Scarpa North America Blog

Monthly Archives: May 2011

Rob Pizem FA: The Tehipite Sanction, Part II

May. 27th 2011

Rob Pizem is a high-school teacher and a SCARPA climbing team member. The following is the second part of his account of attempting a new big-wall free route in California last summer. If you missed the first installment, you can find it here.

Mike wouldn’t talk to me. Actually, it seemed that he was very pissed. We had finally made it back to the truck after sitting around all morning. Our best-laid plans failed to include the fact that the horse packer had to arrive at our camp 13 miles in and then take us and our massive load back to the trailhead the same day. We stupidly thought that the horses would be there in the morning and that we would be out by noon. So all morning Mike was stressed about getting back to Colorado to be “in” the wedding that was occurring later that night. It was looking pretty bad and there was nothing we could do or say. The fact that I was driving wildly through the winding mountain roads on a mission didn’t help the cause either, Mike gets car sick and was fully taking a beating as I put the truck on two wheels around blind curves.

Something like that can make an entire trip turn sour. He failed to remember the incredible adventure that we had just endured. The weather was perfect in the central California Mountains for the entire time. Splitter days just like in Yosemite are what we encountered. Sometimes so warm that on the mostly south-facing wall we prayed for a stray cloud or two to give us some relief from the hand drilling of anchor bolts and rehearsing intricate climbing movements through the challenging sections. Mike and Ari had come up with a way to save their burning necks with bandanas. They would duct tape the bandana on the top of their helmets so that it draped over the back of their necks and shoulders. They appeared to be from the Middle East with their new clothes and much happier since they were not getting nuked by the solar radiation that our closest star provides.

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Skiing the North Face of Mt. Whitney

May. 23rd 2011

Being a denizen of the Sierra, our friend Andy over at Sierra Descents gets to do some late-season skiing.

Often folks think of corn skiing when they think of late season in the Sierras. But as Andy showed on his recent descent of the North Face of Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48 (on Maestrales, a great boot for the kind of all-day suffer-fest it sounds like it took him to nail this line), you can find the fresh, or at least the soft goods, late in the season in the Sierra as well.

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Professional climber Sam Elias reviews the SCARPA Instinct S

May. 13th 2011

I remember seeing the Instinct S for the first time. They were nice; beautifully designed and crafted with the care and attention to detail that is the SCARPA way. However, I clearly recall thinking, “These aren’t for me.”… I believed that I needed more specialized models. But, I was terribly wrong.

I believe that part of a climber’s nature is to be a specialist, a perfectionist of sorts.  I am, in part, the sum of all the body positions and movements that I have done, all the hand holds grabbed and pulled on, all the foot placements used. Thus, while either projecting a route for a red point or attempting an on-sight or flash, I am constantly trying to reduce everything to the bare minimum of the holds and the movement between them in an effort to find something recognizable. In an incessant stream of consciousness:

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SCARPA in the Field: Adventure updates from SCARPA athletes

May. 11th 2011

The month of May finds many of our SCARPA-shod friends scattered around the globe. Here’s just a sampling of where they are and what (altitude) they’re up to:

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Focusing on the Sharp End: Q&A with climber and filmmaker Chuck Fryberger

May. 3rd 2011

SCARPA-sponsored climber and accomplished filmmaker Chuck Fryberger can often be seen through the lens—from both sides.  Striking a balance between climbing and art has been his bag for over a decade. And he does it well.

Climbing and filming have taken him around the world in search of stone and story. He’s produced several full-length climbing films, twice been the cover boy for Climbing, and rounds out the experience with musical documentaries and commercial film work.

We tracked him down during a film shoot to find out how Chuck keeps things in focus.

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