By Wil Rickards. Wil was born in North Wales and steeped in its rich maritime, mountain and river folklore. In response to the request to “get a real job” he became first a teacher then professor of adventure education and emigrated to where the sun shines for 300 days and snow falls for 100 (Colorado). During more than 25 years as an outdoor educator he worked Scottish winter seasons, taught canoeing, climbing, kayaking and skiing throughout the States, Europe and Australia, and regenerated the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Outdoor Education program. He wants his outdoor qualification pins to be the size of shields, he likes to think they might fill a castle.
So why am I raving like I have just been bitten by a dog in a developing country? The rabid saliva is the result of being really excited by my new La Sportiva Spectres. Why are they so special I hear you say? More importantly why should I reach so deeply in my pocket and throw down good cash for this product? (MSRP: $649.00)
The ecstasy starts when you pick up a boot and realize it is so light your granny could hurl it and hit a thieving marmot at 100 yards. Then you put it on and decide your slippers can join your old ski boots on that fire. These things are seriously comfortable! What blew me away though is just how much the Spectres articulate in walk mode. When your feet travel a mile in front of your navel in a gait somewhat akin to Freewheeling Franklin (it’s a 70’s thing) or John Cleese’s Ministry of Silly Walks the whole world of skinning takes on a new meaning. Skiing uphill has always been a religious experience but this completely puts a new foundation in my church. Old man Rickards has found a new lease of life and I no longer flail at the back of the skin track. Move over young bucks this geriatric is striding through in his black and yellow Sportivas.