Having been fortunate to be a part of the Outdoor Industry for over 30 years, I’ve experienced many magical days, one of them quite recent.
It all started with a phone call from my dear friend, Lisa Dawson, the queen of the WildSnow chicks.
“Hey Julie, would you be interested in representing WildSnow on a SCARPA/G3 demo trip?”
Of course my response was, “I’m in! Any chance MK can come along?”
After a blower day of skiing in our own backyard, we headed off to Salt Lake. Excited, we checked into the hotel, no doubt glamorous by Kennedy standards, only to be greeted by the most genuinely enthusiastic and helpful SCARPA and G3 marketing/sales teams. SCARPA’s new touring boots, the F1, and their freeride boots, the Freedoms, were ready for molding.
Once our boots were ready to rock, the G3 boys made final adjustments to the G3 Ions on our test skis. Then dinner and a wonderful evening of conversation with new and old outdoor industry friends, before we said farewells in anticipation of an early start for an adventure in the Uinta alpine.
Greeted by the Park City Powder Cats & Heli Ski guides, Shaun and Chris, we were off. Twelve of us comfortably relaxing in the snow cat, paying tribute to David Bowie, distracted by the blue bird visuals of the terrain -– energy was at an all time high. I was psyched, but felt a bit anxious with all-new equipment. I settled into an attitude of whatever, just enjoy the ride.
I started the day sporting SCARPA’s freeride boot, the Freedom 120 SL and G3’s big mountain backcountry ski, the Empire Carbon. Gazing at a perfect line of twelve hundred feet of boot top to knee-deep delight, I dropped in.
Wow, what a feeling to be skiing in real ski boots after a long hiatus, having only skied in lightweight AT boots for the past several years. SCARPA’s Freedoms are no doubt the real deal — full on rocket ships! They are perhaps the most receptive, articulate alpine/AT boot I’ve ever experienced. The Freedoms provided precise edge control to the ski. Being that I jumped on G3’s big mountain ski, the Empire, in a burly 175 cm in length, the Freedoms delivered with confidence.
Skiing on G3’s Empire with the Ion AT binding was an awesome ride. Absolutely zero chatter underfoot with the smoothest initiation from turn to turn. I never had to think about setting up for my next turn or even begin to question the reliability of my release. Even when those unexpected moments navigating either a wind or sun crust kept it all-real.
As the sun was setting to the west and a cold January sky was upon us, we enjoyed the last long runs down Big Kahuna and Cowboy West, only to say that my expectations were far exceeded.
It was a day I’ll always remember in the mountains, sharing good times with special friends. A grateful thank you to Kim Miller with SCARPA and John Pieper with G3 for a magical time in the Uinta’s, and for the good gear I skied it on.
Specs for SCARPA’s Freedom 120 SL for women:
Available sizes: 21.5-27
Stated weight (size 25, one boot), 1658g, 3lbs 11oz
Shell, cuff: Pebax, Carbon, Polyamid
Forward lean, 10-18 degrees
Range of motion, 27 degrees
Specs for G3 Empire:
Available lengths, 170, 175, 180, 185, 190
Stated weight (175cm, single), 3lb 12 oz
(Guest blogger, Julie Kennedy, former owner of Climbing Magazine, founder of the 5Point Film Festival and terrific skier — WildSnow Über Girl!)