hundreds how to climb over the years - free of charge. If they get outdoors, I can have a conversation with them about protecting our few remaining natural places. They get it, and many lives have been changed for the better.
I agree -- and one of the things I'd like to see is a program that takes kids from poor communities into the woods to hike and/or climb. I grew up very poor and simply didn't have the resources to backpack. Nor did I know anyone else who backpacked or climbed. It was simply that people in my town didn't do because we (i) never heard of it, or (ii) were too poor.

I have read a lot lately about the lack of diversity in our National Parks. It seems like a lot of people want to complain about the problem but nobody wants to take on the hard work of fixing it.

I may be ignorant re programs like this that already exist, so if I am feel free to point me to one as I'd be interested in contacting them and trying to volunteer.
D Argyle · · Green Mountain Falls, CO · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 570

Hey Br3tt,

These types of programs exist here in Colorado with Big City Mountaineers and CityWILD being among the most successful. I have donated time and money to those as well as some smaller programs like Get Outside and Learn Something.

Not sure what's around in your neck of the woods as far as climbing and surfing and the like, but my friend Dan Baird started a primitive skills program out of L.A. called California Survival School. He's had good success attracting clients from urban areas.

EDIT-- It appears that BCM has offices in Oakland. They have a good reach, perhaps some of their trips make it further down the coast.

Brett Kitchen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 10

Good article, kinda the reader's digest version of Let My People Go Surfing, but still good if you don't want to read the whole book.

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 140

Poignant, intelligent, socio-cultural writing a notch above the rest. The New Yorker can't be beat. Good stuff as always.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310

To bad that when land gets SAVED... its locked up with a wilderness designation.....

When lands get protected like this... we (rockclimbers) will never get to use them, unless hiking 9 miles (one way) is using. At one time one could drive to many places that were common climbing destinations, but in the interest of "Saving Land" many many places have become WILDERNESS... so kiss it goodby.

Obama is the worst president in the history of the USA, and he had to work to beat out Bush and Bush had to work hard to beat out Clinton...

So what is next? The Sierra National Forrest is about to become the next National Monument... then a National Park. How nice for the Government, more part time workers, more full time Washington STAFF.

I will be able to add Shuteye to the long list of places that have been "saved"...

Think about just what you want.

Robin like the bird · · mountain center ,CA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 285

I don't mind the hike ..

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310

Robin... you will not mind the hike when you can't even get out of your car anyplace between LA and Bishop.

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75
Guy Keesee wrote:To bad that when land gets SAVED... its locked up with a wilderness designation..... When lands get protected like this... we (rockclimbers) will never get to use them, unless hiking 9 miles (one way) is using. At one time one could drive to many places that were common climbing destinations, but in the interest of "Saving Land" many many places have become WILDERNESS... so kiss it goodby. Obama is the worst president in the history of the USA, and he had to work to beat out Bush and Bush had to work hard to beat out Clinton... So what is next? The Sierra National Forrest is about to become the next National Monument... then a National Park. How nice for the Government, more part time workers, more full time Washington STAFF. I will be able to add Shuteye to the long list of places that have been "saved"... Think about just what you want.
We've all climbed in plenty of wilderness areas just because you can't motivate to get out of your car without your drill and hike a few extra miles to go climb doesn't mean public land conservation hinders climbing as a recreational activity.

Oh and the proposal for the SNF to Sierra National Monument is meant to eliminate logging, grazing, and mining on the land. All current recreational activities are still to be allowed if the new designation goes through.
D Argyle · · Green Mountain Falls, CO · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 570

Guy,

Out of curiosity, how would you propose these lands be handled?

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650
Guy Keesee wrote:we (rockclimbers) will never get to use them, unless hiking 9 miles (one way) is using.
This is the first time I have heard a climber complain about an area having a wilderness designation solely because they will have to hike in to a climb rather than drive to the base. What?!
Brett Kitchen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 10
Guy Keesee wrote:When lands get protected like this... we (rockclimbers) will never get to use them, unless hiking 9 miles (one way) is using.
Yeah, putting them further out from cars will greatly lessen the impact we have on the rock and is also a great way to keep this horde of gym climbers from crawling over everything like so many seem to be horrified by
vietgoeswest · · Portland · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 100
Br3tt wrote:I was down in Huntington Beach the other day and noticed at least 5 oil rigs that were visible from the coast. What an eye sore. I'm hard pressed those would have been built if we had a President who was a surfer in his earlier days.
but then those oil rigs still need to be placed somewhere... maybe in someone else's backyard? I don't mean to pick a fight. We earth inhabitants are all in this together. If it comes down to having to drill in Yosemite in exchange for forever ending our perpetual wars in the Middle East I'm all for it. I recently tried with some success to build an all-solar kitchenette in my camper van. With a 220AH battery bank and on a sunny day I have barely enough juice for the induction stove to make dinner and breakfast. In bad weather it's much cheaper just to buy a $4 coleman propane fuel tank. Not an easy problem to solve (yet).
Will Tabor · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 5
vgw wrote: but then those oil rigs still need to be placed somewhere... maybe in someone else's backyard? I don't mean to pick a fight. We earth inhabitants are all in this together. If it comes down to having to drill in Yosemite in exchange for forever ending our perpetual wars in the Middle East I'm all for it. I recently tried with some success to build an all-solar kitchenette in my camper van. With a 220AH battery bank and on a sunny day I have barely enough juice for the induction stove to make dinner and breakfast. In bad weather it's much cheaper just to buy a $4 coleman propane fuel tank. Not an easy problem to solve (yet).
Totally off topic but how much power is that stove pulling? That's a big honkin battery my friend. If you do a Lil math and it's not the demands of the stove, it's highly likely that the solar panels are draining the battery during dark hours. This is one of the main (and often unstated) purposes of putting a solar charge controller between the panel and battery.
vietgoeswest · · Portland · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 100
Will Tabor wrote: Totally off topic but how much power is that stove pulling? That's a big honkin battery my friend. If you do a Lil math and it's not the demands of the stove, it's highly likely that the solar panels are draining the battery during dark hours. This is one of the main (and often unstated) purposes of putting a solar charge controller between the panel and battery.
Will, I do have charge controller and battery monitor. During the night the venting fan and fridge use less than 2A. The stove is 1000W model (I couldn't find anything less). At low to medium setting it peaks at 80-90A or roughly 1000W including the inverter loss.
Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 140

