Chouinard Gear Mystery Questions

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karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 1, 2014 - 12:58pm PT
I am working on my new museum display at the AZ Hiking Shack in Phoenix AZ. This new display will be featuring Chouinard products circa 1957-1989. Of course I am coming up with many questions already so I am asking for a little help from the Chouinard collectors out there.

First Question and most important: Does anybody have any Chouinard catalogs 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968? The information in these catalogs can solve many mysteries on many of the Supertopo threads. Please share!

Chouinard Firsts page, 72' catalog
Chouinard Firsts page, 72' catalog
Credit: karabin museum

On the Chouinard "Firsts page" I see that 1 1/2" and 1" Angles are first introduced in 1960. My question here is what did the 1960 1" angle look like? Was it straight like the 1 1/2" or did Chouinard first introduce it with the classic design like the 1967 1" angle has?

In 1960 Chouinard introduces the alloy sheet steel bong, which was only one size.
In 1961 Aluminum Bongs are introduced in four sizes. When the aluminum came along in 1961 did Chouinard discontinue the steel bong? When was the 2" steel bong first introduced?
The 1965 catalog shows the bongs 2 1/2, 3, 3 1/2 to be aluminum with solid sides, but the 2" bong has lightening holes available in steel and aluminum.
Full set of aluminum bongs with lightening holes introduced in 1968/69? (I don't have 1968 catalog but shows lightening holes in 1969 catalog for sure).
Full set of four steel bongs with lightening holes were introduced in 1970 but discontinued in 1972.

Chouinard Angles
Chouinard Angles
Credit: karabin museum
1960 Alloy Steel Sheet Bong, Chouinard
1960 Alloy Steel Sheet Bong, Chouinard
Credit: karabin museum
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 1, 2014 - 01:26pm PT

What year did Chouinard Zinc plate his pitons?

Zinc plated Chouinard pitons
Zinc plated Chouinard pitons
Credit: karabin museum
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 1, 2014 - 02:51pm PT
What year did the RURP get the second webbing hole?
What did the early 1960s RURP look like?

That 1960 RURP sure is beautiful! For the pre 1967 RURP it looks like somebody grinded it flat but nevertheless, it is stamped RURP which makes it unique. It also has a wider design which is evident between the bottom hole and back end. The 1965 catalog shows a crappy picture of a wide looking RURP. The 1967 catalog cover shows a thin looking RURP, which may have come out in 1966 (I don't have 1966 catalog). In 1971 a wider design RURP was introduced.

Chouinard RURP - 1960 Dolt catalog
Chouinard RURP - 1960 Dolt catalog
Credit: karabin museum
Three Chouinard RURPs
Three Chouinard RURPs
Credit: karabin museum
RURP 1965 Chouinard catalog
RURP 1965 Chouinard catalog
Credit: karabin museum
1967 Chouinard catalog
1967 Chouinard catalog
Credit: karabin museum
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 1, 2014 - 03:54pm PT
Marty,

You can date Chouinard angle pitons by the size of his stamp. The 1" angle below has been cut and finished by hand in the very early 1960s.

Yvon was still making alloy ring angles in the late 1950s. As time went by the stamp became larger until it reached the size on the 1970s 1 1/2" angle at the top. Second down is a Clog 1" angle.



By about 1963-64 Tom Frost started moonlighting from his engineering job and began producing drawings to allow dies to be made to get around all of the handwork previously involved. His first assignment was the standard 3/4" angle.

The big aluminum angled stamped "YC" at the bottom which I liberated from Haystack in the Wind River Range is a prototype from the early 1960s I would guess. Tom Frost and Bill Feuerer shaped some big sturdy angles out of alloy steel in preparation for the second ascent of the Nose in 1960 by Tom, Royal, Joe Fitschen and Chuck Pratt.

Dick Long had a selection of big alloy angles available formed from thinner alloy steel like these ones.



Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 1, 2014 - 04:20pm PT
The original Chouinard 1" angle also had a "pointy" tip.
Vs. later more "square" tip.


