First Pterodaclye ice axe


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Gordon Hibberd

Ice climber
Ayrshire Scotland
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 20, 2010 - 05:46am PT
I believe the axe I have is the very first axe to be used to replace the ice daggers then in use, Two prototypes were brought down from Scotland by Ian Clough that were made by Hamish in 1967 we used them on the Fortress expedition in Patagonia but found the blade wasn't long enough and consequently a trail of blood was left on the ice from the knuckles caused though smashing the axe into the ice.This was the same axe used by cliff Philips to brake him self on the eiger in 1970 How it stopped him I have no Idea as the blade was very thin and short.It was also lent to Eric Jones for the duaration of the filming on the Eiger.I dont know what happened to the other axe after 1968 an hase one but I still have the hammer one. Dont know if its of any value history wise or not.Can supply a photo if anyone is interested.
Delhi Dog

Good Question...
Aug 20, 2010 - 09:15am PT
Does that mean you're selling it?

Hmm, I got one too, busted many a knuckle on it and all it does it hang from the wall in the garage...but I like it hanging there.

Course it hasn't been where yours has, but the blood trails probably look the same:-)

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 20, 2010 - 10:24am PT
I am very interested!

You may find this thread interesting too!

Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 20, 2010 - 10:25am PT
Post a photo!

Not sure when ice daggers were commonly used (I have a Stubai model) but my bet is they fell out of favor quite awhile ago (early 50's?).

Too many decent short hammers out there from a variety of makers (on the continent though).
Rick A

Boulder, Colorado
Aug 20, 2010 - 02:17pm PT
I would like to see it.

Even later models like the ones I used in the mid seventies were hell on the knuckles. I still have scars from those things.

Todd Eastman

Bellingham, WA
Aug 20, 2010 - 03:04pm PT
Do you remember the time lapse between actually smacking your knuckles and the pain registering?
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 20, 2010 - 03:09pm PT
Simultaneous, in human terms if not those of physicists.

Gordon, your Terrordactyl probably has considerable sentimental and financial value to those interested in such things. Don't part with it until you're informed. This site, for all the dross, includes people who are very knowledgeable about the history of climbing equipment, and there's a lot of interesting stuff if you poke around with the search function.

I believe that at just about the same time, Chouinard started experimenting with curved picks. An idea whose time had come.
Gordon Hibberd

Ice climber
Ayrshire Scotland
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2010 - 07:56pm PT
Thank you for your kind responses, I will Try to load a photo.No its not for sale I just wounderd if it was of any value from a relic point of view as I have been out of the climbing scene for so long I have lost touch with all climbing friends and climbing in general I do have a lot of gear that is for sale.IE Stuff used on Cerro Torre in 71/72 which I would rather forget about.Would also like Pete Minks e-mail if anyone has it.Kind Regards Gordon

Credit: Gordon Hibberd
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 20, 2010 - 08:04pm PT
Very nice Gordon! Looks sharp-edged enough to be a prototype!
Gordon Hibberd

Ice climber
Ayrshire Scotland
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 21, 2010 - 05:46am PT
Some more pics.
Credit: Gordon Hibberd
Credit: Gordon Hibberd
Credit: Gordon Hibberd
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 21, 2010 - 10:48am PT
Nice piolet! That axe has been some places.

Trad climber
Aug 24, 2010 - 04:53pm PT
What kind of early 70's gear are thinking of selling? I may be interested - Thanks!
scuffy b

Eastern Salinia
Aug 24, 2010 - 05:03pm PT
On that other thread there was some noise about the rare hickory shafted
version of Chouinard piolet, like this one.

Trad climber
Arroyo Grande
Aug 24, 2010 - 06:58pm PT
Credit: Ken

Charlie Porter's "Hammerdactyl", from Russ McLean after their Paine trip in the 70's.

Porter copied what he had seen in Scotland.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 25, 2010 - 02:51pm PT
That's one hell of a chunk of Charlie! Thanks for posting the photo. Did he ever actually use it?

Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Aug 25, 2010 - 06:43pm PT
This is my version of the Terrordactyl, and the provenance document written up by Rusty Baillie.


Mountain climber
Nov 1, 2011 - 02:12pm PT
Dear Gordon
I have just caught up with the Supertopo letters concerning the Terrordactyl. I fact it was Hamish MacInnes and myself (Derek Gamble - Peck UK)who loaned the two prototype Terrordactyls to yourself and Eric Jones, mainly for a solo ascent of the Eiger North Face in 1963.
I have one of the Terros which I have donated to the Mountain Heritage Trust and have been trying to find out what happened to the second one.
It has now come to light again.
I did have a phot of you on the summit of the Eiger waving both Terrors above your head - taken by Leo Dickenson which unfortunatley I have lost in my travels.
I would be very grateful if you could get in touch.
Are you still in the Alpine Club?
Best regards

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Nov 1, 2011 - 02:25pm PT
PM sent..

Social climber
Aug 14, 2013 - 01:15am PT
Just found this.
Big piece of lost history here if the Terro was first prototyped in '63 by Peck. Hamish MacInnes has been given the credit and by all acoounts came up with the idea in the early '70s.

Eric Jone's solo climb was in '81 iirc.

"Yvon Chouinard, a Californian and an outstanding mountaineer developed a short, wooden shafted ice hammer with a curved pick serrated on its bottom edge (the Climax). Though the earlier Maclnnes All Metal Ice axes and ice hammers had a straight, slightly declined pick these were not sufficiently "dropped" for direct aid on vertical ice.
Hamish Maclnnes developed the "Terrordactyl" in 1970, which was a short, all metal ice tool with an aluminium alloy shaft and a high quality pressed steel head in two sections with
an adze and steeply inclined serrated pick, for climbing on neve or hard snow."

Trad climber
Aug 14, 2013 - 01:22am PT
I have a old Pterodactyl ax, not the first, but probably not the last. Wonder what they go for on Ebay?
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