Scarpa North America Blog

Monthly Archives: October 2011

Optimal mounting positions for SCARPA’s tech-fitted ski boots

Oct. 27th 2011

SCARPA Boot TechniciansWithin SCARPA’s Alpine Touring and Freeride ski boot fleets, including NTN telemark boots with tech fittings, mounting procedures and positions aren’t the same across the board. With different lower cuffs, scaffos, as described by the Italians, SCARPA has different positions for optimal pivots within four touring categories.

SCARPA’s eye for ergonomics pays heed to the nuance of movement. Freeride and Alpine Touring boots constructed on the same scaffo, such as the Skookum, Mobe, and Shaka, should all have their toe piece mounted 4mm back from the standard jig mount while the heel piece remains flush and in sync with the jig for proper mount location. Rando Race boots such as the F1, F1 Race, and F1 Carbon should have the toe piece mounted 6mm back for optimal pivot positioning.

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15 Years and Counting – Annual Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival Coming into Shape

Oct. 25th 2011

Bozeman Ice FestivalThis coming December 7-11th, The Bozeman Ice Festival will be holding its 15th annual event in the beautiful Hyalite Canyon of Montana. Since 1996 climbers of all abilities have flocked to Hyalite to discuss technique, check out new gear, learn about the sport, and share in the camaraderie of ascending frozen water. Each year the event draws world-class athletes and guides from around the globe to educate, mentor and clinic burgeoning and passionate ice climbers about the necessary skills and safety techniques, the latest tools, and craft of the sport. As a sponsor for the event, SCARPA is pleased to help share in promoting and preserving the Hyalite Canyon’s ever-growing ice climbing heritage.

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Gord McArthur’s open invitation to go mixed climbing with him in Bull River Canyon

Oct. 21st 2011

SCARPA athlete, Gord McArthur, has discovered a plethora of potential new routes in Bull River Canyon outside of his hometown of Cranbrook, B.C., and the temperatures are starting to drop. Gord is looking for other interested parties to help explore and develop some mixed climbing routes in the canyon.

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A look at SCARPA’s Rush ski-touring boot

Oct. 19th 2011

SCARPA RushDo you consider yourself a dedicated backcountry denizen, aspiring ski mountaineer, or simply like to make the right call with AT boots? Powder skiing, skin tracks, couloirs, bootpacks, ridgelines, the goal for AT boots has always been to balance uphill ergonomics with downhill chops. Well, the Rush is on.

Stripped to the waist, SCARPA’s Rush is the svelte sibling to the Maestrale. Built with three buckles as opposed to four, active PowerStrap, tech fittings, and 40° fore and aft walking range, the Rush still weighs less than 6lbs. 5 oz. per pair dripping wet, and it’s always up for getting down.

Professional ski mountaineer and SCARPA athlete Andrew McLean has been wooed by the Rush’s siren calls. Making a habit of searching out some of the world’s most remote and technical terrain, one could argue he gets after it. Currently readying himself for his fourth Antarctica trip, Andrew will be taking a pair of Rush’s, and not his favorite-to-date Maestrales, for the occasion. The Reason? “The Rush is a little lighter, bit simpler,” he says, “and I think it’ll be great for the type of touring we do down there.”

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Skiing Life in the Fall Line, a Q&A with Andrew McLean

Oct. 11th 2011

Andrew McLean has made a career out of searching out steep skiing lines around the world. But instead of relying on guides and helicopters, he’d rather do the groundwork himself and hike for his turns. He has first descents on all seven continents, and returns to Antarctica this fall for the forth time. We had a chance to speak with him from his home in Park City, Utah to share a little about his affinity for ski mountaineering.

Andrew McLean in AntarcticaYou’re kind of this world famous couloir chaser. It seems like it’s your favorite means by which to descend a mountain. Why?
I just like the aesthetics of couloirs. I grew up skiing at a really steep, rocky, and craggy area outside of Seattle called Alpental, and developed an early love of skiing couloirs.

When I moved out to the Wasatch there was all this great fluffy powder skiing but it didn’t have the same punch that the steeper lines did. It seems like steeper lines in the world tend to be couloirs, and I really enjoy the sensation of being inside these narrow, dark, steep and long chutes.

Has the technical extreme been eclipsed by the exploratory extreme? What are virtues of both, and which do you prefer? How are they different?
For a long time I was into going steeper and steeper. But it actually gets pretty hard, and you can waste a lot of time trying to squeeze out another two or three degrees of steepness, because, to ski a really steep line it has to be just right. It can’t be too icy, and it can’t be avalanche prone.

