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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Double boots part 3, The Scarpa 6000

The Eiger, photo courtesy of Dave Searle collection

Here is how the current and easily available double boots add up.

weight of one size 45 boot.

Scarpa Phantom 6000 with Baruntse liner 2# 8oz /  1134g

Scarpa Phantom 6000 new 2010 model 2# 10oz / 1190g

La Sportiva Spantik with Baruntse liner 2# 14oz / 1247g

La Sportiva Spantik standard liner 3# 1.5oz / 1362g

La Sportiva Baruntse 3#4oz / 1470g

La Sportiva Olympus Mons 3#6oz/ 1530g

No surprise Dave Searle and I are both fans of the 6000.  The intimate details are covered here:

As are Mark Westman and Jesse Huey

Friends Jon Giffith and Will Sim are fans as well.

Jon sez:
"I suspect that the 6000 is going to be a more pleasurable boot for technical ascents and for cold ice climbing areas but for big mountain routes the Spantiks gains the upper edge for warmth and with extra foot support for big ice fields (think about being on your front points for hours on end and you get the idea). This was especially brought home to me on the Colton Macintyre on the Grandes Jorasses last week when my partner's calves and achilles were screaming and mine were fine. This is by no means a complete comparison between the two but merely an overview as this will no doubt be of interest. However the key thing here is that really they aren't the same boot: if you want something light and technical then the 6000 is the better choice but if you want a more robust boot for the big mountains with a bit more support for romping up ice fields and skiing in then the Spantik would be the winner."

I've owned and climbed in both Spantiks and 6000.  I would be climbing in the 6000 now if they were offered in true half size. (ya, dream on there)  I just had to make the decision again while replacing boots this fall.  When you have to decide between a bigger shell size (which is significantly larger) instead of a true half size I went back to the Spantik knowing I would have to dick around with the fit again in a smaller shell.  But for me dbls are difficult enough to climb hard technical ground in.   Making an big boot even bigger with a less than perfect fit is no help at all. Given the added weight of a size 46 6000 and dropping weight by using the Baruntse inner in a 45 Spantik,  the weight seemed a wash to me.  Advantage to a proper fit or at least the best fit (making them easier to climb in) on the Spantik.

Plus I like the fact I have a more durable, warmer and easier to use inner boot with the addition of the Baruntse liner inside the Spantik.  Not happy about the 1/2# in gained weight over the 6000.  It wasn't an easy decision to come to on my part.  I settled for the best fit, for my crampons and my feet.

If there are any other worth while comments or reviews on either of these two boots I haven't seen them.  If you know of any please forward them will you and I'll add links?

All these boots are expensive and generally a major expense if your winter climbing demands them.  It is frustrating to me as a consumer to not be able to find more info on them.

Part 4 is on the the Oly Mons coming shortly. 


Anonymous said...

Thanks for updating your blog, it's very informative.

Between the Baruntse, Spantik and 6000's, would you say one accommodates a wider foot than the other? I have wide feet and no option of trying them on before buying.

Thank you.

Dane said...

Because of the thinner and easily heat moldable liner the Baruntse is always going to fit any foot better imo. That said the Scarpas do run a little wider in the forfoot generally. But in this case I think the difference in inner boots makes the Baruntse the better option.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dane,

I'm heading to Denali last week of May first three weeks of June next year.

I am currently pulling together my gear lists and have been using Scarpa 6000 for the last 9 months or so.

I am hearing mixed opinions on whether overboots are needed and was just wondering what your opionion is.

I am currently veering towards going without seen as we will be on the upper mountain in June when it should be a bit warmer.

My feeling is that I dont want to lug extra crap if i dont need too.

Dane said...

That is a tough one...if you have bad weather up high it might be bad in any boot. That said I have not used over boots on Denali while using a much lesser boot than the 6000.

Warm feet is all about hydration, nutrition and your clothing system. But most importantly knowing what kind of conditions you can safely climb in...and how fast.

Cold feet generally tell me things are about to be FUBARed if I don't find the problem and fix it rapidly.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dane,

I posted in 2011, asking if I should get the Scarpa Phantom 6000 over the La Sportiva Spantik for the trek to Mera Peak. You said "yes." And guess what? I didn't go at all, because I had a knee injury! But I'm all healed now and going in three weeks - can't wait! I took your advice and ordered the Phantom AND the Spantik so I could compare side-by-side. I'm a woman's size 9 in regular shoes and I ordered the size 41 (in both of them). I put on double socks (one thinner, one thicker), put the insoles in the Spantiks and tried them on.

