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Boot Quiver

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Hey all,

 

So I've had a pair of the red Trangos for a year or so now and really like what they do. Great 3 season hiker/climber, light weight, decent waterproofing, etc. However, after using them this winter for a few climbs around the Cascades, I realized that they weren't all that great for heavy snow/cold temps. Also, I'm going to be doing some volcanoes this summer, and wouldn't mind having something a little beefier for those trips. Furthermore, I've got sites set on an eventual Denali/S. America trip (2010/11?).

 

I'm looking for some advice on what you think would be a good 2nd boot. I'll still be using the Trangos for most of my summer stuff, but would want something that will handle more variable conditions. I like the way Sportivas fit me, so I'd like to stick with those (or similarly fitting boot). I've read tons of reviews on the Batura, beefier Trango series, and the Nepal. My concerns with those is the dry-ability factor. Should I even concern myself with that though? I'd imagine this boot to be used on max 1-3 night trips in the winter or on a glacier. I haven't really seen any good plastics that could solve this particular problem and don't break the bank (Spatnik looks sick, but likely overkill for anything around here and mucho $$)As far as an Alaska boot, would you recommend picking up a third boot when the time comes.

 

So long story short, what are you guys using as a cold weather, glacier boot here in the Cascades?

 

Thanks in advance!

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If you're trying to be budget - conscious for a warmer boot, consider getting a closeout or lightly used Koflach Vertical or Arctis Expe shell. Even if you get some intuition liners for them, they may be cheaper than the bling bling double synthetics you list. They address your dry-ability concerns well. I use this system and have had good luck ice climbing up to WI5 in them and tackling moderate mixed terrain. If you want to do hard mixed climbing, then those other boots you listed will will likely work much better.

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I'm not super budget concerened, but dropping $700 on some Spatniks that would rarely be used seems excessive. However, I'm ok with spending $500 or so on a boot that I'll get some mileage out of.

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Would you guys say that double boots are overkill for the Cascades? Should I be looking more at the Batura/Trango/Nepal line instead?

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yes, overkill. Your red Trangos are great, and you can get similiar boots from La Sportiva and several other makers with a little more insulation in them if you want a warmer boot.

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Lets back a up a bit.

 

Alaska? If you are going above 14K on McKinley I'd think dbl boots. Foraker dbls as well, most everything else a single boot will generally due. Only problem is drying the single boots out over a long trip. Plastics are the easy choice. Newer fabric boots if you take care of them will work ok there if you are careful. Hydration and foot health management are equally improtant.

 

Cascades? Spantik is way too much boot for everything here even if you get cold feet easily which I do. (except maybe a multiday mid winter trip on Rainier) Batura is a good winter boot in the Cascades because it is an easy boot to walk long distances in, stays dry from the outside and eliminates the need for a gaiter. It is reasonable warm but nothing really special.

 

(I own most everything in the Sportiva boot line so the opinions aren't just conjecture on my part)

 

But for most things that will take from one to three days, on winter climbs in the Canadian Rockies and difficult technical climbing, the "silver bullet" Evo Goretex Trango Extreme, the Batura and the Nepal Top Evo are all very good. I give the nod to the Nepal for the extra support front pointing and durability.

 

The Trango Extreme is a bit lighter than the Nepal but also has less support and more ankle flexability. Batura is softer than the Trango in the ankle offering less support on steep ice and a bit more warmth. Nepal a big step up on both for support but harder to walk in because of it. Trango is the most fun to rock climb in and has a sticky rubber sole that you'll notice in use.

 

Listed in the amount of warmth each offers..less to more

Although I think the Batura and Nepal Evo are surprisingly pretty close warmth wise. Weight of ONE boot in a size 45.

 

Prime 2 lb 2.7oz

Trango Evo X 2 lb 4oz

Batura 2 lb 8.5oz

Nepal Evo 2 lb 10.4oz

Spantik 2 lb 14oz

 

for comparison

 

older white Kolflack Ultra 2lb 10oz

(avelotile liner)

 

The Spantik is a much higher volume boot (by half again) than the old Kolfach...and is the warmest boot I have ever used. It is a huge boot! Flexibility? It is stiff in every way. The Spantik might well be better used as a ice climbing or ski boot than a alpine climbing boot if you have a choice.

 

For a rigid soled boot..

Love the Spantik for keeping my feet warm and on ice.

My other favorite for general use is the Nepal Top Evo.

If I have to walk very far the Batura is the go to boot.

 

 

 

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Thanks for the lengthy reply Dane. I appreciate the detailed response. I just ordered a pair of Baturas and Nepals and I'll see which one fits my feet best.

 

For those interested, EMS has got a screaming deal on these boots right now. $420 for the Baturas and 380 for the Nepals.

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Hehe, yeah, my pile is bigger than that. My go-to boot for snowy things in the Cascades has been my old Nepal Extremes (pictured above). Anything I might want a step in crampon for, or anything in winter (including Rainier in winter with stellar weather). I've had no problems with drying (or wetting) with trips up to 5 days or so. I have a pair of Vasque Ice 9000s that I used for higher stuff in Peru that I liked, and can dry, but I've never been out here in anything cold enough for em. Then I've got my backpacking boots, a new pair of Garmont Vetta Pluses for longer alpine trips, some approach shoes for shorter trips, several pairs of rock shoes, ski boots, sandals . . .

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Without sounding like Imelda Marcos, I think it's nice to have boots to cover the range of climbing you do or possibly will do. I agree with Dane on the Nepal EVO's, they are great all around leather boot and will do most everything you want in the lower 48 that your Trangos aren't up to. For winter or higher altitude there is nothing like plastic double boots for keeping feet dry and warm. My climbing partners know well that I love a bargain, but I'd rather spend the money to get exactly the fit and function I want the first time. Good boots mean happier and safer climbing. I use my Trangos for 75% of my climbing...they are great all-around boots. If you need to go higher, steeper, colder, or real rough approaches you need a good leather boot or plastic(or both). Go for good fit over saving money.

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3 pairs of ski boots (Alpine, AT, and tele), La Sportiva Nepals, Koflach plastics, Vasque hiking boots, and a sweet pair of down booties!

The ski boots have gotten me up almost every climb I have done, and probably have close to the number of miles as my hikers have on 'em. I love the Nepals, although one came untied on Leutholds (did the entire climb with an untied boot :noway: ) but they are sweet!

Edited by Maine-iac

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Ahhh... Boot quiver... Imelda has nothing on this boy. So many boots, so little time. I'll list my currently used quiver.

 

Hiking/Approach Shoes; LaSportiva Exum Ridge, Nike Exum? (great shoe), Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra GTX

 

Rock Shoes; Scarpa ??? (early 90's model that I love), 5.10 Gambit (not so sure yet)

 

Summer Mountain Boots; LaSportiva Trango Plus (Dave Page just resoled and put the coon tune on these bad boys, damn near climbs as good as a rock shoe), LaSportiva K2's. Single leather bliss, front point machines!

 

Winter/Volcano Boots; none other than the ol' purple Scarpa Invernos... warm and cozy, fit like a glove.

 

 

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Hehe, yeah, my pile is bigger than that.

 

Where are the pictures?

 

 

BTW, that pile did not include the snowboard boots, XC boots, and Leather Tele boots.... :hcluv:

Edited by Frikadeller

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I love the Nepals, although one came untied on Leutholds (did the entire climb with an untied boot :noway: ) but they are sweet!

 

Both my Nepals and my Evo Alps like to get untied on their own (must be a sportiva thing...). A good double knot solves all this BS, especially6 when it happens mid climb (and of course you're wearing gaitors, making this even more agravating...) Other than that, totally rad boots!

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I love the Nepals, although one came untied on Leutholds (did the entire climb with an untied boot :noway: ) but they are sweet!

 

Both my Nepals and my Evo Alps like to get untied on their own (must be a sportiva thing...). A good double knot solves all this BS, especially when it happens mid climb (and of course you're wearing gaitors, making this even more agravating...) Other than that, totally rad boots!

 

YEAH!! The whole time I was like why is my right calf getting pumped out when my left isn't.... I hope that damn boot isn't untied. Sure enough after getting the gaitors off, it was.

 

I have the Garmont Radiums and they are awesome!! A little soft, but they walk/tour super nicely!!!

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I have Trangos and Nepals, if you like the Sportiva fit, go with the Nepal EVOs. Those are my 2 workhorse boots... I sweat alot and I've used them on several multi day trips with zero moister problems. Just keep them in your tent so they air out and dont freeze up.

 

In addition, if you want to go climbing in colder temps you can throw some Mountain Tools gasketed super gaiters on the Nepals to warm them up a bit. I actually use my super gaiters all the time because I like toasty feet.

 

I've never had problems with my Nepals getting untied.

 

Another comfy Sportiva boot worth considering is the La Sportiva Lhotse. I have a pair of them and they are very comfy albeit heavier than the Nepal EVO. They are a tad cheaper. Also the Lhotse fits a half a width wider than the Nepal. So if you have wider feet, another reason to consider the Lhotse.

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Since Frikadeller decided to make this a pictorial thread, I felt compelled to show my boot "quiver", but instead of a pile I further felt compelled to show some order and organization.DSC_0388.JPG

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Got the Baturas and Nepals on Friday. Both fit great, though ended up going with the Nepals. They just seemed to be more in line with what I wanted out of a boot. However, it was a touch decision. The Baturas walked great, and the built in gaiter, although pretty ugly, was a cool feature.

 

What are you guys using to waterproof your leather boots these days?

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I'm coming up there to do Montecristo, Kyess, SLoan, Stuart, & Ingalls with some seasoned friends. Last time I came up we did Forbiddeen/Torment and I wore Vasque Sundowners - feet were OK but climbing sucked - I think I switched to rock shoes for a section or two.

My question: I'm considering using Montrail D7's with a recent stealth dot resole for everything - yeah, including the glaciers - with stretch schoeller gaiters and perhaps some seal-skin socks or neo socks for the wet sections. Am i nuts? My friend Ziff says he's been doing the same thing and it's been working well. I also remember a friend doing trekking peaks in Nepal this way - gore text, low-top approach shoes for Island Peak.

Let me have it...

 

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SLoan, Stuart, & Ingalls - I woudl think that your setup would be fine, especially in late july and august.

 

not sure about montecristo and keyes as I haven't been on them. But I would bet that once again, your shoes would be fine.

 

They don't make the d7 any more. Be good to those shoes. I love mine and on my "backup" pair.

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You should be fine. I prefer something with some ankle suppport for most of those chossy approaches and in the event you need to don crampons but you should be fine. I'm curious about the booties though, what's the strategy there? Seems like you could get by without them for stream crossings.

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Wet footwear and feet are probably one of the most inevitable parts of a Cascade Mountaineering trip no mater what time of year. Considering your aggressive agenda (that is a lot of mileage and peaks to squeeze into such a tight timeframe), I understand your concern about having a good enough footwear system to avoid debilitating blisters etc from wet feet. On several occasions, I've worn my running/approach shoes on the trail unitl I encounter snow and then change into my boots to keep my shoes (and feet) dry for climbing in and wearing around camp.

 

If it's in your budget, there are many really great summer weight Goretex boots out there that would be perfect for your trip. I have had a pair of Garmont Towers for six or seven years and I do everything from hiking and archery hunting to snow climbs and alpine rock climbing in them. They are not particularly great at any one thing but work well enough for everything.

 

One trick I learned is to bring a pair of shake and heat packets to put in my shoes at night to speed up the drying process if I only have one pair of shoes with me on the climb.

 

I think there are probably some climbers around here who have put more thought and science into this issue than me. I tend to just suffer with what shoes/boots I have and keep it simple. My boot quiver is just whatever running shoes I am wearing at the time, the Garmont Towers and a pair of Scarpa Matterhorns that I haven't worn in years. And a bunch of rock shoes and ski boots. 90% of my summer backcountry time is either in the running shoes or Towers.

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