MC, yes I did it -- see huge list of mods below. And buy a dremmel tool if you don't have one already. (Preferably multi-speed, as I've found the single speed runs a bit too fast for plastic.) The big problem is not the buckle, although I did grind have to grind down the inside of the tongue a bit to avoid too much pressure on the instep. The tricky part is the attachment point, so that it still overlaps the shell's protrusion and hence keeps out snow. The key is to cut off the excess portion of the lower tongue so that the higher section of the tongue is exposed -- whoops, or is that the lower section?!? E-mail me at email@example.com
to remind me to check my boots -- I did the first tongue the wrong way (although it's no great disaster), but then the second one I did *perfectly* (learning from my previous mistake!).
Garmont GSM Boots Mods
1. Threaded additional power strap through slots in rear shell. (Original power strap wraps around shell tongue for stiffness, while additional power strap wraps around liner tongue - yet under shell tongue - to bring liner tongue closer to shin.)
2. Replaced shell's soft foam heel insert with hard plastic insert.
3. Added large heel lift inside shell.
4. Added very small heel lift on top of that.
5. Replaced original tongue with Raichle Flexon race boot tongue. (See www.wildsnow.com
for instructions, but be warned that retrofitting is more difficult on Garmonts than on Scapas because of attachment point.)
1. Custom footbed.
2. Stretched shell's toebox (since I had to downsize on account of very low-volume feet).
3. Cut slits on outside of liner's toebox and cut stitching running up the center seam on front of toebox (ditto).
4. Placed ankle-wrap pads on outside of liner.
5. To accomodate high instep, shaved down plastic on outside of liner tongue, cut away some of liner's overlap w/ liner tongue, increased size of tongue-area cutout in lower shell, and ground down inside of instep area of retrofitted Raichle tongue.
6. Since heel lifts were putting heel too high in the shell's heel cup, expanded heel cup by grinding inside of liner. (Only very limited grinding though, since shell is extremely thin here.)
Yeah, I know, all this was a pain, but still less than what I had to do to make my Rossi race boots work for my funny feet, plus the end product is awesome!