PIERRE ALLAIN MTN 62

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Messages 1 - 76 of total 76 in this topic
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 18, 2012 - 02:44pm PT
A article from Mountain 62, 1978.

Usual disclaimers, click on the image for a larger view.






jogill

climber
Colorado
Oct 18, 2012 - 06:29pm PT
Nice article about a great pioneer boulderer and alpinist.

I bought my first pair of PAs about 1959, and they were a delight. Thereafter, the older Kronhoffers and Zillertals seemed like historical artifacts.


;>)
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Oct 18, 2012 - 09:41pm PT

Gosh, John--I didn't buy my PA's until 1972, but I sure climbed
some classic routes in them!!!
Borut

climber
french
Oct 19, 2012 - 01:37am PT
My parents bought me a pair of PAs back in the mid 1960s, before I reached my teens. We were living in Fontainebleau (France) at the time.
My PAs where the red ones, the second generation PAs (the first generation PAs were blue and white, the caracteristic blue of the later EBs). One definitely needed such rubber soles, for instance on the 'Angle Allain' at Cuvier Rempart, one of Pierre Allain's classic problems in Fontainebleau.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 19, 2012 - 03:34am PT
Thanks for scanning and posting this interesting article.
I think you meant to say "Mountain 62; 1978".

Here's a thread from 2008 with many photos of Pierre Allain biners:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=561850&tn=0
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 19, 2012 - 04:26am PT
Thx Clint, noted and changed.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Oct 19, 2012 - 12:12pm PT
My first carabiners as a boy learning to climb in Boulder were
Pierre Allain steel carabiners, kind of heavy but we knew
they were good. Wow, I miss those days.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 21, 2012 - 05:12am PT
Pierre Allain at work

Descendeur

PAs

Pierre Allain bouldring in Fontainebleau
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Oct 21, 2012 - 10:44pm PT
Thanks for this Steve. Interesting how bouldering at Fontainbleau allowed Parisians to pick some of the plums in Chamonix, the North Face of the Dru and the West Face of the Blaitiere.

I never knew that before the Fissure Brown on the Blaitiere, there was the Fissure Fix. You have done the West Face and I wonder how the Fix compares to the Brown?

Rick
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Dec 13, 2012 - 01:59pm PT
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Dec 13, 2012 - 02:59pm PT
My first rock shoes were PAs as well.

I LOVE reading through my old Mountain magazines. But I am selling everything, and have just sold my Mountain collection.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 13, 2012 - 05:18pm PT
Great thread Blakey!

The great John Turner wore PAs that he bought directly from Pierre at his shop in Paris back in the 1950s. John was flirting with 5.10 on this side of the pond and quality footwear certainly contributed to his success.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 25, 2012 - 02:14pm PT
Merry X-mas Bump....
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jan 11, 2013 - 01:40pm PT
Sur Un Gendarme De L Arete Sud-ouest Du Moine.
dustyrat

Trad climber
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Jan 11, 2013 - 02:27pm PT

For your pleasure.......

L'Art De Alpinisme Pierre Allain 1956






Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Feb 17, 2013 - 06:09am PT
Pierre Allain. Source: Grimper
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 17, 2013 - 02:04pm PT
Dusty Rat& Marlow,

Two great additions to the knowledge - Thanks.

Steve
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Mar 8, 2013 - 05:15pm PT
Wow, what a mega thread. This one should stay up front for a bit. So much cool stuff.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 27, 2014 - 09:25am PT
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:18am PT
Outstanding catalog!

Thanks for posting it Maestro Pennequin.

So many carabiners, so little time...What a brilliant designer!
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:42am PT
And now, a brainteaser designed and made by THE genuine Maestro, Pierre Allain!
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:48am PT
Ho no... I would not like to destroy such a treasure...
And, if I remember well, Pierre Allain did not need any protection in wide cracks...
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:57am PT
I wonder what the reasoning was for the flanges of the 'plaquette speleo' in the last pic of Nutstory's catalog. (The type is too fuzzy to read)
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:59am PT
audacity in conception, prudence in execution.
This wonderful sentence IS Pierre Allain.
Reilly, if you click on the image, I believe that you can read the text.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 27, 2014 - 01:44pm PT
I suspect that the sample on the left is similar to the one pictured on the Holubar catalog 1954/1955 posted by Steve Grossman on Supertopo.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 27, 2014 - 01:53pm PT
Nutstory, d'accord, but it makes no sense: "the rope runs through the carabiner parallel to the wall." Tres drôle, n'est ce pas?
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 28, 2014 - 04:51am PT
If the rope runs, through the carabiner, parallel to the wall, there is no friction of the rope on the wall, and no "damage" onto the rope.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 28, 2014 - 11:09am PT
I understand that but it seems to me that the rope runs parallel to the wall
with any hanger. With the PA hanger the mousqueton is 90 degrees to the wall
so the rope is going to be twisted through the mousqueton. And those two
flanges are at best superfluous but possibly dangerous. Mere nit-picking
but that's what we do, eh? :-)
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2014 - 11:17am PT
Good to see the new posts.

