Fitting Ski Boots For Denali — Today, ZZero


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

We’re using a mix of boot brands for our Wildsnow Denali ski expedition this spring. What is more, we’re not hesitating to mix different types of thermo liners with different shells. Dynafit, Scarpa, Garmont and perhaps more are all in play. Different feet, different boot shapes; intended result will be good fit for everyone.

This is serious stuff, as boots that work perfectly are essential for a successful trip. For myself, I’m playing around with fitting a pair of Dynafit ZZero for the climb, and I hope, ski descent.

I like the Dynafit ZZero’s combo of lighter weight and ski performance, they fit my feet quite well out of the box, and the tongue style shell makes it easy to get them on and off in awkward situations. But they’re a bit small in the toe area for me, so dealing with toe volume is the crux in getting my best fit.

Selection of ZZero for Denali

Selection of Dynafit ZZero backcountry skiing boots for choosing a Denali fit, socks will be a Gator neoprene VBL over a thin Smartwool ski sock.

Goal is enough volume in the forefoot to allow full expansion of a foam thermo liner so it’s as warm as possible, along with room for my thin Gator neoprene VBL socks and a thin Smartwool sock next to the skin. Along with that, I’ll mold in a pocket for a chemical foot warmer and bring a few dozen of those on the trip in case conditions get truly ridiculous.

None of the guys on the trip have any particular problem with cold feet, so the above fitting techniques should keep us all safe and relaxed in whatever model boots we choose.

Problem with this sort of fitting is that a boot size with a large enough toe box for warmth and insulation may fit your mid-foot and ankle like you’re wearing a bucket of bird feathers. Feathers are warm, but as a boot liner they could make for tough skiing.

With ZZero, I’ve gotten my best fit for average backcountry skiing (owned two pair now) by actually downsizing from my usual 28 shell to the next smaller size (length 306 mm). I then punch the toe fairly aggressively, and mold the liner with care not to create too much volume (bare foot, don’t overheat).The resulting fit is heavenly, and having a shorter boot provides a noticeable improvement in comfort while dirt walking, and a bit nicer stride on the planks. But they’re cold due to the compressed and thin liner.

So, for experimentation with boot fit I got a pair of 28 shells (length 316) and a pair of 29 shells (length 326 mm).

The 29s indeed have the perfect fit in the toe. But they have so much volume everywhere else it would take me weeks to fit them, if ever, as I’d end up with so much foam in there they’d still feel like that bucket of feathers. They’re also so long they feel like footwear for a guy dressing up as Frankenstein (note to self, next Halloween?).

So the 28s it is, with another toe punch for safe volume at 20,000 feet. BUT, it appears that even before punching, a bit of room exists in front of the toe of the 28 liner in the 28 shell. Hmmm, might a 29 liner result in a bit more toe room for my feets? This appears to be the case, so I’ll mold a Dynafit 29 liner in there, as well as a Scarpa Universal overlap liner. I’ll test these combos this winter during some nice cold winter camping trips in December and January. A final decision will be made after that, and like I mentioned above, we have other models/brands of boots to choose from if I can’t make the ZZeros function. But I’m optimistic.

A few more details about other boot choices within our team: Scarpa will indeed be well represented, as their lasts have excellent vertical toe volume (up/down room in the toe area), and a boot board that could be replaced with a highly insulated option if necessary. Also, Scarpa is providing us with their Intuition Universal liner so we’ve got that option of stock liners don’t seem to totally fit the bill. Garmont is also a possibility, as the Radium tends to fit long anyway, thus allowing extra insulation in the toe area (though Radium is an overlap construction boot and thus possibly more difficult to get on and off). Some guys might pick other overlap type boots such as Black Diamond’s, though despite some of the comments here we’re of the opinion that the ease of entry with a tongue boot such as Dynafit ZZero or Scarpa Skookum would be super helpful if conditions get extreme.

The glitch in all this is the fourth law of mountaineering, which states: “The more more prepared your are, the less likely the weather will get intense.” Is there a way to fool the cosmos into thinking we’re super prepared, and still cut some corners in secret? Probably not, as Denali sees all — especially what you’ve got on your feet.

Comments

58 Responses to “Fitting Ski Boots For Denali — Today, ZZero”

  1. Mark November 25th, 2009 10:24 am

    Good luck with the boot testing. I’m skiing my new Zzeros and will send any applicable thoughts or suggestions your way.

