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Dustin_B

Another plastic boots thread

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Yes, I know this topic has been beaten to death many times over. I did a search and didn't find what I needed though. If, after reading my post, you think my questions can be answered by another thread, please post the link.

 

I'm looking for plastic boots for winter (snow, ice, and mixed) climbing in the Cascades. Not interested in the Koflach because they are too bulky/sloppy (tried them on). Also tired on the Lowa Civetta (red ones) and didn't like the fit. The main contender right now is the Scarpa Alpha, although I've yet to try them on. The BD website says this year's boot has a thermo-formable liner. I've got those in my Lasers and they are damn comfy; anyone have the Alphas with these? I'm tired of waiting for the Vasque Ice 9000 so I guess those are off my list. Any others I should consider? I want something carried by a local Seattle area shop so I can try them on first. I have a wide foot so I'm trying to avoid narrow boots. Also definitely want a removable liner cause I hate wearing boots around camp after I've just been in them all day. Just started ice climbing so a 'technical fit' isn't that important.

 

Thanks.

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Do you think that the BD/Scarpa Alpha's will be warm enough for "winter" multi-day use..even here in the Cascades?

 

They seem to have a bit less insulation than say Koflach or Lowa.

 

I could be wrong...I just wanted to raise the issue.

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Hello Dustin,

 

I have the Scarpa Alphas, but with the 2002 liner, which is not a thermal fit liner. They are pretty warm, and seem to be warm enough for most climbing in the Washington Cascades. However, I used them when I was ice climbing in -25C temperatures in Lillooet, and my toes were quite numb. Still, by loosening up the boots, I managed to warm up a bit. If I were to go to Banff for ice climbing, or on a winter climb on Rainier, I would bring a different boot. But for general winter climbing in Washington, they are great. They seem very light weight next to my clunky old Asolo boots.

 

If you desire something warmer... have you looked at the Lowa Civetta Extreme? My wife uses these boots, and they are very very warm. Pro Mountain Sports carries them, I think.

 

Just my $0.02.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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It's kinda too bad there isn't a larger selection of plastic boots out there. I would consider the Alphas and Lowa's to be the best, not a big fan of Koflachs. Asolo might be another brand worth trying on. They have been refining their plastic boot line alot over the last few years.

 

My wife is looking for a pair for general mountaineering and ice climbing, but there really isn't a boot out there that holds a small womens foot well. Alphas arn't made small enough, and the other brands she has tried on the length is right, but her heel slips outa the boot....bummer.

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I upgraded to the 2002 Alphas this year. thumbs_up.gif

 

Miles apart from climbing in my Invernos. I was up in Banff during the cold snap and did pretty good with 2 pairs of sock until it hit -30F. Heat packs were a big plus then. I did a 8 mile snowshoe with them on (which would have crippled me with the Invernos) and they were very comfy.

 

BD has the 2002 on sale on their web site and Second Ascent has a limited number of new 2002 models for $275.

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It appears to me that there are only 4 companies that make plastic climbing boots that are available in the US; Koflach, Scarpa, Asolo, and Lowa, for a total of about 9 different boot models. Any others out there? That seems almost impossible to believe for a (seemingly) large market. wazzup.gif

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Do you think that the BD/Scarpa Alpha's will be warm enough for "winter" multi-day use..even here in the Cascades?

 

They seem to have a bit less insulation than say Koflach or Lowa.

 

I could be wrong...I just wanted to raise the issue.

 

Don't know. I know 4 or 5 people with the Alphas and haven't heard any complaints yet. I just need to go try them on and see for myself though.

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Don't know. I know 4 or 5 people with the Alphas and haven't heard any complaints yet.

My partner tripped on the approach and put a crampon hole through them. hellno3d.gif

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Buy a good shell and replace the liner with an Intuition liner. This will take care of any fit issues, and is warmer and lighter. You may lose some ankle flexibility though.

 

That is what I did with my Lowa Civettas. The difference in fit is amazing.

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I have been climbing in the Alphas for a couple of seasons in the Cascades, Coast of B.C., Mexico, and Rockies to include walk ups, water sport routes, mountain ice routes and mixed climbing.

 

They seem fine to me. I think the comfort is good. I approached Eldorado in them once up the steep dirt slopes. Good enough for me. THe cost is pretty high though.

 

I am also not a fan of Koflach although I own a pair I got for 15$.

 

One of my few plugs for BD gear. I also like their moonlight headlamp and fritschi bindings.. Then also the old big carabiners I got for ice climbng. I dont know what they call it but it swallows the rope and they stopped making because I think they were dumb.

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If those $20 intuition liners are available in your size, buy a couple pair and then go to Second Ascent and buy plastic boot shells. Twight recommends buying a slightly smaller shell than normal for better technical climbing. The heat formable liners will mold to your foot and the inside of the boot.

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I bought a pair of Scarpa Alpha´s (last year´s, pre-thermofit) and I absolutely dig them. I liked them so much I sold my Invernos. I´ll be buying a pair of thermofit liners next week for winter climbing.

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I've had a pair for a couple seasons. My feet are wide and flat and they did not fit orginally. I took them and had them heated and stretched in several places to fit my foot. Also I built up the foot-bed with heel inserts (from Tognar tool works) and a super feet insert. Now they fit, but it took a lot to make them work. I like them because they are light and fitted and very comfortable on approaches and climbing. Haven't tested them in cold conditions tho. Someone else commented on punctures. They do puncture easily so that is a concern. I mostly wear my dull aluminum crampons. They probably won't last as long as a heavier built boot. I saw them at feathered friends for $249 before Christmas which is ~$100 cheaper than list.

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I ended up going with the Scarpa Alphas with the new thermofit liners. Got some custom footbeds and the liners heat molded last night. The verdict is still out, but just walking around indoors they felt pretty nice. thumbs_up.gif

 

Tried on the Vasque ICE 9000 at Feathered Friends and I was not at all impressed after all the hype those things have gotten. Certainly not $500 impressed. The liner seemed pretty manky. thumbs_down.gif

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