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climbchick


Sep 10, 2002, 7:45 PM
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Flexible boots for ice
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Since good mountaineering boots are so heinously expensive (and I am a notorious cheapskate), I'm trying to get away with buying one pair that I can use for technical ice as well as glaciers/hiking.

The problem, as you surely know, is that rigid boots are best for steep ice and flexible boots are best for general mountaineering. I've hiked several miles in a pair of rented plastic boots & it sucked. So my thinking is this: what if I get a pair of medium-flexibility boots and match them with a set of rigid crampons for technical ice. Now, I was originally told to stay away from rigid crampons and I know they're dangerous for wet snow, but I wouldn't mind buying another cheap set of flexible ones just for the hiking part -- though dragging 2 pairs around with me doesn't sound like the ideal setup either and the lightest set of flexibles that I've found are 14oz, ugh. Do you guys have any suggestions . . . what do you do if you're going to climb ice with a long backcountry approach? Would semi-rigid crampons provide enough support for flexible boots on the ice . . then I wouldn't have to own 2 pairs . .

Also, the specific boots I'm looking at are the Lowa Civetta Extreme, which are supposed to be good for everything, and the Scarpa Cerro Torre. I'd appreciate comments from anyone who has owned these. They don't sell too many mountaineering boots in Memphis so I gotta narrow my choices down ahead of time and then grab a pair next time I'm in a city with a decent gear store.


punk


Sep 10, 2002, 10:29 PM
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The most flexible that I tried were the Trango Ice/comp but pretty hefty pennies too ($375)
I didn’t like them cuz the excess of flexibility (too harsh on the approach…deep snow…talus…)
Also multiple pieces of leather and wonder materials (less water resistance) I have tried allot of pairs as my third pair of Ice boots
(I own the Sportiva Nepal Top and the Lowa Civetta Extreme… Plastic way rigid (great extreme cold weather), Nepal Top still a little too stiff (a little hard to walk, High-step etc with) so I wanted a “must have” boot and I found it in the Salomon Pro-Ice….One SWEEEET BOOTS just the right amount of ankle flexibility and Approach handling. Heaving said that it is not cheap ($300) but worth every penny …there is no way around it…to get quality u will have to open your wallet…the way I see it if it will last 4 to 5 years and will save my feet from frost bites, calluses, pain and podiatrist it is a well worth investment
I have 2 pair of rigid poons
A Grivel Rambo (great and solid) and the M-10 (redefining the word crampons…the best I ever owned)
I will go for the Scarpa if u have a narrow feet (some pp like them) the Lowa Extreme…are for just that Extreme (IMHO the best Plastic boots)

Poons choice is very route dependent and (as general I use my CM Black Ice or BD Saber Tooth…I like the former better for technical Alpine ice or my Cassin Alum for Glacier slogs)
Hope it helped


[ This Message was edited by: punk on 2002-09-11 09:42 ]


agrauch


Sep 11, 2002, 9:39 AM
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I'm now on my second pair of Civetta Extremes. They're a damn good pair of boots, the leather tounge makes walking in them fairly pleasant, they have a narrow profile so you don't feel like you have ballons on your feet, and they are very warm. These are great for painfully cold days and long trips where you don't get a chance to dry out.

As much as I love my Civettas, my favorite pair of boots are my Scarpa Freneys. They kick ass on just about everything. The boots are slightly flexible so they are really comfortable on the approach. The flex doesn't impact their front-pointing ability. With rigid crampons, steep water ice and sporty mixed stuff is no problem. But, I mostly use them for long alpine routes since they're super light and equally at home climbing rock or ice.

I would strongly consider going with a leather boot instead of plastic. You'll get better climbing performance and the boots will be a bit more versatile. Although with leathers the real issue is fit, might be a bit of a problem if you have limited choices.


csoles


Sep 11, 2002, 10:10 AM
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Well since fit is always the ultimate criteria, you should look at the Kayland Revolution (superb but spendy) and Sportiva Lhotse (cheaper). Those are the only women's boots for mountaineering. Or you can save some money and enjoy perpetual blisters.


alpineice


Sep 11, 2002, 10:15 AM
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I also have the Salomon Pro-Ice and they have worked great for me. They're definately comfortable on approaches and are great to climb ice in. My only gripe about them is that when you are in extremely cold weather, leather sometimes just doesn't cut it.

