Classic Holubar Catalog- 1971

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 24, 2011 - 05:53pm PT
I recently got this Holubar catalog from the same fellow who sold me his grandfather's Sporthaus Schuster hardware. A classic slice of early seventies gear from this great supplier.

















































I will fill in the rest of the product line if folks are interested.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 24, 2011 - 06:04pm PT
I guess by 1970 their iconic parka with the leather rappel patch was already history---or is that just a page you left out?

Here's the parka (you can see the rappel patch on my left shoulder) at work on the Lake Michigan ice cliff traverse, in that year (early-sixties) about 1000 feet of traversing with the promise of a dunking in absolutely frigid waters if you blow it.



Getting out usually involved a bit of an overhang:

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 24, 2011 - 06:10pm PT
And all of their own hardware is long gone...

Rgold- What a classic outing! Cold Water Ice Bouldering...never quite caught on! LOL
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 24, 2011 - 06:19pm PT
Well, we weren't bouldering exactly, but we only had a screw for each belay anchor and two screws for a pitch (these were those corkscrew units), so the basic purpose of the rope was to help the fallen climber pull himself out. We never did fall in though---I think it would have been an epic even though we were in the city. Temps around zero and woolen clothing drenched in ice water...
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jul 24, 2011 - 08:04pm PT
Good to see posts from Rich.

Steve, I somehow don't imagine this was the "classic"
catalogue. There were things before this, and this was
about the time Holubar went into a real "slump," if I recall,
I mean hiring people who knew little about anything mountain
or rock related... Health problems, I think, got Roy and Alice
off track, letting others take control.
The early Holubar days, when old Roy was one
of the first, and his wife Alice... They
were a pair, believe me, full of wonderful energy. Their
pitons were ok, and they didn't have anything too frightful,
such as the Gerry death pitons where the head broke off with
one hit of a hammer... I had a nice rack of those at one time,
and we fixed most of them rather than destroy them by trying
to hammer them out. If you come across an old fixed angle in
Eldorado or around Boulder, beware...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 24, 2011 - 08:18pm PT
Pat- Certainly not THE classic catalog but very evocative for me as I came into climbing shortly before this came out and I vividly recall some of the content. I only have this one version or I would have already posted anything earlier.

My research indicates that several companies were making ring-less angle pitons from alloy steel around 1960 but then Holubar and Gerry rapidly backed away following several well-publicized failures of Gerry pitons (as you mention) due to heat treating problems. Do you recall where those Holubar ring-less angles would have been made? Same blacksmith that made all the other Holubar pitons stamped in block letters?

I will be interested to hear how much these folks influenced the rest of the sewn goods industry along the way.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jul 24, 2011 - 10:24pm PT
My comment wasn't a put-down or anything, just that when I started
in the late 1950's, Holubar was coming into full swing, or soon
around then, and one could go to their little downstairs store and
visit with them, get the latest on any climb, laugh with Alice,
look at pitons... It was never the same after they began the move
to "corporate," or whatever you want to call it... Same thing with
Gerry. I bought my first rope at Gerry, on layaway. Dale Johnson
worked there, and I loved when I could walk down the hill to the little
shop and look at the pitons and gear, but especially to talk with
Dale, who was one of my heroes... It was such a special thing
to get my first pack, for Christmas, that fresh fabric smell.....
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jul 24, 2011 - 11:31pm PT

Nice, Steve

I had the Royalite II tent for years, and still own the expedition down
parka. It makes me look like the Michelin man wearing it!!!!
Prezwoodz

climber
Anchorage
Jul 25, 2011 - 03:14am PT
I got a 1975 Great Pacific Iron Works catalog at a garage sale the other day for a Dollar. Seemed like a fun buy! I looked online and it appears Hartouni has already scanned the entirety of it in ( http://home.comcast.net/~e.hartouni/GPIW/GPIW.html ) . Neat. Thanks for bring us all the history Steve!
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jul 25, 2011 - 10:42am PT
Blast from the past, thanks Steve. It happens that Gary Neptune and I both worked at Holubar around then. I wrote a few words about those bygone days in Steve Levin's recent Eldorado guidebook.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 25, 2011 - 10:47am PT
Chiloe- Please scan and post what you wrote. I don't have the Levin guide or I would do so.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Jul 25, 2011 - 11:22am PT
Steve, I had never seen this version of the Clog Hexagon (photo page 49 of the Holubar Catalog 1971) with two lightening holes on the sides. A very rare item!
On page 50, the third nut from the top is a Baby MOAC.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 25, 2011 - 11:28am PT
Not a lot of hardware in this catalog but definitely some interesting items.