Keep it up folks, there's more out there!

Steve
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 28, 2014 - 11:21am PT
Reilly, I do not have any knowledge in caving. Anyway, I must confess that, when I talk about The Maestro, I feel that I loose all impartiality…
;-)
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 28, 2014 - 11:43am PT
Nutstory, d'accord, bien sur! I in no way mean to impugn the good name,
no, great name of the inimitable Pierre Allain!
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 28, 2014 - 12:18pm PT
While visiting Pierre Allain's workshop, in Uriage (near Grenoble), in September 1992.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 29, 2014 - 11:52am PT
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 29, 2014 - 12:49pm PT
Aha! so the flanges go down!. Now that makes sense, sort of. :-)
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 29, 2014 - 12:52pm PT
I took this photo for you Reilly...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 8, 2014 - 07:08pm PT
Mesdames et Messieurs, les PA! (changement pluriel)




Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Jun 8, 2014 - 09:05pm PT
Thanks Steve for taking the trouble donning those PAs and doing photos.

I used to love those shoes. And for too long as the Seventies got going. It handicapped me for awhile. Back then they were good edging shoes and excellent off width shoes. Stiff and hard, great for heel and toe, no matter how oblique. And EBs were such a joke in these regards, I didn't adopt or shall we say, cross over to EBs until maybe 1973 or 1974. And even then I hated losing the terrific edging power of a size 8 with my foot at size 11 actually.

We have come so far.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 8, 2014 - 11:30pm PT
You're right Peter, we've come a long way, compared with modern shoes they look like something Ronald McDonald would wear!

(The socks do help in that regard!)

SB
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jun 9, 2014 - 07:07am PT
The sox complete the look!

I miss my PA's (red) but would look at them more than climb in them, these days. I used to love them. Edging in the South Dakota, needles.

Now if I could find a pair of 7.5 Kronhoffers I Would climb and scramble in them!
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Jun 10, 2014 - 03:24am PT
Madame et Monsieur le PA!
"Mesdames et Messieurs, les PA !"
Absolutely marvellous Steve! It is a real pleasure to see PA rock shoes in such a mind condition! What a treasure!
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Sep 27, 2014 - 07:31am PT
Steve, I noticed that your PA's are sewn with "golden" thread whereas these ones are sewn with black thread. I did not know that there were two "generations" of PA's.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Nov 19, 2014 - 01:26pm PT

PA Descender
You can still find them... Breveté SGDG (Breveté sans garantie du gouvernement)
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Nov 19, 2014 - 02:18pm PT

Those are my thoughts exactly, Peter. I wore size 5N, (i.e. with the gold, rather than the black, stitching)(my street shoe size was 7.5 or 8D) and went through four pairs between 1970-1974. I got a pair of EB's in 1973, but needed to have them a size 37 to approach the edging power of the PA. When they were that small, though, I couldn't wear them for very long. The PA's, on the other hand, molded themselves to my feet within a couple of weeks of agony.

On a slightly different note, seeing those descendeurs reminds me of Tom Patey's definition of a descendeur ("(Fr.) A term of derision. The opposite of a climber")

John

RDB

Social climber
wa
Dec 8, 2014 - 10:12pm PT
That is a super short (and elegant) axe for 1956 and shorter yet for a Frenchman!

Nice find DR!
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Dec 9, 2014 - 09:43pm PT
I would in no way detract from Allain's wonderful inventiveness. However, Oscar Eckenstein - an engineer and early proponent of "modern" ice-climbing - around 1900 experimented with short ice axes. He taught Paul Preuss ice climbing techniques.

Oscar Eckenstein
Bad Climber

climber
Dec 10, 2014 - 06:30am PT
Mr. Gill! Thank you so much for the article on Eckenstein. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. The Victorians were fascinating on so many levels. Oscar was a classic engineer-climber. It would be interesting to hear more about his marriage at age 59. Given your description of his personality, it's a minor miracle the bloke married at all.

I'm going to spend more time on your site, sir.

BAd
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Mar 7, 2015 - 07:01am PT

Galibier PAs model: Varappe

1949
PA teams up with Emile Bourdonneau, a fellow climber, whose family own a shoe factory

1950
First commercial slipper-style rubber rockclimbing shoe is produced under the joint collaboration.

Shoe has the appearance of high-top basketball shoe with lacing to the toe, and a fully randed sole

Colour was navy blue cotton canvas with white suede leather reinforcing.

