teach, Welcome ! You know yourself better than any, do you want to 'try it', or do you WANT to DO IT ? Personally I agree that the boots are the most important piece of equipment. I'm from the same area (western NJ @ ride BM) there are NO shops around that sell Alpine Gear. What I'd suggest, is to take a day trip up to Stratton and check out 'The Starting Gate', they usually have a good selection of gear. Call them first (you'll find their number here) and make sure they have your sizes. That's what I did and do not regret it. I tried every boot on in sizes that they had and bought the ones that fit & felt best. If nothing else, you will know what size you really need for a particular manufacturers boot. Then decide if you want to go with used boots or new. They usually have some good sales at the end of the season, call them and check it out.
Chubz is a great guy and you have found the right place, there's tons of information here. If not current, it's probably been asked before and can be found with a 'Search'.
Good Luck, see you @ BMES10 . (maybe we can hit double digits next year !!)
More Smiles per mile :)
765 grams = 1.6865 lbs. or 26.985 oz.