The spring months, from April to June, are without doubt the best time to go on alpine expeditions
. Thus the time has come to prepare our rucksack, adding everything that we need to make the experience as desirable as planned. An abundant dose of spirit of adventure
is the most important ingredient for an unforgettable experience, but the success of the expedition lies in the correct physical preparation and equipment.
What equipment mustn’t be forgotten
First of all it’s important to make a disclaimer: the equipment needed will depend on the final goal
. The needs of someone tackling a 8000mt climb are different from those of someone who aims to reach a 3000-4000mt summit. However there is some advice that can be given to all.
Technical equipment. Crampons, ice axes, harnesses, carabiners, ropes, protective helmet, sunglasses, trekking poles, backpack, sleeping bag, headlamps: basically “the tools of the trade” that are fundamental for the expedition you’re about to face. Often these can be rented upon arrival at the starting point.
- Sanitary kit: Personal hygiene is important even at high altitudes, so it’s a good idea to take wet wipes, talcum powder, dry soap and a technical towel. For the nights in the tent, we also recommend taking a container to urinate in, in case leaving the tent isn’t an option.
- Emergency kit: Never forget to pack everything you’ll need for first aid and to bring a thermal blanket in case you have to face difficult situations.
- Nylon Sacks: An important tool for keeping clothes and equipment dry in case of rain, but also useful for carrying any litter.
- Food: Even if it’s often the case that “sherpa” cooks are made available by local agencies, it’s still a good idea to bring food from home as it’s not always easy to find. It’s advisable to take dehydrated or tinned food, as they have the longest conservation time.
- Clothing: In the high mountains, where the climate and the temperature can change suddenly, the most important rule is to dress in layers. It is recommended to use technical fabrics and adequate underwear (that dries quickly) in order to allow moisture to leave the body for the base layer. The intermediate layer must provide heat and it is therefore preferable to opt for fleece, thermal fabrics or woolen clothing. For the outer layer, wear clothing that is resistant to abrasion, windproof and waterproof. This layer must be breathable but also be able to help you maintain body heat. As for trousers it is important to have more alternatives. A light pair for walking in medium and low altitudes and a heavy pair for high altitude and for evenings in base camps.
- Gloves: you can find thin or thick gloves. It is recommended to have a couple of thick ones and a couple of thinner ones, to be used in combination if necessary over one another.
- Cap: Cap with peak or balaclava: essential accessories to cover face and ears from UV rays and protect yourself from the cold wind.
- Shoes: The shoes are the most important element to comfortably face a high altitude mountaineering expedition. It is advisable to use very reliable and appropriately tested shoes. It is important to have more than one pair of them: hiking boots or approach shoes for the lower levels and mountaineering boots for the more technical routes.
Lightness, waterproofness and grip on the ground are essential characteristics for mountaineering boots
Choosing suitable footwear is therefore without a doubt the most delicate phase of the preparation of an alpine expedition. Several models are available on the market today.
As a company with almost 90 years of experience in the production of high quality boots, 100% made in Italy, we are proud to offer a wide range of mountaineering boots that can meet the needs of mountaineers depending on the use they intend to make of them.
What makes our models different are the details, but in general all high-altitude boots are born from a careful study of the needs of mountaineers and have been developed with great respect for the craftsmanship of the work.
Lightness, water repellency, impermeability, breathability and adherence to the ground are just some of the characteristics of this category.
The best mountaineering boots at high altitude
Zamberlan offers a range of technical, waterproof and thermal boots to tackle different very demanding altitudes.
- The 8000 EVEREST EVO RR is the most technical model, developed for extreme expeditions on the highest peaks in the world, and is certified by the CIMAC institute (Italian center of footwear application materials) for temperatures up to -30 ° C (in static conditions), while during physical activity it can go down to -60 ° C. Moreover the removable inner boot and the innovative carbon fiber insole with internal honeycomb design ensure excellent thermal insulation. These mountaineering boots, thanks to the Vibram® Penia sole, also ensure excellent traction, while the double-density PU wedge is a guarantee of cushioning and support associated with maximum lightness. Compatible with automatic crampons.
