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Summer mountaineering - anyone use plastic boots?
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timstich


Feb 15, 2004, 10:48 AM
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Summer mountaineering - anyone use plastic boots?
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From what I've noticed, most of my friends who climb alpine routes are using plastic boots. In fact, it looks like many new alpinists buy plastic as their first pair of boots, since they are much warmer than leather and dry out faster.

So come summer, are you guys still climbing in these boots, or are you looking around for some leathers? Those of you who already own both can pick and choose what you wear of course.


daggerx


Feb 15, 2004, 11:19 AM
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At depends on location, in the cont. 48 I would not unless its winter but if I was somewere colder I would.

DX


oudinardin


Feb 15, 2004, 11:36 AM
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Like it was said above, It depends on the weather. Lower 48 not really needed but I'll find any excuse to put on one of my pairs of Scarpas.

SCARPA RULES!


kman


Feb 15, 2004, 2:56 PM
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I have the Scarpa Freney's ( they are leather ), they are an awsome boot for rock.


timstich


Feb 15, 2004, 4:33 PM
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I'm leaning towards getting leathers for my first pair of boots, sucking it up when it's a wee bit cold out. The Scarpa Freneys are the one I'm looking at. Just wasn't sure about buyer's remorse when it got cold.


jtcronk


Feb 15, 2004, 7:13 PM
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I use plastics year-round for any overnight cold-ish weather trips and my LaSportiva Trango Ice boots for roadside/single day trips.


sarcat


Feb 16, 2004, 8:59 AM
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I have a pair of the Vasque leathers with the interchangable inter boot. I love them for year round cold weather. They're made for a narrow foot and fit perfectly. In the lower 48 I've never been cold in them anytime of year at any elevation.


skiclimb


Feb 16, 2004, 11:03 AM
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I use running shoes as far as I can...then at most leather hiking vasques with strapon crampons for most general mountaineering in the summer. rigid leathers are good for long steep couliors or summer ice. Then plastic boots as a last resort if you don't have anything else.


brianinslc


Feb 16, 2004, 11:53 AM
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I'm leaning towards getting leathers for my first pair of boots, sucking it up when it's a wee bit cold out. The Scarpa Freneys are the one I'm looking at. Just wasn't sure about buyer's remorse when it got cold.

I climb in the winter in my Freneys...they seem pretty warm for a leather boot. Insulated with something. Friends that have used them and the La Sports claim the Freney's are warmer.

I've climbed to about 10F in mine, but it warmed up later in the day so not prolonged at that temp. Granted, we're talkin' Utah though (but, its been cold here...for a change)...

For overnight use on snow/glacier, say, a Rainier climb, I'd probably still go with plastics. But, for Tetons in the late spring/summer, I'd go leather.

Brian in SLC


blackmountaineer


Feb 16, 2004, 12:50 PM
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I felt out of fashion on Rainier with my leathers. Seemed like everyone else was wearing Koflach Degres.


timstich


Feb 17, 2004, 4:28 AM
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I felt out of fashion on Rainier with my leathers. Seemed like everyone else was wearing Koflach Degres.

Fashion. Heh. That and a set of preconceived limitations.

It's all beginning to dawn on me just what the extent of this wool that has been pulled over my eyes. Here I was thinking you either had to shell out megabucks for plastic boots or stiff leathers before you could even contemplate heading into the mountains at all. Of course on some level I knew this wasn't true exactly.

If I so desired, I could get strap-on crampons for my regular hiking boots and a mountain axe. They would flex a lot and be murder for long hauls, but that's not what I would use them for. This would be less than ideal for some terrain and flat out insane for steep ice, but would get me over hard snow and moderately sloped ice. Right now I have a real economic barrier to purchasing $300 boots.

Ah, but the days are getting warmer and I at least do have a full trad rack to climb warmer rock. So I can go sell my Hilti and divest of that era. That should get me a good pair of boots.


rockprodigy


Feb 17, 2004, 5:42 PM
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Don't get plastics unless you are doing Denali!!!

