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Ice Climbing with LS Makalu?


Original Post
Adam Gellman · · Jersey City/Burlington VT · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 165

I got a pair of LS Makalus for really cheap and I am interested in trying out ice climbing this winter. Will these be warm enough/supportive enough for ice climbing in in the Northeast? Living in VT but might be climbing in the Whites and the Dacks as well.

thanks!

Brian · · North Kingstown, RI · Joined Sep 2001 · Points: 720

A friend of mine climbed vertical ice with Makalus. They are stiff enough how warm is, like any boot, dependent on the temps and how cold tolerant you are.

Aaron T · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 5

I used a pair my first season because I had them already. They were stiff enough and never had any issues with crampons shifting or coming off. With thick Smartwool socks my feet stayed warm enough, but I never used them below about 15 degrees F.

Chad Hiatt · · Bozeman, Mt · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 85

They'll be fine.  Similar warmth to some newer lightweight ice boots.  They do have a steel shank if I remember correctly, so it transmits the cold a bit.  15-20 degrees will likely be your comfort limit depending on how much room you have for socks.    

Adam Gellman · · Jersey City/Burlington VT · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 165
Chiatt Hiatt wrote:

They'll be fine.  Similar warmth to some newer lightweight ice boots.  They do have a steel shank if I remember correctly, so it transmits the cold a bit.  15-20 degrees will likely be your comfort limit depending on how much room you have for socks.    

thanks! That's what I was kinda hoping but glad to have that confirmed. Are more technical boots (LS Nepals) more supportive for standing on vertical ice or will it be the same?

Chad Hiatt · · Bozeman, Mt · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 85

Makalu's run wide compared to most LS boots, so they feel less supportive if you fit in a Nepal.  There is some difference in stiffness, but if your run a stiff crampon then it's negligible.  

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800
Adam Gellman wrote:

thanks! That's what I was kinda hoping but glad to have that confirmed. Are more technical boots (LS Nepals) more supportive for standing on vertical ice or will it be the same?

I believe Nepals are taller, and that tends to provide some added support.

Adam Gellman · · Jersey City/Burlington VT · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 165
Chiatt Hiatt wrote:

Makalu's run wide compared to most LS boots, so they feel less supportive if you fit in a Nepal.  There is some difference in stiffness, but if your run a stiff crampon then it's negligible.  

I have wide feet so that is a plus. Would Grivel G12 be considered stiff?

Aaron T · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 5
Gunkiemike wrote:

I believe Nepals are taller, and that tends to provide some added support.

I have both and this is the case, the Nepals have an additional set of lace hooks at the top too. The Nepals do feel a bit stiffer in the sole as well.

Chad Hiatt · · Bozeman, Mt · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 85

Take a look at the Grivel Rambo 4's for a really stiff crampon.  Anything with vertical steel under foot will be stiff.  Flat steel connecting the front and rear is not as stiff.  The Makalu is plenty stiff, so don't let crampon choice bother you too much.   

Adam Gellman · · Jersey City/Burlington VT · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 165
Chiatt Hiatt wrote:

Take a look at the Grivel Rambo 4's for a really stiff crampon.  Anything with vertical steel under foot will be stiff.  Flat steel connecting the front and rear is not as stiff.  The Makalu is plenty stiff, so don't let crampon choice bother you too much.   

cool. I actually have a pair of G12 so I'm probably just gonna see how well they work. Maybe ill upgrade to vertical points and a warmer/more supportive boot some point down the road

Aaron T · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 5
Adam Gellman wrote:

cool. I actually have a pair of G12 so I'm probably just gonna see how well they work. Maybe ill upgrade to vertical points and a warmer/more supportive boot some point down the road

It'll be fine for getting started. I used sabertooths with mine, so pretty much the same setup. Have fun and don't pull up on shitty sticks.

Jacon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 200

I climbed in Makalus when I was starting out (also wide feet). They worked fine, good way to get into it when you already own the boots. 

When I upgraded to ice specific boots, my climbing jumped a full grade or more. So that was neat. Also recommend starting on straight-shafted leashes tools (seriously). 

Adam Gellman · · Jersey City/Burlington VT · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 165
Jacon wrote:

I climbed in Makalus when I was starting out (also wide feet). They worked fine, good way to get into it when you already own the boots. 

When I upgraded to ice specific boots, my climbing jumped a full grade or more. So that was neat. Also recommend starting on straight-shafted leashes tools (seriously). 

Ok great. might be borrowing tools this season but whats an example of that kind of tool? just something not for mixed/steep ice or something completely straight like a mountaineering ax?

Jacon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 200

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/113831859/fs-axes-crampons

I realize I’m inviting hate from the Internet, which is always a dangerous move. But I promise, if you spend two years climbing in Makalus and with old school tools like this, when you finally buy modern gear you’ll be really good. Think of it like swinging bat weights before you step into the batter’s box. 

Adam Gellman · · Jersey City/Burlington VT · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 165
Jacon wrote:

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/113831859/fs-axes-crampons

I realize I’m inviting hate from the Internet, which is always a dangerous move. But I promise, if you spend two years climbing in Makalus and with old school tools like this, when you finally buy modern gear you’ll be really good. Think of it like swinging bat weights before you step into the batter’s box. 

Wow those things are pretty retro but I see the logic (and the price is tempting). Still leaves me wondering if its a good idea to buy climbing gear older than I am...

Jacon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 200

I mean, that's an exceptionally reasonable point.  You're definitely not wrong.  On the other hand: 

Ian Machen · · Carson City, NV · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 35

I had the opposite experience of most people with the Makalus. I fit fine into 45 Nepals, but the shape of the Makalu, even going up to a 46, pinched my foot so badly that it started pushing one of the metatarsal heads under the other on my left foot. I bought two pairs of them, starting at 45, which is already 1/2 size up from my normal mountain boot size. Maybe I got some non-conforming pairs though. 

OTOH, I did find that they climbed pretty well.

Adam Gellman · · Jersey City/Burlington VT · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 165
Ian Machen wrote:

I had the opposite experience of most people with the Makalus. I fit fine into 45 Nepals, but the shape of the Makalu, even going up to a 46, pinched my foot so badly that it started pushing one of the metatarsal heads under the other on my left foot. I bought two pairs of them, starting at 45, which is already 1/2 size up from my normal mountain boot size. Maybe I got some non-conforming pairs though. 

OTOH, I did find that they climbed pretty well.

I guess is is possible to get a weird pair.  Are the nepals any warmer than the makalus or are single leather boots mostly the same?

Jacon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 200

The Nepals should be much warmer.  Makalus are uninsulated, whereas all the leather single climbing boots have some degree of insulation.  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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