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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Scarpa Phantom Ultra?

I got an email pointing out a mistake I made identifying the "Phantom Ultra" as a "prototype Phantom 6000" in Jon Griffith's photo of Steck on le Droites. Thanks for the heads up Will!

Way beyond the sales hype. Jonathan Griffith's photo of Ueli Steck soloing the Ginat on Le Droites early in 2010 in what appears to be the super lwt version of the Phantom single, the "Ultra" which is down around 1600g in weight per pair for a 42, where the Guide is 1800g and the 6000 is 2000g in that size.

This boot is not available in North American that I can find but is in Europe and England. The over all weight is getting down to an ounce or so of the slightly more traditional fabric "silver bullet" boot, La Sportiva's Trango Extreme Evo Gortex. With a full boot gaiter though the Ultra offers much more protection in nasty, wet, cold conditions. The Ultra looks by the numbers to be lighter and LESS expensive than the Phantom Guide. That could be any where from 3 to 4 ounces per boot in a size 12us/45. Or another 8oz altogether!

Part of the weight savings is using the thinner and lighter sole/mid sole system also used on the Phantom 6000 and noted in that review earlier. Lacing inside the Ultra looks to be the same system that is used in the Guide. Slightly different material on the Ultra's gaiter for reinforcement and durability with crampons.
While making inquiries about these boots, Scarpa NA and several retailers who stock the Ultra in England gave similar replies.
"Re: The Ultra,
Boot is less stiff and less warm than the Guide. Sole is very fragile. Sole is not as durable as the Guide. Only the Guide is available in 1/2 sizes."
Me thinks they protest too much. No retailer wants to carry such a specialised alpine climbing boot in a full size run (and 1/2s) which would sell directly against the Phantom Guide even if the Ultra is $50. less expensive. I might even swallow the "less durable" issue with the boot soles as they are a lwt version also used on the Phantom 6000. Not a boot I'd use on a lot of rock but might well be a nice advantage to drop another pound off your feet on alpine ice and mixed routes where you'd be wearing 'pons anyway.

BTW, both the Guides and 6000 boots I got this year came with Gortex and Primaloft tags. Spring of next year (2011) they are suppose to be lined with "Outdry" at Steck's suggestion, replacing the time proven Gortex liner. Not a huge amount of added info but I used the new Mtn Hardware gloves that are again Steck's designs and lined with Outdry all of last winter and was happy with them. I've not seen Goretex in a glove system do as well.

"SCARPA announced they have teamed up with OutDry in order to make my all time favorite technical mountaineering boots even better. OutDry's waterproof breathable technology will appear in SCARPA's Phantom Collection for Spring 2011.

Both SCARPA and OutDry worked with renowned alpinist and speed-climber Ueli Steck on the design of the new Phantom Collection. Steck wanted a technical mountaineering boot with improved waterproofness that would cut down on the boot's "wet weight" while climbing in wet snow conditions.

OutDry is currently used in gloves from Mountain Hardwear and footwear from Lafuma among others. OutDry uses a three-dimensional laminating technology to adhere a windproof and waterproof breathable membrane to the inside of the outer most layer of shoes, boots and gloves. The permanent membrane bond creates a flawless fit with no folds, seams or the requirement for seam-sealing tape.

The waterproof breathable membrane will be laminated directly to the inner side of the K-tech boot upper on the SCARPA Phantom technical mountaineering boots. The use of OutDry in the boots also allows the addition of Primaloft for increased insulation qualities.

OutDry will be featured in all the new SCARPA Phantom styles including the Phantom 6000, Phantom Guide and the Phantom Ultra."

By the numbers:
upper S- TECH
lining : WATERPROOF - OD /
insole : FIBER - PRO XT
Last : AG
sizes: 37-48 ( WITH 1 / 2)
weight : 800 GR (42 - 1 / 2 PAIR )
Read more and make your own comparisons:

Will's photos:

1 comment:

Ian said...

I'm very interested in the new membrane. For the most part I have a love/hate relationship with Gore-Tex and would love to see a better process come along.