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What is a cheap, good, beginner boot/tool combo?


CDev · · Denver, CO · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0

I had to commit to ice gear last season and was trying to do it as cost-minded as possible.

I got Sportiva Nepal boots from REI at 20% off, but still $350.

Petzl Quark tools, $300 for the pair from someone on these forums.

Crampons, just got full priced at REI, $200.

My best advice is to keep your eyes around the For Sale forum here on Mountain Project. There will be TONS of posts for tools and that's probably the most economical way to get them. I know someone mentioned Nomics, and of course, Nomics are phenomenal, but also I think a bit aggressive for what you'll likely need. Quarks are an awesome place to start, but get whatever you can find the best deal on. Same deal with crampons... I find there are a lot of posts for tools and crampons, but they also sell pretty quickly.

Regarding boots, you should be able to find them 20-30% off around the various internet sites. If you're an REI member, you'll be getting a 20% coupon for a full price item in another month or so, so that could be a cheaper way in. I'm always keeping my eye out for a cheap pair of women's mountaineering/ice climbing boots so my gal will join me on the cold days, so its not a bad way to look for a deal.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 1

OK, I got the ice tools figured out, thanks GearExpress.  Hell of a deal. (Cassin All Mountain)

I have a BD harness that will work with extra clothes, and three helmets, none of which includes a face shield...is it needed, or will my Gargoyles do the job? I have BD ski gloves that will work for ice, and numerous ropes. A buddy has many screws I can use, and I have many feet of static rope and webbing for TR anchors.

Just need boots...I own some AT boots that look a lot like the plastic double boots I have been seeing, like the Inverno and Arctis Extreme. Wondering if they will work in a pinch???

They are made by Roxa R3s

Ryan Pfleger · · North Lake Tahoe, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 20

They X-Alls should be a good tool for ya. No face shield needed, but eye pro of some sort is a very, very good idea.  AT boots work ok provided they take step in crampons (not TLT 7). Obviously get more ankle articulation, etc, in most dedicated ice boots. Good ice gloves are nice. The grippier the palms, the better. Also if your harness doesn't have ice clipper slots, you might have to rig some way to carry screws or get one of the ice clippers that clamp on the harness sans slot.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,860
Buck Rio wrote: 
Just need boots...I own some AT boots that look a lot like the plastic double boots I have been seeing, like the Inverno and Arctis Extreme. Wondering if they will work in a pinch???

They are made by Roxa R3s

I've seen Petzl M10s work just fine on ski boots for dead vertical ice. Newer crampons are trending toward smaller/narrower toe bails that I suspect won't fit well. So score another point for old(er) crampons!

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

Hey Buck.  I really like AT boots on straight forward ice up to WI4.  You can lean into the front of your ski boot more than standard ice boots, and it allows you to relax your lower leg.  Once you get into mixed terrain or more difficult ice, the ankle articulation of a standard ice boot is a huge benefit.  I think I saw up thread that you have some Rambo's, and I've used those on my AT boots.  FWIW, my Petzl Lynx also work well on my AT boots, BD Prime's. 

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 521

I made a pair of serviceable fruit boots for $45 out of a pair of road bike shoes and crampons I got on eBay, and some stainless steel hardware from Ace hardware.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 1
Dylan B. wrote: I made a pair of serviceable fruit boots for $45 out of a pair of road bike shoes and crampons I got on eBay, and some stainless steel hardware from Ace hardware.

Do I want to know what a "Fruit Boot" is?

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 521
Buck Rio wrote:

Do I want to know what a "Fruit Boot" is?


Scarpa Fruit Boot
Auden Alsop · · Baltimore, MD · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 30
Buck Rio wrote:

Do I want to know what a "Fruit Boot" is?

Minimalist boots with ‘pons bolted to the sole.

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 521

Since the peak of my ice climbing career never exceeded going cragging 2-3 times per winter, these were a serviceable option at the right price. They have homemade neoprene insoles, and I just wore them with smart wool socks and liners; never had a problem with cold feet, even in Wisconsin temperatures. The biggest problems is that the secondary points aren’t aggressive enough, and heel lift was kind of brutal. More modern crampons would solve the first problem. The heel lift was mitigated, but not solved with the ankle straps.
Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 1

I think I lucked into a $100 pair of boots. They are an unused pair of old Lowa Civetta. They are red and have a liner similar to a ski boot. They are actually a lot softer than I had imagined. The toe welt is a little big for the crampons I have, the bail is a different radius than the toe. It doesn't seem to affect the stability though.

