Scarpa North America Blog

Tag Archives: rock climbing

How to Set Great Gym Routes with Joel Zerr

May. 21st 2015

Climbing participation has exploded due in part to the growth of climbing gyms. These indoor facilities provide both a controlled environment for new climbers to test the waters and a place for more seasoned climbers to train year round. Part of the attraction of gym climbing is variety. With quality route setting, a gym can offer a new experience with almost every visit. But good route setting is a science not easily replicated according to SCARPA athlete and USAC Level IV sport and bouldering route setter Joel Zerr. Joel currently sets for The Spot in Boulder, Colorado. He’s also guest set for countless gyms and national competitions including USAC youth events and the UBC Pro Tour. Quality route setting, according to Joel, is critical to the enjoyment of indoor climbing and it can actually help a climber progress. Here are a few of his tips to get it right.

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Rock Climbers: How To Stay Motivated Through Winter

Mar. 27th 2014

Do you boulder or rock climb? Have you been watching films, salivating through those epic shots of Yosemite? It may be officially spring, but there’s still plenty of snow on the ground. Alli Rainey, a SCARPA climber and coach, gave us five tips on how to stay motivated throughout the cold months.

It has been bitterly cold here for several weeks and my partner is currently unable to train with me. Since I don’t do winter sports, this could appear to be the perfect setup for a seriously bleak winter spent getting out of shape for climbing. After all, it can be a major challenge to stay inspired when perfect climbing conditions seem far in the future. However, I’ve learned a few key ways that help me keep motivation high.

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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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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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Blake Herrington’s 4 Tips to Stay Warm in the High Alpine

Sep. 24th 2013

Blake Herrington is an accomplished rock climber, alpinist and contributor to Alpinist, Climbing, and Rock & Ice magazines, among others. He’s established over two dozen new alpine climbs ­– without bolts ­– throughout Patagonia, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. When not climbing near his home in Leavenworth, Washington, Herrigton is jumping borders and hopping planes in search of new rock climbs and alpine routes.

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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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Ever Ready: Majka Burhardt Keeps Things Moving

Jun. 4th 2013

Heraro Arch, 5.12, Namibia. Photo: Gabe Rogel

Majka Burhardt doesn’t slow down much. The SCARPA athlete, author and speaker has spent much of her adult life combining a love and talent for climbing with an equal tenacity toward the arts and social responsibility. Born and raised in Minnesota, Burhardt was an unlikely candidate to be a rising voice for African conservation. But after her first trip years ago, she was entranced and thus, found her calling.

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Espana Tranquila: Relaxing Spain

May. 30th 2013

SCARPA team member and frequent climber, Scott Bennett, recently spent a few months in Spain on what he calls an “everyman’s Spanish climbing trip.” Bennett hails from Michigan but once he discovered climbing moved to Boulder, Colo. where he works part-time for SCARPA and spends the rest of his time at local climbing spots or planning his next expedition.

Forest Woodward is no sissy alpine climber!
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Retailer Shout Out: New York’s Rock and Snow

May. 16th 2013

In 1982 a young climber named Rich Gottlieb started covering lunch shifts at a small climbing shop called Rock and Snow in New Paltz, New York. Back then, it was only a part time gig. Fast-forward thirty years, and he’s in charge of one of the most long-standing, independent climbing shops in North America.

Opening its doors in 1970, Rock and Snow was the baby of Richard “Dick” Williams, a member of the “Vulgarians” climbing contingency – an infamous group of savvy, scalawag counter-culturists who found glory exploring the Gunks’ vertical wilderness in the 1960s. Rock and Snow quickly became the place for climbers and backpackers to find gear, beta and partners for the Gunks.

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Gearing up for the New River Rendezvous 10

May. 9th 2013

SCARPA will join hundreds of climbing and bouldering enthusiast in West Virginia May 17 through 19 for the New River Rendezvous 10. The climbing festival, more commonly referred to as “The ‘Vous”, is put on each year by the non-profit New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC). The ‘Vous is a grassroots, three-day celebration of everything climbing as well as the NRAC’s largest fundraiser.

Several SCARPA-sponsored athletes will offer climbing clinics and demo shoes. “SCARPA has made the clinics possible because it allows us to keep costs way down,” said Big-Cheese Rendezvous Organizer, Maura Kistler. SCARPA is bringing four athletes to The ‘Vous: boulderers Dan Horne and Michael Rosato, route climber Seth Bentley, and Editor of dpmclimbing.com, climber, and author, Mike Williams. Williams is a local in the New River Gorge and leads guided climbs.

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