Scarpa North America Blog

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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The Maestrale RS Continues Its Rising Arc

Feb. 20th 2014

In the mountains, it’s sometimes hard to find your identity. Even harder is maintaining that identity in the ever-evolving world of alpinism. But the Maestrale RS, SCARPA’s most award-winning alpine touring boot to date, has an identity based upon a firm foundation: downhill power and maximum tourability.

Similar to its newer cousin, the Freedom SL, The RS has resort-based aspirations, but its true passion yearns for the trailhead, and the glory that comes with backcountry and ski mountaineering ambitions. The body of the RS 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 initial 100 flex. However, it only adds 1.4oz (40g) in additional weight – less than a pound per pair than the slightly more muscular Freedom SL.

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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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Vertfest: Backcountry Education and Spandex-Clad Fun

Feb. 13th 2014

It started out as a simple race – fit uphillers donned their tightest pants and lightest skis and made their pilgrimage to the United States’ great northwest in search of rando race glory. Oddly enough, something stuck. The race took off, and soon the spandex-clad uphill ski-running race became a growing haven for backcountry education and passion for the great snowy mountains. They call it Vertfest.

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Guidebook Writing With Martin Volken

Feb. 11th 2014

Martin Volken is one of only three officially IFMGA-certified Swiss guides working in the U.S. He has an instructor and examiner for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) elite certification and the founder of Pro Guiding Services. Martin muses on writing a book, after recently publishing Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes – Washington.

mount-buckner-martin-volkenTaking notes on the summit of Mount Buckner

She said, “You should just write a guidebook about the Washington Cascades.” Here is my first piece of advice: Be suspicious of any advice that starts out with “you should just.”

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World Cup Boulderer Alex Puccio Joins SCARPA As Athlete Ambassador

Feb. 6th 2014
CREDIT: Pantera and Mateusz

When world-renowned boulderer Alex Puccio hits the IFSC Bouldering World Cup Circuit in April in Chongqing, China, she’ll be doing it in SCARPA rock shoes.

A friend first introduced her to SCARPA shoes while climbing in Europe, suggesting the rock shoes would be a good match for her style. “I really liked that SCARPA’s a family-owned company,” said Puccio. “I just have a really great vibe all around.”

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Ice Climbing In The Olympics With Gordon McArthur

Feb. 4th 2014

Gordon McArthur is one of the best ice climbers in the world and this year, he got the invite every athlete hopes for: to go to the Olympics. Ice climbing is still not an official Olympic sport this year, instead it is seen a “cultural event,” or showcase, of the competition. But it’s the first step to getting the sport as an actual Olympic event. Throughout the days, attendees can witness the thrilling event and get stoked on it.

Although currently competing on the World Cup in Switzerland, Gordon took a few minutes to answer some questions for us about his upcoming trip to Sochi and representing his favorite sport.

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The Desert Dawg Trail

Feb. 3rd 2014

A piece from Ace Kvale, professional photographer and adventure-seeker.

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ― John Muir

I went out for a walk this fall, a long walk. I walked out my front door and returned a month later, and in that time, I only crossed only one road. It took four years of planning the desert and canyon wilderness hike, with water sources, weather, and conditions all having to be just right.

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