One of the world’s foremost adventurers and advocates explores the roots and the routes of one of the world’s most famous mountain ranges.
During the summer of 2015 SCARPA athletes Graham Zimmerman and Scott Bennett spent two months in the Pakistani Karakoram in search of new routes in one of the world’s truly stunning ranges with one of the Karakoram’s most seasoned climbers, Steve Swenson of the American Alpine Club. The amount of planning and training that goes into an expedition in this corner of the world is massive, then everything has to line up just perfectly for the actual send. During this trip, Graham and Scott achieved two impressive first ascents including the Changi Tower (6500m) and a new route up the south face of K6 (8126m). We asked Graham to put together a short photo recap of the incredible trip.
Trade shows are a tough racket. Long days, countless meetings, and more than enough shop talk to put you into a stupor. Thankfully, the SCARPA family figured out the perfect remedy to a grueling Outdoor Retailer 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah: a bitching camp and climbing trip to City of Rocks, Idaho. From August 8-10, we gathered several of our employees, athletes, dealers, and media friends in Southern Idaho’s premiere climbing destination for three days of tacky granite, campfire whiskey, and no cell service. The one rule, no shop talk, this was a climbing trip amongst friends not a schmooze fest. It was righteous. Thanks to everyone in the crew for helping make it happen. Here’s a photographic look at the trip. If you can’t tell from the images below, you should be planning a trip to City of Rocks, like NOW.
It’s hot out there people. The dog days of summer can put a drag on serious sending thanks to humidity and slick rock. But it’s a great time to hit those alpine boulders and crags. It’s also a great time to mellow out, climb with friends, and enjoy everything about summer cragging like nearby swimming holes, umbrella cocktails, and copious vitamin D. We asked eight of our athletes about there favorite summer climbing zones. Here are their greatest hits. Notice a few repeats. Of course you’ll need footwear for summer sessions. Look to the Booster S if you need stick on steep routes, the Vapor V for comfort and performance, or the Techno X for those multi-pitch trad missions.
Editor’s Note: On April 25, 2015 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal and the region around Mt. Everest killing over 9,000 people including at least 19 at base camp on the Nepali side of the mountain. SCARPA athlete and college professor Raphael Slawinski was on the peak’s northern base camp in China when the quake struck attempting a new alpine-style route up the mountain’s northeast face. Though the north side of Everest was relatively unscathed, the Chinese government promptly closed the mountain for climbing, ending his groundbreaking summit attempt.
Words and Photos By Cheyne Lempe
Do you ever wonder what happens to all those close calls after they dissolve effortlessly and float away? Maybe you have heard stories and harrowing tales of near misses while sitting around a campfire. Though the percentage is low, the truth is, once in a while those near misses and close calls become a life altering accident. Unfortunately, those freaky “once in a while” events happen more frequently than you would like to know about. During the past few years of working on the Yosemite Search and Rescue team, I’ve experienced what happens on the other side of risk.
Last August, SCARPA athlete Shingo Ohkawa spent month in search of first descents on the classic vertical walls of Wyoming’s spectacular Wind River Range. While he and his partners horsepacked in to base camp, it was all human-powered effort from there. Long days on approach and even longer days in a harness and climbing shoes allowed Shingo to really abuse the best SCARPA has to offer for this style of climbing. While an unseasonably wet and cold August shut them out of many of his objectives, he still came back with some glowing reviews. These are the SCARPA shoes that got him too the wall and up it, including an FA on the West Face of Helen’s Tower 1.
This winter marked the culmination of my longest project, originally The Grandpa Project, now “The Process” (V16) after a Daniel Woods FA, in the Buttermilks near Bishop, California. Though this season ended regrettably with the destruction of the crux hold rather than a send, I still learned a lot about working a project of this magnitude. Like most people, the bulk of my climbing is on things that I can do relatively quickly. Seven days is the most I’ve spent on a line that I’ve actually completed, yet I’ve been invested in The Grandpa Project for 5 years now. As I spent more and more time on this line, discovering, cleaning, and preparing the line itself, overcoming injury, hold breakage, and weather, I’ve realized that my motivations and approach needed to be much different than they would be for normal climbing.
It’s the first Friday of the month which means we’re bringing you the perfect excuse to procrastinate in the office or kick back with a cold one at the end of the day: a fresh heap of climbing and skiing videos. This month’s batch of moving pictures takes you from Alaska to Northern Spain, where SCARPA’s crew of dedicated climbers and skiers continue to push what’s possible in the mountains. #NoPlaceTooFar
Need a shoe that will find every nuanced hold on steep rock? Then check out the new, award-winning SCARPA Furia. By trading the bulky midsole for a responsive Power Connection Band (a tensioned rubber strip under the foot), legendary SCARPA rock-shoe designer Heinz Mariacher has achieved a new paradigm of sensitivity, softness, performance, and comfort in the Furia. The Furia’s PCB rand helps activate the strength in your entire foot for dynamic movement, insane grip, and delicate touch. It’s so good, Climbing Magazine gave it the coveted Editor’s Choice award. Sport or bouldering, indoors or out, the Furia is the perfect shoe for your next project.