High altitude Gaiters/ Overboots

12:06 p.m. on February 25, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

I am going to Denali next year.
Any experience with "Brooks Ranger Overboots"? I wonder If walking with these overboots is possible in steep terrain and with crampons?! Do they fit into (older) Silvretta Skibindings?
I have the Scarpa Alpha Boots and would like to combinate them with the Brooks Ranger Overboots. What do you think?
Are the X-Gaiters better??!
Thanks in advance!

12:53 p.m. on February 26, 2004 (EST)
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The Brooks Rangers are good overboots. That's what I used on my last time on Denali. However, you will probably have a bit of a problem if you have step-in crampons. I ended up getting a pair of Grivels with the "Newmatic" binding (plastic frame over the toe instead of a wire bail). You will want the overboots certainly from 17k up, and possibly from 14k up. You will not need or want them below 14k, since they are too warm for the temperatures encountered that low.

Gaiters are good for the lower parts of the mountain (helps keep the crampons and sides of your skis from catching, if nothing else). But gaiters will not provide sufficient additional warmth from 14k up, especially when you have to move on storm days (and you *will* have to move on at least a few storm days, in addition to the minimum 3 days that almost everyone spends sitting in the tent waiting out the storms - I have accumulated 2 weeks at 14k and 3 weeks at 17k sitting out storms of 50++ knot winds and -20F and lower temps on Denali).

Unless you are really expert on your skis, you probably will not take them above the 11k camp. Yes, people do ski down from the top, and down Rescue Gully, the Messner Couloir, and the Orient Express. But those couloirs are steep and of the "if you fall, you die" variety (they have big crevasses in them). So you are unlikely to be using your overboots on the skis. In any case, the Brooks Rangers make it hard to use anything with a wire toe bail, whether crampons or Silvrettas (or any other AT binding for that matter). If you insist on using overboots with your skis, you would be better off with Minus 40s. At the very least, try the combination before you leave for Talkeetna. I believe you will find the overboot/ski binding combination to be almost unusable, primarily because of the toe not mating properly (I know the Brooks Rangers will not work with my Fritschis and AT boots).

4:11 p.m. on February 26, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

Bill... open or closed cell foam insert?

Hi Bill,
Did you use the open cells or closed cells foam for your Brooks Ranger? Acutally I just want to see if the ankle straps of the Newmatics are long enough to go around the Brooks Ranger.

I had a pair of F12 articulate and the ankle straps were just too short for the BR overboots, I ended up selling the F12.

Thanks in advance.
Les :-)

4:26 p.m. on February 26, 2004 (EST)
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Oops, CM S12 articulate not F12. no message inside

no message

6:55 p.m. on February 26, 2004 (EST)
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closed cell foam insert

I figured that the open cell stood too high probability of getting wet from snow, perspiration, and all the other sources of moisture.

I got the longer straps for the G12s. I had to call Grivel's US office (SLC, IIRC). I think Charlet's straps are also too short for the Brooks Rangers. I trimmed the long straps down a little, leaving enough to get a good grip for cinching them down. I didn't want too much extra flopping around to trip on, but the BR are so big around over the boots that the short straps didn't leave enough to easily thread through the buckle and give it a tightening yank.

11:13 p.m. on February 26, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

Bill's gear list and TR

Hey Luke,
See Bill S's gear list at: http://home.pacbell.net/wstraka/index.html

1:19 a.m. on February 28, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

Quote:

The Brooks Rangers are good overboots. That's what I used on my last time on Denali. However, you will probably have a bit of a problem if you have step-in crampons. I ended up getting a pair of Grivels with the "Newmatic" binding (plastic frame over the toe instead of a wire bail). You will want the overboots certainly from 17k up, and possibly from 14k up. You will not need or want them below 14k, since they are too warm for the temperatures encountered that low.

Gaiters are good for the lower parts of the mountain (helps keep the crampons and sides of your skis from catching, if nothing else). But gaiters will not provide sufficient additional warmth from 14k up, especially when you have to move on storm days (and you *will* have to move on at least a few storm days, in addition to the minimum 3 days that almost everyone spends sitting in the tent waiting out the storms - I have accumulated 2 weeks at 14k and 3 weeks at 17k sitting out storms of 50++ knot winds and -20F and lower temps on Denali).

