Winter Scrambling Boot Recommendation - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Default Winter Scrambling Boot Recommendation

Hi! I thought I would turn to the community's wealth of knowledge for advice on a winter scrambling boot. I want something which is warm (I get cold feet easily), and will take snowshoes and crampons (if necessary). Ideally, something which would be good down to at least -20 would be perfect. I currently own a pair of Scarpa Kailash and a pair of Scarpa Zanskar backpacking boots.

I have been looking at a few different boots, but am not sure if they are too aggressive/technical (I don't yet do ice or mixed climbing, or anything involving lots of technical rope skills). A couple of boots that have caught my eye are the Scarpa Triolet Pro GTX Mountaineering Boots and the Scarpa Mont Blanc GTX Mountaineering Boots.

I am wondering what others use during winter scrambling trips. Your advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 12:00 AM
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I have two pairs of boots for winter trips (plus the third pair which are ski boots), totally depends on my objectives...

1. Trips that're snowshoeing only without steep snow climb (ie. 99% chance you won't need crampons and if you do need, you can get by by the strap styled aluminum crampons). You ankles will appreciate if you can avoid wearing mountaineering boots. They're awful for snowshoeing especially on steep down-hill. I use the thick "winter hiking boots" obtained from Atmosphere or whatever. I don't remember the brand so basically aim for whatever that fits me and marked with "-20 proof" or something like that...

2. Trips that involves extensive crampon use or front pointing. Not necessarily roped climb... Then you're better go with the winter mountaineering boots (or AT ski boots if using skis rather than snowshoes).

3. "winter scramble" trips that you're likely dealing with frozen and/or slippery rocks. Then again, go with mountaineering boots. These type of trips are common in the Rockies' front ranges, but probably not so much in the Coast.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response Steven! That definitely helps me out (although, as is often the case with gear, it may not help my pocketbook ). It's great to get some experienced advice! I've followed some of your trips; I hope Vancouver is treating you well!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 02:21 PM
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scramber22: Given your use case are you sure you want a super stiff scrambling boot? Will you ever be kicking steps in these boots?

I like a reasonably stiff boot for snowshoeing but not too stiff. A more affordable and maybe warmer alternative may be some of the heavier winter rated (insulated) boots from Columbia.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenSong View Post
3. "winter scramble" trips that you're likely dealing with frozen and/or slippery rocks. Then again, go with mountaineering boots. These type of trips are common in the Rockies' front ranges, but probably not so much in the Coast.
Actually, last year it was like that here, and if we get el nino as expected, it may be again.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steventy View Post
scramber22: Given your use case are you sure you want a super stiff scrambling boot? Will you ever be kicking steps in these boots?

I like a reasonably stiff boot for snowshoeing but not too stiff. A more affordable and maybe warmer alternative may be some of the heavier winter rated (insulated) boots from Columbia.
I will definitely be kicking steps on harder packed snow, so I do need something with some degree of stiffness. I will definitely take a look at the insulated Columbia boots. Thanks for all the input!

Last edited by scrambler22; 10-22-2015 at 02:30 PM.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by scrambler22 View Post
I will definitely be kicking steps on harder packed snow, so I do need something with some degree of stiffness. I will definitely take a look at the insulated Columbia boots. Thanks for all the input!
It sounds like you do want a real scrambling boot. The Columbia ones are not going to be great for kicking steps.

