A look at the boots people were wearing on Everest this year

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The "goo man" fixes a broken La Sportiva Olympus Mons Evo climbing boot.  The zipper had failed completely (you can see the broken one on the ground).  We sewed two straps onto the boots as a temporary measure until we could get a replacement zipper and a skilled person (goo man) to sew it on.  Photo Paul Adler.I was going to write about down suits and jackets, however I started writing about boots and it ended up taking a whole update so I’ll write about the down gear next

There are pretty much only two types of boots being used by climbers on Everest - Millet Everest and La Sportiva Olympus Mons.  Here are my thoughts on them.

My Boots
On Everest I used Millet Everest III boots. The III model is not the latest - you can tell it by the large Millet writing on the front of the gaiter, and rough rubber on the sides of the boot. This rubber is meant to keep the boot warmer and melt the snow off, and it does seem to do this, but I note that the new model released last year doesn’t have this. Maybe it didn’t work well and wasn’t worth the weight?  I have a Euro size 45 1/3 and in normal shoes I take a 43. These boots are reasonably tough and sturdy, however they are heavy. Mine weigh 2340 grams or a little over 5lbs each.

The alternative is the La Sportiva Olympus Mons EVO and at 5lbs 6oz for the pair, these are a lot lighter.  In fact nearly half the the weight of the Millet boot.  However they are not as warm, although this extra warmth might only be needed on summit night and could easily be countered with Hotronics (see previous post).   One of the ways that they have made these boots so much lighter, is by using a strange material on the outer sole of the base of the boot. It's almost like a compressed closed cell foam – if you walk on rocks you will quickly ruin the tread, so you need to be very careful. The boots in the picture are of a team member with me on Everest in 2007 had been only been used once before for a climb of Aconcagua.  If you look carefully can already see that almost all the tread has disappeared.  These boots are being repaired by the Goo Man - the plastic zipper no longer worked.   Fortunately it was noticed at base camp, and we were able to sew on some strapping and make a temporary repair and then Fiona bought in another pair, however if this happened up high or near the end of the trip, it could cost you dearly.   These boots will do one season on Everest comfortably, but any more will be pushing it.

Trade Off

So the trade-off is weight (approx 5Kg compared to 2.5Kg) with sturdiness and warmth. Some people take a lighter pair of climbing boots to use between BC and C2. Obviously this makes the going much easier for you up to C2, but it means that your heavy mountaineering boots have to be carried up and then down when you are finished the expedition. However given that you will make this trip at least 3 times on an expedition, it’s worth considering, as weight saved on your feet is very significant.

What would I recommend?
For me, I am happy with my Millet Everest boots, despite their weight. If you were worried about your physical ability up high, I think LaSportiva is a good choice, however do minimize the time that you wear them by using other boots down lower on the mountain.


Getting my boots ready

I have a regular routine that I follow for getting my boots ready before the start of a climbing day.  This is especially important if I know that we are going to be starting early or that it's going to be cold.  It goes like this:

When I get into camp I take my liners out and put them either outside in the sun or else in the netting at the top of the tent if its warm enough. Failing that, they go into my sleeping bag when I am inside it.  Dry boots are important because they are much warmer.

On summit night on any mountain it’s really important to have warm feet, because it’s usually colder given that its night time and the altitude is higher.  It can take a while for the boots to get warm, and if you put your feet into cold boots, it will make your feet cold and cause the blood vessels to constrict in this area, thereby reducing the amount of blood circulating.  This makes you feet get colder and compounds the problem.  It's important to be organised and get the boots warmed up with plenty of time to spare.  A minimum of two hours before I am due to leave, I put my climbing socks on and then my boot liners on my feet inside my sleeping bag. I leave the laces undone and the whole thing very loose, so that nothing impedes circulation.  If I notice any part of my feet getting cold, I give them a vigorous massage tp try and get the blood flowing.  Half a hour later I put my outer boots in my bag too. With 45 minutes to 1 hour before we leave, I open the chemical hand warmers I plan to use inside my gloves. Up high these take a long time to heat up and at 8000m it’s at least 45 minutes. If you put them into your gloves where they get even less air, before they are really warm, then they will never be very hot. After opening the packet and shaking them around a little bit, I put them into my outer boots inside my sleeping bag and I find this warms up the boots a lot, whilst still allowing plenty of air to reach the hand warmers.   When it’s time to put the boots on (the very last thing I do in the tent), I put the hand warmers in my gloves and hop into toasty boots.

If anyone else has any handy suggestions, an improvement on the above, or a completely different idea altogether, please comment.

Messages

Again, thanks.

Jill, Dallas, TX
Paul, it is so good to see a new post from you! So glad you are taking the time and effort to share all of this information with us. I will look forward to anything you are willing to share with us! Hope yours and Fiona's lives are going well!

Thanks

Hi Jill, Thanks for your message and particularly the support you gave us during the climb. Rgds, Paul.

Boots for Aconcagua

G'day Paul and Fiona!

Welcome home (belated) and great to see more posts coming through. Your website is such a great resource of valuable and interesting information...thank you!

It is quite ironic that your last post was dedicated to boots as l am in the process of deciding what would be the most appropriate boot for climbing Aconcagua in Jan 2008.

Do you have any suggestions/recommendations? Or if anybody else has some feedback it would be much appreciated?

Hope you have both settled back into 'normal' life after your successful summit. Congratulations again to you both...a truly inspirational couple!

Hope to catch up with you both as we planned prior to leaving for your expedition.

Take care,

Cherie

Boots for Aconcagua

Cherie,

We used plastic Koflach boots on Aconcagua, but we were pretty lucky with good weather. Some people I know have used La Sportiva One Sport Evo boots - the same ones you would use on Everest. I think this is overkill and if you then went and used the same boots on Everest, you run the risk that your earlier use of them will have compressed the liners and reduced their thermal insulating capabilities. That said, Attila, who climbed with La Sportiva One Sport Evo boots on Aconcagua this year, reckoned the temperature was so cold, he wouldn't have got up, if he didn't have them. This is where a pair of Hotronic foot warmers would also come in handy, especially if you were using lesser boots.

Millet Everests are definitely too heavy. If I was climbing it again, I would climb with a mid to high end Asolo boot. I have Asolo8000 boots, which are not bad. They are designed for higher altitude climbing, but I also climbed Mt Blanc & the Matterhorn with them. They wouldn't be my first choice specifically for this type of alpine climbing, but at least it shows that they are versatile.

Yes, lets catch up.
Paul.

Vital Information

Paul thanks for the information once again. The commentary on the brands are great but the procedures on what worked for you is just what some of us are looking for. I look forward to the next review and hopefully in time some of last years problems will be discussed. I am sure that many others beside myself are still interested in your thoughts on your experiences last year and perhaps comparisons to this years succesful climb. Cheers

More info coming

Hi Yes, I will write a summary of my experience this year and compare it to 2006. Paul.

PDA, Satphones, Softwear

Hi Paul,
I'm enjoying the gear information and am finding it very interesting. Will you be writing about the way you were updating the website while on the mountain? Also keeping all those batteries alive, it wound be interesting to get your thoughts on solar panels.
Regards Craig.

Tehcnology for updating MyEverest site

Hi Craig, Yes I can write about updating this site and the gear I used. Very happy to share that information. Cheers, Paul.

Double plasic with over boots sufficient for Everest?

