La Sportiva + The Highest Hundred

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My “Thank You!” list for the Tour of the Highest Hundred is competing with the list of mountains I have to summit for length, distance, and height – in other words, there’s a whole lot of people that are coming together to help me make this really amazing trip happen. I’m besides myself in appreciation for all the companies and individuals that are helping out in some way.

With that in mind, I’m happy to say that La Sportiva will be another company in my corner of the ring. Some history of the brand in my life:

Back in Connecticut, far away from mountains, and still in grade school as a weird + precocious young brat, my town’s Youth Services Department introduced everyone in the public school system to climbing and rappelling via the R.O.P.E. program. R.O.P.E was basically a part of the curriculum. If D.A.R.E. was obviously lame, R.O.P.E. was undeniably awesome.  From middle school onto high school, the good folks at Youth Services took us on climbing trips and gym visits. A few times a week, we could all climb!  Tom and Becky are two people at Youth Services that I remember quite vividly. Funny to think my tiny little colonial hometown can house such amazing influential people.

I used to use just my streets shoes or rentals to climb, but I finally bought my own pair of climbing shoes twenty years ago at Prime Climb in Connecticut when I was 16.  I think with the discount Prime Climb gave to the school-backed organization, I paid $60 for some La Sportivas. I come from a family that survived pretty lean, so purchases like this are made with much thought.

Who knows the model of these Sportivas – I call them Mytho-Mythos, but they had the old, “boot” logo on them, and they were WAY better than the rentals! And I felt WAY cool in them, as I scratched up the slimey 5.11’s in the humid indoor gym.

I brought my rock shoes along when I moved to Boulder for college, and then  even when I stopped climbing (because I guess college, and girls, and partying – so on),  I still kept them, not really knowing why…  but they seemed important to me and my life and how I identified myself.

When I started climbing again ten+ years later with new friends, I got these same climbing shoes resoled and started back at it. Climbing shoes have come a long way and my shoes were really beat up, but these shoes had a sense of familiarity to them that made me feel a little more comfortable on the wall.

So now, twenty years later, I’m really happy to announce – and a bit in disbelief,  that La Sportiva is helping out with the Tour of the Highest Hundred – I’ll be wearing the Mutant trail runner throughout the project, and wearing some of their running apparel to keep looking stylish.  Again, I couldn’t be any more thankful, excited, and happy. I’m not really sure if I’d be able to do this project without their support, and definitely without the combined support of companies like La Sportiva. Clutch move!

My second pair of La Sportivas were ones I bought for my Tour 14er project in 2014 – a pair of La Sportiva C-Lite 2.0’s.  I had gone through about 3 other pairs of shoes in the project – shoes seemed to be just evaporating under my soles! Finally, in Leadville, I picked these shoes up – a revelation. The whole shoe was just built way better than my previous pairs. They survived till the end after finishing off the Sawatch, Tenmile, Mosquito, and Front Range 4 – and then some:  I was happily running into them after my project. I guess it goes to show you that quality is pretty damn important for audacious projects, and you better go with something that’s going to survive YOU.

The Mutant shares a lot of similarities to the C Lite 2 – most notably a similar out sole of chunky burliness. I’m stoked!

Of course, I had to pick up the gear – and what better excuse than to try to ride it all home on a bike!

Lucky for me, the North American warehouse for La Sportiva is a few miles away, and I had the help of Jeremy who runs the factory outlet store to help with loading the beast of burden up!

Got home just fine – with a stop first of course: to do some climbing!

Thanks, La Sportiva and the great people at La Sportiva NA!

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