That said, you may consider adding a warm, insulated, softer boot to your quiver for snowshoeing in the cold. It could be a looser fit than you would get for a mountaineering boot and maybe have enough room for a chemical toe warmer/thicker socks.
E.g.
http://www.columbia.com/mens-bugaboo...or=010#start=6
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 12:33 AM
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There's nothing like double plastic mountaineering boots to keep yer tootsies warm when the mercury drops. A few years ago I was ice climbing near Lillooet in Asolo double boots and my feet were cosy even though we were standing around in -30 deg.C temperatures. Other climbers were freezing their feet. But double plastic mountaineering boots are not pleasant to hike long distances in. You might want to consider an insulated mountaineering boot such as: http://www.mec.ca/product/5011-455/l...ex-boots-mens/ for your more technical requirements. I love the non-insulated Trango S boots but they are cold in the winter. I have recently gone over to Salomons all year around for use here on the wet coast as they are warm and as comfortable as a pair of slippers. If I need to kick-step in hard snow I strap on aluminum crampons - problem solved, or I let someone with plastic mountaineering boots go ahead and kick in some steps. Check out the winter Salomons: http://www.mec.ca/product/5043-300/s...er-boots-mens/
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 01:46 PM
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I have a pair of the Mont Blanc's, i've found them warm, last winter anyway, haven't been down to -30 though.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gesplin View Post
You might want to consider an insulated mountaineering boot such as: http://www.mec.ca/product/5011-455/l...ex-boots-mens/ for your more technical requirements. I love the non-insulated Trango S boots but they are cold in the winter. I have recently gone over to Salomons all year around for use here on the wet coast as they are warm and as comfortable as a pair of slippers. If I need to kick-step in hard snow I strap on aluminum crampons - problem solved, or I let someone with plastic mountaineering boots go ahead and kick in some steps. Check out the winter Salomons: http://www.mec.ca/product/5043-300/s...er-boots-mens/
Thanks for the advice gesplin! I think the insulated Trango S boots might be a good bet if the fit my foot, although I may purchase an insulated hiking boot for less technical trips as well.

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Originally Posted by muskeeto View Post
I have a pair of the Mont Blanc's, i've found them warm, last winter anyway, haven't been down to -30 though.
muskeeto, the Mont Blancs also look nice, but I wondered if they might be too stiff/uncomfortable on the approach - any thoughts on this?

Thanks again for all the tips everyone!

Last edited by scrambler22; 10-23-2015 at 02:03 PM.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 03:03 PM
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I prefer a stiffer boot for snowshoeing because I can crank the straps down super tight without cutting off circulation in my feet. Soft boots may seem to be kinder on your ankles but if you end up with cold feet you'll regret it. If your straps are loose and your boot can move within your straps you will also regret it.

For regular winter scrambling something like the Scarpa Manta is fine, if they even still make that.

If you are going to be doing winter climbing too, I'd run with two separate boots. Here's why: scrambling wears out the rubber at the front of your boot fast. That can mess with your crampon fit and stability. So I use a separate boot for climbing and for scrambling. I use the scrambling boot for snowshoeing too.

I used to be a total Scarpa guy but they were out of Mont Blancs when I was looking for a new pair of those for climbing and I got LS Nepal Evo's instead. The Evos are great winter ice climbing and tech mountaineering boots.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 03:15 PM
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Buy em at MEC and you can return them if not satisfied. I tried the Mont Blancs by hiking up/down the Grind and found that they caused a painful pressure point on the ball of the right foot. (I have really weird feet!). They may be okay for you; others wear them and like them.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
muskeeto, the Mont Blancs also look nice, but I wondered if they might be too stiff/uncomfortable on the approach - any thoughts on this?

Thanks again for all the tips everyone!
They may become a little uncomfortable on a long walk, ok in snow, if you've got a few km of road or trail some people just bring trainers or something easier to walk in, until you need the boots on.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 02:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrambler22 View Post
Thanks for the advice gesplin! I think the insulated Trango S boots might be a good bet if the fit my foot, although I may purchase an insulated hiking boot for less technical trips as well.



muskeeto, the Mont Blancs also look nice, but I wondered if they might be too stiff/uncomfortable on the approach - any thoughts on this?

Thanks again for all the tips everyone!
If you want insulated and technical go with the Sportiva Spantiks see: http://www.sportiva.com/products/foo...untain/spantik

Yes they're stiff but then they have to be. I use these for the colder weather ice and alpine climbing days in the Rockies and they are a dream. Double welt of course for crampons. If you want to bash around on snowshoes you will need something else.........but footwear for winter snowshoeing will be easier to source.
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