SCARPA climbing shoes
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Monthly Archives: August 2011
In Rob’s words:
“Unaweep Wall lies on the west end of Unaweep Canyon just outside Grand Junction, Colorado. It is a granite and metamorphic gneiss, an overlooked and underused rock climbing mecca. Most of the noteworthy and established climbing is at the east end of the canyon on smaller features from sandstone boulders to 600 ft granite walls. Traditional routes are the main attraction, but more and more mixed and sport routes are being established by myself, Jesse Zacher and a few others.
Calling it “the trip I’m most happy in my life to have gotten done,” Will Gadd, climber, paraglider, and SCARPA athlete, flew almost entirely self-supported from Vernon, British Columbia, to Canmore, Alberta, a distance of well over 200 miles, earlier this month.
What’s more impressive than the distance, though, is the number of firsts: Paragliding over the Monashees, over the Selkirk and Purcell Ranges from Revelstoke to Invermere, and over the Rockies from Invermere to Canmore. Gadd encountered the some of the strongest conditions he’d ever flown in, conditions that grounded other pilots.
The 2012 Freeskiing World Tour kicked off last week in Las Lenas, Argentina. Rebecca Selig, a SCARPA-sponsored athlete, finished 3rd, beating out thirty other female skiers. Selig has been performing exceptionally well this past year, placing 1st in the World Tour qualifier in Jackson Hole back in January, 3rd in the North American Freeskiing Championships, and 5th overall in last year’s tour.
Rebecca has had a knack for hucking herself since before she can remember. As a child, she was jumping into the swimming pool before she could even swim. Nicknamed “Huckstable” by her friends, Rebecca was launching herself off cliffs on her skis long before she turned pro in 2008. She has always pushed the limits of female freeskiing and is continuing to do so on the 2012 Tour.
Professional climbers are a silly lot. Often it’s about being first, being fastest, the best, and so on. It’s very focused on me. And sometimes, well, it’s not about you. For SCARPA-sponsored, competitive mixed climber Gord McArthur sometimes it’s about showcasing your talents for the betterment of someone else. He just finished climbing a 35-foot practice wall for 24 hours straight, doing 634 laps, and climbing more than 20,000 vertical feet. In doing so, he raised nearly $18,000 in funds for Charlotte Amsling, a four-year-old friend of the family who has been battling cancer. “I was expecting to only raise about $7000,” he admits, “but we went way beyond that.” This was the second time McArthur joined forces with the Ronald McDonald House to help people in his town of Cranbrook, British Columbia. “I was inspired by a couple families who I know very well who utilize that service,” he says.
The climber and graphic designer got the idea from watching his friend and coach Will Gadd climb ice for 24 hours straight to raise money for common cause. A few years later he teamed with two friends to tag team the twenty-four hour time frame, but this time he wanted to do it solo. “I have daughters her age,” says McArthur, who believes that was a major driving force for his second go at climbing for a cause. The town also pitched in. “All the materials were donated for this event,” says McArthur, who constructed the wall with scaffolding, plywood, and climbing holds, most of which were sizeable
jugs. “That was a big inspiration for me,” he says, “to see how giving people were. If they couldn’t give financially, people donated their time and efforts.”
What do you get when you combine the efforts of world-renowned climber Ueli Steck and SCARPA, the most innovative manufacturer of mountain footwear in the world? The perfect boot for rock, snow, ice, or approach: the Rebel GTX Carbon. Debuting at Outdoor Retailer this week, the Rebel weighs in at a mere 1lb, 7oz per boot.
Don’t conclude that any performance was sacrificed for weight savings, though. It’s made with the strongest, lightest materials available, including a carbon-fiber insole (hence, the name). The Rebel has a climbing shoe-like fit due to a low-profile Gore-Tex stretch tongue and a low-volume alpine last.
Storied climber and legendary rock shoe designer Heinz Mariacher is still in love with climbing. And shoe cobblery. The 55-year-old Austrian spends as much time at the crag as he does at the sewing machine. Matching proactive materials, Active Randing methods, and biophysical ergonomics, Mariacher and SCARPA are creating shoes that showcase Mariacher’s expertise. Their common goal: produce shoes perfect for their function. We talked with Heinz from his home in Italy to share a little about how his passion for climbing created a craftsman at the top of his game.
What were your first memories of climbing?
That brings us back to the sixties. Back then Climbers were not considered athletes, but kind-of-crazy-outsiders who risked their ass every time they went to the mountains. Already as a kid I admired them and dreamed about becoming a real climber. After exploring and scrambling up every freaking canyon around my home town, I couldn’t wait any longer, jumped on my small bicycle. and pedaled 20 miles to a real mountain. I was 12 years old, had no idea about the dimensions, and how exhausting the following approach with one mile elevation gain would be. After an endless 4-hours hike I finally found my wall: vertical, big and frightening. I had no climbing equipment, just well-worn tennis shoes and a dream about living a real adventure. I followed some old rusty pitons, challenged several times the absolute limit of my modest climbing skills and luckily survived (later I found out that the route was 5.8).