Unless you are really expert on your skis, you probably will not take them above the 11k camp. Yes, people do ski down from the top, and down Rescue Gully, the Messner Couloir, and the Orient Express. But those couloirs are steep and of the "if you fall, you die" variety (they have big crevasses in them). So you are unlikely to be using your overboots on the skis. In any case, the Brooks Rangers make it hard to use anything with a wire toe bail, whether crampons or Silvrettas (or any other AT binding for that matter). If you insist on using overboots with your skis, you would be better off with Minus 40s. At the very least, try the combination before you leave for Talkeetna. I believe you will find the overboot/ski binding combination to be almost unusable, primarily because of the toe not mating properly (I know the Brooks Rangers will not work with my Fritschis and AT boots).

Hi Bill,

Been lurking for a while again but as always, thanks for your valuable info. I have a pair of the BR's (tragically, the trip i was to use them on got cancelled)and though able to get them to work w/my Sabertooths, was curious about their compatibility with ski bindings.

BTW, it looks like you took BOTH gaiters and overboots - true? That seems like a heavy addition (gaiter)- overkill or just plain necessary?

Mm

11:22 a.m. on March 1, 2004 (EST)
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Quote:

Hi Bill,

Been lurking for a while again but as always, thanks for your valuable info. I have a pair of the BR's (tragically, the trip i was to use them on got cancelled)and though able to get them to work w/my Sabertooths, was curious about their compatibility with ski bindings.

I got the BR to work with my Sabertooths, but was not confident in their staying securely in place (I did some "ice" climbing up a tree in my back yard that I am trying to kill and could get them to pop loose from the toe bail despite a lot of modification). The toe piece on most ski bindings does not really have enough of a lip and does not go back far enough around the toe to give me a comfortable feeling. The Silvretta (older ones) uses a wire bail similar to step-in crampons, but you still have all the fabric and foam under the sole of the boot. At the least, that would interfere with the release feature.

Quote:

BTW, it looks like you took BOTH gaiters and overboots - true? That seems like a heavy addition (gaiter)- overkill or just plain necessary?

I consider it necessary. The gaiters provide protection from the crampons catching the lower part of your overpants (or those hot days when you are just climbing in your long johns), while not being too warm like overboots would be, or cutting your pants with your ski edges. My bibs have built-in gaiters, so the snow protection isn't so necessary. But the gaiters are not warm enough when you get high on Alaska Range mountains, even with thermofit liners in your boots. The added weight of having both really is not much, especially since you can cut weight elsewhere. On Denali, on the lower mountain, you are carrying a lot of stuff in your sled and double-carrying (which helps with the acclimatization), so the weight on any given carry is not so much. When you go above 14k, you leave a lot of lower mountain stuff in a cache, so you really do not have the weight of both for the whole time.

3:40 p.m. on March 29, 2004 (EST)
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BR's...glue 'em on...

Quote:

Any experience with "Brooks Ranger Overboots"? I wonder If walking with these overboots is possible in steep terrain and with crampons?!

Sure. Walking, climbing.

Quote:

Do they fit into (older) Silvretta Skibindings?

They will, but, more of a pain than with crampons.

One thing I did with mine...dial in the fit first by cuttin' the front and back insulation a tad so you can really "feel" the crampon (or ski binding) shelf locations. Then take some seam grip/aqua seal stuff, lay it on the locations where your crampon goes pretty thick, then put the crampons on and let the whole mess cure up. Then, tear off the crampons. You'll have these neat little memory shelves that makes is much much easier to put on crampons (or ski bindings).

With a proper fitting boot and the right sock combo, unless, as Bill pointed out you're skiing from the summit, you'll be ditchin' your ski's at 11K. You won't need the BR's if you're climbing in the standard climbing season up to that elevation. If you do, then bail, 'cause they won't be warm enough up higher.

Quote:

I have the Scarpa Alpha Boots and would like to combinate them with the Brooks Ranger Overboots. What do you think?

I think you should ditch the Alpha's for warmer boots. I think the Alpha was really designed to bridge the gap between leather and plastic for high end mixed and steep ice climbing. If you sized them for what they were designed for, then they shouldn't work for a Denali trip. Really.

Quote:

Are the X-Gaiters better??!

No. The X-gaiters really aren't that warm (I have a pair for x-country ski boots). I think the real benefit of the Brooks Rangers is that your whole foot is inside it, and its insulated on the bottom, where you are going to lose heat a fair bit.

Regular gaiters are overkill and extra weight. Get a pant with a cuff! Some bibs even have a grommet for a bungy cord to hold the pant leg down.

Brooks Rangers make the best camp booties!

Brian in SLC

August 29, 2014
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