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Scrambling in alpine ski boots #1154
Back To Discussion List Written: 2004.05.16 by: Matt Lucas

So is there an easy way to cross rocky areas in alpine ski boots. As hard as I try I find it so difficult to cross gracefully. I'm very wobbly and gangly falling down at almost every step.

Buying Ski-Mountaineering boots is not an option. Well not right now at least. Or changing to Snowboarding or Tele boots.


#307 - 2004.05.23 Scott Nelson - Rubber Soles
While backcountry ski boots are really too stiff for scrambling, they at least have good rubber soles which make a big difference in security. I ski tele, so scrambling is really weird with lots of sole flex and little ankle flex. I can pull a few class 3 moves here and there though as long as it's not too exposed. Frontpointing with tele boots is a real pain though - alpine ones should be better here. Wedgemount lake before recession

#306 - 2004.05.20 Matt Lucas - Thanks
Well looks like I will stick to my alpine boots for a bit longer if stiff ski mountaineering boots are not much different. I am really only interested in the descent so having super soft boots would not be much fun.

I will save my money for another pair of Bigstix.

#305 - 2004.05.19 Todd Ponzini - Another opinion
I find ski mountaineering boots still don't work well on rock as they lack ankle flex, like Drew said. I use a Garmont G-Lite, one of the softest boots on the market, and they're still pretty useless on rocky terrain. The only way to make them perform decently is to wear crampons, but that only works on steep technical ground. I assume that if you want a stiff ski mountaineering boot you want to ski hard, but with a stiff ski mountineering boot you'd notice little improvement over downhill boots on rocky terrain. I agree with Drew, take runners and light leather hikers and carry your downhill boots in your pack (or leave them in a bag if you're climbing a peak). And if you're into winter climbing more then skiing, buy some good climbing boots instead of ski mountaineering boots.

#304 - 2004.05.19 Drew Brayshaw - Flex and stiffness
Generally speaking there are two components to stiffness, ankle flex and sole flex. For boulder fields you definitely want ankle flex. For rock edging you want ankle flex but no sole flex, for rock slabs you want both ankle and sole flex. So in ski mtneering boots its not going to be easy but I find in my Scarpa Lasers if I undo all the buckles except the lowest one it gives me a little bit of ankle flex which helps. Basically though the stiffer the boot the more it will suck for scrambling in.

#303 - 2004.05.18 Matt Lucas
So maybe a change of question:

Is scrambling across boulder fields and short rock steps easier in stiff ski mountaineering boots like Scarpa's, Lowa's and Garmont's stiffest boots.

#298 - 2004.05.17 Drew Brayshaw - imelda marcos
Given the restrictions you describe the only practicable option I can think of would be to carry a change of footwear, like running shoes, and change into these for the rocky sections. A better option would be to ski in regular mountaineering boots rather than ski boots but if you can't even afford AT boots this latter option is probably not an option.