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ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Re: UL Everst boots on 11/20/2006 13:23:00 MST Print View

If you're serious, Fillippo, then good luck. Are you aware that Koflach used to use alveolite foam in some of their inner boots. The idea was to use a heavier inner boot lower on the mountain, then switch to the alveolite liner for the summit push. I believe that was because the foam smashed down over time from the climber's weight.

douglas ray
(Dray)

Locale: Olympic Peninsula
I appreciate your attempts on 11/20/2006 18:11:31 MST Print View

The footwear world has a lot of room for improvement in the area of weight verses support and protection. Please keep us posted on what you come up with. I hadn't thought of Aerogel, but from the little bit that I know of it it might have the potential to be an exccelent footwear insulator. If you could build an inner bootie out of it you could probably reduce the overall system weight a lot. One other crazy idea from my previous hairbrained system idea. One could carry two sets of overshoes, one sized to fit over one liner and the other sized to fit over both. That way you could use one liner lower down on the mountain and only need to use both when really necessary.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: UL Everest boots on 11/21/2006 02:25:22 MST Print View

> La Sportiva makes the Oly Mons, $825, 5 lb, 6 0z, the Spantik, $650, 5 lb, 1 oz, plus several versions of the Trango. There are other manufacurers, including Scarpa, Millet, and Boreal. It would take a rare genius to make a boot at home that was better

Ah, so we should still all be wearing leather boots, carrying 12 oz canvas packs, and using beeswax-proofed cotton tents? Surely the manufacturers of those products know better than us?

Those companies have a certain mind-set. That's the sort of product they make. OK, fine. But where is it written that they and only they know everything about footwear? Why has a company like Inov-8 even dared to exist?

'The reasonable man seeks to adapt himself to the world.
Only the unreasonable man seeks to adapt the world to himself.
All progress therefore depends on the UNreasonable man.'

My wife says I can be very unreasonable...

Edited by rcaffin on 11/21/2006 02:25:51 MST.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Re: UL Everest boots on 11/21/2006 08:14:26 MST Print View

Re: "Ah, so we should still all be wearing leather boots": Here are the ingredients for the Oly Mons: "Breathable Cordura® (upper part)/Kevlar anti-perforation fabric (lower part)/Riri Storm® zipper (UV resistant and waterproof) OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and a thermo-reflective aluminum facing/Insulated removable footbed/Vibram® XSV Rand INNER BOOT: Water repellent breathable upper with polyamide external layer/Dual density PE thermal insulating micro-perforated ventilated foam/Tri-dimensional structured polyester lining combined with pile CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted LAST: Olympus Mons SOLE: Insulating Vibram® PE with rubber inserts MIDSOLE: HP3 INSOLE: 5mm Carbon Fiber + 2.5mm PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam topped with a thermo-reflective aluminum layer reinforced with perforated hydrophobic non-woven facing." Now is your opportunity to show us the boots you acutally make in your basement that are more advanced than these.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: UL Everest boots on 11/22/2006 02:11:24 MST Print View

Cor Blimey, what a concoction! Glad I don't have wear them - or pay for them.
Fwiiw, I wore KT26s to about 5,200 m in Nepal - Australian things you can see reviewed at http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Footwear/Trail%20Shoes/Dunlop%20KT-26%20Shoes/Owner%20Review%20by%20Roger%20Caffin
If you want something similar you can actually handle, look at the Inov-8 range.

But you miss my point. It's the ultra-heavy design thinking that I am challenging. Everest is not that ultra-cold compared to the rest of the world: surely there are other ways of handling that cold?

We have managed to break free of the old thinking that you can only go walking in big heavy leather boots. Just keep pushing the boundaries a little further.

Filippo Pavesi
(filippo2355)

Locale: PIEMONT
UNreasonable boots on 11/22/2006 02:12:30 MST Print View

Hello. I fully agree with Robert : no doubt that the (current) number1 producer is Lasportiva and that they make GREAT TECNICAL BOOTS. Also thanks to Robert for mentioning the Alveolite concept from Koflach : to what I am aware, the the only drawback of these (closed cell PE)booties is that they trap the condensation inside, therefore it become almost impossible to eliminate it while over the top. I learnt from Marc Batard (from France, the 1st man that climbed mount Everest in less than 24 hrs)that in order to keep his feet dry, he used toilet-paper bandage inside, that he had to replace frequently. To Douglas :I agree,there is still enough room for improvement, for several kind of footwear. However keep in mind that the tipical development time in the footwear industry is 12 monts, but technically-advanced concepts takes 18 up to 24-36 months. On the other hand I know these timelines may be compressed quite a lot, as far as the design concept become clear, and with the help of good professional technicians.(To make it clear: I am not looking to make any homemade boot). Thanks also for the idea of the 2-stage modular overboots! To Roger: I fall in love with the concept that the progress depends on UNreasonable man! Is it yours?
Any other experience with insulating materials or concepts ?
Thanks
Filippo

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: UNreasonable boots on 11/22/2006 02:41:41 MST Print View

Hi Filippo

> To Roger: I fall in love with the concept that the progress depends on UNreasonable man! Is it yours?
I am lead to believe Mark Twain may have beaten me to it...

