Scarpa North America Blog

Category Archives: Beta

A brief history of the SCARPA T1, heir to the original plastic telemark ski boot

Jan. 10th 2013

When it hit the market in fall 1992, the SCARPA Terminator changed the game in telemark skiing. The world’s first plastic tele boot, the Terminator improved performance, durability and protection from the elements, not to mention changed people’s ideas about how backcountry-skiing gear could and should work.

Davide Parisotto

Direct heir to the Terminator, today’s SCARPA T1 telemark ski boot is still regarded as the vanguard in plastic telemark boots. That’s a distinguished pedigree. And – while there’s been a lot of progression and design upgrades over the years to continue to improve performance in the T1 (keep on reading for what they are) and all of the Terminator-series boots – it’s interesting, and amazing, how much the original Terminator got right more than 20 years ago when it first hit the market.

The current 2013 T1 is still one of the most sought-after performance telemark ski boots in the world. Used by progressive tele skiers like like Jake Sakson and Paul Kimbrough, the T1 sets the bar for all-around performance in four-buckle 75 mm telemark boots. SCARPA has also evolved the T1 into a boot that works for the new Rottefella NTN binding system, the Terminator X Pro.

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Life on High: SCARPA’s Phantom 6000

Dec. 12th 2012

There is an interesting sensibility for those of us who enjoy climbing in cold, wintry weather—a dynamic that is different from sunny rock climbing. Ice, wind and snow are the norm, a trinity of variables that command our attention and create a myriad of ever-changing challenges in the frozen vertical wilderness. And it’s in these landscapes that many climbers aspire to thrive.

SCARPA’s contribution to this aesthetic is the Phantom 6000, the most technical double boot for climbing in cold conditions. Built for alpinists who demand precision and performance in cold, harsh environments, the 6000 is a culmination of fit, performance and durability, the hallmarks of storied Italian craftsmanship.

From the ground up, the 6000 uses the SCARPA/Vibram Mulaz Sole Package, a deft arrangement of materials organized to maximize warmth, comfort, traction, dexterity and climbing performance. The outer sole features a design that facilitates precision edging and front pointing, while the dual-density midsole employs a polyurethane insert below the heel for superior absorption on long summit pushes. TPU inserts on the toe and heel are designed for a snug, exact boot/crampon interface. To enhance dynamic climbing performance, rear rands around the heel area, not unlike what you’d find on a rock shoe, securely lock the heel in place.

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The Aliens: The future of light-and-fast skiing is here

Nov. 13th 2012

The future of light-and-fast backcountry skiing is staring us in the eyes. And, it’s green.

SCARPA Alien 1.0

The Alien and Alien 1.0 create intelligent performance born from rando race ergonomics and minimalist aesthetics for an aggressive but efficient touring boot that’ll hold their own in any rando comp or for reaching that distant peak.

The Alien looks like a cross between Dr. Seuss and the Matrix. By implementing a pull-cord into a state-of-the-art design for a stripped down, smart and efficient ski/walk feature, SCARPA has demonstrated that simple and clever work well together. Removing the bottom buckle with a quick-acting Boa® closure system shaves weight and bulk but retains a formable scaffo (bottom shell) that can hug the foot for control and still provide maximum comfort for long days on the hill.

For maximum strength-to-weight ratio, the race-ready 1.0 uses SCARPA’s Carbon Core Technology, surrounding the lower foot in carbon fiber for rigidity and power-to-ski-edge transfer, and then molding that carbon fiber inside the polyamide shell. For the more mountain-spirited speed tourer or the recreational randonee racer, the standard Alien boasts a polyamide cuff that’s a little more forgiving, and adds a scant 7oz to the overall picture. Both boots have a single-throw ski/walk mode closure system, which firmly locks the boot for downhill in one singular motion.

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More than a paint job: Scarpa’s Maestrale gets some body work.

Oct. 9th 2012

SCARPA didn’t have to do much to better the Maestrale, a proven balance of uphill ergonomics and downhill capability; its dependable performance has made it the most popular AT boot in SCARPA history. Instead, they took a design that works and gave it a couple simple tweaks. Think of it this way—the new Maestrale RS is essentially the same vehicle as the original, only it has a little more under the hood.

The RS means “Renn Sport” in German, or racing sport. It’s a way of saying they charge on the downhill. The new paint job separates it for sure, but the body of the boot is comprised of Polyamide instead of Pebax, which has a slightly higher strength to weight ratio, giving the RS a 120 flex index (20% advantage) over the original Maestrale’s intitial 100 flex; yet it only adds 1.4oz (40g) in additional weight—about as much as a gel pack.

Two slight alterations in the RS include the Zeus buckles, which help to increase power and cuff closure, and the Predator RS instep heel retention, which provides maximum heel hold and augments the tongue stiffness. Like its predecessor, the RS’s progressive flex provides both sensitivity and power transmission to the ski edges in situations when precision turns are paramount. Because backcountry conditions include the worst as much as the best in snow quality, the additional security of the RS is a welcome addition when you’re staring down a 1000-foot couloir of blower pow—or boilerplate.