The initials "PA" are stamped in a circular leather inner ankle pad.

? year
Pierre Allain takes his name to the French mountain boot company, Galibier, who produce the PA with black canvas and red suede leather

Emile Bourdonneau retains rights to produce the original shoe,which is technically superior to the new Galibier PA, but now brands it “EB.”

1975
90% of EB production is exported from the Paris production plant company is awarded a French Oscar for export sales

[Aside the PA (Pierre Allain), Galibier also produce RD (Rene Desmaison), and Yosemite RR (Royal Robbins),]

[There was also the Galibier BB, designed with Australian climber, Rick White, presumably after his 1968 grade 19 first ascent Beau Brummel)
but none of these Galibier boots dominate the market quite like EBs

Source: http://www.inov8.au.com/compass/ebsupergrattonhistory.html
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 7, 2015 - 04:59pm PT
Nice post!

I would guess mid to late 1960s for the red Galibier PA as they were well established by 1970 when I started climbing.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2015 - 12:08am PT
Certainly here in the UK, by 1970 there were
A selection of shoes available, if not very well established; the Denim and
Chrome leather EB, the red and black Galibier PA,
The brown Galibier RDs, and Hawkins Masters, (a British make).
Klets had become a rarity.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Mar 8, 2015 - 01:25pm PT

Galibier PA Varappe from a 1978 catalogue

Source: The Royal Robbins thread. Thanks to Keeter. http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1022257&tn=100
gilly

climber
Mohawk Valley,Ca
Nov 19, 2015 - 07:51pm PT
Just bringing it to attention if you haven't read about Pierre Alain. The Dru article in Alpinist 50 and 51 by Ian Parnell is very good indeed.
Salute to a gifted climber! G
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jan 9, 2016 - 10:20am PT

DURING THE 1980S, WHEN I was the editor-in-chief of the French magazine Alpinisme et Randonnee, I spent several days in Grenoble each year for an international trade show. My meetings were exhausting work, happily interrupted by visits with good friends, which allowed me to forget, for an hour or two, everything that the show signified: that the mountains had become a business and that we—the journalists, the guides and the technical consultants—were all part of it.

The encounter that gave me the most pleasure was with a smiling, elderly gentleman who had a gentle voice and an impish gaze. Dressed like an ordinary retiree, he seemed out of place amid the flashy crowd of young athletes. It was the legendary Pierre Allain, now in his eighties, here to display the carabiners and caving ladders that he still manufactured himself, with the machine tools he'd designed.

Who would have thought, at the sight of this modest character, always joking (but without any spite) amid the climbing community he'd watched evolve for more than half a century, that this was one of the greatest alpinists of the 1930s, as well as an innovator of lightweight carabiners, rappel devices, down jackets and climbing shoes? Or that he was the first ascensionist of the North Face of the Drus!



http://alpinist.com/doc/ALP50/82-mountain-profile-the-aiguille-du-drus-1935

After a bivouac, Allain and Leininger reached Lambert's highpoint. Allain saw a double crack above him, some forty meters high, with an overhang at the end. With his arms in both fissures, his feet in opposition on the slabs, he couldn't place a piton for the first ten meters. Legendary alpinists who climbed the wall after him—including Lambert, who made the second ascent in 1936, with Loulou Boulaz—all confirmed that it had a difficulty without equal at the time in the entire massif.

Allain later confessed to me that he had a predilection for cracks, something of an anomaly for a Bleausard. In Fontainebleau, fissures are rare, so he'd searched them out, unearthing the "Fissure des Alpinistes" in a lost corner of the forest (now graded 5c, but Bleau grades are stiff). Unfortunately, the Fissure Allain on the Dru is no longer frequented. After the sixth ascent, in 1945, the French climber Felix Martinetti found a much easier crack to the right.

To attain the summit of the Petit Dru, Allain led an icy chimney without crampons. They weathered their second night out on the descent. All evening, the snow drifted through the darkness, yet their bivy sacks worked marvelously.

The words of Sylvain Jouty translated from French by Katie Ives in Alpinist 50

Face Nord des Drus, Voie Allain - Leininger: http://www.tvmountain.com/video/alpinisme/10526-face-nord-des-drus-voie-pierre-alain-raymond-leininger-chamonix-mont-blanc-massif.html
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jan 9, 2016 - 10:30am PT

A short Pierre Allain history. Pierre Allain : et la pure lumière du rocher éclaira la voie


TOUTE UNE HISTOIRE

1904 : naissance de Pierre Allain à Mirebeau dans la Vienne

1910 : arrivée à Paris.

1931 : début en alpinisme après ses premiers pas à Fontainebleau.

