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double plastic boots for north col Everest

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double plastic boots for north col Everest

Postby Diver » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:37 pm

I'm trying to decide on the boots for North Col Everest expedition. This is will be May
expedition that it's slightly warmer then April one and Koflach double plastic boots
are recommended by the expedition web site.

Main use of these boots for this expedition is the climb from advanced base camp to North
Col and back. Which is first walking on the rock to the crampon point and then snow/ice
climbing on 20-45 degree slopes

Koflach has 3 type of boots:

Arctis Expe Boots

Image

Vertical Boots

Image

Degree Boots

Image

It seems that Degree Boots are not ideal for expeditions and my choice is
either Arctis Expe or Vertical. Vertical seems to be a lighter, less bulky
version of the Arctis and I think would be perfect for my purposes. Any
recommendations on these ? Should I consider other brands?

Thank you for your help,
Diver
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Postby Mihai Tanase » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:13 pm

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Postby Diver » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:19 pm

Mihai Tanase wrote:http://www.lasportiva.com/catalogue/catalogo.php?cat=6&Language=EN#
http://www.millet.fr/catalogue_ete/ever ... ath=1_5_23


Mihai,

Thanks for your response. Millet boots or equivalent are recommended for April North Col expedition, May one being warmer calls for something lighter. I'm trying to go by expedition's web site recommendation so I'm after something like Koflchs. Just trying to get some help which one to pick.

Thanks!
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Postby Damien Gildea » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:54 am

Any company recommendation is just meant as a general guide, not too specific. Considering how much feet vary between people, it is impossible - and foolish - to recommend one type of boot for everybody.

Koflach are good boots but are now considered quite stiff, and old technology. They may also not fit your feet, so you need to try them on, ideally. Bad boots kill trips.

The difference between April & May is not enough to make that a factor in buying boots. More of a factor is whether or not you will use them for anything else other than this trip. Some very warm boots, like LaSportiva Olympus Mons are great for up high but too warm and soft-soled for down low. Whereas their Spantik model is not as warm but better for lower climbs, and more technical climbs. For example, if you felt you needed to train for the North Col trip by climbing Mt Rainier, Shasta or Mont Blanc, you would not want to do this in Olympus Mons! (though I'm sure some people have done this :)

Other than LaSportiva, good boots for over 6000m are made by Scarpa, Millet, Lowa and Raichle. You should make a choice based on what fits you, what is warm enough and what is available to you at a reasonable price wherever you live. Don't $kimp. Boots are expensive but the treatment and therapy to learn to walk without toes is much more. If you decide that you don't want to continue climbing afterwards, it's very easy to sell your gear in Kathmandu - lots of gear shops there with near-new boots for sale.

The trip you are planning has a lot of infrastructure and is relatively safe, so you can get down quickly if something goes wrong. You really only have one day of climbing on snow and ice, if you don't go above the Col, so you're not on cold surfaces for very long, so super-warm boots are not nearly as critical as if you were climbing higher on the route. If you camp overnight at the Col then you'll want to keep your boot liners warm in your sleeping bag for the descent the next day - or do you not camp and just go down straight away?

D
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Postby OJ Loenneker » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:37 am

I thought that they stopped making Koflach mountaineering boots. At least they are not available in the USA, except for NOS stuff...
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Postby Diver » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:26 pm

Damien Gildea,

Thanks for your extended reply! I'm only planning to use the boots on this
particular expedition. I don't plan to go above the Col and not even sure
if I'm going to spend a night there, but it's a possibility. It will depend
on the conditions and how I feel up there. But I would definitely keep the
boot liners in the sleeping bag.

I look around more and there are so many choices! Asolo AFS 8000,
La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX, Spatnik (pricey!), Scarpa Phantom 6000 and
Lite. I think I'm going to drive around my area (Boston) and try any plastic
double boot I can put my hands on and see what my choice are and then
start from there.

Thanks!
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Postby Diver » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:27 pm

OJ Loenneker wrote:I thought that they stopped making Koflach mountaineering boots. At least they are not available in the USA, except for NOS stuff...