Comparison of 1967(?) and 1960 1" angles


1965 Chouinard catalog (I do not have a copy of the catalog)
Shows 1960 pointy design.



Comparison of 1960 and 1967(?) 1.5" angles
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 1, 2014 - 04:34pm PT
RURP shapes varied a lot over the years,
probably depending on who was making the latest batch.

1960 Dolt Hut catalog


Ken Boche #1


Nose 2nd ascent gear layout (could be made by William Feuerer?)


Robert Summers #1


Robert Summers #2


Chouinard 1967 catalog


Chouinard 1972 catalog


Ken Boche #2


Ken Boche #3


Ken Boche #4


Tom Cochrane #1


Tom Cochrane #2
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 1, 2014 - 04:48pm PT
Steel bongs with lightening holes existed by 1965 -
see the 1965 "sortout" photo on p.68 of Glen Denny's book.



Probably worthy of mention are bongs with 2 eyes, no additional lightening holes, rounded tips.
Made by Tom Frost with help from William Feuerer, for the Stoveleg cracks on the 2nd ascent of the Nose,
according to "Tom Frost Goes Over the Top", by Pat Ament.
Similar version for sale from the Chouinard-Frost team shortly afterwards.
Feuerer was probably not happy about this, since his Dolt company was a competitor of Chouinard.
sizes: to about 2 1/2", according to Camp 4, p.109, but the above looks like 3"
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 1, 2014 - 08:46pm PT
Here is a good 1968 selection compliments of guido...Medium-sized stamp.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1607712/North-Face-Catalog-1-circa-1968
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 1, 2014 - 10:10pm PT
First of all…….Wow! Nice RURP lineup Clint! My guess would be that the Tom Cochrane #2 or Summers #2 RURP is the second generation, ….hmmm but what year was that second hole added?

My logic for the angles was to not go by the size of the stamps to determine age since angles were introduced throughout a span of many years. Many size stamps were used in these years. First introduced: (Angle 1960- 1", 1 1/2"), (Angle 1961- 3/4"), (Angle 1965- 1/2", 5/8"), (Angle 1967- 1 1/4"). Steve shows that the earlier angles had pointed tips.

Looking at the majority of the early Chouinard pitons and bongs I would say the "USA" stamp was not added until……1963, or 64? And on the Lost Arrows the "USA" was not added until…………..hmmm?………1972? This will be another of my upcoming questions. So I think my search is for angles that do not have the USA stamp, or catalogs, magazine ads helpful. I believe the very large "C" stamp on Steves 1 1/2" angle is second generation. Nice alum prototype angle Steve! I just dug through all of my alum bongs and none have the Frost/Dolt two hole………moment of silence……bummed………..…but great story!

Nice 1968 North Face catalog!

So what year was the "USA" added to Chouinard's pitons?

Thanks Gents for all of your knowledge……more questions follow! Yeah!

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 1, 2014 - 11:56pm PT

top/pointier: <C> is 10mm high; U.S.A. width 8mm
bottom/square: <C> is 13.5mm high, U.S.A. width 12.5mm
another square one: <C> is 14mm high, U.S.A. width 14mm


1960/pointy: <C> is 7mm high; on my example it is on the inside of the U on both sides. No U.S.A. visible, but it has some rust
1967(?)/square: <C> is 10mm high, U.S.A. width 11.5mm
another/square: <C> is 9.5mm high, U.S.A. width 10.5mm
another/square: <C> is 10mm high, U.S.A. width 11mm

3/4" angle
one example: <C> is 9.5mm high, don't see U.S.A. but it's well used
another: <C> is about 11mm high (off edge), U.S.A. width 8.5mm

5/8" angle
one example: <C> is 10.5mm high, U.S.A. width 9.5mm (on spine)
another: <C> is 10.5mm high, don't see U.S.A. due to paint and usage

