Double Boots & Crampons

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mts4602
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Double Boots & Crampons

Postby mts4602 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:13 pm

I'm looking for recommendations for a double plastic boot & step-in crampon.


Next year I'm hoping to attempt Rainier, but also want these for future higher climbs and this is my first time purchasing this stuff. There is so much out there I don't know what to choose. I will say though that even though I believe double plastic boots are needed for longer expedition climbs there seems to be many more leather boots out there than plastics and also with regard to crampons I see a lot more hybrid/strap on kinds than step-in. All of the crampon systems are a little confusing to me...Grivel for example has "classic, New Matic, and Cramp-O-Matic". Need some help!

Thanks,

Matt
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Re: Double Boots & Crampons

Postby I Man » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:16 pm

This is highly subjective, so take everyone's opinion into account.

Personally - in Colorado I use single layer insulated boots (Sportiva Nepals) - even on multi day trips. I have never had an issue with this.

On Rainier, I spent 6 days and got into some pretty bad weather...I was fine in the Nepals, and one of my other partners who "runs cold" also had a single layer boot. Our 3rd Partner did use LS Spantiks though.

I am also curious as to recommendations for double plastics though....

Crampons are another story...and it drives me nuts. It depends a lot on what you intend to do with them. I have the BD Sabretooth now with a heel AND toe clip, but I've got into some pretty hairy situations with the toe clip coming off (and I hear others have this problem as well). I am going to try out the Grivel G12 this year - possibly with a strap in the front.
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Re: Double Boots & Crampons

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:26 pm

I love my Petzel Charlet strap on crampons...wish I could say the same about my Asolo Broad Peaks which I plan on replacing this season with some Salewas.

IMO, the "full shank" or toe and heel step ins don't do very much for snow climbs, the rigidity of your boot is what matters even on steep snow. As long as the crampon stays on (have had 0 problem on numerous climbs with my strap ons) then you are good to go.

Here are my babies:
http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/classic-mountaineering-crampons/vasak
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Re: Double Boots & Crampons

Postby climbingaggie03 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:54 pm

When I was looking at working on Rainier I bought the Koflach degree. I've worn them in colorado and they're over kill even in the winter but my feet stay dry and warm. I have a pair of older petzl charlet crampons that clip on and I've never had an accidental release.

I don't wear my plastics too often in co unless I know I'm going to be in alot of deep snow, or ice climbing. My crampons are great for walking and not bad on WI 2-3 but much harder than that they start to not be the best. I have a pair of Scarpa Charmoz boots that I wear in warmer weather and I think my next pair of crampons will be black diamond sabretooths, better technical climbing and still decent walking performance.


As far as recommendations for you, I think it depends on what you want to do, you said rainier next year and then bigger climbs, denali? Himalayas? Without knowing exactly, it's hard to say, but if I was buying a double boot today, I'd probably get the la sportiva spatnik, the baruntse also looks like it may be a good option. As always with footwear, fit is king, if at all possible, try them on, or be prepared to ship them back if necessary. In the summer, you can get up almost anything in the lower 48 in single boots, and spatniks will definitely be over kill in rainier, but they will be right at home on bigger peaks. I'd say the same about the koflach arctis expe, not the best boot for rainier but will excel on bigger colder mountains. As far as crampons, I'd say probably the givel g12 crampomatic or black diamond sabretooth pro would be the best all around crampons for you.
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Re: Double Boots & Crampons

Postby Rainier_Wolfcastle » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:54 pm

I did a guided trip up Emmons and the local guides seem to favor the Scarpa Phantom Guide (runs about $549). Thanks to a tip here from Kiefer, I bought a pair of Scarpa Mont Blanc GTX ($429)...I put my faith in them for Colorado Winter/Spring and my Rainier summer trip...I love my boots! Of course, as with any boot get some nice insoles.

