Who invented modern reverse-curve pick Ice tools?

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 21 - 40 of total 71 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 20, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
There is no doubt that Simond offered and "invented" the first reverse curved pick on the Chacal.

Not sure it was called the Chacal yet at that point though. Forrest wasn't far behind. But Simond was undoubtedly the first. Much more to all that and how the Chacal made it around the world...but it will have to wait if I am going to tell the story.

Same pick that is now copied by literally everyone on a modern ice tool.

Gordon Smith was there watching it (the very first recurved) being made in the Simond factory. I believe he has detailed that moment here on the Taco. I don't have the time this morning but the info is here.

The first, as I remember the story, was simply a curved pick that was reversed and drilled to fit a early Chacal. Brilliant on Gordon's and Simond's behalf. And ice climbing changed forever.

cheers,
Dane
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2013 - 02:24pm PT
If they invented it they would have a patent as I say in my previous post - they may have been the first to intentionally build the concept, but only realized the potential after it had been made elsewhere for other reasons. That would be great if it's in the Taco......that's like that spaghetti sauce ad.....it's in there!

If a company came up with something like that totally on their own, they would realize they had something big and would have patented it - but it did not happen that way.
RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 20, 2013 - 02:29pm PT
No reason to fook around with the idea. Simond and Gordon did it first. Saying other wise don't make it so.

Info and story is more than likely found buried here:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/382806/Classic-Ice-Primer-Chouinard-Catalog-1968
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2013 - 02:31pm PT
I'm mostly intereted in who realized what was going on more or less first - you've probably got it there. I'll go with the first company that marketed it as such.

First mention of easy to remove tool from your link on pages 101 - 120;

DR-

I also disagree with your early comments in this thread on Hamish McInnes’ terrordactyls. Yes, you bashed your knuckles when you used them ( I still have the scars to prove it), but when it came to vertical ice, they were superior to Chouinard tools. The key advantage was that they were easier to remove than the curved picks, and this was welcome in balancy situations. And with a practiced flick of the wrist, you learned to spare the knuckles a bit.

This is me using them on the FA of the Dru Couloir Direct in 1977, photo by Tobin.

RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 20, 2013 - 02:36pm PT
"If a company came up with something like that totally on their own, they would realize they had something big and would have patented it - but it did not happen that way."

I don't think you have any idea how any of this worked in the '70s. The community was a lot smaller, stuff got made, remade and modified on a daily basis. Everyone involved (other than may be Chouinard) was a lot more interested in climbing that sitting in a patent or copy right office.

Not to be a dick. But no question it was Gordon Smith and who ever was making the Simond tools for the guys as they walked in the door at the factory in Chamonix bitd. Same kind of stuff happened at the Chamonix Charlet factory as well.

Gordon laid it out very clearly on how it all happened and who was involved in one of his posts. Real history here on the Taco.

How the Chacal spread world wide I find just as interesting. Marketing briliance at Simond in '79.

(fook! sucked into the great black hole of the Taco again......gotta go back to work! ;--)

McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2013 - 02:45pm PT
I understand. Still it looks like the 'terrordactyl' was an important stepping stone - just trying to put the history together.

RDB, on page 241 you at http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/382806/Classic-Ice-Primer-Chouinard-Catalog-1968 said;
From the posts in this thread an observation one might make is that it was Hamish McInnes and his Terro that made the biggest impression on modern ice and mixed climbing.

I'm looking for the missing link between Terro and Simond - could have been Forrest without him knowing it.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 20, 2013 - 03:01pm PT
I never saw anyone using those Forest hammers in real life, and I owned one. I took one of the ice picks, set it on a grinder to made it really small, and it was a good, but kind of light, aid hammer. The skinny nub of the pick was perfect for setting heads in the pre chisel set days.

My first reverse curved pick was indeed the Chacal. When they came out everyone started using them. They were the right length and a good tool.

Chounard's tools were still curved at that time, IIRC. I never, ever, used a Chounard tool on steep ice.

I might have in New Hampshire as a youngster, but I can't remember. I do remember when I got my hands on a Chacal.

I sold it the next year in the valley at a great profit.
RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 20, 2013 - 03:01pm PT

this will help

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/08/second-look-at-modern-dry-tooling.html
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 20, 2013 - 03:19pm PT
I remember well when a friend loaned me a brand new pair of Lowe Footfangs. Those suckers ruled, but I was a little scared of the bindings popping off.

Footfangs vs. 12 points: No comparison.

Pic of using two Chacal's in Chamonix in 1984:

Credit: BASE104

I would take one hammer and beat the other pick in and back it up with a screw for a belay anchor. Not too smart, probably. Didn't think of picks breaking.

RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 20, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
Looks like the Chere?
I retired my Chacals/Barracudas in the late 90s. I have spare picks but never broke or bent a Chacal pick in almost 2 decades climbing on them. In retrospect guess I should have climbed more :)

They are still in my gear room hanging on the wall.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 20, 2013 - 03:27pm PT
Yep. We were over there and it is a shorty and lots of fun.
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Feb 20, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
I first saw banana Chacels in '78. I think Carlos Buhler was using a pair in Bolivia that summer.

