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Tag Archives: Sam Elias

Recap: Rifle Climbing Festival

Jul. 30th 2013

Rifle has always held a reputation as the place in Colorado for hard sport climbing. With clinics, demos, and countless routes it’s no surprise the Rifle Climbing Festival hosted by apparel brand, prAna, drew over 300 moderate, advanced, and elite level climbers.

Battling major temperature swings – from the low 40’s at night to 100 degrees mid-day – attendees warmed up on 5.11 climbs, switching to 5.12 and 5.13s for the rest of the day.

SCARPA’s demo selection of trailrun, approach, and climb shoes went quickly as everyone awoke with the sun, eager to hit the crags. SCARPA climber, Sam Elias was there to explain the uses and benefits of each shoe to those interested.

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Understanding Instinct: Introducing the new Instinct VS

Apr. 16th 2013

Winter has given way to Spring, and those with Instinct are shelving their AT boots for rock climbing shoes, and headed for the warmer climates to return to the sharp end. From sport crags to boulder fields, SCARPA’s Instinct VS is the tool for versatile precision and performance in a sophisticated package. “The Instinct models are my favorite and most used in the entire line,” says SCARPA athlete Sam Elias. “And though it’s called the Instinct VS, and is supposed to be an ‘Instinct,’ it’s truly a different shoe.”

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Ouray Ice Festival Recap Part 1: Sam Elias

Jan. 30th 2013

The Ouray Ice Festival took place January 10-13 in Ouray, Colorado. SCARPA athlete, Sam Elias, participated in the festival competition this year wearing the SCARPA Phantom Guides. Elias shared a few thoughts on competing and his experience at the festival.

The Ouray Ice Festival is the largest ice climbing event in North America. It is also the busiest few days of the winter for the small mountain town in southwestern Colorado. I love the town, and the festival is one of my favorite climbing events to be a part of. My first experience at the festival was for the difficulty competition, and it has been a source of sweetness and suffering for me ever since. In 2008, it was my second season ice and winter mixed climbing. It was incidentally my first climbing competition ever. I took 16th, and didn’t qualify for the finals. I had no expectations or thoughts about how I should do, and it was fun, but I knew I was strong and could be good at it. In 2009, I was not invited to compete. Unlike 2008, in 2009 there was no qualifier, only a final. So, you were either invited into the final, or not. I was still inexperienced and unaccomplished. I was invited into the final in 2010, and I had a very memorable performance. I ended up topping the route in a diving, buzzer beating finish with only 2 seconds left on the clock.

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Go East Young Man: Sam Elias explores a different kind of variation

Aug. 7th 2012

Broadening horizons can definitely have its benefits. Sam Elias knows this. The mixed climbing pro just got back from an Everest expedition, a major departure for an individual who normally makes bigger waves in ice climbing festivals and sport climbing test pieces. What’s more, he’s left the west for the summer and is currently living in New York City, training hard, but also embracing the lifestyle change to hopefully retain a broader sense of self. We had the chance to speak with him briefly before he went to work on the docks along the East River. This fall the SCARPA athlete heads back to Europe to reacquaint himself with the sharp end.

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Sam Elias reports from Everest base camp

May. 3rd 2012

Everest Base Camp - Sam Elias

Sam Elias and other SCARPA athletes are at Everest base camp gearing up for an expedition that has many parts including a scientific medical study, a historical Everest story, a geologic survey and an art project. Not to mention actually climbing Mt. Everest. Elias wrote in to tell us what it’s been like getting ready for the expedition, the challenges he has faced as a sport climber, as well as the gear he is using.

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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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Sneak Peek: Ouray Ice Festival, January 5-8

Dec. 20th 2011

The world’s first ice climbing park is celebrating its 15th anniversary this coming January. Ouray, Colorado was once a booming mining town, but now ice is the gold standard. With over 200 ice and mixed climbs, the Ouray Ice Park is one of the largest ice climbing meccas in North America. And this coming January 5-8th, climbers of all abilities will make their pilgrimage to southwestern Colorado in search of ice, camaraderie and glory.

Photo by Jack Brauer: MountainPhotographer.com

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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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