Scarpa North America Blog

Cuba Libre, A Climber’s Paradise

Jan. 15th 2018

Cueva Yarobis Rock Climb in Cuba

In a land where the rhythm of life can flow like a sultry Salsa or the creep of a snail, words like ‘authentic’ and ‘unique’ fail to capture the essence of what’s really happening. It’s true though, that in 2018, Cuba is one of the most distinct places you’ll ever visit. With a rough history scarred by colonialism, revolution and a failed Communist ideal, Cuba continues to roll up it’s sleeves and plow onward.

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The Calm Before The Run – Dawn Patrol

Sep. 25th 2017

I’m woken by the violent buzzing of Nick’s alarm. He has his phone set to the “old phone” ringtone, which in my 4am stupor feels like a minor explosion to my head.

The strident sound is accompanied by his phone vibrating on the plastic lining of my truck bed and an abrupt sit-up from Nick to end the aggression. I comment in a not-so-zen manner about the onslaught, to which Nick replies in his usual matter-of-fact way: “Well, we have to get up.”


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Access Fund Annual Summit – The Breakdown

Sep. 14th 2017

As you click through the prompts when buying a pair of Scarpa shoes online you are asked if you would like to donate to the Access Fund. You may wonder what value this has…Myself, Jimmy Keithley, and my family headed to Oakland, CA this past weekend for the Access Fund Annual Summit and Dinner. Keep on reading to see what we experienced and you will see the importance of such an organization. The weekend consisted of workshops that focused on various issues affecting climbers, as well as a semi formal dinner party focusing on raising funds and highlighting some of those in our community.

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Run To Feel Alive

Aug. 31st 2017

unnamedAnswering Jeff’s Question:

“Why do we bother doing this?” In the last 5,000 foot climb of the Ouray 50 mile run, Jeff Stephens, my pacer, asked me this question. It was two o’clock in the morning and we had just embarked on the final ten miles of the race. “There is no grand enlightenment waiting at the end so what is it that attracts us to this?” he continued.

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Hiking, Running, and Approaching – Which Shoe Do I Wear for What?

Aug. 25th 2017


Hiking a mountain, running a trail, approaching a climb—these activities seem pretty similar, right? The
thought of needing a different shoe for each one sounds crazy, until you picture this scenario…
Your feet are slipping out from under you, all control of your upward motion is gone and no matter how
hard you press your toenails into the sole of your shoe, nothing will stop you from sliding down the rock.
You are now on all fours, attempting to use your fingertips to grip the granite beneath you, but to no
avail. Keeping up with your crew? Consider that out of the question, thanks to your poor footwear
choice for today’s approach.

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Building Anchors and Placing Gear; How To Do It Right.

Aug. 17th 2017

What is the best way to get good at building anchors and placing gear?

Building Anchors

This is the most asked question that I get when I am teaching climbers at climbing festivals.
Here is what I tell my clients.

1. Know your rack. This means that you should (with practice) be able to eye a crack or placement up and be able to grab the proper piece of gear to place on the first try. This also means that you should have a system for placing your gear on your harness or shoulder sling (or combination) that you can visualize while blindfolded. If you struggle with the sizes and grab the incorrect pieces it can and will slow you down, pump you up and make the entire climb feel much more difficult than it actually is.

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South Africa Climbed and Uncovered

Jul. 7th 2017

Rock Climbing Table Mountain in South Africa

If you’ve ever considered climbing a trip to South Africa, no doubt you’re gunning for the legendary Rocklands, scenic Table Mountain or the enchanted Waterfall Boven. Right?

If you believe the hype, these zones are South African climbing, but look just a little deeper and you’ll realize this country is so stacked with amazing rock, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get to know it all, even if you spend a lifetime there.

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The Yoga of Climbing

Jun. 23rd 2017

Do You Practice Yoga?
You may practice yoga already without necessarily labeling it as yoga.


A formal yoga practice can involve much, much more than just an asana (pose) practice, and practicing yoga does not necessarily include asana for all formal yoga practitioners. Additionally, it’s by no means a far stretch to consider a regular dedicated, inward-focused, rock-climbing practice a form of asana practice in and of itself.

The word yoga itself can be translated several ways. My preferred translation is simply “to unite.” We are striving to unite within ourselves, to cultivate and maintain a quiet equanimity within. Attaining a state of yoga involves letting go of the need for external circumstances or outcomes to match internal expectations or desires.

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SCARPA Athletes Win Cutting Edge Award

Jun. 16th 2017

Deep snow, steep ice sheets, excessive heat, 18 rappels, and minimal food…sounds likes the recipe for a successful first ascent, right? Despite the imperfect ingredients, SCARPA athletes, Graham Zimmerman and Scott Bennett made their way to the top of K6 West. This month, they were recognized by the American Alpine Club for this incredible achievement.

Pakistan - K6 2
On June 3, 2017, The American Alpine Club presented them with the 2017 Cutting Edge Award for their first ascent on the Southwest Ridge of K6 West, a 7,040-meter (23,097-foot) peak in the Karakoram.

18891568_10158802447250553_5630617519529433890_o Photo: Truc Allen Media

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Multi Sport Mental Toughness

Jun. 12th 2017

Joe Grant running in the Chasm Lake Drainage below Long's Peak. Photo By: Fred Marmsater.

Initially, when I had planned to write this post, I thought that I would be discussing how to make a smooth transition from a winter of skiing to getting back to summer running. After a little more thought, it turns out that this transition has given me a greater insight into how multi sport mental toughness is the key to staying strong, both mentally and physically, while training and competing in more than one sport.

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