1/2" angle
one example: <C> is 9mm high, U.S.A. width 7mm (on spine)
another: <C> is 9.5mm high, U.S.A. width 7.5mm (90 degree rotation)

On the introduction date for the Chouinard 3/4" (standard) angle, my notes say:
Chouinard firsts: "1957-58: ringless alloy steel angle [3/4"]
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 2, 2014 - 12:09am PT
Lost Arrows.
I don't know exactly when the U.S.A. was added on the opposite side to
Lost Arrow. Sometime after 1963-64, and by 1968.
The generations I noted are:
 1957-58: Hand - forged Lost Arrow, no logo, lengths vary
4 sizes listed in 1960 Dolt Hut catalog:




1: standard (thin), 2: thick, 3: wedge, 4: spoon.
 1963-64 die forged blanks, finished by hand, round tip
or does the tip just look round because of the photo angle?
anvil height: medium
logo: LOST ARROW
 1968 die forged blanks, oval tip
anvil height: high
logo: LOST ARROW, U.S.A. on other side
8 sizes in 1968 catalog
 1972 closed die forged, square tip
8 sizes in 1972/73 catalog
 1975 - production moved to Italy
logo: LOST ARROW, ITALY on other side
blade logo: size (1-6), CAMP INTERALP
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 3, 2014 - 10:58pm PT
Clint - I am baffled on why Chouinard didn't list when the 3/4 angle was introduced on his "firsts" page, but I found the 1961 date in the 1965 Chouinard catalog wordage describing the 3/4 Angle.

I believe that the Lost Arrow lineup went:
-57-58 hand forged
-63-64 die forged (no USA)
-65 die forged set of 8 (no USA)
-68? die forge set of 8 (USA) set looks like 1965 version?
-72 closed die forged.

My Lost Arrows with the USA are only on the 1972 set. All of my 1965 - 1971 arrows have no USA. Is the 1965 set different from the 1968 set?

On the photo below I show how to identify a 1963/64 Arrow.

You mentioned that Chouinard in 1975 farmed out the arrows to be completely mfgd by Camp, so now the arrows have "Italy" instead of "USA." I always thought that those "Italy" arrows were Europe's version of the Lost Arrow. I considered them to be just a Camp product. Wow! So from 1975 and on the arrows were marked "Italy." So in Europe did they also sell these Camp Chouinard Arrows or were they exclusive to just Chouinard for sale in the USA?

1975 and on arrows shown to have 8 sizes available.

1963/64 Chouinard Lost Arrow
1963/64 Chouinard Lost Arrow
Credit: karabin museum
Chouinard 1965 catalog - Angles
Chouinard 1965 catalog - Angles
Credit: karabin museum
1965 Chouinard catalog - Lost Arrows
1965 Chouinard catalog - Lost Arrows
Credit: karabin museum
Chouinard/Camp pitons
Chouinard/Camp pitons
Credit: karabin museum
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Jun 3, 2014 - 11:25pm PT
I'm having a flashback to climbing with my dad at Seneca and Old Rag! Later the Longware steel bong saw the wrath of my hammer many times in the Adirondacks and may be rusting away behind a big flake at Chapel Pond.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 3, 2014 - 11:53pm PT
Marty,

> I am baffled on why Chouinard didn't list when the 3/4 angle was introduced on his "firsts" page,
> but I found the 1961 date in the 1965 Chouinard catalog wordage describing the 3/4 Angle.

I see what you mean (I have not seen these full 1965 catalog pages before).
There might be a contradiction in the catalogs, though.
In the "Chouinard firsts" list, the first item under angles is:
"1957-58: ringless alloy steel angle"
No size is listed.
But it has been my understanding that a "standard" angle is 3/4".

> I believe that the Lost Arrow lineup went:
-57-58 hand forged
-63-64 die forged (no USA) [eye round at anvil]
-65 die forged set of 8 (no USA) [eye thicker/tapered at anvil]
-68? die forge set of 8 (USA) set looks like 1965 version? [USA, oval tip]
-72 closed die forged. [square/flat tip]

I agree with the above.
Although I don't know the exact date when each generation changed.
All we can go by are the catalog photos for dates, I believe.

