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mountainsandsound
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PostThu Jan 25, 2018 12:19 pm 
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For short, easy glacier climbs and scrambles in the Cascades I've actually used a stiff soled backpacking boot (Lowa Ticams) rather than a full on mountaineering boot for much of my ascents (Ruth, Tomyhoi, Sahale).  I think this kind of boot is perfect for cross-country hiking and easy mountaineering routes.  It sounds similar to what Steve is describing: a boot marketed for backpacking but stiff enough for heavier duty.  I've found them to be comfortable but also nicely compatible with BD contact crampons, they have really been my favorite pair of boots and I've been taxing them for about 5 seasons so far.

I also prefer full leather uppers because gore tex has always leaked on me after 1 season without fail.
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DIYSteve
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PostThu Jan 25, 2018 12:49 pm 
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mountainsandsound wrote:
Lowa Ticam

I looked at that boot. Nice boots, in the class of boots marketed for "backpacking" that work great for basic mountaineering and off-trail hiking. Does Lowa offer it in non-GTX? I had a very similar pair of Mammut (Raichle) boots, perhaps the same boot with different branding. (Most higher quality boots of that class are made in a handful of factories in northern Italy.)

Lowa's equivalent to the Active SL is the Tibet LL, a bit stiffer than the Ticam, full leather upper.

Too bad REI doesn't stock any non-GTX boots in this class. I ponder whether REI's boot buyers spend much time in the mountains.
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mountainsandsound
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PostThu Jan 25, 2018 4:29 pm 
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DIYSteve wrote:
I looked at that boot. Nice boots, in the class of boots marketed for "backpacking" that work great for basic mountaineering and off-trail hiking. Does Lowa offer it in non-GTX? .

No I don't think so. As you said, non GTX boots are hard to come by and I've been frustrated by this too. But because the boot is surrounded by leather, even if the GTX goes (which I assume it has), I figure I can still keep it waterproof by waxing them.  That has worked out for me, I've never had a leak and the boots are in all honesty my favorite piece of gear. The GTX in there is worthless to me, but other than the issue of having feet that are sweating more than they would otherwise, I just figure a GTX boot is fine for me as long as it is full leather. I also also own the Scarpa Liskaams (probably equivalent the Wrangells) which are a full leather, GTX lined mountaineering boot. After a climb my socks are less than dry, but never enough to give me blisters.

Do you find GTX to be too hot for footwear? I don't have any leather lined boots so I have never been able to compare leather lined with GTX lined full leather boots.
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DIYSteve
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PostThu Jan 25, 2018 5:19 pm 
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Yeah, GTX boots are too hot. Leather boots breathe much better and run cooler. But the bigger problem is that after the GTX membrane fails (which is inevitable, usually after a half season or less) water gets in, the foot sloshes in a GTX mini-bathtub and it takes forever to dry. I stopped using GTX boots a few years ago. Never again. Leather boots are available, although I have to get them online.
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mountainsandsound
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PostThu Jan 25, 2018 5:47 pm 
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I see. I guess I don't know any better when it comes to breathability and live with boots that are probably hotter than they otherwise would be.  As for waterproofing, I have used Nik wax regularly on both pairs of my GTX lined leather boots and never had any moisture coming in from the outside.

The Ticams in particular have seen extended damp conditions in Alaskan cross country after 2 or 3 prior seasons of use and never got wet.  I always attributed that to the wax and not GTX
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PostThu Jan 25, 2018 6:40 pm 
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I really noticed the coolness and interior dryness of non-GTX boots on trips the first summer I gave up GTX. My feet ran way cooler and my entire body felt better. I also noticed how much faster non-GTX boots dried at the end of each day.
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mountainsandsound
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PostThu Jan 25, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Nice. Good to hear that there is another world beyond damp socks at the end of the day. Maybe I'll seek out leather lined when I'm in the market for a new pair.
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