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Bob Nunnink
( - F
boot help on 12/27/2004 15:32:04 MST Print View

I,m off to do some mountaineering and need to buy some crampon combatabile boots. I will mostly be climbing in Northeast with maybe a trip to Eucador in my future. I realize I may need two set of boots eventually and I will buy the boot that best fits my 10 1/2 wide American feet. Any suggestions from a ligtweight stand point. I going to to try the Vasque Ice 9000 in a cou[le of days. Hate the price. Tied La Sportif Makalau but they din't seem tio fit well. Any sugestions? Boots first trip wil probably be a little easy ice climbing in Pa and then Mt. Washington.

Edited by on 12/27/2004 15:32:36 MST.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Mountain Boot Recommendations on 12/28/2004 14:43:52 MST Print View

> Any suggestions from a lightweight stand point.
> Vasque Ice 9000
> La Sportiva Makalau

Bob, I get the sense that you want a pair of "all mountain" boots to cover diverse types of climbing.

There are probably no boots on the market, however, that will serve both general mountaineering (including hiking/snowshoeing approaches and glacier walking, or "French-technique" flat-footing up steep slopes) and ice climbing or other techniques requiring the use of front pointing.

For general mountaineering, you need a boot that is as flexible as possible in the ankle cuff.

For approaches and glacier walking, you need a boot with some rocker or flexibility in the sole.

For ice climbing and front pointing you need a boot with a very stiff sole.

For multi-day climbs where you spend day after day in snow, you need a waterproof boot, especially in very cold conditions. For day climbs, a water-resistant synthetic or leather boot is usually sufficient.

For winter day climbing you need an insulated single boot, for winter multi-day climbing you need a double boot.

Lots to think about! I'll give you my recommendations base on what I use in various scenarios - and keep in mind that I fit Scarpa and La Sportiva very well, so these boots tend to be my primary choices. All of them are crampon compatible.

3-season general mountaineering/ice climbing boot: La Sportiva Trango S

The Trango S now has an upgrade: the Trango S Evo, which is waterproof, and I recommend the latter for snow and ice. I've used this boot successfully in the past few years on multi-day glacier / steep snow / alpine ice climbs.

Winter single insulated boot. Scarpa Freney; this season I upgraded to the lighter Scarpa Freney XT.

I've worn this in combination with neoprene overboots on Rainier in the fall, by themselves on just about any day or single push climb where temperatures are above zero, and are my primarily ice climbing boot for a day at the "crags".

Winter Double Insulated Boot. Dynafit MLT4 with aftermarket (Intuition) boot liners.

I bought this boot because most of my cold winter climbs are made with approaches on skis, and I ski a Dynafit randonee setup. These are my boot of choice for winter on Rainier, summer mountaineering above 5000m, or spring in Alaska. With the stock liners, it's fine down to zero, but with the Intuition liner upgrade, I'm OK down to minus 10 or so. Colder than that and I pair them with neoprene overboots. I've owned Lowa Civettas, Koflach Expe, and Scarpa Inverno/Alphas, and these Dynafits have been the most comfortable "expedition" boot I've owned from a hiking/walking/general mountaineering standpoint. Unfortunately, I believe they are now discontinued, and if I had to buy anew, I'd probably go with Scarpa Alphas.

If I had one boot that I needed to do everything from Rainier in the summer to mountaineering on Ecuador's volcanoes to NE winter ice climbing, I'd probably get a pair of good fitting double plastic boots, simply because they are foolproof, warm, waterproof, and they front point well, and then recognize that as you gain experience and specialize, you'll want different footwear for different scenarios.

Jerold Swan
(jswan) - F - M
winter boots on 12/28/2004 16:57:42 MST Print View

Another thing to consider is whether you have "warm" or "cold" feet, and the duration of your outings. I was looking for a general purpose waterfall ice climbing boot last year and ended up with the Scarpa Freney. While it is insulated, my feet are still usually pretty cold in them. Its flexibility makes it a great boot for half-day ice climbing in reasonable temperatures, but if I do anything longer I'm going to have to get a plastic double boot.

On the other hand, people I know with "warm" feet get uncomfortably warm in plastic boots in temps above zero.

Bob Nunnink
( - F
mountain boots on 01/01/2005 08:14:37 MST Print View

Thanks for you help. I went to Campmor in NJ and was able to try on a varity of boots. Best fit for me where the Montrail Ice 9 and La Sportivia Nepal. My feet are not shaped for Scarpas or Vasque. For right now I am shying away from Plastic, but will probably pick up a pair for multiday trips. I have very warm feet. The Montail are the deal boot right now $399 for the boot crampon and gaiter. I realize the crampon is mostly for ice but Montrail makes a mountaineering crampon I can pick up for $88 $488 still sounds like a good deal compare to $399 for the Nepals by themselves. Hard to tell how warm the montrails are. One website says -30 but I doubt that. Wearing one Nepal on my foot and on Ice 9 on the other the Nepals were noticably warmer. Anyone have experiance with either boot? Was also wondering about the crampon compatability of the Montrails. Will the montrail crampoon fit a plastic boot? Thanks for your help.


Jerold Swan
(jswan) - F - M
Montrails on 01/02/2005 08:28:31 MST Print View

When I was shopping for boots, the Montrail crampon fit the Montrail boot only. So unless they've changed it in the last year or so, you'd need another crampon for your plastics.

(sdurgo1) - F
Boots... on 06/13/2005 17:11:22 MDT Print View

For roadside ice climbing in New England as well as a trip to Ecuador(Ijust was there January 2005) I recommend a lightweight pair of boots like the La Sportiva Trango Extreme(s) Warm, light(3 lbs. 7 oz. my size 9 1/2), crampon compatible. For colder conditons add the OEM insulated super-gaitor. You are done.