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Switch from Walk to Climb with Salewa Pro Gaiter Boot

8:22 p.m. on August 7, 2011 (EDT)
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This thread is for comments on the article "Switch from Walk to Climb with Salewa Pro Gaiter Boot"

Just as you switch your AT ski boots from walk to ski mode, Salewa's PRO Gaiter allows you to switch your mountaineering boots from walk to climb mode.

Full article at http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2011/08/07/salewa-pro-gaiter.html

9:45 p.m. on August 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Although I don't fall into the "expert mountaineer" category, I can appreciate the unique engineering in this boot.

Very, very clever.

                                                  ~r2~

10:07 p.m. on August 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Am I also to understand that this boot has no membrane?! I don't see a gore-tex tag anywhere, and I think they would have mentioned in the article...

If I am correct, that is simply amazing. It is good to see that the developers of this product understand it, and its use, from a functional perspective.

I bet the Schoeller fabric they use is very water resistant though, and I'm sure it breathes much better than any waterproof/breathable membrane...

10:51 p.m. on August 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Hmmm m, winter boot with no goretex? I can see the debate sparking allready:-) In any case ai'skeptical aboit it. Is it waterproof or not? I know I'd rather have 100% waterproofness.

3:50 a.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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My concern regards the potential of the adjusting mechanism to get fouled with ice and crud.  I have to take care the locking cams on my adjustable ski poles don’t freeze solid, thus my concern with the exposure to ice and crud that this device must contend with.  I am also concerned with the durability of the rivet joints used in this design.  An application that flexes along the axis of a rivet, as this design appears to, is prone to work hardening the rivet heads, and cause failure.  An interesting concept nevertheless, perhaps real sweet with additional refinements.

Ed

9:32 a.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:


I bet the Schoeller fabric they use is very water resistant though, and I'm sure it breathes much better than any waterproof/breathable membrane...

 

The Schoeller "Dry-Skin" hiking pants I have are 'bomber', and work incredibly well for water resistance, and yet, highly breathable.

If the fabric in these boots is anything like that, I'd give it  a '2-thumbs up'.

                                                 ~r2~

12:33 p.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Thats always the debate: do you want a rigid climbing boot or something more flexible you can wear on the approach, or something in between? I wonder who the mountain guides were who helped them design them. 

I'm not usually an early-adopter of technology but I hope they are successful.

 

7:51 p.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Yes, the Salewa Pro Gaiter is waterproof. Sorry for the confusion.

The Pro Gaiter's upper is made of Schoeller and Superfabric with a 360° full rubber rand and an internal waterproof-breathable membrane.

There's also a Salewa Pro Guide mountaineering boot, also with the walk-climb mode mechanism, that uses Gore-tex Insulated Comfort ($499).

I'll add that info to the original article and ask for more details on the Pro Gaiter's membrane.

Thanks.

8:10 a.m. on August 9, 2011 (EDT)
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FromSagetoSnow said:

I'm not usually an early-adopter of technology but I hope they are successful.

 I'm with you on that.

Applies to a lot of things.   Goes back to the prevailing wisdom of NOT buying a new model automobile when it first comes out.    Invariably, there are "issues".  

                                                         

                                                          ~r2~

4:25 p.m. on August 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Here's some additional info straight from Salewa on the questions above:

On the membrane:

Tthe waterproof membrane is a thin internal breathable proprietary product specially designed for the Pro Gaiter.

On potential icing:

The climb/walk mechanism has no small or moving parts. The tri-cam technology in the internal system will easily be moved once the key or coin is inserted into the slot. One tester has used cooking spray to cut down on ice buildup.

And:

On icing issues, it has been an invariable problem with any product (crampons, ski bindings, trekking poles, ice axes, carabiners, belay devices, etc.) that they might ice up in the Alpine. As mountaineers, we have been dealing with this for years. I would be lying if I said that this couldn’t happen, it could. But the internal mechanics of the spring steel would be unaffected by this. It is also why our designers decided to go with more than just the allen key adjustment and added the groove for a multi-tool/swiss army knife to gain a leverage advantage if it becomes iced.

I hope that's helpful for everyone.

6:21 p.m. on August 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Hmmm... sure wish I could try a pair. They'll be a contender when the time comes to retire my current boots. Alicia do you know wich climber tested them? I'm wondering about long term use on a guy my size and weight.

7:19 p.m. on August 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey Louis-Alexis, this is one of the climbers who extensively tested them for Salewa:

http://rogerschaeli.ch/home.html

Google translation in English here:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.rogerschaeli.ch/

12:15 a.m. on August 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Alicia said:

Here's some additional info straight from Salewa on the questions above:

..On icing issues, it has been an invariable problem with any product (crampons, ski bindings, trekking poles, ice axes, carabiners, belay devices, etc.) that they might ice up in the Alpine. As mountaineers, we have been dealing with this for years. I would be lying if I said that this couldn’t happen, it could. But the internal mechanics of the spring steel would be unaffected by this. It is also why our designers decided to go with more than just the allen key adjustment and added the groove for a multi-tool/swiss army knife to gain a leverage advantage if it becomes iced...

Sounds pretty much like they acknowledge icing is a problem.  Unlike crampons and belay devices an iced up cam on a boot is not accessible for cleaning, and unless they made the tooling as bomber as a ski binding, the slot that receives the allen key is likely to strip in due time.  Perhaps they should consider Teflon or delrin cladding on the parts of the cam most susceptible to freeze up.

Ed

2:25 p.m. on August 10, 2011 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

Sounds pretty much like they acknowledge icing is a problem.  Unlike crampons and belay devices an iced up cam on a boot is not accessible for cleaning, and unless they made the tooling as bomber as a ski binding, the slot that receives the allen key is likely to strip in due time.  Perhaps they should consider Teflon or delrin cladding on the parts of the cam most susceptible to freeze up.

Ed

I think Salewa is very confident in the product and how it will (and already has) fared in alpine environments.

I give them points for admitting that no gear is impervious (instead of some standard glossy PR pitch), but that they expect theirs to succeed and don't expect icing to be an issue.

I find it refreshing when companies answer the nuts and bolts questions about their products.

Salewa says:

The internal “cam” will not be affected by icing as it is inside the boot. The Lock/Unlock mechanism is easily accessible as it is on the outside of the boot. If icing occurs, it would be relatively easy to see and clear. 

Icing is a problem with any metal product intended for use in the Alpine…from any manufacturer. In the “perfect storm” conditions of humidity/moisture content of snow/freeze-thaw, any metal product will face issues with this. The Alpine is a wild place and those who challenge themselves there understand the challenges. For us to say any different would be dishonest.

But, having said that, we have taken as many precautions as possible to limit the aforementioned issue. It did not prove to be an issue with numerous athletes/guides who have tested the boot extensively for us for the last two years…so we are comfortable with the functionality of the boot.

As with all gear, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." Or rather, the proof of the gear is in the using.

3:21 p.m. on August 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Alicia said:

 For us to say any different would be dishonest.

 

@Alicia- I really appreciate Salewa's response to these matters as well. Honesty is a great thing and something that is sometimes overlooked when companies are trying to promote a "new" product. 

This is not an occurrence that is just in the or gear industry, I am referring towards promotion/sales as a whole.

12:35 a.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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True that, salewa's response is a cool one. I like that kind of approach towards problem solving. Thanks for the link Alicia I looked it up. Again looks promising as hell. I sure I can find a pair in Canada. If not a little trip south might be ahead.

1:19 p.m. on August 11, 2011 (EDT)
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You're all welcome.

Now, if any of you get the chance to try this product out, we'll want a full report back on how it performed.

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