Today, in celebration of Earth Week, we are focusing on our conservation partnership with American Forests through a weeklong fundraising drive we’ve called the One Tree Initiative. During Earth Week, Eddie Bauer will be matching donations under The One Tree Initiative, giving one tree for every dollar raised up to 75,000 trees. Back in November 2015, Eddie Bauer announced actor and activist Ryan Reynolds as its philanthropic ambassador and we’ve tapped him to explain the conservation-minded program in the video above. Watch, learn and donate.
Taos, New Mexico is powerful vortex between the high desert and the Sangre de Cristo mountains that has become home for wave after wave of artists, hippies, mountain men and, of course, skiers. A few famous folks have found their way to this magical location, from Georgia O’Keeffe to Dennis Hopper. Drawn by the stunning landscape, the legendary light and a welcoming feel that has integrated culture after subculture into its diverse milieu of influences. For Eddie Bauer guide and 15-time Everest summitter Dave Hahn, the skiing provided the initial draw, but it was the mellow, welcoming vibe and the high-elevation location that turned Taos into his home.
Camera by Jon Mancuso, Edit by Karl Archer
Earth Day is one of our favorite holidays. The celebration of the birthday of the modern conservation movement reminds us how important the mountains, rivers, lakes and streams are to our life and to our industry. The wild lands of our environment provide our playgrounds, our inspiration, our refuge and form the basis for our entire outdoor industry. Without these places, we’d be a bit lost.
But this holiday also reminds us to give back, both personally and as a brand. In honor of Earth Day next Friday, we are featuring another of the 2016 reforestation projects backed and funded by our longstanding 20-year-plus partnership with American Forests. Later this week we will dive into the conservation motivation of our philanthropic ambassador Ryan Reynolds in a three-part interview series, who sees the woods the same way we do—as a refuge and a reset.
But for today, our specific focus is on the Spruce Beetle Restoration Project in Colorado, an epidemic that we explored in our interview with Jami Westerhold of American Forests last year. It’s a much-needed reforestation effort to combat a modern ecological crisis in the mountains of the American West. Our forests in could use the awareness and the support. We owe it to them.
In August of 2013, we received a package in the mail. Inside was a pair of down-insulated “Expedition Mitts” that was being donated to the Eddie Bauer Archives. About a third of the approximately 1,000 garment artifacts in our archives come back to us from customers, all with stories to tell about where they’ve been in the years since they left our stockroom. Sometimes those stories are life-and-death dramas, sometimes retellings of favorite family vacations. And sometimes they’re windows into broader historical events.
Such was the case with these mitts.
The guía de pesca is in agony. The world infuriates him. His injured leg infuriates him. It’s a lurid purple down to bone from some recent accident that my rusty college Spanish can’t decipher the cause. But I infuriate him most of all. I barney a hookset. Then it happens again.
“Oh my God, you miss so many feeesh,” the guide says. The other fishing guides tell me not to take it personally. He does this to all the clients, the guides say. No one is good enough for his river, they say. But today is bad. Once, he played soccer professionally. Now he sucks his teeth in pain and he leans on the river staff that his invalidism has forced upon him. “Gandolfo!” the younger guides laugh.
I know the shape of this coast, the rocky shore, dark waves rolling in thirty-four thousand feet below. The jet engines hum. A businessman raps on the lavatory door. A line of tile-roof houses appears, then, further inland, factories and highways and the broad, unlit Fields of Viré, Flares and Nonancourt. The captain makes an announcement. The businessman sits. The plane banks left and the great circle of Paris rises above the wing.
This is the route you take to the Alps, where French skiers wedel in fluorescent stretch pants and Italians eat osso buco in the summit lodge. But that’s not the destination of this ski trip. The final destination is still unclear. It’s to the southeast, I believe. Over the Pyrenees, across two oceans, on another continent…
Recently, we received a very polite email from Elliot Singer, a 13-year-old girl living in San Francisco, California, who has already climbed Adams, Whitney, Rainier and Longs Peak. The young mountaineer—who has also heli-skied in Greenland and trekked to Everest Base Camp—was preparing for a trip through the Himalaya with Eddie Bauer guide Melissa Arnot to climb Lobuche Peak, Kyajo Ri, and Island Peak, which all top out at more than 20,000 feet. We read her email, her outdoor resume, and her story, all of which were impressive for someone just about to enter high school. So, as Everest season starts in the Himalaya, we’re giving Elliot her first adventure byline here on the Live Your Adventure blog.