User Review: Montrail I.C.E. 9
Price Paid: Pro Deal
I recently returned from a trip to Ecuador and used the ICE 9s on a summit attempt of Cotopaxi. The first time I used them on the mountain I could not believe how cold my toes were. Only after returning to the climber's hut did I realize that perhaps I had laced too tightly. On the actual summit attempt, the boots held up amazingly well. I agree with the reviewer who suggested a legnthy set up time for crampons. I took my time in the months before the trip tinkering with my adjustments, and had no problems on the mountain.
Overall, the boots run true to size and are surprisingly comfortable out of the box. I thought I would have to go on a few hikes to break them in, but after just one trip to a local trail my fears were put to rest. Looking back on the trip, I probably could have used the ICE 9s as approach footwear on some of the acclimitizing climbs before Cotopaxi. The boots do work a lot like a heavy duty hiker when not fitted with the crampons.
The only reason this is not a 5 star review is that you will need to use something besides your hands to get the crampons off on the mountain. I used my ice axe to pry the back away from the boot. Otherwise, when properly adjusted, you'll probably have trouble getting them off wearing gloves, full gear, and winter clothing.
Big credit to Montrail customer service too--I ordered a few extra parts for the crampons and they were very helpful in answering questions and getting the parts to me in a short amount of time.