Hi Paul,

I plan to use Koflack with a special inner boots and 40 Below overboots and toewarmer chemical packets/patches. Would this be enough on Big E? Please advise. Thanks,

Quang

La Sportiva or Millet are better

Hi Quang, I'd advise against using Koflachs on Everest. Millet or La Sportiva make warmer and lighter boots (La Sportiva are probably the lightest around, but the Millets are close). Chemical toe warmers are not that good, because not much air gets inside your boots, so the reaction doesn't occur as much, and they are not hot. Electric warmers (Hotronic) are much better.
You can buy Millet boots cheaply in Nepal - let me know and I can post the email addresses of a couple of Nepalese shops that can help you you. You'd want to have them arranged before you left for Nepal.
Good luck, Paul A.

Boots for Denali

Hi Paul and thanks for all the advice.

Regarding boots, would La Sportiva or Millet be overkill for Denali? Can you recommend other alternatives?

Thanks

Manny

Asolo a possibility, but not for me.

I have some Asolo AFS 8000 boots, but they are no where near as warm as the Millet's or La Sportiva. I can't really recommend anything else other than these two.

What is the fit of the Millet Everest Boot?

I have a generic foot and I wear a US size 12 for all my shoes and boots. My question is how does the Millet fit? Loose, tight, wide, long?

Also what are size comparisons for UK sizes to US?

Sizing for Millet boots

The Millet Everest is big, wide and a common complaint is that they are sloppy. I usually wear European size 43-44 boots / runners, and I have size 45 in my Millets. I would recommend getting approx two sizes larger than what you normally wear, because you don't want your boots to restrict your circulation. Not sure about the exact comparison of UK to US sizes, but just look at a pair of good fitting hiking boots to get your size in European and then get about 2 sizes larger.
Hope this helps.

Which is better for warth and over use?

Which one will be better for warmth and using the same pair over and over again, the Millet or La Sportiva ?

What boots will last longer

Thats a good question - La Sportiva is definitely lighter, so I would think that they wouldn't hold up as well longer term than Millet.

North Col

Do you have a recommendation for a warm boot for an Everest North Col trip
(No summit plans)?
Thanks!

Boots for the North Col of Everest

Assuming that you are going to the North Col during either of the two climbing seasons, you could use pretty much any decent, reasonably new plastic mountaineering boots.

If you want to make the climb easier for yourself, find something thats reasonably light, because weight off your feet counts for a lot. I have ASOLO AFS 8000 boots which I use for sub 8000m climbs and these are really warm, although at 2.5kg for the pair there are lighter boots available. I'd recommend that you consider La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX which would be suitable and only weigh 1000 grams each. If you didn't want to have to worry about the cold (or do feel the cold), but want lightweight boots, then buy La Sportiva Olympus Mons EVO, which weigh about the same as the Nepal EVO GTX, but are capable of going all the way to the summit. (These boots are not very long lasting, so you'd only get a couple of trips out of them at the most.)

Hope this helps,
Paul

How extreme to go....??

Hi, great article.
Im also planning to do Aconcagua, and then some Himalayas afterwards and are tossing up between a few different boots.
I was looking at the Millet Everest GTX too. My dillema is that I dont want to go too over the top if its not neccesary, but at the same time dont want to have to upgrade later.
The new Everest GTX boots are only about 2700 grams per PAIR, so now that they are lighter, would that make them more suitable for something like Aconcagua? (i noticed your concern about the weight on previous models).
Another option would be the Millet Alpinist GTX as I want to get inot some ice climbing too...
Also, can this style of boot do pretty much the same thing as the plastic ones these days?

Thanks a lot,
Adam

Boots for Aconcagua & Nepal

Hi Adam,
I think that it would not be a good idea to use Millet Everest boots on Aconcagua. Not only would you be hot and uncomfortable, but you'd find the going tough because of the extra weight and that they are pretty clumsy when on rock. The other issue is that any mountaineering boot has a limited lifespan before the insulation get compacted rendering it less effective, so you'd be running the risk by using it on Aconcagua that it wouldn't work well when you really need it on a colder mountain. As a general rule as boots are getting lighter, lifespans are getting shorter.
If you really want something good for Aconcagua, get a lighter weight mountaineering boot and use Hottronic heated insoles. That way you'll feel more comfortable, have less weight to carry and if it does get cold or there is some emergency you can instantly heat up your boots to +32C for 18 hours with a single pair of batteries. If you are climbing trekking peaks in Nepal, then the same setup will work there. If you are climbing something bigger and want Millet Everest boots, you can buy these in Kathmandu for about $550US. You need to know your size and pre order them. My contact in Kathmandu is Nawang Sherpa, ph 977-1-4487269.

Regards, Paul Adler.

aconcagua one shot base camp to summit

Hi. Paul.
Last january I went to the aconcagua to go from base camp (plaza de mulas) to summit in one shot. I made the summit in 10Hrs but I used the Koflach Arctis Expe and I feel that I could use some thing more suitable. I'm going back on 2009 to try to make it in less time in preparation for the Denali. Do you have any sugestion of what kind of boot I should be using for this kind of ascent?

Regards

What about trail running shoes?

If you were running, could you just use some sturdy trail running shoes up to Camp Berlin and then maybe some stiffer hiking boots if you knew that you wouldn't be using crampons and the weather was good? This type of thing is not something that I know much about at all, I am afraid.
Regards, Paul.

Hi Paul Nice That you give

Hi Paul
Nice That you give us all the information and very good website.
We are climbing cho oyu in april 2009 and i was goiing to buy millet boots in belgium the price is about 550euro and as you sayed you now stores in kathmandu maybe i could buy them there already with internet is this possible
Best regards
Yves
PS Sorry if my english is not so good

I'd buy the boots in Belgium

Hi Yves,
Thanks for your comments and good luck for Cho Oyu. Depending on the exchange rate you would only be saving a small amount of money, so I probably would buy them in Belgium if I was you, and that way you know that you have them and in your size.

As for buying over the internet, you'd only want to be picking them up in KTM and not trusting the Nepal shipping.
Paul.

Aconcagua Boots

Hi Paul
I'm writing to ask you for your adwice.
In January 09. I'm going to Aconcagua, and i would like to ask you if La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX boots will be right for this mountain?
Thanks Mario

Great choice for boots

H Mario, I think La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX would be perfect boots to wear. Not too stiff and not too heavy either. You could also wear these for trekking peaks in Nepal too.
Regards, Paul.

La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX Boot Size

Paul,
I have also been searching for the right boot to climb Aconcagau in.
Your comment that the La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX would be perfect has convinced me to purchase pair.
Should the La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX also be purchased two sizes larger than my normal US shoe size?
Do you have any recommendations for a La Sportiva dealer that I should purchase these from?

Cheers,
Keith

Suggest trying the boots on first before buying

Hi Keith,

Will you get an opportunity to try them on before buying? I'd recommend this if you can, with the socks that you are likely to be wearing. It's best to err on the too large side rather than too small, but as to the exact number of sizes larger than your normal shoe sizes I can't say. But somewhere between 1-2 sizes larger would be a very good guide. You don't need a tight fit for Aconcagua and you don't want a tight fit which would reduce circulation in your feet.

No recommendations for any dealers I am afraid. Once you know what you want, then I'd just buy from whoever can give you the best price.

Hope this helps,
Paul.

