with enough input maybe one day the perfect backcountry snowboard boot will be created,
fitwells are close, dynafits are close, deeluxe...not quite as close...
why cant these have a toe welt?
its true dynafits (or other hard boots) change your shred capabilities, but the point is moot since when you really need those boots you are riding carefully, when you want to bone it out or shred super pow just ride soft boots, its not hard to bootpack up a pow filled coulior in softies. no need for hard boots in these situations, the AT boots are for real mountaineering applications. i dont think we will ever see someone in the future riding true mountaineering lines in soft boots, at least not until there is a spantik version of fitwells!
lets see what jones does with higher. so far he has done the grand...which is not higher, it is lower.
i want to see someone shred denali lines, high altitude himalayas and karakorum's, and the andes.
Christoph bennells, FYI, Jones just knocked off a few pretty substantial objectives in AK this summer, one of them being Denali. I would assume the gear he used was Karakorams and either Fitzwells or Deluxe.
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 8:05 am Posts: 1506 Location: 395
"I dont think we will ever see someone in the future riding true mountaineering lines in soft boots, at least not until there is a spantik version of fitwells!"
Here's russman on the Edmond's headwall rockin' fitwells. Sunday, we're both going to try to climb the NFNWR on Adams in these.
And Jones just climbed and shredded the Orient Express in fitwells. These boots are the real deal. Once they get refined and lightened up I think you'll see less and less hard boots on true mountaineering lines.
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:10 am Posts: 1187 Location: Denver
Stoked to see the boot progression. But hardboots arent going anywhere as long as softboots lack the rearward flex and dynafit toe piece. No comparison for long skin approaches. If softies ever get that advanced I could see having a one boot quiver. Also, laces blow.
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am Posts: 1519 Location: Colorado
Christoph: I am a bit confused by some of your posts here? You are aware that substantial snowboard descents have been going down in the Andes, Himalaya, and high mountains of AK for a couple of decades now. These descents have been accomplished on a variety of different boot choices. See this article for one of the better descents done in the Andes, Cordillera Blanca, Artesonraju:
I see no reason why the Fitwells, properly fitted, and with overboots if going to 8K meters, could not be used for descents of the highest peaks in the world. The Fitwells would not be my choice, but they could work. In fact, if choosing a strap binding system, I would be more concerned by the straps and ratchet buckles than anything else, seeing how often they tend to break in cold conditions. I think I would want someone to develop a carbon fiber strap, and some custom built bail style buckles to avoid breakage. Note that the late Marco Siffredi broke a strap binding on his successful Everest descent. Note also, that descents of this nature are less likely to be done with splitboards; for really huge peaks, approaches are easily accomplished by walking over dry ground and hard snow/glacial ice, and a super light solid board is the best bet. So touring performance of the boots is not an issue, but climbing performance, warmth, and comfort would be.
There are two prime lines, for those interested in the highest, most beautiful, and most challenging descents in the world, which have not been skied or snowboarded: The Direct North Face of Mount Everest (Hornbein to Japanese couloirs), so far attempted by Stephen Koch, and Marco Siffredi (who disappeared during his attempt), among others, and the Lhotse Couloir on Everest's neighbor, Lhotse. In the Andes, it would be really cool to see someone attempt Yerupaja in the Cordillera Huayash.