/ Sportiva Baruntse
I have three pairs of size 42 Sportivas - Nepal Extremes vintage 2000: perfect fit, the best boots ever. Trango Ss vintage 2001, pretty good fit around the foot although the ankles rub a little. And Trango Extreme GTXs (or something like that, they've made so many almost the same versions! Black and yellow ones from about 2006 anyway). These do fit but are tighter in the toe box than the Nepals and I get cold feet in them in cold temperatures as a result. I'm thinking about getting Baruntses, and if they fit just like my Nepals but are warmer they would be perfect. But if they fit like my Trangos I would give them a miss and wait for a better fitting warm boot.
Of course this will have to be done mail order internationally, hence my problem!
I've not used the older Nepal Toby, sorry. But I think the newer Nepal Evo is one of the very best traditional mtn boots I have used. The Baruntse truely is just a dble boot version of the Nepal Evo for fit and performance in my mind. The inner boot is heat foramable and likely the best fit for me of any La Sportiva boot. Not likely there is anything signifigantly warmer for the weight and size including the Spantik.
jesus toby, dont put yourself thru it. get into some baruntses/spantiks/doubles asap man! youre old enough to have the cash and out enough to get the use, so get your feet warm or your toes wont last as long as your will to climb.
best $$$ you will ever spend. makes cold feet a thing of the past and you start to see what lays beyond.
below about -10 i start to reconsider single-boot-climbers as sooner or later they will be affected by the cold and cut my double-booted climbing time short.
shit, not to mention multi-day trips.
join the club toby. be one of us. the force WILL be with you.
The thing is though that Vegas or Omegas are much less clumpy than Spantiks or Baruntses.
I've got a pair of Spantiks now and they are great when it is really cold, but they are really clumpy. My feet got really cold on a belay last week, wearing single boots. I really missed my old Omega plastics.
For the occasional wearer like you, who isn't planning on going somewhere super cold I'd just stick with your old plastics. It's not like they aren't warm enough. Kenton Cool wore Scarpa Vegas on the Denali Diamond so did Rich Cross on Ama Dablam with Jules Cartwright.
Right enough. But they are not as warm either. More importantly the fit/flex and lacing could always be better on the plastics. Any of them. The Baruntse isn't perfect (and we all know the Spantik isn't) but the Baruntse fits more like a good leather or fabric boot while having excellent support and fit. I find the improved and more technical fit of Baruntse makes it a better technical boot and less clunky than my Spantiks.
I've been out this afternoon and it was only -3 when we left the car so was fine in my Trangos to start with, but it plummeted to about -12 by the time we left and I had cold toes again! :-( My mate has the Boreal equivalent to the Baruntses and says he never gets cold feet in them (then he is a huge cowboy from Montana who does seem to be generally impervious to cold, pain and fear!).
What are you wearing in Wales/Scotland? Baturas is it?
No they hurt my feet. I tried on a pair the other day. They fitted well for about ten minutes then they started to torture me. They feel stiff and clumpy just like my spantiks. Omegas are softer and nicer to climb in IMO.
> What are you wearing in Wales/Scotland? Baturas is it?
Na I sacked off the Baturas when they started to leak and the zip broke. I've got a pair of Scarpa Jorasses at the moment.
They're great to climb in but not warm at all. Also when dossing in car parks and generally living the dream doubles boots are way easier to dry out.
Omegas aren't very durable or weatherproof though.
Vegas might not be as warm as Spantiks, but they can't be cold if Kenton managed a multi day route on Denali wearing a pair and didn't get frostbite.
>Vegas might not be as warm as Spantiks
They aren't, but no big deal as there are so many other issues with them in comparison to what is available today. I've used Kolfachs and no over boots several times to summit Denali. But not what I would recommned today. Spending 5 days on the south face without a cold injury likely says more to Kenton's cold weather skills than the quality of his boots.
My mate has had lots of trauma with his and the zip. It broke almost immediately - boots had to go back to be repaired in Italy, took ages - I think in the end they just gave him some new ones because he desperately need them for a trip. First day on the trip the news ones zip broke. Thankfully we managed to to get working again and they seem to be OK now, but its clearly a worry! Quite like the old school design of the Baruntses for that reason over the Spantiks; plus I can use my gaiters... and I'm a gaiter-luuurvvvver, not a gaiter-hater. http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.com/2010/12/gaiter-haters.html :-)
all makes sense, but really, what sold spantiks to me was the outer.
the shiny stuff sheds snow really well and the overlap of the opening (with the dr who-style single lace) is really snow proof.
the stretchy gaitery thing around the top works well too. i usually tuck my trousers into them (heel cord goes under the inner boot) and they are good.
after a while the laces+zip of the baturas started to bug me. mine (first generation zip) never had any problems, but the inner laces were usually a bit of a hassle (new ones may have solved this).
in a country obsessed with taking shoes off, the spantiks are much simpler, along with being less snow-clogging and obviously warm.
the only thing thats bugged me with them so far is the stupid 'T' shaped pull tap on the back of the outer. catches, then one pulled off altogether - not that i miss it.
If you want a warm and quite dexterous boot, the Scarpa Phantom 6000 is another good option. I have poor circulation in my toes, and I love my Phantoms. I also have a wide forefoot and always have trouble finding boots that fit, but the Phantoms fit quite well. If you'd like to try how they fit, me and the wife have sizes 43 and 44 (inner boot sizes 42 and 43) in Helsinki.
