Vintage Gear



  • 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.

    Warthog.JPG

    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.

    IMG_8675.JPG

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

    Wind_02_012-small.JPG

    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.

    Wind_02_061-small.JPG



  • @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:

    Guiness.JPG



  • 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.

    IMG_1164.JPG



  • 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_2569.JPG



  • IMG_1905 (2).jpg

    https://www.outsideonline.com/1837056/my-little-serrated-security-blanket?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=onsiteshare[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.



  • @FritzRay said in Vintage Gear:

    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.

    Any more info on the one like mine (on the right in your pic); like how many were produced and when?



  • johntp! Per your question, I have some facts from the 1980 Great Pacific Iron Works - Chouinard catalog. The classic Interalp/CAMP produced Piolet head design is gone, replaced by an entirely American-made axe with an ugly welded head, that lacked aesthetics, but worked just fine. I strongly suspect Interalp/CAMP decided to keep making their classic & beautiful Chouinard axe heads & reached an agreement with Chouinard to sell them in Europe, rather than the new welded American-made Chouinard axes. I have no idea how many they sold & how long after 1980 they sold them. In the last 3 years, I've seen 3 on EBay that look just like your North Wall hammer.

    Here's some photos of the 1980 Great Pacific Iron Works catalog copy on the change.
    1980 First list with metal axes.JPG

    1980 north wall and zero.JPG

    My photo of a Chouinard U.S, made axe on left, next to a pre-1978 Chouinard Piolet made in Italy by Interalp/CAMP.

    Interalp Piolet head compard to US made Chouinard head..JPG



  • @FritzRay

    Interesting. Mine is 40cm. Stamped "made in Italy Premana". The rubber sleeved shaft (as opposed to the catalog pic) makes me think it is of more recent manufacture. Also, the spike design is different.



  • @johntp! Yes, Premana is the Italian town that Camp/Interalp had their factory in. The pick was stamped Camp, Interalp, & Chouinard on the opposite side & of course, the rubber grip has CAMP on it. I'm sticking with early 1980's for the age of those axes. Here's my earlier photo again. The Chouinard Zero Northwall hammer at 50 cm long sold in the U.S., late 1978 to early 1980, on the left & the Euro version you own on the right, that was likely sold 1980 to ?.
    IMG_1163.JPG



  • @FritzRay

    The rubber grip on mine says "interaLP CAMP".

    Did someone say screws?

    Ice Screws.jpg



  • @Scole said in Vintage Gear:

    20190428_112745.jpg

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

    The Indian creek, ‘just in case’ rack.....



  • @Jaybro Exactly, they are for those times when you need 12 of each size.



  • Bongs
    Bongs.jpg



  • @johntp Lol... Ya' think the anal NSF content censor firewalls are going to have fun with this one...

    Party on, Wayne! 🚬



  • @toby said in Vintage Gear:

    @johntp Lol... Ya' think the anal NSF content censor firewalls are going to have fun with this one...

    Party on, Wayne! 🚬

    Kinda funny story. As a thank you to Tami sending me some vintage biners, I sent her a set of tube chocks. On the customs form I called them "Climbing Chocks". Ended up getting stuck in Canadian customs for two weeks. Can only imagine what the x-ray screeners thought those short, fat pipes were.....



  • I use my old snargs to hold up the windows in the cabin 😉


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