Scarpa Mont Blanc climbing boots $899
Used by: Features writer Hazel ‘climbing grom’ Phillips
Used for: One winter
There is a time in every baby mountaineer’s life when they realise their robust tramping boots and strap-on crampons are no longer cutting it. When that time came for me, I took a punt on a pair of Scarpa Mont Blanc mountaineering boots.
After attempting to break them in by wearing them to work with a pair of tights and a skirt, and on weekly shopping trips around Pak ‘n’ Save, Palmerston North (which is about the best fashion statement that supermarket has ever seen), I got real and took them into the field.
I’ve now had them for a winter season. They’ve done duty on light climbs to the summit of Mt Ruapehu, some front-pointing exploits and some pretend ice climbing.
So far, so good. They’re an easy boot to break in – the flexible cuff helps – and I’m saying that in light of the full shank, which gives torsional stability and means they can be worn with step-in, automatic or semi-automatic crampons.
The cuff has an integrated mini-gaiter that keeps snow and debris out, but I still wear my proper gaiters.
The boots are excellent for snow, ice and mixed alpine and keep feet warm and dry all day long. And while the boot is fully stable, I can still feel what’s going on underfoot.
Verdict: Top choice for a starter mountaineering boot or a quiet walk around your local supermarket.