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Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

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Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

Postby Josh Lewis » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:03 pm

This coming Friday though Saturday a buddy of mine wants to take me to Camp Muir for a snowboarding trip. 8) I've snowboarded a lot at resorts and such but have yet to do it in the actual alpine environment. Would it be a bad idea to snowboard with my mountaineering boots? They are not plastics but are pretty good. It's this or carrying up snowboarding boots as well. Just wondering if some of you might have some advice in this department.
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Re: Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

Postby JonW » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:31 pm

I tried snowboarding in my LS Nepals once and it didn't work so well. Trying to go heal edge really hurt my calves due to the bindings digging in but this could have been due to the height of my particular bindings. I suggest you give it a shot at the resort. I strapped in at home and thought it work well, but it didn't when I got on the snow.

Have you considered hiking up to Muir with your snowboard boots? I imagine you'll be in snowshoes and Muir is a pretty easy hike.
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Re: Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

Postby Josh Lewis » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:39 pm

Thanks for the personal account. I've considered the snow boots idea a few days ago, my brother thought it would be a bad idea considering how the boot is made. I'm not ruling out the idea yet of the snowboarding boots. :wink: If it's anything like my ski boots, forget it! I walked up my drive way with them and know it would be very uncomfortable for traveling in. :?
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Re: Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

Postby 96avs01 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:08 am

I've boarded in both Vasque ICE 9000s and Sportiva Spantiks. Pleasurable all-around experience with both, though the Spantik ride more like a dedicated snowboard boot:

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Re: Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

Postby 96avs01 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:09 am

Josh Lewis wrote:Thanks for the personal account. I've considered the snow boots idea a few days ago, my brother thought it would be a bad idea considering how the boot is made. I'm not ruling out the idea yet of the snowboarding boots. :wink: If it's anything like my ski boots, forget it! I walked up my drive way with them and know it would be very uncomfortable for traveling in. :?


There's lots of peeps that get after the backcountry in dedicated snowboard boots, just be aware that finding a good fitting crampon can be challenging.
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Re: Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

Postby mtndonkey » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:53 am

I've done it in my leather mountaineering boots and don't really recommend it. If your plan is to just get down the mountain on your snowboard, then mountaineering boots will do that, but don't plan on carving or making any moderately hard turns in them. They do not come up high enough on your calf/shin and are not stiff enough above the ankle to do you much good. Conversely, if you really don't need crampons other than for some traction then I'd wear your snowboard boots, you will enjoy the ride much more. I have carried my snowboard boots just for the descent and it is a pain in the ass and not really worth it. I am not familiar with the approach to Camp Muir, but if there is nothing technical, then definitely opt for the snowboard boots.
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Re: Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

Postby Josh Lewis » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:12 am

Thanks! :) Perhaps tomorrow I should test my snowboarding boots by walking around my neighborhood with them on.
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Re: Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

Postby 96avs01 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:13 am

mtndonkey wrote:I've done it in my leather mountaineering boots and don't really recommend it.


I would caveat this statement with that it's strongly dependent on the conditions and the rider. I have ridden powder in leather mountaineering boots with no real noticeable performance issues...hard pack is a completely different story. YMMV
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Re: Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

Postby mtndonkey » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:28 am

96avs01 wrote:
mtndonkey wrote:I've done it in my leather mountaineering boots and don't really recommend it.


I would caveat this statement with that it's strongly dependent on the conditions and the rider. I have ridden powder in leather mountaineering boots with no real noticeable performance issues...hard pack is a completely different story. YMMV


Agreed, I can definitely see how powder would be less of an issue as turns are much wider and slower and responsiveness is less of an issue. I like to turn aggressively and go pretty fast and don't feel mountaineering boots make the ride enjoyable enough for the effort of carrying your board up a mountain. I have only taken my board on backcountry trips 5 or 6 times now and have decided if mountaineering boots are required for the ascent then I won't bring my board.

I guess I either get back into skiing or get a splitboard to take advantage of the best of both worlds.
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Re: Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

Postby 96avs01 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:00 am

mtndonkey wrote:Agreed, I can definitely see how powder would be less of an issue as turns are much wider and slower and responsiveness is less of an issue. I like to turn aggressively and go pretty fast and don't feel mountaineering boots make the ride enjoyable enough for the effort of carrying your board up a mountain. I have only taken my board on backcountry trips 5 or 6 times now and have decided if mountaineering boots are required for the ascent then I won't bring my board.

I guess I either get back into skiing or get a splitboard to take advantage of the best of both worlds.


A splitboard with Spantiks or next years Spark Deluxe XV are a nice dialed setup that can handle pretty much anything in the backcountry and still provide near in-bounds riding performance. Cheers
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Re: Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

Postby Denjem » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:46 pm

JonW wrote:I tried snowboarding in my LS Nepals once and it didn't work so well. Trying to go heal edge really hurt my calves due to the bindings digging in but this could have been due to the height of my particular bindings. I suggest you give it a shot at the resort. I strapped in at home and thought it work well, but it didn't when I got on the snow.

Have you considered hiking up to Muir with your snowboard boots? I imagine you'll be in snowshoes and Muir is a pretty easy hike.

I had the same experiance with my Nepals on Gorgonio. No heel edge. TOO much flex in the ankle.
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Re: Snowboarding with Mountaineering Boots. Bad idea?

Postby Dan Shorb » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:28 am

Josh, there is no one right answer to your question of boots that is good for ALL backcountry snowboarding... But, my two cents on the Camp Muir outing is this:
most snowboard boots are 'double' boots, which means you can put the liners in your sleeping bag at night. can't say enough about that! they make crampons/yaktracks for snowboard boots, and, depending on the snow, you probably don't need more than snowshoes do you? The ONLY drawback of snowboard boots is their grip on hardpack/ice. So, solve that issue, and you're golden. You'd be amazed with what you can go up in Snowboard boots once you get out and about frequently in them.

The ride is 'fine' with mountaineering boots... especially if you take some time to pad them up properly for the ride down (cut part of a sleeping pad to fill in around your ankle if nothing else, and you can reinforce it with some simple webbing straps.) The toes are usually fine, its the upper ankle support that sucks. Sometimes you DO have to worry about the wiggle from the mountain boot width, and again, just fill the space with a pad if need be. You might even experiment with strapping into your highback somehow. I have done variations of this when doing technical climbing/steeps. Its nice for ice.

Do you have mountain plate bindings? If you have those, I'd bring Alpine Touring (AT) boots! I think a lot of folks eventually end up using lightweight AT boots for everything from Alpine Ice, to snow ascents, traverses, to descents etc... Again, its really nice to have double boots on a multi-day trip in the snow.

Most of my friends now use a ski boot with a mountain plate binding. I switched back to skis.... a Convert, if you will.

PS... get a splitboard as soon as you can. Don't fuckaround with two pairs of boots and carrying either your board or your snowshoes on your back... its a waste of energy...especially n big days.

Have fun, and may you have no propagation,and only Q3 in your pits!
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