It is safe to say my summer missions spent searching for that 200 foot patch of Colorado slush snow are a done deal. Visions of waist deep untracked powder have faded almost completely as I find my bike shorts covered in mud instead of my trusty Scarpa Rush boots exhibiting signs of snow starvation. My Landcruiser has transitioned from transporting hunks of P-Tex to greasy bike gear, battered helmets, and countless worn out tires.
Sadly I have not found that Aspen cougar to fund my summer ski trip to Chile and Lou’s fiscal budget is locked in to supply his daily intake of Beluga caviar and imported Austrian beer. The ski stuff is packed away till winter. Maybe I can make it a year round ski year next year…
Scarpa’s 3-buckle boot offering, the Rush, in California-ticket-me-for-speeding-yellow had become a trusty boot for my escapades this past winter. I had fifty-plus days in them from chasing caffeine fueled groms whilst teaching skiing at the resorts (in & out of walk-mode) to making thousands of up and down vert in the White River National Forest.
The Scarpa Rush offered me a lightweight, moderately stiff, comfortable, and dependable boot day after day this season. Lee previously reviewed them and broke down the tech side here on Wildsnow.com, but this is our first “long term” report. Thus, I’ll skip the technical details and focus on what I loved about the boots, and what I didn’t.
Scarpa backcountry ski boots come with thermo liners made by Intuition. These are good liners, but for some reason It takes me two tries to get any thermo liner totally right. I wanted a performance fit, so we cranked down the shell buckles while molding to reduce volume.
I don’t necessarily have an Asian small volume flat foot similar to Lee’s but a narrow larger foot (30.0) (far from the golden gear tester size (27.5)). Having no arch whatsoever I found I had to pull out all stops possible, in order to snug up to where I felt confident getting a fit good enough for charging.
When the time came to tour or simply dial things way down (for the kiddies) the walk/tour mode activated, buckles set to their loosest, the feeling was sublime. Spending a majority of time running around after kids whilst having the ski train behind me fall apart in the occasional adolescent yard-sale I got to treasure my ability to sprint uphill in a hurry. If I could get to that wreck quicker without melting through my uniform, in gallons of sweat, I considered it a win. My heel stayed planted within the boot and lightweight nirvana took over. As Lee likes to say you can finally reach “samadhi” after touring with the Rush’s. I’d include grommet chasing in that equation.
I used these boots on everything from Black Diamond Megawatt’s to La Sportiva Hi-5’s to my 189 Praxis alpine mounted powder skis all the way down to my 140 K2’s for teaching “Never Ever’s.” Overpowering them would be an understatement on a few occasions. Sometimes I felt like I could have pressed my knees to my toes in wet, bumpy, or crusty snow. But the Rush backcountry skiing boots still functioned, and once the snow was more on the normal side they excelled.
No buckle issues with the Rush. I did notice wear on the liner from buckle fasteners. As well as a slight squeak developed in the tour bar (above the anodized linkage).
Influence is powerful when your wearing a name tag; something I noticed more and more as this winter progressed. When the season began, just a few of us instructors were using AT boots. By the end of the season, what was once a sea of 4-buckle Powerstrap wearing gurus of glisse had slowly transitioned over to lightweight setups. Noticeably I wasn’t the only California-yellow booted guy showing up at 7:30AM.
Yes, the Rush is not built for the resort hard charging skier who favors challenging terrain. They’re for the lightweight geared backcountry skier who seeks blower pow while exhibiting superior technique. Nonetheless, for the price, available stiffness, light weight, and incredible ankle motion the Rush backcountry skiing boot can’t be beat as a crossover.
Joseph Risi was raised on pasta and meatballs in the “backwoods” of Long Island before seeking higher education in the mountains of Vermont. Always looking for adventure, building treehouses, working too many odd jobs around the world he now lives in the Aspen area of Colorado.