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.
Editor’s note: We are relieved to hear that SCARPA Ambassador Raphael Slawinski and his teammates are safe and sound on the north side of Everest, but our hearts ache for all the people in the region affected by this weekends earthquake. Chinese officials just announced that they have closed the north side of Everest to climbing. Here, Raphael shares his experience on the mountain during the quake and reflects on what’s to come.
This is the second report from SCARPA Athlete Raphael Slawinski, as he attempted to climb a new route on the North side of Mt. Everest.
Everest basecamp, April 16. I looked up from my laptop, distracted by a sound outside the yellow mess tent. It wasn’t the Buddhist chant that’d been playing all morning in the kitchen tent next door. No, it sounded like a four-wheel drive truck bumping over the cobbles. What, here in Everest basecamp at 5100 metres? Well, yes. The days of trekking into Chinese Base Camp (CBC) are gone. They’ve been made obsolete by a dirt track winding its way up the Rongbuk valley on the north side of Everest, all the way to where it’s blocked by moraines. Continue reading...
Editor’s Note: This spring, SCARPA Athlete Raphael Slawinski, winner of the 2014 Piolet d’Or for his K6 West expedition, has set his sight on a lofty goal—8,000 meters. And not just any 8,000-meter peak, Slawinski and his partners David Gottler and Daniel Bartsh are eyeing a new route on Mt. Everest. The team will acclimatize and climb this route in pure alpine style, without the assistance of oxygen, fixed ropes, or porters, over the next two months. And thanks to the technological marvels of the modern era like satellite internet and social media, you’ll be able to follow along on this expedition through semi-regular blog posts (like this one) and social media updates posted here and on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Continue reading...
It’s officially December 5th, which means the First Friday Film Fest is back! Scroll through this month’s collection of videos featuring our athletes pushing their limits on rock, snow and ice.
Working for the Weekend
SCARPA’s newest ski athlete (and full time lawyer in Portland, ME) Ben Leoni is featured in a web series about weekend warriors backcountry skiing out East.
Exposure Vol II. featuring Alex Puccio
Exposure Vol. II follows athletes Alex Puccio, Daniel Woods, Jimmy Webb, Alex Megos, and Dmitry Sharafutdinov as they push both their own personal limits and the limits of climbing. Continue reading...
Raphael Slawinski doesn’t take his students climbing. He’s happier teaching them the first law of thermodynamics or quantum mechanics in his Calgary classroom. If they’re having a hard time in class, chances are they might have a harder time keeping up with their professor in the hills. The Polish-born physicist also happens to be a world-class alpinist, though he’d still call himself a weekend warrior. We were able to get a moment of his time before the semester starts to ask a few questions about maintaining a career in science, while tempting the laws of physics in his spare time.
Even though your father was a climber in Poland, you didn’t take in on until your family moved to Canada when you were a teenager. How come? It wasn’t until we moved to Calgary that I was living close to the mountains. Before that we lived in places like Warsaw and Paris, not exactly climbing destinations. But even so I did not take to climbing right away. Ironically it was moving away to Chicago to go to graduate school that made me realize how important mountains and climbing had become to me.
Your mother is also a physicist and your father is a geologist. Has science always been a passion for you? Why? I suppose having both parents be scientists made me aware from early on that science wasn’t just something you took at school and then promptly forgot, but that it was something you could do your whole life. I think my fascination with science started with astronomy. Not so much looking through a telescope, but thinking about the incredible things out there, the vastness of space just beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Continue reading...
In our ongoing coverage of bad-asses and freaks of nature, check out this video of SCARPA team member Raphael Slawinski, who recently climbed a bolt-less new route called The Peach in his backyard of the Canadian Rockies. Alpinist just posted a short report on the climb and Slawinski has more beta on his blog.
According to Slawinski, “it’s fun to go out on easy days … but … after an easy day, I’m left wanting.”
Second go at The Peach from Wiktor Skupinski on Vimeo.
Check out this video of SCARPA team member Raphael Slawinski and Joshua Levigne getting after it on Mt. Cromwell.
Mt. Cromwell Elzinga/Miller in a day from alpinesummits on Vimeo.