Foot warmer

Hi Paul,

First, thanks for making this site, I have found lots of useful and insightful information here. I noticed that your gear list included Hotronic foot warmers. Did you use them on the summit, and if so, would you care to comment on your experience with them?
Thanks,
Peter

Recommend Hotronic Footwarmers

Hi Peter,
Thanks for your message. Yes I would highly recommend Hotronic foot warmers. I keep them in my boots all the time and always take a set of batteries with me even if I don't think I'll need them. Yes I used them on the summit night, mostly on the lowest setting. In fact just before I got to the Hillary Step I noticed my feet getting colder, and I checked the batteries and they had run out, so I changed to a new set. (You get about 16 hours at the lowest heat setting.) It's very important with your feet to avoid them getting cold in the first place, because otherwise the blood vessels constrict making it even harder to warm them up again.
I sewed Hotronic extension cables into the inside zipper flap of my down suit so that the batteries could sit in my chest pockets instead of down at my feet. This makes it easier to adjust the temperature and change them over.
Regards
Paul.

What Boots?

Hi,

I'm from South Africa and I'm battling to find a pair of boots for myself. I am climbing Elbrus in June and hopefully Everest in 2010 or 2011 with some high altitude climbs in between. I have tried on a La Sportiva Nepal Extreme in a 48 and it fits nicely but was worried about the warmth and much I could use it after Elbrus and its expensive here in S.A. I tried on a Scarpa Vega/Inferno in a 12.5UK and it was to small and basically all the suppliers here in S.A have told me to find a boot on the internet because they have nothing for me. I have been looking at the Asolo AFS800 but dont about the fit or much about the boot. What about the Millet Alpinist GTX. It's really frustrating as I've been trying to get a boot here for about 6 months and have come up dry and have been shrugged off by the stores here. Another thing is overboots, should I use them or not, but with what boot?

If anyone has some advice or knows some good websites for boots, please let me know, your assistance is greatly appreciated
Nabs

Mount Elbrus

Dear Nabs. I am glad to have come across your comments on this forum. I too am from sunny SA (Western Cape) and I will trying for Elbrus in June this year. I would love to know how your whole experience on Elbrus went. What boots you finally decided on and how did you manage to obtain them? How many sizes bigger than your actual foot size did you go? I ordered a pair of La Sportiva from the UK and they fit too snugly. No boot in SA is available in my size 4 foot. Did you purchase all your other high altitude gear locally? Down Jacket, Crampons, Ice Axe, Sleeping Bag? (E.g. I can't find an Alpine 35/45L backpack that fits properly. The Karrimor sits too high on my shoulders). What type of training did you do locally for this climb? Our mountains are not that high, but yes, there are other disciplines one can do to compensate. Have you been on any other high altitude mountains since Elbrus?

Boots

Any advice would be great!

BOOTS

Hello everyone., I have just only come across this site and i have been mountaineering for nearly 6 years or so now and i must say this is a great site full of what seems alot of very knowledgeable people judging by what ive read so far anyway, Anyhow the question im putting out there is this, I havent got the full on professional boots the kind you would climb K2 and so on, However i have climbed Mont Blanc in a real good pair of ASOLO LHOTSE which were 100% perfect and could no doubt easily i think go to a higher altitude with ease, Has anyone got anything to add to this or got any thoughts about these particular boots ? Thankyou.

Where I have bought boots

Hi Nabs,
I have bought boots from http://www.telemark-pyrenees.com (search by brand is the easiest). They have Millet Everest boots at EU429 ex VAT, which is a good price. I found it best to just call them and talk to them over the phone.
I have some Asolo AFS 8000 boots and they would be good for low to mid altitude climbing, but not for high altitude climbing (7500m+). I would only consider La Sportiva Olympus Mons or Millet Everest for this.

I reckon that my Asolo AFS 8000 boots are a little heavy and stiff, but they are pretty warm.

It sounds to me like you are going to just have to buy the largest size you can get your hands on and then hope for the best. If you can't use thick socks, then you could consider some hotronic electric footwarmers to compensate without adding bulk.
You can also easily buy Millet boots in Kathmandu for about $550US (La Sportiva is not so common in Kathmandu).
Paul.

Boots+gear

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the reply, much appreciated, wil look into it.

One more thing,
What rope/slings do you use that is connected to your harness that connects you up to the fixed line? Do you make your own (if so how and what do you make it out of) or do you buy a sort of ready made one and just attach a carabiner and what carabiner do you use?

I want to do a similar thing and attach my axe to my harness so if I have to change hands it's not a problem.

Thanks very much

I make my own ascender/carabiner Y sling.

I make my own Y sling from 6mm climbing cord. Start with about 3 metres of 6mm climbing cord and tie one end into a carabiner using a clove hitch knot (This site has an example of a clove hitch being tied into a carbiner, except I tie it into the smaller side of the carbiner http://www.abc-of-rockclimbing.com/howto/learn_climbing_knots.asp). Then tie an overhand knot in nice and close to secure the clove hitch. I use the largest bent gate, non locking carbiner I can buy (so that it can slip over knots in fixed line. I then put lots of duct tape over the clove hitch/overhand knot and down the rope about 25cm to make a very stiff handle encompassing both the rope and the bottom end of the carbiner (all the knots will be covered in tape). The end outcome is that by holding onto this "handle" and flicking the fixed line you can clip and unclip very quickly when using large gloves, without needing to actually press the gate (the fixed rope presses on the gate). I know that its not as safe as having a screw gate carabiner, but I find that it's too slow and difficult to use with gloves so I end up not using it at all. I figure this is better, but the choice is up to you. At the other end of the 6mm rope, I tie in my ascender (using a looped back figure of 8 knot) and then in tie the middle into my harness (I usually don't use a carabiner in my harness to save on weight.) Adjustments to the length can be made to the ascender end, and then when you are happy, trim the surplus rope, leaving a little extra in case you want to adjust when climbing. Keep any loose ends neat with more duct tape.

Hope this makes sense. Let me know if it doesn't.
Paul.

y sling

Hi Paul,

So basically tie one end with a clove hitch and secure with overhand knot and tape over knots with duct tape (will the cold not affect the "stickyness of the tape?)

Excuse my ignorance, could you explain "and flicking the fixed line you can clip and unclip very quickly when using large gloves, without needing to actually press the gate (the fixed rope presses on the gate)"

Would 6mm rope be thick enough?

At the other end, do you tie your ascender into the same rope that connects into your harness and the fixed line? Wouldn't the rope be to long with the up and down motion of the ascender and tied to your harness? if so do you tie it through the big hole at the top or the 2 holes by the bottom . How do you tie into your harness?

Thanks very much

Hi Nabs, Yes that's the

Hi Nabs, Yes that's the knots to use and I haven't found that the cold impacts the duct tape at all. To clip onto a fixed rope, you just pick up the fixed rope in one hand and then holding onto the tape handle, slap the carbiner gate down onto the rope. The gate will open and allow the rope to go in. To release from the rope, hold the carabiner by the tape handle and roll the fixed rope over the gate, pressing down onto the gate. The gate will open and let the rope out. A bent gate is much easier. Try it yourself with a fixed rope and let me know how you go (tie a long rope down at both ends, making it pretty tight - in the middle lifts off the ground no more than 50cm).
I think 6mm is ok. Remember it's not going to take a large fall.
Once you have the carbiner handle rigged up, you can tie the rope into your harness with a doubled back figure of eight knot. Adjust the length of the rope so that the carbiner is not too low when walking (just below your knees, but long enough so you can go around someone). Then tie in your ascender to the remaining end at one of the two holes at the bottom of the ascender, adjusting the rope length to be at about a full arms length. Trim off any extra rope once you are happy, leaving a bit extra for minute adjustments.

The way I actually assemble it, is get all the knots done and adjusted, then tape, then trim.

Paul.

Boot Comparison

Which would you prefer for climbs up to 7000m on snow: The Asolo AFS 8000 that you own or the La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX that you have recommended as well?

