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Tag Archives: ice climbing

Early Season Ice Climbing in Colorado

Nov. 14th 2013

Scott Bennett is a well-established rock climber and “dabbles” in ice climbing whenever the opportunity arises. Scott began climbing in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge and has since traveled the globe in search of new routes in areas including Patagonia, Pakistan, and the western states.

Here on the Colorado Front range, it’s been a wet season. Historic rains in mid-September produced massive “100-year” flooding from Boulder to Estes Park, leaving roads destroyed and residents inundated. After drying up, cleaning, and rebuilding, Colorado climbers welcome an unexpected gift of the rains: early season ice! Many longtime locals are seeing formations for the first time in years, or perhaps ever.

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Will Gadd Video Urges You to MOVE

Oct. 1st 2013

The majority of us sit at a desk most of the week, crunching numbers, shooting off emails, surfing the internet or worse, stalking old friends on Facebook. SCARPA athlete, writer, and most notably professional ice and sport climber, Will Gadd doesn’t succumb to the seated position. Instead, he moves. Constantly.

In this memorable video, Will speaks about the importance of movement – what it does for your body, your mind, and overall well-being. He understands many of us have pressures that don’t always allow us to get outside or move the way he does. But Will says it’s not the type of movement that matters, what matters is that you MOVE.

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First Ascent of K6 West (7,040 m) via the northwest face by Raphael Slawinski and Ian Welsted

Sep. 5th 2013

SCARPA athlete Raphael Slawinski is a professional alpinist out of Alberta, Canada who partakes in serious ice climbing, rock climbing, drytooling, and bouldering. Raphael has made many first ascents including: La Bastille, Mt. Rundle in the Canadian Rockies via traditional rock route on the previous unclimbed north face; Ali Chhish in Karakorum, Pakistan; and set a new mixed route on the west-southwest face of Denali among others. He has also competed in the ESPN Winter X Games and the Ouray Ice Craft Invitational three times.

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Pete Tapley and Scott Adamson Establish First Free Route on East Face of Moose’s Tooth

Aug. 20th 2013

*Photos by PeteTapleyImageWorks and Scott Adamson

SCARPA athlete, Pete Tapley is a professional mountain guide and climbing instructor out of Bozeman, Montana. Over twenty years of experience lend a hand to Pete’s impressive instructing and climbing resume. For the past eight years, Pete has worked with Montana Alpine Guides and Andes Mountain Guides. He also contributes photography and written work to Alpinist, Backcountry, Climberism Magazine, and others.

Despite frigid temperatures, Scott Adamson and I established the first free route on the East Face of The Moose’s Tooth on April 14th. We climbed the 5,000-ft. face in a single, 27-hour push.

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Rocket to Russia: Gord McArthur gears up for another year on the World Cup Circuit

Apr. 9th 2013

Gord McArthur is digging a hole in his backyard; two, actually. It’s what needs to happen when building the proper training structure if he is going to compete with the Russians on their level. The SCARPA mixed climber had a great past season competing on the World Cup circuit, placing higher than any North American in over a decade. In doing so, he has seen his future. And his future is a 26-foot high arch that will take up most of his backyard. “That’s what it takes,” he says, of going against the hammer and sickle hardmen of northern Asia. We got him to put down the shovel for a moment and give us his take on training at the highest levels, and preparing for a little known comp called the Olympics.

Can you tell us why the Russians are so formidable on the World Cup? The Russians dominate the sport of competitive mixed climbing because they train so well. And by that I mean, they have World Cup structures to train on, year round, and they have a team, amongst themselves, to train with. Having a solid training team/partner(s) is the key to success. You can’t push yourself to your ultimate level unless you have someone there, pushing you, motivating you, correcting you, or suggesting various things to you. They’re smart, really smart, and they know how to train to win.

How did you do this last year on the circuit? What’s it like climbing competitively in Europe and Asia? This year I did really well on the circuit. At the world championships in Kirov, Russia, I had my best result to date. No North American in the last 12 years has made it into the Top 20. Because the sport is so dominated by Russians, it’s tough to gain a spot past the qualifying round. But in Russia I managed to climb super well and landed 15th overall, which was huge.

Competing overseas is tough. North Americans are at a huge disadvantage because of the amount of travel it takes, money, adjusting to new cultures, food, people, languages—it’s not an easy road. But, all that being said, it’s un-freakin’-believable. The opportunity to see the world whilst doing what you love? Why wouldn’t you do it?

You’re building your own training facility in your backyard. Can you describe it to us, and why is it important to making the podium in the World Cup next year? If you want to do well on the World Cup, you need to be super specific in how you train. A lot of the Europeans and Asian representatives have World Cup “structures” to train on, which gives them a huge edge. So, I figured why not build my own? And now, the first North American World Cup structure is going to be in my backyard. It’s the only way forward.

Next season is going to be a huge season, packed with events and, oh, did I mention the Olympics? Yeah, so mixed climbing is going to be a demonstration sport next year. It’s important for me to be at the top of my game going into the coming season—to do well, really well.

