Scarpa North America Blog

Monthly Archives: March 2013

26,320 Days SCARPA FACEBOOK GIVEAWAYS start this week

Mar. 27th 2013

To celebrate spring and summer and to ensure you’re spending as much time climbing and running as possible, SCARPA has launched our “26,320” month-long giveaway.

Over the next four weeks, SCARPA is hosting four product giveaways on our Facebook page. Simply head over to facebook.com/scarpana and click the “26,320 Giveaway” button in our Tabs menu to unlock your entry.

Why 26,320? It’s roughly the amount of days you have on Earth and it’s a symbolic reminder for making sure you spend as many of them as possible in the mountains. It’s also a benchmark number for our Facebook community; we have currently just fewer than 25,000 Likes. We would love for you to share the SCARPA page with your friends and grow our community to 26,320 and beyond.

Starting today with the new Spark GTX trail running shoe (for men and women) giveaway, a new contest will start each consecutive Tuesday until April 20. Fans will have the opportunity to win our newest Trail, Approach, and Climbing shoes.

Fans are encouraged to share the SCARPA contest with friends because we’re giving away a pair of shoes to one winner + a friend of their choice each week. Good luck!

Posted in Contests | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Retailer of the Month Shout Out: The Mountaineer

Mar. 26th 2013

For the last 37 years, Keene Valley, NY’s Mountaineer outdoor shop has been the hub for the great Adirondack area. The small town of 1,000 is the gateway for throngs of adventurers who play in the vast wilderness of upstate New York. Living at the base of the range on Route 73, owner Vinny McClelland says they’re on “the main drag for the all the surrounding small towns—like Montreal, Albany, New York City, Philadelphia and Boston.”

The shop itself is a 5,000 square foot open-air barn, with a high vaulted ceiling and exposed beams and framework. An antiquated wooden canoe hangs suspended above the shop floor, as artifacts of climbing and other trappings of outdoor history line the walls. Much of the Mountaineer’s merchandise is cleverly displayed, offering a unique browsing experience to anyone who passes through the front door. A recently renovated book room was re-attached after Tropical Storm Irene did structural damage to the building. The addition remains true to the shop’s rustic allure, yet introduces a slightly modern feel as well.

Posted in Community | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Rapid Ascent: Introducing SCARPA’s Rapid LT

Mar. 19th 2013

Peak bagging has its own set of rigors and expectations. Beginning at the trailhead, you move with enthusiastic purpose to the objective. Through treed trails you zigzag beside a shaded creek bed. Closer to the crag, you leave the well-worn single track for an incipient climber’s path, then through scree, rubble and finally to the summit. For many people this is the allure of the mountains; the constant changing environment, the challenges, the cruxes, the slog—all of it combine to create those notable days in the hills. And that’s what we want from the Rapid LT.

Based off the chassis of the award-winning Spark, the Rapid LT is a light, nimble alpine hiking shoe that can handle techy terrain with confidence, giving you the comfort and support of an approach shoe but with the svelte maneuverability of a trail runner. The 7mm drop (from heel to toe), low profile compression molded EVA midsole provides cushion and agility when moving over broken terrain or rocky single track. The randed rubber toebox and Speed Lite HDR rubber outsole offer protection, traction and grip for more slabby encounters inherent in mountain travel.

Posted in Beta | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sales Rep Shout Out: Michael Down and Brian Block

Mar. 13th 2013

SCARPA has been a longtime leader in the outdoor world, but our success can’t be measured only by the passion and tenacity of a chosen few. It takes the dedication of many people for a brand to be successful, and SCARPA has been blessed with many fruitful relationships, many of which are with stalwart sales representatives, “reps”, who by their own love of the mountains perpetuate the SCARPA ethos through hard work and dedication.

Two personalities SCARPA is proud to acknowledge are Michael Down of British Columbia, the recent recipient of SCARPA’s Rep of the Year; and Brian Block, a critical addition who divides his time between Iowa and Colorado. We’re lucky to have two capable (among many) colleagues who are both skilled mountaineers, fathers and resolute characters who bring a wealth of experience and personality to the SCARPA culture.

Brian Block loves the flexibility the sales rep job gives him. With two kids and an affinity for climbing big mountains, it’s hard to create a balance between business, family and free time. Still, he has an agenda that works. “If I didn’t push hard in family, in life, and in business,” he says, “I wouldn’t be myself for my kids.” He knows the difficulties that come with the territory, but he enjoys his current arrangement. “It’s great working with the best, cutting edge gear, and having a flexible schedule,” says Block, “But the people are what make it worthwhile.” Michael Down, who has four kids, and a self-proclaimed “fire for climbing,” echoes those sentiments. “I get to work with the best group of people in twenty years of being in the outdoor industry.”

