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Climbing gear in the US

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Climbing gear in the US

Postby Jurgen » Fri May 23, 2014 8:56 am

Hi all,

This june I'm finally planning a trip to the US and looking forward to experience mountaineering on a different continent. I was wondering if you guys know a mountaineering store near Las Vegas and if prices are much more different from here in Europe. More in detail: do they sell La Sportiva or Scarpa mountaineering boots somewhere near Las Vegas?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Jurgen
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Re: Climbing gear in the US

Postby Fred Spicker » Fri May 23, 2014 1:12 pm

Both the Scarpa and La Sportiva web sites have a "Find a Dealer" search function. I was just looking at the Scarpa site yesterday.

Both companies list dealers in and near Las Vegas - you will have to compare prices and take into account the exchange rate. Don't forget that it will cost you a couple of percent to change money whether in cash or on a credit card.
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Re: Climbing gear in the US

Postby Scott » Fri May 23, 2014 2:15 pm

More in detail: do they sell La Sportiva or Scarpa mountaineering boots somewhere near Las Vegas?


If you can't find them in Las Vegas (and you likely can find them there), you could always order on line and then pick them up at REI free.

This begs the question though; where are you going? I can't think of anywhere even remotely close to Las Vegas that will require La Sportiva or Scarpa mountaineering boots.
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Re: Climbing gear in the US

Postby Matt Lemke » Fri May 23, 2014 6:35 pm

Scott wrote:
More in detail: do they sell La Sportiva or Scarpa mountaineering boots somewhere near Las Vegas?


This begs the question though, where are you going? I can't think of anywhere even remotely close to Las Vegas that I can think of that will require La Sportiva or Scarpa mountaineering boots.


Exactly what I was thinking!
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Re: Climbing gear in the US

Postby Bob Sihler » Fri May 23, 2014 7:16 pm

Vegas is a very popular starting-point destination for foreign travelers visiting the West. Don't forget that the Sierra Nevada is only four hours away. The Cascades are 2-3 days of driving, and the alpine ranges of the Rockies and Utah only take 1-2 days to reach.
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Re: Climbing gear in the US

Postby Scott » Fri May 23, 2014 7:52 pm

The Cascades are 2-3 days of driving, and the alpine ranges of the Rockies and Utah only take 1-2 days to reach.


True, but you wouldn't have to buy them in Vegas for those places.

Anyway, unless you are doing a technical route in the middle of winter, those boots are overkill for most climbs in places like Utah and Colorado. I would think for most of the Sierra as well. The Cascades, yes, but as you mention it's a 2-3 day drive to get there (and places like Seattle or Portland would have a better selection of those boots anyway), thus the curiosity of where he is going.
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Re: Climbing gear in the US

Postby mconnell » Fri May 23, 2014 8:33 pm

Fred Spicker wrote:Don't forget that it will cost you a couple of percent to change money whether in cash or on a credit card.


Not always. There was no conversion fee on our Citibank card while my wife was in Italy last month. We had researched this ahead of time. US Bank charged a fee, but Citibank did not . I am not sure if that is with all cards, or just whatever one we have.
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Re: Climbing gear in the US

Postby Jurgen » Sun May 25, 2014 7:56 pm

Thanks for all the replies to my question and good to see that everyone here is reading carefully.

For those interested: we are not planning to use these boots somewhere near Vegas. Maybe we will use them around Whitney (we are there at the beginning of june so conditions will tell what we need). From Vegas we are planning a five week trip to Vancouver and hoping to climb a few peaks along the way (probably a few in the Cascades).

I climbed quite a lot in the Alps but the States are new to me so if anyone has some suggestions on the line Vegas - Vancouver (I know it's quite a range).. Looking for some easy mixed routes (UIAA 3 similar to AD/ZS in the Alps).
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Re: Climbing gear in the US

Postby Matt Lemke » Sun May 25, 2014 8:35 pm

Are you proficient on glaciers? If so the north cascades are a great place to go. Check these out:

Mount Baker north ridge
Mount Shuksan Fisher Chimneys
Forbidden Peak west ridge
Sloan Peak
Liberty Bell Beckey Route
Dorado Needle
and there are many more peaks that are 3-5 day climbs since they are so far from the roads.

The Stuart Range also has some awesome moderate rock climbing routes without glaciers like:

Mount Stuart west ridge
Prussik Peak west ridge
Argonaut Peak NE couloir (awesome easy mixed line)
Sherpa Peak west ridge
and once again...many more!

Feel free to ask me for details on anything in WA or for other suggestions
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Re: Climbing gear in the US

Postby Fred Spicker » Thu May 29, 2014 1:31 pm

Jurgen - You will probably get a lot of suggestions.

Since you are not familiar with the US rating system, you should check out this page. It might keep you from getting "sandbagged".

http://www.summitpost.org/handy-alpine- ... cts/173430

Also, be sure to check the "Red Tape" sections for any climbs that you want to do. In the US we have some really chicken shit regulations regarding access to some areas. You may not have the time or inclination to deal with some of these.

And, there are no huts.

Here are 3 more routes to consider from the North Cascades Highway. These are reasonable day climbs from the road and do not require any permits other than a NW Forest (parking) pass – depending on where you park.

The South Arete of S Early Winters Spire ( in the Liberty Bell Group ) it is easier than the Beckey Route on Liberty Bell – the 5.5 pitch is very short and not sustained. It is somewhat less crowded than the Beckey Route and could be done on the same day or as an alternative if standing in line is involved.

http://www.summitpost.org/south-arete/164174

This route has a bit of route finding challenge, but judging from what you have done in the Alps, I don’t think it would be a problem for you.

http://www.summitpost.org/west-ridge/164274

On the easier side of what you want, but the scenery is fabulous. A long day from the road or camp.

http://www.summitpost.org/ne-ridge/158226
Last edited by Fred Spicker on Fri May 30, 2014 7:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Climbing gear in the US

Postby MoapaPk » Thu May 29, 2014 3:05 pm

There are places in the Sierra now and even into late summer where you can climb steep couloirs, and would probably want stiff boots able to take automatic crampons.

But if you shop at REI, the advice to order stuff ONLINE and have it delivered to the most convenient store in Vegas is very important. In Vegas, the store staff put away most of the gear they associate with "winter" in April or May -- even though most people really want that stuff for May to September climbs in the Cascades and Sierra. It used to be that the Henderson store didn't carry ice axes at any time of year. Sport Chalet on Charleston has some snow gear out all year -- the turnover is less, and the selection is more random.

The technically tough climbing in Vegas area is lower elevation (rarely starts above 6000') so it may be toasty by the time you get here.
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Re: Climbing gear in the US

Postby JHH60 » Thu May 29, 2014 5:51 pm

As noted, many REI stores don't carry mountaineering boots in stock, although you can order them online and have them shipped to any REI store.

If you want to visit shops which carry a selection of mountaineering boots in stock, so you can try a selection of them on your feet without having to pre-order them, there are a number of shops which do this. While none of those listed below are in Las Vegas, they are near climbing areas that you might want to visit on your trip.

Wilson's Sporting Goods in Bishop, CA
Mammoth Mountaineering in Mammoth, CA
Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City, CA
Fifth Season in Mt. Shasta, CA
REI Flagship Store in Seattle, WA
Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashland, WA (near Mt. Rainier)
The Equipment Shop at American Alpine Institute (Bellingham, WA)

Not near big mountains, but if you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area, these places have a selection of boots:

Sunrise Mountain Sports, Livermore CA
REI in Berkeley, CA

There may be other shops which I haven't listed that also carry boots in stock, but I have visited the ones listed and know they do carry mountian boots in stock.
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