Frostline Kits- Who Sewed Their Own Booties WBITD?!?


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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 21, 2010 - 11:53am PT
Alrighty then elders! Who among you has battled the darts, ripstop and feathers to produce a prized garment? LOL

From Summit November 1968.

Trad climber
Aug 21, 2010 - 11:58am PT
My mom did the work for us (as well as with Holubar kits). That was my standard outerwear back in the '70s.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 21, 2010 - 11:59am PT
I had no doubt that you were homesewn eKat! LOL

Social climber
So Cal
Aug 21, 2010 - 12:00pm PT
60-40 cloth jacket with the Egyptian cotton liner.

The theory was that the long fiber cotton expanded and sealed when it got wet.

Well, it was just a theory.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 21, 2010 - 12:04pm PT
I always thought that 60-40 were your chances of surviving freezing rain in a parka made from that fabric. Never sure if my chances were better or worse than even...

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Aug 21, 2010 - 12:10pm PT
I would venture to guess that Mark Blanchard is STILL sleeping in his Frostline sleeping bag from about 1973!

No guesses ventured as to the smell...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 21, 2010 - 12:19pm PT
Debbie and I collaborated in making a parka and a tent, no pattern or kit... but NYC was a great place to find material that fit our budget back in the 70s

my high school girl friend sewed my designed butt-bag, haul bag and single point hammock for my overly ambitious first attempts at "big wall" climbing... they may actually still be in the garage, not the haul bag, that came apart on the first haul (a perfect excuse to blame the equipment and saved us the ignobility of a retreat from higher up).


Social climber
Davis, CA
Aug 21, 2010 - 12:20pm PT
I've got a Frostline vest my aunt sewed for my grandfather in the early seventies.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Aug 21, 2010 - 12:24pm PT
Yep, the ex-wife sewed them for me until she tired of my mountain ways and left me sitting alone on a frosty cold stone.

Trad climber
The great white north, eh?
Aug 21, 2010 - 12:28pm PT
Still have the booties...and still wear them when I'm out in severe cold and answering the call of nature. My rear may be freezin', but my feets is toasty!
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 21, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
The real question being how many of us wrecked our mother's sewing machines making haulbags, hammocks, clothes, etc etc.

from where the anecdotes roam
Aug 21, 2010 - 12:53pm PT
in the early days of the uc santa cruz outing club, maybe '70-'72, my climbing buddies had made a frostline sleeping bag.
my vw bus got stolen and soon recovered, but without the north face sleeping bag in which my dreams
had been coming true for a few years already.

but now, there were girls to share dreams with. so, thinking these guys learned everthing they would need to know from frostline, i confidently commissioned them to build me a replacement, but with a zip-in triangle to accommodate cuddling activities. i'm almost sure it was their first commercial effort, i mean the feathers were flying in an off campus student rental.

so the bag they produced lasted years, the material purchased from an early seamy guy in town. the idea took hold.
i grinned at the novelty label they attached involving some apple theme close enough to the beatles' new label
i questioned whether it would endure. apple's woz hadn't even started attending the homebrew club.

before long, those two went into business along with another buddy in grand junction.

i spent a gob of my first alaska construction earnings on my first ski getup,
and headed right to colorado to start bumming off my buddies' hospitality,
which was quite generous.

there was quite a lot of entreprenurial energy on display to admire.
seems i was right about the label. it had changed to marmot.

about a decade later, when i retired that bag, it crossed my mind it may have
sentimental value to ... ? naw these guys have mountains of things to be proud of,
besides, the post office doesn't handle hazardous waste

A long way from where I started
Aug 21, 2010 - 01:54pm PT
Yup. A vest.

Trad climber
Aug 21, 2010 - 02:03pm PT
Is the guy in the pic holding a pipe?

Social climber
State of decay
Aug 21, 2010 - 03:47pm PT
I don't remember who made the kit, but I was refered to it by Galen Rowell, who helped me put them together. It was a pair of inner booties made from ensolite type material. Used in over sized single pair of Kastinger-Habeler Super-lights. The fit was great and I used them for years until good double boots became much lighter in weight.
Those kits were fun and unique.
Might have bought it from the old West Ridge store in LA.
Double D

Aug 21, 2010 - 05:48pm PT
Too funny! I made a 60/40 parka...didn't end up using it much. I will say that these stupid kits started me sewing though, much to the demise of my mothers sewing maching.

Then came the bat-hammock, but bags, rain fly's and eventually with an industrial sewing machine to haul bags, packs and even a portaledge.


Social climber
Aug 21, 2010 - 05:53pm PT
Loved Frostline. Found them foolproof. I still have my 60/40 parka, but, alas, either it has shrunk or I have expanded over the years.


Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Aug 21, 2010 - 06:43pm PT
eKat,.. that solves one (of many) mysteries about some of my past gear. I honestly don't remember selling it to Doug but that seems reasonable. That is a nice piece of equipage! Wish I still had it... I don't think anyone makes one anymore.

And Doug... If he were her on ST this place would be a full-on laugh riot. That man could make me spit milk out of my nose within minutes of being with him. We once did the Casaval Ridge on Shasta and he was in charge of food supplies. At the end of the day I looked forward to a nice dinner ion the windy ridge. Doug pulls out a handful of McDonald's ketchup packets. THAT... was dinner and breakfast! After topping out we each grabbed a single ski and skied down Avalanche Gulch. Needless to say Doug just tucked in at the top of Red Banks and did not stop until it flattened out. He was a speck while I was still trying to figure out how to turn a single ski with a Jensen pack full of ketchup packets on my back.

Did you ever hear how he attempted to disappear into the wilderness so his "assigned government follower" would lose track of him?

And then there were the waterfall ice climbing boots he made by fiber-glassing knee-high front panels to a pair of Scott rear-entry boots so that he had 3-foot tall stiff ice boots that relieved all sense of leg strain. The man was a wonderful and full-on crazed man!
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Transporter Room 2
Aug 21, 2010 - 06:54pm PT
rich sims

Trad climber
Aug 21, 2010 - 07:25pm PT
I still have booties and a vest I sewed plus the jacket my girl friend now wife sewed for me.
I did not know what I was getting myself into.
Still laugh remembering the day I drove away from Mel's sewing machines.
I had just bought my fourth and first brand new sewing machine.
I was sitting at a stop light 1979 when it hit me I had just spent $2,300 on the sewing machine and I was taking it to the shop in a truck I bought for $1,200 boy them was some fun times......
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