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suge

Aconcagua boots; where to buy liners?

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I'm heading down to Aconcagua in December with some friends to climb Aconcagua and am pondering boots. I did some searching and it seems most guiding services want plastics. We're going without a guide, so there is some flexibility here. I have a pair of Sportiva Nepal Evo GTXs that I really, really like. I wore them for 3 weeks in varying conditions in the northern Coast range last summer (see Scud trip report). I also have a pair of Koflach Degre's that have a lot of miles on them and are nice in snow.

 

While we're drinking pints, the route up is the Polish Direct. Otherwise the Normal route. So, not much snow and the plastic will be a bit clunky. The main advantage that I can see is the warmth and the ability to put the liners into my sleeping bag at night. Given the rubble nature of the route, I'd rather be in the Sportivas.

 

Various searches turned up various opinions, with some people summiting in lightweight boots and others freezing in plastics. Any opinions here? My feet are pretty neutral while on the move, though they can get cold if I'm standing around. I could bring something like Hotronics as a back up for summit day.

 

Things get a bit more complicated if I take the plastics as the liners are pretty old and really need to be replaced. But, where to buy high altitude liners? Koflach stopped making plastics and a quick (but not thorough) search of gear companies didn't turn up much. Any thoughts?

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The polish can have pretty significant ice. I climbed the normal in plastics and was glad to have them on the upper portion of the mountain. Plastics are now a dime a dozen on craigslist and ebay so there should be no problem finding a size that fits you, potentially opening up the possibility of you getting either new boots or negotiating with the owner for the liners only.

 

I, myself, have added thin layers of closed cell foam that I traced my foot onto and cut to add something to my old liners.

 

Mis dos centavos..

 

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But, where to buy high altitude liners? ...Any thoughts?

Marmot sells Intuition liners. I think Feathered Friends and Pro Mountain Sports do as well.

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Hey, I'm going in February to do the Polish Direct. I'm just going to go ahead and buy a pair of millet everest boots just in case I want to do any other higher altitude stuff afterwards. That way i don't end up having to but plastics and millets. It gets cold up there. Have fun and good luck!

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The two times I went up climbing high in South America; Aconcagua and Huascaran, I used plastic boots. Both times I had overboots available at BC and did not use them, and the neglect almost cost me my toes twice.

I used plastics+overboots on Denali and in Himalaya, and I had no problems!

Think this way: slow going over penitentes; burried up to your balls in snow, and/or belaying somone in the dark or early in a day/shadow. Just get them plastic boots+overboots

 

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I couldn't imagine using actual overboots on the normal route. Using overboots means using crampons as there is a nylon bottom. They would get trashed in the rock and scree and using crampons on the rock would be tedious at best. Maybe insulated supergaiters would make more sense.

 

Only been there once on the varcas normal route and we had the plastic and regular supergaiter. Was cold but this boot system worked out fine. Only 10 feet of snow on the whole route (horizontal distance) so it could be different when you go.

 

I saw some guys with only medium weight leathers up there. They made it fine but that leaves very little room for error. think long and hard about how much you LIKE your toes before going up there with leather boots. With the crazy circus enviroment on the other side of the mountian, you will see all kinds of insane practices. And frostbite. And death too. seriously. three people died while we were on the mountain.

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He's going for Polish Direct, so, from C-2 he's got to cross penitentes and then snow/ice to the top; crampons/overboots can be taken off for the descent.

I couldn't imagine using actual overboots on the normal route. Using overboots means using crampons as there is a nylon bottom. They would get trashed in the rock and scree and using crampons on the rock would be tedious at best. Maybe insulated supergaiters would make more sense.

 

Only been there once on the varcas normal route and we had the plastic and regular supergaiter. Was cold but this boot system worked out fine. Only 10 feet of snow on the whole route (horizontal distance) so it could be different when you go.

 

I saw some guys with only medium weight leathers up there. They made it fine but that leaves very little room for error. think long and hard about how much you LIKE your toes before going up there with leather boots. With the crazy circus enviroment on the other side of the mountian, you will see all kinds of insane practices. And frostbite. And death too. seriously. three people died while we were on the mountain.

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I would use your sportivas rather than plastic boots for the normal route or the false polish. You might want plastics for the polish direct...if the glacier is still there.

 

I've used intuition liners in my koflachs - works great, and I have the original (unused) liners if you're interested.

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