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What is it that prompts us to embark on a mountaineering expedition? Sometimes, all it takes is a friend telling us about their trip, an article in a magazine, or a photo that we come across in some book or other. That sows the seed of the dream, it steadily grows and, as soon as the opportunity presents itself, we set off to discover how to make it a reality. The mountaineer is enthralled by that mountain, so far away yet so beautiful in its simplicity that it justifies a trip to the other side of the world. Of course, traveling is a great excuse to discover a different culture, visit far-flung countries and meet new people, but those who set off armed with crampons and ice picks usually make their way around the world in search of incredible cliff faces and peaks. That, however, is not always the case: this time, Mathieu Maynadier’s intention on his visit to Pakistan a few months ago was to bring the local population a little closer to skiing, both as a sport and as a means of transport. We got in touch with Mathieu to ask him what prompted this journey and how a star mountaineer like him felt about dedicating his time and hard work to others rather than sinking them into his personal projects.
Hi Mathieu! Could you tell us why you decided to embark on this unusual ‘expedition’?
“This trip was organized by Zom Connection, an association set up by Julien Herry, a French snowboarder. The first time I visited the Hunza region of Pakistan was to ski - actually, with Julien - many years ago. After that, I returned to Pakistan seven more times, mainly for classic mountaineering expeditions (Latok twice, Gasherbrum twice, climbing in the Khondus area, etc.).
I can’t deny it: most of the trips I’ve taken have been for my personal mountaineering goals, all selfishly focused on me and my plans. But it had always crossed my mind that we mountaineers should somehow help the Pakistani people to enjoy the tourism that is so closely linked to their mountains and their lives.
This year, my eyes were really opened to just how limited these people’s access to mountain sports is. From now on, I want to do something for them after every one of my trips: this summer, for example, after my expedition to Hunza, I’ll be sticking around for a few extra weeks bolting crags and teaching the locals how to climb.”
Whose idea was this trip originally?
“The initial idea came from Julien Herry - though we call him ‘Pica’ - whom I mentioned earlier. A few years ago, Pica had an accident whilst he was snowboarding in the Pakistani region of Hunza. Whilst he was being treated in Islamabad, he met a few local skiers who were interested in getting to know him and having some sort of cultural exchange. Pica was also contacted by the Hindu Kush ski club, which promotes winter sports in the Chitral area. So they asked us to share our expertise and experience with them and invited us to Madaklasht…
Madaklasht is a tiny village a million miles from everything which the English used to visit in the 1930s as a sort of early ski resort. Since then, the locals have become more curious and enthusiastic about this new sport, and started building wooden skis for themselves. When they heard that some French people had come to Pakistan to ski, they immediately got in touch with Pica and asked him to visit their village and be part of their ski and snowboard festival. Pica asked me to come along and… the rest is history! The trip was already half organized!”
So what would you say the main objective of this trip was?
“We wanted to offer the local population an excuse to have fun and show them the ropes! We brought plenty of ski gear because we wanted to make sure we could make the sport accessible to all the people of Madaklast. So we set up a storage centre of sorts and took on a few guys to manage it. Then came the time to train these aspiring skiers in safety and technique, as well as how to maintain the equipment.”
What kind of feedback did you get from the people of Madaklast?
I would say it was very positive, although I must admit that the cultural differences were a little difficult to negotiate at times. Nonetheless, the interest that the people showed in what we were doing and the way they welcomed us and took care of us said more than any feedback ever could. We were all on the same wavelength and managed to strike up a really wonderful bond. They’ve been sending us messages and photos every day since we came back to Europe. I think that’s proof of their gratitude and how much they appreciated our visit and the hard work we put in for them.”
Are you thinking of going back there in the future, then?
“Absolutely! I’d like to work on promoting vertical sports of all kinds: rock climbing this summer and ice climbing next January. After that, I hope to get another opportunity to ski with the people of Madaklast in the next few years and see how things have progressed since we laid the groundwork on this past trip.”
How did it make you feel as compared with a normal expedition?
“It was something else entirely! This trip was definitely the most emotional one I’ve ever had, just filled with human relationships. During an expedition, everything happens so quickly, and you have to keep your eyes on the prize at all times - it’s tough to really make room for anything else. But this time, we spent two weeks with the local population, living as they do, together with them. The warmth with which they welcomed us and the passion that they pour into everything they do were incredible. It was also a unique experience for me to see how the people in those remote villages live through the winter season, with all the associated problems and complications that we often don’t think twice about.”