I've taken Makalus (lightweight 3/4 shank leathers) on the following alpine routes:

-Moose's Tooth West Ridge
-Rainier, Liberty Ridge
-Grand Teton, Black Ice Couloir, N Ridge, N Face

...and many others. I use them exclusively in the Canadian Rockies as well. They are not the best (in fact, I'm looking to replace them...maybe with Freney XT's), but they are way better than plastic.

Remember, 1 pound on the foot is worth 10 pounds in the pack...your boots are your most critical piece of equipment for reducing weight. You would be better off wearing leathers and carrying 30 days worth of toe warmers, than using plastics.

Leathers allow much more efficient walking as well, even in snow.


brianinslc


Feb 18, 2004, 2:54 PM
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Remember, 1 pound on the foot is worth 10 pounds in the pack...your boots are your most critical piece of equipment for reducing weight. You would be better off wearing leathers and carrying 30 days worth of toe warmers, than using plastics.

Hmmm....weigh a pair of Koflach Verticals without the stock liners, add a thermo fit, then compare the weight to a leather boot. You might be surprised...and I'll bet the Koflach's will be lighter than most leather rigs.

Depends on how warm a boot you need, too.

I'd guess that most plastic boots would suffer wet, cold, and freezing multiday conditions better than a leather over the long haul...and...I'd rather sleep with a inner boot liner in my bag on Rainier, than a leather boot... Forced bivy? Gimme a plastic boot.

Good reasons for and against. Might boil down to what fits and personal choice.

Brian in SLC


rockprodigy


Feb 18, 2004, 3:17 PM
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Hmmm....weigh a pair of Koflach Verticals without the stock liners, add a thermo fit...

...well, if money is no object....


brianinslc


Feb 19, 2004, 7:59 AM
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Hmmm....weigh a pair of Koflach Verticals without the stock liners, add a thermo fit...

...well, if money is no object....

Bought mine used and got a liner, custom, for 100 bucks. Way cheap, IMO. Still under retail.

And...that's another nice thing about plastic boots...easier to buy used and still get something functional...rather than a stank pair of leather boots...

Heck, hit the spring sales and buy both, new or used...

Brian in SLC


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Feb 19, 2004, 8:06 AM
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tim --

if you're contemplating summer alpine routes here in the colorado rockies, i would suggest ditching the plastic boots as overkill. i usually go with trail-runners (new balance 805) and 10-point aluminum strap-ons. you can even split the difference and get a light leather hiker instead.

blackmountaineer mentioned feeling out of fashion in leathers, and you brought up the wool over the eyes -- and you are both right on the money. there seems to have taken hold the idea that the first step in climbing a peak is to get "the look". this is a total crock of warm spit.

as you are aware, when i did my mexico volcanoes birthday challenge a few weeks ago (both peaks under 43 hours, solo and border-to-border, using only public transportation) my goal was speed. i looked nothing like the climbers in the popular magazines -- more like an off-route trail runner in microfleece -- and i cannot recount the odd looks and comments i got from the big city, desk-jockey "mountaineers" without laughing.

many of these patagoarteryxmarmotface-clad sheep were pretty much convinced i was going to lose my feet to frostbite even though i was running and sweating my bollocks off. :lol:

one misguided young gun even admonished me to take a course and learn about mountaineering ... ignoring the fact i was on the way down from having tagged the summit, and his brightly equipped group was no more than 1/4 mile from where i'd passed them on my way [i:e6c5df537d]up[/i:e6c5df537d] two hours previously.

hannibal made it over the alps with less crap than most rei mountaineers carry these days. go as light as you can and multiply your enjoyment of the activity.


brianinslc


Feb 19, 2004, 8:39 AM
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as you are aware, when i did my mexico volcanoes birthday challenge a few weeks ago (both peaks under 43 hours, solo and border-to-border, using only public transportation) my goal was speed. i looked nothing like the climbers in the popular magazines -- more like an off-route trail runner in microfleece -- and i cannot recount the odd looks and comments i got from the big city, desk-jockey "mountaineers" without laughing.


