Anyone got any particular recommendations? I spent the whole previous winter season without waterproof trousers and had a couple of especially miserable stormy days out with freezing wet legs..
Is it worth spending the money on a premium set of ME or Patagonia bibs? My gut feeling is that they'll get wrecked pretty quickly.
And if anyone's looking to get rid of an old pair give me a shout (waist 30).
I totally rate Paramo Aspira Salopettes, for Scottish Winter. I wouldn't pay £350 for them though, picked up another pair last year on Gumtree!
Some friends also swear by them, most people on here don't.
> I totally rate Paramo Aspira Salopettes, for Scottish Winter. I wouldn't pay £350 for them though, picked up another pair last year on Gumtree!
> Some friends also swear by them, most people on here don't.
Me too. Despite the fact that they're not waterproof and I'd never use paramo for anything else I love them for winter climbing.
I got over a decade out of a pair including falling all the way down Coire an Lochan once. Wonder how many other winter breeks would survive all that?
I stopped wearing waterproofs for winter climbing a long time ago. You are going to sweat anyway, carrying a heavy sack to the route, so some variation on fleece will do it depending on how cold it is - thermals and some windproof-ish soft shell or fibrepile trousers / long johns with that softshell on top. If it rains, you'll stay warm and you'll dry. Just avoid kneeling or sitting on snow at stances.
Yeah Paramo seem like an interesting option.. Even though they're not "officially" waterproof are you happy wearing them all day in really foul horizontal sleet?
I've almost managed to give up wearing waterproof trousers- powerstretch leggings and heavy duty soft shells work 90% of the time. But that system doesn't work for me on the stormiest days. Had a couple of times where my legs got soaked through by horizontal rain on the walk in (to the point where my boots filled up with water soaking down my leggings) and then higher up it's too wild for it to ever dry out.
I am. The only leaks I've had are from harness leg loops pressing against the fabric in strong winds. But you can feel the fabric wicking and you're dry as soon as you start moving again. Other membrane fabrics can feel cold and clammy all day. My 15 year old aspira salopettes are still going strong though I do have a newer pair I save for winter.
My 12 year old paramo sallies need a new bum, which is not a problem as there are a couple of places that will do that at reasonable cost. For me good for cold snowy and also damp showery windy weather, but fail in prolonged heavy rain.... your not going to be out winter climbing then; except if your middle names Noah. However a friend in a local Scottish MRT swears by his for prolonged crap, windy, foul just the wrong side of freezing all night fun. Unfortunately the old Paramo factor which seams to vary between individuals. The team next door with whom he often shares a search line, are ME Kongour clad......so we are back to 'paramo marmite'!
ive sometimes wondered this too, but having never been able to muster the enthusiasm needed to spend £300+ on proper salopette type waterproof trousers, I have found that it works ok enough to have cheaper/thinner waterproof trousers with long zips over existing softshells and thermals, which can also be taken on/off, combined with gaiters to seal the ends and protect from crampons.
Hi Murray, for proper winter conditions...ie close to freezing or below id swear by my paramo enduro trousers. They're rubbish if its warmer and theyre rubbish in prolonged heavy rain esp if its milder.
That said they're totally fantastic when its cold and drier or not too wet. They vent amazingly with little snow or rain ingress. Even when clammy slogging uphill they dry up super fast when you ease off. No membrane to fail and easy to repair. Mine are about 6yrs old and going strong.
Longest ive had out of membrane trousers is a winter and even then theyre leaking by the end.
I wouldnt wear the paramos for anything other than a proper winter day but in such conditions theyd be my only choice.
Yes, done that plenty of times. As others have said, Paramo won't keep you totally dry but it does keep you warm and comfortable which is what you want in those kinds of conditions. HTH.
Have used ME Tupilak trousers before and wouldn't buy them again, you'll probably get a few seasons out of them if only using for really stormy weather but I did get wet on multiple occasions even after only a few weeks of use. ME replaced them for me after they started bobbling all over and the face fabric started to peel off when they were probably within their rights to tell me to piss off so extra points there.
Have since used Arcteryx Beta AR trousers I got from Sport Pursuit and they have lasted better but still wet out walking around in driving rain although I paid half the retail price for them so was less fussed.
Not convinced a full bib is totally necessary unless moving really slowly, similar effect by tucking a mid layer into the waterproof trousers, I remember sweating a lot in the Tupilak's. I went back to soft shell trousers mid way through last season and just carried the waterproofs if it was forecast wet on the walk in and then took them off once above the freezing level or kept them on if it was a bit damp still.
If you decide to go for Paramo, it's worth having a look at their Ebay seconds store. I got some Ventura trousers (women's version of the Enduro) for well under half price a while back. They're seconds, but quality control must be pretty rigorous as I can't see what is supposed to be wrong with them.
I also have used Paramo Aspira Salopettes just for winter climbing. The other feature that I like is the knee pads. Resting knees against ice on step stances without getting cold knees is great. As is the protection against catching ice features, I always seem to bang by knees.
