Scarpa North America Blog

Meet John Proctor, Climbing Coach Turned Accountant

Apr. 25th 2014

John Proctor is something like a super hero: accountant by day, climbing coach by night. By day, John Proctor works with SCARPA in Boulder, Colo. as the accounting assistant. But a veteran climber of 10 years, with athletes like Alex Puccio on his coaching resumé, John sat down with us to talk about his past, his coaching experience and what working for SCARPA is really like. Here are the chapters of his life.

The Beginning

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Sarah Hart: Battling The Little Wolf

Apr. 17th 2014

Sarah Hart headed down to Patagonia this winter for some warm weather climbing with just a friend and some SCARPA gear. But it was a different trip than she was anticipating.

In June of 2012, I quit my desk job, packed my things into storage, and set off on what became an almost two-year climbing trip. But by January 2014, I could no longer ignore the fact that my bank account was quickly running dry, and I was going to need a job soon. To go out with a bang, I traveled to southern Patagonia for my fourth visit. If the previous Patagonia climbing season was to be any indication, I was pretty certain I’d be running hot laps up Fitz Roy in my tank top.

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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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Rock Climbers: How To Stay Motivated Through Winter

Mar. 27th 2014

Do you boulder or rock climb? Have you been watching films, salivating through those epic shots of Yosemite? It may be officially spring, but there’s still plenty of snow on the ground. Alli Rainey, a SCARPA climber and coach, gave us five tips on how to stay motivated throughout the cold months.

It has been bitterly cold here for several weeks and my partner is currently unable to train with me. Since I don’t do winter sports, this could appear to be the perfect setup for a seriously bleak winter spent getting out of shape for climbing. After all, it can be a major challenge to stay inspired when perfect climbing conditions seem far in the future. However, I’ve learned a few key ways that help me keep motivation high.

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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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Alien Invasion: 2014 U.S. Ski Mountaineering National Championships

Mar. 21st 2014

Bryan Wickenhauser races for Team GO-CB, a ski mountaineering team sponsored by SCARPA. Important to him that athletes, especially those with European racing experience, give back to their sport and produce high-caliber events, he was the race director for last weekend’s U.S. Ski Mountaineering National Championships. He believes it helps the U.S. compete on a level playing field with Europe. Taking a quick breather before the Grand Traverse next week, Wick recapped the fun at the National Champs.

The SCARPA Alien invasion at the starting line. (credit: Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
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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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