> My Lost Arrows with the USA are only on the 1972 set.
> All of my 1965 - 1971 arrows have no USA.

So you need some oval tip Lost Arrows with USA for your collection.
Steve has at least one:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1253677

> Is the 1965 set different from the 1968 set?

Apparently the difference is just the addition of U.S.A.

> On the photo below I show how to identify a 1963/64 Arrow.

This was helpful, thanks. It took me awhile to see the thicker eye
at the anvil in the 65, vs. fully round in the 63/64.
It does seem to be shown in the 65 catalog photo.

> You mentioned that Chouinard in 1975 farmed out the arrows to be completely mfgd by Camp,
> so now the arrows have "Italy" instead of "USA."
> I always thought that those "Italy" arrows were Europe's version of the Lost Arrow.
> I considered them to be just a Camp product.

They were in the 1975 Chouinard catalog "Now forged in Italy", so that counts as a Chouinard product.

> Wow! So from 1975 and on the arrows were marked "Italy."
> So in Europe did they also sell these Camp Chouinard Arrows
> or were they exclusive to just Chouinard for sale in the USA?

I'm sure they were sold in both Europe and the USA.
Perhaps more to the point - were they distributed by Camp in Europe?
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Jun 4, 2014 - 08:26am PT
First for Marty: Here are photos pertinant to his questions of my Chouinard 1968 catalog, and here is a link to Steve Grossman's thread on the ice climbing part of Chouinard's 68 catalog. http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=382806

Chouinard 1968 cover.
Chouinard 1968 cover.
Credit: Fritz

1968 timeline.
1968 timeline.
Credit: Fritz

1968 biner.   Marked Chouinard on one side, and no other marks.
1968 biner. Marked Chouinard on one side, and no other marks.
Credit: Fritz

1968-Rurp & Cliff Hanger.
1968-Rurp & Cliff Hanger.
Credit: Fritz

1968 Knife blades & Bugaboos
1968 Knife blades & Bugaboos
Credit: Fritz

1968 Lost Arrows
1968 Lost Arrows
Credit: Fritz

1968 Angles & Bongs
1968 Angles & Bongs
Credit: Fritz

Marty: re your comment:
Full set of four steel bongs with lightening holes were introduced in 1970 but discontinued in 1972.

Note that in the below price list, there is a full size range of both steel and aluminum Bongs listed, although the Bong catalog copy notes only the 2" Bong is available in steel.

1968 pricelist
1968 pricelist
Credit: Fritz



I find myself agreeing with the information you folks have shared. Pre-1972 Lost Arrows have been somewhat of a mystery to me, but obviously the tips changed from rounded to squared-off sometime between 1968 & 1972.

I also suspect that USA was added sometime around 1968, but I lack Clint's fine eye for details and I can't see any real differences in structure on my earlier non-USA Lost Arrows and my vintage 1968-72 Lost Arrows with rounded tips, but marked USA.
4 at top are not marked USA, bottom one is.
4 at top are not marked USA, bottom one is.
Credit: Fritz

Where I do see differences is slight variations in size & width in the same sizes of Lost Arrows. Here is a lineup of Long Thin Lost Arrows that date from 1972 to 1975. They are also all significantly longer than the 3 1/4" listed in the catalog.
1972-75 Long thin Lost Arrows.
1972-75 Long thin Lost Arrows.
Credit: Fritz
rick d

climber
ol pueblo, az
Jun 4, 2014 - 09:23am PT
my USA stamped arrows, bottom row look more rounded vs later 1970's version on top row.
Credit: rick d
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jun 10, 2014 - 07:54pm PT
From my collection:

Original Frost steel bong for El Cap 2nd ascent
Original Frost steel bong for El Cap 2nd ascent
Credit: TomCochrane


