17 mei 2012

Gear: Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX

I've been using a pair of solid mountaineering boots, the Hanwag Omega GTX. These keep my feet warm enough down to -15c, and will take an automatic crampon. I used them for ice climbing last february. However, these boots can be a bit overkill for three season use and/or places where there's not so much snow or ice. So, I decided I needed another pair of boots for those conditions.
I got a pair of the Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX.
Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX
Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX
Hanwag describes these boots as 'the alpine version of the Ferrata GTX: perfect for Via Ferratas in alpine terrain with glacier and firn section'. So, these should be good in rock, and not too bad on some easy ice and snow.

I tested them during a 4 day trip to Spains Sierra Nevada mountains. Highlights of this trip were an ascent of Mulhacen (3482m) and a day of scrambling on the Peñón de la Mata (1669m). The day on Mulhacen presented some easy hiking on rock and snow, the day on the Peñón was grade 1 to 3 scrambling. Good terrain to give the Ferrata Combi GTX'es a test-run. They did not disappoint.
Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX on Mulhacen
Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX worn while scrambling
When I first tried them on, I found them to be much tighter at the top of the foot, as compared to my Omega's. At first I found this slightly uncomfortable, but I also realized this would improve the responsiveness of the boot, as it's much more secure and close fitting on the foot.

While hiking I could immediately tell these boots are about half a kilo lighter then my old boots. The Hanwag Omega GTX weigh 1425 grams each for a size 46 EU, the Ferrata Combi GTX weigh 965 grams for a size 46,5 EU. This weight includes a green Superfeet after market insole, to replace the standard Hanwag one. The hiking was much easier going. When walking I didn't notice the tightness at the top of the foot anymore.
Hanwag Omega GTX and Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX
Hanwag Omega GTX and Hanwag Ferrata Combi GT
While scrambling I appreciated the rubber rim that's present all around the shoe. When you jam your foot in crack for a better hold, the rubber both increases friction and also protects the boots. Also, on the front of the sole there's a 'climbing zone', which basically is just a flat part of the sole with no thread. This zone also increases friction, when using it to climb.

I also fitted a pair of crampons on them, and they will hold a semi-automatic crampon easily. The sole is even rigid enough for decent performance, although they'll probably won't be top-performers for waterfall ice-climbing. On glaciers and moderate terrain you'll be fine though.
Petzl Lynx on Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX
Petzl Lynx on Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX
All things considered I'm very happy with these boots, and how they perform. I hope to use them a lot in the future!

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