Sheep Boots

Appalaskan

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Nov 26, 2019
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In mid-August here in AK I'd expect to get snowed on and have low temps at or around freezing at or above 3500'. That time of year, the snow seems to come and go and daytime highs can swing pretty wildly from downright hot to pretty chilly. I have never needed nor wanted an insulated boot on an August sheep hunt. Walking in snow is less of an issue than prolonged exposure to sub-freezing temps. Even "uninsulated" boots do have insulating properties and synthetics, in my opinion, are warmer than most uninsulated leather boots. They dry out more quickly as well.

We are each different with regard to cold tolerance, circulation, and preference as well. If you absolutely can't stand chilly toes even for short periods of time, take warmer boots. I do get cold toes when sitting for longer periods of time in my sheep boots of choice, but then again I usually don't wind up sitting for long periods of time while sheep hunting.

For me late season goat hunts (Oct-Nov) are typically going to involve extensive travel in snow, crampon use, and temps at or well below freezing. I use La Sportiva Nepal Extremes down to about 15F, and then switch to La Sportiva Spanktiks for temps colder than that. As you might imagine, these boots get progressively heavier and more cumbersome as additional insulation is needed. I prefer to use the lightest boot that I can reasonably get away with based on conditions, and I usually err on the side of running a little colder as compared to sweating a bunch.
What crampons do you run? Thanks.
 

Appalaskan

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I know you weren’t talking to me but I have 3 different pairs I rotate through, I have some grivel g10s, some aluminum grivel lightweights and a pair of camp Slc ultralights.
What applications did you use those different models? I picked up a pair of Grivel Ran Tractions for land management work, but have yet to use them. They’re more aggressive than say Kahtoola Microspikes, but not a full crampon. Having not used crampons, I’m just learning about how the different types function. Seems like I saw on another post that you used to be more into mountaineering. Where’d you pick up your initial lessons on glacier travel, etc? I’d like to learn, but seems like something where some instruction is necessary before going alone.
 
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spfarr

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Sep 1, 2017
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fwiw, I used Kenetrek Mtn Extreme 400s for several years, including one Dall sheep hunt in Brooks Range, and several desert bighorn surveys, plus mule deer and elk hunts. rough on my heels, for me personally. my feet are relatively flat and wide, and my heels are average width.
I got a much better fit with Cabelas/Alaskan Meindl.
As with BRWNBR, they required virtually no break-in time. Big contrast there with my Kenetreks, which got lots of miles and still weren't a good fit for my feet.
I've used the Meindls on one Dall sheep hunt in the Brooks range, plus bighorn survey, plus backpacking hunts. a good fit for my feet, and relatively light and comfortable and not overly stiff for long approaches on trails or mild terrain.
I've also puts in lots of alpine miles using La Sportiva Nepals - both the insulated and uninsulated models. However, because they are climbing boots, they have a stiff midsole for use with crampons, and that generally translates to less comfort when walking on flat/mild slopes.
Per Shepherd's suggestion above, i'd recommend buying several types and try them at home (without ever wearing them outside so you can return them).
my suggestion for trying the boots (and also for sheep hunt training) is to get an aerobic "step" (at Big 5 sporting goods), put a full pack on, and then step up and down while watching TV, including stepping onto the step sideways, to simulate sidehilling.
when training for a sheep hunt, i've proceeded with the mindset that if i have any time to watch tv, then i have time to train. fwiw, using that stepper with steadily increasing pack weights and stepping times, it's been relatively easy in my experience to get in the appropriate time and type of training, including for the (hopeful) packout of an animal. GLWYS.
 

thinhorn_AK

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What applications did you use those different models? I picked up a pair of Grivel Ran Tractions for land management work, but have yet to use them. They’re more aggressive than say Kahtoola Microspikes, but not a full crampon. Having not used crampons, I’m just learning about how the different types function. Seems like I saw on another post that you used to be more into mountaineering. Where’d you pick up your initial lessons on glacier travel, etc? I’d like to learn, but seems like something where some instruction is necessary before going alone.

I got some fairly extensive mountaineering training a bit later on but initially I read books and practiced at a ski hill that was closed, that was like 20+ years ago, during that time I just went out and climbed peaks in the winter and practiced sell arrests on ski slopes. Later I took some mountaineering courses and didn’t really need any improvements. As far as just general crampon/axe stuff goes watch YouTube and practice on a ski slope. If you were going to climb Denali or Everest and crevasses and avalanches were an issue, I’d say get some formal training but kicking steps and self arresting is easy.

I’m generally fairly self taught though, not everybody is though.
 

Appalaskan

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Nov 26, 2019
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I got some fairly extensive mountaineering training a bit later on but initially I read books and practiced at a ski hill that was closed, that was like 20+ years ago, during that time I just went out and climbed peaks in the winter and practiced sell arrests on ski slopes. Later I took some mountaineering courses and didn’t really need any improvements. As far as just general crampon/axe stuff goes watch YouTube and practice on a ski slope. If you were going to climb Denali or Everest and crevasses and avalanches were an issue, I’d say get some formal training but kicking steps and self arresting is easy.

I’m generally fairly self taught though, not everybody is though.
The climbing part seems doable on my own. I think because I haven’t done any serious glacier traverses, that’s where my lack of experience makes me wonder about how to safely do it, hazards, etc.
 

thinhorn_AK

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The climbing part seems doable on my own. I think because I haven’t done any serious glacier traverses, that’s where my lack of experience makes me wonder about how to safely do it, hazards, etc.
Its been years since I've taken a course so you might just search for mountaineering schools or glacier travel courses. Depending on where you live, there could be a program nearby.
 

ColeyG

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Oct 25, 2017
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107
What crampons do you run? Thanks.
I have a handful of pairs, but the ones I use for lightweight backpacking mission are the Camp XLC aluminum crampons and I like them fairly well. Most of the aluminum crampons out there are about the same with regard to fit and function. Watch out for rocks as they aren't terribly durable.
 
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