June 7, 2012
Every year “the boot question” comes up and every year we break the hearts of people who haven’t read the boot FAQ section when they show up here in May/June to climb Mt. Rainier in their shiny, brand new, ‘single boots’ and we tell them they can’t wear them. So, in the spirit of the new Rainier season and the low freezing levels this week we’ll revisit the most frequently asked question:
Here is IMG’s thinking:
For a first time climb of Mt. Rainier, you want to be as well prepared as possible. That means warm, waterproof boots. Double plastic boots provide the best possible warmth for your feet, they are completely waterproof, and they don’t constrict your toes or ankles when worn with crampons attached. First time climbers will do well to choose double plastic boots, and IMG makes this simple by offering them for rent. We also strongly recommend double plastic boots in early summer (May and June) for all participants and we REQUIRE them on winter programs.
There are some very warm, insulated, waterproof synthetic or leather single climbing boots on the market these days. If you own a pair of single climbing boots (generally less than ten years old) and have used them successfully in cold weather environments previously, then single boots will probably work for you on Mt. Rainier.
There are a number of manufacturers who make very good climbing boots these days.
Here are some of the requirements your boots must possess:
- Must be fully rigid or ¾ rigid shank soled.
- Must be factory treated waterproof leather or synthetic waterproof
- Must have synthetic insulation
- Must be crampon compatible