What was it like coming home afterwards?
“I was absolutely wrecked, completely drained - 8000m peaks aren’t a patch on a trip like that. The trip was far more enriching and intense than I could ever have imagined. These kinds of experiences make you reconsider what you’re doing with your life, what your purpose is on this earth, what you want to achieve and why…”.
Last updated 12 October 2018. Effective immediately.
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15. LIMITED WARRANTY: PRODUCTS. SCARPA products are warranted to the original retail purchaser to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for one year from the original date of purchase. Warranties for non-SCARPA products, that is products sold by SCARPA but manufactured by other manufacturers (by way of example, products manufactured by Koflach or Rottefella), may be different. Check the materials that come with the non-SCARPA products and that manufacturer’s website for information about their warranties. If you purchase a SCARPA product from any SCARPA Websites that you believe is defective, return the product to us pursuant to the SCARPA Return Policy and include your receipt and proof of purchase showing the purchase date. SCARPA will repair or replace the product at our sole discretion. If SCARPA determines that there is no warranty issue with the returned product, the product will be returned to you with a note of explanation. SCARPA’S LIABILITY UNDER THIS LIMITED WARRANTY IS EXPLICITLY LIMITED SOLELY TO SUCH REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT. UPON EXPIRATION OF THE WARRANTY PERIOD, SCARPA SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY UNDER THIS LIMITED WARRANTY OR OTHERWISE. THE FOLLOWING ARE EXPLICITLY EXCLUDED AND NOT COVERED BY THIS LIMITED WARRANTY: (1) DAMAGES DUE TO NORMAL USE AND WEAR; (2) DAMAGES DUE TO ABUSE OR ACCIDENTS; (3) SCARPA PRODUCTS THAT HAVE BEEN RESOLED OR IN ANY WAY MODIFIED; AND (4) THE FIT OF ANY SCARPA PRODUCT. THIS LIMITED WARRANTY IS IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, and except as otherwise specified above, SCARPA MAKES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR ANY WARRANTY AS TO THE DESIGN, CONDITION OR QUALITY OF MATERIALS AND WORKMANSHIP TO THE PURCHASER OF THE GOODS AND/OR ANY OTHER PERSON WHATSOEVER. NOTHING CONTAINED IN THE FOREGOING SENTENCE IS INTENDED TO RELEASE THE SELLER FROM LIABILITY FOR ORDINARY DAMAGES FOR PROVEN PRODUCT LIABILITY CLAIMS.
Please note that certain state laws do not allow limitations on implied warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain damages. If you are a resident of such a state and these laws apply to you, some or all of the above disclaimers, exclusions, or limitations may not apply to you, and you may have additional rights.
16. Reserved Rights. SCARPA reserves the right to do any of the following, for any reason, at any time, without notice: (1) to modify, suspend or terminate operation of or access to the Websites, or any portion of the Websites; (2) to modify or change the Websites, or any portion of the Websites, and any applicable policies or terms; (3) to interrupt the operation of the Websites, or any portion of the Websites, as necessary to perform routine or non-routine maintenance, error correction, or other changes; and (4) discontinue or restrict your use of the Websites.
17. WARNING: SKIING, CLIMBING, MOUNTAINEERING, TRAIL RUNNING, HIKING, WALKING, AND RELATED ACTIVITIES, ARE POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATENING, HAZARDOUS, AND DANGEROUS. By purchasing or using any SCARPA equipment in any manner, you agree that you are: (1) personally and solely responsible for: (a) learning and knowing the limits and capabilities of the equipment and yourself, (b) the proper use of and techniques for such equipment, (c) making responsible, sound decisions in changing situations, and (2) assuming all risks and accepting full and complete responsibility for any and all damages and injury of any kind to yourself or others, including death, paralysis, and serious injury, which may result from or is related to your use of any equipment manufactured by or purchased through SCARPA, its partners, Websites, or retailers. In addition, YOU AGREE TO ASSUME ALL RISKS AND ACCEPT FULL AND COMPLETE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY AND ALL DAMAGES AND INJURY OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING DEATH, PARALYSIS, AND SERIOUS INJURY, WHICH MAY RESULT FROM OR IS RELATED TO YOUR USE OF OR RELIANCE UPON ANY MATERIALS OR INFORMATION PRODUCED BY SCARPA, ITS PARTNERS, AND/OR THAT IS CONTAINED IN ANY SCARPA WEBSITES, CATALOGS, PUBLICATIONS, OR OTHER SCARPA MATERIALS. Resources like the SCARPA Websites and publications can provide useful information and tips, but they are no substitute for good decision making, safe and appropriate use of equipment, or professional instruction for the numerous hazardous situations in which you may choose to use SCARPA products.
