Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

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jsdratm
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Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

Postby jsdratm » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:59 pm

I signed up for a Rainier trip next summer with RMI and I was wondering what type of boots is best. They recommend either the La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX (Leather) or Koflach Arctis Expe (Plastic). I've noticed that the plastics are half the weight and almost $100 cheaper. I imagine that the plastic would insulate better and be more durable in the long term. Can anyone offer advice?
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Re: Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

Postby skik2000 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:07 pm

I've worn the plastics on every climb I've done. I just bought a pair of the Nepals at the end of last season and have yet to try them out. I'd have to look at weights but I think the plastics are heavier.
I hope the Nepals work for me as I imagine I'll feel more agile in them.

The plastics are like tanks on your feet. Your feet will stay warmer in them. If you go that route I would buy a pair of Intuition liners for them. Tey are much lighter than the stocks ones and don't absorb water so keeping them warm in your bag at night isn't as much of a concern.

If you have aspirations to go to Denali and other high, cold places I'd get the plastics. If its Rainier and CO I'd go with the Nepals.
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Re: Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

Postby smoove » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:16 pm

I wore the Nepals on the Emmons route in early July and had zero problems with warmth. But we had good weather. But I've also worn them on several winter 14er trips here and my feet have always been fine. What did you wear on your winter Bierstadt ascents? How were your feet?

I'm guessing that the Nepals would be sufficient on Rainier most of the time in the summer after the beginning of July. But if the weather got nasty, you just might want those plastics! If you're going to do more stuff here in the winter and shoulder seasons, though, then the Nepals might be a better investment.

Edit: Actually, I think only one guy in our group wore plastics. Another guy wore Scarpa Mont Blancs (equivalent to the Nepals), and two other guys wore Scarpa Charmoz (equivalent to the Sportiva Trangos). I think you're risking it with the Charmoz or Trango, but they worked out fine with our weather.
Last edited by smoove on Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

Postby CO Native » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:27 pm

The Nepals are heavier, but a more usable boot in Colorado than a plastic. If you're going to buy, I'd go with them since the plastics wouldn't come out again until something like Denali). I had the same debate myself and settled on the Nepals and have been happy with the decision. Plastic boots are brutal on your feet for long approaches. The Nepals aren't luxury but they are better. Anything stiff enough to take an automatic crampon is going to be tough on your feet over long distances. If you maintain the leather well I'd guess the Nepals will actually last longer than plastic boots. I've used mine on over a dozen trips and they still look nearly new. The Nepals aren't extremely warm though so buy big enough that you can fit a thick wool sock in them when temps get below zero. For Summer on Rainier they are plenty warm, my brother just wore the Trango's on Rainier and was totally happy with the warmth of those. (If your guide will let you, I'd go with the Trangos. They're still warm enough for Rainier in the summer and way more useful as an all-around boot.)
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Re: Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

Postby skik2000 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:35 pm

I just weighed both boots. With intuition liners (lighter than stock), the plastics were 4oz heavier than the Nepals.
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Re: Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

Postby Dave B » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:40 pm

I've never been up Rainier so take this for what it's worth, nothing.

You can get a good solid double leather boot from Bent Gate for just $100 more than nepals (i.e. Baruntse's are $512, Nepals are $415). They've also got the uber-lite Mammut Nordwand for $450.

Unless you plan on climbing really hard ice and/or mixed routes (WI5/M5 and up) that require delicate footwork, Baruntses will get you through anything, including Denali (once again, can't speak from experience).

Honestly, I can't ever remember saying to myself: "Self, I wish your boots weren't so warm."
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Re: Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

Postby falcon568 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:11 pm

+1 for Baruntse's. I've owned a pair for a few years and love them. You would probably be fine with Nepals up Rainier, but cold fronts and storms do blow in during the summer, and people have walked (limped) away from that mountain with frostbite. I took the Baruntse's up the Emmons route and was glad I had them on summit day in early July, especially before the sun came up. Most guiding companies recommend double plastics for Rainier, some require them. Plus, like people mentioned, you can wear them on higher peaks like Denali (with overboots).
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Re: Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

Postby desertdog » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:42 pm

Like my Nepal's. They worked great for me on Rainier. Check, as I remember, I met several people climbing with RMI that rented Nepals from them...might be a good way to go if you're unsure.
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Re: Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

Postby BenfromtheEast » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:46 pm

I have an oldish pair of Koflach double plastics in size 8-8.5 that I'd sell for...I dunno...$50...if that's helpful for anyone.
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Re: Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

Postby Bean » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:32 pm

Image

790g/boot (supposedly) in a size 27.5 (~US men's 10ish?). Better ankle articulation than any of the other boots being discussed, fore-aft anyway.
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Re: Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

Postby smoove » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:44 pm

Dex wrote:14,409 - Rainier
14,429 - Massive


:?: :?:
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Re: Mountaineering Boots for Rainier

Postby smoove » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:07 pm

Dex wrote:
smoove wrote:
Dex wrote:14,409 - Rainier
14,429 - Massive


:?: :?:


I haven't climbed Rainier - but I might in a couple of years.

The boots the OP mentioned are pretty expensive. I'm wondering how much use he will get out of them after the trip.

The Outside link recommends lower priced ones that might work on Rainier and Massive in winter.


Ah. I wasn't sure if you were suggesting that Rainier and Massive are roughly equivalent endeavours because they're so close in elevation.

Yeah, like Falcon said above, a cold front can easily roll in even during the summer up there. One week before we went this year, there were 65-70 mph winds on the summit with windchills right around 0. If I had to err one way or the other, I think I'd go warmer (i.e., not towards the Charmoz like the Outside article recommends). I also think a Charmoz/Trango type boot is risky for winter 14ers here in Colorado.

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