/ Waterproof or softshell trousers for the Alps?

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pawelx - on 28 Aug 2013
I’ve always relied on mid-weight softshell trousers for my alpine climbing. I used to have a pair which I now replaced with these http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Men%27s-Warlow%E2%84%A2-Pant/OM4508,default,pd.html
Normally, I would wear trousers like these for summer climbing in the Alps, either mixed or pure rock. I made 2 trips to the Alps in the winter, and if it got really cold I simply wore a thick baselayer underneath. I never felt too cold wearing them, and the only times I wished I had something more waterproof were when being continuously rained on for 3 hours in Scotland, or while trying to half-sit down when taking a breather climbing easy angled snow (and getting my back wet). I suspect however that even the sturdiest goretex waterproofs wouldn’t help much in either situation?

Which makes me wonder if there is any point in buying a pair of waterproof over-trousers, such as these http://www.ellis-brigham.com/products/the-north-face/mens-observatory-pant/205493 (they are on sale at the moment). I am far from climbing at such level, but I can see that even for the north face of the Eiger people seem to rely on the baselayer + softshell trousers combo: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3652?

Opinions?
In reply to pawelx: If you might get rained on having some light, zip over waterproof trousers seems a good idea. I've got these: http://marmot.com/products/precip_full_zip_pant?p=216,222,131,188,145&ft=188-145 and hardly ever wear them, but they're light enough to carry just in case and are easy to put on with the full zips.
Oceanic - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to pawelx:
> even for the north face of the Eiger people seem to rely on the baselayer + softshell trousers combo: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3652?
>

The trousers that you mention owning are true softshell pants (no membrane) which are quite different to the membrane softshell pants which Jack and his mate wore on the N Face of the Eiger.

I bought some new true soft shell (no membrane) pants myself the other day. I think I'm going to get some 3/4 length Buffalo Teclite trousers made to wear under them when it's cold. I've used a similar combinations of trousers before, and found them okay down to about -15C.

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