Tom Frost fabricated two full sets of these works-of-art steel bongs for the second ascent of El Cap Nose. Then he gave them all to me in support of my attempts to do the first solo ascent. Later he came back and asked me for one of each size so that he could flatten them out and use them as patterns to make the Chouinard Equipment bong-bongs.
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 12, 2014 - 10:25pm PT
Tom,

The piton you show looks like an older Chouinard model steel bong.
Are you sure this actual Frost piton was used Sept 1960?
Now doubting you but seems strange.
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 13, 2014 - 10:28pm PT
I started digging into my Summit Magazines looking for Chouinard gear advertisements, but It doesn't look like Chouinard advertised much in the early 1960s thru Summit Mag. Since I was tracking Dolts life I don't have Summit magazines between 1961 and 1965. Maybe Steve has a few from these years?

So still looking for any Chouinard info 1961 thru 1966.

    So the present standings are:
RURP first created, one hole (Dolt catalog) - 1960
RURP gets second hole and more refined look, wide back - 1961 or 1962?
RURP stamped "RURP", wide back - 1962 or 1963 or 1964 or 1965?
RURP stamped "C" or no stamp, wide back - 1962 or 1963?
RURP stamped "C" and blade shorter - 1967
RURP stamped "C" and blade longer, blade is rounded - 1971
RURP now sold wired - 1985

Lost Arrow first created - 1957/58
……….(1960 Dolt catalog shows LA)
LA Die Forged (no "USA"), eye has flat sides, no eye curve at hammer end - 1963/64
………(How many sizes in 63/64 set?)
LA Die Forged (no "USA") 8 set, round tip - 1965
LA Die Forged ("USA") 8 set, round tip - 1966 or 1967?
……..(don't have 66 catalog), (LA page same in 67 and 68 catalog).
LA Closed Die Forged ("USA") square tip - 1972
LA now made in "ITALY" - 1975
………(LA "ITALY" now have large or small # stamp on blade with Camp and or Interalp stamp)
………(Camp sells same LA's in Europe)

Ringless alloy steel angle - 1957/58
……….(Does anybody know what this looks like?(no "USA")
1" angle, 1 1/2" angle (no "USA) pointed tips, longer overall) - 1960
3/4" angle (no "USA")pointed tip, longer overall - 1961
………("USA" added to all of the angles in 1964 or 1965?)
………..(In 1966 or 67? new shorter 1", 1 1/4", 1 1/2" created, square tips, "USA")
1/2" angle, 5/8" angle ("USA) - 1965
1 1/4" angle ("USA") - 1967

Zinc plated angles. My 1 1/2" angle is longer style so it is mid 1960s era, but other angles are later 1960s. I also came across a zinc plated knife blade which has two holes. Two holes came about in 1971. So Chouinard created zinc coated pitons here and there?? Also I got these items from a few different sources. I believe the Olson Climbing Collection might have one as well. Hmmmm…

Alloy sheet steel Bong (first Chouinard Bong)- 1960
………..(The one I have is a 3" from Bridwell, (no "USA").(was there just one size avail? no size listing?)
Aluminum Bongs - 1961
………(4 sizes 2", 2 1/2", 3", 4", solid sides, one hole, alum, steel rivet, (no "USA").
………..(in 1961 did Chouinard still sell the steel Bong large size?)
Aluminum 2" Bong with holes, ("USA") - 1964 or 1965?
Steel Bong, 2" with holes, ("USA") - 1964 or 1965?
Aluminum Bongs, with holes, 2 1/2", 3", 4" ("USA") - 1968
…….(I have noticed that Aluminum Bongs with holes come in two different thicknesses, hmmm?).
Steel Bongs with holes, 2 1/2", 3", 4", ("USA") - 1970

This is where the history and mystery list is at so far. Please note if you see any mistakes or additions needed.
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 14, 2014 - 12:19pm PT
1967 Chouinard catalog
1967 Chouinard catalog
Credit: karabin museum

Many changes between this 1967 catalog page and the 1968 catalog page.
Note how the angle weights have changed.
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