Lots of folks around here say that alpine climbing in Rocky Mountain NP is some of the best training available for the greater ranges of the world. Some actually say that the greater ranges are some of the best training for climbing in Rocky. We get wind; we get cold. But we do have some classic mixed climbs requiring long approaches, snow, ice, and rock climbing. Full winter days in the Park require footwear that allows you to move quickly and comfortably. And stay warm. And climb well.
I picked up a pair of La Sportiva Trango Primes last winter and I must say, they’re fitting the bill so far. I’m looking forward to some more testing this season, as the snow falls and the ice forms.
When one browses the Sportiva website, one sees no less than five different Trango boot models. The Prime fits in at one end of the spectrum: warmest. With the most insulation, thickest midsole, an aggressive Vibram tread, and an integrated gaiter, this boot was made for winter alpine adventure.
The fit is true to the Trango last, maybe a bit roomier than the lighter weight models. I have used all types of crampon bindings on this boot with success. They also work well with my Silveretta ski bindings for approaches.
Climbing-wise, I have no complaints. The stiff midsole is solid on steep ice. The flexible ankle allows for mobility on the rock and mixed terrain, as well as comfortable flat footing on the less-than-vertical. When I compare the rock climbing performance to my red Trangos, I’d say they’re not quite as nimble or precise. This is definitely a boot geared towards climbing with crampons on.
If you’ve already been wondering when Alexander’s and the Smear are going to form; or you’re planning and training for a trip to the Alps next spring and you need new footwear, give this one a shot. It’s yet another well-crafted Italian mountain boot from La Sportiva.