Scarpa North America Blog

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The Other Side of Risk: Yosemite Search and Rescue

Jun. 24th 2015

Words and Photos By Cheyne Lempe

Do you ever wonder what happens to all those close calls after they dissolve and effortlessly and float away? Maybe you have heard stories and harrowing tales of near misses while sitting around a campfire. Though the percentage is low, the truth is this: once in a while those near misses and close calls become a life altering accident. Unfortunately, those freaky “once in a while” events happen more frequently than you would comfortably like to know about. During the past few years of working on the Yosemite Search and Rescue team, I’ve experienced what happens on the other side of risk.

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The Best Climbing Gear for Trad and Alpine Routes

Jun. 24th 2015

Last August, SCARPA athlete Shingo Ohkawa spent month in search of first descents on the classic vertical walls of Wyoming’s spectacular Wind River Range. While he and his partners horsepacked in to base camp, it was all human-powered effort from there. Long days on approach and even longer days in a harness and climbing shoes allowed Shingo to really abuse the best SCARPA has to offer for this style of climbing. While an unseasonably wet and cold August shut them out of many of his objectives, he still came back with some glowing reviews. These are the SCARPA shoes that got him too the wall and up it, including an FA on the West Face of Helen’s Tower 1.

Wind River Range Vista
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Techno-cal Climbing In The North Cascades

Jun. 10th 2014

Seasoned climber and writer Blake Herrington took time to tell us about his experiences climbing at Washington Pass and what the area means to him.

I was a 19-year-old student when I first climbed at Washington Pass, an area of steep granite spires in Washington’s North Cascades. I was carless and had found a partner (primary qualification: own a car) through a climbing website. I remember fretting over potential temperatures and snow conditions, and I still recall the first route I did – an 800-foot 5.8 on the highest spire in the Liberty Bell group. I repeated this route, with some 5.10 variations, as a “date” with my now wife, Allison. In the last nine years I have climbed abroad and returned to Washington Pass dozens of times, banking up a list of memories, completing new routes, and bailing amid dead ends and storms. I’ve learned about my abilities and my skills as a partner, making Washington Pass a great yardstick to return to and measure myself against.

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