The founders of The North Face and Patagonia are old friends and once traveled together vacationing in a van to Patagonia, Chile in 1968.
Ever wonder what it would be like to just pick up and go on an adventure? Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins, founders of Patagonia and The North Face, respectively, decided to do just that in 1968.
They packed their things into their Ford E-Series van (similar to a VW van) and set out towards their final destination of Patagonia in Chile.
What resulted was a newfound respect for the environment. The two best friends have both been big environmental activists throughout their careers, and this trip was one of the main reasons for that.
The North Face had already been founded by the time they took this trip, but Chouinard’s company even takes its name from their destination.
They set out on this trip for an adventure, and that’s what they got. They were both involved in climbing, surfing and other similar activities, and the idea behind the trip was to find unclimbed mountains and un-ridden waves. They very much succeeded, and found out that the old saying is true: the destination doesn’t really matter. It’s the journey that counts.
This trip had turned into more of a rumor than fact over the years because the footage had been lost. It was found in 1990 by fellow adventurer Jeff Johnson who, after reviewing the footage, made it his dream and life-goal to climb the Corcovado Volcano in Patagonia.
The film ‘180 Degrees South: Conquerors of the Useless’ chronicles his own adventure as he follows in the footsteps of Chouinard and Tompkins, this time by sea instead of land.