From the article:
"When Chouinard was in the Army, Tompkins used to spring him from base to go climbing by phoning his commanding officer and impersonating a colonel."

hahhaahaha you can't make this stuff up!!! Such dirtbags!!

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310
D Argyle wrote:Guy, Out of curiosity, how would you propose these lands be handled?
I don't know how many of you are from California. I know the whole land deal is much different back east, with all the no trespassing... "my land, get off,out" sort of thinking.

But here in California the Land that I am thinking of is already wilderness. Its wilderness because its way out there a long way from anyplace.

For example.... at one time you could drive down to the East bank of the South Fork of the Kern River. You could drive across the Kern and drive the mile or so to some of the domes, huge domes. Then when the DomeLand Wilderness was created, a good thing IMHO, the boundary was the So Fork of the Kern River.

This did put a end to the logging that was going on and that was a pretty good thing.

The Land that was not part of the DomeLand was managed by the BLM. You could make the drive out the small dirt road and camp, cross the river, walk a bit and go climbing..... Almost nothing was going on down at the end of the road or at the beginning of the road or anyplace in between.... only a few Fishermen, Hunters, Hikers and Climbers would visit the place.

That place was more "wild" than most WILDERNESS areas I know of.

But Clinton needed to ADD to his legacy so it was pretty easy to just make the whole place a new WILDERNESS, with out much opposition.

So he did, and now you can't even ride a MT bike down the dirt road, you must walk.

But guess what? The Rangers get to drive down the road, Ranchers get to drive down that road.... but to everybody else....NO WAY- not for you.

So that is the BS in the whole WILDERNESS thing, ITS not real wilderness, its just someplace WE (the regular public) are locked out of.

The BLM was doing a fine job of managing it in the first place.

And to people who say I just don't want to walk to go climbing..... BS. I have done many back country climbs and I know REAL wilderness when I see it.

And if you want to help get City Kids into the outdoors support organizations like this:

http://www.lawildernesstraining.org/
Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75
Guy Keesee wrote: I don't know how many of you are from California. I know the whole land deal is much different back east, with all the no trespassing... "my land, get off,out" sort of thinking. But here in California the Land that I am thinking of is already wilderness. Its wilderness because its way out there a long way from anyplace. For example.... at one time you could drive down to the East bank of the South Fork of the Kern River. You could drive across the Kern and drive the mile or so to some of the domes, huge domes. Then when the DomeLand Wilderness was created, a good thing IMHO, the boundary was the So Fork of the Kern River. This did put a end to the logging that was going on and that was a pretty good thing. The Land that was not part of the DomeLand was managed by the BLM. You could make the drive out the small dirt road and camp, cross the river, walk a bit and go climbing..... Almost nothing was going on down at the end of the road or at the beginning of the road or anyplace in between.... only a few Fishermen, Hunters, Hikers and Climbers would visit the place. That place was more "wild" than most WILDERNESS areas I know of. But Clinton needed to ADD to his legacy so it was pretty easy to just make the whole place a new WILDERNESS, with out much opposition. So he did, and now you can't even ride a MT bike down the dirt road, you must walk. But guess what? The Rangers get to drive down the road, Ranchers get to drive down that road.... but to everybody else....NO WAY- not for you. So that is the BS in the whole WILDERNESS thing, ITS not real wilderness, its just someplace WE (the regular public) are locked out of. The BLM was doing a fine job of managing it in the first place. And to people who say I just don't want to walk to go climbing..... BS. I have done many back country climbs and I know REAL wilderness when I see it. And if you want to help get City Kids into the outdoors support organizations like this: lawildernesstraining.org/
Thanks for your explanation, it's nice to know where you are coming from. It's interesting to hear that Rangers are driving a car in a designated wilderness, as that's quite frankly illegal under the Wilderness Act. Have you ever attempted to report this? (I'm assuming yes, but was just curious).
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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