1932 : première grande course, la traversée Charmoz-Grépon.

1933 : invention du mousqueton asymétrique et premier essais à Fontainebleau de ses chaussons souples.

Première de l’arête sud de l’aiguille du Fou

1934 : s’installe rue des Ciseaux dans le VIe arrondissement de Paris, puis rue Saint-Sulpice, pour vendre du matériel d’escalade.

1935 : première de la face nord du Petit Dru. Directissime de la face sud de la Meije. Deux voies qui incarnent la rupture vers l’escalade moderne.

L’expédition française au Caucase teste son matériel de bivouac (sac de couchage avec compartiments en duvet, veste gilet en duvet, matelas pneumatique, veste cagoule en soie, pied d’éléphant).

1936 : expédition française au Hidden Peak (8068m) dans le Karakoram Himalaya

1940-43 : invente le descendeur, qui prend alors la forme d’une fourchette. Puis le fameux dérocheur, un crochet à ressort.

1948 : début de la commercialisation. de ses chaussons P.A.

1963 : quitte Paris et s’installe à Uriage.

1994 : retraite officielle à 90 ans.

2000 : mort le 19 décembre.

Antoine CHANDELLIER

http://www.ledauphine.com/loisirs/2014/07/30/et-la-pure-lumiere-du-rocher-eclaira-la-voie
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Feb 5, 2016 - 11:31am PT

I found these PAs lately, also these are sewn with yellow thread.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Feb 6, 2016 - 02:04am PT
Marlow, recently I too found a pair of PAs with such a golden thread… in England. I am still looking for the old blue pair.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 28, 2016 - 09:27am PT
Anyone know when the lime green version of the PA was sold by Galibier?

I assume that they were the most recent offering of this shoe.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Nov 28, 2016 - 09:57am PT
Steve, I am going to do my best this evening once at home to give you an exact date tomorrow. And yes, the green version was the very latest PA’s to hit the market.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Nov 29, 2016 - 12:11am PT
1966: PA's made of black canvas and red leather.
1978: PA's made of green canvas and light grey leather.
1984: PA's are no longer marketed...
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Nov 29, 2016 - 03:38am PT
Loved those green PAs



nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Jun 1, 2017 - 11:52pm PT
From the book Manuel Technique de Camping et de Bivouac en Montagne Club Alpin Français 1937
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Jul 5, 2017 - 01:28am PT
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 5, 2017 - 07:27am PT
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Topic Author's Reply - May 29, 2018 - 02:46am PT

For those interested....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkTO97rhJHQ

Steve
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
May 29, 2018 - 05:28am PT
Thank you VERY much for this post Steve!
I am fortunate to have spent an afternoon with Pierre Allain in his workshop in September 1992. What a meeting!
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Jun 11, 2018 - 12:56am PT
After 30 years od research!!!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 11, 2018 - 06:50am PT
Nice work, Maestro!
Any thoughts on the connection to EBs?
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Jun 11, 2018 - 08:59am PT
The shoemaker who manufactured the PA’s was Edmond Bourdonneau (not Edouard as it is often mentioned).
Edmond Bourdonneau registered the trademark PA and the model of these rock shoes on July 22nd, 1963.
In the mid-sixties Pierre Allain and Edmond Bourdonneau stopped their collaboration and Richard-Pontvert (Galibier) started to market the redesigned red PA’s in 1966.
About at the same time, the blue PA’s became the EB Super Gratton.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jun 11, 2018 - 12:03pm PT

Congrats. That's a very significant shoe and step in the evolution of climbing shoes...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 1, 2018 - 10:40am PT
Touche!

http://eb-climbing.com/historical-eb

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 26, 2018 - 12:34pm PT

Pierre Allain - La lumière du rocher - Documentaire Alpinisme

[Click to View YouTube Video]
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Sep 26, 2018 - 01:00pm PT
The metal gear looks like devices from the Spanish Inquisition.
No body expects the Spanish Inquisition!
jogill

climber
Colorado
Sep 27, 2018 - 11:30am PT
Marlow, when was that film clip of early bouldering done?
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 27, 2018 - 11:39am PT

I'm not sure, but Pierre Allain lived from 7 January 1904 to 19 December 2000. He looks like he could be between 30 and 50 years at the time. Maybe just after WW2 - around 1950? I will see if I can find anything.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Sep 27, 2018 - 11:47am PT
Gnomon in the Needles of the Black Hills ca1960



Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 27, 2018 - 11:55am PT

Cool to see a close up photo of Pierre Allain's shoes during one of the friction demanding problems. Well worn, I'd say...


PA to EB shoes


The sneakers Pierre Allain is wearing are therefore from 1947 or earlier than 1947.
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