  2. Lee November 25th, 2009 10:37 am

    Boots maketh the man…but they can also result in toe amputation.
    Personally a difficult ski down Denali and the rest of my life skiing, beats a great ski down Denali and no more skiing ever again…go for toe room!

  3. Lee November 25th, 2009 10:38 am

    8 attempts to get reCAPTCHA to work!!

  4. Tuck November 25th, 2009 10:42 am

    How do you “punch the toe”?

  5. steveo November 25th, 2009 10:44 am

    Forgive me if you have have detailed this in older posts.

    Do you normally mold a liner to accomodate an insole? I have heard of poeple molding Intuition liners without any insole, but I feel that this may compromise performance.

  6. Lou November 25th, 2009 10:44 am

    Yeah, toe room it will be!

    And Lee, yeah, I’m not sure the CAPTCHA is the way to go. Sorry is was a problem.

    But I’ve been getting spam attacked since I got rid of the math problem spambot blocker (which worked incredibly well at blocking spam, but didn’t function for some folks on Apple computers.) So I’ve been experimenting with a bunch of stuff, including the CAPTCHA. Amazing how much work goes into a blog like this behind the scene.

  7. Lou November 25th, 2009 10:47 am

    Tuck, boot fitters have a press that’s placed inside the boot. The boot area to be “punched” is then heated with a blower heat “gun.” The plastic becomes soft, and the press enlarges the boot in the selected area. It’s a tricky process.

    Steveo, yeah, we always mold the liners with the person’s footbed of choice.

  8. harpo November 25th, 2009 11:12 am

    Lou, have you heard anything about the new Intuition Pro Tour liner? It is a lace up model that uses their tradition warm Intuition foam. I have experimented with Intuition liners in the past for stiffness and warmth, but always came back to Garmont Gfit laceups because the Intuitions inevitably (lots of bootfitting by good bootfitters) gave me blisters on the inside of my heel. Depending on how it is reviewed, I would love to try the Intuition lace up to get the warmth, maybe the stiff performance, and still avoid blisters. Do you have any info on them?

  9. Lou November 25th, 2009 11:24 am

    Harpo, I’ve been in touch with Intuition and was planning on trying their lace-ups, as I have the same problem you do and the lace-up works much better for me. More on that later, thanks for bringing it up!

  10. Tester November 25th, 2009 11:34 am

    We just installed another spam blocker behind the scenes.

    If any of you have problems commenting, please contact us using Lou’s contact option on the menu above.

    Thanks, The Team

  11. Nick November 25th, 2009 1:53 pm

    LOve my Radiums, but they took a lot of work to get to fit properly. I would note that while I agree with your comment Lou that the Radium tends to fit long, my experience has found that (as compared to other Garmont boots), the toe box is rather small (in particular vertically).

  12. Bar Barrique November 25th, 2009 2:13 pm

    It is funny that you should mention that there was room at the front of the shell after molding the liner on your ZZeros. I have seen this in some Garmonts including my new Radiums. The liner seem to pull back in the toe area when molded, and, the liner ends up shorter than before the molding process. I remolded these liners using some of Lou’s tricks, (duct taping foam extensions on my toes, with a toe cap (thick sock cap), as well as a thick piece of cardboard between my big toe, and, the next toe). The liner did not seem to be overly thinned out in the toe area, but, all the space in the shell was now being used, and, they fit much better.

  13. Chet Roe November 25th, 2009 2:39 pm

    Lou, I know you are pretty experienced with doing itself/yourself boot fitting…..in this situation it wouldn’t hurt to get opinions from the most experienced bootfitters regarding skiing and ultra cold…..perhaps/probably you have, though I don’t see references to it…..anyway I know of at least one of the Denver bootfitters who has experience with Everest and Denali feet/boot/cold….I assume some of the Aspen guys must have experience (ie who did the Marolts boot/feet?)too…..who else with real wold experience have you consulted? it never hurts to have talked to guys that have been there/done that……(ps not dissing your own experience/insight, just curious), Chet

  14. Lou November 25th, 2009 5:36 pm

    HI Chet, good questions. Answer is I’ve delt with this for years, and the key is upsizing the shell a bit, and using the VBL liner and wool socks — and being super careful nothing restricts circulation. If there is some magic bullet out there I’ve not heard it in all this time… I’ll be using prescription anti perspective on my feet as well, just so I don’t have as much moisture to deal with.

  15. AMac November 25th, 2009 5:44 pm

    I had no idea picking a pair of boots of Denali was so complicated. Maybe there is an iPhone app that could help solve the puzzle?