Just looking for steep lines all the time, it’s tough, and you end up not skiing a lot of them. You go out and easily waste a day trying to hunt down a line that doesn’t ever materialize. But in the process I’ve gotten into exploring more, going to new places, and experiencing the culture, discovering cool places where there is skiing to be had.

For me, having that experience in chute skiing, though, if I go to a place like Morocco I would be into the exploratory part of it, and also looking for steep chutes to ski. It’s kind of a blend. I like exploring, and if I can explore and find steep chutes, so much the better.

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Get Stoked for Winter – Rebecca Selig Highlight Video

Oct. 7th 2011

With a 3rd place medal from the first round of the 2011-2012 Freeskiing World Tour in Las Lenas, Argentina and a first place win at the qualifying round in Jackson, WY last winter, Rebecca Selig has earned her spot as one of the top female freeskiers in the world. Andrew Rhodes Taylor put together a highlight video for her capturing some of the 2011 Freeskiing World Tour as well as some sweet powder skiing that will surely get you amped for winter.

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How to make sure your ski boots are ready for ski season

Oct. 5th 2011

Anticipation. For skiers, Fall is full of it. With Winter’s pending arrival, we constantly dig out gear, tinker with gadgets, find out what needs repairs, what needs replacing—all of this to pass the time until the snow flies.

Hurricane ProOne could argue boot preparations are the most important element of the process, and ensuring their well-being is paramount for an enjoyable and engaging winter season. We spoke with SCARPA shop ace Dave Maziarz about common wear-and-tear issues on ski boots, and the best ways to make sure your boots are ready when the snow flies.

What is the most common evidence of disrepair you see?
Sloppiness in the boot. Letting parts or hardware loosen can cause damage to the boot beyond just losing screws and buckles in the field.

What are the most significant signs of wear and tear to look for?
Most of our boots have plastic parts on them that also double as edge guards. These prevent the lower shell from getting damaged by ski edges. On our Tele boots (75mm and NTN), this part is the tongue. On our Alpine Touring and Freeride boots, they are usually the plastic straps on the boot that the lower buckles attach to. This is more important on the Tele boots because after the edge guard/tongue wears down, the ski edge will start to tear up the bellow of the boot and there is no way to repair a hole in the bellow. Depending on skiing style, width of ski, etc., these may need to be replaced anywhere from one season to four seasons. If someone is skiing hard, it is normal to see these parts wear out, so contact SCARPA for replacements.

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Train like you compete, compete like you train

Oct. 4th 2011

By – Gord McArthur

“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” – Michael Jordan

For the past couple of months I’ve been focusing my climbing a lot on “onsighting” – the art of showing up to a route you’ve never seen before and trying to do it first go.  A while ago my coach told me straight up that it was my onsighting ability that’s been holding me back from certain goals (mainly competing).  With only a few months to go before mixed season (and the start of all the comps lined up), he basically said to get after it and onsight as much as possible with the time I had left (on rock that is).

It’s been a tough summer, with crappy weather and too many bugs.  I’ve been able to rock climb a bunch…don’t get me wrong…but not as much as I would have liked.  Because of the various “road blocks” I’ve been somewhat restricted to backyard training.  Not such a bad thing considering what I have back there (bouldering gym and a crazy mixed climbing set up).  But because of the lack there of, it’s been mentally taxing when the “bit that I’ve been chomping on” has near worn out.

My local crag is rad…but I’ve either climbed “it” or been on “it”.  Thus onsighting is a bit hard to do there.  Next plan: convince my wife that I need to go climb elsewhere.  And so “operation: onsighting” began.

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2011 Ultimate Groove Hjorundfjord Trip

Oct. 3rd 2011


By Heather Paul Featherman

Last April, I lead a team of 11 women into the fjords of Norway to sail and ski.  The team consisted of professional skiers, instructors, patrollers, avalanche instructors and avid backcountry skiers.  Like any expedition, we were in uncharted territory with unknown and unskied peaks at our disposal.

The snow had melted a bit more than we had prepared for so our approaches were long and steep in sneakers with heavy loads but once we reached the snow line and looked back down to the water and our sailboats, it was pure bliss.   The corn snow rivaled the views and each day brought a new harbor and a new set of peaks to bag.

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