VIMFF 2 and a respectable apology.

Hey, Thanks for dropping by the ramblings of Trotter.

I  just wanted to give a last minute thanks to the hard working crew at the 2010 Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival – VIMFF. Friday night was one to remember (fortunately everything AFTER 1:am I sort of forget).  The sold out show had well over 700 people in the auditorium.  Besides my brief speaking at Banff, that was the largest audience I’ve stood before.  It was intimidating, I don’t exactly enjoy being on the spot like that, I’m not naturally comfortable on stage and would much rather be behind the scenes, BUT with the help of some cold beers, a super, super supportive (and responsive) crowd and the back up of Sean McColl and Will Stanhope I was more than happy to share some of my climbing stories with the viewers.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  The highlight for me (besides laughing my ass off all night) being Timothy Emmett’s film on his Welsh 8c project.  Way too much fun.  Can’t wait to go there one day and have a shot at it.  looks nails.

On a side note, I want to share a public apology released a few days ago on the Patagonia Blog.  Patagonia is a rare company indeed, and time and time and time again when I see how they lead by example, it makes me proud to be working for them, associated with them and I will continue to be a long time user of their products and follower of their stories for as long as they create them.  No matter what.

Wrong Turn

PCT_badge The photographs that appear in our catalogs have long been a source of inspiration. Very rarely, however, they can give the wrong impression. The Patagonia Heart of Winter 2010 catalog contained a photograph (p. 38) of illegal mountain bike use on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.

The Pacific Crest Trail is open to foot and horse travel and closed to all motorized and mechanized (bike) use for its entire length. Patagonia regrets this oversight and strongly supports the environmental stewardship for which the rule exists, and the “Rules of the Trail” developed by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails.

Many of us in the company enjoy mountain biking. We understand the contentiousness surrounding access issues, but we also respect the rules of Wilderness and the rights of hikers on the PCT. Please ride on open trails only, respect trail and road closures, and ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail.

There’s plenty of space out there for all of us. Enjoy.



Kudos for admitting the mistake. Many companies wouldn’t.


if i remember correctly, the caption on that photo said something about climbing 6,000 vertical feet to get to that point. that’s pretty much BS… unless that dude starting riding his back from the seattle waterfront.

the dirtbag

Agreed. It could have been really easy to keep that quiet.  On a personal note — When I saw that photo I swore I knew the trail and would have wagered money that it was the classic Ranger creek/palisades trail — a bike friendly trail. I guess not.


Just wanted to say that, as a marketing professional myself, I find it really really awesome that a company will own up when it is appropriate, and take steps to correct mistakes in an honest way — after all we are only human. Handled well. I am already a loyal fan, but this solidifies it even more!


This isnt really a big deal. Formally its a bad deal to be on the trail on a bike, but lets face it, from a damage perspective a horse will do more damage to the environment. In the UK trails are defined as ‘walkers only’ or ‘bike and horse’.  Patagonia are cool to put their hands up, but i think its being blown out of perspective a bit.


The Wilderness Act’s exclusion of bikes is unfortunate. As a mountain biker living in an area with rather limited riding opportunities and a fair amount of designated wilderness, it’s been hard for me to support new wilderness when it threatens to close some of the few trails we can ride. As for allowing horses in wilderness areas and excluding bikes, well, that makes no sense whatsoever. Horses are far harder on trails, creeks and camping areas than bikers.


As a mountain biker, I’m glad Wilderness areas are closed to bikes, which includes much of my backyard area. That’s where I go trail running instead. And it’s great not to have to dodge cyclists yelling “Training! Clear please!” all the time. True, horses do somewhat more damage, but you’ll never keep “a man and his horse” outta Murikan Wilderness. Too much symbolism and cowboy myth…for the moment anyway.   But the fault here isn’t Patagonia (who’s doing the apologizing), it’s the photog and his model. Unfortuately, there’s a lot of deception going on in the frantic shooter world.


It’s very old-fashioned (in an admirable way) of Patagonia to do the right thing, without focus groups, marketing and PR companies, and all the like. The only unfortunate thing to this whole story is that the rest of the business world doesn’t share the same commitment to ethics.

  • Scott

    Hey Sonnie don’t worry man you did just fine up there! Funny and well spoken at the same time. Also couldn’t believe how polished McColl and Standhope were. All 3 of you hit it out of the park.

  • Fashionista

    Once you got goin’ you were alright but at the start when they were fucking with the projector and you were waiting it kinda looked like you’d just had a few quick bong hits in the back for some Amsterdam Dutch courage…

  • Ben

    I agree with Scott, OUT OF THE PARK. Friends and I loved the video you showed and the highlights of Squamish exploring. Great stuff. Looking forward to seeing what you get up to this summer Sonnie. Keep it up.