Climbing boot part 3

May 5, 2014


Getting on Ice with the Zamberlan Expert Ibex GTX RR
The name and model number are a bit of a mouthful. I had been ordering in these mountain hunting boots one at a time, due to cost, and the Ibex was chosen last. I own Meindl and Kenetrek goods of other models and going to a new brand is a bit of a leap out of the ordinary for me.
The Ibex is marketed like the previous two boots as a mountain hunting boot, what makes it different is that is design is just a modification of a normal climbing boot rather than a ground up hunting boot. They just seemingly had a color and shank swap between models, and that is precisely why I chose the Ibex over the Pro, to try out.
Expert Ibex
Expert Pro

A shank is the piece of metal that rest under the arch of the foot. Often times in mountain boots it will extend to the toe to increase the stiffness as mentioned before. The PRO model has a “Duraflex” shank, while the IBEX has the “Pluriflex”, whatever that marketing lingo means.

The Ibex boast a one piece lower, but its made of Perwanger silicone suede. Treated or not, I don’t prefer the material over good full grain. It has the obligatory Goretex, and the Goretex brand Duratherm insulation similar in overall construction to the previously mentioned La Sportiva Nepal Evo, a very standard mountain boot.

Shank and Stiffness

The same two test are conducted. Arm strength however unlike the previous two boots is unable to budge the boot sole into flexing at all. Putting the boot on and standing on an edge, body weight can get a small amount of flex out. Now we are talking, that is a SHANK!

Crampons3_2012413144214Nepal Evo Flex under 80kg from Black Diamonds crampon tests’



















I went over to a fellow climber’s house and he happens to posses a pair of Nepal EVO’s and I got to handle the two side by side. Even with body weight I can hardly get any flex out of the EVOs at all. It is most certainly a stiffer more technical boot, but I think I’ll shell the money and stay with the IBEX because I’m tired of trying out brown boots, at-least it would be better on a longer march over rocks and earth.

Crampon and Ski binding fit



Excellent on all fronts with my current gear. No side to side slip when torqued and pushed.

Field Test

Leading on WI 3- 4, Top roping on WI5!

The Fang WI5 at Vail. Didn’t actually climb up the fang.

Like rock climbing ice has its own classifications of difficulty. WI means Water Ice, usually waterfalls. The falls shown at Chalk Creek near Leadville and up in Vail, CO. WI 3 and 4 indicate steepness, nearing vertical, WI5 indicates a ice feature that is exactly around 90* or even slightly overhanging,

Ice climbing: buttes and bulges
Ice screws are placed into the ice to protect against a fall.
A good end to a day!
Night climb. Temps around 15* feet stayed warm. Was starting to get cold on belay.

As of the writing the water proofing is starting to wear off the surface after a dozen day uses, I will probably have to spray them down with silicone as the instructions suggest no oil or wax. Wish they were full grain I could just use the bees wax I normally do.

On top of that, this lace eyelet of the boot should be a metal hook, not some crappy piece of webbing. It makes it impossible really goddamned hard to tie this boot up with gloves on. Huge design flaw in cold weather.

The final major problem I’m noticing is that the back of the boot is not covered by the huge rubber rand like it was for the other boots reviewed. It is an exposed piece of leather with pretty weak stitching. Post holing a few miles the dozen times its been used I’m already noticing some abrasion on the stitching from the ice and snow. A coat of Shoegoo black may be needed in the future.

UPDATE: Please check out the newer post on Mt Baker too see how this boat does on milder glaciated terrain with crampons!
I could probably juice out more performance on ice with a stiffer boot, but even than, this is the stiffest boot I have yet owned, and time will tell how this boot last.

Gif taken from Black Diamonds very informative study on crampon durability.–crampons.html

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