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Sportiva Nuptse vs. Koflach Arctis Expe
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neurostar


Feb 16, 2005, 3:18 PM
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Sportiva Nuptse vs. Koflach Arctis Expe
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I've just gotten into ice climbing this winter. I'm looking to buy some boots. Obviously, single leather boots are the best choice for "ice cragging". However, this summer, I'll be doing some mountaineering. Right now, the plan includes Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and another peak in the area.

As far as boots go, I can't afford to buy two pair of boots. So, I'm looking for a boot that would give me a decent compromise between multi-day mountaineering and ice climbing.

The two boots I've been looking at are the following:
http://www.koflach.com/...chProductArctis.html - Koflach Arctis Expe
http://www.sportiva.com/...ineering/nuptse.html - Sportiva Nuptse

So my question is.. what are the advantages/disadvantages to each boot?

And which one should I get?


neurostar


Feb 16, 2005, 3:30 PM
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I thought I'd list some of the opinions I've been given from the various other people I've talked to.

Fellow Ice Climber/Shop Owner: (who has sold nuptse to climbers going to the himalyas)
The sportiva is better than a plastic because it's just as warm, but more flexible uppers, so it'll be better for walking. And it's got the removable inner liner, so it'll be more suited to multi-day stuff than a single leather boot. Also, the nuptse should be more sensitive than a plastic double, but not as much as a single leather.

Mtn Tools Guy: (who has sold nuptse to climbers going to the himalyas and alaskan ranges)
The Sportiva would be an excellent alternative to a plastic boot that would walk better. The inner liner would also slip less, because the inside of the outer boot isn't smooth like a plastic boot.

Fellow Ice Climber: (who tried them out this past weekend)
The Sportiva is just as insensitive as a plastic. And plastics are cheaper.

What are your thoughts on these?

Other than cost, I don't really see plastics having any advantage. And I'll be using the boots for the next 5-10 years, so $100 isn't going to make *that* much of a difference..


Partner tim


Feb 16, 2005, 4:46 PM
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Your fellow ice climber seems to be a wee bit harsh. Plastics move about as well as an ankle cast. The Nuptses can french and flex as well as some single leathers. I say this because I own a pair (and an old pair of Salomon single leathers which I completely destroyed).

They're not Trangos, which I am going to purchase a pair of the Trango Extremes on prodeal as soon as they're available. But for what they are -- extremely warm, tough boots -- the Nuptses are great. I use mine for snowboarding and after stuffing a pair of Morrow (Intuition) thermofit liners into them, I sometimes have problems with my feet getting a little sweaty at 15 degrees.

I don't really think that you need a pair of Nuptses for lower-48 mountaineering. I bought mine for a trip to Alaska and possibly going back to Patagonia (this time in the winter, when the winds are still) in a couple years. But as it turns out, they're pretty superb walkers and climbers too. I have no complaints (other than the fact that Nuptses are built for people with an arch -- nothing a little chopping and grinding can't fix, for flat-footed people like me). At $440 they are too expensive, but I got mine on sale for about $100 less (still very expensive! paid for by selling my old Trangos and some other junk on eBay) which seemed fair, all things considered. I like my toes and plan to keep them for a long time.

I still don't think you need a boot as warm as the Nuptses for lower-48 mountaineering unless you have very cold toes, though.


never


Feb 16, 2005, 10:20 PM
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I used the Koflach Degre up until I bought a pair of Nuptses. The Nuptse's hike and climb significantly better in my opinion. A bit warm on Rainier in May, but very glad to have them this January in the Adirondacks at -20F.


cryder


Feb 16, 2005, 10:33 PM
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If money were no object....

http://www.mountainmagic.com/...-extreme-evo-gtx.jpg

La Sportiva Trango Extreme Evo GTX


But it is, so my first and current pair of winter alpine boots are Degre's. All in all a great boot, but leaves something to be desired on harder technical lines. Wished they were more responsive to lacing tighter in the toebox area.

I have poured four years of abuse into them, and the shoelace is just about ready to break. Everything else has held up well considering. Very comfortable and very warm. Its also nice to be able to sleep in the liners and not wake up to a frozen boot.

- n -


couchwarrior


Feb 16, 2005, 11:21 PM
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For what you intend, I don't think doubles are necessary. A good single boot like La Sportiva's Lhotse or K4S would be just fine for ice climbing and volcano slogging.

But since you ask for feedback, I will echo what Tim has said - the Nuptse is quite good for technical climbing, flexes well, is warmer than hell, and is overkill for the lower 48. I have demoed them on vertical ice and used them on techical stuff in the Alps with good results.