That drilled hex caught my eye too. The Chouinard Hexentric was already available so Clog's attempt at updating their product was likely pretty short-lived.

Anyone have a factory-drilled Clog hex for show?
local

Social climber
eldorado springs
Jul 25, 2011 - 11:45am PT
The drilled hex is most likely a 1-1/2" Colorado Nut. Until we started using tooling to drill out a larger longitudinal hole in the hex, we drilled out the sides with a 1/2" hole. We didn't make very many of the older model.

In addition to manufacturing our little line of nuts, I worked at both Holubar in the late 60's at the Cherry Creek North location and Gerry Mountain Sports on 17th Street. We sold Colorado Nuts at both locations.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Jul 25, 2011 - 11:50am PT
It's amazing that the Forrest Copperheads are not mentioned in this complete catalog.
I suspect that local might be right as this "Clog Hexagon" seems to be shorter than the ones in my collection.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 25, 2011 - 12:16pm PT
local- Any chance that you could post up your collection of Colorado Nuts and some more background on that company?

Any of your Holubar collection would also be very interesting, especially any ring-less alloy steel angles. Bob Culp has been trying to remember the name of the blacksmith that made the pitons for Holubar which are stamped in block letters.



The ring wafer is stamped with Holubar's import stamp for items made in Europe by Ausrialpin for them. The other wafer was made by Holubar and carries the simple block letter stamp characteristic of the mystery smith!

It is interesting that only the Forest Pinbins made it into this catalog.


deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jul 25, 2011 - 12:43pm PT
A rare view of the pre Tom Frost design Hexes! cheers
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 25, 2011 - 01:09pm PT
I still have my Holubar Denali bag (not their name but mine) from '70 or '71.
It has been to a lot of really cold places and kept me toasty. It's even been
washed a few times and it is still in terrific nick! There's no substitute for quality!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 25, 2011 - 01:10pm PT
I only have one dinky little Colorado Nut in my collection so I would love to see a whole selection with any luck.

Clog, Troll, Eiger, SMC, CMI and Colorado Nuts were all available before Tom stepped into the mix with an optimal shape and then an even better one. The "Eccentric Hexentric" as he likes to call the second asymetrical design.
local

Social climber
eldorado springs
Jul 25, 2011 - 07:55pm PT
Steve, I don't know if there is a full set of Colorado Nuts anywhere. Maybe in some closet in Boulder, but I sure don't have them all.

This from a previous post:

"We started Colorado Nut sometime in 68, I think. We were both working in retail stores then - Holubar and Gerry's - and as far as we knew, we were the first in the US to manufacture climbing nuts. The Brits were clearly the first, with MOACs and some hexes. We basically copied the hexes, and made a continuous range from 1/4" to 1 1/2, and three sizes of I-beams, both for cord and cables. Forrest came along pretty quick thereafter, with a much more extensive line of gear.

Our first shop was in a tiny little room - maybe 6' x 10'- in the basement of 819 Lafayette in Denver. At first, we were cutting hex stock on a small horizontal band saw and drilling them out on a bench drill press. We broke a hole through a brick wall into the boiler room, so we had room to run a full 10' bar through the saw.

We eventually moved the shop to Eldorado, in late 1970 I think, and bought a proper cut-off saw, which really speeded production up. We had Triton Machine Shop in Boulder make up some countersink drill bits, which made for nice smooth holes. We also started tumbling the nuts; getting a nice bright finish.

We eventually got evicted from the Eldorado shop, and built a new shop in Marshall at Paul's new spread. By then, we had pretty much given up on Colorado Nut. Running the machines was pretty serious work - slicing through 3" aluminum I-beams with a 14" carbide tipped blade. Paul and I had blown up a couple of blades, imbedding carbide teeth in the ceiling and walls. Scary, to say the least.

We hired Jimmy Dunn and Ray Jardine for a while. (I still have a 6" I-beam that Ray made up for some hideous crack climb he had in mind - those were pre-Friends days.)

The combination of not wanting to spend 8 hours a day on the chop saw and drill press, or hiring someone else to do the work, which we considered pretty dangerous led us to give the effort up. We had twenty or so accounts at that time, and they were amazed that we just let the company go.

GPIW had just come out with the first hexcentrics, which were a superior design to our regular hexes, and although we felt we could have competed with new designs we had in mind, it would have been a considerable investment to buy extrusion dies and really get into it.

And hey, we had girlfriends with trust funds, so we really didn't need to work all that hard!

A few photos of the remains....
[photo[photo[photo
A selection of beams.
A selection of beams.
Credit: local
id=210568]id=210567]id=210566]
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