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Casual ice climber dilemma

Original Post
highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

So I went ice climbing twice this year, which is probably the first time in about 4 years. I wasn't doing it much before that. Lets say 10-12 days on the ice during the Obama presidency.

Prior to that, I went through a spell where I was probably getting out 40 days a winter. Unless I drastically change my geography, I doubt I'll climb ice that much again.

The dilemma is one of footwear. My late 90's/early 00's Scarpa Freney's are worn out. The entire heel is separating from the boot. On top of that, my feet are much wider than they were even 5 years due to a new Taylors bunion and my big toes are much fatter due to some osteoarthritis from rock shoes. It's enough of a difference that my feet are pretty much unacceptably cold now in my boots from lack of circulation.

If I were still getting out a ton, easy solution, drop $600 on a new pair of boots that fit great and I'll keep for 15+ years again. Really not a difficult decision. I'm not so sure about dropping serious coin for a trip or two a year though. Ice climbing has a minimum quantity of gear everyone needs whether it's climbing Vail, Cody, or Clear Creek. Boots are part of that minimum, even more than tools (no sharing boots).

No question here, just looking at the snow and venting.

Mark Ra · · Frange, CO · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65

A few days a year are better than nothing! There have been a few different boots on Sierratradingpost recently. The ever-ongoing 25% off promos apply to some but not others. Not sure how they'll compare to the Freney but might be worth checking out.…

Kent Kraemer · · Missoula, MT · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 100

Same thing happened to me 2 years ago, my feet fattened up along with rest of me. I bought these, coming from Freney's as well. They are wider and pretty comparable to Nepal or Mont Blanc's, not as nimble as the Freney's. I like em.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,750

I'm guessing you have the old blue leather Freneys? The "new" Freney is the synthetic Freney XT. I have a pair (love 'em) and they run wide. I think I read somewhere that they are built wider than the leather Freneys. I see them from time to time lightly used for under $200.

Freney XT:

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 150

"my feet are pretty much unacceptably cold now in my boots from lack of circulation.'

^^ This may be the deciding factor. As to your budget: Used boots... You can score someone's leftovers for $100-$200 maybe, and dick around a couple of times a year with no regrets.

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40

I still have plastic boots and rigid Rambo crampons that I used last weekend in CCC.
If I'm doing more extensive ice climbing, which I do infrequently, I rent more modern gear, which is cheaper than buying when I only go a couple times a year.

wisam · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 60

Could probably find a used pair of plastic boots for cheap.

Other solution is to climb in downhill ski boots if U have them. Most crampons work well with them. Would need to wear something else for the approach but it's an option if u are craiging. Some really stiff hiking boots will work reasonably well with strap on crampons. The asolo 320s are one that I have seen work ok. Wouldn't want to lead in them but works in a pinch.

Nick Niebuhr · · Santa Fe, NM · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 465

If your feet are a regular size there are lots of options there.. At least there were a couple weeks ago. I got some Nepals in pretty good shape for under 300.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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