BOULDER, Colo. (February 20, 2020) – Ahead of a momentous year in climbing, during which the sport will reach a wider audience than ever as it becomes part of the Olympics, SCARPA is adding five athletes that bring a range of world-class skills and fresh perspectives to the the brand’s climber roster. New ambassadors for SCARPA, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of footwear for climbers, include Isabelle Faus, Nathaniel Coleman, Nikki Smith, Nina Williams and Sean Bailey.
Each with a diverse background and a range of different experiences in climbing, this group also has a few things in common: they are all pushing boundaries within the sport as well as themselves.
“By supporting climbers with diverse goals and backgrounds, SCARPA hopes to inspire and grow the climbing community, while seeing what is truly possible in the sport,” said Stefanie Kamm, athlete manager for SCARPA North America. “Whether it’s bouldering V14, competing in the Olympics, building a more inclusive and diverse climbing community, developing new climbing areas or first ascents around the world, these athletes have demonstrated a commitment to the sport. We’re proud to welcome Isabelle, Nathaniel, Nikki, Nina and Sean to the family.”
Launching into climbing at 10 years old, Isabelle lived in Chicago, trained in the gym and began competition climbing. At age 15, she started devoting more time to climbing outside. After moving to Chattanooga to live with a friend, her obsession with climbing outside really took off. By the time she was 20, she had moved to Colorado and was climbing outside exclusively. She has climbed 58 V11s, 39 V12s, 23 V13s, and three V14s, and has also spent a huge amount of time developing boulders and climbing areas in Colorado, Europe, and South Africa.
- Favorite shoe: Instinct VSR
- What Isabelle brings to SCARPA: “We love that Isabelle’s drive to improve comes from her genuine love for the sport,” Kamm said. “She is a fierce female athlete and we are proud to support someone with such hard work and dedication to the sport of climbing.”
The first North American male climber to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics later this year, Nathaniel was born and raised in Murray, Utah, about 15 minutes south of downtown Salt Lake City. He grew up playing everything from football to soccer. At age 9, he found climbing through an indoor gym and quickly joined the competition team. By the time he was 11, climbing was his sole athletic focus. Competition and outdoor climbing have taken him to many international climbing destinations and today international competition is his motivation.
- Favorite shoe: Instinct VSR
- What Nathaniel brings to SCARPA: “Nathaniel thrives in the climbing competition scene, and his powerful strength and endurance in climbing has earned him much success,” Kamm said. “His ambition and personal values align perfectly with ours.”
Nikki is a photographer, artist, writer, guidebook author, and climber based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She started climbing in the early 90s, and has authored five climbing guidebooks with more on the way. She’s also written numerous feature articles for climbing magazines. Nikki has put up more than 150 first ascents throughout the west and traveled the world to climb. Now, much of her work is focused on trying to build a more inclusive, diverse, and safe community within climbing and the outdoors. She is an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and a Board Member for the Access Fund.
- Favorite shoe: Phantom Tech
- What Nikki brings to SCARPA: “Nikki’s contribution is not limited to one sport, category or field,” Kamm said. “She already contributes so much to this community through her athletic endeavors and advocacy for inclusion. We’re honored to have her represent SCARPA and excited to see how she continues to change the world.”
After starting climbing at 12 years old, Nina focused on competition into her early 20s before moving West and into outdoor climbing. She honed her outdoor resume by traveling to world-class climbing areas in the U.S., Switzerland, South Africa, Australia, and Brazil. After accomplishing bouldering grades upwards of V13, she shifted her attention towards the mental style of the sport. She has bouldered 30- to 50-foot formations such as Evilution Direct (V11), Ambrosia (V11) and Too Big to Flail (V10) in Bishop, CA. She has also expanded into traditional climbing after her first visit to Yosemite, testing herself on The Final Frontier (5.13b) on Fifi Buttress and Father Time (5.13b) on Middle Cathedral.
- Favorite shoe: Instinct SR
- What Nina brings to SCARPA: “Nina not only has incredible physical strength, her mental toughness to tackle some of the world’s tallest boulder problems is second to none,” Kamm said. “Nina’s skills beyond climbing, such as her story telling ability and devotion to coaching, bring so much to SCARPA.”
For most of Sean’s life, climbing has been his outlet to learn about himself, experience the world, and give back to others. He has put everything he’s had into his passion for climbing and he’s excited to see where it will continue to take him. For the past several years, Sean’s split his time between sport-climbing projects and the World Cup Circuit. It’s Yin and Yang – when he’s outdoors, he gets to hang with like-minded people and track his progress on stone. When he competes, he gets to test his execution in a high-pressure environment.
- Favorite shoe: Drago
- What Sean brings to SCARPA: Sean is an incredibly strong and successful competitive climbing athlete with a passion for climbing hard outside,” Kamm said. “ His dedication to pursuing his passion is inspiring and his voice is honest and refreshing … all qualities we love to support.”
About SCARPA and SCARPA North America
Founded in 1938, SCARPA builds performance footwear for climbing, hiking, skiing, mountaineering, trail running and other outdoor pursuits from its headquarters in Asolo, Italy. SCARPA has been owned and operated by the Parisotto family since 1956. In 2005, SCARPA opened its North American headquarters in Boulder, Colo., staffed and directed by veterans of the North American outdoor industry, to oversee sales, marketing and distribution in the U.S., Canada and South America. For more information about SCARPA footwear, visit www.scarpa.com.