I have recently started using a pair of Scarpa Aliens (not Aliens 1.0) for backcountry skiing. In terms of uphill/downhill performance, I like them. My concern is for the grip factor of the soles. Compared to my previous boots, Garmont Masterlite, Dynafit TLT 4, they feel slippery on ice and firm snow. This is not too bothersome in midwinter as I have little need for transitioning to kicking steps or rocky summit scrambles. However, traverse and summit skiing season is approaching and I wonder if these boots are up to that kind of use. My question, do you have any familiarity with the "grip factor" of the soles on the Aliens? FWIW - I use crampons (boot and ski) and ice ax when needed. Obviously, I'd rather not be forced to use these tools on a regular basis. Thanks for any experience or thoughts you may have.
Hi Bill, the Alien has a tried and true history as a ski mountaineering boot and is definitely up to the use you are proposing for it. The original intent, however, is as a skimo race boot which means that many of the features have in turn been trimmed to a minimum. The sole is known to be good, but it is not as thick or made of the same rubber that heavier boots are equipped with. In the end, the conditions and your personal confidence are the deciding factor for when you need to put the crampons on to ensure traction and safety.
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