/ Cordillera Blanca – June – Double Boots?
I own standard Nepal boots. Four seasons worn in and very comfortable. I don’t suffer especially from cold feet and have used them in Norway at Rjukan and all Scottish climbing I’ve done. I’ve had two conflicting bits of advice. Can anyone who has actually been to the Cordillera Blanca in June/July and climbed these mountains offer an informed perspective, or draw analogies with other similar areas in the Himalaya?
Everything I have read or discussed so far seems to indicate that the Blanca is very warm in June – a bit like the Alps in July/August – just bit higher!
So here are my options:
1) Super insulate my existing boots: Buy thermal (aluminium) insoles, Lorpen Primaloft socks and an insulated or very thick over-gaiter (Not the Yeti glue on type – anyone any ideas who else makes ones that you don’t glue on – and I’m not sure the Antarctic forty below ones at £140 a pair are what I’m after!).
2) Buy a pair of expensive Double boots (Spantik, Boreal G1 Lite, Asolo etc)and then you’ll have no worries.......(PS i’ve tried Scarpa Vega and they are too Agricultural – I love my feet!)
The nepals will be fine.
But that is based upon going in august ten years ago.
Current boots are fine.
Keep them in tent overnight and keep socks and boots as dry as possible. If socks are damp, sleep with them.
I've been twice in July and climbed two of the mountains that you mention, with long stays at 5300m. We had -20 degrees c at dawn but it felt warmer than that if you know what I mean. I have always used double boots in the Blanca because I like to put the inners inside my sleeping bag to dry them out properly over night, and I haven't suffered with cold feet. Double boots give you a bit of insurance in case anything goes wrong. If I was going this summer I'd take Scarpa Omegas and sell them over there at the end of the trip
On the last trip my partner wore his LS Nepals with an insulated super gaiter, I think that they were Berghaus, and he was fine with that. On an earlier trip a different partner wore Lowe single boots and he got really cold feet with frost nip. It stopped him summiting on Chopicalqui.
If you're doing any tech climbing take a big trowel sized adze for the flutings
have a good trip........Jeff
Thanks Jeff, good advice. I'll have a look at the gaiters next.....
Concur with above, used Nepal Extremes on Quiteraju and Huascaran and others, July - September, bit nippy in the mornings, but feet nice and toasty!
I've been up Alpamayo, Sajama and Illimani in Nepals with no problems. As soon as the sun comes up you'll be roasting, before then it is quite cold, but no problem.
Thanks - did you use any sort of gaiter etc?
I had yeti gaiters for the first couple of trips but normal gaiters for the later. I don't think they made much difference. What the other people say counts, though. Boots in tent to stop freezing, drying them out a wee bit isn't bad as you would typically get to a high camp by 9 or 10 in the morning to avoid walking uphill in the sun, leaving 10 til 6ish to get the boots in sunlight and that is if you are going for the summit that night.
Nothing to do with boots but we were there last June and found new restrictions on independent mountaineering in place as of last season strongly discouraging non-guided parties to climb in the national park. We were refused permits in national park office, rumours of parties being turned back from Alpamayo and local trek shops up in arms. Basically got around this through luck but if I was going again, I'd check where they're up to with this restriction, or risk major hassle impacting on your plans.
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