- The 6000 KARKA EVO RR, on the other hand, is the ideal solution for expeditions of up to 6000 meters and allows to maintain an excellent thermal insulation and a constant internal temperature, thanks to the removable inner shoe with Velcro closure. They boast a compact design, an extremely durable shell with Superfabric® and Microfiber inserts, a technical lacing system and a rear joint that helps the roll: essential characteristics for high mountain experts. Also these mountaineering boots have a carbon fiber insole, Vibram® Penia sole and double-density PU wedge and are also compatible with automatic crampons.
- For exceptional sensitivity combined with thermal insulation, the 4000 EIGER EVO GTX RR boots are the best choice for mountaineering and even ice climbing. This model is certified by the CIMAC institute up to -20 ° C in a static environment, while on the move it is possible to deal with stiffer temperatures down to -30 ° C. These are high-mountain boots that keep your feet dry in all weather conditions thanks to the dual GORE-TEX® technology (Insulated and Performance Comfort). The 4000 EIGER EVO GTX boots are equipped with a YKK gaiter and zip which is an additional barrier against water and snow. Compatible with automatic crampons.
The best boots for medium level mountaineering
When we are talking about winter alpinism at lower altitudes, ice climbing and varied terrain between rock and ice we suggest boots made specifically for this type of activity.
- One of the models is 2090 MOUNTAIN PRO EVO GTX RR, ideal boots for winter mountaineering, high performing, versatile and resistant.
Their Perwanger® leather upper, together with the GORE-TEX Insulated Comfort lining, prevent water and snow from penetrating and guarantee at the same time protection from the cold and excellent breathability to the foot. They are compatible with automatic crampons and ensure stability, cushioning and traction on the ground thanks to the double-density PU wedge and the Vibram® Penia sole. We have also designed a version of this model for women: the 2090 MOUNTAIN PRO EVO GTX RR WNS developed to meet the specific needs of a woman's fit.
- A valid alternative, with some slight differences and some simplifications, are the 4042 EXPERT PRO GTX RR. Also designed for winter mountaineering, these high-mountain boots have a triple density wedge that provides great stability and under-team heel for easier downhill braking. The upper part is made of a single piece of Perwanger® leather and is equipped with a rubber band that acts as a shield against scratches and tears. These mountaineering boots are compatible with automatic crampons.
The best boots for light mountaineering and via ferrata
To meet the needs of those who are dedicated to light and less demanding mountaineering, we recommend semi-crampon shoes, light and performing, which you can rely on.
Among these, one of the best solutions is the 2040 DUFUR, of which there are two variants:
- the 2040 DUFUR GTX RR, consisting of an upper in Microfibra® and Cordura®, for lovers of synthetic materials.
- the 2040 DUFUR EVO GTX RR, which boasts an upper in Perwanger® leather and Cordura® for those who want a greater presence of leather on their boots.
The upper, in both variants, has been specifically designed to ensure a high resistance to abrasion, and to keep the foot dry and allow excellent breathability they have been made with a GORE-TEX Perfomance Comfort membrane. This model also has a protective band all around the shoe to act as a shield against scratches and lacerations that can be caused by crampons or rocks. Finally, the Vibram® Mulaz EVO sole features a dual density wedge: a denser gray layer combined with softer orange areas to provide perfect cushioning and torsion control. This special sole makes these mountaineering boots suitable also for via ferratas and rocks, thanks to the "climbing zone", a support area built in toe and on the heel to ensure adherence on smaller rock notches. There is also a female version: the 2060 CERVINO GTX RR WNS
: mountaineering boots for women, designed specifically to meet the needs of a passionate mountaineer who wants the most out of their equipment.