18. Disclosure of Your Information. You agree and SCARPA reserves the right at all times and without further notice to disclose any information that SCARPA deems necessary to comply with any applicable law, regulation, administrative or legal process or governmental request. SCARPA also may disclose your information when SCARPA determines that applicable law requires or permits such disclosure, including exchanging information with other companies and organizations for fraud protection purposes. You agree that SCARPA may disclose any information we have about you (including your identity) if SCARPA determines that such disclosure is necessary in connection with any investigation or complaint regarding your use of the Websites, or to identify, contact or bring legal action against someone who may be causing injury to or interference with, either intentionally or unintentionally, the Websites, SCARPA’s rights or property, or the rights or property of the Websites’ users, including SCARPA’s customers. You acknowledge and agree that SCARPA may preserve any transmittal or communication by you, including emails, through the Websites or any service offered on or through the Websites, and may also disclose such data if required to do so by law or SCARPA determines that such preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to (1) comply with legal process, (2) enforce these Terms, (3) respond to claims that any such data violates the rights of others, and/or (4) protect the rights, property or personal safety of SCARPA, its employees, users of or visitors to the Websites, and the public.
19. Indemnity. YOU AGREE TO DEFEND, INDEMNIFY AND HOLD SCARPA, ITS SUCCESSORS, AND ASSIGNS, AND ITS AND THEIR DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, CO-BRANDERS OR OTHER PARTNERS, HARMLESS FROM ANY DEMANDS, DAMAGES, LOSS, LIABILITY, CLAIMS OR EXPENSES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND JUDGMENTS OF ANY KIND OR NATURE), MADE AGAINST OR INCURRED BY SCARPA BY YOU, ANY PERSON OR ENTITY ACTING ON YOUR BEHALF, AND/OR ANY THIRD PARTY RELATED TO, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR IMPROPER USE OF THE WEBSITES, YOUR BREACH OF ANY OF THESE TERMS, AND/OR ANY OTHER VIOLATION BY YOU THAT CREATES LIABILITY FOR SCARPA. This provision may be unenforceable or inapplicable within the State of New Jersey.
20. Applicable Law; Dispute Resolution; Arbitration; Class Action Waiver; Miscellaneous Provisions. By visiting or using any SCARPA Websites, you agree that:
(1) All matters relating to these Terms, and/or your access to or use of the Websites, including all disputes, will be governed by the laws of the United States and by the laws of the State of Colorado without regard to its conflicts of laws provisions.
(2) In the event of any controversy or dispute between SCARPA and you arising out of or in connection with these Terms and/or your use of the Websites, SCARPA and you shall attempt, promptly and in good faith, to resolve any such dispute. If we are unable to resolve any such dispute within thirty (30) days, then either party may request that such controversy or dispute be mediated. The mediation may be conducted in person, through the submission of documents, by phone or online. If conducted in person, the mediation shall take place in Boulder, Colorado. If the dispute is not resolved through mediation within a reasonable time (not to exceed sixty (60) days from the mediation request), then the parties shall be free to pursue any right or remedy available to them under applicable law through binding arbitration as described below.
(3) BINDING ARBITRATION: In the event of any dispute arising under or relating to these Terms your access to or use of the Websites (including products or services sold or distributed by SCARPA through SCARPA Websites), such dispute will be finally and exclusively resolved by binding arbitration. NEITHER YOU NOR WE SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO LITIGATE ANY CLAIM IN COURT OR TO HAVE THE CLAIM DECIDED BY A JUDGE OR JURY. DISCOVERY RIGHTS, SUCH AS EACH PARTY'S RIGHT TO THE EXCHANGE OF PREHEARING INFORMATION OR PREHEARING TAKING OF SWORN TESTIMONY, MAY ALSO BE LIMITED IN ARBITRATION. All disputes will be resolved before a neutral arbitrator, whose decision will be final except for a limited right of appeal under the Federal Arbitration Act. The arbitration shall be commenced and conducted under the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and, where appropriate, the AAA’s Consumer Arbitration Rules, both of which are available at the AAA website www.adr.org. The arbitration may be conducted in person, through the submission of documents, by phone or online. If conducted in person, the arbitration shall take place in Boulder, Colorado. The parties may litigate in court to compel arbitration, to stay proceeding pending arbitration, or to confirm, modify, vacate or enter judgment on the award entered by the arbitrator. The Federal Arbitration Act and federal arbitration law apply to these Terms.
