Scarpa North America Blog

Monthly Archives: November 2010

Meastrale, Gea set the bar in lightweight, four-buckle alpine-touring boots

Nov. 30th 2010

Now that it’s officially ski season (and the good news is, it has been for while in many parts of North America), people can get down to the business of ski touring. And we are excited about touring this season here at SCARPA North America …

Beyond the usual seasonal stoke, we’re excited because we’ve introduced what we believe are a couple of bar-setting/category-defining products this season, the Meastrale and the Gea, which is the women’s counterpart to the Meastrale. What’s so cool, you ask?

Well, if you will indulge … these are the lightest (3 lbs, 6 ozs. and 2 lbs. 15 ounces per boot respectively), stiffest, four-buckle alpine-touring boots currently on the market. Add to that an astounding 39 degrees of cuff range and 24 degree backward from vertical (measured off the ankle pivot point, for you techies out there, and we do know you’re out there), and you’ve got some boots that rule for going uphill. But, what’s even more notable is they pack a pretty amazing amount of punch for going down. They’ll drive a pretty big ski … which is good since skis keep getting bigger.

But, yeah, we make ’em, so we understand: you’re skeptical.

So don’t take our word for it. We were stoked to get some independent verification over at earlier this year, so check out what the notoriously techy (and we mean that in the most positive sense of the word) testers over WS HQ thought about the Meastrale.

Long story short, we’re pretty stoked on these boots, because

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Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup Kicks Off Season on December 11th at new CS Irwin Venue

Nov. 24th 2010

Randonee racing continues to gather steam in North America. Witness the success of the Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup (COSMIC). Entering its fifth season, COSMIC will include 9 races on the 2010/2011 schedule. The COSMIC season kicks off with a new race on December 11th, with the CS Irwin rando race outside of Crested Butte, Colorado.

COSMIC 2010/2011 season schedule

The CS Irwin race will be burly and is sure to attract some of the fastest backcountry ski racers in North America. As usual, there’ll be a lot of green on the scene.

The race will start at 10,400 ft and climb (yes, climb) from there, leading skiers up to the top of Scarp Ridge (12,100 ft) three separate times for a total of over 5000ft+ of gain/loss. If the elevation isn’t enough to make your quads shake, racers will travel the equivalent of over 10 miles, all of it above 10,000ft.

As Race Director Pete Swenson explains, the CS Irwin race takes ski mountaineering races back to its roots.

“There is a movement in the Rocky Mountains to establish race venues modeled after a European style of racing, which means getting these competitions off traditional ski resorts and into a backcountry setting.”

Mission accomplished: The race course is 7 miles from Crested Butte and with no maintained roads in the Winter. Athletes will either take a CS Irwin cat ride or supply their own sled for transportation to the start line. Because of the remote venue,

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Two SCARPA team members earn IFMGA climbing and skiing certification

Nov. 22nd 2010

Last week, two of SCARPA’s team members received the highest recognition one can achieve in the world of mountain guides – they were certified in rock, alpine and snow by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations.

Huge congrats to both Caroline George and Angela Hawse, shown in this photo receiving their IFMGA pins last week from Herman Biner, President of the IFMGA.

Achieving certification at this level is daunting and committing, but it speaks to their love of the mountains and of mountain sports. As its says on the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA is the U.S. counterpart) list of folks who have received this certification, these people “can guide on any climbing and skiing terrain without limitation.”

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Rottefella NTN tour dates announced – ya gotta try it to believe it

Nov. 12th 2010

If you’ve been wanting to give Rottefella’s innovative NTN telemark binding a try, check out the tour dates below. Rottefella with Telemark Skier Magazine will be conducting a tour this winter to spread the stoke and give folks the opportunity to experience the revolution of skiing tele without a cable.

If you don’t know what NTN  is, it’s a new binding and boot interface that radically improves the power transfer from boot to ski for telemark skiing. Instead of attaching the boot to the ski via a ‘duckbill’-style 75 mm toe, as do all other telemark bindings, the NTN binding clasps the boot underfoot with opposing force. The interface connects to the boot via two separate points, at the front of the boot (much like a traditional alpine skiing binding) as well as under the boot just beneath the arch via a second heel. Because it connects at two points, and in a more secure way, NTN delivers unparalleled performance.

