/ Alps Advice

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dnyc - on 07 Jan 2013
I'm going to the (Swiss) Alps for the first time on an intro to alpinism course. I've spent a lot of time in the mountains, winter and summer, but only in and around the UK.

I don't use approach shoes and I've never really felt like I've needed to. But getting some good approach shoes for the walk ins in the Alps has been recommended to me.

Carrying a second pair of shoes (sometimes third with climbing shoes) seems like a faff in regards to carrying, packing and swapping them? I've seen people walking to and from the CIC hut with there boots hanging on their rucksacks but I'm not a big fan of having anything flapping around on my rucksack.

Does anyone use approach shoes regularly? And if so could you make any recommendations to the following:

- Do you have a system for them e.g. carrying them, swapping them over to your boots etc

I've also been thinking about dropping down from a B3 to a B2 boot to make it easer on my feet for long treks in. Any thoughts on that?

Is there a boot that is hard enough to take crampons, suitable for basic alpinism, but is also soft enough not to chew up your feet on long hikes up to the mountains?
Mark Haward - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to dnyc:
Depending on routes and conditions I often use approach shoes for getting to huts or fairly easy approaches. If coming back the same way I'll leave approach shoes in hut or stashed somewhere. Some routes I'll carry them in the rucksack ( whilst wearing big boots or rock shoes ) and get them out for the descent. Sometimes they are clipped to harness. Have used approach shoes for scrambling, on easy snow and easy climbing. Some approach shoes / B1 boots can take a suitable very lightweight crampon - user beware.
EeeByGum - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to dnyc: Generally speaking, in the summer, the Alps and Alpine paths are quite dry and therefore traditional walking boots are overkill, hot and heavy to wear. Approach shoes or sandals (with socks I am afraid) offer a much more comfortable / lightweight alternative.

Obviously, if you are likely to encounter snow, this advice isn't very useful.
JohnnyW - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to dnyc:

I have swithered both ways. First few trips I never bothered, and then I was encouraged to do so. I enjoyed the fresh, free feeling, but hated lugging the weight of the boots on the sack tbh.

I reckon I'll not bother this year. I do like to be in me shorts though.....

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