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Boots for Casaval Ridge in late april

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Boots for Casaval Ridge in late april

Postby stonefree » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:01 am

I am planning on doing the casaval ridge in late april and I have two different footwear setups in mind. I was thinking of possibly using my trango S evo gtx's with my climb high insulated super gaiters and foot warmers, or using my Koflach Arctis Expe's with gaiters. Both options offer different benefits and cons. Just wondering if anybody had any idea of what would be a better option on shasta at this time of the year.
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Postby Zzyzx » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:30 am

I would imagine that either choice would be fine. The weather is pretty mild in California, relatively speaking.
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Postby bird » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:53 pm

I'd wait until the last minute, check the forecast and then decide. If the weather allows you to go with the lighter Trango's you'll be much happier.
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Postby HeyItsBen » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:07 pm

bird wrote:I'd wait until the last minute, check the forecast and then decide. If the weather allows you to go with the lighter Trango's you'll be much happier.


Great advice. The temp that time of year can be drastically different. I've turned back on Casaval with cold feet, literally. I've also been up there on a separate occasion in April when a climbing ranger came up to turn climbers around, saying it was -30F at the summit and would be -40F the next day. We topped out on the ridge that trip, but didn't continue on to the summit, but I was sure glad I had my doubles and down parka. That was a rarity however, there have been many an April on Shasta when leathers would suffice.
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Postby ScottyP » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:30 pm

I'll bet there in late April as well. Base camping from Helen and tryin Casaval the first day and Sargents the next. I plan on wearing my Spantiks on that climb. Scott
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Postby JHH60 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:41 pm

I don't have the supergaiters you mentioned but do own a pair of Trango Evo S. I'd be a little worried about the combination as the Trangos have very little insulation and even if the supergaiters are insulated above the sole, you can lose a lot of heat through your soles, especially if you are wearing crampons in the snow as you will be. The foot warmers may help but if they crap out then you may be looking at frostbite. Overbioots might work better as they insulate the soles.
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Postby rhyang » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:22 pm

Yep, it all depends on the weather.

In late April 2006 I went up and camped on Casaval amid high winds, spindrift, cold temps, etc. I think the one person I talked to who made a summit attempt turned around at 12000'. In mid-June of that year I went back after a huge dump of snow and did it again, this time successfully.

In mid-April 2008 I went during a great high-pressure ridge and did West Face Gully (which joins up with Casaval around 13000'). It was warm, almost balmy.

I use chemical toe warmers with insulated single boots in the springtime on Shasta. Actually I use them in the winter too, for snowcamping and ice climbing. I rarely wear plastics anymore in California. Maybe I'll break them out again in Feb :)
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Postby JHH60 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:09 am

benjamingray wrote:there have been many an April on Shasta when leathers would suffice.


rhyang wrote:I use chemical toe warmers with insulated single boots...


Which the Trango Evo S are not (leather or insulated, that is). The uppers are fabric, have essentially no insulation and are much, much less warm than my insulated leathers. I get cold in Trangos in winter/spring snow at moderate altitude, though I've always used standard gaiters. YMMV.
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Postby WML » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:19 am

Did Casaval Ridge the first weekend of May last year and the feet were actually pretty warm wearing the Trango S Evo.

I have Nepal EVO's now and use them as a year-round boot, just dialing in those sock decisiones each trip! Much more versatile boot IMO
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Postby rhyang » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:23 pm

The last time I was on Rainier (early July 2006) we chatted with a team near the summit -- they'd come up the Tahoma Glacier and one of them was wearing trango S evo's. It was a pretty warm weekend so I'm not really surprised.

That said, these guys were locals and could pick & choose their weekends .. much like Shasta is for us in northern california. Sounds like the OP is flying in from out of state. YMMV
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Postby JHH60 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:25 pm

rhyang wrote:The last time I was on Rainier (early July 2006) we chatted with a team near the summit -- they'd come up the Tahoma Glacier and one of them was wearing trango S evo's. It was a pretty warm weekend so I'm not really surprised.


I'll have to ask a friend here at work if he'll let me post the photos of his frozen black toes from climbing Liberty Ridge in Trango Evo S in May a few years ago (my friend is a CA backcountry skiing SAR team officer so has some winter experience). They convinced me to buy a warmer pair of single boots for winter use when I didn't want to wear plastics. One of the few benefits of being a middle aged guy is that I can solve gear problems by throwing money at them. :)
Last edited by JHH60 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby rhyang » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:40 pm

Buying gear and actually using it are two entirely different activities :)

You forget that I've actually seen you in action :shock: :lol:
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Postby JHH60 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:58 pm

Rob, I'm not talking about trad climbing. I lived in New England or 18 years and have spent quite a lot of time hiking and XC skiing in snow and subzero weather - likely more than most Californians, especially those who live in the Bay Area. But if you think Trangos are the right choice for this route, I'm sure your opinion is well thought out.
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Postby rhyang » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:32 pm

John, you seem to think I have an opinion on the subject -- I don't. I was just stating some personal experiences.

Before responding, consider this: how many times have you been up Shasta ? Or Casaval ? How much snow-camping or climbing do you actually do in California ?

I'm not interested in getting into an internet pissing match. Just some food for thought, mixed in with some friendly ribbing. Cheers :)
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Postby JHH60 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:04 pm

Rob - peace. I've used my Trangos on snow here in CA in all seasons, including some multiday trips, up to 14K'. In my experience they are awesome in warm conditions but not adequate for multiday use in snow if it's below freezing. Then again I have no direct experience of Casaval, so probably should not have chimed in.
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