Photo History of Climbing Footwear circa 1974

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 41 - 60 of total 129 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Dennis Hennek

climber
Mar 6, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
Hey McHale, thanks for the recognition of Rock 2
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Mar 6, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
Fascinating history thread!

Did the RD shoe appear in red and blue also? I remember dad having a blue leather pair with red trim with "Rene Desmaison" inscribed in the ankle area. (not the blue leather Royal Robbins shoe with lug soles) ??
steve shea

climber
Mar 6, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
EBs just happen to fit my feet really well. I usally bought them fit with bare feet.I would cram my feet in with a Wigwam type ragg sock and step into hot water for a full soaking and wear till almost dry. There was just enough stretch to result in a perfect almost pain free fit. As they stretched more with use eventually I could get the ragg on all the time, they were awesome for cracks. When newer and tight, great for face. I usually had quite a few pairs in rotation. They wore out fast on me. Desmaison had his name on several types. I saw many strange boots when living in France. Typically the RD referred to in the states were the stiff brown ones but there were others. We actually imported our first EBs from Ellis Brigham in the UK early 70's. Brigham had several shops in the UK and gave us a great deal on 20pr. Just shipped them airfreight no customs. I don't know why. Anyone ever climb in Lephoque's (sp)? I bought a pair from Teton Mountaineering in the late 60's. Used them for one resoling and several flaps. They had rubber flaps covering the laces. They climbed great looked funky. I donated them back to TM for their little alpine display. They are hanging in the store now, same pair.
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Mar 6, 2013 - 07:07pm PT
Thanks, Steve...
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Mar 6, 2013 - 07:19pm PT
Le Phoque climbing boots (from the web):



...and from the 1968 North Face catalog, see Guido's thread at http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1607712

JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Mar 6, 2013 - 07:27pm PT
I had a pair of La Phoques that I bought at Ski Hut in Berkeley in 1969 for $24.00, and kept until the LA smog rotted away the rubber cover ten years later. They were excellent mountaineering boots, provided you didn't try to hike too far in them (that fiberglass midsole wasn't made for flexion) and even worked OK at Pinnacles.

My biggest fear was that someone who knew French would pronounce their name correctly. I also lusted after the LeRoux "John Harlin" model, but finances limited me.

John
steve shea

climber
Mar 6, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
You are welcome Jennie! RGold that's the one. At the time I also got a pair of Carman Supergaitors. TM had them before Chouinard got hold of them. TM had the goods. One of the best shops in the US bitd.
storer

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Mar 6, 2013 - 10:09pm PT
John: I was at Berkeley '62 - '66 so we probably didn't overlap then. I was back in California say '75 - '78. Could I be wrong about when EB's became available? Could be....Do you remember the climb of the pillar in Faculty Glade, or the night ascents of the chimney between the Greek Theatre columns with the descent down the rickety ladder, or those "pinnacles" on the face of the Campanile? Long ago so my mind fails me.......I was watching Cal Bears hoops the other night on TV and they toured those old haunts......cool.....
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 6, 2013 - 11:30pm PT
The West Ridge ad showing the classic after shot.



Love 'em to death with hint of knicker too.
carlos gallego

Ice climber
Spain
Mar 7, 2013 - 06:09am PT
... "Paragot" (white sole)...

Credit: carlos gallego
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 7, 2013 - 08:14am PT
EBs were indeed far better than the (for me, more comfortable) alternatives. But whatever last they were built on didn't have my feet in mind.

I, too, crammed bare feet into them and settled into the pain. One pair ultra-tight for edging and jamming, and one pair slightly less tortuous for smearing.

I never got the ingrown toenail effect, but after a few years of wearing tight EBs so much, I developed a really entrenched case of fungal nails on most of my toes. Something about "dark, hot, moist environments" being really good to "grow your own." And hours in those things certainly qualified. I had the fungal nails for decades until some doc prescribed an anti-fungal pill that could possibly destroy my liver.

Over the course of each climbing day, the medieval torture-devices would get really damp, almost wet from sweat, which would make them almost imperceptibly more comfortable. It was always a neck-and-neck race to the finish line whether increasing swelling would win over the slight dampness-induced stretch.

And the "finish line" always carried with it portents of what the next day would bring: yet again "sliding" not-fully-recovered feet into the things dry. So it was almost regrettable to take them off, knowing what the next day had in store.

The memories... the discomfort/pain/damage was what "made" a "hard man."

And the aroma. I can recall it "afresh" even now as though I'm actually smelling it again, so etched into my brain cells it is. By day's end, the "environment" was literally breeding new life-forms, and these had to be exposed to light and fresh air occasionally to snuff them out before they developed opposable thumbs and perhaps even consciousness. In death, however, they exacted terrible revenge.

No amount of mental-bracing was preparation enough for the searing waves of deadly toxic fumes that would smite me to my knees as the first shoe came off. Hideous groans and cries filled the air along with the fumes.

Many of the groans and cries were mine.

People in a wide radius were also smitten. Some fled, their mournful cries fading into the distance. Others threw hard or sharp objects, intending, I believe, to drive the "blast radius" far from them.

