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By Avalon
From East Longmeadow MA
Jul 1, 2013
Gunks

I'm going to Peru next June for my first Alpine climb. Will be doing peak(s) anywhere from 3500m to 5600m. As of now I'm set on purchasing Scarpa Triolet GTX boots. Will I be regretting not getting a plastic boot? I feel that the synthetic/leather boot would be ideal for the time of year and conditions but like I said, it's my first Alpine experience. Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I plan to purchase a pair of plastic boots eventually for ice climbing but for now my priority is purchasing and gathering the gear I need for this trip.


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By Jon H
From Boulder
Jul 1, 2013
At the matching crux

Plastic boots have the gone the way of the Dodo. They're extinct.


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By KevinF
From Granby, CT
Jul 1, 2013

"I wish I went with plastic boots.", Said no one ever.

Half kidding, but seriously. I can't attest to whether those boots will suit your objectives, but they are nice boots. You might consider going for something with a front toe welt so they're better for ice climbing down the road. Not that you couldn't use these boots for ice.


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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Jul 1, 2013
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

I don't know anything about climbing in Peru, but that's winter down there, isn't it? I'd be looking at a warmer boot, but as others have already pointed out, not plastics. Plastic boots suck dick... seriously. For 5,000m peaks in winter, I'd go ahead and jump up to a double boot, though. Scarpa 6,000, Spantik, Baruntse...


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By Dobson
From Butte, MT
Jul 1, 2013

The Triolet is a summer alpine boot. Not for winter or high altitude. You need a good double boot if you don't want frostbite.


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By Jon Rhoderick
Jul 2, 2013

LS Nepals or Scarpa Mont Blancs are super similar, work horse leathers that are warmer than most and not nearly as heavy as double boots. If you could afford them Scarpa 6000 are really nice doubles that would be light enough for other activities. The leathers I mentioned are ideal for a lot of North American objectives and would do you well.


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By wfscot
From Boulder, CO
Jul 2, 2013

I own both the Triolets you mention and the Sportiva Baruntse doubles. The Triolets are a fantastic *3-season* alpine boot. I wouldn't trust them in winter around here in CO and I certainly wouldn't go anywhere near 5600m in winter with them. My toes got a little chilly climbing Long's Peak in them the other day in late June.

I'm guessing that by "plastic", you really meant "double", such as the Sportiva Spantik and Baruntse, Scarpa 6000, etc., which use a combination of leather and synthetics for the outer (vs. plastics for true plastic boots). As folks have indicated here, there's really no reason to buy actual plastics anymore.

Doubles definitely have a purpose, though. IMHO, it's not so much a warmth thing. Doubles do tend to be warmer, but there are some very warm singles out there, too, such as the Nepal. The real benefit of doubles is being able to remove the liner to help it dry at night, most likely in your sleeping bag. Depending on what you're doing, this could be a nicety or it could save your toes (putting on frozen boots at the start of a cold day is a great way to get frostbite). Of course, the penalty is a bigger and heavier boot.

In terms of comfort, I believe the modern doubles, properly fit, can be just as comfy as any single. I had no problem hiking around Boulder in the winter in my Baruntse (often on rock) for training.

I also wouldn't stress about the toe welt too much. You should be able to get a solid fit without a toe welt via a new-matic/clip/hybrid crampon for everything including vertical ice.


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By wfscot
From Boulder, CO
Jul 2, 2013

BTW, since you said "alpine", it's probably worth mentioning that freezing is only a problem if you're planning on stopping and taking them off. If you're just knocking out single-push alpine-style climbs, I would stick with an insulated single.


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By climber pat
From Las Cruces, NM
Jul 2, 2013

I went to Peru two years ago to climb in the Cordillera Blanca. I think I would take two pair of boots next time. One a lighter weight boot like you are looking at and another pair of double boots.

It all depends on the peak you are doing. The lower peaks are fairly casual and generally warm with camp in the valley near the climbs. On the lower peaks the guides were climbing in leather boots just stiff enough to put crampons on. On the higher peaks it gets quite cold and some of these routes require camping for one or two nights on the glacier itself. You will likely end up with very cold or frost bitten feet without double boots on the higher peaks.


