Scarpa North America Blog

Monthly Archives: September 2011

Gecko Guide Approach Shoe wins Alpinist Mag’s Mountain Standards Award

Sep. 30th 2011

Alpinist Magazine's Mountain Standards AwardWhat makes the perfect approach shoe? Well, it needs to be sticky and durable, sturdy but sensitive, comfortable for walking yet precise for climbing. It must have enough cushion that joints are supported while approaching, but a sensitive enough sole that the climber can feel the rock while climbing. The perfect approach shoe needs to be both a good climbing shoe and a comfortable hiking shoe. That’s a tall order.

SCARPA manufacturing team in Italy, under the direction of Climbing Line Manager Heinz Mariacher, made the Gecko Guide to truly meld a shoe that hikes well with one that climbs well.

The result does indeed achieve all those things, according to Alpinist Magazine’s Mountain Standards program and reviewer Erik Lambert. Alpinist gave the Gecko Guide five stars and, thus, its Mountain Standards Award this week. Mountain Standards taps mountain guides and avid climbers to review what they feel are the best climbing products on the market, bestowing the award on those that earn five stars.

“The Scarpa Gecko Guides are light on the foot, but built like granite; climb like a trad shoe, yet are comfy hiking long distances,” the review said. “They are the most impressive all-around approach shoes I’ve ever worn, and they’ve spoiled me rotten.”

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Andrew McLean reviews the new SCARPA Rush AT boot

Sep. 28th 2011

Andrew McLean is one of the best known ski mountaineering athletes in North America. The guy’s written the book (literally) on skiing in the Wasatch, and he’s also known for ski mountaineering descents around the world, including places like Alaska, where he’s skied the three most prominent peaks in the Alaska Range (Denali, Foraker and Hunter), and Antarctica.

With all the climbing required to ski in spots like that, it’s no surprise he’s a fan of light ski boots that offer a lot of range of motion in the cuff for touring. In this video he takes a look SCARPA’s Rush alpine-touring boot, new this season. The women’s version is the Blink.

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Powder Magazine gives SCARPA 3 Skier’s Choice Awards

Sep. 27th 2011

In its 2011/12 Buyer’s Guide, Powder Magazine named three SCARPA ski boots winners of its annual Skier’s Choice Award, an accolade that denotes products that Powder Magazine’s editors and contributing writers feel are among the best in their class. Boots that won this year’s award include the Mobe, T-1 and Maestrale.

The SCARPA Mobe is a freeride boot with tech fittings, so it works with any alpine-touring binding, including tech bindings like Dynafit and the G3 Onyx, or with bindings like the Marker Duke or Baron. As Powder’s Editors noted, it may be an AT boot, but it’ll drive any board – inbounds or out. “Very few boots do it as well as the Mobe,” Powder wrote.

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Rebecca Selig’s finds peace and powder through skiing

Sep. 23rd 2011

Rebecca SeligRebecca Selig, SCARPA athlete and Freesking World Tour competitor, faces challenges head-on, both on skis and in life. Not one to shy away from cliff jumps or steep chutes, Selig has seen great successes on the 2011-2012 FWT at the qualifying round in Jackson Hole, WY where she won first place, and at Las Lenas, Argentina, where she won 3rd place.

Currently, Selig is 4th on the tour, awaiting the upcoming winter competitions in North America starting in January. In an interview with her local, hometown paper, the Vail Daily, Selig said, “I didn’t ski how I would have liked (in South America), but I skied my way to the podium. I can win this thing.”

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SCARPA Planet Friendly program now covers trail runners, light hikers

Sep. 20th 2011

SCARPA Planet FriendlyAs far as companies are concerned, ‘going green’ is essentially about making a smaller mess, using and re-using waste, and simultaneously lowering their carbon footprint as much as possible in a world of consumptive excess. And while no company is perfect, SCARPA has been making strides in its proactive campaign, dubbed its Planet Friendly initiative,  to make the best technical gear possible using materials and practices that also help us all reach a greener goal.

Already, we’ve made progress in our Alpine Touring and Telemark ski boot line using Rnew Pebax shells made from castor oil, which is 90 percent plant-based oil rather than being derived from petroluem. Several boot models, including the award-winning Maestrale, use Rnew as its secret ingredient, which requires 29 percent less fossil fuels and puts out 32 percent fewer emissions in the process of taking Rnew from raw to useable material. What’s left is the same high-end performance (slightly higher performance, in fact) with a smaller carbon footprint.

