Scarpa North America Blog

Monthly Archives: April 2013

Wrapping up the 2013 Red Rock Rendezvous

Apr. 30th 2013

SCARPA athlete Rob Pizem started his climbing career in Ohio before taking off to travel the globe, top-roping, free climbing, hiking, and more. Rob now resides in Colorado where he’s developing new routes and bringing fellow climbers along for the ascent. Earlier this year, he attended and taught a clinic at the 10th Annual Red Rock Rendezvous.

The new year stormed in like an ice queen near my neck of the woods in Colorado. It was bitter cold and the outdoor rock climbing opportunities between January and April were few and far between, which is why I was so excited about this year’s 10th Annual Red Rock Rendezvous. I had a chance to climb under the warm Nevada sun and teach some traditional climbing techniques to aspiring tradsters at the event.

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Team Crested Butte and the Growth of Ski Mountaineering

Apr. 25th 2013

SCARPA/Ski Trab-sponsored Team Crested Butte is an elite adventure ski team that trains in Crested Butte, Colorado and competes around the globe in various disciplines such as ski mountaineering (skimo), classic cross-country skiing and skate skiing. Practicing what they preach, “live to ski and play hard,” heed their warning: Don’t put your skis away yet, spring ski mountaineering is some of the best touring of the year.

In the 10 years Team Crested Butte’s been around, we’ve experienced a transformation from an elite adventure racing team to an elite ski mountaineering team. Heck, some of us don’t even tele ski any more.

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Retailer Shout Outs: Desert Rock Sports, Las Vegas

Apr. 23rd 2013

Desert Rock Sports is the total package, or, rather, a part of the total package. This niche climbing shop has been the epicenter for Las Vegas climbers for more than 25 years. Current owners Travis Graves, Mike Lorenzo and Steve Mallory met at the store years ago while Travis was an employee. In 2005, the three of them partnered to purchase the shop, as well as the adjacent indoor climbing gym, and Red Rocks Climbing Guides service – an extension of Jackson Hole Mountain Guides. Between the shop, the gym and the guide service, they can outfit, educate and introduce climbers, new and old, to an enormity of world-class climbing just down the road.

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SCARPA’s “26,320 Days” Giveaway Ends with a Bang

Apr. 19th 2013

To wrap up our “26,320 Days” Facebook Giveaway, we’re  hooking up one fan plus a friend of their choice with a $300 gift card to Scarpa.com. To up the ante, we’ll give away a $500 gift card if we reach our goal of 26,320 fans by Thursday April 25th. Think how far 500 bucks worth of SCARPA gear can take you!

The goal of SCARPA’s Giveaway is to reach 26,320 fans. It might seem like a strange number but if you do the math, it’s the average number of days a human spends on earth and we want you to embrace every one of those days to the fullest ­– outside.

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Summer Skiing South of the Border

Apr. 19th 2013

SCARPA telemark athlete, Jake Sakson, recently received the offer of a lifetime – a trip to Portillo, Chile to coach a telemark camp. Instead of hanging up his skis until next season, Jake’s giving them a good tune, is ready to keep his tele skills sharp and share his techniques with other tele-addicts.

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Understanding Instinct: Introducing the new Instinct VS

Apr. 16th 2013

Winter has given way to Spring, and those with Instinct are shelving their AT boots for rock climbing shoes, and headed for the warmer climates to return to the sharp end. From sport crags to boulder fields, SCARPA’s Instinct VS is the tool for versatile precision and performance in a sophisticated package. “The Instinct models are my favorite and most used in the entire line,” says SCARPA athlete Sam Elias. “And though it’s called the Instinct VS, and is supposed to be an ‘Instinct,’ it’s truly a different shoe.”

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El Potrero Chico: Climbing Among The Cartel

Apr. 11th 2013

SCARPA Regional Athlete, Sam Magro, spent time earlier this year in El Potrero Chico, a popular climbing spot in Mexico. While there, the tragic mass kidnapping and murder of 17 members of a Mexican mariachi band occurred. In his post below, Magro recounts the details of that horrifying event and how he found solace in the rocks surrounding him.

This past fall I contemplated several options for an early winter rock trip to offer up a little break from the cold days of ice climbing in Hyalite. I was offered a great guiding trip to El Potrero Chico, Mexico and my decision was made to tag on a few extra days before and after to climb on my own.

