Very appropriate for year round climbing in the Cascades. Medium volume, wide foot fit's well. Pretty supportive, but the soles of my feet ache if there's a lot of trail walking (so only 4 stars). Heavy enough to kick steps easily.
Ice climbing performance is great and rock climbing is as good as climbing in boots gets, the rubber is plenty sticky.
I have re-treated the leather once and only had it wet through on one occasion, a three day summer trip on Rainier where the boots were in wet snow the entire three days.
Durability wise, no busted seams or loose rands, holding up very well overall.
This is a very good "all around" boot in my opinion, the only climbing boot I had for a couple of years and does everything except hiking well.
I don't know if these are still available in 2004. I got mine in 2002 on sale from SierraTradingPost. A great purchase! I'm really happy with them.
These boots are insulated leather mountain climbing boots. They have a full rigid shank, thinsulate insulation, heavy-duty leather uppers, rubber rands, step-in crampon compatible welts and soles. The soles have just a bit of rocker to them which helps make long hikes a bit easier.
Like most folks, I started ice climbing and mountaineering in plastic boots. When the new wave of leather boots came along, I was eager to try them. The LaSportiva boots however never fit me well. I tried the Salomon Super Mountain 9 Guide boots; and while I loved the way they climbed, the fit was cruelly painful. When BD brought the Scarpa Freney out I thought they sounded like heaven. The comfort problem was fixed, but I didn't like how they climbed. They might have been designed for short hard climbs, but for long front-pointing sessions, they didn't give me enough ankle support. I needed a taller, more supportive boot for the type of climbing I do most often. The Freneys also have no rocker at all. This proved to be a problem with some types of crampons. Many of the latest rigid ice crampons are designed with a bit of rocker to them. So, my great new Grivel Rambocomps (rockered) never fit those Freneys (non rockered) right.
Enter the thermo Matterhorns. Everything I was looking for. Comfort, fit, warmth, rubber rands, rocker for walking plus good fitment with my crampons of choice. Not as sensitive and agile as the Freneys but pretty decent. Not too 'clunky' at all. Excellent support for long days of frontpointing on waterfall ice; plus, good enough flexibility for french technique on alpine and glacier routes.
I've used them now for a couple of years and I am really happy with them. For me, they are perfect.
If your feet fit LaSportivas, then the Nepal Extremes are great boots. If, like for me, those boots won't fit, then these Scarpas offer the features and peformance you need for serious mountaineering and ice climbing in the lower 48.