I'm planning to climb Mount Shasta in the spring followed by Aconcagua in January '05. What mountaineering boot is best for both mountains? Joe Foster City, California
Koflach Arctis Expe
For Aconcagua, a big, cold mountain (22,834 feet) in western Argentina, double plastics are just about mandatoryso long as you value all ten of your toes. That would include boots such as the Koflach Arctis Expe ($355) or the Scarpa Inverno ($290; www.scarpa-us.com). The Invernos are great and an amazing bargain. Very warm as is, but you can add a high-altitude liner for another $200 (you won't need this for Shasta). You'll also want full overboots for Aconcagua, something like Outdoor Research's Brooks Ranger Overboots ($136; www.orgear.com).
That leads me to my rhetorical question of the day: Is there anything you can't find on eBay these days?