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Re: UL Everest boots on 11/22/2006 09:39:22 MST Print View

>Now is your opportunity to show us the boots you acutally make in your basement that are more advanced than these.


I don't really want to throw gas on the fire, but I would consider any boot that is as warm and lighter to be more 'advanced', regardless of what materials it is made from. My UL pack is just made from silnylon, but I consider it to be more 'advanced' than my 8-pound pack made with high-strength aluminum, various weights of DWR Cordura nylon, burly zippers, etc. Material technology should be a means to an end (and the desired end here is lighter boots).


>It's the ultra-heavy design thinking that I am challenging. Everest is not that ultra-cold compared to the rest of the world: surely there are other ways of handling that cold?


That's what makes this thread so interesting. I'll never summit Everest (or likely even see it), but I'd sure be happy to never have cold feet again. UL boots that can handle 8000m cold would suit me just fine for 4000m cold. (Crampon compatible would be good.) I just can't bring myself to buy a 7-pound pair of plastic double boots for cold hiking, now that I've switched to AR shoes for dirt hiking. Heck, for the difference in weight I could afford to carry chemical warmer packs or spare batteries for heated insoles.

Edited by Otter on 11/22/2006 09:56:34 MST.

Chris Jackson
(chris_jackson) - F
Aerogel insoles available at Sahalie on 11/26/2006 16:16:42 MST Print View

You can now buy insoles with the NASA-style aerogel insulation from Sahalie, for the princely sum of $12.95 (link) . Their catalogue has a picture of someone standing on a piece of dry-ice in bare feet, insulated only by the insoles, and the stated weight is less than one ounce per pair. These sound like they could be good for mountaineering and ski boots. It will be interesting to see how they perform in the real world.

Edited by chris_jackson on 11/26/2006 16:19:20 MST.

David Thul
(thuldj) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: UL 8000meters BOOTS on 01/28/2007 22:49:46 MST Print View

In response to Roger:
It is clear in other colder locations in the world people wear much lighter footwear but what you are ignoring is that in those places there is not a lack of oxygen factoring into the body's ability to warm itself. It has very little to do with understanding ones own physiology and realizing that its tough to stay warm when you can barely breathe. Obviously for some, this effect is worse than for others but it isn't exactly controllable, unless in this speed ascent the party wants to carry a ton of O2 and blast sea level like amounts into their face mask. And further more is the necessity of rigid shanks to facilitate crampons, these are gonna be heavy no matter what, something that isn't really needed in the polar regions where people wear "light footwear in colder temps".

It also needs to be considered that if your boots fail at this altitude, your majorly screwed. For this reason the wise climber would add some margin of safety into his footwear, if you can't walk you will die.

Ok so we could make the shanks out of carbon fiber or whatnot and add crazy high tech insulation, but then there is also the question of who is paying for the boots. Even the trial and error in building a set would be massively expensive. But I suppose if you can pay the Everest permit fees there is no doubt enough money for custom footwear (or the clout to get it for free).

And as far as boot weight goes the Mons by L.S. are pretty light. I realize they are no trail runners but again, there are pretty good reasons for that I think.

Dave

Edited by thuldj on 01/28/2007 23:02:03 MST.

James Watts
(james481) - F

Locale: Sandia Mountains
Re: Re: UL 8000meters BOOTS on 01/29/2007 13:48:45 MST Print View

Disclaimer: I've never climbed Everest or any 8000M peak

With that out of the way, this is pretty interesting thread, but there have been some pretty wacky suggestions here, as well. Sure, it's probably possible to climb Everest in a pair of Nikes with fifteen pairs of socks, two inner boots, some overboots and a pair of Kahtoolas for traction, but it seems like a pretty foolhardy idea to me.

First, think of the complexity of such a system. How long would it take you to put on the whole system in your living room? Now, how long would it take to do the same thing when your fingers are frozen, you can't see clearly, and you have the mental capacity of a four year old?