Oh, man, thats super! What crampon did you use?

Ditto here...

http://mtncommunity.org/...4034e5c550d36d18.jpg

16k'+...and the runnin' shoes and shorts probably raised an eyebrow or two with the fully goretex'd and plastic koflach crowd...too funny... Stubai Ultralights over Nike. Perfect-a-mundo.

In reply to:
hannibal made it over the alps with less crap than most rei mountaineers carry these days. go as light as you can and multiply your enjoyment of the activity.

You mean REI is sellin' elephants now? Ha ha.

Brian in SLC


skiclimb


Feb 19, 2004, 9:06 AM
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I use running shoes as far as I can...then at most leather hiking vasques with strapon crampons for most general mountaineering in the summer. rigid leathers are good for long steep couliors or summer ice. Then plastic boots as a last resort if you don't have anything else.

Sounds familiar...that was my original advice...lol..and yes people will even comment about your lack of knowledge or experience...haha they have no idea...

Once you try it you'll never go back...free as a bird.


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brian --

i used my stubai cts crampons for the mexico trip. they have a very soft flex and work great with running shoes.

as for rei selling elephants ... yeah, you can [i:dfb4dfc362]get[/i:dfb4dfc362] them, but buying a roof rack for the beast is a b*tch. lots of trunk space, though :wink:


tomtom


Feb 19, 2004, 11:23 AM
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Hmmm....weigh a pair of Koflach Verticals without the stock liners, add a thermo fit...

...well, if money is no object....

Bought mine used and got a liner, custom, for 100 bucks. Way cheap, IMO. Still under retail.

And...that's another nice thing about plastic boots...easier to buy used and still get something functional...rather than a stank pair of leather boots...

I have the same setup: Verticals from Barrabes $180 and Intuition liners from cheapsnowboards.com $5. I've slogged up Rainier in these and they are idiotproof.

Your mileage may vary.


rockprodigy


Feb 19, 2004, 3:06 PM
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hannibal made it over the alps with less crap than most rei mountaineers carry these days. go as light as you can and multiply your enjoyment of the activity.

A-freaking-men brutha!


rngrchad


Feb 19, 2004, 4:23 PM
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I personally have scrambled around the a-frame mountains in Glacier National Park in nothing more than mid-weight leather Asolos. I've over-nighted in them as well. Great for summer time. Cost is about 150.00. My only gripe is they get wet easily and do not dry. I suppose if I've worn heavyweight expedition boots I would favor them over my lighter Hiking shoes but until I get rich, I'll stick to my hikers. Strap my Grivel G10's to these and I can go anywhere!


csoles


Feb 19, 2004, 4:39 PM
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ti usually go with trail-runners (new balance 805) and 10-point aluminum strap-ons. you can even split the difference and get a light leather hiker instead.

If you're into speed, check out the Kayland Ice Everests: insulated running shoe with built-in gaiter and built-in aluminum crampons. A pair only weighs 1.5 kg (3.4 lbs) per pair, total!

In reply to:
go as light as you can and multiply your enjoyment of the activity.

Aye, but be sure to see Touching the Void too.


timstich


Feb 19, 2004, 6:22 PM
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Right on, Clyde. I'm not interested in super-lite = not what you need. But it's nice to know all I need purchase is some strap-on crampons and a mountaineering axe as opposed to saving up major bucks for $300 boots and $175 step-in crampons. I'm fairly sure I have the appropriate clothing since I've gotten to experiment with hiking in different winter conditions. I usually bring extra clothing in case my pace slacks off and/or I hit shade.

Nice little vignette of your birthday volcanos there, George. That's exactly the kind of mindset I love to see applied to the task. I'll have to forward that to my non-conformist alpinist friend back in Texas. He's doing a lot better after his knee surgury and it looks like he'll be in the mountains in no time.


csoles


Feb 19, 2004, 6:31 PM
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Nice little vignette of your birthday volcanos there, George.

Also remember that he blood dopes in Deadville at 10 so a little jaunt to 18 is no big deal.

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