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By Avalon
From East Longmeadow MA
Jul 2, 2013
Gunks

Thank you for the advice, exactly what I needed.


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By Nori Mushi
Jul 2, 2013

You'll be fine using Scarpa for 3500m to 5600m. I'm guessing you'll be in Ishinca vallly or towards Pisco. Do approach to base in sneakers/sandals and put your scarpas to the top. I can not remember seeing anyone using plastic boots. If you're in Huaraz, stay with Zarela at Casa de Zarela.


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By wfscot
From Boulder, CO
Jul 2, 2013

Nori Mushi wrote:
You'll be fine using Scarpa for 3500m to 5600m. I'm guessing you'll be in Ishinca vallly or towards Pisco. Do approach to base in sneakers/sandals and put your scarpas to the top. I can not remember seeing anyone using plastic boots. If you're in Huaraz, stay with Zarela at Casa de Zarela.


I sure this is true for some Scarpa singles (the Mont Blanc, for example), but I disagree for the Triolets. They are not insulated. My leather hiking boots are warmer.


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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Jul 2, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3

get a Batura 2.0


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By Nori Mushi
Jul 2, 2013

True, everyone is different. I'll say this though, if I were to go back just to do peaks under 5600m, I won't have trouble using Triolet given that they fit my feet. However, I generally don't like gore tex on my boots so I'd just use my makalu. What mountains are you trying to do?


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By Avalon
From East Longmeadow MA
Jul 2, 2013
Gunks

I think pisco is a definite. Still undecided though. Depends in what I'm ready for at that time. Going with a few friends that are very experienced so its their call. I think I'm going to go with the monte blanc gtx instead of the triolet.


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By Avalon
From East Longmeadow MA
Jul 2, 2013
Gunks

Also the reason why I'm going with scarpa is due to the fact that I have slightly wider toe and heel base and from trying on different boots and reading tons of reviews I feel it's a good choice for my foot. I also have a family member that gets a considerable discount at scarpa. :0)


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By Nori Mushi
Jul 2, 2013

That boots look awesome. I'm sure you'll have a blast. A lot of people do Urus and Ishinca as a warm up and then you can hit Tocllaraju. Pisco is a bit further away and I think you might have to pay for a permit. Can't remember, that was a long time ago. Enjoy pisco sour!


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By Dylan Carey
From TX
Jul 2, 2013
monster rock

I'm in the same boat. I'm hitting up Rainier late August, and after that plan on other Cascade mountains. In 2 years hopefully Denali and Aconcagua. Is a double boot overkill for the Cascade 14ers in summer? I would hate to buy some Nepal's then turn around and have to buy Spantik's in 2 years.


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By Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Jul 3, 2013
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A double plastic boot on Rainier will be warm. On the upper mountain, you may or may not prefer it. I've climbed Rainier in summer in Baruntse's (which are one step below the Spantik's). They climbed just fine and I was able to dry out the inner every night I was in a tent. This all depends if you're doing other one-day style trips or doing some ice climbing. If it's just mountaineering, find a double boot that works for your feet and use em on Rainier and then use them on Denali. (Just buy the spantik's). If you're going to do more diverse types of climbing, buy boots for specific types.


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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Jul 3, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3

I used spantiks on rainier last year. They worked jsut fine. I didnt have any issues with overheating. I only wore liner socks the entire time though.


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By wfscot
From Boulder, CO
Jul 3, 2013

Cale Hoopes wrote:
A double plastic boot on Rainier will be warm. On the upper mountain, you may or may not prefer it. I've climbed Rainier in summer in Baruntse's (which are one step below the Spantik's). They climbed just fine and I was able to dry out the inner every night I was in a tent. This all depends if you're doing other one-day style trips or doing some ice climbing. If it's just mountaineering, find a double boot that works for your feet and use em on Rainier and then use them on Denali. (Just buy the spantik's). If you're going to do more diverse types of climbing, buy boots for specific types.