Now, what happens when you're hiking on the local crag and you snap the frame or shear off the points of your aluminum Kahtoolas? You have to choose an alternate route, maybe postpone your trip altogether? And if the same thing happens at 27,000 feet? You die.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for advancement and innovation in outdoor gear, but when I look at a boot like the Olympus Mons, I just don't see much that you can take off of there and still maintain some level of safety and redundancy in an environment like Everest. Also, complaining about the price of such boots seems pretty silly to me. How much is each of your toes worth? How much is coming home alive worth? In each case, my answer is "a heck of a lot more than $700".

Edited by james481 on 01/29/2007 13:49:24 MST.

Eric Parsons
(EricP) - F

Locale: Alaska
skunkworks... on 01/29/2007 21:01:44 MST Print View

VB sock system, a pair of Intuition liners, heat mold, then another pair of the largest size intuition liners, heat mold, wrap in reflective mylar, Put the sole of a running shoe, or carbon fiber stiffener in the bottom of a pair of 40 below overboots, add Aluminum strap on crampons. They'd be warm, they'd be light, just dont front point or step on your feet

Edited by EricP on 01/29/2007 21:28:27 MST.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
UL 8000 M boots on 01/30/2007 10:36:28 MST Print View

A dim memory just floated up out of my alcohol-ravaged brain: Vern Tejas wearing big, floppy, homemade boots on Denali in the video, "Expedition Denali." It looks like he's about to step on his own clown-sized feet any second. Vern did something solo mid-winter on Denali's West Buttress, camped or climbed or something, but I doubt he could use those monstrosities on anything steeper than the West Buttress.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Thinking outside the box on 06/07/2007 16:42:13 MDT Print View

Not a mountaineer, and little knowledge of insulating materials, but...

It seems that to get to truly UL Everest boots, that you need to abandon the concept of insulation-only and start considering introducing heat. IMHO that means that you are probably talking about a controlled chemical reaction.

Picture it - boots no bulkier than trail runners that can circulate a reactive warming chemical at a rate the user dictates. This would probably get really high tech and expensive.

Any chemists lurking?

Henry Liu
(henryliu) - F
interesting on 06/10/2007 19:30:23 MDT Print View

I also hate heavy plastic boots.

Here are my thoughts:
-there's no reason for plastic boots when carbon fiber is lighter, stronger and stiffer, replace the outer shell with carbon fiber. I weight my koflach arctis boots and the shell is 2# 2oz and the liner is only 15oz. You can shave at least 1.5# by using a carbon fiber shell
-aerogel insoles to protect from heat conduction to the ground
-maybe line the inner portion of the carbon fiber with an aerogel and use a lighter liner
-battery foot warmers to reduce weight from feet and put it on your back since 1# on your foot is 5# on your back

Henry Liu
(henryliu) - F
carbon fiber shoes on 06/10/2007 19:41:11 MDT Print View

Here's a company that makes custom carbon fiber cycling shoes: http://www.rocket7.com/shoes.htm

Not cheap at $2000 a pair but definitely light! Integrate this built in crampons and you have a very light shell!

Graham Williams
(crackers) - F
Re: UNreasonable boots on 06/11/2007 09:50:26 MDT Print View

"...no doubt that the (current) number1 producer is Lasportiva and that they make GREAT TECNICAL BOOTS. Also thanks to Robert for mentioning the Alveolite concept from Koflach : to what I am aware, the the only drawback of these (closed cell PE)booties is that they trap the condensation inside, therefore it become almost impossible to eliminate it while over the top..."

Okay, so this thread is just so nuts that I can't stop myself from getting involved anymore.

I don't even know where to start.

The current record holder, a sherpa, used the then current sportiva one peice boot and did the hill in less than 9 hours. On the other hand, the "skyrunner" gave up after 16 hours. The sherpa also managed to come down the hill with no loss of toes or frostbite. The sherpa did not have a sherpa babysitting him up the hill, while brunod was "escorted" by a sherpa.

What is important? Conditioning, physical fitness, adaptation? Or high tech shoes?

I've known scarpa and la sportiva to get out new prototypes in about a month. The time from prototype to market is about 6 months in the current market. A few years ago, I was present at one of the initial conversations about "fruit boots" for technical ice climbing, and the boots were on sale less than 4 months later. If you think it takes 18 to 36 months to get a prototype, you are dealing with the wrong level of the organization.

Alveolite is used in boots made by La Sportiva, Scarpa, and Koflach to name a few. It's just another type of insulation. No big deal.

Batard is the real deal. Get him to introduce you to the Gobbi family.

Good luck. Come back alive, come back friends, come back in one peice.

Graham Williams
(crackers) - F
Re: Re: UNreasonable boots on 06/11/2007 09:51:54 MDT Print View

"dual density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam" = alveolite