La Sportiva TX4 Review – Part 2

Putting on some road miles.
Putting on some road miles.

Since I’ve had my TX4s, I’ve taken them out on a couple of 3-day backpacking trips, with a summit scramble thrown in, a few day hikes in Grand Teton, and to hike into sport climbing areas. Condition wise, they’re holding up well, despite about 25 road miles, hiking in snow, and about 10 days at work too.

I wore the TX4 on a 3-day trip into the Gros Ventre wilderness in mid-June. I planned to do a one-way trip without a car; taking public transportation across town, then hiking or hitchhiking to the Goodwin Lake trailhead. From there I planned to hike in, camp, summit Jackson Peak, then hike out the Cache Creek drainage back to Jackson. My attempts at hitchhiking weren’t successful, so I walked all the way across the Elk Refuge, past Curtis Canyon, finally making it to Goodwin Lake to camp (about 15 miles, 3000’ elevation gain). The shoe was comfortable the whole way, despite not having very many miles on them. My experience so far is that there really isn’t a ‘break-in’ period.

The next morning I hiked up Jackson Peak, a relatively easy objective, from Goodwin Lake. I took the easy way, which heads south on a trail and then turns back north, going up the south ridge of Jackson Peak. The hiking was mostly on snow from Goodwin Lake, and warm temperatures meant that half of this was post-holing. I didn’t have gaiters, so I did get wet feet. The shoes felt good on the snow otherwise, especially near the summit, where the snow was firm. Kicking steps, and just hiking across the snow felt secure at a low angle. On top I took my shoes and socks off to dry in the sun. I hiked down the northeast ridge, which involved descending a few small snowfields, and a bit of scrambling, before descending a ledges and loose gullies back to the lake.

At this point, I didn’t feel like spending a day post-holing to get to the Cache Creek Drainage, so I spent the rest of the day fishing in Goodwin Lake. The next morning I packed up and hiked back out to Goodwin Lake, and was near the Curtis Canyon Campground when a friendly local offered me a ride back to town.

—————

 

I’ve had the TX4s out for about 10 cragging approaches as well. While there hasn’t been much in the way of technical use, they do well scrambling, hiking on talus, and climbing easy slabs. They’re supportive enough to carry a moderately heavy pack, and stiff enough underfoot to not feel every rock through the sole. I haven’t had them out for any long Teton scrambling days yet, but will report back when I do!

-Andy Edwards

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