Royal Robbins: “This importing business is a real can of ---

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McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Dec 21, 2012 - 07:49pm PT
Peck Plastic Nuts/chocks - anyone have any or seen them? When I worked at Mountain Life in Los Gatos about 1971 we recieved a shipment of black plastic chocks from Robbins. I immediately blasted and shattered them all with a hammer and sent them back, to Royal's consternation. Then one day in Yosemite at the base of El Cap at the base of the Salathe there was Royal wanting to borrow some jumars. I don't think he actually knew who I was, since we'd never met face to face, but I told him he could borrow my jumars if he took those black plastic chocks off the market! I really had it in for those things and never even used them. It just seemed obvious they were way too brittle the way people pounded on stuff. They were not soft like the blue Forrest chock.

Anyway, I was a bit brash the way I approached the whole thing considering how much I admired Royal's writing and climbing, but I was a young punk - what can I say!

By the way, I was a Blue Boot lover too. They were so awesome after all the other boots we used back then - it took me a while to move on. My latest blue shoes are Evolvs!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 21, 2012 - 11:33pm PT
T Hocking & McHales Navy! Thanks for posting.

I don’t have memories of the Robbins black-plastic Peck Nuts.

I do have a grudge about the blue-plastic Forest Nuts, from a 1973 fall on a new route on the South-side of Harrison Peak in Idaho's Selkirk Range.

Just off a ledge, I didn't feel comfortable with trying a harder move free, so I slotted a big blue-plastic Forest stopper in the hand-crack, clipped in a sling, stepped-up, and started fishing for a good jam above it.

Suddenly! The Forest nut popped, and I flew down and out for a 10’-15' fall into space. The elastic rope bounced me back onto the ledge I had barely missed landing on “back-first”, with no damage to me.
I remember exclaiming: “ WOW! Glad I missed hitting this ledge.” (We are so clueless in our 20’s.)

Of course I led the crack again, then freed it on a later trip. Never wrote the route up, due to Idaho ethics.

A 1972 photo of a couple of the Forest Blue plastic nuts, & some other...
A 1972 photo of a couple of the Forest Blue plastic nuts, & some other early nuts on a combined rack, including at far left, what turns out to be an early and rare drilled SMC Hex.
Credit: Fritz

The plastic chock had a "gouge-mark" from top to bottom, where my body weight had ripped a big feldspar crystal through it.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Dec 21, 2012 - 11:44pm PT
Never had any plastic nuts, sounds too sketchy to me.
Bet they didn't last long on the market, what were they thinking?
Did they ever do tests on them?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Dec 21, 2012 - 11:46pm PT
Damn....i wish i still had my Micky Mantle rookie card.
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Dec 22, 2012 - 12:01am PT
Remember when a hammer always made a nut placement a little better?
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Dec 22, 2012 - 12:11am PT
Of course I led the crack again, then freed it on a later trip. Never wrote the route up, due to Idaho ethics.


Fritz, tell us about the no reporting thing? That must have come from what Robinson started that I have asked about in other threads. I lived in Boise at that time and don't recall anyone saying anything like that. They did not want Californians Californicating Idaho though. Idahoans did not want anyone messing with their 3rd world status. There was some kind of no chaulk ethic getting started at the local quarry - I straightened them out pretty fast - Californian that I was!

Did they ever do tests on them?

I seriously doubt it. I'll bet me taking a hammer to those stupid things was the first and last test.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 22, 2012 - 12:18am PT
McHales: Re your question about 70's Idaho climbing ethics.

Here's a link to a thread where the subject is discussed.

Trip to the Sawtooths (Idaho), suggestions?
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1591843&msg=2007278#msg2007278



McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Dec 22, 2012 - 12:32am PT
Fritz, you don't have memories of Peck plastic chocks cause I single handedly stopped them in their tracks before I moved to Idaho.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 22, 2012 - 12:39am PT
McHale: Happy Solstice!
Credit: Fritz
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Dec 22, 2012 - 12:41am PT
Same to you! I like that big fire!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 22, 2012 - 02:29am PT
I bet my old bamboo Coonyard piolet is still seeing good usage by some appreciative Rooskie.
TMJesse

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Dec 22, 2012 - 03:21pm PT
A Galibier bump from the 1976 Ski Hut catalog.

Credit: TMJesse
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 22, 2012 - 04:54pm PT
Brings back 70's alpine climbing memories seeing a Wonder light ad. The wonder always was "I wonder if it has turned on inside my pack again and drained the batteries?"
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Apr 5, 2014 - 05:58am PT
Bump, similar to my recent thread.

My RRs lasted me a while, until the RDs/PAs and then EBs came along, but those Super Guides, a good all around mountaineering boot.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Apr 5, 2014 - 06:50am PT
Did someone say historic gear?
My old alpine & ice climbing tools
My old alpine & ice climbing tools
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Dachstein mittens, Salewa ice screws, wart hogs, 1st generation Chouin...
Dachstein mittens, Salewa ice screws, wart hogs, 1st generation Chouinard ice screws. Can you believe that we used to actually lead with this sh#t?
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
My ol' Galibier Makalu double boots made two trips to Denali
My ol' Galibier Makalu double boots made two trips to Denali
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Copyright 2012 Harry Marinakis
Copyright 2012 Harry Marinakis
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 5, 2014 - 02:04pm PT
Sierra Ledge rat! The center ice axe in your post is a well-used Alpelit, likely imported by Robbins.

It appears there were at least two models of Alpelit axes brought in by Robbins.

One is like yours, and one is stamped Robbins on the pick. It also has teeth near the shaft for thin waterfall ice, and the one in the photo is shorter at 55 Cm.

Two models of Alpelit axes.
Two models of Alpelit axes.
Credit: Fritz

Robbins model of Alpelit on left.
Robbins model of Alpelit on left.
Credit: Fritz

Credit: Fritz

Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Apr 6, 2014 - 10:54am PT
Hey Fritz

I loved the Alpelit, it was my favorite axe. If you remember at the time, the MSR thunderbird ice axe was also quite popular at the time.

My brother bought a bamboo Chouinard axe, which I thought was crazy given the choice of wood vs. metal. But now he has a nice classic ice axe hanging on his wall, and all I have is a beat-up rusting hunk of metal

I am not sure which version I had. I used to do a lot of modifying of my axes, and I think I filed some teeth into the proximal part of the pick for a better grip which ice climbing. I also changed the angle of the point of the pick.

Can you believe BITD we used to do climb waterfall ice with a full-size ice axe???

Lee Vining, 1970s
Lee Vining, 1970s
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 6, 2014 - 01:28pm PT
"What a great thread, Fritz!"

"That's an avalanche cord, Tad."
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2014 - 01:43pm PT
Yeah well, we were pretty much indestructible in our 20's and I did some fairly dangerous things with my 60Cm. Chouinard axe.

Fritz placing an ice-screw while his trusty axe kind-of, sort-of ancho...
Fritz placing an ice-screw while his trusty axe kind-of, sort-of anchors him.
Credit: Fritz
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Nov 25, 2014 - 12:07pm PT

A Seattle tool for collectors? What's the story?

MSR Thunderbird 4 - D
MSR Thunderbird 4 - D
Messages 161 - 180 of total 191 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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