I'd go for the Nepal EVO GTX

I'd go for the Nepal EVO GTX based on weight, but that's assuming that you are not climbing anywhere that's too cold irrespective of the altitude. For example I wouldn't take them to Denali or anything North of Nepal.
Paul.

Hi Paul: Do you know

Hi Paul:
Do you know Sportiva Baruntse boots?
Thanks.
Carlos.

La Sportiva Baruntse boots

Yes, I have seen these before. I don't know about the price, but they look like a well made boot with some clever design features. But I am not sure how they fit into the product line-up. If was going up high then I would be getting the Olympus Mons and if it was lower I'd probably buy the Nepal Evo (lighter).
Paul.

Millet Alpinist GTX vs La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX

Hi Paul, I'm a little bit new to the mountain world having started out with trekking in the Annapurna's a couple of years ago and climbed Kilimanjaro last summer but this year I am stepping up to do Mt Blanc, with a view to doing Elbrus and Aconcagua next year.

With this step up to colder climates and snowier terrains I need to invest in some new boots and have been looking at the Millet Alpinist GTX and the La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX. Do you have any views on which of these two boots would be more preferrable? I do have a wide foot and so was favouring the Millet from the reviews I have read. Is it right to go half a UK size up? Any helpful comments gladly received. James

Millet Alpinist GTX

Hi James,

I can't comment specifically on the Millet Alpinist GTX, other than I think that Millet make some great products. I think you are right though to take into consideration your unique foot characteristics. For the type of non technical climbing you are talking about it's better to have a boot that is too large because it allows for more blood circulation and therefore will keep your feet warmer. Also remember that your feet can swell up a bit at altitude when you have been using them, so if in doubt be generous on the sizing. The other effect at altitude is that air pockets within any closed cell insulation will expand due to their relatively higher pressure compared to the ambient air. This means that your boot will feel a bit smaller up high.
In the past some boots used to come with a different inner boot (thinner) that was for use at higher altitudes (6000m+). This doesn't seem to be common now.

Regards,
Paul.

hello paul - like most of the posts, a q' about new boots

first - I must say I found considerable amount of well earned info here over time. impresive and enriching...
I'd like your opinion on the scarpa phantom 6000. I've been climbing in europe, caucas, kirgistan (never above 5500 -but sometimes in winter) and been using either a light weight la sportiva (k4) or my old kofalch's. been having cold feet and thinking of something that could keep my my feet warmer while climbing in the winter: either l's Baruntse (that are 2400g) or Batura (but I dont like the zipper and I heard drying them is problematic). and then I had a look at scarpa 6000 (2400, inner boot,warmer then most options - sounds good)... what do you think? had any exp with them?

p.s
I know the possiblity of using footwarmers (use them somtimes on my skiboots on ski tours etc) but found it hard to recharge them and would love to avoid the hassle of it ...

Scarpa Boots

Yes, I don't like the zipper having an important role on boots either. Too risky in the event of it failing (see the picture on this blog post for a La Sportiva zipper that failed.) If I had boots with zippers, then I would sew in some velcro straps to use in the event of failure. I noticed that the latest La Spotiva Olympus Mons has a velcro cover over the gaiter zip, which makes me much happier.
It sounds like some of the problem with feeling cold might be due to your boots getting old and the insulation compacting. I think the Scarpa 6000 looks good and would be warm. I know a few people who have them and they are happy. My only hesitation is that if you were walking over a lot of loose, small moraine, I am not sure how the outer material on would wear. The Baruntse would be better in this regard. You need to really look at how they each fit too. I'd steer clear of the Batura for what you need.

Hope this helps your thought process.

Regards,
Paul.

in search for the lightest weight combo

Paul,
thank you for your posts-really helpful and informative.

searching for some higher elevation mountaineering boots, i'm currently facing some interesting challenges. first, i'm a 115 pnd female with size 6.5 regular size feet looking for the most lightweight boot possible for denali. so far LaSportiva Ol. Mons seems the best weight-wise, however i'm not sure if their smallest size would fit me. secondly, for less extreme cold climbs (Aconcagua, Canadian Rockies) what would be the lightest weight boot i could get away with without taking too much risk? i don't have much experience with extreme cold and cant tell how my feet react to it. but i did climb rainier in the summer with just regular scarpa hiking boot with vibram soles while i saw some people in plastics over there-just can't imagine doing that. i also have a pair of RBH design socks which have had very positive reviews from climbers around the world, however hadn't had a chance to test them in extreme cold temps either. So what do you think would be a lightest combo for me? La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX with socks for under 8,000? can this package get lighter? how about Denali? Thank you!
Elena

Boots for people with small feet

Hi Elena,

I agree that small feet can pose a challenge when the principal market for mountaineering boots are males. However for Denali I would strongly recommend Olympus Mons, even if the smallest size appears to be too big for you (although I'd be very surprised if this was the case based on what you have said). I presume that you are doing one of the normal routes on Denali, so its not going to be technical and therefore it doesn't matter if the boot is a bit too big. I have lost half the length in my toes on my right foot due to my own stupidity and using poor quality boots, so I know what it's like to climb with boots that are too big (on one foot). And it's not something that I notice at all, even on reasonably technical climbs. For blood circulation you need to have plenty of room around your feet, so don't make the mistake of buying boots that are too small. Thats what my wife (Fiona) did with her Olympus Mons.

Some people take Olympus Mons to Aconcagua, but I think this is overkill. And you only get a few climbs with Olympus Mons before they wear out (especially the soles) So something like La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX will be perfect. Have a look at your local store too and see what they have that you can try on.

If you are worried about cold feet, I'd also look at Hotronics heated insoles for Denali. I never climb without them now, although my feet are now more sensitive than most.

Hope this helps,
Paul.

Love my Olympus Mons

Hi,

I echo everything Paul has said about the Mons-I love them-never had cold feet in them. Their soles are very fragile so you can't really wear them without crampons on. I trashed a pair on Aconcagua-fortunately the zipper failed so the company replaced the pair and I haven't used them without crampons since. I had to order a larger pair than I wanted and I haven't had any issues climbing in them.

Good luck,

TA Loeffler

Zipper failed too

Interesting to read the the zipper failed on your Olympus Mons boots too. I wonder if it was just a bad batch because this would be a disaster if it happened up high in the cold.
Paul.

Indeed!

We jury rigged it but knocking out a tooth and putting the zipper back together...the second pair has been totally fine...but yes-it is a weakness in the design for sure.

TA

thank you

Thank you Paul,

I actually emailed LaSportiva about their smallest sizes and they said they won't be available until later in the winter...i wonder how "easy" it's going to be to try them on :) however i completely agree it's worth getting them.

Lighter Boots to Camp 2

Thanks for answering all these questions on boots.......for years!!!! Im on Everest 2010 and am planning to take my favorite comfy Koflachs Verticals (super wide feet) for the lower part and have purchased some new "Intuition" high alitude liners from Canada, which are meant to be super warm, and.... they are also so light.
After coming across all this discussion, would value your comments Paul. Thanks. David ..New Zealand

Using lighter boots to C2

Subject to a few considerations (below), I think it's a good idea to use different boots on the lower parts of the mountain. I didn't partly because I was unsure how I would go carrying the extra weight of my heavy high altitude mountaineering boots up to C2. But if I was to go again and climb on the same schedule I would use lighter boots up to C2 (talking about Nepal side) and then use something better up high.