The Koflachs are mushy, not as technical, squeak when you walk, and are difficult to make "microfit" adjustments to get rid of heel lift, etc. But they are cheaper, warm, walk fine, and feel great right out of the box.

If you are going to slog, use the Koflachs. If you are going to climb some mixed stuff, go with the Nuptses. I owned a pair for 4 years up until the point they were stolen out of my hotel room in La Paz.


neurostar


Feb 16, 2005, 11:26 PM
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Thanks for all the responses.

In reply to:
I still don't think you need a boot as warm as the Nuptses for lower-48 mountaineering unless you have very cold toes, though.

Yea, I was kinda worried that it'd be too warm of a boot. What would you recommend as a boot for me?


neurostar


Feb 16, 2005, 11:31 PM
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If money were no object....

La Sportiva Trango Extreme Evo GTX

My concern for going with a single leather boot is it freezing at night while doing multi-day stuff.

I'm still not positive that my plans for multi-day stuff this summer is going to pan out, so I won't be making a final decision until then... but I know I'll be doing winter stuff in the next year, up in the 'daks. And, at this point, I can't afford to buy two pairs of boots.


claramie


Feb 16, 2005, 11:39 PM
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In reply to:
which I am going to purchase a pair of the Trango Extremes on prodeal as soon as they're available

Contact La Sportiva because I prodealed them over a month ago (the new Evos). They also have the Trango Evo S in now too. Both are phenomenal boots!!

CL


lambone


Feb 16, 2005, 11:50 PM
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nerostar,

of course your primary criteria should be fit. have you tried both these on? how do they fit your foot?

regardless I think both boots suck and wouldn't recomend either.

I use Trango's (last years cheaper version) similar to the ones in that photo. Just fine for a weekend on Mt Hood or Adams, and great for ice climbing. Use good sealant on them, keep them in the tent, and if it's real cold put them in the bottom of your seeping bag.

Koflachs suck, especially the expedition, and the other Sportivas are big huge waffle stompers.

Also check out Kayland boots and Scarpa for fit alternatives.


Partner tim


Feb 17, 2005, 12:14 AM
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Lambone is right. I should have emphasized that fit is the most important criteria, followed by all the other crap.

Nonetheless, my feet fit well in Sportivas, and I feel like the Nuptses are the warmest boot of their type. Likewise, I am able to hike well in Trangos and they give me the ankle flexibility I want, so I will stick with them. (also I get a decent discount on Sportiva stuff which obviously skews any such decisions) For $30 you can replace the stock liners with Intuition liners (if you're somewhere in the size 8-10 range) from SidewaysPeople.com. I recommend this. It improved the fit and warmth of mine.

If your feet fit well in (for example) Scarpas, you might find that a boot like the Cumbre serves all your needs. Similarly if you fit in Technica boots there are some tough, insulated models in their line. What you need to do is find some stores that will let you try on a crapload of different boots, try them on, figure out which ones strike the best balance between "warm" and "agile", and buy those.


neurostar


Feb 17, 2005, 12:16 AM
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In reply to:
of course your primary criteria should be fit. have you tried both these on? how do they fit your foot?

Unfortunately, no, I haven't. And I'm not really sure how I could do that. The shop I'm gonna buy boots from doesn't have much in stock. They do have the K4S, but that's it.

Where would I be able to try boots on?

In reply to:
I use Trango's (last years cheaper version) similar to the ones in that photo. Just fine for a weekend on Mt Hood or Adams, and great for ice climbing. Use good sealant on them, keep them in the tent, and if it's real cold put them in the bottom of your seeping bag.

Yea, I knew there was a way to keep the boots from freezing... I just wasn't sure if it was worth the hassle when I could just go get a double boot.

In reply to:
Koflachs suck, especially the expedition, and the other Sportivas are big huge waffle stompers.

Why do you say that? I've only heard good things about Sportiva and koflachs.


Partner tim


Feb 17, 2005, 12:16 AM
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In reply to:
I use Trango's (last years cheaper version) similar to the ones in that photo. Just fine for a weekend on Mt Hood or Adams, and great for ice climbing. Use good sealant on them, keep them in the tent, and if it's real cold put them in the bottom of your seeping bag.

The GTX version supposedly is more waterproof. I'll find out when they become available for prodeals again.

I like Trangos. My Trango Ices were too snug so I sold them. But I do like the design of the boot, it meets all my needs in a light alpine boot.


neurostar


Feb 17, 2005, 12:18 AM
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In reply to:
What you need to do is find some stores that will let you try on a crapload of different boots, try them on, figure out which ones strike the best balance between "warm" and "agile", and buy those.

