Of Ticklers, Whammers & Hammers



  • @toby said in Vintage Gear:

    @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 craggin'?

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

    wait, what? keep to CRAGGIN'?! No All things Climbing - Yes . . .

    This all started when I secretly objected to @johntp calling "Ticklers" "Whammers".

    Forrest Ultimate life-time Tools; dipped into the tackiest tool-coat available a generation ago
    IMG_4926_808x700.jpg

    "WHAMMERS*"?

    Well? yes - these are.
    (Fitted with notoriously thick picks)
    climbers had to find skilled machinists to thin & tapper of the points
    without reducing the strength of the blades

    Swinging& kicking; slamming & whacking, releasing "dinner plates"
    that rain down; cold missiles & sheets of ice.

    While the actual action may appear to be that simple.
    For those of us who had less than quality frozen blue plastic ice available
    it really came down to an exercise that mimicked life.

    A delicate dance, where determination led to the need to constantly try and strike a balance between leaning back & reaching up.
    Between driving with enough force needed to sink a blade; to feel, to hear, that reassuring "thunk".
    Mixed with the reluctance to shatter the ephemeral unique structure(s) we asked to give us up-ward passage, while at the same time
    we hacked into them to make upward progress.

    The activity where would-be at odds forces, were married, coping with the impossible need to slam and tickle at the same time,

    Hatchet handled Molinar
    IMG_4914 (3)580x1159.jpg
    Tap and swing all while battling gravity and other unrelenting aspects of nature.

    The tools that one had to pick from were gothic weapons.
    Cassin, Alltares
    IMG_650x832.JPG

    To be good at ice climbing you needed to be able to stroke and caress -
    to place or "tap" as much as swing true blows into fat
    perfect 35 degrees F, plastic columns.

    Ice forms from vertical smears to overhanging chandelier curtains, and every other shape; many that defy the imagination until encountered
    at which point those shapes can become the things of dreams or nightmares.

    Charlet-Moser, Multimahne modular
    IMG_4918_527x755.jpg

    nothing in climbing that I ever did so perfectly unfolded as such a complete metaphor for life.



  • These are all way cool vintage gear pics. Merci beaucoup, molte grazie, and thanks bunches to @The-Gnome for posting them up.

    Follow up posts pertaining to origins of the "whammer" term and specifically as applied to Bridwell's hammer have been moved to a new dedicated Jim Bridwell's Hammer MIA thread.

    Hence, if you've read this thread before and wondering where those posts went, rest assured they were not deleted or "censored" in any way. Party on Wayne! 🥃



  • @The-Gnome said in Of Ticklers, Whammers & Hammers:

    Forrest Ultimate life-time Tools; dipped into the tackiest tool-coat available a generation ago
    IMG_4926_808x700.jpg

    I had a set of those, with not near the mileage on them. Lost in a move along with a haul bag full of old stuff.


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