Posted in SCARPA in the field | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Brotherly Bonds: Dorais brothers put family first

Mar. 12th 2013

Brothers Andy and Jason Dorais are close beyond measure – they do just about everything together, including breaking speed ascent records on peaks throughout the U.S., while simultaneously completing their medical residencies in Utah. Recently, a family illness changed Jason’s plan to participate with the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Team and Andy went in his place while Jason stayed home to be with his wife. In this very personal, heart-wrenching piece, Andy talks about love, family, racing, and always keeping the big picture in mind.

Throughout the fall and winter, Jason and I trained to make the US Ski Mountaineering Team. Jason qualified at the National Championships, but I narrowly missed during the three qualifying races in early January. After all the dust had settled, I was the alternate for the 8 man team that consisted of John Gaston, Tom Goth, Marshall Thompson, Jason Dorais, Max Taam, Luke Nelson, Greg Ruckman, and Scott Simmons (Brian Wickenhauser had qualified but yielded his spot to Simmons). All the tickets were purchased and travel plans made. I was staying home.

Then, my brother’s wife got sick. She’s been sick and has been bravely battling a wretched case of cancer since being diagnosed last summer. All types of cancer are life altering and terrible but hers is advanced and quite serious. So far, she has risen to the occasion through surgery, chemo, and radiation, remaining charming and smiling through it all (more on her story here). She is a beautiful example of everything good in this world.

Jason has also been unshakable through this entire experience. In the last 45 days, he and Amanda have gotten married, moved, and been to the hospital uncountable times. He’s wrecked two cars, trained, raced, made the US team, worked the exhausting hours of a medical resident, and remained faithfully by his wife’s side as she has experienced what I’m sure are some of the deepest lows of her young life.

He’s made it look easy.

Posted in Community, Events, SCARPA in the field | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mercedes Pollmeier Helps Climbers Get in Shape for Spring

Mar. 8th 2013

Mercedes Pollmeier was one of four featured trainers in the February issue Climbing Magazine’s article, “New workouts to refresh your gym training and guarantee spring sends.” A strength and conditioning coach and the fitness director at Vertical World in Seattle, Pollmeier’s conditioning workouts focus on staying balanced, strong and healthy as a climber. She knows what muscles are overdeveloped and which ones might need a little attention. Pollmeier gives us a few tips, talks about using the gym to stay in shape for outdoor climbing, and discusses the ebb and flow of the seasons for year-round climbers. She has also created a training video with a few of her favorite exercises. Read more tips from Mercedes Pollmeier on Climbing.com here: http://bit.ly/13Jypab or on her blog, GirlBeta.com.

In the winter, it’s tough to get outside and climb, but it also gets boring to constantly climb in the gym. This is the case for me anyways. I have never been able to climb more than 2-3 times a week inside a gym. So, to stay strong during the winter, I like to cross train with resistance training, weight lifting, and intervals. I also use the campus board to develop my finger strength. I increase my conditioning training during the winter-spring (essentially October-April) and climb more during the summer and fall. This goes well with a standard strength and conditioning protocol that most athletes cycle through, so that they don’t get burned out or injured.

I use the same methods and programs to train my athletes as I use to train myself.  In the winter and spring, the focus is on general conditioning, climbing endurance, climbing strength endurance, and finger and hand strength. In the summer and fall, we drop the amount of conditioning (but it still continues) and focus on climbing technique and power.

Posted in Community, SCARPA in the field | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Enter the Everyman: Shingo Ohkawa maintains a low profile and keeps on exploring

Mar. 5th 2013

Northwest face of K6, Charakusa Valley, Pakistan

Shingo Ohkawa quietly gets things done. A buyer for IME Sports in Salt Lake City, the SCARPA athlete keeps his wits about him in his adopted Wasatch Range, opening new climbing routes and clucking around steep couloirs when the rock gets covered. When the times are right he heads for the great ranges to explore the vertical wilderness that has become the muse in his life. He’s established routes all over the world, and yet he still gets pleasure playing in his own backyard. He balances his thirst for travel with a commitment to community in his own way. We caught him behind the counter one afternoon to see how his exploits were playing out.

Posted in Community, SCARPA in the field | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment