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when do you use double boots?


Original Post
neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 20

what is your temperature cutoff for using a double boot for an ice climbing day trip in the Northeast? Think Catskills, ADK, Whites. So far I have worn my Mont Blancs down to about 15 degrees or so and been ok.

I own a pair of Invernos but those are obviously pretty clunky and heavy. I have never climbed in them and have them specifically for a mountaineering trip and they were cost effective.

I am trying to decide at what point is the cost justified to get something like a Scarpa 6000, G2 SM, Baruntse, etc for someone who climbs in the North East doing primarily ice cragging day trips and maybe 1-2 overnights per year somewhere in the US. At some point I know the Mont Blancs are not warm enough. The Invernos will basically do what I need - I mean they are capable and folks have used them for everything I am talking about but are they going to suck? I have worn Koflach Arctis Expe on Mt Washington in winter and I was ok - but they are not the most fun.

I am heading to Whitney for 5 days this winter and will be bringing what I have. Will the Invernos be a nightmare? I guess I am trying to decide if a $600-$800 expenditure is warranted for a pair of more modern double boots. Right now I don't think my "use case"exactly warrants it but ask me what I think 3 days out on a winter trip to Whitney or on a -5 day in the ADK climbing ice in Invernos. If they will be more than adequate at this point I will use them, I just don't want to skimp and then wish I hadn't.

I hope that wasn't too rambling and vague :)

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

If you got loot to spend of course fancy double boots will come in handy. TRing in the Dacks when it's very cold, overnight BC trips etc.. Fancy new boots will perform better and be more comfortable. Do you need them?... no. You can stick the Invernos

Skibo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 5

If you already have the Invernos, I'd stick with them. I've been using plastic boots for mountaineering and ice climbing since they came out in the early 80s. I've climbed low-5th class rock in them, and lead lots of WI5/5+ ice. I have technical single boots also for ice, but I tend to get cold feet, so I use doubles. Recently I cut down some Intuition liners (Intuition makes a climbing liner, the Denali, but I had an old pair of ski liners) for use in my Invernos. They totally changed the boot, dropping a pound and were more hikeable. I recently got some La Sportiva Baruntses, and the new-age boot is bulkier and a pound heavier, and has less precise feel than my Intuition Invernos for climbing, They do seem to hike better, but I've not used them much. For the Invernos, I rarely lace up the top hook--improves hikeability dramatically. If you're in the snow, you probably won't seen that much an advantage with the softer uppers of the newer boots. The Invernos will outlast several pair of the newer boots, and the boot is half the price of the newer ones (and even better when you already have some).

I can only speak for the Baruntses, which are probably the clunkiest of the newer boots. The 6000s and G2 should be lighter--for another $100-$200, they should be.

lukeweiss · · St. Johnsbury, VT · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 30

Echoing what Bill said somewhat:

Really nice for sub 10 degree days, but I am not convinced they are necessary, and I am not that fit, and don't like wearing bricks, so my solution is this:

I wear Nepal cubes, and I don't think about it until it is a day with a high around 10 or lower. On those days:
IF I am top roping, I just throw foot warmers in. No problem.
IF I have a long approach then it doesn't really matter anyway because I will warm up fine if I don't stop for too long. And, I'll be much happier wearing .5-1lb less on each foot.

It is really the days where you have some approach, then some climbing, then some more approach that the doubles will be best - you don't want to put foot warmers in when you are going to be moving a lot, too hot, and the belay times will be super cold, so the fun is sucked out. So, I have thought about dropping cash on one of the super light doubles, like the Arc'teryx boots, but I don't have the money right now, and, more importantly, gobal warming is making it easier to climb in single boots.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745

If it's too cold for my single boots (with Supergaiters on them), say below 5F, it's too cold to ice climb. Seriously, ice that cold isn't fun for me.

Klimbien · · St.George Orem Denver Vegas · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 410

Maurice Herzog did Annapurna in leathers.... I think he lost a few toes those, scratch that.

Scot Hastings · · Las Vegas · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 35

While doubles are generally warmer than singles, that's not always the case, and it's really not the point. The big advantage is that you can easily take the liners into your sleeping bag to dry them at night. If you can't do that (becuase the liners aren't removable) and there's moisture in your boots (pretty much unavoidable without vapor barriers) and it's below freezing, your boots will freeze overnight, which is a big deal.

In other words, if all you're after is warmth, don't buy doubles, buy better singles, possibly with overboots. If you're doing regular overnight trips in freezing temps, that's when you'd want to consider doubles.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

I live in WA and normally climb in Rebel Pros, their true comfort limit is mid teens, but I've done TR sessions at zero degrees (not so happy toes).