 

angieL Limbach · · Madison, WI · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 5

Sounds like you found a good deal, Buck, but for anyone else out there with a similar question, I'd just throw out there that ebay was where I scooped up my boots about 9 years ago- leather solomons for about $40. Clearly worn but in good condition, could use a new insole these days and I've never oiled the leather (though I probably should...), and they were just fine out at Sandstone, MN on some -20 days last winter. My sister and her fiance also found their boots on ebay last winter- Lowa boots for around $100 each. Again, not brand new but plenty of life left in them. The deals are out there!

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

Bearded Sam is selling a good pair of nomics for 330$ shipped..win win situation for both of you

Tanner Clagett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 0
Buck Rio wrote: I think I lucked into a $100 pair of boots. They are an unused pair of old Lowa Civetta. They are red and have a liner similar to a ski boot. They are actually a lot softer than I had imagined. The toe welt is a little big for the crampons I have, the bail is a different radius than the toe. It doesn't seem to affect the stability though.

 

I have an old pair of Lowa Civetta Extremes (the red ones). I've been happy with them overall. Sure, they're not as nimble as non-plastics, but for cold days they are wonderful. I never get cold toes. And despite appearances, they are much lighter, softer, and better-climbing than any AT boot I've worn. Sounds like you're set - have fun!

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 1
Tanner Clagett wrote:

I have an old pair of Lowa Civetta Extremes (the red ones). I've been happy with them overall. Sure, they're not as nimble as non-plastics, but for cold days they are wonderful. I never get cold toes. And despite appearances, they are much lighter, softer, and better-climbing than any AT boot I've worn. Sounds like you're set - have fun!

Thanks, I have one trip for sure and another penciled in for Nipigon in March. Sandstone MN is a farmed park, and will be the site of most of my ice adventures this year.


Couple of dudes I am going with are the type that like to drag stuff in on a sled and winter camp...call it the "Man trip". Not sure I am up for that. Winter camping in MN includes about 14 hours of darkness, which is way too long to spend in a tent with two other guys.

My wife and I do a Yurt-to-Yurt trip on the Gunflint trail on XC skis. Ski 30 Km to the first Yurt where the guide drops your stuff off. Get cozy and eat/sleep. Pack your stuff and ski about 27 Km to the next yurt and repeat. Last leg is only 10 Km back to your car. Last time we went wolves had made a moose kill right on the trail!!! talk about the drama that must have been involved in the struggle for survival, the landscape was pretty chewed up, and the snow was completely pink all around.
richard rakus · · huntsville, texas · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 0

I would borrow ice tools from someone that you know like some of the others have suggested. When you do find some ice tools that you like, make sure to buy extra replacement parts for both adze and hammer heads as well as t rated picks for them. That way if they discontinue the model, you can have the parts to keep using them. I used to have the lowa civetta boots in plastic. They lasted about 3 - 5 years before the plastic became brittle. If you are going to get into ice climbing for the long haul, then get good crampons and tools with spare parts. And invest in good boots when you can afford them. Try them before you buy them. If you can.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 1
richard rakus wrote: I would borrow ice tools from someone that you know like some of the others have suggested. When you do find some ice tools that you like, make sure to buy extra replacement parts for both adze and hammer heads as well as t rated picks for them. That way if they discontinue the model, you can have the parts to keep using them. I used to have the lowa civetta boots in plastic. They lasted about 3 - 5 years before the plastic became brittle. If you are going to get into ice climbing for the long haul, then get good crampons and tools with spare parts. And invest in good boots when you can afford them. Try them before you buy them. If you can.

I bought the Cassin X all mountain with no adze. Where I'll be climbing, no need, and I can't imagine taking a popped adze in the face. 

But I am 52 years old, the long haul has a different meaning to me than it did 20 years ago. If I really like the guys I am climbing with, I'll invest more .
beccs · · Ontario Canada · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 200

Hey Buck! Should like you have a good start for your kit.

If you can, you should try to get out to some of the local ice festivals this winter around you. Here are a few that I know about:
https://sandstoneicefest.com/index.php/sandstone-ice-festival-events/
https://duluthclimbers.org/2019-duluth-ice-mixed-fest/

There is also a Nipigon Ice Fest, but I'm only seeing the site from 2018 doing a quick google search.

Have fun!

luke magnin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0

You can get these nomics for 204 each then use the 10% off discount code for signing up to make them pretty much a steal.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 1
luke magnin wrote: You can get these nomics for 204 each then use the 10% off discount code for signing up to make them pretty much a steal.

Already set up for the season thanks

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Ice Climbing
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