But we hear ya. Ya gotta try to believe. So now’s your chance (or soon anyway).

Head to anyone of the demo events below and look for the demo tent. Telemark Skier Editor Josh Madsen, who’s helping manage the tour, will be present at all events. Along with raffling off an NTN binding at each event, they’ll have

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Erik Weihenmayer, veterans and overcoming adversity

Nov. 11th 2010

It’s Veteran’s Day, and we just got this video from Erik Weihenmayer, who recently signed on as a team member on SCARPA’s athlete roster.

You probably know the name; Erik’s most widely known as the blind climber who summited Mt. Everest a number of years back. But Erik’s (as you might expect) much more than just the blind climber who succeeded on Everest. Beyond having tackled and succeeded on climbing objectives ranging from the Nose in Yosemite to Denali to the Naked Edge in Eldo (all those being objectives that just about any climber would be challenged on), Erik’s also passionate about helping other people who face adversities in their life overcome them.

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How to retrofit SCARPA Hurricanes, T-Races with the Powerblock Tour mechanism

Nov. 9th 2010

Following up on yesterday’s post about the Hurricane winning Skiing Magazine’s 2011 Tester’s Choice Award, one of the major differences between this year’s version of the Hurricane and previous year’s versions of the Hurricane is the fact that this year the Hurricane has a tour/walk mechanism. And not just any tour/walk mechanism.

The Powerblock Tour is a tour/walk mechanism on steriods – the most powerful such mechanism on the market, and the closest thing yet that anyone has come up with in terms of replicating the power of a fixed-cuff boot in something that will comfortably and functionally tour and walk.

Basically, the Powerblock Tour is not only beefier in terms of design, but it’s got tighter tolerances, so that it’s a performance game-changer. In past years, given that the Hurricane is one of our pinnacle freeride boots, SCARPA employed a fixed-cuff design in which you could adjust the forward lean to a desired position.

It’s worth noting that this same mechanism is coming stock on the new T-Race (also previously a fixed-cuff boot) and the new T1 and T1 Women (Fall 2010 versions).

The good news for owners of previous year’s Hurricanes and T-Races is that you can easily retrofit the Powerblock tour onto older version of the boots. We can do that for you here in SCARPA’s service center (call 303-998-2895 to set that up), or – with a little experience and savvy – you can do it yourself.

Here’s how:

Powerblock Tour – FR: Fits Hurricane with Powerblock (fixed anodized anthracite heel piece)

PowerBlock Tour – 75mm: Fits T-Race with Powerblock (fixed, anodized red heel piece)

Tools and parts needed: hammer, punch, 3mm allen wrench, #3 pozi drive (or large Phillips head screwdriver) and SCARPA Power Block Tour (PBT) Kit

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SCARPA Hurricane wins Skiing Magazine ‘Tester’s Choice’ Award

Nov. 8th 2010

Here at SCARPA, the stoke level is high. Why, you might ask? Well, it’s getting close to ski season…

But, to be more specific, we’re also stoked about accolades this month for the Hurricane from Skiing Magazine’s testers.

In this year’s Skiing Magazine’s Annual Gear Guide, the boot section opens by preaching the gospel of skiing with this nugget of wisdom: “as the interface between you and your skis, boots are your most crucial piece of gear.”


So, winning a 2011 ‘Tester’s Choice’ Award in the boot category has us pretty excited, especially because we weren’t just up against other manufacturers of backcountry boots, but all the alpine boot makers as well.

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Hope you like Slopers

Nov. 3rd 2010

The 2nd stop in the Triple Crown Bouldering series this Saturday at Horse Pens 40

SCARPA is a proud sponsor of the Southeast’s Triple Crown Bouldering Series. The series began in 2003 when Jim Horton created the series specifically to benefit the Southeast Climbers’ Coalition and the Carolina Climbers’ Coalition, two grassroots non-profits working to acquire and maintain land for climbers where access issues litter the countryside. The Triple Crown has since helped to highlight the incredible resources available to climbers in the Southeast and is increasingly drawing climbers from across the region and the entire US!

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Mt. Cromwell Elzinga/Miller in a Day

Nov. 1st 2010

Check out this video of SCARPA team member Raphael Slawinski and Joshua Levigne getting after it on Mt. Cromwell.

Mt. Cromwell Elzinga/Miller in a day from alpinesummits on Vimeo.

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