(4) CLASS ACTION WAIVER: Any arbitration or proceeding shall be limited to the dispute between us and you individually. To the full extent permitted by law, (a) no arbitration or proceeding shall be joined with any other; (b) there shall be no right or authority for any dispute to be arbitrated or resolved on a class action-basis or to utilize class action procedures; and (c) there shall be no right or authority for any dispute to be brought in a purported representative capacity on behalf of the general public or any other persons. YOU AGREE THAT YOU MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST US ONLY IN YOUR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING.
(5) You hereby irrevocably waive, to the fullest extent permitted by law, (a) any objection that you may now or hereafter have to such jurisdiction and venue and (b) any claim that any such arbitration proceeding has been brought in an inconvenient forum. Note that the preceding provision regarding venue may not apply if you are a consumer based in the European Union, however, in all cases, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods shall not apply in any dispute arising out of or related to these Terms;
(6) Any and all claims arising out of or related to these Terms must be brought by you within one (1) year after the cause of action arises, or such claim or cause of action is forever and irrevocably barred. Claims made under the separate terms and conditions of purchase for goods and services are not subject to this limitation.
(7) No recovery may be sought or received by you against SCARPA for damages other than your out-of-pocket expenses, excluding attorney fees.
(8) A printed version of these Terms and of any notice given in electronic form shall be admissible in any mediation or arbitration proceeding based upon or relating to these Terms to the same extent and subject to the same conditions as other business documents and records originally generated and maintained in printed form. All headings in these Terms are for convenience or reference only and shall be ignored in construing these Terms.
(9) SCARPA’s failure to enforce all or any part of these Terms or respond to a breach thereof by you or any other party shall not in any way be construed as a waiver or a relinquishment of any right granted SCARPA hereunder of the future performance of all or any part of these Terms, and your obligations set forth in these Terms shall continue in full force and effect.
(10) If any provision in these Terms is held invalid or unenforceable under applicable law, the invalid or unenforceable provision will be modified to the minimum extent necessary and deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that most closely matches the intent of the original provision and the remaining provisions of these Terms will continue in full force and effect.
(11) These Terms contain the entire and final agreement regarding SCARPA Websites and their Content, and supersede any prior or contemporaneous communications between you and SCARPA regarding the Websites.
(12) Any offer for any feature, product or service made on the Websites is void where prohibited. If you choose to access the Websites from outside the U.S., you are solely responsible for complying with applicable U.S. and local laws. Although the Websites may be accessible worldwide, not all products or features provided or offered through the Websites are available in all geographic locations, or available (legally or otherwise) for use outside of the U.S. SCARPA reserves the right to limit, in its sole discretion, the provision and quantity of any product or feature shown on the Websites to any person or geographic area.
(13) All rights not explicitly granted in these Terms are hereby reserved by SCARPA.
(14) By continuing to use the SCARPA Websites, you hereby agree and intend to be bound by these Terms.
SCARPA North America, Inc. (“SCARPA”) appreciates the difficulties that individuals with disabilities face and has supported disabled athletes and groups for many years. SCARPA strives to comply with all applicable laws and guidelines so that our website is accessible to individuals with disabilities, including W3C’s WCAG 2.1 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) accessibility standards up to Level AA.
SCARPA has taken and continues to take a variety of steps to ensure the accessibility of our website. The site is built to comply with WCAG 2.1 accessibility guidelines, including media content tagged with titles, alternative text, and descriptive information, and font sizing is supported and may be controlled through the browser.
If you experience any difficulty using or accessing any part of this website, please call us at 303.998.2895 or email us at [email protected] and we will work with you to ensure that you have full access to the information in which you are interested and which is available to the public on our site, and can purchase our products, if desired.
Please contact us at 303.998.2895 or [email protected] if you have any feedback to share about the accessibility of this website.