In the last year-plus, SCARPA has extended its Planet Friendly program to include five models of trail runners and light hikers. The Pursuit and Pursuit GTX (trail runners), the Epic (hiking/approach shoe built on a trail runner chassis) and the Moraine and Moraine GTX (light hikers) incorporate ‘Planet Friendly’ materials choices. Using mesh, synthetic leather, lining, webbing, laces and rubber that are between 25 and 100 percent recycled content, as well as EcoPure in the midsoles so they biodegrade more quickly under landfill conditions, these specific SCARPA products set a higher standard in supporting low-impact technology.

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Triple Crown kicks off Oct. 1 with Hounds Ears

Sep. 19th 2011

Fall is an awesome time in the Southeast. Combine cooler temps and brilliant fall colors with stellar bouldering and you get the Triple Crown Bouldering Series, which kicks off in two weeks on Oct. at Hounds Ears, near Boone, N.C.

A three-event series, the Triple Crown has a interesting history that’s intertwined with climbing access, one of the many reasons SCARPA is stoked to be a sponsor again this year. (If you’re attending any of the events, watch for SCARPA rock shoe giveaways during the goings-on.)

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Ueli Steck: First I climb, then I talk

Sep. 15th 2011

With a laundry list of speed records, link ups, and solo missions, including this year’s staggering ascent of the Eiger North Face on Feb. 13 in 2:47:33, Swiss Alpinist and SCARPA athlete Ueli Steck has earned a place in climbing’s haloed ground by taking light-and-fast alpinism to a new dimension.

The 36-year-old says he’s getting old, but that doesn’t seem the case, as he has hushed plans for the coming year. We caught up with him briefly to chat about his views on speed ascents and what it takes to make quick work of some of the world’s classic test pieces.

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Spotlight on Mobe: The ‘everything’ ski boot

Sep. 13th 2011

Mike Leake SCARPA skierLots of skiers are demanding an “everything” ski boot, a hard charger that handles the rigors of inbounds terrain, that will tour far from the resort gates, and slay the heli lines of Alaska. They want the Quiver-of-One. SCARPA’s answer is the Mobe (Mo-bay, in case you were wondering), a four-buckle freeride workhorse that has all the support and stiffness of a performance downhill boot, but with the ergonomics, tech fittings, and rockered lug sole of a capable backcountry gun.

Veteran freeride competitor and SCARPA-sponsored athlete Mike Leake has put the Mobe through the ringer. The full-time Grand Targhee ski patroller spent the last season working five days a week in the Mobe and fell in love with it.

His take: “The Mobe is an extremely versatile ski boot that will drive the biggest skis on the market just like a high performance race stock boot, and yet it has a very functional metal supported walk mode [in the Powerblock Tour] with Dynafit compatibility.”

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SCARPA Athletes Star in Powderwhore’s Breaking Trail

Sep. 9th 2011

Utah-based Powderwhore Productions have outdone themselves again this year with the release of their latest flick, Breaking Trail.

Previously filming tele-only skiers, this year they’ve included athletes that ride other modes of transportation including split-boards and AT equipment. This year, SCARPA athletes Andy Jacobsen, Andrew McLean, Noah Howell & Paul Kimbrough get to show their skills in the backcountry.

While they promise there will be “no shots of helicopters filming other helicopters or hankie-clad 16-year-olds hepped up on energy drinks spinning to rap music” we still can’t wait to see the fresh faces, fresh tracks and waist deep pow that we hope Mother Nature will again drop on us this season.

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Unaweep Wall – “That’s All I’m Asking For”

Sep. 9th 2011

Adventure (verb): Engage in hazardous and exciting activity, esp. the exploration of unknown territory.

This past weekend, that is what my friend, Jesse Zacher and I had hoped to do. We were after an adventure into new terrain and onto new stone. And an adventure (noun) was what we experienced.

Jesse had enlisted a new friend, Ryan from North Carolina, to help us schlep water and supplies to the base of the wall because it was going to be in the 90’s all weekend and we couldn’t haul all the goods ourselves. He told Ryan that the hike would be through wild terrain.

It didn’t take us long to realize just how “wild” the terrain actually was. Within one minute of leaving the truck, I found myself passing 70lb packs over barbed wire The next moment, we were navigating a river crossing on moss-covered polished rocks. Soon after, we were faced with having to claw our way up a 100 yards of steep hillside. What made that difficult was the six-foot tall blackberry and raspberry bushes. Tasty as they were, their thorns punished us for trespassing. Did I mention that Ryan did all this while wearing his Chaco sandals? What a trooper! The first thing we asked this guy (who we didn’t even know) was to bushwhack through hell! Even with bleeding feet, he smiled every bit of the way!

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