Annecy (F) 17th of may 2006:
Patagonia
ambassador Dean Potter’s May 7 free solo of Delicate Arch has
generated significant controversy about the legality and
appropriateness of the climb of what has been described as a national
icon. We’ll be interested to follow the controversy and to listen
to views of those on both sides.

A few facts are in order.
First, no crime has been committed. The National Park Service has
conceded that its regulations were ambiguous and that they will not
cite Dean for the ascent. They have said they will seek to clarify
their regulations to prevent a second try. The Park and a number of
opinion leaders have argued that Delicate Arch is an icon that should
not be climbed.

It
is important to note that Dean did no harm to the route or to the rock.
He free-soloed the arch, placing no anchors and creating no impact
beyond blowing dust off the holds.  As he says, “No one
reveres rocks more than me.  I consider all rocks sacred, as do
most climbers.”

Dean, like all Patagonia ambassadors, undertakes his own climbs on his own terms.  He told us about the climb afterward.

We
have taken positions in the past on a number of issues of climbing
ethics, including bolting. We take no position on this one.  As
Casey Sheahan, our CEO, notes, “From the early days in the Tetons
to the rebelliousness of Yosemite’s Camp 4, every generation of
climbers has had its run-ins with government regulations that attempt
to restrict climber’s freedom of expression. At Patagonia we
don’t control the ways our sponsored athletes conduct themselves
except to encourage respect for the environment and uncommon approaches
to every challenge. Dean is at the pinnacle of free solo climbing,
makes decisions for himself, and has our complete support.”

Patagonia,
with sales last year of $240M, is noted internationally for its
commitment to product quality and environmental activism. Its
Environmental Grants Program has contributed over $22M to grassroots
environmental activists since the program began in 1985, and its
Environmental Internship Program allows employees to work for
environmental groups while receiving their full paycheck.

Incorporating
environmental responsibility into product development, the company has,
since 1996, used only organically grown cotton in its clothing line,
and is noted worldwide for using recycled soda bottles in many of its
polyester fleece garments. Known for a unique corporate culture, the
company has been recognized for many years by Working Mother magazine
as one of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers,” and
is a regular recipient of recognition by Fortune and Human Resources
Management magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for
in America. ”

Siehe auch:
Dean Potter unter starkem Beschuss nach Besteigung des Delicate Arch
www.patagonia.com