However, I noticed that more teams this year are climbing trekking peaks for acclimatisation and doing one less rotation through the icefall. I think this is a great idea. If this was your plan, then it's possible that you might only do 1 acclimatisation trip through the icefall, in which case it may not be worth the weight and hassle of bringing an extra pair of boots up to C2. If I was going again, I would be doing this (maybe climb the trekking peak several times and try to sleep high), so would only make one acclimatisation trip up to C3. I'd still use light boots on the trekking peak, but I'd probably start from BC with my big boots.

You really can think about Everest as 2 mountains. The part below C2 and the part above. After 10am it gets extremely hot, so it's best to plan to avoid climbing during this time. You certainly don't need heavy mountaineering boots for this section. Lighter boots will save you a lot of effort, plus enable you to move faster, which is important through the icefall.

Intuition liners are great. I have said it before, but I'd suggest looking at a hotronic foot warmers and 2 spare pairs of batteries.

Good Luck in 2010.

Regards,
Paul.

Scarpa Phantom 8000 Vs Millet Everest

Hi Paul

I am in the process of buying my boots for Cho Oyu. I did plan to buy some Millet's, but I am finding it difficult to locate some in the Uk. Then the other day I looked at some Scarpa Phantom 8000's.
The boot and the inner boot looked more advanced than the Millet, and the bottom grip looked/felt very similar. I also think that they are lighter.
However I have not seen many people using these boots and wondered how well they performed compared to the Millet, especially on warmth?
Also, the gaiter only has one zip- but it did look stronger than the millets smaller zip.

Thanks a lot!

Alex

Scarpa Phantom 8000

Hi Alex,
I am surprised you can't find Millet Everest in the UK, given that they are made in France. We can buy them easily in Australia. I take it that you don't want to consider the La Sportiva, which will be lighter again (Olympus Mons Evo is 2.26kg for the pair compared with approximately 2.7kg for the Scarpa Phantom & Millet Everest GTX)?
I know many people who have had to turn around because of cold feet, when otherwise the conditions were perfect. That's why my suggestion is to stick with boots that are more commonly used, rather than try something like this.
But if you do go with the Scarpa Phantom wouldn't worry about it only having one zip. In fact you could argue that this is better as it means less room for failure.
Regards, Paul.

raichle expedition boots

i recently bought the raichle expedition boots and have been looking for reviews, or a comparison of them. no luck. wondering if anyone has any insight on them on how they compare to the millet everest or 8000m boots. are they everest ready?

thanks,
tyler

Raichle expedition boots

I haven't seen these and I'd personally be very careful about taking something new up that was as important as boots. Fiona (my wife) has Raichle hiking boots and they have been great, however the soles came off the first pair she got, after only 20 days of use. Luckily the local shop we bought them from provided a replacement.
Paul.

Raichle expd boots

Hi Guys
Hope this finds you all well. iM new to all this and the forum.
I have a question regarding the Raichel expedition boots. How did you go, Could you find any information on them and how they hold up and or compere to other brands. There is a set at my local store and they have been sitting for a very long time i believe and are happy to flog them of for $200. I am doing Mackinly in Danali/ Alaska.
1) not sure about them?
2) I would imagine no warranty since they operate under Mammot now,

My alternative is the sportive spatiks with purple hayze over booties,

Thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Craig

Other options?

I know this isn't really answering the question, but having had frostbite and lost toes, I'd be very wary about taking anything other than top of the line boots on a mountain line Denali. It's just not worth it.

Look at the best that La Sportiva or Millet have and take these. A simple failure with a boot up high would at best end your expedition, or at worst have far greater consequences.

Paul.

yet another boot question

bless you for your patience answering a myriad of boot questions!

i have another - i'm planning ama dablam in oct/nov and am looking at purchasing a la sportiva boot. i'm assuming the spantik and baruntse would be adequate, both being double boots.

do you think the nepal gtx would suffice as well? definitely interested in lighter and more flexible boots, but i'm not sure if they would be warm enough.

cheers,
peter

I'd definitely stick with the Spantik or Baruntse

Happy to help. I'd definitely stick with the Spantik or Baruntse for Ama Dablam because I think you'll want the extra warmth that these boots provide over the Nepal GTX. On summit night you will be leaving very early, so it will be cold.
They are only a little bit heavier too (200g).

Regards, Paul.

Hi Paul (and Peter), I'll be

Hi Paul (and Peter),
I'll be climbing Ama Dablam at the same time, Oct/Nov (see you there Peter).

Paul... what do you think of the Scarpa Vega HA for Ama Dablam? http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Footwear/Mountain-Boots/Vega-HA-SCA-VEGAHA. Was thinking I'd add an overboot plus of Hottronic sole!
-Bjarne

Scarpa Vega HA for Ama Dablam

They are a great boot and certainly one that will last. You could use Berghaus Yeti Gaiters over the top. http://www.telemark-pyrenees.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=1138
Personally I'd want something a little more supple than this, but that's just personal preference. I don't like my boots to be too stiff around the upper and ankles in particular.

I am going to be in the area too, leading a group to EBC and then up Island Peak (19 Sep - 10 Oct). We'll probably cross paths as we are walking out.

Cheers, Paul.

Scarpa Vega HA for Ama Dablam

Thanks for suggestions Paul. I've signed on to a Dan Mazur led team (10 Oct to 10 Nov). This is my first time using a commercial group or any type of guiding (always liked to do it on my own) but also first climb in Himalaya -- so should be an different experience I'm rather looking forward to. I take your point about the stiffness... here in Scotland I now winter climb mostly with Nepal Extreme leather boot... but when living in New England and climbing on Mt Washington etc... I mostly used stiff plastics... so I'm rather used to them. Most importantly perhaps... I'm a bit conservative on avoiding frostbite (but it would be nice to shave some weight on my feet though I have to admit). Dan actually requests on the gear list that we use either a plastic double boot (Koflach style) or Millet One Sports. Personally I just feel the latter seems too heavy (in weight at least) for this mountain?? Would you agree that the VEGA HA will be warm enough if using a super gaiter and if also using the battery operated foot warming system you suggest? Was reading about the importance of buying a big enough size to compensate for feet swelling at altitude... good tip! Again, thanks! -Bjarne

I think that the VEGA HA

I think that the VEGA HA will be adequate, but I'd suggest talking to Dan about it. He is very knowledgeable and will be able to give you another, more qualified opinion. I have climbed to 6200m near to Ama Dablam before in mid Nov and it's noticeably colder than Oct, so you are right to be thinking carefully. What was the weight comparison of the Scarpa to Millet One Sport?

Regarding the Hotronics, I don't think that they should be relied upon. Rather they should be thought of as a backup in case the weather is colder than expected or you got stuck and needed to bivouac. I always carry a spare set of batteries to have for emergencies.

If you were going to get a bigger boot, Millet One Sports would be better on Ama Dablam than La Sportiva Olympus Mons, as the latter's soles will wear out very quickly on rock.

Lowa 6000 GTX boots

This is a wonderful boot discussion and one of the best informed ones at that! Thanks for all the good advice so far. I was wondering if anyone here has used, or has heard feedback about, the Lowa 6000 (or 8000) GTX expedition boots? There seems to be NO online reviews of them. Like another poster, I have small feet (women's US 5.5 or 6.0) with poor circulation so an extra warm double boot is a must. These can be found in a men's US 5.0. I ice climb and also have plans for Rainer & Aconcagua - maybe more depending on how those trips go...

