Scarpa North America Blog

Category Archives: Athletes

Scott Bennett: The Highs and Lows of Climbing

Apr. 10th 2014

Scott Bennett, a professional climber, spent the last three months living and climbing in Southern Argentina. Upon arriving home, the only question he heard was “How was it?” But he has always had trouble answering the question, as the trips are too varied to be captured in a short response. Instead, he defines the low and high of his season here and lets you decide.

Low

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Photo Essay: On Winter Climbing In Scotland

Apr. 3rd 2014

Jon Walsh visited to the Scottish Highlands to sample their unique flavor of mixed climbing. In Scotland, the traditional approach to climbing is strongly maintained and the history of the climbs is well remembered. Modern ice climbing was developed here, and early prototypes by Yvon Chouinard and others were tested on the walls of Ben Nevis and surrounding area. These pictures embody Jon’s incredible trip and the masterful climbing that took place.

Jon Walsh climbs Craeg Meagaidh with accomplished climber Nick Bullock. (Photo: Nick Bullock)

Jon on Creag Meagaidh. It was the third ascent of Ekstacy VIII, 8, 250m. (Photo: Nick Bullock)

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Going for Speed: Josh Wharton Shatters The Diamond Record

Apr. 1st 2014
photo: John Dickey

More than a decade ago, Josh Wharton and Jonny Copp broke the speed record for climbing the Diamond, the 13,000-foot east face of Longs Peak in Colorado. It was a 14 hour roundtrip, from leaving their car and returning to it. He claims they weren’t trying, just trying to stay warm in the Colorado winter chill above timberline. Last year, young climbers beat their record and it was just the motivation Wharton needed to try again. Here is how he stole the title back… at least for a little while.

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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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