I had not visited this winter climbing paradise since 2005. In my mind’s eye there remained visions of top notch limestone cliff bands ranging from 100’ to 2,000’, a giant winter sun warming my shirtless back, 3 tacos for a dollar, friendly stray dogs, and tranquil camping. After a bit of research on the recent activities of the Mexican Cartels I felt it was safe enough to visit this Mecca of sport climbing, I didn’t think that the violence would end up being so close…

Magic Ed, as he is called, picked us up from the airport to drive us the 45 minutes to the town of Sabinas Hidalgo and then the final 3 km to El Potrero. Our cardinal direction of travel changed from west to south and there lay the 2,000’ limestone walls of this impressive cirque that I had not seen since 2005. I asked Ed about routes on that north side, particularly one with quite and alluring name “El Sendero Illuminoso”. He did not speak too highly of it but did mention a new route that had just been bolted to the left that was said to consist of 1,200’ of sustained technical 5.11s and 5.12s. The first ascender, a German fellow, had since left and was coming back to get the FFA on his route in a few weeks. I hoped he would do so soon so that I may be able to touch my fingers on to that nice looking line. We pulled up to our stop and just like that less than 8 hours from leaving Montana in the midst of winter I was now in the warmth of northern Mexico.

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Rocket to Russia: Gord McArthur gears up for another year on the World Cup Circuit

Apr. 9th 2013

Gord McArthur is digging a hole in his backyard; two, actually. It’s what needs to happen when building the proper training structure if he is going to compete with the Russians on their level. The SCARPA mixed climber had a great past season competing on the World Cup circuit, placing higher than any North American in over a decade. In doing so, he has seen his future. And his future is a 26-foot high arch that will take up most of his backyard. “That’s what it takes,” he says, of going against the hammer and sickle hardmen of northern Asia. We got him to put down the shovel for a moment and give us his take on training at the highest levels, and preparing for a little known comp called the Olympics.

Can you tell us why the Russians are so formidable on the World Cup? The Russians dominate the sport of competitive mixed climbing because they train so well. And by that I mean, they have World Cup structures to train on, year round, and they have a team, amongst themselves, to train with. Having a solid training team/partner(s) is the key to success. You can’t push yourself to your ultimate level unless you have someone there, pushing you, motivating you, correcting you, or suggesting various things to you. They’re smart, really smart, and they know how to train to win.

How did you do this last year on the circuit? What’s it like climbing competitively in Europe and Asia? This year I did really well on the circuit. At the world championships in Kirov, Russia, I had my best result to date. No North American in the last 12 years has made it into the Top 20. Because the sport is so dominated by Russians, it’s tough to gain a spot past the qualifying round. But in Russia I managed to climb super well and landed 15th overall, which was huge.

Competing overseas is tough. North Americans are at a huge disadvantage because of the amount of travel it takes, money, adjusting to new cultures, food, people, languages—it’s not an easy road. But, all that being said, it’s un-freakin’-believable. The opportunity to see the world whilst doing what you love? Why wouldn’t you do it?

You’re building your own training facility in your backyard. Can you describe it to us, and why is it important to making the podium in the World Cup next year? If you want to do well on the World Cup, you need to be super specific in how you train. A lot of the Europeans and Asian representatives have World Cup “structures” to train on, which gives them a huge edge. So, I figured why not build my own? And now, the first North American World Cup structure is going to be in my backyard. It’s the only way forward.

Next season is going to be a huge season, packed with events and, oh, did I mention the Olympics? Yeah, so mixed climbing is going to be a demonstration sport next year. It’s important for me to be at the top of my game going into the coming season—to do well, really well.

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Putting It Into Perspective: A walk through SCARPA’s factory floor

Apr. 5th 2013

Until you reach the source, it’s often hard to fully understand how products are imagined, designed and created. Last week, a group of North American media and folks from SCARPA’s North American arm made the pilgrimage to the small agrarian town of Asolo, Italy, to have a look into how the 75-year-old company stays on top. When we arrived in the front office on that rainy March afternoon, one thing became abundantly clear: it’s a family affair.

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“26,320 DAYS” SCARPA FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY CONTINUES!

Apr. 3rd 2013

Thanks to you, SCARPA has gained over 365 fans in less than seven days with our “26,320” month-long giveaway. Think of each fan added as one day per year. Of those 365 days, how many are you spending outside?

This week we’re revving up the engines and giving away the Rapid LT to get you out and adding tallies your “outdoor days” count. While we add fans, we want you to add time exploring the mountains.

To enter, visit facebook.com/scarpana and click the “26,320 Giveaway” button in our Tabs menu.

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