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Delaminated Nepal Evo soles, Cordillera Blanca

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Delaminated Nepal Evo soles, Cordillera Blanca

Postby hamik » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:17 am

Not too long ago I posted a question about how to glue my Nepal Evo soles back on. I got some fantastic responses, and I found that barge cement + wrapping in electrical or duct tape while the glue set was the best way. The opinions of the cobbler from Seattle and a couple of reputable members from my club list were that products like Shoe Goo should not be used because they are primarily caulking agents and not adhesives, so I didn't even try them. I did try superglue (both the runny and gel kinds), but in my comparison with barge cement I hardly kept use and quality of application constant.

After cleaning with alcohol, wrapping in tape, and letting the glues set for > 24 hrs, the barge cement seemed to last for ~1 hard day, whereas the superglue seemed to last for ~1/2 day. Their use was split more or less evenly between approaches and climbing rock and ice. I reapplied the glue about six times since my last post in October.

The soles have detached yet again, and I now find myself likely going to the Cordillera Blanca this summer. Since I'm on a budget this year, I wanted opinions on whether these sloppy boots are salvageable and appropriate for stuff to 6500 m or if I should drop some money on a new pair. Current pictures of the boots are below. In particular, I wanted to know if you think I can trust a repair job from a professional cobbler to keep the soles attached for one month of hard use; I'm not sure I should trust the cobbler's opinion, which is why I'm asking you guys! I'm concerned that my six botched jobs will affect the reliability of the cobbler's work, and indeed if under even the best circumstances the cobbler could use a magical glue or technique which would keep the soles on for more than a couple days. I have a pair of cheap, large-fitting double plastics (Invernos), and although they would surely suffice in warmth, I just don't feel as confident with them on hard terrain as I do in modern boots.

I have found only 1 source of information on alpine dry season lows in Peru, which says they're usually -20C to -5C. Since we will be climbing or rappelling at night sometimes, it's important for my boots to be warm enough for those temperatures. I've seen pictures of lots of folks at 6000m in the CB wearing the Nepals, but when I used mine on the East Buttress of Whitney late last November, I got the screaming barfies early in the day when it was about -10C... not a good sign, and I can't exactly test other sock configurations or heat packs because winter has left us. Can you provide input on realistic low temperatures in the CB--for instance, 1st to 3rd quartile lows on a solid high pressure day during which I might climb some TD ish route, perhaps some of it at night? I'm sort of open to getting new boots, particularly something I can continue to use in cold, technical climbing (like the Baruntses or Spantiks), but obviously I'd prefer to keep my old Nepals.

Image

Image

The above two pictures are of the same boot. The other boot's sole has held on a bit longer--2 trips since the last barge, I think--but it's still suspect since it was glued on a ton of times before. Here it is:

Image

Thanks for your input!
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hamik

 
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Postby MRoyer4 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:33 am

Boots in the Cordillera Blanca has been discussed numerous times over the last couple years (search 'boots cordillera blanca' and you'll get 6-8 relevant threads). My general thought is that you could get away with singles if you're fastidious about keeping them dry, know you have warm feet, and know your system well. But, during an approach in +20C full sun, my boots are wet from sweat and it's not easy to dry them on a glacier. Thus, I think doubles are a much safer and more comfortable choice.

The temperatures are remarkably consistent. At elevation and on a clear night (which is typical, especially in a normal year), you can plan on temperatures reaching close to -20C. Whether or not you're comfortable in Nepals at that temperature is your decision.

As for taking boots with a delaminated sole for which the repair lasts only a day, I would never do it. You will be out a minimum of 3 days for just about any climb. If you do take them, I would also bring to Huaraz the means to repair them. I wouldn't rely on finding what you need in Huaraz (if it's that critical), although I've never looked for glues when there.
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Postby hamik » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:08 am

Thanks, I appreciate your responses. Yeah, I should have searched the forums! I haven't decided whether to get these repaired or to get a new pair (I'm thinking Baruntses or Nuptses, since Spantiks seem comparable, more expensive, and not as durable)... I talked to the cobbler guy (davepagecobbler.com) and he seems very confident that the soles will not delaminate again after a total resole. Since the rest of my question was basically answered, I guess it now boils down to: should I trust a total resole, assuming I choose single leathers for the trip?
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Postby MRoyer4 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:34 am

I guess it now boils down to: should I trust a total resole, assuming I choose single leathers for the trip?


Yeah, that's a tough question. Boots are expensive, but if your boots fail, you've essentially lost the cost of a trip to Peru (although, crazily, it's not that different than a pair of Spantiks!). There definitely aren't modern boots for sale in Huaraz, although you may be able to rent something serviceable, likely on the level of your Invernos or Koflach Degre's.

For what it's worth, I used Spantiks on my second trip to the Blanca and couldn't have been happier. I haven't seen the Baruntse, but there is definitely a difference between the Nuptse and Spantik.

Another small tidbit that may help in your singles/doubles decision is what routes you intend to climb. South faces = cold and shady; north faces = warm and sunny. There is a HUGE difference in the CB due to the hot equatorial sun.
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Postby hamik » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:49 am

*Sigh* I think I'm gonna drop it all on Spantiks or Baruntses. I'm tentatively planning to do 6000m, longish south-facing climbs, so I guess I should take out the cold-injury insurance. Relatedly, anyone need me to do some math or programming for you? :lol:
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