OJ Loenneker, I look around and it seems like some stores in my area do carry them
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Postby woodsxc » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:49 pm

Hey Diver, we use Koflach Degre's for winter mountaineering in Maine. I was never cold, but I wouldn't use them on Everest. The Arctis or Vertical is gonna be a better boot. Have you considered a more lightweight option? The Koflach's are pretty heavy...
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Postby Yeti » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:56 pm

Withthe white mountains so close, and such a signifigane expedition looming, I would recomend that you keep your eye out for festivals and clinics.
Basically NAY chance you can get to demo boots andother gear. You want to be 100% positive that you've got the right boots for your feet before you even buy your plane tickets. Boots, more than anything else, have the power to ruin a climb.
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Postby John Duffield » Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:41 pm

Well, I love my Koflach Yellow boots, in the photo above. I've been in 50 below C with them on one hand and Mountain Biking on the other. I take them out on regular hikes for training purposes. The step in Crampons are a breeze, an important consideration when your brain is befuddled at 4 am, 50 knot wind and 40 C below zero and you've been holding in a call of nature. You can wear the liners around camp to save on carrying up other footwear.
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Postby bdynkin » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:47 pm

I have Verticals and used them on Denali and other cold places with good results. Verticals and Arctics have the same shells but different liners.

I used Verticals with thermoformed Intuition liners: much warmer than stock liners and saves 1 lb of weight! I suspect that stock liner on Vertical may be a bit cold for your purpose but you can of course increase insulation by overboots, socks, etc.
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Boots

Postby Ozclimb » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:59 pm

Asolo AFS 8000! enough said!....I bought a pair of these and they are awesome, granted...I havent used them on the Nth Col.

Check em out!
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Postby radson » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:21 am

Damien Gildea wrote:Any company recommendation is just meant as a general guide, not too specific. Considering how much feet vary between people, it is impossible - and foolish - to recommend one type of boot for everybody.

Koflach are good boots but are now considered quite stiff, and old technology. They may also not fit your feet, so you need to try them on, ideally. Bad boots kill trips.

The difference between April & May is not enough to make that a factor in buying boots. More of a factor is whether or not you will use them for anything else other than this trip. Some very warm boots, like LaSportiva Olympus Mons are great for up high but too warm and soft-soled for down low. Whereas their Spantik model is not as warm but better for lower climbs, and more technical climbs. For example, if you felt you needed to train for the North Col trip by climbing Mt Rainier, Shasta or Mont Blanc, you would not want to do this in Olympus Mons! (though I'm sure some people have done this :)

Other than LaSportiva, good boots for over 6000m are made by Scarpa, Millet, Lowa and Raichle. You should make a choice based on what fits you, what is warm enough and what is available to you at a reasonable price wherever you live. Don't $kimp. Boots are expensive but the treatment and therapy to learn to walk without toes is much more. If you decide that you don't want to continue climbing afterwards, it's very easy to sell your gear in Kathmandu - lots of gear shops there with near-new boots for sale.

The trip you are planning has a lot of infrastructure and is relatively safe, so you can get down quickly if something goes wrong. You really only have one day of climbing on snow and ice, if you don't go above the Col, so you're not on cold surfaces for very long, so super-warm boots are not nearly as critical as if you were climbing higher on the route. If you camp overnight at the Col then you'll want to keep your boot liners warm in your sleeping bag for the descent the next day - or do you not camp and just go down straight away?

D


I know the OP will probably not want to wait till hitting Kathmandu but the Mountain Hardwear store seems to have a fairly good stock of the Millet Shivling (Scarpa 6000 m equivalent) along with the Millet Everest at much cheaper prices than I have noted on American websites.
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Postby Diver » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:44 am

Thanks to everyone for your input. after a lot of research and reading I seem to be further
away from the decision on the boots :)

As I mentioned before, I'm pretty new to all of this without any significant prior experience.
for me, this expedition is mostly trekking and acclimatization with a short one day trip from
ABC to North Col that is more technical then simply walking at the high altitude. besides that
one day push, I most likely won't need to use the boots again.

I started with recommendation from the expedition web site and it called for double plastic boots
and named one brand - koflach. out of three boots types that koflach makes degree is probably not
enough for North Col, Vertical ones are for more technical climb (North Col steepest section is 60%)
so it leaves Arctis Expe Boots. Arctis Expe are warm enough, but bulky and heavy. and it seems
like rigid plastic boots are somewhat thing of a past.

Asolo AFS 8000 seem to be similar to Arctis Expe. both Asolo and Koflachs are available in my
area so I will try them out and see how they feel. Asolos seems to be in $400 range and Koflachs
are under $200. I know I shouldn't go cheap on the boots, but everything else being the same
I'd rather not spend a lot on something I would use 1 day. The expedition is pricey to begin with :)

If I decide to venture away from plastic double shell boots, what should I look for ?

Getting boots would be a lot eathier in Kathmandu where the choise is plentiful and prices are low,
but that's a risky deal, I want the boots to fit right. I plan on renting/buying a lot of things there, but
boots are not one of them. One possibility could be trying boots here in the states and then buying
them there though.

For now I will try to find Asolos and Koflachs around here and check it out. If you can think of
something in the same category and price range, please let me know - I will put on my list.

thanks a lot again!
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