North Face Catalog # 1- circa 1968


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Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 14, 2011 - 12:27am PT
Voila-After two nights of scanning, one crashed computer, mucho cerevezas, beaucoup vino and some nostalgic visions of the past I finally got most of this classic catalog onto ST. This is the first North Face Catalog, probably circa 1968 and design wise it was way ahead of the class. Look for some of your old friends in here, Terray, Rebuffat ............ Three pages missing-later.

Think Tet Offensive, My Lai Massacre, Chicago Convention, Martin Luther King, Bobbie Kennedy, a most pivotal year in old Americaca. Where were you in 68?


Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Sep 14, 2011 - 12:40am PT
Oh my. Why do so many of those items look familiar? Scary. Thanks...what a lot of work!


Trad climber
Sep 14, 2011 - 12:53am PT
very cool. It looks like the North Face must have had a soul once. Why does all that old gear have more sex appeal then the new stuff?

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 14, 2011 - 12:57am PT
Cool, Guido! Luv the Ghastly Rubberfat shot.

Where were you in 68?

On the USS Okinawa for my summer midshipman 'cruise'. What fun, really!
They even let me stand Mail Buoy watch! Never did see the damn buoy.
I really learned a lot hanging out at the North Island Officers' Club.
All bar drinks were 25 cents and you got your money's worth for sure!
I didn't know it then but I learned what a 'cougar' was. Some of those
wimmen were, like, 24 or 25! Whoa!

Then I went fishing in the Wind Rivers with my roomie and his dad.
Then I took that fateful rock climbing course with the Sierra Club at
Devil's Lake. The rest is history. Sordid, but history.

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Sep 14, 2011 - 01:12am PT
Really enjoyed that. Thx G man!

Pinnacles Guide for !! $2.00 !! WOT!!! That's a bargain, unless it was the Hammack guide that sold for .50, then it's a rip off. ;)

In 68, I didn't exist in corporeal form.
Though 68 was definitely a transformative time in the Western world.

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Sep 14, 2011 - 01:43am PT
That's a really great post. I have searched high and low for one of these early NF catalogs in my boxes of junk, and I never have found one - like the one with the scraggly bum on the front. I fondly recognize the great artwork in this one. The earliest I can find is Sierra Designs 1971. But, the NF ones are the real classics.

em kn0t

Trad climber
isle of wyde
Sep 14, 2011 - 03:39am PT
Guido, thanks so much for posting this - gorgeous design and illustrations. Couldn't find the artist credit -- do you know? (looks like John Svenson's AAc Journal illustrations???)

Where were you in 68?

1968 UC Berzerkly
1969 heading for the High Sierra, with my first pair of Pivetta Spiders bought at the Mountain Shop off Union Square, SF

seems like a lifetime ago, and just yesterday...

chewing the rubberfat at the old climbers home
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 14, 2011 - 03:57am PT
Cool catalog; I'd never seen it before (like the Dolt Hut one). Looks like the later Chouinard catalogs were modelled on it. Thanks for sharing.

Trad climber
Sep 14, 2011 - 07:01am PT
I was in Vietnam.

I can't believe how much of that stuff I still have! I gave the tent away last year to the Haiti relief drive.

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Sep 14, 2011 - 08:56am PT
Was it the 2nd (1969?) North Face catalog that prominently featured their Half Dome ascent, and the origin of that now-famous Half Dome NW face logo?

That's the catalog I first read, over and over until I knew and wanted every item.

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Sep 14, 2011 - 09:50am PT
Guido: Thank you soooo much for taking the time to scan and post that catalog. I have never seen it. I still own a NF Unimog bag that I believe was made in 1969. It was their semi-rectagular design and is not shown in this catalog.

The details on Chouinard pitons are great too. I was not aware Chouinard made solid aluminum Bongs. Mine are all drilled.

I wasn't doing technical climbing until summer 1969. In 68 I was a Forestry Major at U of Idaho.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 14, 2011 - 10:15am PT
Nice Guido! We were young once and...........well, had to climb in Kronhofers for one.

edit: I was three years out of the army and a year away from camp 4.

Gym climber
Sep 14, 2011 - 10:38am PT
That is bitchen!

Love the one photograph, that is really an amazing shot (the balance of light and all).

Looks like that guy is doing Leany Meany in boots w/ a pack. Awesome.

Sep 14, 2011 - 11:03am PT
Guido, you rule. We can't get enough of the Steve Grossman historical posts and it's nice to see it coming in from other folks as well. Thanks for hanging in and getting this done just for us, I feel pretty special right now:-)


Jesse, love to see it if you ever scan it in.
The earliest I can find is Sierra Designs 1971. But, the NF ones are the real classics.
scuffy b

dissected alluvial deposits, late Pleistocene
Sep 14, 2011 - 11:18am PT
Wonderful, Guido.
It really is a beautiful piece.
I must have picked up the 3rd catalog.
It had a little bit about the NA Wall.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 14, 2011 - 11:21am PT
Good job Joe!

What a classic catalog!

Thanks for taking the time to scan it!

I wonder who made their angle pitons?

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 14, 2011 - 11:25am PT
which one has the the photo of a bearded guy in a Down Jacket sitting on a curb in Berkeley.
scuffy b

dissected alluvial deposits, late Pleistocene
Sep 14, 2011 - 11:48am PT
Good Luck finding replacement gaskets for those Leroux boots, too!

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Sep 14, 2011 - 11:59am PT
I remember one classic Sierra Designs catalog from the early 70's. It was shot in the ghost town of Bodie. I am sorry I ever let that one get away.


Social climber
Sep 14, 2011 - 12:05pm PT
*SIGH* Thanks for posting that catalog. Brings back many memories. I worked for The North Face factory in Berkley a few years after that catalog, just after the next wave of technology was taking off. I remember walking past the main factory, back lot, on my way to lunch. The designers had some geodesic tents and shelters set up. I'll be darned if Buckminster Fuller wasn't there checking them out. I missed lunch, standing on the fringes trying to hear what was going on without getting in trouble or chased off.

Yes, TNF still had a soul in those days, The Prez, Happ Klopp, was very approachable although his circle certainly was not. All things change, though. Thanks again!
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