/ Best boots for alpine summer and scottisch winter

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L AskeLanger 13 Jan 2020

Hi everyone, 

I'm the proud owner of a pair of La Sportiva Baruntse boots, which I've used to climb Island Peak (6.200m) in Nepal (fall season). They kept my feet toasty warm and I don't doubt that they will work up to 7.000m as advertised. Apart from the weight their fantastic!

This summer I'm going to Chamonix, France, to do an alpine summer course (so far I've only done two 'trekking peaks' around 6.200m in Laddakh and Nepal). My question now is what boots to bring? I expect my Baruntses to be way to hot (and heavy - they are 1,5kg each). I'm looking for a boot that I'll be able to use for everything below what my Baruntses are needed for and that would also be able to handle Scottisch/alpine winter, since I might be going for that down the line. 

Right now I'm mostly leaning towards a couple of integrated gaiter boots (Scarpa Phantom Tech, La Sportiva G5), but am worried that they might be to hot for alpine summer? Alternatively I might go for a pair of Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX paired with a my RAB Latok gaiters, but they might on the other hand be to cold for Scottisch Winter. 

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morpcat 15 Jan 2020
In reply to AskeLanger:

Could you be more specific about your plans?

Alpine summer can mean many things. You could be scrambling at <2000m far from a glacier, or up on a glacier at >3500m. The former wants a lighter and cooler boot than the latter (you might even get away with an approach shoe). If you were aiming to do some high altitude ice routes (on the rare occasion those still come into condition in summer), you would want a sturdier boot and probably having a toe bail would be a hard requirement.

Scottish winter can also have varying requirements. I'd use a different boot for an early season romp up curved ridge than I would for climbing an ice gully on the Ben during a deep cold snap mid-season.

Your personal requirements might also make a big difference to your boot selection. If you have narrow feet, then two big Italian brands will probably work well for you, but if you have very wide feet you might need something else. If (like me) you have terrible circulation, then you might make the sacrifice on weight and dexterity and use a much chunkier boot. If on the other hand you don't feel the cold in your feet you could go for a super-lightweight boot.

I expect you are looking for a "do-it-all" boot that's a jack of all but a master of none. I believe La Sportiva Trango Extremes are the traditional workhorse boot. However, if it were me shopping, I would take a long hard look at the Trango Ice Cube.

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Smythson 15 Jan 2020
In reply to AskeLanger:

If you're on an alpine course they are hopefully going to be spending as much time teaching on ice and rock as possible and not testing your ability to do days of arduous knee mashing up and down trails... In which case a slightly more technical boot (cube / tech) may be the way to go as you'll not need a more forgiving B2 boot. 

In terms of warmth it depends how many pairs of boots you can afford to own and your ability to suffer in hot/cold conditions 

For what it's worth, and I'm a total punter, my Charmoz have got me up most things alpine, I save my techs for good ice, nepals for cold, and 6000's for winter alpine and higher stuff. 

Drop the company running the course a line, I'm sure they'll know exactly what's in store and offer the better guidance than some guy on the Internet ;)

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L AskeLanger 15 Jan 2020
In reply to morpcat:

Thanks for the thorough answer. It's a five day course with the following program: 

Day 1: Rock climbing

Day 2: Glacier technique on Mer de Glace (around 2.000 m) training the use of steigeisen, iceaxes, icescrews, anchors and creavasse rescue

Day 3-5: Mountaineering trips up described as "easier alpine trips" with sleepovers in the cabins with a mix of rock, ice and snow. To be honest I'm not sure how high up we will go, as the guide will decide after he has seen our skill level on day 1 & 2. 

The La Sportiva Baruntse is a very good fit on me, so I'll expect other boots from the brand to be of a similar fit - but of course I have to try them on before i purchase any (the problem being that no Danish shops really has a good selection of mountaineering boots, so I have to order them online and return the pairs that I don't like). 

Like your idea of a "do-it-all-boot" - think that's a good place to start and then I can buy more specialized boots down the line if necessarry. Both Trangos looks nice. 

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L AskeLanger 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Smythson:

Thanks for the reply, 

That's the idea - I've done plenty of trails on my own. We're also using the lifts to maximize the amount of time spent on rock and ice rather than hiking. 

Definetly will write the company and ask what they would recommend in terms of going for the B2 og B3 boot  

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morpcat 16 Jan 2020
In reply to AskeLanger:

I think you'd manage the course in either  a B2 or B3, but B2 is going to be the comfier option (if I were packing I would put my LS Trango S Evo in the bag). B3's are stiffer and are preferable once you move on to steeper climbs. You're going to have these boots for many years to come, so think about what you are going to do next. If your aim is to progress onto steeper routes in the Alps and Scottish winter then you might want to spring for a stiffer boot now.

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L AskeLanger 16 Jan 2020
In reply to morpcat:

Just talked to the guiding-company and they are pretty much on line with you: Both B2's and B3's would be okay, but if I want something that's gonna work for me when/if I progress onto steeper/colder routes they would recommend the B3's such as Scarpa Phantom Tech or La Sportiva G5. I think I'll try those to out and hopefully one of them will fit me well. If they turn out to be uncomfortably warm and stiff I might have to buy a lighter pair for future summer trips, but at least then I'll have the B3's for harder routes anyways.  

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