User Review: Montrail Men's I.C.E. 9
Materials: leather, synthetic
Use: snowshoeing, mountaineering
Break-in Period: not required
Weight: 1.6 kg, size 9
Price Paid: $160
Bought these boots new off eBay, along with the ICE 9 crampons and gaiters. Of course the crampons fell off and when I complained to some climbing friends, I was informed of Montrail's recall. Kudos to Montrail, they were very helpful about getting me new Grivel Classics, which I can use on any type of boot (even trail runners). The gaiters are an odd fit and must really be pulled hard to close on top.
Now to the boots...they are great! Very light, great fit and quite warm for anything I've used them for, including glacier travel and snowshoeing at -20C. Yes, the metal studs on the soles used for Montrail's (recalled) crampon system slide on rock so they are coming off soon. I'm sure my opinion would be different if I'd paid full retail - then I'd be looking at La Sportiva.
Update: May 25, 2008
Since writing my last review in January of 2007, I've taken these boots to the summit of Aconcagua with a pair of OR insulated gaiters for added warmth. The boots were fantastic! As these were by far the lightest in our group, I really enjoyed the descent as well, being more nimble on mixed terrain than big and clunky double boots.
As with all gear, I've had to make a few mods: the steel clips for Montrail's failed integrated crampon system were cut off. Also, their integrated gaiters that clip on the boots remain unused because they are too snug to bother fighting with on the trail. Seems that a great boot was cursed by a bunch of marketing gimmicks!