Any advice is appreciated!! Thanks!
Rebecca

Hi Rebecca, They look like

Hi Rebecca,
They look like good boots, although they are a little on the heavy side for the climbs you are talking about. I presume you are aware of this, but you want to buy these boots at least 1-1.5 sizes bigger than you normally would wear in shoes. That is to allow for a thicker sock, swelling of your feet due to altitude, plus expansion of the closed cell insulation material in the boot. It's hard to tell without seeing them, but I think that these boots wouldn't be great for technical ice climbing (too sloppy), but for Rainer and Aconcagua they would be perfect.
I also get affected by the cold (especially since having had frost bite on my feet), so I know where you are coming from. I now always climb with Hotronic footwarmer insoles and a battery ready to go in my pack. That way if I feel my feet getting cold, I can quickly plug in the battery and warm them up. They really are worth the money.
Paul.

Thanks Paul, I appreciate

Thanks Paul, I appreciate the feedback and will look into the Hotronics!

Rebecca

Boots for Huascaran

Thanks for this very interesting overview, the best I found online so far. I want to climb Huascaran and I'm thinking about buying a pair of Scarpa Phantom Guide; they are similar the new phantom 6000 but without removeable inner boot (like the La Sportiva Batura). Do you think the boot will be warm enough even without Hotronic footwarmers? I really like the small size of the boot, just afraid how much warmth it really provides...

Scarpa Phantom Guide: Light, durable?

It looks like they have updated this model since I last saw them for sale. The one's I am familiar with are red and the have a very soft outer. I would personally be worried about how well they might stand up to a crampon spike (in the event you tripped on them) and also how waterproof they would be. Perhaps they have improved this in the new model, but it still says that that the upper is made out of cordura. But they are probably warm enough and if you are experienced with using crampons, then you are unlikely to step on them. They have always been a very light boot too.
Cheers, Paul.

olympus mons vs baruntse w/ overboot

This is an excellent page for boot info. Thanks.

I will be doing the Muldrow glacier route on Denali in april/may of 2011. I am looking to purchase new boots for this trip. I am having a hard time deciding between the olympus mons and baruntse with 40 below purple haze overboots. I will only have one pair of boots for this trip. My concerns are: Will the mons be too warm lower? Will the baruntse w/ overboots be as warm higher? What about weight, ease of use, durability, etc.?

I'd take an integrated boot & gaiter

I'd go with the Olympus Mons for being much lighter weight and more simple to use than a boot + overboot combination. You can always take off layers elsewhere on your body if you are too hot. If you did take the Baruntse boots, you might also need another pair of lightweight gaiters to stop snow from entering. In my opinion, it's too many different elements so a good boot designed for extreme cold with an integrated, insulated gaiter is the way to go.

I'd go with the overboot combo

Hi,

I've done the Muldrow Glacier route. Depending on where you are starting, you will have a 2-5 days of walking over rocky terrain both in and out of the route (unless you are traversing). The sole on the Olympus Mons is very soft (I ruined a pair on Aconcagua before I realized how soft). I use the Olympus Mons on Everest and they are fabulous but I wouldn't want that boot for river crossings and rock/moraine hiking unless you were prepared to likely trash them on the expedition. I climbed Denali in Koflach Degre's with an overboot-some folks used the purple haze and the combo worked well. Once you were on the glacier, the Olympus Mons would be fine so perhaps a lighter pair of hikers could see you in and out.

TA

Good advice

Hi TA, That's good advice regarding the sole of the Olympus Mons. It's really very soft and gets easily trashed on rock.

Scarpa Phantom 8000

Really nice discussion out here, thanks for the tips Paul! Just bought a pair of phantom8000 size 45 after getting cold feets on Aconcagua with a pair of Scarpa Summit that were too small for me (size 43). I'm now pretty sure that 45 will be great even through I won't be able to use many layers of socks like polypropylene, VBL and then mountaineering socks. Maybe you already answered that question but do you use Vapor Barrier Socks and what kind of layering system you use for the feets?

I didn't want to go with LaSportiva after seeing my friend's Olympus destroyed just trying to put them on; the zip didn't work on one boot at 6000m and the nylon hook to put your finger stayed in his hand, on both boots. LaSportiva also has really poor customer support service and the Olympus were costing quite more for me than the Scarpa's (cost wise).

I wasn't sure about the Tzip on the Phantom but I think you just need to be careful to only use them on a glacier and not in sandy conditions. The boots comes with oil lube for the Tzip to make sure it's always workin' out.

I just noticed that Scarpa are coming next year with new orange Phantom 8000's. I have no idea about the improvements on them but the inner boot seems like the same. Representatives from Scarpa arn't sure when they'll be available but they sure look like amazing after seeing one of them on k2 this year (http://www.fredrikericsson.com/). Check it out!

-Peter (Cheers, really nice website)

Thanks for sharing your experience with Scarpa

Hi Peter,
Thanks for sharing your experience with these boots and I'll keep my eye out for the new Scarpa Phantom boots. It's a really good point you make about sizing boots. When I used to work in a gear store I was always trying to convince people to buy bigger mountaineering boots than they wanted, as several factors combine to make you need all the size you can get. At altitude you are more likely to have thicker socks, plus your feet swell and the closed cell insulation expands, all meaning that there is less room in the boot.
I have tried a few times making a vapour barrier by placing a very thin plastic bag between an inner sock and an outer sock. After a day's climbing my feet ended up getting very wet and they moved around a lot against the bag, so I have never done it again. But it does make your feet feel warmer, and keep the boot dry, although I tend not to worry so much about this now that I always use hotronics. I always wear the insoles with element inside and carry a battery, so I just need to plug it in if I get cold feet.
Cheers,
Paul.

Scarpa Guide

Both the new Scarpa Phantom Guide and the 6000, their new double boots, are fantastic and on pare without he LS Spantik and LS Buruntse but will fit a wider range of people better. Here is a great review on a friends blog on the Spantik and the Scarpas that is priceless.

The Spantik
http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/04/la-sportiva-spantik.html

Scarpa 6000
http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/08/its-back-scarpa-6000-dbl-boot-and-2.html

Scarpa Phantom Ultra
http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/09/scarpa-phantom-ultra.html

The Baruntse
http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/04/la-sportiva-baruntse.html

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/05/la-sportiva-baruntse-revisted.html

EBC -- Boot

Hi Paul,
Just found this website today and sign-up as member immediately. Lot of great info here.. thanks mate.

I'm in the midst of preparing trip to EBC in 2011 April. Looking for a pair of boot right now, but i am stuck with the info all around the web.

I would appreciate it if you could suggest some brands or models so that i can zoom into instead of trying endlessly.

Bestard Spider K seems tough..what say you?

cheers

boots again...sorry

Hi Paul ,great site and info ,,thankyou ,
quick question ,,i summited Lobuche twice in 2010,wearing Millets Everest,it was a nightmare.Too hot ,too ridgid,too heavy,and added alot in climb time..Im returning next year to do C1,C2,C3 with a tag to Yellow Band and maybe Geneva Spur.
I am happy to use these boots from C2 going up,but i really want a light,warm,flexible boot that i can use not only for the walk in to EBC(il be training with them in the Blue Mtns prior),but also to get me thru the ice fall to C2..At present im liking the Millets Alpinist GTX.
What are you thoughts,recommendations pls

I see you haven't had a

I see you haven't had a response yet......here's two cents worth:
When I climbed Lobuche I wore plastics (Scarpa Vega). These were fine but having seen another member of my team fly along in La Sportiva Nepal Evos, I'd recommend these. The Millet Alpinist GTX look good too.
Best of luck.