I'm not sure where I could find such a store near me. Anyone in/near Rochester know of someplace? Get out and Stay out has boots, but doesn't seem to have many different ice boots in stock.


couchwarrior


Feb 17, 2005, 12:35 AM
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As you are discovering, shoe opinions are like a$$holes - everybody has one.

As others have said, fit is critical. The "cross your fingers and mail order" is a 50/50 proposition at best. I have wide flat feet and my right foot is a half size bigger than the left, so La Sportiva seem to work for me. Scarpa does not. Best of luck in finding the right pair.


Partner tim


Feb 17, 2005, 12:56 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
which I am going to purchase a pair of the Trango Extremes on prodeal as soon as they're available

Contact La Sportiva because I prodealed them over a month ago (the new Evos). They also have the Trango Evo S in now too. Both are phenomenal boots!!

Will do. I'd like to do a 'review' of the things if I can get them before next weekend.


Partner tim


Feb 17, 2005, 12:59 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
What you need to do is find some stores that will let you try on a crapload of different boots, try them on, figure out which ones strike the best balance between "warm" and "agile", and buy those.

I'm not sure where I could find such a store near me. Anyone in/near Rochester know of someplace? Get out and Stay out has boots, but doesn't seem to have many different ice boots in stock.


It's a haul, but I'd suggest that you head for the Mountaineer in Keene Valley. Vinny is cool as shit and you might be able to convince him to let you ''demo'' something.

I'm in California now, so you should probably take these suggestions as the outdated babblings of a madman.


Partner polarwid


Feb 17, 2005, 1:12 AM
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COOL!!! 8^)

OUR VERY OWN SHOE THREAD!!! :roll:

OBTW, I have the KOFLACH ARCTIS VARIO, warm, but doesn't hike too well...however...for snoeshoeing or skiing, the are DA BOMB!


whatsupdoc


Feb 17, 2005, 1:55 AM
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I've been up Rainier, Baker, and Hood in leather boots. Granted they were the Nepal Extremes but they worked great every time. They hike much better than the plastic counterparts. You don't absolutely need double boots for those type of mountains if you climb them in the summer. Obviously winter is a whole different story.

For what it's worth, a good buddy of mine has the Nuptses and he loves em. Just make sure your crampons fit, as he had some issues.

Warmth is very dependent on fit. You want plenty of room for your toes to wiggle but you would like your heel to lock down securely. If the toebox is too tight then your toes will get cold no matter how much insulation you have.

It's tough to do if you don't live near a very well stocked shop, but you've got to try them on to make the final decision. Walk around with them on for at least 1 hour if not longer. If you know the shop well, see if you can take them home and wear them around the house for a day or two to make sure they fit well. I had to sell a pair of Koflach Degres that beat my feet up depite the fact that they felt okay in the shop. They were just too narrow up front but I had to find out the hard way.

Good luck!


neurostar


Feb 17, 2005, 2:05 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
What you need to do is find some stores that will let you try on a crapload of different boots, try them on, figure out which ones strike the best balance between "warm" and "agile", and buy those.

I'm not sure where I could find such a store near me. Anyone in/near Rochester know of someplace? Get out and Stay out has boots, but doesn't seem to have many different ice boots in stock.


It's a haul, but I'd suggest that you head for the Mountaineer in Keene Valley. Vinny is cool as s--- and you might be able to convince him to let you ''demo'' something.

I'm in California now, so you should probably take these suggestions as the outdated babblings of a madman.

According to their website, they're still there. I don't know when I'd be able to get up there though.... I'm without a car, which makes things difficult.


neurostar


Feb 17, 2005, 2:08 AM
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In reply to:
I've been up Rainier, Baker, and Hood in leather boots. Granted they were the Nepal Extremes but they worked great every time. They hike much better than the plastic counterparts. You don't absolutely need double boots for those type of mountains if you climb them in the summer. Obviously winter is a whole different story.

Gotcha.

Yea, I'm planning on doing some winter stuff in the 'daks next winter, so I'm thinkin' doubles might be a good choice.

In reply to:
It's tough to do if you don't live near a very well stocked shop, but you've got to try them on to make the final decision. Walk around with them on for at least 1 hour if not longer. If you know the shop well, see if you can take them home and wear them around the house for a day or two to make sure they fit well. I had to sell a pair of Koflach Degres that beat my feet up depite the fact that they felt okay in the shop. They were just too narrow up front but I had to find out the hard way.