I have also had the Scarpa Cerro Torre. They worked fine, but weren't quite as warm as the Salomon's. For warmer days they're great.

As far as crampons go, like *punk* said, I like the CM Black Ice, however, I plan on trying a pair of BD SaberTooths this year. I think the semi-rigid crampons do just fine on waterfall ice.

Also, Salomon makes women-specific mountaineering boots. Mine are.

[ This Message was edited by: alpineice on 2002-09-11 10:16 ]


climbchick


Sep 11, 2002, 1:20 PM
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Thanks for the input. I will check out the Salomon Pro-Ice boots and the Freneys.

As far as crampons go, do you ever consider carrying two pairs? Let's say you're going to climb a route that has a 10 mile hike in to the base of the peak (so you need flexible boots), a glacier crossing, a few medium and steep snow slopes and 1000ft of AI3 or 4 ice. Would you carry along a pair of flexible crampons in that situation, despite the extra weight? Does anyone use the anti-balling plates on their semi-rigid crampons instead? I've never tried them but heard that they don't work too well.


agrauch


Sep 11, 2002, 2:20 PM
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Carry an extra pair of crampons? For what, the glacier?

I wouldn't carry an extra pair of crampons. Something like the CM BlackIce or the BD SaberTooth are perfect for the kinda route you describe.

Besides additional weight is not your friend when you're walking 10 miles and climbing with a pack.


marcel


Sep 11, 2002, 2:39 PM
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Trangos are good and I love my La Sportiva K-2's


beyond_gravity


Sep 11, 2002, 3:04 PM
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what I did was bought a pair of heavy backpacking boots that were crampon capable, then got a pair of Koflatch double boots so I didnt have to buy a pair of single boots.

One thing you might want to look into is looking for someplace that rents boots that is having a "rental sale".


pbjosh


Sep 11, 2002, 3:10 PM
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If you're serious about ice climbing you'll DEFINITELY want stiff boots. Every boot mentioned is either horrible or wonderful depending on what you want to do and the shape of your foot. Try them all on and pick a comfortable boot, not too tight. Size them with the socks you'll be wearing (most people, myself included, wear a thin/slick liner sock of poly or silk and then a heavy wool sock). For a 10 mile approach alpine climb I sure as hell wouldn't carry two pair of crampons or two pair of boots. Anyone you ask would take STIFF BOOTS and FLEXIBLE CRAMPONS for that. If you have stiff boots any steel crampon will work pretty well. 12 pt mountaineering crampons will work fine for you for at least your first year of ice and mountaineering. Only if you want to really get into hard ice and mixed climbing do you necessarily NEED better crampons to be on a fair playing field. But even on the easiest ice you NEED stiff boots.

josh


pbjosh


Sep 11, 2002, 3:14 PM
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Oh a couple other comments - DO NOT limit your boot selection ahead of time. Try on everything. Pay what you have to to get a boot that FITS! It's really really really worth it. I have the Cerro Torre's, they're a great lightweight full shank boot. They won't work for you above 6000m (too cold) but they're great for ice climbing or some Cascades peaks. The Civetta Extremes are heavier but will ice climb fine and could be used at altitude very well as well. It's worth noting that a high altitude mountaineering boot needs to fit looser to accomodate swollen feet at altitude and a hardcore ice climbing and mixed climbing boot needs to be much lighter and fit much snugger. So go in the middle and get a good all around boot. If you ever want to lead Octopussy (M8) or climb in the Andes or Asia you'll need a lot more than just new boots

Way more important than anything else though is HOW THEY FIT!

josh


pbjosh


Sep 11, 2002, 3:17 PM
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Sorry one more last bit of input:

Hiking in plastic's doesn't suck on snow/glaciers/ice. Hiking in tennis shoes doesn't suck on rock/trail/grass/etc. I usually wear a lightweight pair of trailrunners or sticky rubber approach shoes (even up to 17000 feet in the Andes) and carry my climbing boots until I hit snow at which point I change. Plastics are also the best boots for crossing gnarly creeks, take the liners out and stumble across in the shells which dry (pour) out easy. Tennis shoes and leather boots don't dry out for sh*t.

josh


bradhill


Sep 11, 2002, 4:40 PM
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Just get flexible crampons and a boot with a rigid sole and flexible ankles. You can hike and do good french technique with flexible ankles and the rigid sole provides a stable platform for front-point ice climbing. Grivel G-12s and Sportiva Trango Extremes are what I use for everything. The Sportiva Lhotse is another good all-around boot.

