Can anyone pinpoint the date when Mountain Paraphenalia started carrying the French Wonder headlamp and possibly post a picture of one? I am helping some folks with an article about the history of headlamps at the moment and I never bought one of them. I did buy a Justrite lamp BITD but can't lay my hands on it at the moment either if anyone has one for show and tell with its monster green quadruple D cell battery pack.
Steve: I have memories of selling the Wonder Light from about 1973 on, but the earliest Ad I found for the article, is this one from Mountain Magazine Nov. 1972
There were a lot of problems with the Wonder Light. Throughout the 1970's, my big climbs headlamp was the one I used in my summer job, as a Forest Service fire-fighter, during college, the heavy, but fairly dependable 4-D cell battery Justrite. I did not hang onto one.
With all the discussion of climbing shoes here, I failed to find any mention of Kronhoffers.
The Kronhoffer was made by the Kronhoffer family in Austria . My retail store in West LA was the exclusive US distributor for these klettershoes beginning about 1966 or so. They were the most popular climbing shoe in California back in the early 60s and remained so until the advent of stickier rubber. The nice thing about Kronhoffers was that, even when purchased two sizes too small, they had beautiful suede uppers that eventually stretched to the shape of your foot. They were comfortable compared to today’s rock climbing shoes.
I read somewhere back in this thread that implied that Doug and Susie Tompkins were responsible for getting Royal and Liz out of the hardware business and into the clothing business. As mentioned by someone, it was Chouinard that Tompkins urged to get out of the hardware business. This was definitely the case. Tompkins was instrumental in getting me into the climbing retail business back in 1964 when he opened The North Face – his small retail shop in San Francisco. He not only advised me on what finances were necessary, but encouraged me to talk to George Marks and Bob Swanson who had just started a new company called Sierra Designs. This eventually led to my store, West Ridge in 1964, becoming the exclusive purveyor of Sierra Designs stuff in the Los Angeles area. But I digress.
This thread has covered a lot of the early climbing equipment – just thought I’d remind people of Kronhoffers.
I have a pair of Kronhoffers that are stamped Holubar on the inside which I assume they imported directly since that was Roy Holubar's business style. Did you ever supply them or is my assumption likely correct?
Actually I do believe Holubar imported them earlier than me. But later in the 60s old man Kronhoffer made his distributor. I think I even sold them to Holubar later.
Hey, I'm old and tend to get dates and most everything else a little confused. I would appreciate anyone (that's still alive) to add any significant information to this thread (I almost typed "tweet"). Those of you that are not still alive, please remain silent.