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Scarpa Maestrale Review Update 1

February 22, 2011

After my recent trip to Alagna I figured I should update my initial Scarpa Maestrale thoughts with some new disappointing ones……

See original post here – Scarpa Maestrale Review/Thoughts

While I still like the boots for touring I’m starting to think the cuff is a bit short for days when you aren’t putting in all the work on the way up. I also had a scare when a screw popped loose potentially ruining an already below par ski weekend. I will post about Alagna later this week once I gather all the crappy photos we took.

First the cuff height. Europe is littered with lifts in all different directions serving the some of the most easily accessible steep skiing North American backcountry skiers only dream of. What that tends to mean is that instead of long skin approaches like in Rogers Pass (BC) you’re hitting the vertical assistance machine (ie. Something made by Doppelmayr) then a long chopped up traverse before reaching your designated couloir, bowl, rappel spot etc. I’m finding the cuff height on the boots too low to be properly supportive on those long traverses and after a few laps of various spots and my feet having to compensate all the time the foot discomfort can be very high. It could be a footbed problem (although I do have custom insoles) or perhaps the boots haven’t broken in yet but something tells me the short cuff has something to do with it. So I can only echo my previous thoughts, great for skinning up, great for skiing down, fucking awful for standing and traversing around.

Now more importantly… I had a bolt pop off my buckle this weekend which almost left me without any functioning footwear. Fortunately I was saved by a nice swede from the village repair shop who cut a screw and fitted it with some locktite to my boot. If I was in a backcountry hut I would have been…. well… screwed (awful I know). The screw in question is for attaching the black strap buckle (see photos) to the cuff. When it falls out you better hope your buckle stays with the black strap  (I was fortunate) or not only will you be out a screw but you will then be stuck ordering replacement parts from Scarpa as well. A relatively shit scenario.

New screw on the left, Scarpa original on the right…..

New Screw… a crude fix but effective.

My suggestion if you’re contemplating a purchase of these (or already have them) is to make sure everything is tight before setting out and always carry the tools with you. Now back to praying for snow….. something British Columbia never seems to be short of but Europe could always use.

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