This winter I'm looking to pick up a pair of new pair of boots that I can use for ice/mixed climbing but also possibly bring up 6000m peaks in the Cordillera Blanca or lower elevation technical routes in Alaska.
Double plastics are always an obvious choice but I want to take advantage of some newer technology. There are a lot of options out and I'm not sure which boots fit the criteria of being warmer than summer mountaineering boots but less chunky than boots meant for the Himalaya, so I'd appreciate some suggestions.
The models that I'm aware of that should work are the La Sportiva Spantiks and Scarpa Phantom 6000.
Last edited by kheegster on Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
we're planning on the Blanca next year as well and are gearing and training up now, so we've all just dealt with this decision as well. My circulation isn't the best in the world - not bad, just not great - so i deferred to the warmer option and got Spantiks. wore them Thursday for the first time on Right Couloir of North Peak (5 pitches of ice) then 400 feet of class 4 rock - they were great for the ice, obviously, but also surprisingly grippy and tuned on the rock. they are definitely NOT approach wear, of course. given the price, i'd strongly rec. just eating the minimal additional cash and going for the Spantiks over the Baruntse's - they're much lighter, and you'll be glad you paid another $120 when you've lugged them in 30 miles...as ever, as everyone knnows, fit is critical - i sent mine back twice before dialing them in just right - heel lift is about 1+ cm
I went for the Spantiks too and used them on Pisco and Huascaran. They're light and fit well and like another reviewer said they were good on the rock too. It was not too cold when I was up there but my toes were never cold. I only wore medium weight socks with no liners on the way to camp 2 on Huascaran and it was no problem. I was all set to wear heavy socks to the summit, but we didn't go up (see trip report).
I did get a nasty blister on the top of my left foot on the way down. This may have been from the heavy sock and liners I was wearing. I don't think it will be a problem in the future as I'll just prepare for it.
The only thing I don't like about the Spantiks is the lacing seems fragile to me and I've read that some have had these break. I figure I could rig something up with accessory cord if I have to.
Another option to consider might be the Scarpa Omegas. They're a lightweight plastic boot with an intuition liner that are pretty low profile and precise on the ice. They're also lighter than the Nepals (which I also have), Baturas or Spantiks, and cheaper than any of them. I haven't taken mine above 4000m but others have.