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Topic - Waterproof or softshell trousers for the Alps?

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,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 (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:

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