We've seen hikers heading up Longs Peak (7.5 miles, 4,850 vertical feet, semi-technical) wearing smooth-soled, open-toed sandals. We've seen badass climbers float up 5.12 "warm-ups" at Rifle in their running shoes. But we'd never seen this before.
Jovan Simic sent us photos of his friend Erik Schnack leading Carlsberg Column (WI5) in Field, British Columbia, in down booties. With no crampons. Admittedly, the climb was exceptionally fat. But still. Here's Simic's account:
"A bunch of us went to Carlsberg Column to shoot the shit and another amateur movie for our local film festival. My good friend Erik Schnack, being the most hard-core climber in our group, was going to do some climbing while I shot some photos and another friend shot the video. However, Erik's fruit boots malfunctioned on the way up the approach ice, and he was left without crampons. Just as I thought that was the end of our adventure for the day, Erik decided to step up the hard-coreness and do the first ascent of the Carlsberg Column in down booties, which he always carries around to warm up his feet in between pitches. I've heard of people taking off heel spurs to make it more challenging. I've even seen Will Gadd seek out some of the most ridiculous overhanging ice and grading it WI10. But I've never heard of somebody climbing WI5 in down booties."