Forums Splitboards Splitboard Mountaineering
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    1 Posts

    I also posted this at panhandle backcountry, but I wanted to get a wider opinion if possible.

    Hey all,

    So I was looking into purchasing a splitboard and binding setup with the intent of using them for flotation to technical climbing peaks with non technical (mellow) descents. I would like a setup that would be compatible with leather mountaineering boots such as the La Sportiva Trangos, Nepals or Batura 2.0, but still be able to ride mellow descents such as the Emmons on Rainier, Coleman on Baker, or Colchuck glacier in the Enchantments. I understand that by using a Mountaineering boot as opposed to a snowboard boat I am sacrificing performance in the riding department. My main priority is the ability to climb technical routes such as Ptarmigan Ridge on Rainier and Gerber Sink on Dragontail. I would be carrying over my board so weight is something to think about.

    I was curious about that types of bindings and setups have worked for you guys. Which strap bindings work best with mountaineering boots and what size board best suits this type of endeaver. I’m 5’7, 140 pounds and my pack usually weighs no more than 45 pounds for a net weight of 145-180

    443 Posts

    Would you be open to climbing in skimo boots like TLT6s? If not then would you climb in Fitwells?

    If you’re set on climbing boots you’ll run into challenges getting strap bindings to fit just right since the boots that you listed are much lower volume than most snowboard boots but that shouldn’t deter you.

    For lightweight strap choices you have Karakoram Bindings which are local to your climbing. They have a new interface this year called the Prime interface which requires more maintenance than voile pucks but is stiffer. The other option to consider is the newer Spark bindings without pins.

    As for the boards, if you can keep yourself very restrained in your riding it sounds like the Jones Ultracraft might be a good board for your objectives. Be warned that it is a very purpose specific lightweight board that trades durability for weight. I don’t think I could get away with riding one with my weight (200#) and riding style.

    1114 Posts

    Those boots will be terrible for riding, especially for the long “mellow” descents you describe. I would echo Jason and say you need to change your boots too. Fitwells, Spantiks or TLT6 is what you want. The main problem is not enough calf/ankle support. Your legs and feet will hate you by the time you get down.

    46 Posts

    I have to echo what was stated previously, single boots and soft boot bindings are a very poor combination riding. The trangos and nepals will not fit well in any binding, their volume is far to low and the sole is much to narrow compared to a snowboard boot. You would have a TON of side to side rotation. I have not looked at a batura, but I think they are still too low volume externally. I have heard people say that spantiks can be made to work.

    Realize that your highbacks will extend up above the boot and press directly on your calf. It’s going to make for one uncomfortable ride without some work, putting a thicker layer of foam on the top of the highback could help. I would run a highback with a bit more flex to soften the bite if I was going that route. Also the mountaineering boot will give you no forward support. It’s basically quite similar to when no one made a snowboard boot for kids yet and I was stuck riding in felt lined sorels. That sucked. I like *some* support, especially if I have an overnight pack on.

    The coleman and colchuck are both quite mellow, you could easily make the descent with the sub optimal ride of a mountain boot. The Emmons is a different story though. While the pitch really isn’t steep the snow conditions are rarely ideal. You might get some powder at the top, but more likely you’re going to hit sastrugi and ice at least at some point of the descent. I want something that rides well and is confidence inspiring in that situation.

    For routes that are ice like lib ridge and north ridge of baker fitwells would work well if you want to stick to a soft boot. With the upper cuff loose TLT6s actually do give an ok range of motion for your ankles and would be nicer when it comes to travel on rock like ptarmigan or triple couloirs. For gerber sink remember that you have a good chance of ending up on technical rock or thin ice over rock. I would want more free range of movement for my personally. I’d tour to the lake, ditch the planks there and put on boots, then just glissade colchuck to descend. I wouldn’t want planks on my back climbing that anyway.

    1490 Posts

    Best option:

    TLT5/6 boots, with Phantom Bindings: this system gives the lightest possible weight, with both excellent riding performance (no compromise) and excellent climbing performance. Note the that TLT5/6 boots are the standard for lightweight ski mountaineering the world over. You will also have more efficient skinning performance with this set up than is possible with any soft boot binding (less weight on the feet and longer stride possible with the TLT boot which has rearward flex in the cuff).

    Second best option: Fitwell boots with Karakoram Prime bindings. The Fitwells will climb better than any standard soft boot, almost as well as a dedicated mountaineering boot (but they will be not quite as good, with the lack of rearward flex), and they take crampons well. this system is significantly heavier than the above, but it will get the job done.

    Third best option: the right mountaineering boot (some people have had success with the La Sportive Spantik) and a Karakoram Prime binding. Trying to find a mountaineering boot which will snowboard well is a challenge, most mountaineering boots do not fit very well into snowboard bindings. Any boot you choose is going to have riding compromises versus the above choices. I would highly recommend a double boot for any routes which are overnight, keeping single boots dry and warm is impossible-standard practice in cold conditions is to sleep with boot liners in your bag to dry them overnight.

    The reason I recommend the Karakoram bindings is that they do not use the plastic Voile pucks, i have broken Voile pucks, and I do not feel they are reliable enough to be used in the high mountains, I prefer a strong metal interface system for piece of mind: That means Phantom Bindings for hard boots, or Karakoram Primes for soft boots.

    291 Posts

    @barrows, Why not Prowder for metal pucks?

    1490 Posts

    stuka: I have no experience with Prowder, and have not seen much feedback on them yet either. Until the are proven in use to be reliable I would not recommend them. In other words, the jury is out so far…

    225 Posts

    The Spatniks, while a bit overkill for the climbing (support and temperature wise), will at least climb ice & rock well. I prefer switching out the stock liner with a snowboard soft boot liner, as the stock liner is low and can cause some of the same problems that NickDrake describes for single boots. Otherwise, the forward flex is adequate and the ride is great.
    This guy mentions sizing up his TLT6’s for his high altitude objectives. Sounds like a good recommendation. The one complaint I have about mine so far is that even punched out and unbuckled, they are small for the sizing, constricting my foot and causing me to get cold easily. Hard to imagine using them in really cold temps.
    I hear they climb ice and rock well though. Haven’t tried myself yet.

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