This morning I was a mystic pilgrim crawling over the perfectly crushed white gravel of Italian urban landscaping, making my slow way to Scarpa on hands and knees, begging them at each contorted supplication for insider photos and a carpet test of 2.0 Alien boot. It worked.
Oh, whoops, I mean Alien 2.0 shoe–not boot. That’s right, we’re supposed to call this type of skiing footwear “shoes” now. Come to think of it, didn’t we start that here at WildSnow a long time ago, but got scolded for playing cute with the language? At any rate, the Alien 2.0 “shoe” is a nearly full-carbon technological extravaganza — coming in at about 600 grams for a size 42 — yep, we will now use shoe sizes instead of mondo, as instructed by those priests of plastic where my pilgrimage completed.
Somewhere around a dozen European skimo racers will be on the Alien 2.0 this winter. In terms of performance, I’m told they like the Tronic lean lock, and are able to leave the boot totally buckled for the shorter uphill sections, while they flip the upper velcro/buckle system open for longer ascents. Scarpa says the idea is to never change the buckles, thus being truly ‘no hand.’ I tried leaving the boot buckled tightly while carpet testing between uphill and downhill modes, and found it indeed makes ‘no hand’ use a possibility, so it’ll be interesting to watch as retail of both this boot and F1 Evo get the ‘No Hand’ into broader use.
In all, my brutal pilgrimage was bandaged by a course of three machiatos as well as carpet testing a 600 gram ski ‘shoe.’ Lovely.
(For those of you new to the Scarpa boot lineup, please know that they’ve been selling a ‘ski touring’ version of Alien that’s all plastic, as well as the carbon cuff version 1.0 that at $1,700 is pretty much a high-end 700 gram race boot and is quite visible in most European skimo races. Main differences with Alien 2.0 is it goes to nearly all carbon, has the Tronic No Hand lean lock which eliminates the old-school lever and string arrangement on the 1.0 model, and saves about 100 grams.)
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.