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Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Ideas for gaiters for mountaineering on 12/07/2009 11:41:19 MST Print View

I'm too cheap to purchase new gaiters for mountaineering and am looking for ideas or patterns (particularly since I need three pairs!).

The last pair I made, 28 years ago, are bombproof gore-tex/packcloth wonders, but they are fairly heavy. Almost knee high, double layer of coated packcloth over the shoe, lined gore-tex above. Neoprene straps and metal buckles, zippered all the way up. And not only is the zipper covered by a storm flap with snaps, the bottom-most snaps are the kind that only open from one direction ("pull-the-dot"), and don't open when they catch on snow or ice.

Anyway, what is considered essential for light to medium-duty climbing these days, e.g. for Mt Adams or even Mt Rainer, but as light weight as possible? Are neoprene straps needed, or are there lighter equivalents? How high should they go? What materials are best for the different sections? Zippered with storm flap (snaps or velcro), or pull-on over-the-boot?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Ideas for gaiters for mountaineering on 12/07/2009 12:11:34 MST Print View

Hi Elliot,

If you're interested, I've got a pair of OR Verglas gaiters-men's I've never worn. Size medium. I'd sell them for $30 including shipping.

Chris Collins
(hobbitling) - F
re: gaiters for mountaineering on 12/07/2009 13:20:32 MST Print View

I don't really think gaiters are the best thing to try ultralight fabric on. At the very least they would have to have something fairly tough on the "inner ankle" area to protect from crampon shredding (since you're talking about high alpine mountaineering). and pull on's won't work, again because of crampons and big boots. mine have 1.5 inch velcro and they've never come undone.

You could always just wear bibs or other snow pants with gaiters included in the design, usually hidden inside the pant legs, if keeping snow out of your boots is your only concern. So I suppose the lightest solution would be to not bring gaiters at all and just sew a packcloth patch on crampon vulnerable areas of your pants.

Edited by hobbitling on 12/07/2009 13:30:24 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Ideas for gaiters for mountaineering on 12/07/2009 13:37:00 MST Print View

Hi Elliot

I have a pr of GTX knee-length gaiters which I keep for snow and ice - never wear them in the bush. Had them for many years - they last well. Not sure what fabric weight - just a medium 3-layer Gore-Tex. Hook&Loop fastener up the front and a light bit of webbing around the top. They do have bungee cord (3 mm?) underneath.

I make my own bush gaiters - a single layer of coated 500 denier Cordura over the shoe and 500 denier uncoated Cordura up the legs. See my article:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/make_your_own_gear_gaiters_for_bushwhacking.html

Cheers

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Gaiters- do you need them to open? on 12/07/2009 14:20:53 MST Print View

What boots? If you're using plastic boots you might not need the gaiter to go down as low as traditional with leather boots. That will reduce the chance of snagging with crampons or wear from icy snow.

Will use be limited to below freezing? If so waterproof isn't needed or desirable.

If you can figure out a good release for the instep strap I don't see the need for the gaiter to open. Put them on before you put the boots on. In the winter I leave mine on all day- pushing them down to keep my lower legs from overheating.

The height will depend on your pants. Just below the knee is easiest to hold up since your leg gets skinnier there.

How about Schoeller Keprotec patches for abrasion resistance and heavy Durastretch or uncoated cordura with DWR for the rest? Rockywoods has both.

Edited by jimqpublic on 12/07/2009 14:27:54 MST.

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
add cordua on 12/08/2009 08:11:25 MST Print View

Gaiters will catch and be torn crampons, so sew on an extra layer of cordua if you can. One might not even notice when the crampon catches and tears, but somehow it just happens.