Fox Mountain Guides - Footwear Choices in the Alps

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fox Mountain Guides - Footwear Choices in the Alps

By Karsten Delap

As I got ready for the Alps I inquired to some friends who were already there as to what boots would be appropriate for the conditions this season. There has been quite bad weather and much more snow than is typical has fallen this summer. Most of the recommendations I received were that the “red boots” would be too cold and I should instead go with a Batura to stay warm. Having recently upgraded from the Trango GTX to the Trango Cube, I really wanted to try the boot out, so I brought both.

On our first afternoon up the Aiguille du Midi we did a small glacier stroll over to the Cosmiques Hut and I was plenty warm in the boots. I also noticed the afternoon slosh didn’t seem to saturate the leather on the outside like the red boots and stayed much more dry, due to the seamless uppers. The Cube was very comfortable without even breaking it in was therefore the obvious choice for the next day’s whiteout bad weather adventure. We wanted to head up to stay at the Cosmiques Hut for a night to acclimatize for the Eiger, so we headed into the clouds and proceeded to do the Point Lachenal Traverse. I never thought about my feet all day (the biggest feature I look for in a boot). The next day we headed back to the Midi Trasferiquie via Cosmiques Arête. Even on the shady side of the arête and on the small ice step, my feet never crossed my mind. I was comfortable all day.

 

Well acclimatized, we headed over to the Bernese Oberland wanting to climb the Eiger but with meters of snow still on the mountain, the huts still had not opened so we set our sites on the Monch and Jungfrau. At this point the was no “choice” in boots as the Cubes were the ones on my feet. We had a great couple days in the mountains with some beautiful summits. The boots did lose out to my Swing sandals on the flights back to the States.

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