Scarpa North America Blog

Category Archives: Athletes

Zion Ice: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Mar. 26th 2014

Jesse Huey is a rock, ice and mixed climber. After seeing a Climbing Magazine cover of ice climbing in Zion National Park and realizing it was a banner year for ice, Jesse headed to Zion. Here is his write up of the trip, complete with incredible photography.

Having traveled to Zion four times previously for world-class finger crack climbing, it never crossed my mind that Zion held a potential frozen goldmine. Synonymous with adventurous rock climbing, slot canyons and scary aid climbing, Zion could be a seldom-seen winter secret. I wasn’t convinced of the ice potential until I spoke with Scott Adamson, a Utah resident who had spent a large amount of time guiding and climbing in and around the Zion area.

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The Ever-Charging Alex Puccio

Mar. 19th 2014

Alex Puccio probably didn’t think she was going to become a world-class boulderer. That said, she might’ve had some idea after she entered the U.S. Bouldering Championships as a teenager… and won. Since then, she has gone on to become a tour de force in competitive bouldering, winning several titles in the last several years – including eight U.S. National Champion titles. At 24 years old, the native Texan is showing no signs of slowing down and is currently ramping up for another season on the World Cup. Though it’s hard to schedule in the time when you’re on the circuit, she even finds occasion to actually climb outside and answer a few questions from us.

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How To Backcountry Ski In The Spring

Mar. 13th 2014

Having worked in the mountain guiding industry for nearly 20 years, Mike Alkaitis is an experienced mountaineer. Not only is he the general manager and senior guide at the Colorado Mountain School, a professional mountain guide service, he is also a certified Wilderness First Responder, the former Executive Director for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), and an AMGA-certified rock and ski mountaineering guide. We figured that he is the perfect person to give us some guidance on finding the best backcountry skiing when the weather turns warm.

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Chris Thomas: Finding The Limits

Mar. 11th 2014

Chris Thomas stood awkwardly in the kitchen of his modest home. “Okay,” he said, “I’ll just do this in brackets.” He straightened his lean frame, turned his dark eyes and tilted his chin to the left. I snapped away with my camera. We’d been at this for over an hour and he was only now beginning to relax. He’d just returned to Salt Lake City after winning the 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell climbing competition in Arkansas. At the comp he’d teamed up with Hayden Kennedy and broke records set by big names such as Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold and Sonnie Trotter. Together, they climbed a combined 402 routes, 201 each, up to 5.12 in difficulty. And although his hands were too sore to make a fist, they were able to hold beer. This helped Chris ease into one of his least favorite subjects: himself.

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Josh Wharton: On Mixed Climbing in Colorado

Mar. 4th 2014

Josh Wharton, alpine climbing legend, muses on mixed climbing in his backyard.

A little over a month ago I partially tore the A3 pulley in my ring finger while trying Koyaanisqatsi, a great V11 in Boulder Canyon, just west of Boulder, Colorado. Of course it was disappointing to get injured, especially while enjoying the warm winter bouldering conditions, but after a day of sulking I decided it was time to get after all the ice and mixed climbing I could!

On the second pitch of True Grit in the San Juans (credit: John Dickey)
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Trail Runners: How To Stay Motivated Through Winter

Feb. 27th 2014

Ultrarunner Jeremy Duncan shares how he stays stoked on the sport throughout the chilly months in Colorado.

Almost all runners gripe that winter is the hardest season to train through. And I always agreed. But a few years ago, I started to look at winter through a different lens. After years of frustration running in windy, icy and snowy conditions, I started seeing winter for what it truly is: a time to recharge the body and pursue alternative methods of staying fit.

What to do:

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Dean Cummings’ Big Mountain Evolution

Feb. 18th 2014

Dean Cummings has been at the big mountain skiing game for well over two decades. The New Mexico native got a strong start in the mountains at an early age and never looked back. His passion and dedication has landed him atop the World Extreme Skiing Championships stage, captain of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, and then later as one of the most revered ski guides in Alaska’s hallowed heli-skiing stomping grounds of the Chugach Mountains. He’s a busy man, but we got him to share a little about his evolution as a skier, guide and big mountain pioneer.

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Guidebook Writing With Martin Volken

Feb. 11th 2014

Martin Volken is one of only three officially IFMGA-certified Swiss guides working in the U.S. He has an instructor and examiner for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) elite certification and the founder of Pro Guiding Services. Martin muses on writing a book, after recently publishing Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes – Washington.

mount-buckner-martin-volkenTaking notes on the summit of Mount Buckner

She said, “You should just write a guidebook about the Washington Cascades.” Here is my first piece of advice: Be suspicious of any advice that starts out with “you should just.”

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World Cup Boulderer Alex Puccio Joins SCARPA As Athlete Ambassador

Feb. 6th 2014
CREDIT: Pantera and Mateusz

When world-renowned boulderer Alex Puccio hits the IFSC Bouldering World Cup Circuit in April in Chongqing, China, she’ll be doing it in SCARPA rock shoes.

A friend first introduced her to SCARPA shoes while climbing in Europe, suggesting the rock shoes would be a good match for her style. “I really liked that SCARPA’s a family-owned company,” said Puccio. “I just have a really great vibe all around.”

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Ice Climbing In The Olympics With Gordon McArthur

Feb. 4th 2014

Gordon McArthur is one of the best ice climbers in the world and this year, he got the invite every athlete hopes for: to go to the Olympics. Ice climbing is still not an official Olympic sport this year, instead it is seen a “cultural event,” or showcase, of the competition. But it’s the first step to getting the sport as an actual Olympic event. Throughout the days, attendees can witness the thrilling event and get stoked on it.

Although currently competing on the World Cup in Switzerland, Gordon took a few minutes to answer some questions for us about his upcoming trip to Sochi and representing his favorite sport.

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