Really, you don't need rigid monopoint crampons to climb ice. They're a specialty item for WI5+ and mixed routes. Also, if you use them on anything less than a completely rigid soled boot, they will get metal fatigue and break. The rails keep vibrations down -- they're not meant to support your whole weight in a flexing boot.


micahmcguire


Sep 14, 2002, 2:28 PM
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I do alot of alpine climbing up here in Alaska, and I really dig my La Sportiva Makalus for hiking, rock, and ice. They are stiff enough to give lots of support, yet flexible enough not to be too harsh to hike 15-20 miles a day in. Not only that, but they are damn water-proof, I've submerged my foot a number of times and not felt the water. Good boots, overall. My 2 cents.


coconutz


Sep 14, 2002, 8:54 PM
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I fI were you I'd check out the above mentioned Kayland Revoultion ($399) quite a bit of money but the catch is they make them on a chicks last. You can buy a full Ice boot that will fit your feet. Also, if the revoultion is a little to much the Kayland M10 (used to be called the GioveK) are an excellent choice as well and only $240. They also make these in a womans last. They are kevlar and leather so they are a little lighter than the Revoultion and insulated too.
Go to www.kayland.com


bradhill


Sep 16, 2002, 1:22 PM
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I'll ditto Micah on the Makalus. Great boots. I hiked in Makalus 8 hours through a trail-become-stream during spring melt off in Denali State Park and had dry feet at the end of the day. I've done up to AI3+ and 5.9 face climbing in them, too.

Only downside is that they're uninsulated, so you really need to pair them with vapor barrier liner socks to use them for winter climbs or doing lots of step-kicking in snow. They're also a bit heavier than the Trango-lasted boots from Sportiva.


rocknpowda


Sep 16, 2002, 1:52 PM
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the only ice climbing I've done is technical ice climbing (if I am going to hike up a snowy mountain, you can be damn sure I've got my Terminators on and I am going to rip turns on the way down). For the tecnical stuff I've climbed in orange leather Kaylands with a rigid sole and sticky rubber rands(I don't remember which model they were) and a pair of Koflach full plastic boots with a liner. The Kaylands were far superior to the rigid Koflachs. The koflachs felt like I was climbing in ill-fitting alpine ski boots and had no sensitivity. The Kaylands were like climbing in a warm, comfortable climbing shoe with a sensitivity that bred confidence and a sole that was stiff enough for anything I needed and they didn't have the heel lift problem the Koflachs had.

For me, its Terminators and AK Launchers for mountaineering and Kayland or some other flexible leather boot for ice climbing.


bradhill


Sep 16, 2002, 2:52 PM
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Last season out here in CO, nearly half of the people I saw out doing ice/alpine had on Trango Extremes. It was a really noticable plurality among those not using rental gear. Maybe all the local gear shops blowing them out at 50-60% off to make room for the Trango Ice and Ice Comp line had something to do with it, but there were a few guides I met with older, raggedy pairs.


rocknpowda


Oct 4, 2002, 2:24 PM
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I just got the deal of a lifetime on Ice Boots!!!!!!!!!

$80 for a BRAND NEW (with the tags and sample piece of leather hanging from the laces) pair of Scarpa Matterhorns.

Now I just need to find some tools and such!!

New Fat Skis and new Ice Boots-The winter is looking UP!!!!!


tradklime


Oct 7, 2002, 10:32 AM
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I second bradhill's suggestion for the Trango Extreme. Excellent "do it all" boot. That's what they where designed for. At least try them on, if they fit well, you'll be very happy.


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