• Climber Tim

Semi-Retiring those Pfanners, or An Ode to Awesome Boots

Well, talk about a long-term review of Pfanner Zermatt Chainsaw boots. Suffice to say, my Pfanner Zermatts are about to give up the Ghost. Here was the latest picture - spurred up, and getting purchase in an icy willow crotch!

Edging and spurring into an Icy Crotch. Dead Willow. Fun Climb.

As you can see, it is a pretty used boot. I wear that boot about 220 days out of the year, and until just recently, I used it for groundwork, climbing removals, climbing pruning, and even for walking to school with the boys when I had a Plantar Tear from running.

By the way, it makes an awesome stable cast for an injured foot. Even walking the 1.5km to the boy's school, on a sidewalk, my foot held out!

So, here are some basic stats for the 2 years I've had the boot:

- 500 climbs. Note a 'tree climb' is a lot of up, down, and up. I don't know exactly what the average travel per tree, but if we say 3X height of the tree, per climb, at 50 foot climb per (on average), that's 75,000 feet of foot locking or spurs.

- 160 days, ground work. Now, this doesn't involve helping the groundman load logs or drag brush. This is actually forest work - about 80 days per year. This is me, working in the bush, dropping trees, balancing on trees, stepping through slash, navigating cut blocks, and buckthorn, and old, dead conifers, and snagging, kicking, stepping, jumping, edging and more or less making my way through wooded terrain. It's hard on boots- maybe not 'tree planting hard' (that will kill a good boot in a season) - but not exactly hipsters traipsing to the coffee shop, either.

SIDE NOTE (Is lumbersexual even a thing, anymore??)

Digressing - the boots work hard. They worked hard, and now they're getting their last, final retirement posting, so to speak. I've got a new pair of ArbPro Evo's - lightweight kicks for pruning and when the winter ends. While I love the classic look of Hoffmans or Wesco's (they go real well with my Stanfield)... the Zermatt replacements will be in the cards this Spring.

They were that great. So, I'll be replacing my Pfanner Zermatts with Pfanner Zermatts, but use them a little more specifically for removals (spurred) and ground work. They are, after all, comfortable as heck, waterproof (still), fit well enough to spurs (the one, small, 'not-so-great' vs traditional, high heeled logging boots), stiff along the shank, easy break-in, glove like fit once broken in.

Anyway, that was my long term review. A few more weeks of forest work, and then their final test- a winter speed hike of the Cloche Trail (but that's another story, to come....) then retirement.

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