Winter Mountaineering boots? Get a grip?


from Mountaineering Scotland website

This is a great free website well worth a read and the video explains it all.

Which boots for winter mountaineering?

Boots are probably the most important item of winter equipment. The type of boots you use should vary depending on the terrain and under foot conditions you expect to encounter.

It is not the case that one pair of boots will be good for every situation you might find yourself in in the mountains. As an extreme example, a summer walk in the Pentland Hills on dry, grassy terrain will require very different footwear to ascending a Munro in winter conditions.

You need to choose your footwear carefully, as secure footwork is essential for safe mountain travel. To put this into context, around one quarter of mountain rescue incidents are as a direct result of someone taking a slip in the wrong place and becoming injured.

In summer conditions a flexible fabric or leather boot with a Vibram sole is recommended. Some folk will be happy to use approach shoes, but remember they will have little or no ankle support.

Wearing rigid-soled boots for ice climbing. (The crampons are C2)

In winter, however, underfoot conditions can be very challenging. Stiff-soled boots provide the security you need, with rigid side edges and toes for creating secure footsteps and holding a crampon. On slopes which are of sufficient angle for a slip to become a fall or an uncontrollable slide, stiff soled boots are more secure because the side edges and toes are more effective at creating secure footsteps.

To make the purchase of the correct type of boot easier, a ‘rating’ system has been established, and all good outdoor retailers will use this system.

Choosing the boots and crampons

From the storeroom at Glenmore Lodge: advice on the differences between boots and how to choose the right boot for your activity – and how to choose the right crampons to fit.

Recently I have been out with some folk on the hill wearing there lightweight summer boots many that cannot take a crampon. Sadly some have bought crampons that are not right for the boots. I find that hard as most outdoor shops will advise you correctly especially if you take your boots in as well.

Many crampons now need the heel of the boot indented to have to be able to take a quick release crampons.

Lots of folk like the light weight boots so much as I do you that you wear them till they are no longer fit for purpose ! Or until they feel that they can get away with them in winter as there does not look much snow and ice about.

In summer I wear lightweight boots and even my running shoes. In winter I wear my winter boots I need them on the varying conditions that occur from wet skippy grass to hard snow.

When looking at a few boots that folk were wearing especially the well worn ones the soles were worn out as well. In winter or wet grass this can be lethal so why don’t you check your boots and there soles and tread. If unsure ask ?

I am hoping to get some advice on winter Mountaineering boots especially for the lassies. I am asked regularly about this but sadly it’s a bit lost to me especially what boots and price you may have to pay . This is not for technical ice just winter Mountaineering.

Boots for winter Mountaineering have changed so much they are so much lighter and comfortable yet they take a crampon easily and are well worth the expense.

I know what it’s like as I have always had trouble with my feet and still have to work to get my boots sorted but even with modern boots they still are hard to wear at times. If I get a pair and I am happy I buy another pair if they are still around.

Many of friends just taking up winter Mountaineering want a good winter walking boot that will take a crampon and that you can kick steps up snow in any ideas or advice ?.

It’s hard telling folk that their summer boots are not so good in winter .To many it’s costs but what price a slip or injury.

Yet it’s still well worth looking at the tread on the soles and how your crampons fit and if they have had it get some new ones.

Maybe time to retire your boots !

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Equipment, Friends, Gear, mountain safety, People, Scottish winter climbing., Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

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