/ Realistic lowest temps in Andes in June? and boots?
Secondly, boots. I currently have a rather old pair of Salomon SM Lites which have served me well up to over 4000m paired with sabretooth crampons. Is there any chance I'll get away with them this year? If not, any recommendations for boots that are likely to be warm enough but also precise enough for quite a lot of scrambling and are available in women sizes?
Hope this helps a bit but I guess conditions differ a lot across the country.
I climbed Ausangate (6380m) with my girlfriend last year. At around 5600m at, say, 3am, it was about -15C. We were climbing in insulated jackets until sunrise. It warms up considerably during the day but often the wind is cold around 5000m. Being relatively close to the equator the nights are long etc so you need to take that into account too.
Boots - depends if you will be camping high, or just going high and camping lower. If the former then doubles are the safe choice, if the latter then many get away with good insulated single leathers. If you only camp around 5000m, climb quickly to 6100m mostly in the daylight, no standing around, and tend not to get cold feet, then your Salomons should be OK.
Also depends if you've got mules/porters into camp, or backpacking all yourself. If the former then you can walk in trekking shoes with your boots carried. If the latter then you want mountain boots you can also walk-in in.
I climbed a 5500m mountain in Peru in 2011. We climbed our route, from a high camp in a round trip. I wore Spantiks, whilst my partner wore Phantom Lites (the old version of Phantom guides).
Although we both had slightly cold feet, on occasion, during our climb, we were both fine in our choice of boots. I thought the Spantiks were a bit OTT and would probably wear something a little less bulky if going again.
Although I probably would have been fine, I wouldn't risk using conventional leather boots like Nepal Extremes or your SM Lites.
In the area we climbed we thought the temperatures were a fair bit colder than the Alps in summer, but the glaciers were much, much smaller than those in the Alps.
Rock and Run are selling Scarpa Omegas for £99 atm. I used to have a pair of these boots and found them excellent. I would be happy wearing them on the route I did in Peru, with a good gaiter like a Outdoor Research Crocodile.
We found day time temps to be pretty warm (thermal top and a pertex windproof) and generally dry underfoot. I would recommend taking a pair of light trail running/fell shoes for wearing below the snow line.
Drop me a PM if you want any more info and I'll do what I can to help.
Thanks Damo and Captain, that's very very useful. Will have a think and a try in shops when I get time next month, and will get back to you if I need to.
Elsewhere on the site
Last year, Finn McCann wrote an article about climbing El Capitan with his terminally ill father Seamus, who had been... Read more