Much of the physical damage I endured from climbing during those years was from injuries sustained from these thrown objects, as I was invariably unable to do little more than slowly roll, crawl, or knee-hop away, unable as I was to get enough fresh air to clear my head sufficiently to stand and run.

Even fresh socks and shoes for the drive home couldn't keep the car from slowly filling with the fumes emanating through the layers, hell bent as they were on making my head spin, resulting in a mental condition not unlike DUI. And the stupefying effects so eroded judgment that it often was beyond me to simply roll down the windows.

Worse, I confess that within 20 minutes or so of driving, the odor so destroyed even normal aesthetic judgment that I came to almost enjoy it... something like scratching your armpit and then smelling your fingers. And only during the eventual shower at home did my head clear enough that I could objectively assess with fascinated horror the liking of it.

The pain, ruined nails, risk of liver failure, actual brain damage, and deep-seated psychological after-effects. Ahh... the good old days! EBs rocked!
steve shea

climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 09:14am PT
Hey, Madbolter that was hilarious. We used tincture to offset the odor. A couple off good inhales on the tincture bottle would take the edge off the smell you so eloquently describe.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Mar 7, 2013 - 10:06am PT
I had 3 from the first picture

PAs were my first
EBs
RRs
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 7, 2013 - 11:35am PT
madbolter, I love a good chuckle with my first cuppa, even if it is also
tinged with ruefullness. I never thought about how my toe fungus first
started in '77 but now, thanks to you, it all becomes clear, so to speak.
I am still fighting it to the extent that I spent 3 days in hospital last
August when the fungus enlisted help from some no few bacterial allies.
My doc assured me The Pill's threat to the liver is not that bad and worth
the risk. I am also here to report that my three month course did not
cure it.
Roots

Mountain climber
SoCal
Mar 7, 2013 - 12:24pm PT
Just bought my first pair of EBs last week...LOL! Couldn't believe it when I opened the box - Brand new, never used! Almost perfect condition for being so old.

Fun stuff, you guys are climbing routes in those pictures I couldn't even climb today with modern footware.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Mar 7, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
RR's
RR's
Credit: ydpl8s
Edit: That's the 2nd resole on those RR's, courtesy of Mr. Komito in 1973

Credit: ydpl8s

TrundleBum

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Mar 7, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
My first shoes were Blue suedes

My first friction shoe:

The friction RR's
The shirt was the closest I could find to a real rugby shirt at the 'S...
The shirt was the closest I could find to a real rugby shirt at the 'Sal'. I borrowed my dad's sail maker's palm and leathered my new R.R's right away. Had to, that's what aspiring 'StoneMasters' did back then right? ;)
Summer '75/6
Credit: TrundleBum

Looking down Sliding Board route, Whitehorse ledge N.H
Looking down Sliding Board route, Whitehorse ledge N.H
Credit: TrundleBum
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 01:19pm PT
From Blakey's "Facebook Vintage '80s" thread. Some of these bootmakers (like Scarpa, Morotto, Brixia) must have been producing in the '70s. It would be interesting to see more of what the rest of the world-outside the US- was climbing in at the time-like Carlos' Paragots upthread. Note the colored chalk too.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#293080

Those posters/ads are all familiar, as are all the shoes in the first photo. Larry Reynolds was developing huge photos in a bathtub then as I recall. I liked the stiffness of RDs for alpine type climbs in the Zirkel Wilderness where snow was frequently found in summer. Swami, wool socks, rack of homemade and commercial nuts, Eiger ovals, and no chalk bag. Fun stuff.
KL on Gilpin Wall, FA Zirkel Wilderness, CO 1974
KL on Gilpin Wall, FA Zirkel Wilderness, CO 1974
Credit: Keith Leaman
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Mar 7, 2013 - 01:40pm PT
Thanks, Storer. When I saw your reference to John Morton, I figured you were predating me. I remember the buildering projects you mentioned, but we also used the expansion cracks at Memorial Stadium for hand jamming, and rigged a Tyrolean Travers from Eschelman Hall to the Student Union.

My favorite buildering exploit, though, was done by two others on a Sunday night in May of 1970: They managed to put a Mickey Mouse body and hands on the clock on the south side of the Campanile.

The method was a combination of clever climbing and Cal Tech lock-picking. After cutting the power to the Campanile floodlights, picking a lock into a storeroom and waiting until dark, after the elevator rides for the public ended, they got to the viewing deck, jammed the flared crack between the pillars and the anti-suicide glass, rappelled down the side and placed the Mickey Mouse on with latex paint as an adhesive (so water would remove it).

The next Monday at noon, the carillon played the mickey Mouse Club theme song.

Ah, the good old days.

John
carlos gallego

Ice climber
Spain
Mar 7, 2013 - 04:50pm PT
In the "made in Spain" market... the first company to use sticky rubber (goma cocida) was CALMA (1980)... with models "Adherencia", "Precisión" and "Lince".
These climbing shoes were distributed in USA by Climb High.

Credit: carlos gallego

Credit: carlos gallego

Months later... BOREAL, with much better marketing style, produced the "Fire" and became number one.

Credit: carlos gallego

The other spanish manufacturer in those years was KAMET.

Credit: carlos gallego



Messages 41 - 60 of total 129 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