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Sensitive – it’s the new Strong: Enter SCARPA’s latest Phantom Guide mountain boot

Sep. 11th 2012

Being sensitive doesn’t always mean you’re weak. It can make you aware. It brings certain factors to your attention so that you alter your position, if ever so slightly. It can turn a potentially ugly situation into an opportunity to thrive. SCARPA sees this value, and has taken that mindset into redesigning the Phantom Guide, which has made several advancements that turn “sensitivity” into information the climber can use.

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Rottefella NTN Freedom telemark binding hits the streets

Aug. 21st 2012

When the Rotefella NTN (New Telemark Norm)binding came out in 2007, many telemarkers understood the potential for a more powerful system. Some, however, still wanted a lighter binding system, and a system that offered a true free-pivot touring mode (the first version of NTN still had a bit of tension in the system when released to tour mode).

For Fall 2012, Rotefella answers that call with the new NTN Freedom binding, which, at 1 pound 10 ounces per binding (size large) offers an NTN telemark binding that’s right in the realm of the lightest telemark bindings available – 75 mm or otherwise. As well, when switched to tour mode (which is as easy as pulling up a tab on the front of the binding), the system offers almost no resistance when touring. Pair that with a 60-degree range of motion for walking, and NTN offers outstanding touring performance.

Backcountry Magazine’s editors liked what they saw, and what they tested. After lots of time on the binding last spring, just last week they named it one of five bindings to earn their 2013 Editor’s Choice Award.

So, now there are two. The NTN Freedom binding offers … well … freedom for touring in the backcountry, while the original NTN, now called the NTN Freeride binding, offers a burlier, more powerful system for people who are telemarking in area, or who just like to have the more powerful option.

One more point on weight: SCARPA NTN boots are lighter than traditional 75mm Telemark boots. So, SCARPA Terminator X tele boots paired with NTN Freedom bindings set the new standard for lightweight performance for Telemark ski touring. By design, the binding’s dual connection creates a stronger interface between boot and ski, providing more powerful edge to edge responsiveness, while maintaining natural flex and overall driveability.

More simply: Among the lightest on the uphill, paired with category defining performance on the downhill.

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The Phantom cometh: SCARPA’s Phantom 8000 rises to its name

Aug. 9th 2012

Mother Nature has a tendency to give climbers—literally—the cold shoulder. While many prefer being around her in sunnier dispositions, others do enjoy her good graces through tough love approaches and icier mood swings high in the hills. Having the right tools helps. When frozen ground, bottomless temps and high winds are compulsory, the Phantom 8000, SCARPA’s preeminent high altitude cold weather boot is the standard.

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Avoiding problems with rock shoe delamination

Jul. 31st 2012

Finding the right pair of rock shoes takes some time and effort. And buying those that best work for a particular intended purpose isn’t always easy. So it makes sense that when you do get the shoes that work for that particular use or project, you protect your investment.

There really aren’t a lot of preventative measures to taking care of rock shoes, but there are a few. One is simply keeping an eye on normal wear and tear, and – when they need it – getting them to a good cobbler for a resole before too much wear makes that not a possibility. Another is pretty simple: Don’t leave your rock shoes in a hot car (or expose to any type of heat), or even – when possible to avoid it – in direct sunlight.

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Setting the Pace: SCARPA’s Moraine Mid GTX moves out front.

Jul. 19th 2012

Women's Moraine Mid GTX

The moment we leave the trailhead we set a pace. It changes as we go up, as we go down, how far we venture, and for how long. It pays to have the proper shoes working in concert with whatever pace we set. With backpacking season coming into full stride this coming August and September SCARPA gives a welcomed nod to their streamlined utility light hiker, the Moraine Mid GTX.

A deft synthetic boot that’s light and nimble for an hour-long outing, but built intelligibly to handle the rigors of a week-long backcountry march, the Moraine Mid GTX is SCARPA’s sophisticated interpretation stealth and strength.

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What’s your Tempo? SCARPA’s every day trail running tool

Jun. 19th 2012

Single Track. It’s the muse of the trail runner, slithering, undulating, and leading us not only into the woods but also through our own personal wilderness. Long trail runs can be hypnotizing, and whatever tempo we take, the rewards leave us longing for another day in the hills. SCARPA knows this, hence the Tempo, the all-purpose tool for the trail.

The Tempo belongs to the same family as the award-winning Spark, but its slightly stouter build makes it better equipped for bigger forays into the wilds. Both shoes embody SCARPA’s Mountain Minimal ethos, which strips away excess materials but retains the necessary structural integrity for protective, high performance fit and feel trail running shoes. Think of the Tempo for training, and the Spark for racing.

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