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Boots - Multitasking or specialty

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Boots - Multitasking or specialty

Postby brrrdog » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:23 pm

I'm still new to mountian climbing and being in michigan I'll be lucky to climb a peak a year. I've done hood twice and we're planning to hit rainer and something in colorado in the next year or so. I have some aspirations to try denali some day and one thing that scares the hell out of me is - boots. Nothing screws up an entire trip like your feet can. This past year we abandoned a tenative plan to try rainer after my brother's boots tore up his feet on Hood. Any longer of a trip and I would have been there too as I had some pretty serious hot spots as well). So with denali being the eventual goal, is there a boot choice that lends itself to that task, while still being a practical choice on decidedly smaller mountains in the years leading up to it? The advantage is that I get to spend years breaking in and adjusting my boots (intuition liners, etc). But the disadvantage seems to be that something like the spantik would be grossly overkill for everything I'm likely to do in the immediate future and don't want my more realistic endevors to be cursed with sweaty feet.

Here are all my thoughts. Pick and choose what you can help with.
- Spantiks seem to be a boot of choice for denali. But I'm thinking they are just too warm for something like rainer or smaller.
- An overboot/crampon combination appears to be a bad choice for anybody but experts so beefing up a lesser boot isn't much of an option (maybe insulated gaiters).
- Is it reasonable to buy a boot just for denali? I'm guessing lots of people do it but again a blister on day two is a scary idea. I could hike in them in the winter and maybe hit one peak but that would be about the only opportunity to make sure they are fitting correctly.
- If the majority of my climbing will be on peaks that are 14k or less (maybe some state highpoints). what recommendations are there? Could I go completely to the other end of the spectrum and get something that's practical even on the approach. I beleive i used a sportiva glacier (http://www.sportiva.com/products/footwe ... lacier-wlf) the second time on hood and i don't even object (and maybe prefer) strap crampons.
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Re: Boots - Multitasking or specialty

Postby sharperblue » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:18 pm

You can certainly RENT boots just for Denali, including Spantiks, though you will likely be stuck with the Inverno/Intuition w/ supergaitor combination.

Though they can certainly handle much more than Washington summits, Spantiks are not overkill on Rainier, especially depending on the route and time of year you'll be climbing, but you should view them like any other tool; is this an investment, or a one-time use? If you are going after Denali, somehow i doubt your mountaineering days will end with that ascent, so investing in high quality footwear might be a great idea.

In the end, you will own at least three pair of boots though, no matter how hard you try :)
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Re: Boots - Multitasking or specialty

Postby brrrdog » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:48 pm

sharperblue wrote:You can certainly RENT boots just for Denali, including Spantiks, though you will likely be stuck with the Inverno/Intuition w/ supergaitor combination.

If anything I'd probably buy and turn around and sell on ebay or maybe pick up a used pair and get a liner just for me so I could have several months with them. My very first ascent was up Hood with asolo plastic rentals that were years past their useful life and it sucked. I just can't see myself risking a trip to a last minute rental.

sharperblue wrote:Though they can certainly handle much more than Washington summits, Spantiks are not overkill on Rainier, especially depending on the route and time of year you'll be climbing, but you should view them like any other tool; is this an investment, or a one-time use? If you are going after Denali, somehow i doubt your mountaineering days will end with that ascent, so investing in high quality footwear might be a great idea.

I do look at as an investment which is why I'm considering high end years before even a commitment to denali. But I also want to make sure I'm not asking for a 747 on my second flying lesson. Route wise, we're not likely ever talking technical. South side hood, disapointment clever on rainer, easy stuff. Although north of me does have some premium ice climbing so that might be a possibility. So lets talk these boots on rainier or even less like Hood or the other cascaces...if we're talking any snow at all, are these ok (not too hot). What about on something with a bit of an approach? Boots like the trangos are a little closer to hikers than something like the spantics. Do the spantics walk just as well (sorry I'm a total noob, but I could just as well be buying boots to walk on the moon :)).

sharperblue wrote:In the end, you will own at least three pair of boots though, no matter how hard you try :)

Read my damn mind. Ultimately this might answer my question. If you really believe this, then I'd probably be better having 1 and 2 for the long hall and then get phase 3 only when I need it, as opposed to try to skip 2 and only own 1 and 3. Mind if I ask your perfect 3 pairs (or anybody else)?
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Re: Boots - Multitasking or specialty

Postby sharperblue » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:19 pm

sharperblue wrote:In the end, you will own at least three pair of boots though, no matter how hard you try :)

Read my damn mind. Ultimately this might answer my question. If you really believe this, then I'd probably be better having 1 and 2 for the long hall and then get phase 3 only when I need it, as opposed to try to skip 2 and only own 1 and 3. Mind if I ask your perfect 3 pairs (or anybody else)?


The Spantiks are remarkably comfortable for approaches - even multi-day approaches. Like any technical boot, just adjust/loosen/tighten when you hop on or come off of something.

Spantiks (7000m and below; technical and mixed ground)
Mammut Thermo (Ice climbing and technical winter mountaineering to 5000m) - these are a good boot for Rainier, btw. The LaSportiva Nepal EVOs or Baturas are even warmer, but heavier and both are excellent boots.
Salomon Quest 4D (heavy backpacking) or any good boot by Merrell

People wills wear by the Trango GTX for ice and mixed, but they're not warm enough for me, and you might find that a slightly heavier and lightly insulated boot like the Thermos broaden the range of what a pair of boots can do. Also, adding toe warmers to any boot will give you a huge comfort bump.
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brrrdog

Re: Boots - Multitasking or specialty

Postby brrrdog » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:04 pm

Thank you - very helpful.
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