Scarpa North America Blog

Tag Archives: mixed climbing

Scott Bennett: The Highs and Lows of Climbing

Apr. 10th 2014

Scott Bennett, a professional climber, spent the last three months living and climbing in Southern Argentina. Upon arriving home, the only question he heard was “How was it?” But he has always had trouble answering the question, as the trips are too varied to be captured in a short response. Instead, he defines the low and high of his season here and lets you decide.

Low

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Photo Essay: On Winter Climbing In Scotland

Apr. 3rd 2014

Jon Walsh visited to the Scottish Highlands to sample their unique flavor of mixed climbing. In Scotland, the traditional approach to climbing is strongly maintained and the history of the climbs is well remembered. Modern ice climbing was developed here, and early prototypes by Yvon Chouinard and others were tested on the walls of Ben Nevis and surrounding area. These pictures embody Jon’s incredible trip and the masterful climbing that took place.

Jon Walsh climbs Craeg Meagaidh with accomplished climber Nick Bullock. (Photo: Nick Bullock)

Jon on Creag Meagaidh. It was the third ascent of Ekstacy VIII, 8, 250m. (Photo: Nick Bullock)

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Chris Thomas: Finding The Limits

Mar. 11th 2014

Chris Thomas stood awkwardly in the kitchen of his modest home. “Okay,” he said, “I’ll just do this in brackets.” He straightened his lean frame, turned his dark eyes and tilted his chin to the left. I snapped away with my camera. We’d been at this for over an hour and he was only now beginning to relax. He’d just returned to Salt Lake City after winning the 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell climbing competition in Arkansas. At the comp he’d teamed up with Hayden Kennedy and broke records set by big names such as Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold and Sonnie Trotter. Together, they climbed a combined 402 routes, 201 each, up to 5.12 in difficulty. And although his hands were too sore to make a fist, they were able to hold beer. This helped Chris ease into one of his least favorite subjects: himself.

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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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Climbing At The Ouray Ice Festival With Ueli Steck

Jan. 16th 2014

Artley Goodhart, SCARPA employee and grassroots athlete, took off for the Ouray Ice Festival last week. Here is his wrap up of the event.

The Ouray Ice Festival is something I look forward to every year; it’s the perfect way to finish up the gluttonous holiday season. Ouray, Colorado is a small mountain town in southwest Colorado that comes alive during this festival. People come from far and wide, traveling to watch, climb and test the latest gear in the Ice Park.

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Exponential Growth: Kitty Calhoun’s Meteoric Arc in Alpinism

Jan. 7th 2014


All things being equal, Kitty Calhoun isn’t your likely cutting-edge alpinist. As the unassuming daughter of a prominent South Carolinian lawyer, she did like any blossoming 18-year-old belle and took a month-long Outward Bound course to get a taste of the real outdoors.

And she took to it. Since her inauspicious introduction to Rock Climbing 101, the 5-foot 3-inch Calhoun has gone on to become one of the most preeminent alpinists, male or female, in the last 30 years. She has broken records on several continents, including being the first woman to make an ascent of Dhaulagiri in 1987 (world’s seventh highest peak), and then Makalu (world’s fifth highest peak) three years later. Her laundry list of climbs is long.

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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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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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