I used a pair of phantom 6000 with baruntse liners in the Canadian Rockies last week. Temps from -15f to around 5. With a liner and thin wool sock I found them fine on a multi-pitch but a tad too warm on the day we were constantly moving in the ghost. Hiking in them flat out sucked. I think my TLT6s walk nicer.

For ice cragging I would stick with a single booth with built in gaiter (batura, phantom guide, etc.).
If you're doing many overnight routes in truly cold temps getting a double to throw the liner in your sleeping bag would be a huge advantage.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

Forget what everyone else is saying. Buy some super sexy G2SMs or Phantom 6000s and be stoked. Buying new gear is fun!

To answer your questions, I have used single boots (Salewa Pro Guide) on multipitch climbs in Canada down to -20F. I won't say my feet were warm, but they weren't frozen. I recently picked up a pair of G2SMs for a future Denali trip and they honestly climb just as well as my single boots so I've been wearing them a lot, even when it's warm. I don't have problems with my feet getting too hot unless it is above freezing.

Scott McMahon · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,425

Depending on your boot size I'd try to find a pair of Scarpa Alphas or Omegas. Very light for a double plastic boot. I had the Alphas but didn't really need them here in CO.

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 20
Nick Sweeney wrote:Forget what everyone else is saying. Buy some super sexy G2SMs or Phantom 6000s and be stoked. Buying new gear is fun!
Ha ha!!! I won't lie and say I wasn't hoping someone would convince me to do this :) But based on my current use and needs I don't think I can justify it at this point...unless I found a really good price on something.

Between the Mont Blanc Pros I have and the Invernos I know I am basically covered one way or another for anything I will need. If I find I am getting cold feet frequently or get more into back country overnights/multiple dat trips, more frequent mountaineering at higher altitude etc...it may be worthwhile. Thus far my trips have been day trips, ice cragging in the NE at 0 degrees or above.

I am also a winter hiker in the ADK and have a good amount of experience there at -15 and colder - but for that I have a softer winter hiking boot that take snowshoes fine and contact strap crampons if needed.

Thanks again - lots of good advice in this thread. And if anyone wants to sell Phantom 6000's or G2 SM's in a 42.5 for an awesome price...let me know :)
Jeremy Cote · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Get the 6000's you won't even notice that they are double boots.

Climbing with cold feet just sucks.

If you look online you can get last generation Phantom 6000 boots for half off regular price. These are the straight zipper versions rather than the wrap around style that Scarpa just brought to market.

In my view the older style is a superior design, but what the hell do I know. The few people I talked to in the newer wrap around versions weren't impressed.

Now if you want to go with the single boot, simply stay hydrated and use anti-perspirant the night before and the morning of your climb on your feet.

Your feet won't sweat and they will stay nice and warm.

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 20
Jeremy Cote wrote:Get the 6000's you won't even notice that they are double boots. Climbing with cold feet just sucks. If you look online you can get last generation Phantom 6000 boots for half off regular price. These are the straight zipper versions rather than the wrap around style that Scarpa just brought to market. In my view the older style is a superior design, but what the hell do I know. The few people I talked to in the newer wrap around versions weren't impressed. Now if you want to go with the single boot, simply stay hydrated and use anti-perspirant the night before and the morning of your climb on your feet. Your feet won't sweat and they will stay nice and warm.
thanks - I keep looking for Phantom 6000's in my size for a reasonable price (last generation) but have had no luck so far.
jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 10
Scot Hastings wrote:While doubles are generally warmer than singles, that's not always the case, and it's really not the point. The big advantage is that you can easily take the liners into your sleeping bag to dry them at night. If you can't do that (becuase the liners aren't removable) and there's moisture in your boots (pretty much unavoidable without vapor barriers) and it's below freezing, your boots will freeze overnight, which is a big deal. In other words, if all you're after is warmth, don't buy doubles, buy better singles, possibly with overboots. If you're doing regular overnight trips in freezing temps, that's when you'd want to consider doubles.
Depends on your feet and your intended use but I generally agree with this so far as day trips in the Northeast. I've been fine in Batura 2's down to 0F. Much past that I'd rather not climb, but not because my feet would be cold. More my hands, and the ice just starts breaking off in chunks at those temps.
wisam · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 60

Big thing for doubles is when it's below 0F for the low temps at night on a multi day trip. That's when being able to sleep with liners is super nice both to dry them and to avoid putting on cold soaked boots in the morning

If it's just a day trip then moisture isn't an issue and if the low is above 0 its not a huge deal putting on cold boots in the morning.

if the low is say 15 and the high is 40 then it's pretty easy to at least partially dry them out every few days if you arrive at camp early.

for 2-3 day trips moisture buildup isn't a huge deal but if you are out for 3 weeks then it becomes a bigger deal if the temps are always below freezing and you cant dry them.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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