I completely agree. I'm a total gearhead so I tend to use (and hear) the word "overkill" a lot. What I've come to realize is that this is often BS and the case of double boots in a perfect example. Granted doubles are not the ideal boot for low-altitude stuff, but they'll certainly get the job done. I think you'll be surprised at how well the good ones breath. If you're really gunning for double-requiring mountains, I think it's best to start out with a good double and then make that work for the lower/warmer stuff. You'll save money, learn a lot about what you like and don't like in the process, and ultimately make better boot purchases when the time comes to add to your quiver.

FWIW, I climbed both Aconcagua (to 21,500) and Denali (to the summit) this season as couldn't have been more stoked on my Barutses. I added the Forty Below K2 Overboots for Denali.

When in doubt, just think back to what the early climbers had to work with. *Anything* you can buy today is better than that for just about any purpose, even the "shitty" plastics (which those guys would have killed for).


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By tucker cunningham
From Truckee, CA
Jul 9, 2013

Lots of good advice here about boot choice, but I disagree that you would want doubles in the Cascades in summer or in the Cordillera (MAYBE on Huascaran, my experience in that range was only up to 6000m). Camping on a glacier is par for the course in both locations, but my experience has been that they weren't especially cold. Nepals/Mont Blancs or Batura/Phantom Guides if you have the budget seem perfectly appropriate unless you have a history of frostbite or raynauds or something.

Further south in the Andes (Aconcagua, etc.) or North in North America (Denali, e.g.) are a whole different ballgame as far as temperature. Doubles make a lot of sense there. Remember the latitude where you will be climbing as well as the altitude.


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By doak
From boulder, co
Jul 9, 2013
Drinking with Moses

Peru is near the equator; It's not summer or winter, but rather stormy season and stable season. I went there in August of 2002, and it was fantastic: the weather was stable and the avy conditions had settled down by then.

June is the start of the climbing season, but if that's when you need to go, definitely be avalanche aware. Two separate parties (totaling 11 people) got wiped out in June that year by avalanches, but that was an El Nino year. As my partner and I were hiking up Huascaran, we saw a picket that was twisted into a pretzel and a helmet (empty, thank god) that had recently melted out of the debris field.

I brought a pair of Koflach Arctis Expe, and my partner had a pair of Koflach Degre. They're a pain in the ass to lace up when they're frozen stiff in the morning. During the daytime the warmth was unnecessary. But predawn/alpine_starts at altitude (>5000m), it's pretty frosty. We did Huascaran up/down in a day from the refugio, and a 7-day route on the NW ridge of Chopicalqui, and it was straight-up bitter before the sun came up.

I have no experience with the Triolets, no idea how warm they are. I would've taken my Sportiva K2's for Pisco, but I'm glad I had a warm boot for the bigger stuff.

Trip report:
climbingdreams.net/life/2002/peru/

Have fun, be safe.


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By Nori Mushi
Jul 9, 2013

Hey Doak, I was there the same year but in late June. I remember getting off the bus in Huaraz and the first thing we heard was that 11 people just died. But wasn't that because of el nino season? That was the same year one solo climber died in Chopicalqui.


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By doak
From boulder, co
Jul 9, 2013
Drinking with Moses

I might have been mistaken about 11 fatalities on Huascaran, Google suggests that it was 4+3 spaced a week apart.

Nori, yes 2002 was a particularly bad El Nino year. However, Tom Lukas was down there early last July and reported that seracs were shedding on Huascaran between Camp 1 & 2 at unpredictable times. Keep an open ear to local chatter on avalanche conditions, and stick to safe routes if conditions are bad. Pisco is one of the safer routes, as long as you skirt away from the base of the steep face.

Looking at the Triolets, and 5600m as the high end of your plans, the Scarpas sound like they'll be fine; unless you do something stoopid like starting up Pisco at 1am and summiting before sunrise.

One more thing, running shoes were perfect for anything below glacier line.


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