I have never had a problem with my BD Contact Strap Crampons (purchased prior to the Mont Blancs)...with extender (needed even though I am only a size 11.5).
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Re: Double Boots & Crampons

Postby pvnisher » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:13 pm

Boots are the pricy, yes, but they are important, and sadly, a single boot isn't going to answer all your needs. Just like you wouldn't say, "I'm climbing Elbert in winter, then Rainier and Orizaba in summer, then Denali, which one jacket should I buy?"

For Rainier in summer, a leather (LS Nepal, Scarpa Mont Blanc) is what you want.
For bigger (in summer), ie Mont Blanc and the Alps, Orizaba, and most CO winter trips, the same boot holds true.

Double boots are really only needed on longer trips where you need to dry them out overnight, or for very high (altitude or latitude) or high/winter (Rainier in winter, etc). If you get double boots you will be severely limiting yourself.

If you get a leather single boot you will also be limited, yes, but it is at a more useful level and you'll get more use out of them. That's what you want for now. By the time you get around to those "future higher climbs" you will likely have replaced everything you currently own. 8) Not joking.

Same holds for crampons. For Rainier, Mont Blanc, and easy ice, a classic 10 point strap-on (BD Contact Strap or similar) is what you want.
You can get 12 pointers if you like, but they don't help much until it starts to get quite steep. You'll be happy with strap crampons because they will fit all of your footwear.

Alternately, you can get the hybrid style (with a lever in the back and strap in the front). They are faster to put on and off, which can be handy.
And they can also fit on lighter weight mountaineering boots with just a heel welt (plastic chunk in the back), but not a toe welt. I use my 3-season boots (with heel welt) more than any other boot. For lower climbs in the Alps and even mid-summer on Rainier they were fine.

No matter what, if you're looking for one set of crampons, get steel.


Bottom line: if you end up going to Alaska, Nepal, or serious winter escapades you're going to need serious kit. If you're just getting into it, then get the things that are appropriate for now and the near future. You'll be happier. I recommend a strap-on steel 10-point crampon, and LS Nepal or Scarpa Mont Blanc. You can add in a 3-season mountaineering boot (with heel welt but not toe) for under $200 for easy glaciers.
Like anything else, you will soon have a wardrobe full of kit.
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Re: Double Boots & Crampons

Postby TomPierce » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:52 pm

My opinions: I've used both plastics and the newer synthetic/fabric style boots and no longer see much use for plastics, a pretty old school option. IMO they hike poorly, aren't that comfortable and aren't any warmer than a good synthetic boot, at least in my experience (and I tend to get very cold feet). Even at the level of Everest-style boots the inner boot isn't like a plastic boot. But double boots sure are nice on multi-day cold trips, so nice to stuff the inner boots in your bag at night. I fully agree that fit is super important, and that an aftermarket footbed is a good idea. Finally, if warmth becomes an issue, investigate better socks and maybe a custom Intuition liner. FWIW, I use a Boreal G1 Lite, very light and warm.

As for crampons, I personally don't like the imprecise feel of strap-on crampons. Unless there is a poor boot lip/crampon bail combination (which I've seen on a few occasions) clip-ons are very reliable and pretty easy to get on, esp when it's cold, ie no straps and buckles. If the fit is good at the toe/heel, and if they are still popping off it's probably because they are adjusted too loosely. The rear bail needs to really pop on, it should be a slight struggle to get it to snap close. Oh, and unless you're doing mixed/ice climbing, stick with flexible crampons with horizontal front points. A stiff, rail-type crampon is overkill for general mountaineering, the vertical front points tend to sheer through the snow worse than the horizontal points, and a rail style often tends to ball up in warmer snow. FWIW, I use a slightly modified BD Sabretooth crampon for mountaineering now.

Just my .02.