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Sam Elias: On the Ouray Ice Fest, the climbing community and learning opportunities

Jan. 12th 2012

Sam Elias at Ouray Ice Fest 2012SCARPA athlete, Sam Elias spent last weekend at the Ouray Ice Festival in Colorado celebrating frozen water, climbing, camaraderie and learning. Sam has attended and taught at five Ouray Ice Fests and cannot wait for the next one. Here are Elias’ reflections on the 2012 festival:

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The Bozeman Ice Festival: A recap by Gord McArthur

Dec. 15th 2011

Gord McArthur, SCARPA athlete and ice climber extraordinaire, just returned from spending a week in Montana, climbing in Hyalite Canyon and teaching clinics at the Bozeman Ice Festival. He has an infectious love for ice climbing and a passion for teaching. McArthur recounts a few moments from the week and talks about why he’ll be going back for many years to come.

Gordon McArthur on NW Passage, M10 Hyalite Canyon MontanaThe Bozeman Ice Festival is different from any other event I’ve ever been to. So much that it’s hard to put into words the impact it had on me. Soulful, majestic, full-hearted, committed, meaningful, driven, historical and futuristic…and sure, these words are all great and will do for now, but even still…they don’t do justice to what I experienced over the past week.

Arriving in Bozeman a week before the festival, we (myself and a few other friends – Jason Nelson, Kendra and Carter Stritch) were super energized to “get after it” in Hyalite Canyon. Hyalite Canyon is host to a sea of ice climbs from beginner to totally scary hard, so there was to be no limit to how many climbs we could fit in prior to the anticipated ice festival. Before coming I had heard about a cave up in Hyalite that hosted a hard mixed climb, Inglorious Bastards, M12, so…in hearing that, it became a priority of mine to jump on that rig and try to climb it.

Walking into Hyalite Canyon simply takes your breath away. Despite the cliché, I’m serious. Hyalite is one of the most beautiful places that I’ve ever climbed. Period. And standing inside the cave high up on the Unnamed Wall, there were certainly moments when I forgot all about climbing and found myself drifting off into the scenic wonderland.

Day 1 was a workday. Jason Nelson and I spent a bit of time getting used to the style of rock and sorting through the moves on Inglorious Bastards. When looking at the route from outside the cave, it didn’t seem that big or long. However when hanging horizontally close up and personal to the roof of that cave…it’s a haul and a half. I want to give thanks to Conrad Anker and Pete Tapley for putting up that route, and also a “nice work” to Sam Elias for nabbing the first ascent. On day 2, my third try I was able to repeat Inglorious Bastards, M12. (Thanks to Jason for bein’ there on the other end of my rope). I was psyched about this. Side note: It was cool and inspiring that this particular style of route was natural (nothing was drilled to enhance the route). Some may think that routes at this level don’t exist any more without “manufacturing” them.

Gordon McArthur on NW Passage, M10 Hyalite Canyon MontanaMid week, after a few days of climbing we found ourselves, amongst many others, in the Emmerson Hall (in Bozeman), mingling, giving high fives, and simply sharing the excitement about the Bozeman Ice Festival starting. Vendors and sponsors were busy handing out demo gear to all the enthusiasts, people from all over the country buzzing about clinics that they had signed up for. The hype and animation from all who were involved and participating…just standing back…for even a moment, witnessing what was going on all around me…you could just tell there was something different…something deep and inspiring.

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15 Years and Counting – Annual Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival Coming into Shape

Oct. 25th 2011

Bozeman Ice FestivalThis coming December 7-11th, The Bozeman Ice Festival will be holding its 15th annual event in the beautiful Hyalite Canyon of Montana. Since 1996 climbers of all abilities have flocked to Hyalite to discuss technique, check out new gear, learn about the sport, and share in the camaraderie of ascending frozen water. Each year the event draws world-class athletes and guides from around the globe to educate, mentor and clinic burgeoning and passionate ice climbers about the necessary skills and safety techniques, the latest tools, and craft of the sport. As a sponsor for the event, SCARPA is pleased to help share in promoting and preserving the Hyalite Canyon’s ever-growing ice climbing heritage.

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Gord McArthur’s open invitation to go mixed climbing with him in Bull River Canyon

Oct. 21st 2011

SCARPA athlete, Gord McArthur, has discovered a plethora of potential new routes in Bull River Canyon outside of his hometown of Cranbrook, B.C., and the temperatures are starting to drop. Gord is looking for other interested parties to help explore and develop some mixed climbing routes in the canyon.

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Send it: Will Gadd on Helmcken Falls Ice Climbing

Mar. 8th 2011

Perennial ice climbing junkie and SCARPA athlete Will Gadd is a busy man. This winter he spent weeks with partner Tim Emmett exploring his dream cave, Helmcken Falls, a unique cavernous, ice covered playground.

Spray On is his current project, and the name fits. Drawing from the moisture from the nearby falls, the feature looks like it’s been sprayed onto the wall; long, innumerable icicle teeth hang from the towering abyss offering limitless possibilities to Will, though hardly conceivable from any other perspective. He also had a baby last week, another full time job. Nonetheless, he had a few moments to share his ever-growing enthusiasm for Helmcken Falls.

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