  16. gtrantow November 25th, 2009 8:33 pm

    Holy shit, anti perspective is limited to politicians Lou. You cannot get a prescription for that without losing self respect and scruples. I guess you will be voting for Hidden Gems, Global warming cap and trade and opening a pot dispensary soon.

  17. Thomas B November 25th, 2009 9:51 pm

    lol, “anti perspective is for politicians”

  18. tyler cruickshank November 25th, 2009 10:00 pm

    Lou and Harpo,

    Both of you mentioned blisters on the inside of your heels. My heels are disaster areas and the most recent disaster area is inside my Zzeros. You have had good luck with laced liners? I’ve never tried laced liners because I’ve always found laces to be fiddily. I’ve had lots of work done on my shells and liners but nothing seems to help in this shell or others.

    The BD liners are quite nice. I wonder if one of those would work? The lacing system works well but doesnt continue down on the forefoot so it may not secure the heel ankle area?

    -tyler

  19. harpo November 25th, 2009 11:19 pm

    TC,

    I used lace up non thermo moldable liners for years before the thermos came out and never had blisters on my heels. Then the laceless thermos come out and the blisters started. I have used Intuition, Garmont, and Scarpa non laceup thermos and always had the same problem on long days. Bootfitters have put c-pads on the back or my heels, put in heel lifts, messed with my footbeds and it didn’t make a difference. When I started using the lace up Garmont liners, the problem went away. Just make sure you fit them tight as they pack out quickly. My current pair has lasted two seasons. You can get them pretty cheap these days becasue everyone who buys Garmont boots wants to upgrade to Intuition liners – I have had two pairs of those, molded by two of the best bootfitters in Tahoe, and the blisters never went away.

    The only non lace liners where I didn’t have the blister problem was the one that came in my F1s – I think the soft bellows lets the rear of the boot flex up with your heel as you step foward.

  20. Shep November 25th, 2009 11:56 pm

    This an interesting thread. Until I got my Megarides about 4 years ago I never had any heel blister problems. All but one of my previous boots were lace up. Now I battle constantly with blisters. Judicious taping and padding sometimes solves the problem as long as I do not let the boots get too loose on the ascent. I have a friend that has the same issue – I am thinking lace ups may be the answer. hI ave never been that sold on thermo liners.

  21. Jon Miller November 26th, 2009 12:40 am

    Altitude and boots are always a compromise. I errored on the side of warmth and climbing ability with mine, Garmont Heliums with Intuitions. They climb really well, are warm, and ski decently. They took me to 2,150ft and back with all toes intact, so no complaints here!
    Jon

  22. Lee November 26th, 2009 5:09 am

    Guess you meant 21,500ft Jon? I live at 2,600ft and definitely have all my toes and I’m barefoot most of the time.

  23. Dave B. November 26th, 2009 5:57 am

    I had blisters in my Megarides until I got a pair of old school Scarpa liners for them and the boot fitter taped them above the heel to form a better heel pocket. I didn’t know about laces though. I just got some Radiums this season and I was wondering what was up with the laces. Now I know.

  24. Lou November 26th, 2009 8:55 am

    I’ve always had more tendency to blister with non laceup liners. I can usually fix the problem with careful fitting and careful buckle adjustment during the day, but the laceups make it easier for me to prevent blisters. For me, the laceups work better because they move more _with_ my foot, and the liner ends up rubbing against the shell instead of the foot rubbing inside the liner. This of course can wear on the outside of the liner, but it’s better than getting blisters.

    Good you guys mentioned the Garmont liners. They’re super nice and definitely an option.

    As for the complexity of boot fitting. All I know is that if temperatures drop to single digits or below, and they can do that up there once you’re at altitude, keeping your feet warm in ski boots is a whole other game compared to normal. On the other hand, lower down on the mountain it’s not so much an issue. Down there, heat can even be the problem.

    The goal is twofold. We don’t want anyone aborting their climb because their feet don’t stay warm enough. And we don’t want any foot damage, or worse, and evacuation because of frostbite. It’s much easier if you’re just climbing, not skiing…

  25. Lou November 26th, 2009 8:57 am

    Nick, you are correct about the Radiums. In our experience the correct fit does have some extra length, and the toe box is tight in the vertical direction, in part due to a rib of plastic at the top/inside of the toebox.

