<< Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index  

Carry or Wear question

August 23 2017 at 7:23 AM
No score for this post
Tod  (Login tgunter)

Hi all,

Wanted to get your input on the carry vs wear question in regards to approaching alpine climbs. I'm always interested in playing with my systems and more and more I've seen people hiking in tennies and carrying their boots, even in situations that seem absurd (i.e. Short approaches to spring snow climbs) I used to tromp around in my mountain boots all the time and only trade them out for rock shoes on technical climbs but am trying to be a bit smarter these days.

Wondering what people use as criteria?

More specifically: here is the situation I am contemplating: I'm planning to climb the NF of Borah this weekend in a day via the Mike Howard traverse. I was thinking of approaching and descending in my trail running shoes and carrying my Nepals. Thought about using my Trangos for the whole thing but they're pretty light if we hit a lot of ice like I think we may. Could just tromp it out in my Nepals but the saying is "a pound on the foot equals five on the back" and my trail runners are pretty light.

Just wondering about others thought processes.

Thanks!

 
Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   
AuthorReply

Bob
(Login reboyles)

The old saying is...

No score for this post
August 23 2017, 8:59 AM 

True in my opinion. Approach shoes are so light and sturdy these days it's hard not to consider something like that However, I never minded keeping my heavier boots on to descend Borah. You have gravity on your side so the weight doesn't really matter and I welcomed the support. The only drawback is you cut up your good climbing boots if you wear them going down. All of the boots I've worn on Borah have nicks and cuts in the sole and the toes.


Bob

 
Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   

splattski
(Login splattski)

It varies

No score for this post
August 23 2017, 9:46 AM 

I think when we did the NF, we wore boots (I wore Nepals) the whole way in, and we went in the Rock Creek approach. Of course, Bob was carrying our camp gear back, so we had to show some consideration wink.gif
http://www.splattski.com/2010/borah/index.html

We had some real ice, but not much. I could have worn my Trangos easily.

I think the answer depends.... how comfy are your boots? How fast do you want to move? What's the hiking/cramponing split?

And like Bob said, wearing boots down COR isn't the worst thing in the world.

Sorry, no help from me. wink.gif

 
Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   
pat
(no login)

Re: Carry or Wear question

No score for this post
August 23 2017, 8:07 PM 

I hate walking downhill in mountain boots, especially in the summer. On a climb like the Borah NF, I would start up the trail in the Nepals but carry the lightest pair of running shoes possible in my pack. At the first sign of discomfort (either up or down), I change into the runners. Usually this happens after the climb on the descent. Approach shoes are generally heavier and don't smash as flat as runners. The light shoes rarely come out of the pack unless my feet are screaming.

 
Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   
Brandon
(Login Brandon_Mcsparin)

Re: Carry or Wear question

No score for this post
August 23 2017, 8:17 PM 

Hey man! Any chance you could snag some photos of the NF conditions for me? Would be much appreciated! Have fun this weekend!

 
Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   

Bob
(Login reboyles)

NF Conditions

No score for this post
August 24 2017, 9:27 AM 

Brandon,

I've been trying to get a fix on the Willow Creek cam but it's been obscured by smoke for most of the week. I spent last night looking at about a hundred recent Borah pictures for a NF shot and there were none. None the less, I did see how much snow is left on the snow bridge at CO ridge and at the top of the upper couloir that is about 25' below the summit. The conditions look very good this year. Both of those spots have been mostly dry the past couple of years and the last time it really iced up well was in 2011 which followed a good winter. I was hoping someone took a shot from Doublespring road but I haven't found one yet. I'll post it if I do.

The Hidden Couloir is usually the first one to make good ice early. It gets perpetual shade around this time of year as will the rest of the face as the days get shorter.


Bob

 
Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   
Tod
(Login tgunter)

Thanks!

No score for this post
August 24 2017, 6:38 AM 

I appreciate the excellent input....lot's of experience behind the answers yet still lot's of difference so I guess there's a lot to be said for personal preference. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes and will get photo's.

 
Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   

Bob
(Login reboyles)

Pros/Cons

No score for this post
August 24 2017, 9:03 AM 

Oh, I agree with Pat. Stiff mountain boots do not necessarily make the best hiking boots. The old leather Galibier Superguides were the standard for technical ice/mixed/mountaineering boots back in the day but were torture devices when used for hiking. They excelled on the steep stuff but were horrible on the flats. I still have knobs on my heels from those boots.

On my many trips up and down the standard route up Borah, I progressively switched to lighter and lighter foot gear as it improved. I first used my heavy leather mountain boots and then switched to lighter over-the-ankle hiking boots. I wore out three pairs of Asolos in the process. Later, I switched to a low-cut approach shoe and am now in the process of wearing out my fourth pair. Outside of the carry/switch question here's my take on the light weight shoes.

A too thin, flexible sole can lead to stone bruises on your feet and toes. And they don't edge as well as a slightly stiffer sole. This may just be a matter of preference.

I like the "sticky" rubber on most of the approach type shoes. Some people wear them to climb up to 5.9 from what I've read. The only drawback is they can stick so well you might stumble because of the grip.

Approach shoes are expensive because they seem to be this "special" category of mountain shoe.

I don't like Gore-Tex liners in most shoes and boots. They always run "hot" and are worthless if you submerge your foot in a creek or other water source. I had two pairs rot out from the inside because moisture seemed to get stuck under the insole.

Wearing light shoes up and down Borah almost made it feel like my feet were floating compared to heavy boots.

I like a bit of a heel for descents. It seems to be less prone to slipping than a flat type sole.

Some low cut shoes are more prone to ankle rolling.

Clear as mud, eh? happy.gif


Bob

 
Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   
 
  << Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index