Historical and Outstanding Mountaineering Rucksacks

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nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 19, 2015 - 08:35am PT
As you may know, my main field of research and interest is clean protections, nuts and camming devices. However, I must confess to have a great interest in historical and outstanding French mountaineering rucksacks, especially the Millet ones that made me dream when I watched the Au Vieux Campeur catalogs in the seventies… At that time the technical advisers for Millet were Walter Bonatti, and René Desmaison. Some time later, Reinhold Messner met up with the team.
Here are some of them:
Your turn to illustrate this thread further…


donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 19, 2015 - 08:51am PT
Historical, you bet....classic looks, yep....outstanding, no. All gear is functionally so much better today.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2015 - 08:55am PT
donini, forgive my so poorly English spoken. In my idea, "outstanding" meant at least for a collector...
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 19, 2015 - 09:03am PT
Used to load up my Millet/Desmaison Haute Montagne with the clip-on side pockets and go
for 4 day winter trips in the Cascades. Makes my shoulders and back hurt to think about it.
Actually, they were 5 day trips but the last day was sans food to inspire the hike out.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 19, 2015 - 09:08am PT
I had a couple of those packs at one time, along with countless other items of highly valued collectable gear.........all gone and not a penny in return.
Same thing with my Mickey Mantle rookie card.
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Nov 19, 2015 - 11:57am PT
Ah...the old Millet. Something about it was special. Maybe it was just the times. I only have 2 pieces of old gear - a bent Lost Arrow and a ca'66 Alcoa Chouinard biner. Those packs look pristine!

In the Gore Range, CO 1969On the Grand Teton, WY 1968
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Nov 19, 2015 - 12:12pm PT
Beautiful Packs Nutstory! I didn't keep the Millet I carried 1969-73, but I still have that Stubai Nanga Parbat ice axe.


I bet ImStein aka Gordon, still has his monster Millet.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Nov 19, 2015 - 12:43pm PT

... and Nutstory's collection is awesome...

A bit of Millet history from their website:

1945
L'appel de la haute montagne
Raymond et René Millet prennent le relais de leurs parents et développent, avec le jeune alpiniste Louis Lachenal, des sacs à dos adaptés à la pratique de la haute montagne.

1950
Premier 8000 !
Le 3 juin, « l'annapurna 50 » triomphe à l'Annapurna avec Louis Lachenal et Maurice Herzog.

1959
L'esprit d'équipe
Millet intègre son premier conseiller technique sous contrat : Walter Bonatti

1963
Belles signatures...
Walter Bonatti et René Desmaison réunissent la première et deuxième face nord des grandes Jorasses

And if this is right, one of Nutstory's pictures possibly shows the work of Louis Lachenal - the Annapurna 50. There are some differences between Nutstory's photo and this one. The Millet Haute Montagne René Desmaison (sixties) must to some extent be "built on" the Annapurna 50.



crankster

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
Nov 19, 2015 - 12:45pm PT
Lowe Expedition. Great for the time.
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Nov 19, 2015 - 01:14pm PT
All time fave was my Karrimoor Haston pack in purple. Alas, stolen.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Nov 19, 2015 - 02:58pm PT
I had a small Millet that still holds my aid gear, but I'm more interested in that pristine-looking pair of PA's. I think they were my favorite shoes of all time for edging, and they remind me of many good days in the Valley and Indian Rock. I ran through four pairs from 1970-73 until I switched to EB's.

John
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Nov 19, 2015 - 03:18pm PT
I WISH I could get my hands on one of these! I had A Karrimor Whillans Pack for many, many years and took it on so many walls/climbs even though it was uncomfortable and inconvenient. But man, that thing took a beating!

Anyone have one they want to sell?

johntp

Trad climber
socal
Nov 19, 2015 - 05:40pm PT
Mid 70's Wilderness Experience is what I shouldered.

Whatever happened to Wilderness Experience? I had one of their sleeping bags for years until it was stolen from my tent in Yos.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 19, 2015 - 06:50pm PT
WildEx made great products. Started by two brothers, Jim and Greg Thomsen. Jim is sailing around the world enjoying the fruits of many years in upper management at Jansport. Greg is currently President of Adidas USA.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Nov 19, 2015 - 06:50pm PT
I also had Kelty rucksack that put in a good 15 years or so before it had to be retired. That thing kicked ass. Must have bought it around 1976. Spent a lot of time in Josh. Suicide, Tahquitz and Yos. Also spent a lot of time BC skeezing the Sierra. Good pack. Blue cordura body and leather bottom. Tough as nails.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Nov 19, 2015 - 06:58pm PT
Ah the joys of failing memory. Guess it was a WildEx and not a Kelty.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 19, 2015 - 07:02pm PT
A failing memory makes room for more memories.....however short.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Nov 19, 2015 - 07:08pm PT
Donini is being modest. He was their NW representative during their major growth years, in the 1970's & early 80's. Jim Thomsen has a very nice history of the company here. Look for the directions to page 2 & 3 of the history.

http://www.tenayatravels.com/Wilderness%20Experience.html

Jim & Gregg Thomsen were very nice people. It was fun to work with them.




Edit! Tad! Good work on remembering Wilderness Experience came up previously on ST. http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/904453/Wilderness-Experience-Chatsworth-California
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Nov 19, 2015 - 07:27pm PT
Fritz-

The klettersack I had is similar to the one on the right in your catalog post.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2015 - 12:23am PT
I am very happy that you enjoy this new thread!
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