Thursday, March 18, 2010
Stuff that works: La Sportiva Nepal Extremes
I wore my Nepal Extremes for the first time in some time this weekend. If anything made for mountaineers in the last decade deserves the over used tag - "a modern classic", it's the Nepals. Mine aren't very yellow any more - plenty of Nikwax ended that - but in the space of a couple of winters around the turn of the millennium it seemed that the majority of climbers in Scotland were walking around with these yellow beauties on their feet. When I started climbing in the early 1990s and working in climbing shop in Glasgow during those years, everyone bought plastic boots for climbing. Now plastics must make up maybe 5% or less of the market. Other insulated leather boots have been made since, and the Nepal Extremes were themselves a development on their non-insulated, path-breaking brothers the Nepal Tops, but that layer of Thinsulate allied to that lovely, cheery yellow leather, changed mountaineering footwear for good. Mine are ten years old, and the front lip is a bit worn from so much front pointing, but otherwise they're still going strong after a decade of climbing in the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Scottish, Welsh and Lake District mountains, Arctic Norway and lots and lots of Finnish icefalls.