  26. Christian November 26th, 2009 9:47 am

    I have problems with the non-laced liners myself. I presented this to the Dynafit importer here in Norway, and they showed me the “dyanfit lacing system”: http://www.vpg.no/Avdelinger/Produkter/Ski/St%C3%B8vler/Tilbeh%C3%B8r_-_skist%C3%B8vler/Dynafit-Lacing-Systemankelkorsett-101276.aspx
    I haven’t tried it, but my wife will try them on out next tour.

  27. Lou November 26th, 2009 10:27 am

    Pretty good spell checker slipup! I think I’ll leave it. After all, stinky feet give a change in perspective, so antiperspiration is anti perspective? Does that get me off the hook (grin)?

  28. Lee November 26th, 2009 10:32 am

    Christian those things look ace…I’ve been thinking about making something like that myself but haven’t gotten round to it. I can’t find them on dynafit’s website though. Would be interested to know how your wife gets on with them…and any feedback you can give on construction, ease of use, etc.

  29. Lou November 26th, 2009 10:34 am

    With my F1s, when I want them to really work well I tape the liner on to my foot with duct tape, so it acts like it’s laced. An add-on lacing system would be the ticket. Thanks Christian for sharing the link, I’d not seen those. Must be too distracted with trucks and stuff like that (grin).

  30. tyler cruickshank November 26th, 2009 1:56 pm

    Wow, Christian, those liners look great in terms of locking them on your heel.

    Interesting, I’ve used 4 boots (Dynafit TLT700, Megarides, Zzero, and F1′s) with laceless liners and I have suffered in 3 of them, but now that I think of it, I dont remember too many problems in F1′s. Blisters on all of the boots formed on the sides of my heels.

    My Wife is none too pleased with the recent boot fitting $$ that I spent last year with no discernable results. I used a guy who works with some World Cuppers so I dont doubt his skills.

    On Tuesday I was in Teton Mountaineering in Jackson and Mike made a great suggestion: Tincture of Benzoin. It is a liquid that you can spread on your skin that forms a tacky surface. Then, you can tape over the tacky surface and actually have the tape stick. I havent tried it yet, but I can imagine that it might work well. I’ve tried taping many times without the Tincture, but nothing sticks to my feet.

    Any comments on BD’s liners and how they might work for our collective problems? I’ve had them on in the shop before and thought they felt great.

    Good thread. Cant tell everyone how much I appreciate your thoughts and ideas. Got to get some lacers ….

    Happy T-Day.

    -ty

  31. Fernando Pereira November 26th, 2009 2:34 pm

    I had some nasty inside-of-the-heel blisters with lace-up Scarpa liners (Scarpa Laser) and Garmont Adrenalins (their normal thermofitted liner), but I’ve avoided the blisters with my ZZeros over the last two seasons. Here are the things that I changed: 1) I worked with my bootfitter to add padding around the ankle to help keep the heel in the heel pocket; and 2) on the advice of a Aaron Cooperman, the owner and lead guide at Sol Mountain, I took a more upright stance while skinning, with more weight through the heel, avoiding heel lift; and 3) I switched to Dynafits. I don’t know what in this combo is most responsible for the improvement, but a whole week of touring without blisters is a real blessing!

  32. Rico November 27th, 2009 8:03 am

    Hey Lou – what does your shell fit look like in the smaller 28′s? I’m in a similar situation with my ZZero’s, 26′s were big on my skinny chicken legs and ankles so I went with the smaller shell, but haven’t gone through the fitting process yet. Toes are where I’m tight in the 25 shell – just wondering how much room you’re getting out of liner fitting and shell stretching. Thanks.

  33. Lou November 27th, 2009 10:24 am

    Hi Rico, I can easily get 1/2 size out of shell punching and liner molding. Remember that part of the added length can be obtained by making sure your heel is well seated to the rear when molding.

  34. Christian November 29th, 2009 1:07 pm

    My wife testet the lacing system this weekend. She did not get any blisters, so it was an improvement.
    She had a little problem getting it tight enough, so she will probably try to get a built up sole as well.

  35. Lee November 29th, 2009 1:30 pm

    Thanks Christian, I ordered a pair last week (which tested my Norwegian language skills) hopefully they’ll arrive this week.

    If they turn out to be the solution for those of us who don’t have trolls’ feet and once I have given them a thorough testing, I’ll post some feedback as well and or a review…when we get some more snow!!

  36. Lou November 29th, 2009 3:32 pm

    RE the Dynafit liner lacer, I just heard from Dynafit NA, they said “none available in states,” which I assume means they are not importing them.