Boot for Everest Base Camp to C2

I'd concur with the poster above, however I'd not try to use the same boot into EBC as through the icefall. Within reason you can use any boot to get to EBC, but it can get cold going through the icefall early in the morning, so you'd want something reasonable. Millet Alpinist or Nepal Evos are great. You want something that is nice and stiff to take a crampon firmly, which isn't the most comfortable to wear when walking on a track.
Good luck.

Aconcauga Boots

I would like to add that for climbing Aconcauga or other like kind mountains with the Nepal EVO it would be a good idea to have a super gaiter for extra insulation for summit day. I have known a few who got frostbite without the additional insulation. If it get cold, as it can, the EVO will be lite. The difference with the super gaiter is that the sole of the boot is fully exposed as opposed to gaiters such as the Forty Below K2 or Purple Haze models so commonly used on Denali etc... You may want to do a search on www.cascadeclimbers.com or www.summitpost.com tons of info for Aconcauga there as well.

The new Scarpa's are probably the best boot to use for all mountains other than over 8K then the Oly Mons or Millet Everest's shine.

Hello Paul, Great website,

Hello Paul,

Great website, much appreciated.

I am trying to source a boot for Lhotse next year. I am finding that most high alt boots, Millet, Olympus Mons, etc, are too narrow for my feet; I don't exactly have overly wide feet either. In order for one of the above names to not be too tight on width, I need to go up at least 4 Euro sizes (e.g. 41 to 45), with maybe 5 for including something like at Hotronics footbed. I am allowing for foot swelling at alt, so I am trying to leave some room also for this if it occurs. The end result is a boot with huge room in the toe box (i.e. toes far from end of boot) and an amount of heel lift that would make any front pointing not much fun. Have you any experience of using boots with a mouldable inner boot liner? Not being familiar with mouldable liners, I am scepticle about the extent to which these can be molded and if indeed they would help in the areas around the foot where I have a lot of room inside the shell. Conformable seems the most mouldable liner I can find. Could I source suitable mouldable liner for something like an Olympus Mons shell? Any thoughts would be very gladly received. Regards, Simon.

Have you tried Millet Everest

Have you tried the Millet Everest boots on? I find that they are extremely roomy. I have had frostbite on one foot and lost half the length of my toes. Consequently this foot is about 1cm shorter than the other. I really don't have any trouble with climbing boots on this foot, so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend you go for a larger size. You definitely don't want it too be too tight as this is a recipe for frostbite (that's not how I got mine however).
Cheers,
Paul.
PS Assuming you are going the normal route on Lhotse, you are unlikely to be doing much front pointing.

Moldable Boot Liners

These folks are the best in the business in the States and I'm sure they would be able to answer all your questions and point you in the right direction.

http://www.intuitionliners.com/

BTW... you may want to get a good boot fitter involved. If you do not have a wide foot 4 sizes seems like something is a miss.

Gronell G1

Hi,
Another Question: Are you familiar with the Gronell G1 boots? I like the idea of the high Gaiter compared to the Phantom Guide. They are very cheap in Italy (240EUR/335USD). I tried them and they look like wellmade boots, but it is very hard to find reviews online. Do you know how they performe compared to the Guide/Baruntse? We want to climb Huascaran alpine style and use them in the winter in the alps...
Thanks!
Kaspar

Yes, Gronell boots are well made

I have seen them, and they are well made. They are a little on the heavy side though, however you don't need to add in the weight a separate gaiter. For that price, I'd buy a pair, try them out in Winter and see how they go.
For what its worth, I don't worry about boots with gaiters any more. I usually don't use a gaiter, however I do carry a cheap light paid with me and then put them on if needed (saves weight on my feet).
Good luck on Huascaran.

What crampon bindings to use?

Love what you've done Paul.......

I recently bought Olympus Mons' for my first 8000m peak later this year. Debating what crampon bindings to get. Am thinking BD Sabretooth Pro as the front weld seems thick enough on my boots. What do you think - Pro or Clip? I notice you had a picture of some Grivel Cramp-O-Matics on your gear page, to put the question in Grivel terms, would you recommend Cramp-O-Matic or New-Matic bindings on an 8000m peak.

I have sought advice from a few locations and am looking for a consensus.

Cheers Paul

I have a pair of BD

I have a pair of BD Sabretooth Pro crampons and I think they are great. Easy to adjust, good positive heel clip and the snow doesn't ball up. The only issue that I have found was that the anti bot plates break easy if you walk on rock in the cold. Although mine are cracked, they still are going strong and haven't fallen off yet.
I also had to buy longer bars for them to be able to fit my size 45 Millet Everest boots too.

warm down parka

Hi,

Realise i am going off the subject of boots but can anyone suggest a very warm down parka jacket for denali/everest. Also something for 6,000-7,000m mountains.

Many Thanks

Ian

I have a down suit (Edier)

I have a down suit (Edier) that I have used on high mountains, but if I was in the market again for this sort of gear I wouldn't buy a suit. Its not versatile enough. Half the time I wear it, I end up being so hot that I have to unzip every zip there is on it. So I'd buy separate pants and a parka. I like the gear from Rab (UK) and Feathered Friends (Seattle).

booth & clothes.

hi paul.

long time no writing here - everybody touring on mountains ;)

we are planning a normal EBC trek in may 2012, as you did this year as i can read in a post before. regarding the booths you mentioned that that the nepal evos are good enough (maybe with a good gaiter for the island summit) ok?

what we thinking about is jacket & gloves:
we (me & my wife) have booth a 600cuin down jacket (of dynafit) and another sleeveless vest with 750cuin down. in our opinion that should be enough?
about the gloves we are using primaloft gloves for our touring in austria which cover -18 degrees. enough?

in the past we were north india (ladakh) and peru on almost 6000m - there clothes were good enough - but we are not sure with that in nepal.

would be nice to have some infos from your experience, thanks.

any agency you could recommend for the trek and summit. (we want to book a tour just with us 2)

greetings from very snowless austria! (at least up to know)

mario

Gear for trekking to EBC and climbing Island Peak

Hi Mario.
For Everest Base Camp you'll just need some good quality hiking boots. You won't need climbing boots (like Nepal EVO). But if you are going to Island Peak, then Nepal Evos are great for the climb. Buy crampons and gaiters for them too at home, don't rely on buying them in Nepal.
Your down jackets & gloves sound fine to me. It's actually quite warm at that time of year, so you might find that you don't use your down jacket at all. Take it with you though. Some lightweight polypropylene gloves are very handy too for cold mornings. Take some chemical handwarmers with you for your Island Peak Summit day. These can be very useful.
I can recommend Asian Trekking (www.asian-trekking.com) as a good agency for EBC and Island Peak.
Good luck,
Paul Adler.

The Warmest Boot Liners on the Planet!

For those of you interested in keeping your feet warm, dry and frostbite free you need to use INTUITION LINERS. These liners will fit into any Alpine Climbing boot with a removeable liner. You can CUSTOM FIT them into existing boots you love, or insert into any new boots you purchase.
I have worked WITH Intuition for the past 20 years and fit thousands of liners into Ski Boots, Snowboard Boots, and High Altitude Climbing Boots.
Two Athletes/Climbers I have worked with have summited Mt. Everest in the past 4 years: Gerry Moffatt in 2009, and most recently Chris Davenport this past year. Both successfully summited and had the warmest dryest feet in their Camps! No frostbite whatsoever.
These liners are extremely LIGHT WEIGHT, WARM, DRY EASILY and QUICKLY while you sleep with them in your bag. These liners combined with clean high quality socks will guarantee the most comfortable climb you will experience.
Contact me, Rob Ludwig anytime at skibootguy@yahoo.com or call me in North America at 1-949-600-3894.
Happy feet make for great climbs!
Sincerely,
Rob "Boots" Ludwig

Asolo AFS 8000 advice please

Hey Paul,

Wow this blog seems like an incredibly valuable resource! I'm going up Elbrus in July but I live in South Africa and the choice of plastic boots is very limited here, especially for ladies. I am looking at buying shoes online and have found a pair of Asolo AFS 8000. From reading this discussion and doing some other research I learned that these are great shoes for Elbrus. My only problem is that I have no way of trying them on and don't know how they fit. I am usually a UK size 7/ EU 41. But I've heard that you're supposed to go one size bigger with plastics. Do you (or anyone else who reads this?) know if a UK 8/ EU 42 of the Asolo boots would be right for me?

