You write The Vanguard Experience, you read pure passion: a unique ski mountaineering experience, aimed at sharing with you our love for the mountains by connecting three exclusive locations in the Alps – Courmayeur, Pozza di Fassa and Cortina – through excursions in the company of Local Alpine guides, field testing Vanguard boots and winding up with an aperitif: this is the menu offered by La Sportiva, which has always been in the forefront when it comes to new trends in getting from place to place in the mountains, encouraging enthusiasm for life in the great outdoors.
The Vanguard Experience is back for the second consecutive year but with a new look, slightly different format and proposing a more dynamic and user-friendly adventure, as before, open to the public and completely free, during which the participants - who can sign up by directly contacting the single-brand store – have the opportunity to try out Vanguard's innovative, free touring boots during a ski outing including ascent and descent in fresh snow.
“We are offering The Vanguard Experience once again because we believe this format is a perfect match for our philosophy of mountain experience, says Alessandro Tedoldi, La Sportiva Athletes & Sponsorship Specialist . We want to enable people to use our products in ideal conditions, for example, during a pleasant hike with friends, accompanied by an Alpine Guide and by our technicians, who work continuously to develop and improve our products and who know all there is to know about them, better than anyone else”.
For instance, for the second leg of the Vanguard Experience, which took place on Sunday 12 February, the participants met at the La Sportiva Store in Pozza di Fassa, where the boots were distributed and the skis adjusted. The group, made up of customers, staff and Alpine Guides, headed out from the shop towards the parking lot of the Catinaccio ski lifts where, before leaving for the trip, the Alpine Guides gave a safety briefing and the avalanche transceiver was tested. Two chairlift rides later, the tour finally began, deep in the extraordinary panorama of the Dolomites - which take their name from the French naturalist, Déodat de Dolomieu (1750-1801). He was the first to study the geology of the region, which has been declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site for Humanity. Presiding over the tour was Antonio Bonet, an Alpine Guide of the Val di Fassa, who enlivened the day with his enthusiasm, acting as a guide to the group throughout a wonderful, sunny day and offering a series of anecdotes about the morphology of the area and the surrounding mountains. The trip included a view of the Vajolet Towers, a set of peaks in the middle of the Rosengarten group. “Although the Stabeler Tower, the Winkler Tower and the Delago Tower are the best-known, there are actually six Vajolet Towers. Winkler is the most pointed ”, Antonio told the participants, also drawing their attention to Punta Emma, set apart from the Rosengarten Group. It takes its name from Emma Dellagiacoma, the first to climb this peak in 1899 together with Tita Piaz, also known as ' The Devil of the Dolomites' .
The unusual snow conditions were ideal for putting the Vanguard boots to the test in a challenging situation. After some advice from Toni on how best to tackle the descent, the group reached the Gardeccia refuge for a break, and then continued through the last stretch on piste, an excellent opportunity to test the Vanguard boots under different conditions. Back at the shop, the participants received detailed information about the product from the Alpine Guide and La Sportiva Product Specialist, Axel Haas, and provided their opinions and feedback. A wonderful day was then rounded off with an aperitif. An unforgettable adventure that will stay with participants forever, a day of high emotion, laughter and new friendships: in short, the Vanguard Experience.
Focus Vanguard: Free the Future.
Axel Haas, La Sportiva's Product Specialist, describes the boot as follows: “Vanguard was born mainly with a view to the world of free touring, which calls for precision, reactivity and rigidity during descents. However, considering its comfort and ease of fit, it is ideal for anyone switching from alpine skiing to ski mountaineering, requiring a sturdier boot but with ample mobility to facilitate the ascent part. Vanguard, therefore, offers a high degree of versatility, it is functional and reliable, ideal for people who love having fun in fresh snow. Available in both women's and men's versions, the two models differ in the cuff and in shell strength, therefore in rigidity: the men's boot is loaded with carbon fibre and has a flex of about 130, the women's boot is in glass fibre and has a flex of 115, so it's slightly softer.
The development of Vanguard has resulted in a number of patents. V-shape, that is to say, the shaft with asymmetrical closure and double cuff, which ensures ample volume and ease of fit, but also a more stable and performing support to the tibia, for improved forward thrust. V-Shape also allows for an extremely simple and intuitive cuff closure method, which automatically brings the front tongue into place in the correct manner.
The shell is the only one on the market made using the sustainable and bio-compatible material Pebax Bio-Based Rnew 1100 and with heel and toe injections of polyurethane, the same materials used to make downhill boots.. Furthermore, it conforms to the size and arrangement of the heel and toe terraces to be used with downhill bindings”.
Text: Marta Manzoni
Photos: Pierre Lucianaz & Gaia Panozzo