Hey Kev, check this
"It was the French foam inner boot made by Palua for the the other La Sportiva double boot, the Baruntse, that made me think of trying the Spantik again. The Palua inner is truly heat formable by any good ski boot fitter and had given me an exceptional fit in the Baruntse. Which made me think, 1st, maybe I was buying Spantiks in too large of size and 2nd, that that same inner boot was lighter (than the Spantiks inner or a Intuition) and just might fit perfectly in a smaller size Spantik shell. Which in turn might make a wider array of crampons fit better.
I was right on all counts.
As a side note if anyone has had success with heat molding the original Spantik inner boots would you please post your thoughts and the details in the comments? While the Sportiva literature claims the Spantik liner is heat formable I don't know of anyone who has done it and I could not get Sportiva NA to give me any direction let alone written instructions. The expert boot fitters I showed the liners to refused to take on the job because of the worry of wrecking an expensive pair of inner boots....but had zero issues molding the simpler Baruntse liner or the Intuition liners with perfect results.
(update 4/28/10 I actually broke down and bought a high quality, professional heat gun and attempted to heat form my Spantik inner boots with almost ZERO success. I worked as a ski boot fitter at one time so not something I would suggest to everyone. Yes they fit a tiny bit better but there just isn't enough foam there to really get a custom fit. On the other hand my Baruntse inners, which do have enough foam, fit the Spantik shells perfectly with a much better fit on my foot and less weight. )
I only wish La Sportiva USA offered spare Baruntse inner boots...at the moment they do not. (They do as of 9/1/2010) I'll get into the details of the Baruntse in an other review. Short version? If you are looking for a cold weather double boot specifically for technical climbing....the Baruntse is an unqualified success imo. I'd give it a 5 star rating no question. Only a small part of that story but take a look at the over all weights of both Spantik and Baruntse in the previous weight blog as a first comparison. You will likely be surprised. Sportiva's sales comment abou tthe Baruntse at one time was, "less technical than the Spantik ". It is not. And in many ways it is the better technical boot on steep ice and hard mixed.
There have been many, many hard, technical and cold climbs done now in the Spantik. Just not on Nanga Parbat as most will assume from House's youtube clip of what he "used" on Nanga Parbat. That was the Nuptse another La Sportiva double boot"
When I was in South America (colder part, in winter), I had the Spantiks and they worked out just fine. I prefer them over the Baruntses because of the considerable weight difference. I would go with the Spantiks for what you're doing- they hike really well.