Thank so much!

Birte

Hi Birte, I'd go for a size

Hi Birte, I'd go for a size 42.5 or 43 if you are normally a 41. They will feel big at sea level, but by the time you add socks and altitude (makes closed cell foam expand), combined with a bit of swelling in your feet, you'll probably find them about right.

Good luck,
Paul.

Thanks so much, Paul!

Thanks so much, Paul!

Mera peak

Hi Paul,
Doing Mera peak soon can you recommend boots for this trip for the snow section, have been looking at Koflach arctis expe and degree, and la sportiva spantiks, keen on doing Nth col next year as well so really only want to buy boots once wouldnt think ill get higher than 7500m in the future. Are hire boots readily available in Thamel ? Ive heard Shonas has a good selection and had Koflachs for hire. I like the idea of built in gaiters as well would La sportiva olympus mons be just too warm for what im intending?
Thanks.

Hire boots are available in

Hire boots are available in Thamel, but they are often thoroughly used and abused so the insulating qualities are significantly reduced. It also can take a while going around to all the different stores trying to find your size. So I'd buy new boots.
Olympus Mons are overkill for that altitude in Nepal, assuming you are going within the normal climbing months. I'd go with the La Sportiva Spantiks for what you are after. The La Sportiva Nepal Evo is going to be more comfortable (more flexible) for Mera though.

question about frostbite recovery

I just got second degree frostbite on ten of my toes doing a winter ascent of Mt. Whitney, the early morning windchill is -25 F, I was wearing 2 pairs of thick wool socks and a Lowa Ceivetta Extreme ( too tight I think) double boots. Anyways , after came back home I was looking for warm boots when I came across this blog/forum.
I do have a question, but it's not about boots. I was wondering if any of you guys can share your experience of frostbite recovery, I tried to search online but can't find too much info other than the emergency care. I'm interested about frostbite rehabilitation after you got home to be specific, like soaking you feet in warm water for 15 mintues every day,keep feet warm.. I have heard to rub raw ginger on the toes...... Anyone has experience in this? I also wonder if I can start doing so light walk and exercise even though all my toes are still numb ? Can I swim in 55 F swimming pool at the gym? It's been 4 days after I got frostbitten toes..

Thanks

Frostbite treatment

I have had frost bite on my feet and lost toes as a result of it. I now always climb with hottronic heated insoles. I don't always turn them on, but they are there if needed.

From what I was told at the time, the key recovery after frost bite is to avoid doing anything that will further damage the blood vessels and to do things that will increase the blood flow. So that means no rubbing or massage of any sort anywhere near the affected area. Avoid wearing shoes. If there are blisters, that's a good sign, but don't prick them. Infection can be a real problem with frostbite recovery. A bad sign is blisters that end before the extremities of your toes.

I'd keep taking Ibuprofen and also aspirin to reduce swelling and keep the blood flowing. Soaking your legs and feet in warm water (40C) is excellent and highly recommended. I found the pain so was bad when I did this that I had to have very strong pain killers. We also did hyperbaric oxygen treatment twice a day for a month, although I'm not convinced of the efficacy of this.

I assume that you have seen a vascular specialist to confirm the extent of the frostbite? They are the best people to see, as this is their speciality. The first few days after the incident are critical, so I'd try to see someone ASAP if you haven't already.

Re going back into the mountains, you'll probably find that your feet will forever be more sensitive to the cold and you'll need to be very careful in the future. Good boots, the right socks (not too thick, correct size so they don't bunch up), and heated insoles will prevent this from happening again. Even though I've lost toes, it's one of the best lessons that I have ever had as I'd much rather have an issue on my feet than my hands. I'm now a lot more conscious of the conditions, my equipment and my well being.

Good luck,
Paul Adler.

Asolo 8000 Vs Millet Everst...not millet everst summit Gtx

Hi Paul,
Congratulation really it is a great website lots of information,im new on it
I want to buy a boots but I wanted to ask for your advice of which is the best Asolo 8000 AFS or Millet Everest because am planning to climb Elbrus and afterwards there is a big possibility to climb Aconcagua that's why I was thinking to buy one boots that fits into both mountains at the same time. So is there such a boots or I must buy two boots one for each .my foot size43/44 so should i buy boots 45 it is enough ?!
Thank you.

Millet Everest will be

Millet Everest will be overkill for Aconcagua and Elbrus, assuming you are climbing in a normal climbing season (summer).
I've never climbed Elbrus, so I can't comment first hand, but its usually just a big snow hike.
So out of the choice of those two boots, I'd go with the Asolo 8000 AFS. But if I wasn't limited to those choices, I'd probably actually go with something a bit lighter from La Sportiva - ask at your local retailer. Boot choice for these mountains isn't going to be critical, assuming its summer and normal conditions.

Good Luck.

la sportiva

there is La sportiva nepal evo gtx and trango extrem evo lt gtx
wich one is the best...and my foot size 43 2/3 so if i buy boots 44 2/3 it is good?
thank you

Paul, why you are

Paul, why you are recommending stil Neapal Evo boots for so high peaks, there are no double boots and not enought insulated and warm for peak higher than 5.000 m. Dont thing?

and
"don't be stupid dude. I haven't climb mt. elbrus yet but I know for sure that mountain has a reputation of being among the coldest baddest mountains on the planet; not technical, just cold as fuck. I've never heard anybody say they would use Nepal Evo on Denali or Aconcagua so why in the world would you think of using them in a mountain equally as cold. Even if it is the summer, you have to be kidding me. Nepal Evos are one-day only boots in cold weather because they don't have an inner-liner that you can take out and dry at night. I wouldn't take my Nepal Evos to anywhere out of the lower 48 states, let alone in a place where you'll have to sleep on a mountain for several days and deal with weather inclement. Just trapped perspiration will make you miserable. To say that you'll trust temperatures to be fairly high throughout the climb is similar as saying that you could cross a highway blindfolded if it's only at 3.am. Are you stupid? Don't be cheap or you make not make it out of the Caucasus, at least with your toes on your feet. Batura and Spantiks are sure the way to go."

I'm not quite sure I follow

I'm not quite sure I follow your post, but I think you are suggesting that Nepal Evos are not good above 5000m. These boots are great for climbing the normal routes on 6000m trekking peaks in Nepal in the Fall and Autumn climbing seasons. However if I was climbing in the Winter or I was climbing a route that didn't see much sun, then perhaps a different boot choice might be prudent.

If you look into Elbrus and the way the most people climb it, you'll see that it's not a lengthy expedition with multiple days camping in tents on the snow. (Most people get a ski lift to some huts and only climb a little over 1000m.) As to what boots would be best, that's tricky. But the ones you suggest would be fine.

Please feel free to add your voice to any posts that I have made where you think I've made a mistake or the advice could be improved.