Here in the more northern parts of the country, there are many signs that – despite it still being summer – ski season is most decidedly on the way. The nights are getting cooler. Bars conversations inevitably turn to what gear you should be on this season. And the ski mags’ gear guides are starting to show up in mailboxes.
This week, Backcountry Magazine’s first issue, its annual gear guide, is out, and SCARPA boots won two 2011 Editor’s Choice Awards, the Maestrale in alpine-touring and the Terminator X Pro, also known as the TX Pro, in telemark.
You can read their take in the magazine, but suffice to say they liked what they saw. What’s the rest of the the story?
The Maestrale, simply put, is the lightest, stiffest, four-buckle alpine-touring boot around (3 pounds, 6 ounces per boot in a size 27), and has some really unique features, like 39 degrees of cuff range.
Translated to what that feels like, the Maestrale has incredible mobility when you’re in tour mode. But, best of all, it’s surprisingly stiff for how light and touring-friendly it is when you batten down the hatches for the ride back down – a good thing with 100 to 110 underfoot being considered ‘mid-fat’ these days. And, it comes in a women’s specific version, the Gea.
It’s also worth noting that SCARPA is adding two new boots this fall, the even-lighter weight, three-buckle versions of the Maestrale and Gea, the new Rush and Blink. While not quite as stiff (90 flex index vs. 100), these featherweight boots (the Rush shaves another half-pound per pair in size 27) are great for that person who always has to do just one more run. You know the type …
The TX Pro, meanwhile, is a boot compatible with the NTN telemark binding (which itself was an Editor’s Choice Award-winner this year), and attests to that binding system’s increasing popularity. Upgrades for this season include a new, stouter, tongue-style Intuition liner, the addition of the Powerblock Tour mechanism, the stiffest, most powerful walk-tour mode we’ve made yet, and reconfigured, easier-to-use buckles. And, this year, SCARPA’s added a women’s specific version as well.
All good things for bar-stool conversations in August …