Double boot an overkill in CO?


Original Post
Hrishi Chandanpurkar · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

I am a rank beginner in mountaineering, but hoping to start with CO this winter and expand over to the Cascades, and Alaska over the next 2-3 years. I am more interested in expedition-style mountaineering (slow walking uphill for long distances) compared to vertical ice climbing. And I am looking for a pair of boots for the job.
From what I have read so far, there are choices of 3/4 shanks for 3-season in the lower 48, full rigid singles for year-round in the lower 48, and doubles for Alaska and 6000m etc, and super-gaiters for something in between the singles and the doubles.
I am discounting the 3/4 ths as I believe they overlap too much with a hiking shoe to warrant a special status. I have EEE wide, high volume feet so looking at Scarpas mostly. So far the options are Mont Blanc Pro GTX (singles), the new Phantom Tech (super-gaiters), the new Phantom 6000 (doubles).
Given my plan, investing in Phantom 6000 makes sense due to their warmth and removable liner functionality. This brings me to the thread title: Would a double boot be an overkill in CO? If so, what do you mean by overkill- just redundant but harmless, or uncomfortably hot? i.e. is there such a thing as a too warm mountaineering boot? The reason I ask is that I read the Nepal EVOs to be THE go-to boots for year-round lower 48s. However, the newer doubles from Scarpa and La Sportiva (G2 SM) weigh as much or even less than the Nepal EVOs, thus the weight penalty of the doubles is nullified (sort of, as the newer singles such as Nepal Cube has also gotten correspondingly lighter). So why would anyone who is okay with the weight of the Nepal EVOs bother with the singles anymore?
Similarly, given that the new Phantom Tech are much lighter and warmer than Mont Blanc Pro GTX while having the same last (which might suggest similar walking comfort?), is there any reason at all to get MBPs over PTs apart from them being more durable and less expensive?

Ryan Marsters · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 798

I'm in the boat that thinks single leather mountaineering boots are outdated technology. What can the Nepals do that the much lighter Trango Ice Cubes and lighter/warmer Batura 2.0s can't? Doubles do still have significant advantages over super gaiter boots though.

For your goal of expedition climbing and multi day outings, doubles are recommended due to the removable liners. The temps are fine for CO winter. They will be rather toasty in CO spring, but if you aren't training fast and light, then not a huge deal. You could also use thinner socks.

RevAtom · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0

I have a brand new pair of Nepal Evos for 'winter CO climbing'... still in the box. I also have a pair of Olympus Mons in storage and only used on Denali.

Nepals - Summer Rainier
Olympus Mons- Denali

I am personally getting some Trangos for 'winter co climbing' IMO that would work best.

If you have any other boot, PacNW, AK questions let me know. I randomly worked at a mountaineering shop 6 miles from the gate of Rainier a few years back.

  • ** When I think double boots I think Arctic Expe, Phantom 6000, Millet Everest... anything like that will melt your feet off in most scenarios in CO.

Not familiar with the G2 SM, sounds like it replaces the Spantiks in weight and warmth. So you could do a Denali with a Spantik and Forty Below overboot. If it is at all like the Spantik (which it sounds like it is) it will melt your feet in most scenarios in CO
RobC2 Cotter · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 15

Not this week...

Tobin Story · · Woodinville, WA · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 0

I think the advantage of a single leather boot like the Mont Blanc vs a boot like the Phantom is primarily one of durability. The Phantom and similar boots are built with very lightweight materials and designed for use primarily on snow. Those same materials will wear quickly if used on rock, or if you have poor footwork and snag them repeatedly with a crampon. If you don't mind spending to replace them every other season, or you'll only ever use them on snow, the Phantom series would work for you. For Colorado and PNW spring and summer mountaineering, I think you'd get more mileage out of a good pair of leather singles. I have a pair for colder weather and alpine ice, in addition to a pair of 3/4 boots for summer mountaineering.

I also think your feet would roast in Phantom 6000s in summer in Colorado and the PNW. Think sweaty, uncomfortable feet, soaked socks and blisters. Better to pick the right tool for the job.

If by chance you want to buy a pair of near new size 46 Mont Blanc Pros, hit me up, I have some for sale.

Long Ranger · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 20

Winter in CO means a lot of avy risk, so if you haven't already, take some time to research that danger.

Steve Gladbach, a winter 14er finisher suggested, "Spend $130 or less and get a comfortable soft-leather boot insulated to -40 (-40C = -40F !!!) Typically such a boot will have 400g Thinsulate or similar insulation."

http://14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=32087&p=378064#p378160

Food for thought, I guess.

I've done Longs in Winter in GTX trail runners a few times. I've used some really cheap goretex mountaineering boots that cost < $75 from Wilderness Exchange for more serious objectives (Notch Couloir). I was fine.

I would vote for, "overkill" honestly in CO. You're just not going to be out for days on end, unless you really want to do something like Capitol in Winter, which is pretty serious.

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 91

Dude, it looks like you are overthinking it. If you like the Nepal go for it, it's a great boot!

You aren't going to find a boot that works for everything, especially when trying to look 2-3 years in advance. If you are going anywhere rocky, the G2 SM isn't going to be ideal as the rubber is softer and you are more likely to damage the gaiter. Similar with the Batura, if you just want to do slogs, there is no need and you will probably end up damaging the gaiter it if you go out a lot. The Nepal is a great all around boot and it the one I go to the most.

Boots I own and how I use them:

G2 SM: I'm going to altitude or staying quite a few nights on a glacier and want my boot liners in my sleeping bag. My big, medium, or small "expeditions" fall here.

Batura 2.0: I'm probably going ice climbing. Or the mountain is cold and I may be out for a few nights and am worried about non-gaitered boots freezing up. Somehow my most sketch climbs all fall here.

Nepal Cube GTX: I'm going over varying terrain that is cold but isn't cold enough to require the above boots. Probably a 1-2 day outing. Most of my PNW ascents fall here.

Trango Cube GTX: It's not very cold out and I'm mostly on rock. I'm definitely not ice climbing. I'm also not planning on kicking many steps into packed snow. Crampons must have a front bail. (My achillies tendinitis may also be acting up and these are more supportive than rock shoes.)

Boulder X Mid GTX: Summer scrambling boots? l'll probably replace these with more standard approach shoes. They fit weird, weigh down my pack while rock climbing, and constantly attempt to kill me at the first sight of snow. I pretty much hate these.

Phantom 6000 (latest edition): Returned. Heavy and difficult to lace/zip compared to G2 SM.

Spantk: Retired. Sloppy and heavy compared to G2 SM. Also less convenient packing wise as gaiters and possibly overboots need to be brought along.

...........I've spent way too much on boots

grubbers · · Mass. · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 0

If you've got a wide, higher-volume foot, don't overlook the regular Mont Blanc, it has a little more volume than the Pro.

There's no one boot to rule them all. One thing worth considering with the new Phantom Tech and Phantom 6000 is the lighter sole that both boots use. They have a lower density rubber on the interior of the sole that won't hold up as well over the long-run if you're hiking over bare ground.

Personally, I'd recommend starting with a leather single boot. It's not as warm as the Phantom Tech, but you'll be able to keep moving and stay warm if you're not pitching out the climbs. Go with a double boot if you're doing multi-day trips in the winter.

wisam · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 0

Multi day and below 0 f is my rule of thumb for when I switch to doubles. Done singles even at
-40 but not very pleasant since u have to sleep with the whole boot in you're sleeping bag. Much easier to just wear the liners to bed. Warmer than 0f and it's not too terrible to keep single boots in the vestibule and slip them on in the morning.

For single day stuff most issues with cold feet can be solved by continuing to move. Worst time for cold feet for me is when first putting on cold soaked boots in the morning shortly after waking up

doligo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 212

Depends on how much walking you plan on doing and how much of it, it's going to be stop and go and stand around... If you plan on moving all the time (i.e. not much roped climbing, i.e. belaying), I would go with lighter single or super gaiter boots. If you plan on standing around a lot, go with doubles. They only feel as an overkill in the spring.

AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 0
chrisccc wrote:G2 SM: I'm going to altitude or staying quite a few nights on a glacier and want my boot liners in my sleeping bag. My big, medium, or small "expeditions" fall here.
I bought a pair of G2 SMs over the summer, but obviously haven't had a chance to use them yet. Have you used them in really cold temperatures yet? I'm talking, for me, 5ºF or less? Maybe add some exposure/wind to the mix? I have a trip coming up in January & I expect it to be single digits with full-on conditions.

I read a blog post recently from Max Neale who said the G2 SM is a more technical climbing boot than the Spantik, thus, is not as warm. This was from his gear list for Denali ... Thoughts?
Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 91
AlpineIce wrote: I bought a pair of G2 SMs over the summer, but obviously haven't had a chance to use them yet. Have you used them in really cold temperatures yet? I'm talking, for me, 5ºF or less? Maybe add some exposure/wind to the mix? I have a trip coming up in January & I expect it to be single digits with full-on conditions. I read a blog post recently from Max Neale who said the G2 SM is a more technical climbing boot than the Spantik, thus, is not as warm. This was from his gear list for Denali ... Thoughts?
I've used them in plenty 5-6000m situations, probably down to around 0F. I've never been in a situation where I wished I had warmer boots while wearing them.

Not really sure how somebody would consider them less warm than the Spantik. I know a couple guides who used them on Denali last season without overboots. They seem to breath a lot better than the Spantiks too. I was in a situation where 3 of us had G2s and one fellow had Spantiks. After a long hot day, the guy with Spantiks ended up with pretty messed up feet due to the moisture. Everybody with the G2s were happy.

The G2s are way easier to climb vertical with than the Spantiks. Especially because you can really quickly tighten them and loosen them without taking gloves off. They seem to be just an all around superior boot. Having owned both, I can't imagine a reason to get the Spantiks over them other than the minor cost savings.
Nobleman · · Denver,CO · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 0

I'm not sure where you draw the line between "walking uphill" and ice climbing, and where exactly steep snow comes into your personal mountaineering objectives, but I'm gonna say that at some point you do want to climb snow couloirs. In CO, the season for that is in the spring due to snow stability concerns, and temps are usually pretty mild. It's been said by others and I'll echo, a single leather mountaineering boot like the LS Nepal or Scarpa Mont Blanc will probably be your best bet for an all around boot. IMHO, a double boot is indeed overkill for CO, unless possibly you are truly going on multi-day overnight trips in the coldest days of winter.

Mike Slavens · · Houston, TX · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 35

I have the same or similar question to the OP but think the question got missed in all of the responses so I'll ask it another way.

I'm already buying a double boot for several big mountain objectives but I spend most of my time in CO mountains doing day trips. Are the double boots going to be so warm that my feet are miserably hot and sweaty where I would end up buying a single or super-gaiter; or can I manage the extra warmth of the double in CO with thinner socks, just silk liners, or some other fashion?

doligo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 212

No. For a while, my only boot was Spantiks. I only hated them on warm spring days when I had to do a lot of slogging.

Hrishi Chandanpurkar · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Thanks for the inputs folks. Very helpful. It seems singles would get more use now, are durable, and cheaper, so I'll just settle for them, and think about others when the time comes.
(@Tobin Story appreciate the offer but I am size 43.)

AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 0
Mike Slavens wrote:Are the double boots going to be so warm that my feet are miserably hot and sweaty where I would end up buying a single or super-gaiter; or can I manage the extra warmth of the double in CO with thinner socks, just silk liners, or some other fashion?
Mike - I've climbed a lot of waterfall ice in double boots and I can't remember the last time, if ever, my feet got "too hot." I've never been on a big peak and hiked on a glacier, but I've done multi-pitch in Hyalite Canyon, just outside Bozeman, MT and Ouray/Silverton, CO. Elevation 10k-12k and with wind, I was glad to have them.
Hrishi Chandanpurkar · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Thought I would give an update and conclude this thread. I ended up ordering the Mont Blanc Pros and the Nepal Cubes in various sizes from backcountry.com as they were giving 25% off on these boots (it was my most expensive purchase order ever, and a big shout out to backcountry.com for letting one of their online agent place the order for me, fully knowing that I could return all the boots!)

As I said earlier, I have EEE wide, high volume feet, i.e. based on the conventional wisdom, 'Scarpa feet'. However, I was pleasantly surprised how well the Nepal Cubes fitted me, whereas the Mont Blanc Pros hurt at the 'outer little toe mound' region in this picture ( yogaartandscience.com/pblog...). Since getting them, I have snowshoed to Quandary and had no blisters or any discomfort. I've rarely been so happy with a footwear purchase.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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