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Scarpa North America Blog

Tag Archives: Andy Dorais

How To Love Running

May. 21st 2014

Andy and Jason Dorais are accomplished ski mountaineers, known for flying up mountains in the Wasatch Mountains. But now that the ski season is slowing down, the two have been running trails. Andy told us a story on how they came to love running and their recent trip to the Paria River.

For so many people running is a chore. And although it was like that for us once, now running equals freedom and fun. It can be painful, but it’s always gratifying after the fact. How did we change running from monotonous drudgery to something fun we do nearly every day? Read on.

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Breaking the Speed Limit with the Dorais Brothers

Jun. 13th 2013
Jason and Andy skinning the upper snowfield of the Otter Body.

The terms “physically fit” and “expert ski mountaineers” don’t even begin to describe the Dorais brothers – some would say they’re possibly beyond human. Climbing and skiing higher, faster and harder than many mountaineers, Andy and Jason are consistently raising the bar. Most recently, the duo has been all over newsfeeds and media outlets for climbing and skiing down Mt. Rainier in under four hours. But, that’s not the only monumental adventure the brothers embarked on this season. We caught up with these SCARPA athletes to hear about their ascent of Rainier and skiing the Grand Teton’s Otter Body (both on SCARPA Aliens and Ski Trab skis), and what it’s like to set a speed record on racing gear.

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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.

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2012 Wasatch Citizen Ski Mountaineering Races

Dec. 6th 2012

Andy and Jason Dorais, two of SCARPA’s ski athletes, started an informal (and free) Skimo race series at Brighton Ski Resort last winter and the event took off. SCAPRA and Ski Trab are sponsoring the 10 races in the series this year. The course will be marked this year with SCARPA pin flags and a demo fleet of Trab skis will be unveiled at the next race. We are proud to be supporting the Dorais brothers and this incredible community race event.

Ski mountaineering is the practice of applying skis to move efficiently through the mountains, often in technical terrain. More skiing equals more fun, and by training fitness and using proper gear we are able to do just that. Cue Ski Mountaineering racing, which is fun, prepares us for bigger objectives, satisfies our competitive nature, and has led to many lasting friendships.

Ski mountaineering races are an odd spectacle. Many of the participants are clad in lycra and adorned in various amounts of carbon fiber. The skis are short and skinny and milling about the starting line, everyone appears twitchy. That is because once the race begins a painful blend of aerobic fitness and technical skills will take the racers typically over 5,000 vertical feet in the span of around 2 hours.

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The Aliens: The future of light-and-fast skiing is here

Nov. 13th 2012

The future of light-and-fast backcountry skiing is staring us in the eyes. And, it’s green.

SCARPA Alien 1.0

The Alien and Alien 1.0 create intelligent performance born from rando race ergonomics and minimalist aesthetics for an aggressive but efficient touring boot that’ll hold their own in any rando comp or for reaching that distant peak.

The Alien looks like a cross between Dr. Seuss and the Matrix. By implementing a pull-cord into a state-of-the-art design for a stripped down, smart and efficient ski/walk feature, SCARPA has demonstrated that simple and clever work well together. Removing the bottom buckle with a quick-acting Boa® closure system shaves weight and bulk but retains a formable scaffo (bottom shell) that can hug the foot for control and still provide maximum comfort for long days on the hill.

For maximum strength-to-weight ratio, the race-ready 1.0 uses SCARPA’s Carbon Core Technology, surrounding the lower foot in carbon fiber for rigidity and power-to-ski-edge transfer, and then molding that carbon fiber inside the polyamide shell. For the more mountain-spirited speed tourer or the recreational randonee racer, the standard Alien boasts a polyamide cuff that’s a little more forgiving, and adds a scant 7oz to the overall picture. Both boots have a single-throw ski/walk mode closure system, which firmly locks the boot for downhill in one singular motion.

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Fast Times from SLC: Keeping up with the Dorais Brothers.

Nov. 8th 2012

Dynamic Duo is a silly term used to describe grown men in tights. Yet it’s strangely appropriate for the brothers Dorais, Jason and Andrew, two midwesterners who’ve somehow transformed into speedfreak ski mountaineers based in Salt Lake City, who scale and descend peaks in record time, most often under the cover of night. By day, they’re both doctors, who are currently living out their residencies in emergency medicine. For the record, Andy is almost two years the senior, though they might as well be fraternal twins. While most of us speak in terms of days off, they converse in hours. If they have a few off, they’ll ski a peak in the morning before work; if they have 24 hours, they’ll drive to Wyoming and ski the Grand Teton. A whopping 48 hours gives them plenty of time to drive west and tag a little peak called Rainier. So how did this all come about? Let’s read on.

You’re midwestern boys. How did you get into climbing and skiing? What about them have such allure for you?
JASON: I remember our dad telling us stories about his climbing days in the Tetons back in the 70’s. He had a bunch of old slides and would give us slide shows every once in a while. We always loved it. Apart from the stories, he made a point of taking us out any chance he got. We never lived in a mountainous region but would take extended summer vacations every year to either the Pacific Northwest or New Hampshire. Wherever we were he would drag us up the local classic peaks. He always made us feel like we had accomplished something big and noteworthy. I think that was the start.

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Dorais brothers share pre-season training program

Nov. 1st 2012

Pioneering a new adventure run above SLC - Summit Ridge of Lone Peak, Utah

Jason and Andy Dorais have been racing each other up mountains since they were 5 and 6 years old. They grew up in Indiana, but took frequent family trips to New England and the Intermountain West. Perhaps they were inspired by tales of their father’s mountaineering or perhaps simply by the mountains themselves. Either way, they have pushed the envelope for “fast and light” ski mountaineering, setting speed records on peaks across in the Tetons, Wasatch and Cascade ranges. SCARPA is proud to have them on the athlete team!

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