Scarpa North America Blog

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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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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Meet The Family Instinct

Mar. 6th 2014

We had a vision. We wanted a set of climbing shoes to cover the spectrum of technical climbing, bouldering and everything in between. They would be shoes that could defeat any boulder problem, any steep overhang, any wall. They would edge, smear, toe in, but also stand alone. They would be a family of shoes.

Meet the family Instinct.

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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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Retailer Shout Out: Ski AK

Feb. 25th 2014


Specialty ski shops exist for a reason: They balance the best and most-respected products with the best possible service, creating an experience the customer will rely on forever. The new archetype for this kind of shop is Ski AK. The 1000-square-foot space is located in the historic Spenard district of Anchorage, and is the go-to for skiers of all creeds—beginners to pros, ski teams to backcountry.

Owner Fred Parke is a retired investment manager who never lost a passion for skiing. Growing up in southern California, he learned how to edge on his home hill of Mammoth. Since moving to Anchorage, he’s been able to create a lifestyle that allows him to stay close to the mountains. And his shop is the proof.

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