The Phantom 6000s look fantastic. One of the guys we met in Lyngen last year has them and said they were simply superb - great for technical climbing, but always warm - but the main reason for looking at the Baruntse was that they were 25% off so almost half the price of the Scarpas, and hence quite a lot more affordable for me! But thanks again for the offer. Are you using yours for Finnish ice, or big mountains, or perhaps both?
I've so far worn the Phantoms on Finnish and Swedish ice (Stora Sj÷fallet), this winter maybe heading to Northern Norway.
Two years ago I wore Baturas in Stora Sj÷fallet, and on the fist day before dinner I was wondering why the toe hotaches just wouldn't end, only to find my big toes we're a bit too dark and solid when I took my socks off.
Let's hope those Baruntses fit you, happiness is warm toes.
The solidness is horribly alarming isn't it? It's just terrible feeling of "this really isn't right!" when your flesh just doesn't feel like it should. Been there, done that: http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.com/2007/02/frostbite.html fortunately with no lasting damage beyond possibly increased sensitivity to the cold in one foot.
Yes, it's a rather unnerving feeling. I soaked my feet in warm water for a couple of hours and drove 150 km to the nearest doctor the next day. The diagnosis was something like "I've seen much worse, go climb some more."
The toes seemed to recover quite well, had to grow new nails though.
But the big thing is, I haven't thermoformed the inners yet. As the tightness is just in limited places, anyone reckon the thermforming might alleviate the snugness? Dane - what are your experiences? And of course they haven't had any more classic 'breaking in' yet.
Options appear to be a) return them and eat the 40 odd Euros in the postage I paid to get them here and will pay to return them (the shop has none in the next size, so I end up 40 euros poorer with no warm boots). Or b) Thermoform them and use them, with the risk of ending up with some boots that don't do what I need them to do (work in cold temps) because they remain too tight but can't be returned. I got them for an excellent price so I guess I might be able to sell them on 2nd hand at little loss if this doesn't work...
Experiences anyone? Cheers all.
From what I've heard, thermoforming tends to make things smaller. Might be wrong on that but it certainly snugged up my Spantiks.
With doubles I'd be using a thinner sock anyway. With Phantom Guides I wear a thin liner and a thick 'mountaineering' sock. With Spantiks that's a thin liner and a mid weight 'hiking' sock. Plenty warm!
if it helps, i have scrawny feet and spantiks were brutal first time round, crushing my toes.
simply removing the foot bed from the inner and going to a thin/mid weight sock solved that instantly.
in 30-odd days out this winter, plus as many nights, down to -18, im yet to have cold feet in ANY form. even if your going into temps another 5 or so lower id be confident.
jadias has had very good success with thermoforming, so theres that option (id take it if i had any further issues).
took a while for the inner to soften, but once it did it all good.
not sure how any of this related to baruntses tho...
I'm wondering whether this style of boot 'break in much'? I will try the thermoforming next.
Hey Toby, the boot was actually designed to be thermo molded. Not doing so really doesn't take advantage of the perfect fit you can have from this boot and the inner. You really should have a good professional do that for you. Worth every penny.
You asked about wear earlier?
I have poked holes in both my Baruntses and Spantiks with crampons (similar theme as my pants btw). Doesn't seem to be an issue as they are basically the same upper constrution and material. Big lugged soles that will last almost forever on snow. Rock and scree will eat both boots up pretty quickly. I've seen some now from Nepal and SA that looked horrific and not long for this world. But the Baruntse hard plastic mid sole does have some durability to the boot in comparison to Spantiks soft foam midsole. The hard mdsole enhance crampon fit as well.
Lacing system the Baruntse is still good though and seems to last much better than the Spantik. Sorry past that nothing else to report on mine. Great boots, best fit I own in a big boot because of the inners (I use the same inner in Spantiks and Oly Mons as well)
"anyone reckon the thermforming might alleviate the snugness?"
Sorry missed this. Yes, easily. No problem getting almost a 1/2 size out of the molding and you can stretch the sheels as well.
I wasn't writing very clearly because by wear I meant more whether the boots break in over time and fit to your foot shape (my Nepals definitely did, but they they are leather). Wear on the outside isn't too much of a problem for me as both here and in Norway you are walking in/on snow 95 percent of the time, plus in Finland the walk-ins are all very short. My Trangos still look very new despite six seasons of use most weekends! And I'm a pretty rubbish winter climber but the one thing I do do well is not catch my own legs/boots with my crampons - or at least very rarely! Never quite got how people manage to rip up their trousers so much, although the current fashion for having baggy trousers and relying on little internal gaiters rather than proper gaiters (see pic of me climbing last weekend above - although that was just because I forgot to check my gaiters fit the new Baruntses, they didn't, then me trying to be trendy :) increases the chances of that even more!
I've not found the Baruntse to "break in" in the manner a typical leather boot would.
Losing the traditional gaiters and using a pant gaiter does expose the pant to some additional abuse. But is lighter over all and allows the boot/foot combo to breath better, generally keeping the boots drier and warmer in the long run.
The most common place to snag a crampon on my pants is the miles of deep snow trail breaking we often fall into on winter alpine.
My paean to gaiters: http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.com/2010/12/gaiter-haters.html
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