I used to work in a shop that sold Mjollners, We never had or saw reverse curve picks (prior to '80 anyway). Perhaps they came later.

I still don't understand the physics of why they work, but they do do the job. ha
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2013 - 05:57pm PT
The Terros worked but they were hard to place, so I think the next step in the evolution was to bring the point forward while keeping the downward droop to make ice entry easier, thereby introducing the reverse-curve and then the reverse curve ended up making it even easier to get out than the terro was.

Even tough the Terro was easier to get out than the standard curving picks, they would have suffered from the pick jamming because of handle leverage also, but not as much as standard curved pics like the Chouinard ice hammer. The reverse-curve serves to 'cam' the tip and pick out of the hole. It's an interesting counter-intuitive developement, the way the curved cam followed realignment of the tip.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Feb 20, 2013 - 06:53pm PT
hey there say, mchale's navy...

thanks for starting this neat thread...
i love 'inventions' etc...

lots to learn here...
thanks to all you all chipping in...
:)
Bobert

Trad climber
boulder, Colorado
Feb 20, 2013 - 07:23pm PT
It was Simond and the Chacal was the first commercially available. A Chamonix climber told me they were looking at a standard drooped pick and flipped it over, cutting teeth on the opposite side just for grins. Turn out to their surprise it actually worked. Or so I was told.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 20, 2013 - 09:00pm PT
Another tidbit for the time line. I doubt that this predates the Chacal in 1975.

The Lowe elephant droop pick showed up just as the pick attachment was being changed from the original crossbolt to the end screw attachment. I don't have one but I have seen a couple. Anyone have one of these original run elephant picks to show?

The Lowe Alpine history puts their original Humming Bird and Big Bird modular ice tools out in 1974. When did Lowe change their pick attachment design commercially?

The elephant picks vary in nose detail from the common hook shape to what would qualify as a recurved shape.

I will go take a look and see if I am accurate in my recollection.

Forrest Mjollnir interchangeable pick hammer out in 1975 according to their literature.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
I have 2 Hummingbird reverse-curves. One I bought new in late 80s early 90s at Marmot or FF. It has a curved shaft. One is older w straight shaft. I'll take a pic - nice tools!
Credit: McHale's Navy
To show attacments of blades
Credit: McHale's Navy
Credit: McHale's Navy
RDB

Social climber
wa
Feb 20, 2013 - 10:44pm PT
Some serious history here :)

from:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=382806&tn=380

by "Wee Jock" aka Gordon Smith

"Jan 30, 2009 - 04:50am PT

Hi chaps, Mr Accamazzo in particular. I started ice-climbing with a Chouinard Frost - 60cm with a very pale wood handle(hickory or ash??) and a dinky little Salewa ice hammer (T shaped cross section for the pick!) Climbed things like the Chancer and Devil's Delight and Point Five and Zero and they worked fine. For me, though, Terrors were the bees knees ... great except for the bashed knuckles. If you got the rather odd swing correct - a downward pull with the knuckles hammering the ice - they worked great. Did the 2nd ascent of Bridalveil with your Mr Shea using terrors - that was fat, steep ice, was it not? Pick was way too soft, mind, and wore out very quickly. They had a tendency to stick, so we sharpened the top edges of the picks to 'cut' up and out. The axe was brilliant for going over the top of a bulge into powder snow but too light for hard ice. Often we carried two hammers and an axe, or at least THEY did - the folk with any money (not me). In 1978 I got hold of THE prototype Chacal from Luger Simond - He was going to make a straight drooped pick but I held the shaft of the axe while he cut holes in an ordinary curved pick blank reversed. Then he cut teeth and changed the angle of the end of the pick to make a point to penetrate the ice and lo, the first reversed banana pick. Worked brilliantly!! I still have my Dachstein mitts from the mid seventies, though I had to fight off the wife when she wanted to wear them to paint the house walls! Best mitts ever!!
Gordon Smith"

Look up the "wee jock" user name. Stuff is a lot like Jello's, Bachar's and some of the others posting here for historical importance.

How id the Chacel make it around the world in short order...and was used by the very best from every country? In the summer of 1980 at the Rassemblement International, a bi-annual event held in Chamonix, France, Simond gave every climber in attendece a Chacal and a rather traditional axe. Done deal at that point :)

cheers,
Dane



early Chacal

McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 21, 2013 - 02:23am PT
I read through that entry earlier and stopped just short of the part about drilling the holes in the flipped blade. Good story. Am looking forward to the axe heard round the world story. :>)
duncan

climber
London, UK
Feb 21, 2013 - 04:18am PT
How id the Chacel make it around the world in short order...and was used by the very best from every country? In the summer of 1980 at the Rassemblement International, a bi-annual event held in Chamonix, France, Simond gave every climber in attendece a Chacal and a rather traditional axe. Done deal at that point :)

That chimes with my experience in the UK. In the early 80s suddenly all the cool kids swapped their Terrors and Curvers for Chacals. I acquired Andy Parkin's Zero as part of this process. I was too young and dumb to realise I was being sold obsolete technology. I feel I had the last laugh though: it's a lovely item with a bit of history, it's been a lot closer to the N. Face of the Eiger than I ever will!
Messages 21 - 40 of total 71 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews