Vintage Gear

  • @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


  • the next day we swam in that lake you can see in the background 🙂

  • @Scole said in Vintage Gear:

    no one even knows what they are any more, so I can't sell them.

    Have you check the prices being asked on eBay for old Chouinard gear? You can certainly sell them if you get the itch.

  • Cool stuff...that title of yours Fritz got me to look : )

    Just cleaned up the same Forrest axe, tagged it and dropped it in the (collection) abyss! I need to double check but I recall the climber's name to be Don White? He used it in Pakistan, or ?? Hmm..good thing my acquisition records are better kept than my memory.

    PS That iron collection upthread is worth a grip of money on eBay. Prices are sky high these days!

  • @Roots! Good to see you here. Post up some gear.

    I'm still cherishing that solid brass descender you gifted to me in June. It appears to have the original owner's name scratched into it.



  • @FritzRay Ah, Ray, your photo of an old Figure 8 reminds me of a day, long, long ago.

    When? 1980? 82? Can't remember exactly, but I was working in a climbing/skiing/bicycling shop in Vancouver. And this guy walks in and shows me a... well, it would once have been a Figure 8 rappeling/belay device, but you wouldn't have wanted to trust your life to it in its current condition.

    Eaten half-way through on all possible rope-running surfaces.

    He said he'd bought it from us a few weeks ago and only used it once. To which I said "WTF?" To which he replied that he'd taken it with him to the Bugaboos, climbed something on Bugaboo Spire, and then used it for the two rappels down from the Bugaboo/Snowpatch col. After the first of which, when he was changing over to the second, he noticed that his 8 had been eaten half-way through on the side he was using. So he flipped it, threaded the opposite side, and ate that one half way through on the second rappel.

    I reckon a lot of stores would have told him to fuck off, but I had done those rappels, and knew that the snow one rappeled down was only half snow, with the other half grit.

    The soft aluminum of the 8s of that day were no match for that kind of punishment, so I gave him a new 8.

  • David! That's amazing that a Figure 8 descender would be scarred so-much from a rappel.

    I think they used it as part of a pully system to pull a vehicle out of a mud hole.

    I am unpleasantly reminded of the long-ago day when I was owner of a "outdoor shop" in Moscow Idaho. An employee presented me with a customer & a "defective" wooden snowshoe. I was not at my brightest, due to a broken collarbone & several broken ribs from a recent mishap. I looked at the neatly cut-wood on the snowshoe frame & the several areas of cut lacing, & said: "I'm so sorry you had this problem, let me give you a refund."

    Shortly after that, my employee & Idaho friend Mark looked at the snowshoe & said: "What stupid assholel chainsawed this snowshoe?"

    Yes! I tracked the customer down & gently explained his damaged snowshoe was his doing & got a refund of my refund.

    Amazingly, he admitted he knew he had chainsawed the snowshoe, but thought it might be covered by a product warenty.

  • @David-Harris Wowzers! I never climbed the Bugaboos. Wanted to. Even have "the" guidebook. Did not get a round tuit. For some reason or another. Hmm.... I must have been seduced by Squamish, Whistler, and Garibaldi. Never made it to the Bugaboos for some reason. Or another. I've no recollection why it got put off. There was a local betty I was friendly with but it wasn't that... In any case, maybe sounds like I did myself a favor. Shit has got to be hell on your cords as well.

  • Ah Toby! There was something about the Bugaboos. Mostly, I backed-off big routes due to the weather, but we did get up the East Ridge of Bugaboo Spire.

    Bugaboo 2 smallerMt_02_009.jpg

    Bugaboo smaller Mt_02_010.jpg

    And our 1972 Bugaboo gear.
    small Mt_02_002.jpg

  • @FritzRay said in Vintage Gear:

    Mostly, I backed-off big routes due to the weather,

    No, given the amount of weight of gear in that last photo, I suspect you backed off because you couldn't find enough porters to carry that shit up for you.

    And, on the "Vintage Gear" theme, here is my first carabiner:
    Stubai steel biner 01.jpg

    And the other side:
    Stubai steel biner 02.jpg

    The guy that first took me climbing gave me two of these. Probably because he wanted them off his rack -- they weigh almost half a pound each.

    Stubai chrome-vanadium steel. REI once tried to test them, and their test rig failed at 11,000 pounds.

  • David & all! I confess we did not drag all that gear up to the brand-new Bugaboo hut, but we used little of what we took, since the Bugs were very snowy in mid-September 1972.
    Here's a view of the snowy terrrain around the brand-new Bugaboo Hut. It was unlocked & we enjoyed the dry environment.

    Mt_02_011bugaboo hut 1972 small..JPG

    And of course, you never know what might happen to the gear you leave in your vehicle. The Bugaboo Lodge Grizzley tore the door off our borrowed Hertz roof-top carrier, ate the little food inside & scattered the remaining climbing grear around the parking lot.

  • Keswick is stamped as the town of manufacture. I thought it was in Scotland but seems to be on the North England boarder.

    "Keswick, town (parish), Allerdale district, administrative county of Cumbria, historic county of Cumberland, northwestern England. It lies at the north end of the Derwent Water (lake), below the peak of Skiddaw."

    Spent this past weekend climbing at Smith and trying to catalog a pile of vintage gear...I should be posting pics shouldn't I?

  • @Roots Yes! To post photos up to 2mb, click the blob with a white arrow in it, above your reply & you can upload from your computer.

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