Never found an issue with the proofing. My only negative is the heat, Salopettes limit ventilation so you need to take account on this, doesn't work well with buffalo type smocks for this reason. On the flip side with the right top layers you obviously avoid midriff drafts. The Endura come as trousers it this is going to be an issue with your clothing system? Its not an issue with jackets or layers you might add after the initial walk in. Its an issue with the Ben where the temp difference from the car park to the climbing can be massive.
I also used the ebay seconds site, it makes dipping into the Church of the new Paramo less of an expensive punt.
What is the general consensus about what to wear under the Paramo sallies to prevent overheating, but to help with wicking??
Unless very cold I don't wear anything under them.
Note however there have been different weights of lining material over the years, which may influence the responses.
Dan Bailey is away on holiday at the moment, but he wouldn't forgive me if I didn't share a link to the Winter Mountain Overtrousers Group Test he conducted back in 2018: https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/clothing/legwear/winter_mountain_overtrousers-9918
Some of the models might have changed, others might not, but either way it's worth a peruse as I know how much effort - and how much miserable weather he had to endure - putting it all together. It's also got a few brands/models that have been mentioned here, so worth reading just to confirm the various recommendations from another source.
Hope it's of help!
I use the trousers rather than the salopettes and have never needed an extra layer even in severe cold and wind chill.
HH Lifa longjohns for me. If particularly cold, shorter walk in, expect to belay for some time, HH Prowool LJs.
> Yeah Paramo seem like an interesting option.. Even though they're not "officially" waterproof are you happy wearing them all day in really foul horizontal sleet?
Yes, I don't have anything else to wear! If it's that wet, you won't enjoy climbing anyways.
I would recommend the Patagonia galvanised pants with a thin base layer under. I’ve been amazed that they haven’t fallen to bits they don’t feel very sturdy but have been good so far. Also they do an ironclad guarantee so if you do break them they will repair Or replace them. I’ve found there customer service 100 times better than arc’teryx and mountain equipment
I never have an extra layer. I think you would only consider that at -10 perhaps.
For the last season I completely failed to find any hardshell trousers that fitted at a remotely sensible price, so just went for a pair of super cheap (<£40) Berghaus Deluge Pants (which are helpfully available in short and long leg lengths). Combined with a large amount of duct tape, patches and glue as they gradually got ripped and torn they worked out fine.
They have now been retired after a relatively short season but it still worked out cheaper than paying 5-10 times more for kit that only lasts a maximum of perhaps two or three times as long.
At the end of the season I dropped into the Berghaus outlet store in Gretna and got a ridiculous bargain so now have some top of the range bibs for next season for well under £100.
In short, if you can't find a good pair that fit on sale at a massive discount to the RRP, buying the cheapest possible ones and then treating them as pretty much disposable (albeit with some heavy running repairs) isn't actually a bad idea.
> , for proper winter conditions...ie close to freezing or below id swear by my paramo enduro trousers. They're rubbish if its warmer and theyre rubbish in prolonged heavy rain esp if its milder.
> That said they're totally fantastic when its cold and drier or not too wet. They vent amazingly with little snow or rain ingress. Even when clammy slogging uphill they dry up super fast when you ease off. No membrane to fail and easy to repair. Mine are about 6yrs old and going strong.
I agree with all of that. Can't be beaten in cold conditions IMO.
Very thin long John's from Uniqlo. I'll unzip the side vents on the paramos for the walk in and this seems to manage the over heating well enough.
This last season I used a brynje mesh base layer on my top half and that was an amazing game changer. No more sweaty back and stayed a very comfortable temperature all day.
My old Gore Patagonia Super Alpine Bibs are probably the best winter climbing over trousers I've had. Sadly no longer made, but I'm hoping Patagonia worn wear can fix them up enough for another season. For me, and the rate I get through clothes with work and play, it's worth paying more for Patagonia just to get them fixed when I inevitably break them.
I wear Helly Hansen longjohns under my Aspiras, I found long belays just a bit chilly without. For activities where you're generally on the move (walking, skitouring) I don't bother with the longjohns.
Thanks for all the suggestions from everyone, it’s been really helpful. Paramo sounds like a great option, I really rate the robustness and repairability aspect.. Managed to pick up a pair of aspira sallies from their ebay seconds shop before I headed off this weekend, so I’m (sort of) looking forward to the next big winter storm to put them through their paces!
If you do go for a hard shell or mix, I've still got and use a 20 year old pair of Mountain Equipment Kongur salopettes, they have a high back so no cold spots. Mine have been well abused and still ok with only a few holes from crampons over the years. Not sure if the new ones will be as good but I would buy again.
As an old timer I still like using salopettes/ bibs. Unless the weather is really pish I only put them on when gearing up so by the time I've got harness and 'poons on I don't notice the extra weight. I like the durablity and warmth they provide and at the price of some of them I want them to last more than a season or two. Best pair I ever had were from Sprayway back when they did technical gear. Bombproof and made of Goretex XCR which stayed waterproof and breathable for years and years. Retired them about 5 years ago and got a pair of Berghaus Oktang bibs at a crazy price new and they are pretty good too - very roomy for leg movement and high steps but a close fit around the chest. Slipped walking off the Ben first time I used them and put a hole in the knee mind!
This Winter Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are...
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