Kyrgyzstan, September 2014
3 days ago
the Baruntse? I would think that could be an ideal double boot: Start with the Baruntse but use a Carbon Fiber insole (instead of Ibi-thermo) and make the TPU midsole thinner/lighter (same as the Batura 2.0). Use Vibram Mulaz soles instead of the thick and heavy Montagna sole. Make the inside height about 5mm higher at the toes. Make the rear boot strap loop larger, and sew it at a 3rd place to the top of the cuff. (Alternately, attach one end of rear boot strap to top of the stretch cuff.) Use single rivet lace hooks on the shaft to reduce weight. Inner boot: no changes! If you have any contacts within La Sportiva, please pass these suggestions along. I expect these changes could easily save half a pound in the weight of a pair of these double boots."
So it is not just me thinking the Baruntse is too heavy and that the Bareuntse could easily be the basis for the best traditional double boot ever built. It is hard to see the technology available at La Sportiva to build a better Baruntse and also seeing that technology left on the drawing room table.
OK, enough bitching. What is right about the Baruntse? All of these boots has advantages and disadvantages over the other 3 double boots I've listed.
I don't think anyone will argue that the Baruntse (manufactured by Palua, France) liner is the best of the bunch. It has a super easy lace system and more importantly is "easily" heat formable for a perfect fit. The outer shell's lacing system on the Baruntse is time proven and very simple. A simple, traditional double boot lace system. I have not heard of a lace failure on this boot. between the exceptional inner boot and the easy to lace outer shell you will generally end up with an exceptional fitting boot. And one that will climb exceptionally well despite the extra bulk and volume needed to keep you feet warm on even Denali without an overboot.
The result is a highly technical and super warm boot that climbs exceptionally well on ice mixed and rock.
I think it is best to look at the La Sportiva Nepal Evo when making fit and performance comparisons to the Baruntse.
So yes if you like the Nepal Evo or the previous Nepal Top, you will likely be thrilled with the fit and performance of the Baruntse. The Baruntse is simply, in my opinion, a super cold weather version of the Nepal Evo. And I make that comparison with all due respect. The Nepal Evo is one of the most technical alpine climbing boots in the world today. Could the Baruntse be better? Sure it could. If it were better (read lighter in weight) it would be the only double boot I own. The Baruntse offers the best fit and most support of all the double boots I have listed. It is also priced at the low end of all the double boots I have listed. Performance and cost advantages. Makes one wonder about the weight doesn't it?
There are other posts here @ Cold Thistle on the Baruntse. "Baruntse" in the search function should get you that info. Including earlier pair of boots I did add the Mulaz sole to and drop a few oz.
But I'll leave you with a great video where the Baruntse (and the Scarpa 6000) were used on a quick ascent of Denali with no over boots. More to come on the Spantik, 6000, and Oly Mons.
<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/26046094" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen>iframe>