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Chicks Gear Review: ASOLO Jumla

 

Asolo Jumla

Climbing the Grand Teton is, in its true sense, a grand adventure.  The valley floor lies 7,000’ below its lofty summit of 13,776’.  A long, rocky trail winds its way steeply up the North Fork of Garnett Canyon before disappearing into a field of granite boulders. Above sit the sheer rock walls, guarding the summit.  Perseverance, courage, and nimbleness are required for this undertaking, not just of the human and her mind, but also, of her footwear.

The Asolo Jumla holds such qualities.  A precisely engineered women’s last connects the hiker’s foot to the mountain.  The sturdy Vibram sole sticks to the rock with confidence and can kick a fine step into the snow.  The suede uppers resist water, dust, and scree.  Extended lacing molds the boot snugly around the climber’s foot.  A micro-porous midsole and anti-shock heel insert brake the impact of her determined mountaineer’s stride.   The silver-lilac colors add a soft touch.  A fine companion on any grand adventure, the Jumla matches you step after step.

Written by: Karen Bockel, Chicks Co-Owner and Guide, who spends a lot of her summers on the Grand Teton

Asolo Scholarship Sets Stage for Strong Female Climbers

Written by: Kristen Kelliher

Thanks to Asolo’s generous support, two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a Chicks With Picks 3-day ice climbing clinic in Ouray, Colorado. Going into it, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had just been given the all clear by my orthopedist after having knee surgery in August and it was the first time on ice this season so I was a bit nervous. But, despite my reservations, I was stoked to get after it! On the first morning the psyche was high as we ate breakfast, distributed the ropes, and organized into teams. Giddy chatter easily carried us the twenty minutes to the park, before we split into groups based on skill level.

Kristen-@-Schoolroom-1I was fortunate to have a small group of three plus our guide, Kitty. This guide-to-client ratio is almost unprecedented in guided clinics, which allowed us to maximize our time on the ice and get specific, helpful feedback. Not only did she provide individual pointers, but also we got to see her in action! As a visual learner, it was extremely beneficial for me to watch how she would fluidly move up the ice so that I could attempt to emulate her body positioning or footwork. Not only did I experience this inspiring mentorship from someone as accomplished as Kitty, but because of the size and baseline knowledge of our group, the next two days we were tasked with helping set up the top ropes. This transition from mentorship to partnership was extremely gratifying and humbling at the same time.

Working as a team with the set up and climbing fostered a supportive and encouraging environment that enabled me to climb harder and with more confidence. Normally my climbing partners at home are almost exclusively male, which isn’t a bad thing; it’s just different. But climbing with these women over the three-day course was refreshing. Our camaraderie was based on support, not competition or trying to “out-do” each other. Regardless of how quickly we reached the top, or struggled through a crux, there was nothing but words of encouragement, compelling me to climb smarter and stronger. I firmly believe that this supportive network of women that Chicks fosters allowed me to tackle harder terrain and challenge myself mentally and physically.

The next two days allowed me to climb ice that’s much harder than I’ve done before – from pillars to rock to vertical faces that made my calves and forearms burn and shake. Belaying, spectating, and climbing with these women and Kitty was absolutely inspiring. It was an incredible whirlwind of a weekend that ended much too soon. I’m so thankful to Asolo for getting me out there and providing equipment and to Chicks for setting an example of what strong female climbers can accomplish.

Chicks Gear Review: Asolo 6B+ GV

Written by: Karen Bockel

The Asolo Women's 6B+ GV - Karen's go-to alpine boot.

The Asolo Women’s 6B+ GV – Karen’s go-to alpine boot.

If ice climbing in the Alpine is your thing, then look no further! The Asolo Women’s 6B+ GV is a rare boot that can do it all on a long adventure in the mountains.

With just enough rocker in the sole, as well as specific shock absorbing materials in the midsole, approaching the climb feels comfortable and easy on the feet. The boot soles grip well on rocky slopes, giving you a secure stance.  Most importantly, the Asolo 6B weighs in at a less then a kilo, these boots don’t slow you down, keeping you fresh and ready for the challenge.

When you arrive at the snow, fear not. These boots keep your feet warm and dry with Gore-Tex insulation.  The comfortable yet secure fit allows enough ankle flex to use perfect French Technique on steep snow and ice.  And then for the highlight, climbing pitch after pitch of vertical blue ice:  This is where the 6B+ really shines.  The rigid sole holds the crampons on securely, delivering great power when you are kicking your feet into the ice.  Snug lacing below the ankle and a women-specific last provide precision and efficiency, making every kick a score.  Bliss!  These are my boots of choice when I am walking to the dance.

Karen Bockel is an AMGA Certifies Rock and Ski Guide and a new proud owner of Chicks.

Karen enjoying ice in her Asolos!

Karen enjoying ice in her Asolos!