I remember the day NZ alpine legend Dave Wills came into the shop I was working at, fresh off an attempt at Latok with Brendan Murphy. He was looking at plastic boots in the boot room, black Asolo expeditions I think. I sidled over to him and asked him what he thought of them for rock climbing, as they were much more flatter than a Scarpa Vega, which has a fair rocker built-in. The boot room was pretty busy that day, but I doubt anyone knew who Dave was, or does now, over two decades later. Dave looked at me with his Judge Dredd face, gnarled like a tree, and with true Kiwi understatement, replied “They’re good up to 6b”, at which point, the entire room seemed to go silent.
[Image: Dave Wills on first winter ascent of Divine Providence (7a), Mont Blanc)