Prime Beef — Scott Cosmos

Post by blogger | March 7, 2014      

Pete Anzalone

20131024 Scott Cosmos alpine touring boot is now a contender.

2013-2014 Scott Cosmos alpine touring boot. Next year's model will be the Cosmos II with a dual injected tongue and ostensibly improved buckles.

Full Disclosure
I’ve been a Garmont man for a long time and have enjoyed the beef of four different models (Adrenaline orange, Adrenaline red, Endorphin and tech-compatible Axon). I had hopes that the Cosmos was the worthy heir apparent and friend Mike told me they ski well (but what doesn’t on his feet). When Lou offered a pair of 27.5 Scott Cosmos boots to try, I jumped at the chance.

While I love touring and uphilling, it is a means to an end. For me, it’s really about the downhill. I’ll gladly trade 10 or 15 minutes hauling a bit more weight up for better more precise turns on the descent. And I think that precision is needed on steeper slopes.

Pete Anzalone enjoying spring corn.

Pete Anzalone enjoying spring corn on one of his past Garmont boot choices.

Also, I’m not a winter backcountry skier because I don’t have the time to immerse myself in the intricacies of our Colorado snowpack’s avalanche hazards. So during winter, I’ll do lots of in-bounds uphilling in the early morning to harvest the fresh cord (and powder at times). Then in the spring I get out to tour and ski backcountry corn as much as life will permit.

Ski: Atomic Drifter 173cm, 95mm underfoot. Binding: Dynafit: FT-12. Height: 5.9. Weight 165.

Adjusting the Cosmos buckles was easy (although the spring-loaded retainer I found to be in the way), but deciding on the liner was not. I opted for my Intuition as my Comformable (by, although better for skiing, often produces blisters. Stock liners were not available due to Lou working on them for his fit, as well as uncertainty about whether he really has the retail liner. No problem, as I commonly use after-market liners.

The left boot walk/ski mode mechanism was initially dysfunctional. I needed to loosen the hex nuts on the posterior cuff spine to get it to work. I put a piece of duct tape over the screws so if they self-loosened, they wouldn’t be lost. The right boot did not have this problem. Word is that current retail versions have this fixed. Mainly, be warned and if you experience any problems with your lean-lock return the boots immediately on warranty.

The little red arrows on the toe ledge made stepping into the Dynafit binding easier — nice little amenity. On the flats the Cosmos cuff articulation lengthened my stride about six inches, which was pleasant. The only buckles engaged while walking were the two over the forefoot. My uphill skinning route at Snowmass Resort is about 3,200 vertical feet of climbing, including a few short flats mixed in with long sustained blue-square climbs. My time was not much different than with the Axon uphill.

The first few turns were lousy but they got progressively better as I gained a feel for the boot. The snow was firm cord with some wind skiff. Through two little powder shots (won’t tell you where), the boot was a dream (but it’s powder). With Intuition liner, I gave the Cosmos a “B.”

Round two: I put the Comformable liner in and went to ride the Snowmass lifts for 2+ hours. Now, I’m not one to ride lifts with my AT boot, but this was testing and with the different liner, the tests were passed with flying colors. I skied cord, crud, old powder, boiler-plate, mank and bumps; I skied fast and I skied slow; through it all, Cosmos performed beautifully. This second test earned the Cosmos a solid “A.”

Round three: I went for a lap in Highland Bowl. The walk up was a piece-of-cake — plenty of Vibram grip, articulation afforded a long stride and little weight on the feet. Once on top, locked and loaded, skied G6 in cut-up up soft, soft snow. The Cosmos skied very well–not as well as my Full Tilt, but well enough to tell me that the Cosmos is the AT boot for me. After the Bowl, the Cosmos was raced down Steeplechase (bumps) and the P Chutes (glades with wind skiff on firm crunch). It skied nearly as well as my FTs which reaffirmed that this boot, with the right liner, is what I was hoping it would be.

Put a pair of these on the list for me, although a stiffer tongue would be ideal. I felt they could be driven hard to edge the ski at any speed. I felt I could ski them very much like my alpine boot and get very similar performance. I’d have no qualms about skiing these boots anywhere in the backcountry.

The top two buckles have this troublesome spring-loaded red retainer that interferes with engaging and disengaging the buckles. These I’d remove on my pair of Cosmos boots. Clamped down, they are comfortable. The power strap is solid. They’re comfy to walk around in, it’s easy to drive the car with them and they look cool.

Post Script
I bought a pair of Scott Cosmos boots online last night!

(WildSnow guest blogger Pete Anzalone lives in Snowmass Village, Colorado, with his wife Angeles and son Paul. When not skiing uphill, downhill or sideways, Pete can be found running PubWorks, a software firm specializing in Work Order and Asset Management products for city and county government.)


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12 Responses to “Prime Beef — Scott Cosmos”

  1. OMR March 7th, 2014 10:52 pm

    Speaking of Garmonts, after four years of a love/hate relationship, I dumped my Radiums for TLT6’s. My ‘downhill’ friends told me I’d lose downhill ability due to the sponge-affect of a light, ‘hiking’ boot. Bottom line, the TLT’s are stiffer and ski better than the heavy, toe-crushing Radiums. Not to mention the uphill performance is like going from a Model T to a Tesla. Should’ve switched long ago. If/when I resort ski, it’s in a dedicated downhill boot (Nordica). Why blur two worlds?

  2. Pete Anzalone March 8th, 2014 6:34 am

    I agree – specific tools for specific tasks. Personally, I’m not after the one-boot quiver.