    That’s too bad, but it appears to be something very easy to make, and small enough for an overseas order so that shipping cost isn’t an issue, as you guys are already doing…

  37. John November 30th, 2009 6:22 am

    Has anyone else had plastic memory issues with the Radiums (or any other Pebax boot for that matter)? I’ve punched mine twise but either (a) my foot has been growing or (b) I’ve lost the punch over time as the plastic goes back to original shape. More heat? Less heat? More time in the press?

  38. Mark W November 30th, 2009 7:38 am

    My understanding is that Pebax must be cooled slowly when punched out or the memory will kick in.

  39. Lou November 30th, 2009 9:41 am

    Regarding memory of plastic when punching boots. I use enough heat and set the press correctly (pressure, but not too much) then leave the press in while the boot cools. I don’t worry about cooling slow, I just throw some snow on it when I’m done. Perhaps quickly cooling works better?

    At any rate, I believe the key is using enough heat. Essential to this is using an infrared thermometer along with the heat gun. Pebax will mold and keep the mold at just over 200 degrees F, and it becomes almost liquid at 300 degrees F. I know this because I took some chunks of it and experimented.

    Another key thing is to examine the boot press system before using, and figure out how many turns or pumps it takes to get the additional length you’re after. This will give you an idea of how much “pressure,” as I think the most common mistake is to use excessive pressure, thus truly “blowing” out the boot once it gets heated up, and thus possibly ruining an expensive pair of boots.

    One more thing. The press might be a big chunk of aluminum, which will quickly cool the inside of the plastic where you are working. It’s probably wise to pre-heat the whole press and punch area of boot to around 100 degrees before you even start. Otherwise you’re sitting there blowing hot air on the boot, as the aluminum on the inside sucks heat away, and you may thus end up heating too large an area of the boot since you have to sit there and blow so danged much hot are to compensate for the cooling effect of the press parts on the inside.

    One other thing. I think keeping the sole area of the boot cool while doing this is also essential. I’d do this by pouring a small amount of water into the shell before blasting. One pair I did lost all their rocker because I got them overall too hot and used too much press pressure. If I’d kept the sole cool and used more localized heat, this would not have happened.

  40. Lou November 30th, 2009 10:36 am

    Oh, and BTW, check the backcountry glossary for info on Pebax:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/more/backcountry-glossary/

    And this post about melting and molding temps:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/1562/pebax-melt-temperature/

  41. Tyler November 30th, 2009 11:12 am

    Christian,

    Thanks for the feedback on the Dynafit lace up liner product.

    I emailed the folks at your link to make sure they would ship to the US, but looks like Lee already found that they will. When and if I get it I’ll respond here.

    To Lou’s point about not being available in the US … I agree, I wish Dynafit US would make more or all the products available in the States.

    Thanks again.

    P.S. I got the spam question wrong and have to re-post. It must be a trick question from Lou … shouldnt the answer be winter Lou!!

  42. Lou November 30th, 2009 11:14 am

    he he, and I’ll even be changing the question now and then! Be careful! :angel:

  43. Mason November 30th, 2009 3:35 pm

    John, I have found that very few shops have enough experience with AT boot punching. Here in Big Sky I had major problems with the local shops on my Radium toe punching, it always went back to the original shape. In hindsight I would take the boot to Salt Lake or Colorado. I ended up buying the Skookums. Lou, it seems like I never get a really good mold on Intuitions unless we heat them up longer than the recommended time, or maybe the shops oven isn’t as hot as it should be?

  44. Lee November 30th, 2009 3:38 pm

    Tyler/Lou

    I live in France not the US but their website seemed to give the option for postage to just about everywhere – actually I don’t speak any Norwegian but it’s remarkable how easy it is to work out what it says or at least hazard a guess from the layout of the website. Haven’t been able to find those Dynafit lace-up things anywhere in Europe except Norway…they’re not even on the Dynafit website.

  45. John December 1st, 2009 9:23 am

    Wow, thank you. Infa red thermometer on its way.

    John

  46. Lou December 1st, 2009 9:31 am

    John, experiment on some junkers. It’s fun.

  47. ellen December 4th, 2009 1:46 pm

    Hey Lou – this is a more general question regarding AT boots….
    How accurate do you think the forward lean measurements are for various AT boots?
    One thing I like about my mega rides over my Zzero 4′s (yes, I own both) is that the mega rides do seem a little more forward, but its a difference of three degrees and I’m not sure if this is what I’m feeling anyway. (mega rides are 24 and zzero’s are 21). I’m shopping for a new pair of boots and the scarpa diva’s sound intriguing but it’s only a 22 forward lean.
    Is this just not something I should worry too much about?

