Vintage Gear

  • 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.

  • Forrest tools and CMI jugs

    Vintage Tools.jpg

  • A few more things seen on a recent trip down memory lane...

    Stubai Walker ice hammer:

    Stubai Walker.JPG

    I wish I could find my old Forrest Thunderbird ice axe, which was the right-hand companion to the above Stubai Walker on some memorable first ascents, but it has vanished, and it's almost impossible to even find photos on the internet. That I was able to climb what the guidebook later called "in-your-face Grade IV" with those things is a tribute to... hmmm... youth and stupidity?

    Warthog ice screw. Thank god I never really had to trust my life to it.


    And a screw (maybe Ray can identify it) of the sort to which (young and stupid) I did entrust my life.

    Old ice screw 02.JPG

  • David: My climbing buddies & I trusted our lives to those Salewa warthogs & tubular screws many a time. Happily, none of us ever took a fall on them. However! I read several accounts of the Salewa tubular screws stopping big falls.

    By January of 1974, when my pal Chris & I ventured up to Baniff to try to finds some of "them frozen waterfalls" we had read about in various climbing magazines, we were equiped with Chouinard bamboo Piolet axes with extra notches in the pick next to the shaft for thin ice over flowing water, the new lighter Chouinard Alpine hammers with the same extra notches & a good supply of the Salewa Warthogs & tubular screws.
    This Chouinard 1972 -1974 catalog photo shows & describes Salewa crampons, which were not nearly as popular as Chouinard's own rigid crampons & Salewa Tubular screws, along with a solid "twist-in" screw, which was best used to open wine bottles.


    Close to Baniff, we saw the impossibly steep Cascade Gully waterfall, & nearby, on the left, the less threatening Rogan's Gully.


    Even though we had never climbed a frozen waterfall before, we were soon bored with Rogan's & by early afternoon were climbing Cascade. It was steep, but we were young & dumb & we even enjoyed it. However, the BS stories I had read in Mountain magazine about Scotish hard men putting tubular screws inside their shirts to melt the ice out of the tube, so they could be re-used soon turned out to be true. Chris led the first steep pitch & I cleaned his ice screws & discovered they would not screw in without melting the ice out. I soon felt "hard" with two tubular screws melting out against my bare chest, as I led up thin ice over a good sized stream just below. At one point, water jetted out of a place where a axe pick had broken the ice.

    We didn't take photos on the climb that first time. This photo of me was taken on the first lead, two years later, turning a Salewa tubular screw into the ice, with my ice axe pick. My Chouinard Ice Hammer is fixed in the ice to my left as a pseudo-belay anchor.

    Ray Cascade Baniff-small.JPG

    Here's me placing a Salewa Warthog at a waterfall on Icicle Creek by Leavenworth Wa in 1975. We went up there, saw the waterfall & climbed it. I had total faith in my tools, unlike one of my partners, who freaked out, & did a really hard mixed pitch, to escape doing the next easy lead on the waterfall.


  • @FritzRay
    Damn. If we weren't both old and out of it, I'd say we should meet in the Rockies (the real ones,,, the ones in Canada) in February and get after some ice. But, given that gym climbing and modest mountain biking is pretty much my winter limit, memory lane is what I have, So, memories -- with primitive equipment:


  • Sweet stuff guys. Word has it this may have been a Chouinard prototype; haven't seen one like it.

    Ice Hammer.jpg

  • johntp: I think Chouinard Zero North Wall hammers like yours were sold by Interalp into the Euro market. I bought a near-identical one from a fellow in England a few years back. It was 40 cm long, while the Chouinard catalog for 1978 state the new fiberglass North Wall Zeros were 50 cm. Here's a photo of the two, side by side.


  • David! Per your mention:
    "Damn. If we weren't both old and out of it, I'd say we should meet in the Rockies (the real ones,,, the ones in Canada) in February and get after some ice."

    I retired from waterfall climbing in particular, & ice climbing in general in 1984. I had moved to SLC to humor the first company to hire me as an outdoor sales rep & had bought a home in the burbs near the ski canyons. On a cold Feb. morning I was navigating a climbing buddy, who was visiting from Alaska, up Little Cottonwood Canyon on crowded icy roads. I knew there were some small waterfalls near the mouth of the canyon & he noticed them & got quite enthused about us climbing them. Totally concentrating on the road & nearby cars, my subconscious mind answered: "No, I think I've used up my waterfall climbing luck."

    I was somewhat stunned that I said such a thing, but I had been climbing waterfalls without any falls or major incidents since 1974. I had suffered way too many very close calls on alpine ice climbs & after I thought about what I had said, I decided there was a deep-seated reason for it & quit. Of course, I still kept rock climbing.

    Here's a better photo of the ice piton page from Chouinard's 1972 -74 catalog.

  • IMG_1905 (2).jpg[link text](link url)

    I worked for the kings for years. steve called me into his office one morning and gave me this axe.

  • @climber-bob Damn! A real treasure.

  • @climber-bob

    At first I wondered who are the kings and who is steve? Then I read the link and got it. Pretty sweet. I wouldn't call it vintage, but a good share.

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