From the peak of a mountain or the barrel of a wave, Patagonia has collected some of the most spectacular sports imagery in history. Relive the achievements captured in Patagonia’s history, as well as the joie de vivre fostered by nurturing a relationship with the great outdoors.
Unique for a business enterprise, Patagonia’s catalog devotes fully half its space to nonselling editorial content to environmental and sport essays and above all to extraordinary photographs of wild places and active pursuits for which the company makes its clothes. Since 1980, Patagonia has invited customers and wilderness photographers to submit their best, most unexpected shots of life outdoors of alpine climbing, bouldering in the desert, skiing untracked bowls, surfing secret spots, ocean crossings, first kayak descents and travel in unfamiliar places. The photos have poured in ever since (current rate: 60,000 per year), some from the famous (John Russell, Galen Rowell), others from respected photographers (Corey Rich) who had their first work published in these pages. Jane Sievert and Jennifer Ridgeway, Patagonia’s current and founding photo editor, respectively, have been calling and culling the shots for three decades. This is their compendium of the 100-plus most compelling photos Patagonia has published and a celebration of wilderness and outdoor-sport photography as an art and a practice.