The Mont Blanc is Scarpa’s leather mountaineering boot that does everything well and it is the perfect choice for everything but the most extreme conditions.
My winter hiking boot options used to be Scarpa Invernos, a plastic double boot, and LL Bean Cresta Hikers, a light summer hiking boot. The Invernos were great and extremely warm but they were also very heavy. They were also overkill for temperatures over 20 degrees. However they used to be the only boot that would fit my crampons. The Cresta Hikers were very light but not warm and not compatible with my crampons. Therefore any outing that might require crampons meant that the Invernos were going on my feet; that is until the Mont Blancs came along.
The Mont Blanc is Scarpa’s standard all mountain leather mountaineering boot, it also looks a lot like the La Sportiva Nepal EVO. It is insulated with leather upper and a GORE-TEX liner that keeps it waterproof. It has a solid Vibram sole and is fully compatible with step in crampons. Each boot weighs about 2 pounds, which is almost a pound lighter than my Invernos! They retail at $479 but you can typically find them on sale for much cheaper.
The Mont Blancs have a roomy, but not too roomy, fit that gives your feet just enough room to stay warm. I bought mine one-half size larger than my usual size and that has resulted in a perfect fit. I love these boots because they feel almost as comfortable as summer hiking boots yet they perform like a mountaineering boot. You can take them on casual winter hikes, up gnarly snow climbs or even vertical ice.
I used the Mont Blancs for the first time on a 10-degree winter night to climb a snow slide that required a .5-mile road approach. The approach was delightful and they were much more nimble than my Invernos once things got steep. Since then I have used them on hikes, like Mount Monadnock, and gully climbs in temperatures from 0 to 30 degrees. They feel great on the approach, the ascent and the descent; this is a boot that seems to do it all.
The Mont Blancs won’t totally replace my plastic mountaineering boots. The Invernons will continue to be my go to boot for cold overnight trips since they have a removable liner that I can dry in my sleeping bag. The Mont Blancs don’t have a removable liner and I wouldn’t want to put the whole boot into my bag. However the Mont Blanc will be my go to mountaineering boot for 90% of the climbs that I do from now on.