Good point.
I'm gonna talk to the shop near me and see if they can let me walk around in a pair for a while. And also, see if I can wear 'em around the house for a couple days and see how they fit.


paulraphael


Feb 17, 2005, 3:28 AM
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Also keep in mind that your choice isn't between leather boots and plastic boots; it's between single and double. there are lots of single boots now that are all or mostly synthetic, so you get a lot of the best of both worlds. plenty of warmth for the lower 48 (and much of the rest of the world for 3 season use), waterproofness, low maintenance, potentially good fit, light weight, and climbing performance.

They're not the final word in warmth, and on long trips you have to work harder to keep them dry from your own sweat. but vbl socks can make that a non-issue. just a few boots in this category are the sportiva trangos and k4, the scarpa freney, and the vasque super alpinista.

as far as fit, yes, it's the biggest consideration. i live in new york, and have officially given up on buying climbing footware anywhere around here. i save it for trips out west where i can find stores with great selections and staff that know something (boulder, jackson,wy, anchorage, seattle, etc.)

if you're desperate, mountain tools will fit you boots based on a faxed outline of your foot. if you don't like them, they'll take them back (if you've only worn them indoors)


anykineclimb


Feb 17, 2005, 4:26 AM
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I feel fit is extremely important. I did have a pair of old LS k2's. although its a nice insulated boot and fairly stiff the toe box was too narrow for me and I needed to find a replacement. Try on as many boots as you can, don't get stuck stuck into wanting nly these two models. They both might be horrible for you.

Another option for boots would be getting a single leather and then getting some insulated supergaiters for colderconditions. I dunno how others feel about this, but I think its a viable option.


lambone


Feb 17, 2005, 5:05 AM
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In reply to:
of course your primary criteria should be fit. have you tried both these on? how do they fit your foot?

Unfortunately, no, I haven't. And I'm not really sure how I could do that. The shop I'm gonna buy boots from doesn't have much in stock. They do have the K4S, but that's it.
Where would I be able to try boots on?

>consider waiting until you can visit a store that has a better selection, or order a few pairs from different brands and make sure the shop has a good return policy. I Ordered both the Scarpa GTX and Trango at the same time to compare fit and ended up returning the Scarpa because it was to wide.


In reply to:
I use Trango's (last years cheaper version) similar to the ones in that photo. Just fine for a weekend on Mt Hood or Adams, and great for ice climbing. Use good sealant on them, keep them in the tent, and if it's real cold put them in the bottom of your seeping bag.

Yea, I knew there was a way to keep the boots from freezing... I just wasn't sure if it was worth the hassle when I could just go get a double boot.

>Keep in mind that double boots while warmer somtimes do have draw backs. They can be uncomfortable to walk in for long distances like on Volcanoe's and clunky for ice climbing. Personaly i would not use them unless in extreme cold temps for a extended trip. A cascade volcano does not warent plastics in my opinion unless it's winter or have extremely poor circulation in your feet (like my wife).

In reply to:
Koflachs suck, especially the expedition, and the other Sportivas are big huge waffle stompers.

Why do you say that? I've only heard good things about Sportiva and koflachs.

I like Sportivas, I own three pair, I just don't like the model you are naming. I think your friend is right...just as clunky as a plastic boot without any of the advantages. And I think the fit of Koflachs suck. Not just my foot either. Their liners are made so generic to fit comfortable for anyone that they don't have any shape. Waring a Koflach plastic boot is like wearing a shoe box in my opinion, I have never put one one that my heel didn't slip in, no matter how tight. Unless you have custom liners forget it. if you must have plastics check out the Scarpa Alphas, Lowa Civettas, and Asolo boots, all better IMHO.

Also, if you just plan on climbing one or two Volcanoes a year, consider renting plastics. I would say you'd get more use out of a good pair of leathers, especially if you ice climb in winter.

cheers


drake


Feb 24, 2005, 3:08 PM
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Tim,
What crampons have you found fit the Nuptse. I was thinking about getting the Nuptse for AK this spring. I have heard of some people having trouble getting their crampons to fit their Nuptse's.

I get shin bash with the Scarpa Inverno's & my Alpha's. Sounds like the more flexible ankle might help with that problem.

Sounds like a wide toe box. Good news for my ping pong paddle shaped feet. I have a flat foot so I hope to get them to fit comfortably.
Good info fella's, thanks.

The down side is the 7oz more, a foot, compared to my Alpha's but if they're toasty, they'll be worth it.

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