Vintage Gear

  • Send it to where you think is appropriate. I have lots of old gear. I'll take some more pics

  • @toby said in Random Photo Thread:

    Since only a "small part of your collection", however, I wonder if you might want to start your own climbing history Museum? You've certainly got the goods. Maybe no call for such down south o' the border?

    There is a Spanish language film in progress called Suenos de Altura. Its about the history of Mexican climbing, and focuses on German Wing, a Mexican climber who I know from the Valley in the 80's. I was interviewed for the film as a gringo friend of German and there is a lot of interest in the history. Several local climbers have asked for a gear showing, so maybe your idea is on track.

  • Two Left Feet... But Still Dancin'??

    As the old sayin' goes... otherwise these look like they may well still be usable.

    Recent chatter on the Bachar Celebration thread inspires me. I suspect more than a few of us have a pair or two of these lurking in our Vintage Gear "collections". Bachar set up a company to import them after a trip to Spain? Goodbye E.B.s. The consummate friction and everything else shoe of it's day. Boreal Fires (pronounced "Fee Rays") revolutionized American free climbing.




    My memory is not of Acopa's but rather John showing up at JTree w/prototypes of Boreal Ace's and chatting up the marketing idea of "Having an Ace in the Hole" prior to setting off on his free soloing "Half Dome Day" with a warm up of "Double Cross". I never owned a pair of Aces. But being a dirtbag... resoled a few pair of these puppies multiple times. RIP.

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    Fire Invernals

  • I think we might need to do a shoe thread or climbing Footwear?
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    "Vintage Gear" is very broad
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  • @The-Gnome

    We shall see.... Until recently there has not been much action on this subject. I can fork topics off later if need be but for now maybe let's let it percolate and see what ensues because I'd prefer to be "forking" rather than "merging" topics that did not take off.

    Which begs the question: How old does something have to be to qualify as "vintage"? In the antique world, I believe the bar is forty years. That seems a bit high, even for the climbing world. Maybe thirty? Or maybe age is not as "definitive" as the effect various stuff had, e.g. Friends, followed by the dual axle Camalots? For sure Metolius Three Cam Units would be in there because you could place them in places four cams simply would not fit. Not to mention they had significantly less propensity to "walk". Scapas may be cool but lacked the "impact" of Boreal. Yet they certainly did have impact on Boreal's previously unchallenged market share (at least US side). Hmm..... some thought food for minds that enjoy pondering such things. One thing for sure is there's a veritable treasure trove of historical content potential here. 🙂

  • @The-Gnome! I agree! Maybe a Chouinard gear thread too.

    Here's my collection of Chouinard pitons & biners. I made it harder & only kept & purchased pitons in "mint" unused condition. Just to confuse things, there is a Dolt Long Dong & a Dolt Little peg, along with a silver Lost Arrow a girlfriend made for me, in the Lost Arrow compartment.


    In the Lost Arrrow compartment, my pride & joy is my collection of hand-forged Lost Arrows made from roughly 1962 -1966. They are marked Lost Arrow, but not U.S.A.

    Lost Arrows 1962-66.JPG

    From about 1966 to 1975 Lost Arrows were marked Lost Arrow & U.S.A. Around 1972 the tips were squared off & they lost the wonderful hand-forged texture. In 1975 Chouinard moved Lost Arrow production to Interalp & after that they were stamped Italy & mass produced.

    Lost Arrows 1967-75.JPG

  • The hand forged Arrows were the best. Each one was just a little bit different. Once they were all exactly the same nailing on established routes got harder, since the placements got scarred to match the pin. Having something a little different could turn a body weight placement into A1.

    The same went for having different brand pins. Even the CMI ones worked at times because the shape and taper was different.

  • @FritzRay

    Ooo Ah ooo ! ~ almost as good as going to the fireworks


    sweet collection

    ,,, I have a small collection of late 60s&70s era pins, blades & a few angles that rounded out my alpine/mixed rack, that iron weighed as much as the whole rest of the rack... Oh, I have a 6.5" long blade that I used as a nut-pick/butter knife/letter opener; a piton with a "D" shaped eye that has a four-letter word on it, too. 🙂

    ok-ok, Don't have a "Klipsch-'in":0) 🙂 🕙
    Quality Sound & the pictures . . . loaded !
    🙂 just yankin' your chain

  • @The-Gnome

    Have mercy! I knew I should have included "Climbing" into the thread title. Thought is sounded better short and sweet though. Can we please limit this one to climbing?

    Maybe a good time to start an "Audiophile" thread? I almost did a time or two but was not sure many were into it.

  • @The-Gnome Of course I meant "Climbing". Mea culpa! Remedied!

    Some people's children had just too much fun! Never, ever did any ice climbing. Wanted to but... then a guy I know got his nose sliced off his face and I kind of lost my courage for that one. Still reveled over the pics in Coonyard's "Climbing Ice" though. 👍

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  • Mono Pass.jpg

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    Third string cams. For when you need ten of one size.

  • Old School Rack.jpg

  • @johntp

    Nice one, John! Looks like that stuff is all still perfectly climbable. I was hanging in JTree several years back and had parts of my old rack with me. Some folks were looking at the old friends, rocks, and stoppers. One young buck gym/sport climber started going off about how unsafe that shit is and he'd never climb on it. I mean, really full on hypercastic. I scoped out his rack and every piece on it was some kind of cam device. Multiples of everything. Had his Sprint van and a small tribe of sycophants so I was kind of blown away by all the dutiful "me too's". Their loss and their ignorance as I am sure all here can appreciate there are many times when a rock/stopper and even an old hex make the perfect placement. At least as good if not superior to what may be had w/a cam. Lots easier to pack bunches of 'em as well. Must be nice to be a Trustafarian, eh? Nah...

  • Last of the Mohicans?

    I think I got this on sale somewhere not too long before Forrest Mountaineering closed/sold shop?


    Yes, the shaft is bent, courtesy of lamers at Allied Van Lines. Not Toby recommended.

    I always felt this axe too short, as I am six foot. Wanted an 80cm but they only had 70cm and 60cm "stocked" and not expecting more. The timeline was about right for the Bill Bails to start ForrestSmith and build revolutionary snowshoes that later became a really big deal at MSR. Don't recall the price but must have been a pretty decent deal. Never did much mountaineering so I did not use it much. Mostly on lower angle stuff where you need to be able to self arrest. But when you need it you need it and it can really, really suck not to have it so you pretty much got to have it. Capice? Capace. Sales talked me into the 70cm and it was probably a pretty damn good deal for a bullet proof axe. Lame arsed movers must have had some weight sitting on it to warp the shaft like that.


    Proudly Made in U.S.A. back when cottage industry was a viable business model.

  • Loved my Forrest ice axe. BITD it got me up some good WI with it's buddies the SMC 'poons and Mjolnir.

    And yes toby, those pieces above are still good to go. Funny that the new generation can't wrap their heads around the concept of passive pro.

  • Gnome. I had a cassin anteres. Good tool usualy paired it with a Simond Chakal which had a slightly better pick even though they were esentually the same tool. File0005.jpg

  • My old choiunard on it's last mountain 2018


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