-Tom

PS: And yes, as pvnisher points out, no one set-up will be ideal in all conditions. Double boots are a bit of overkill for Colorado, although in really cold winter temps that's what I use.
Last edited by TomPierce on Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Double Boots & Crampons

Postby Taillon75 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:59 pm

I used a pair of Scarpa Invernos in the Himalayas this spring. Warm and dry the whole time. A bit cumbersome when your not on a glacier or snow slope though. They usually run around $300. I just used a standard pair of Black Diamond crampons. They work fine.
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Re: Double Boots & Crampons

Postby Theodore » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:37 pm

While the brain trust is here, what crampons are you using on the Nepal EVO's? I have some CM Super 12's that don't have the greatest contact on the front toe bail, even popped off once on Hood. Does the Grivel bail fit well? I'd prefer to avoid the BD stainless models due to their breakage stories...
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Re: Double Boots & Crampons

Postby mts4602 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:29 am

pvnisher wrote:Boots are the pricy, yes, but they are important, and sadly, a single boot isn't going to answer all your needs. Just like you wouldn't say, "I'm climbing Elbert in winter, then Rainier and Orizaba in summer, then Denali, which one jacket should I buy?"

For Rainier in summer, a leather (LS Nepal, Scarpa Mont Blanc) is what you want.
For bigger (in summer), ie Mont Blanc and the Alps, Orizaba, and most CO winter trips, the same boot holds true.

Double boots are really only needed on longer trips where you need to dry them out overnight, or for very high (altitude or latitude) or high/winter (Rainier in winter, etc). If you get double boots you will be severely limiting yourself.

If you get a leather single boot you will also be limited, yes, but it is at a more useful level and you'll get more use out of them. That's what you want for now. By the time you get around to those "future higher climbs" you will likely have replaced everything you currently own. 8) Not joking.

Alternately, you can get the hybrid style (with a lever in the back and strap in the front). They are faster to put on and off, which can be handy.
And they can also fit on lighter weight mountaineering boots with just a heel welt (plastic chunk in the back), but not a toe welt. I use my 3-season boots (with heel welt) more than any other boot. For lower climbs in the Alps and even mid-summer on Rainier they were fine.

Bottom line: if you end up going to Alaska, Nepal, or serious winter escapades you're going to need serious kit. If you're just getting into it, then get the things that are appropriate for now and the near future. You'll be happier. I recommend a strap-on steel 10-point crampon, and LS Nepal or Scarpa Mont Blanc. You can add in a 3-season mountaineering boot (with heel welt but not toe) for under $200 for easy glaciers.
Like anything else, you will soon have a wardrobe full of kit.



You are right. I already have jackets, tents, sleeping bags etc for different types of weather/climbs so it only makes sense for boots to be the same. I guess I just figured I'd go with the high end boots right off the bat and use them for climbs where they might be overkill, but that's kind of dumb.

You mentioned getting a 3 season mountaineering boot, can you recommend one? I looked at the Nepals and it seems like they have a toe and heal welt, but maybe I just dont know what I'm looking at.

Matt
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Re: Double Boots & Crampons

Postby Taillon75 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:04 am

Theodore wrote:While the brain trust is here, what crampons are you using on the Nepal EVO's? I have some CM Super 12's that don't have the greatest contact on the front toe bail, even popped off once on Hood. Does the Grivel bail fit well? I'd prefer to avoid the BD stainless models due to their breakage stories...

I have a pair of those BD stainless. Working good so far.
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Re: Double Boots & Crampons

Postby climbingaggie03 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:14 am

mts4602 wrote:You are right. I already have jackets, tents, sleeping bags etc for different types of weather/climbs so it only makes sense for boots to be the same. I guess I just figured I'd go with the high end boots right off the bat and use them for climbs where they might be overkill, but that's kind of dumb.

You mentioned getting a 3 season mountaineering boot, can you recommend one? I looked at the Nepals and it seems like they have a toe and heal welt, but maybe I just dont know what I'm looking at.

Matt


The nepal evos definitely have a toe welt and they're great for winter in co as well as summer on bigger mtns

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