  48. Lou December 4th, 2009 1:56 pm

    Hi Ellen, that’s just ballpark. It depends on how the straight edge is held when the angle is measured, and the shape of your leg and how the liner molds changes it. Also, you can easily increase the forward lean with a shim behind your calf and/or heel lift. Sometimes, people mistake the feeling of more forward cuff lean for the reality of the boot allowing them to more easily adjust to their optimal position. in other words, a boot that’s softer in the forward direction can actually feel like it has more forward lean, and so forth.

  49. James December 13th, 2009 5:33 am

    I have a Denali ski trip coming up next summer and wear Scarpa Skookums already. They fit well but was wondering if they are a little heavy for a 21 day exped? What are your thoughts?

  50. Lou December 13th, 2009 9:25 am

    James, our focus is on skiing so a boot such as Skookum is fine. If your focus isn’t skiing, but rather you’re just using skiing as glacier transport, a lighter weight and more tour friendly boots such as Spirit 3 might be a better choice.

  51. Paul January 20th, 2010 1:54 pm

    Did anybody ever try the Intuition Pro Tour lace-up liners?

    Also, a question on the Radiums. Just how much extra room can be punched out in the toe box? My feet are moderately wide, but I am also concerned about the height of the toe box area. Anybody with any experience here?

  52. David Butler January 20th, 2010 2:08 pm

    Careful with Intuition liners in Radiums. I have that boot and have been experiencing pretty severe toe constriction/pain. I tried two different Intuition liners (not the lace up) to address this problem and also the problem of the Garmont liner packing out too fast. Unfortunately the Intuition liner is very stiff in back, and this restricts rearward flex. This in turn prevented me from being able to fully straighten my leg when skinning. This not only made the forward stride on the flats exhausting (going uphill wasn’t so bad because full leg extension doesn’t happen), but it forced my toes up and into the front of the boot even more. I now have two black big toenails and a deeply bruised toe to show for it. The shop took the liners back (awesome customer service!) and I went through a most excruciating remolding session with the original Garmont liners with a few layers of toe caps to make adequate room for the toes. Indications are this has worked, but my toes will need to heal up a bit more before I can be sure.

  53. Lou January 20th, 2010 3:11 pm

    Paul, review is in the works.

  54. Bar Barrique January 20th, 2010 10:44 pm

    David; I molded my Radium liners 3 times before I got them right. I had to use toe extensions etc. as well. It seems that getting your heel into the back of the shell requires extra effort. I am not sure that the intuition liners were at fault. I think that the garmont liners work for me, especially when using the laces.

  55. Jim Sogi February 18th, 2010 1:46 pm

    Liquid bandage comes in a bottle, paints on to a hard dry surface on the skin. It might work to prevent, or even protect a blister. Stings tho.

  56. Will April 7th, 2011 7:56 pm

    Lou, did you decide to size up your liner to 29 to make your boots warmer, or just to improve the fit around your heel in the larger shells? It seems to me that the larger liner might end, up more compressed more in the shell (smaller air pockets) and actually make the boot a bit colder than if you just tried to make the larger boots work by puffing up the liner and/or padding with foam. Obviously performance would still suffer some, but what strategy do you think would result in a warmer boot?

  57. Lou April 7th, 2011 8:34 pm

    Will, I punched out the toe so much that the 29 fit just fine without undu compression. BTW, I ended up using Scarpa Spirit 3 on Denali, as I just couldn’t get the ZZero to fit the way I wanted (ever more toe volume). I still use the oversize ZZeros for cold days around here as they’re quite a bit lighter than my Denali Spirit 3s…

  58. Will April 7th, 2011 10:04 pm

    Lou,
    First, thank you for your rapid response, I hope you don’t mind if I pick your brain just a little more.

    I should probably be more specific: I am finalizing my gear for a trip to Denali this spring and thinking about either modifiying my slightly oversized Skookums or just bringing overboots for climbing up high (my current plan, but I’d like to ditch the weight if possible). I normally used a 28 shell, but I got 29 for the extra room/warmth. If I stuffed a size 30 liner in them would that make them warmer, or would it just make them ski a bit better (a worthy objective, but another 180 bucks for a new pair of intuitions)?

    Thanks again, I love the site.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

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