Hello, I am planning a trip to Aconcagua in January 2015. I own a pair of Lowa Mountain Expert GTX and I am wondering if they will be suitable. We will be following the trekking route, not technical climbing. But we will be using crampons.
Our guide has recommended Double Plastic or Synthetic Boots, such as La Sportiva Spantik, Scarpa Phantom 6000 or Scarpa Omega. Can you help decide if I need new boots or if my Lowa Mountain Expert GTX will be sufficient?
You do not want single boots on Aconcagua. Since you don't leave for another year, you have some time - if price is your biggest concern, you should be able to find a suitable used pair here or on Cascade Climbers for cheap. Or if you prefer new shiny stuff, we might see some new/updates to 6000 meter boots by this time next year.
I'd try to score a pair now with plenty of time to ensure proper fit this winter.
Thanks Seb, thanks Luzak! Don't worry - I trust my guide. He didn't say no to those boots, but he strongly hinted it. I guess I just wanted a couple of opinions. Thanks for the tips on alternatives, Luzak! Cheers
Yeah, it's more a strong recommendation than a firm no. It's possible that you could summit successfully with the boots you have, but you put yourself in a much better position with a pair of double boots. The Mountain Experts are insulated, and if you could keep them dry enough they'd work on most days, but you're planning on too many things going right.
The good news is, double boots will treat you well for extended winter trips in the US, are great for ice climbing, and can be serviceable enough for some daredevil skiing. Spantiks, Baruntses, or the Phantom 6000 (I mention these three because they're the most popular/widely available in the North American market, but there are plenty of gems that unfortunately don't get imported around these parts) are a warm enough boot for just about any adventure beyond Aconcagua as well. You have an insulated mountain boot, but the value of a high-altitude/expedition boot cannot be understated, and the only time you'd ever need "more boot" would be for 8000m peaks.