Scarpa North America Blog

Category Archives: Community

Retailer Shout Out: New York’s Rock and Snow

May. 16th 2013

In 1982 a young climber named Rich Gottlieb started covering lunch shifts at a small climbing shop called Rock and Snow in New Paltz, New York. Back then, it was only a part time gig. Fast-forward thirty years, and he’s in charge of one of the most long-standing, independent climbing shops in North America.

Opening its doors in 1970, Rock and Snow was the baby of Richard “Dick” Williams, a member of the “Vulgarians” climbing contingency – an infamous group of savvy, scalawag counter-culturists who found glory exploring the Gunks’ vertical wilderness in the 1960s. Rock and Snow quickly became the place for climbers and backpackers to find gear, beta and partners for the Gunks.

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

One, or Both, but not the Other: Keeping Up with Cory Richards

May. 7th 2013

Photo Courtesy: National Geographic

Cory Richards is a busy man. The SCARPA athlete and Himalayan climber/photographer has found a new appreciation of remote in the abyss of Antarctica and will soon be focusing his photographic expertise on dinosaurs before returning to the vertical wilderness of northern Russia and Canada. It’s man vs. self as he juggles both athleticism and photography career paths. They often overlap, but Cory doesn’t sweat it, as he’s learned how to handle himself when they don’t.

Posted in Community | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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.

Also posted in SCARPA in the field | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Also posted in SCARPA in the news, Trips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

10th Annual Red Rock Rendezvous Climbing Festival

Apr. 2nd 2013

Break out of your winter hibernation and break in your new rock shoes at the 10th annual Red Rock Rendezvous this weekend, April 5-7. America’s greatest climbing festival is sponsored in part by SCARPA North America and will be a weekend-long celebration filled with climbing clinics, games, yoga and of course beer. Located only a few shameful minutes from the Vegas strip, Red Rocks provides an amazing venue with thousands of climbing routes, ranging from short sport routes to massive 20 pitch epics. The desert oasis makes for a nice change from the piles of snow in your front yard, and you can finally lounge if some shorts and soak up some sunshine.

Also posted in Events, SCARPA in the field | 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

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.

Also posted in 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.

Also posted in SCARPA in the field | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment