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How do people who ski denali not lose toes?


keenwesh
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Been wondering this, every video I see of someone skiing denali they appear to be in TLT6s or a similar AT boot. There's no way that regular AT boots are warm enough for summit day. Are folks using overboots for the way up and just skiing fast enough that they descend before their feet freeze?

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When I was up there a number of folks wore ski boots to 14k and then switched to climbing boots for the summit. I did not see anyone above 17k with ski boots though.

 

To be clear, I'm talking about people who ski from the summit, in order to do the Orient Express or Messner.

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There are insulated overboots for ski boots. I have a buddy who uses them in normal conditions because he has poor circulation due to wearing too small boots in cold conditions.

 

Though I don't know why most AT boots would be any less warm than standard double plastic boots for climbing.

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Here was my setup on the West Buttress June 2014, all the way to the summit and back with no toe loss:

 

- Smartwool merino wool liner socks.

- Reynolds Oven Cooking Bags, Large size.

- Smartwool PhD Ski Medium weight socks.

- TLT6 mountain, 1/2 size bigger than normal (30.0 mondo instead of 29.5).

- Thicker footbeds than stock.

- 40 Below Fresh Tracks overboots, with the ~3mm? CCF footbed that went between the TLT6 sole and the sole of the overboot.

 

My feet were fine and never got cold. The oven bags worked great, both in preventing blisters and keeping the outer sock dry.

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The secret is waiting for decent weather. I didn't ski it but I did go to the top in normal double boots. We bailed on the first few tries because my face felt like it was going to get frostbite (the wind can be pretty cold), but on the day we made it to the top I didn't even zip up my puffy on the summit. I guess the take home lesson is that if you feel like your feet are too cold, wait for another day.

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- 40 Below Fresh Tracks overboots, with the ~3mm? CCF footbed that went between the TLT6 sole and the sole of the overboot.

Did you wear the overboots while skiing? The CCF footbed and overboot sole didn't mess with boot/binding fit?

 

This, seems like you could make a dynafit setup work by cutting holes in the overboot, or the overboots would be made to accomodate the binding, but in every video I've seen the shredder is in AT boots without any overboot in sight.

 

Like this guy:

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/281374-SKI-DENALI-Expedition-My-Experience-Climbing-Denali-and-Skiing-the-Messner

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You can punch holes in the toe and heel of the overboot, see https://www.wildsnow.com/3743/ski-boot-overboots/ You have to take the extra CCF footbed out or else there isn't enough clearance below the toe and heel.

 

The secret is waiting for decent weather.

Amen. We took pulled off the overboots entirely when switching from crampons to skis for the downhill.

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