With the first randonee race in the COSMIC series coming up on December 10, race fanatic and SCARPA athlete Bryan Wickenhauser, a member of Team Crested Butte, gives us a taste about what rando racing is all about:
The Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup (COSMIC) started in 2007 with a race at Sunlight Ski Resort by Pete Swenson. Since then it’s attracted the “light and fast” crowd from trail running, mountain biking, nordic skiing and of course backcountry skiing. Continue reading...
Martha Burley is an enigma. The Australian-born free ride competitor originally moved to Canada after college to ride snowboards in half-pipes. Since then she has completely changed gears and found harmony dropping knees and skiing uphill. We were able to get a few moments with the SCARPA athlete to figure out a little about what makes her tick.
How does an Australian wind up being a podium-finishing free-heeled, Freeride competitor living in Fernie, BC? I tried to learn to ski in Australia when I was in college. I had no clue what to do, so I just threw myself down the mountain and hoped for the best. There were a few bruises along the way but overall I managed to come out in one piece. From there, I got into snowboarding and went to Canada because I heard they had good half pipes, and that’s what I really wanted to ride.
Instead, I found deep powder, which was okay too, and somehow found the place with the best snow in Canada: Fernie! [That is where] I tried telemarking—I thought it might be faster to get around in the deep snow (and it looked like a lot of fun)—and the cycle started again: throw yourself down the mountain and see what happens, try not to fall too much, and try and work out how to turn both ways in control. When you are at the top of a mountain and the powder turns to ice or rock you need to know instinctively what to do. The best thing about telemarking is you can’t be lazy; it’s a continuous learning experience. Continue reading...
Some folks like having a lot of tools for any and all occasions, where others simply prefer a specialized few that gets the job done. While there is no such thing as a one-shoe quiver, SCARPA’s multisport category aspires to make a selection of high-functioning footwear that does whatever you need, and does it well, no matter what your passion.
And, SCARPA multisport does it so well that it’s the tool of choice for rangers in Eldorado Canyon State Park – one of North America’s premier climbing destinations.
The shoe we’re talking about is the Zen. Adept for hiking, backpacking, and scrambling over scree, and providing enough sticky rubber support for moderate approaches, the Zen aspires to be the backcountry shoe. Built with all suede uppers, EVA mid-sole cushioning, molded Vibram soles, and rubber toe rand, the Zen has the robust construction for long-time durability and comfort, nimbleness under foot, without extraneous weight slowing you down, making it the ideal multi-tool for pounding miles of single track, hunting for routes above talus slopes, or bushwhacking into the unknown.
As much as any swarthy backpacker who spends months walking over dirt and stone, professional backcountry rescuers beat up, break down, and ultimately rely on their equipment in any and all situations – from hiking to off trail to scrambling to climbing. For the rangers in Eldo, the Zen has been their long-time brother in arms. Continue reading...
Last weekend I had the chance to take out the UK’s current rock stars, Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker, to a place in the desert which boasts a very high concentration of sandstone roof crack routes and boulder problems. The climbs vary from thin fingers to massive off-widths and can be up to 50 meters long! Needless to say, they were very excited to get the tour and I was excited to take them back to my old stomping grounds and to a left over project or two.
Tom and Pete (aka the “Wideboyz”) had just come off probably the best month of off-width climbing that has ever occurred and were ready for some more inverted craziness. In addition, another friend Pee Wee, (the Canadian crack climbing “manimal”) was eager to send a project of mine that drive me nuts a few years back! Me, I didn’t even know what kind of shape that I was in because I have been getting crushed by a local project of mine for weeks now. Fitness aside, we were all out to have a good time and do some rock climbing.
The weekend turned out to be a blast, Pee Wee was getting ever closer to unlocking the secrets of my old 27 meter overhanging nemesis. Pete and Tom took turns bashing it out upside down on yet again, another 5.13 off-width and I even managed to resend one of my favorite routes of all time, Army of Darkness. What I enjoyed the most about the weekend was learning more about how to solve problems on climbs. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses and we have to exploit them on routes in order to complete them without falling. One man’s hand jam is another man’s fist jam or one man’s dyno to a finger lock is another man’s “no way in hell!” I was able to see how truly differently we all climb and how it all works out in the end to get through a tough or tricky sequence.
Get outside and have an adventure!
Piz : )