/ Alaska climbing in ski boots

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Will_he_fall - on 15 Mar 2013
Hi all,

just wondering if people have any experience of climbing in the central alaska range in ski touring boots. I use my boots (Scarpa Maestrales)in the Alps in the winter/spring and find them to be warm enough, but wonder if they will be warm enough for climbing lower altitude north facing routes (e.g. mini moonflower buttress etc.) in May. Chatted to a guy who climbed in his in the Ruth gorge on ice routes, seemed to get on fine with them. Maybe ski boots combined with overboots- anyone got experience of using this set-up?

Cheers,

Will
Frank4short - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Will_he_fall: I'd suggest asking about on the TGR ski forums. There are a number of guys there who'll have climbed and skied denali and other major peaks in Ak who should be able to answer all of your questions clearly.
TRip - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Will_he_fall:

I don't think warmth will be that much of an issue. I saw a guy climbing the Mini Moonflower in Baturas in early June last year. I'd have thought they'd be fine if you are only doing day routes.

I presume the reason you want to use ski boot is because you don't want to shell out for Spantiks or Phantom 6000m.

I've never climbed in Ski boots but I imagine it would be way less fun than climbing in climbing boots.

If I were you I'd buy a second hand pair of spantiks or a pair plastics and some good gaiters (OR Crocs).

We skinned into the routes with a big bag on our backs and changed into climbing boots at the base.

I've only done the first 3 pitches of the Mini-Moonflower. It got warm so we bailed. It loots great and the crux sounds fun. There is a great route to the left of it called Bacon and Eggs. It's a big long Scottish IV/V style Gully. More sustained than the Mini-Moonflower, but a bit easier I think.

HTH
vscott - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Will_he_fall: imagine you'd fine in May - lots of people (myself included) using plastic double boots (e.g. scarpa omega) for such things in the Kahiltna basin which are if anything less warm as the liners aren't as thick. I climbed in the Ruth in April in older ski mountaineering boots (classic soft foam liners) without serious issues.

North facing in May given the latitude gets plenty of sun, so if the weathers good (if it's not you're retreating or in BC) temperatures aren't too cold if low down.
Will_he_fall - on 16 Mar 2013
Thank's for the replies so far. I've climbed in my ski touring boots quite a lot and find them good to climb in. We're planning to perhaps have a crack on a route on the moonflower buttress, and I'd planned to buy spantics, but finding them in a size 47 is proving a mission. So far, from what people are saying, I may well go for climbing in ski boots with the possibility of using overboots if it turns out to be too cold.

Any other suggestions?

Cheers,

Will
Withnail - on 16 Mar 2013
In reply to Will_he_fall:

Will,

Just a wee word of warning about the Spantiks. I have size 11 feet and tried for ages to find a pair of Spantiks in 47s. Eventually I found a pair but they were nowhere near big enough. Basically, there isnt a pair that fit my fat feet-shame as theyre fantastic boots.

Definately worth trying them before buying as they seem to be quite a narrow fit. I have an alaska trip planned this year and ended up going for Scarpa Omegas (in a larger size) with overboots for higher up on Denali. Not much good for skiing in though-not with my skiing ability anyway..

hope that helps

Jon

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