  3. Rodney March 8th, 2014 1:54 pm

    Tried these on when I was looking for touring/freeride boots. I found that these had very poor heel retention for me compared to the Spectres or Mercurys. Having had massive heel slop with the Radiums which lead to blisters, these were an immediate reject although they were fairly comfortable in the front of the boot.

  4. john doyle March 8th, 2014 3:57 pm

    Hey Pete – I’ve got a pair of the Cosmos myself; Here’s the story;

    I’ve been skiing Garmont for awhile too. i had a pair of Endorphins then Radiums; they fit well and skied well enough.
    Last spring, with touring season approaching, I asked local gear guru Bob Perlmutter about ski boot choices. He recommended the Scarpa Maestrale, the Dynafit Mercury and the Garmont (now Scott) Cosmos. I got the Cosmos based on my previous experience with Garmont and Perl”s testimonial.
    I skied about 15 days on them last spring including a half dozen all day tours. They are comfortable, noticeably stiffer and obviously lighter than previous Garmonts. They ski great.
    Then it happened; i’m skiing a very cold day in early December, probably 30 days total in the boots, when the right boot suddenly went into walk mode. Closer inspection revealed the lower screw on the back of the boot sheared and that actually wasn’t all the damage.
    I ordered new parts (free) from Scott Through the local dealer, Ajax Mt. Bike and Sport, but because of the holidays , it took 5 weeks. So i got the right boot repaired, hiked up the Bowl the next day and the LEFT boot broke on my 3rd turn down Full Curl. Lucky for me Scott had sent both Right and Left ski/walk mechanisms so I didn’t have to wait for parts again.
    I haven’t been in a huge hurry to put them on again, but after reading this post this morning, I put them on and skied Midnight and Difficult.
    I really like them but will I be able to trust them on some long spring day tour?
    Time will tell. Good luck with your new boots.

  5. pete anzalone March 9th, 2014 8:20 pm

    Perhaps before venturing into the back country w/ these Cosmos boots, a simple yet rigorous inspection routine ought be executed first so as to lessen the chance of boot failure in wrong place at the wrong time.

  6. john doyle March 10th, 2014 9:29 am

    While an inspection of your gear before touring is a great idea, how can you tell metal will shear just by looking at it? Besides the fact that most of the mechanism is inside the boot and cannot be inspected.
    My faulty hope is that the replacement mechanism is made of a better batch of metal. Again, time will tell.

  7. BoulderDave March 20th, 2014 8:19 am

    Great writeup, and sounds like a serious contender in the growing class of 3 and 4 buckle boots that go up pretty well, and down even better. I’m curious if you denizens of the backcountry weight and performance might consider building out a chart like the ultimate quiver evaluation. Sure there are more than grams and stiffness to a ski boot, but with all of the products on the market today, and those you’ve already previewed for next year, the choices are multiplying quickly.



  8. henrik May 5th, 2014 3:13 pm

    Hey Pete and John Doyle. I’ve had the same experience with my cosmos, excellent uphill and downhill performance, lightweight, and faulty ski mode locking mechanism… Just this week the bolt (not the screw) on lower back had been torn enough to cause some problems with locking my right boot in ski-mode. And this after only 20 or so days on the mountain! While I was attending the skishop trying to figure out what went wrong, another person steps in with exactly the same problem! I have yet compared Scott’s solution for downhill locking to other brands that use a similar, but this seem to be poor engineering or poor choice of material! Have you experienced any more issues with this since your posts?

    Best regards, Henrik

  9. Lou Dawson May 5th, 2014 3:19 pm

    We have the Cosmos 2 here at HQ and Pete has filed a review. He didn’t have any problem with the lean lock, and it’s said to be improved. It’s well known now that the lean lock in first version may be weak. Lou

  10. henrik May 5th, 2014 3:30 pm

    Thanks Lou – i’ll have to try and be a more frequent visitor to the blog so the well known facts travel to sweden quicker 🙂 Do you know: Is the lean lock improved in construction and/or material and could I use the improved one on my old boots?

  11. Lou Dawson May 5th, 2014 4:29 pm

    Henrik, Cosmos 2 when viewed from behind and side appears to have thicker plastic where the two screws are that hold the lean lock. A first-generation Cosmos would not have this. As for the lean lock machinery, it’s possible you could swap but I’m not certain. Please send a photo of what broke on your boots, I’m not clear about what you mean by “bolt.” Thanks, Lou

  12. Peter December 18th, 2014 5:24 pm

    Hey John, I have had the same problem with the Cosmo. I have gone through THREE episodes in the backcountry where the lower screw which hold you in “forward” mode broke and the piece then jams in there further destroying the red bar. There is no way to do a field repair unless you carry a center punch and hammer to remove the pin and an allen wrench to remove the remaining screw and take the whole thing apart and remove the broken piece. It is next to impossible to see the fatigue in the aluminum occurring. I constantly inspect my boots too. What I did do the other day way to dismantle the entire thing and remove the broken piece and then put it back together so I could atlas ski the one boot in tour mode. You HAVE to have the red bar installed in order to prevent the upper cuff from over riding the shell which will then lock you in a forward angle that is painful and YES this has happened to me too. Supposedly, the parts Scott sent last year were a beefed up metallic version, but they still didn’t last the average 30-50 days of use. Luckily I have a had good luck with Scott on this issue and have been able to deal directly with their warrantee department and informing them directly what is happening here. I still have to wait 3+ days for new parts cause the shops here don’t carry the parts, but skiing in tour mode for that time is better than nothing. I would gladly add a few ounces to this boot for a reliable ski/walk mechanism. My suggestion would be to replace these after 30 days of use, which sucks, but its better than shit breaking 1o miles back; been there 3X.

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