Well, surprise, surprise, I didn't like the Spantik at all! I couldn't get the lacing to work, it drove me nuts to lace up the inner boot, and I could just picture myself doing all that in a freezing tent at 2am on summit day. I could barely get the inner boot into the outer boot, plus I almost panicked trying to get them off. Now, I'm NOT a mountaineer by any stretch, despite having been on many treks (Baltoro to and fro being one of them). So my comments can be seen as either coming from a useless noob, or worthwhile, in that I'm an objective testing subject with zero experience of a double boot. Incidentally, I ordered a Koflach Arctic Expe plastic boot and hated it too. The inner boot had a sole with a small heel on it - how weird! Plus I struggled to get the foot into the outer boot as well. The whole boot had a really cheap feel to it and I returned it instantly.

Moving on to the Scarpas - wow, what a difference! The inner boot fit like a glove, the toebox was big enough, and everything was easy, peasy to put on and walk around in. I love that the inner boot has Velcro - just put them on and slip (yep, slip) into the outer boot. My socks didn't catch on anything in the inner boot at all - everything was smooth sailing.

As for the general fit - I have platypus feet. Very narrow heels, wider across the toes, and generally flat due to ankle "deformity" that pronates the foot inward. The Scarpa accommodated this without a problem. So that was that - you were right all along. I just hope they'll be warm enough - do I need some kind of insole in the outer boot, or will that even make a difference? Should I stay with double socks instead?

As for crampons - someone at Mountain Gear told me to get the Grivel 12 Cramp-o-Matics, so I ordered them. I hope they will work - what's your opinion?

PS - I called Scarpa to get some advice prior to ordering the boots, and the lady said "oh yes, we know Dane, haha." She seemed really happy about it too :-).

So now I'm ready to go to Mera Peak. If I get back alive, I'll let you know how the Scarpas held up. We'll be wearing them for 3 days total - not much in the larger scope of things. But I swear, in my lliving room, they feel like slippers!


Dane said...

Great story Xtine, thanks for the feed back. G12s are OK. Petzl Vasak lever lock would be a better choice, easier to use and a bit lighter iirc.

The boot will be warm enough. Just wear what ever sox combo fits the best. No additional insole required for warmth.

Ben said...

Dane thanks for the great blog and sweet hammers...both are sick! Fwitw on the fit issue (my experience/my feet aren't yours etc/700 dollar mistake) buy two sizes or try them io first even if you intend on buying a palau or baruntse liner. I ve been climbing in the phantom guide, jorasses pro and rebel carbon in a 44. Small differences but great fit in each for the intended purpose. Similar to what I wear in sportiva although I find the scarpas have more room in the toe box which makes my feet happy. Bought the 6000s in a 44, insole in the liner was labeled 43 as noted elsewhere. Stock liner gave me toe bang ice climbing and heel blisters. Go figure. Bought both a size 44 baruntse liner and a Velcro lightweight liner direct from palau France. Couldn't get either to fit right with heat molding even going to a ski boot fitter and using proper toe caps. With both my toes hit the end of the boot and felt crammed like a rock shoe (way worse than "snug" fit of the rebel carbon). Bumped up a size (45), remoulded the palau liner and booyah. Perfect fit. Snug where it counts with just the right wiggle room. No heel lift. Too bad for the larger volume. The 44's are for sale at classifieds if anybody wants them. Like new and cut rate...

Dane said...

Thank Ben. Man sorry about the boots. Expensive mistake. My mantra is try them all no one. I spent 3 full seasons going back and forth from a 45 to a 46 in the newest boots before finally getting it right. (I think ;) And I lost money every time I decided to sell off my current boots.

What did you end up doing?

Ben said...

I agree Dane! Buyer be informed: try all the options before committing (and keep the tags on in the mean time). In my case, going a size up (usually a 44 scarpa to a 45 in the 6000) and buying the Palau mountain liner (,us,4,PAL-MOUNT.cfm) in size 44, heat moulding with toe spacers (paper towel wads between toes), three toe caps (old wool socks), an insole and all of the above covered with a thin ski sock during the moulding process (gas oven at 230 f for 7 min) gives me a great fit. Incidentally the liner direct from palau is cheaper for me on the east coast with shipping than ordering the baruntse liner from sportiva in colorado.

Garrett said...

What insoles you got inside those Palau liners?

Unknown said...

Hi Dane,

I apologize if this has been asked before.

I'm looking to pick up a pair of 6000s this summer in the USA; however, I may only be able to get it with the standard liner.

If I get a Baruntse liner in 2 years time in France, will it fit the same boot? Or should I wait until France to buy both the Baruntse liner and 6000s at the same time.



Dane said...

Baruntse liner you can buy any time from La Sportiva. Scarpa is changing the 6000 a bit for next year. My suggestion is buy a 6000 now and not worry about it.