Historical and Outstanding Mountaineering Rucksacks

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Messages 1 - 237 of total 237 in this topic
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 19, 2015 - 08:35am PT
As you may know, my main field of research and interest is clean protections, nuts and camming devices. However, I must confess to have a great interest in historical and outstanding French mountaineering rucksacks, especially the Millet ones that made me dream when I watched the Au Vieux Campeur catalogs in the seventies… At that time the technical advisers for Millet were Walter Bonatti, and René Desmaison. Some time later, Reinhold Messner met up with the team.
Here are some of them:
Your turn to illustrate this thread further…


donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 19, 2015 - 08:51am PT
Historical, you bet....classic looks, yep....outstanding, no. All gear is functionally so much better today.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2015 - 08:55am PT
donini, forgive my so poorly English spoken. In my idea, "outstanding" meant at least for a collector...
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 19, 2015 - 09:03am PT
Used to load up my Millet/Desmaison Haute Montagne with the clip-on side pockets and go
for 4 day winter trips in the Cascades. Makes my shoulders and back hurt to think about it.
Actually, they were 5 day trips but the last day was sans food to inspire the hike out.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 19, 2015 - 09:08am PT
I had a couple of those packs at one time, along with countless other items of highly valued collectable gear.........all gone and not a penny in return.
Same thing with my Mickey Mantle rookie card.
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Nov 19, 2015 - 11:57am PT
Ah...the old Millet. Something about it was special. Maybe it was just the times. I only have 2 pieces of old gear - a bent Lost Arrow and a ca'66 Alcoa Chouinard biner. Those packs look pristine!

In the Gore Range, CO 1969On the Grand Teton, WY 1968
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Nov 19, 2015 - 12:12pm PT
Beautiful Packs Nutstory! I didn't keep the Millet I carried 1969-73, but I still have that Stubai Nanga Parbat ice axe.


I bet ImStein aka Gordon, still has his monster Millet.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Nov 19, 2015 - 12:43pm PT

... and Nutstory's collection is awesome...

A bit of Millet history from their website:

1945
L'appel de la haute montagne
Raymond et René Millet prennent le relais de leurs parents et développent, avec le jeune alpiniste Louis Lachenal, des sacs à dos adaptés à la pratique de la haute montagne.

1950
Premier 8000 !
Le 3 juin, « l'annapurna 50 » triomphe à l'Annapurna avec Louis Lachenal et Maurice Herzog.

1959
L'esprit d'équipe
Millet intègre son premier conseiller technique sous contrat : Walter Bonatti

1963
Belles signatures...
Walter Bonatti et René Desmaison réunissent la première et deuxième face nord des grandes Jorasses

And if this is right, one of Nutstory's pictures possibly shows the work of Louis Lachenal - the Annapurna 50. There are some differences between Nutstory's photo and this one. The Millet Haute Montagne René Desmaison (sixties) must to some extent be "built on" the Annapurna 50.



crankster

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
Nov 19, 2015 - 12:45pm PT
Lowe Expedition. Great for the time.
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Nov 19, 2015 - 01:14pm PT
All time fave was my Karrimoor Haston pack in purple. Alas, stolen.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Nov 19, 2015 - 02:58pm PT
I had a small Millet that still holds my aid gear, but I'm more interested in that pristine-looking pair of PA's. I think they were my favorite shoes of all time for edging, and they remind me of many good days in the Valley and Indian Rock. I ran through four pairs from 1970-73 until I switched to EB's.

John
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Nov 19, 2015 - 03:18pm PT
I WISH I could get my hands on one of these! I had A Karrimor Whillans Pack for many, many years and took it on so many walls/climbs even though it was uncomfortable and inconvenient. But man, that thing took a beating!

Anyone have one they want to sell?

johntp

Trad climber
socal
Nov 19, 2015 - 05:40pm PT
Mid 70's Wilderness Experience is what I shouldered.

Whatever happened to Wilderness Experience? I had one of their sleeping bags for years until it was stolen from my tent in Yos.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 19, 2015 - 06:50pm PT
WildEx made great products. Started by two brothers, Jim and Greg Thomsen. Jim is sailing around the world enjoying the fruits of many years in upper management at Jansport. Greg is currently President of Adidas USA.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Nov 19, 2015 - 06:50pm PT
I also had Kelty rucksack that put in a good 15 years or so before it had to be retired. That thing kicked ass. Must have bought it around 1976. Spent a lot of time in Josh. Suicide, Tahquitz and Yos. Also spent a lot of time BC skeezing the Sierra. Good pack. Blue cordura body and leather bottom. Tough as nails.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Nov 19, 2015 - 06:58pm PT
Ah the joys of failing memory. Guess it was a WildEx and not a Kelty.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 19, 2015 - 07:02pm PT
A failing memory makes room for more memories.....however short.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Nov 19, 2015 - 07:08pm PT
Donini is being modest. He was their NW representative during their major growth years, in the 1970's & early 80's. Jim Thomsen has a very nice history of the company here. Look for the directions to page 2 & 3 of the history.

http://www.tenayatravels.com/Wilderness%20Experience.html

Jim & Gregg Thomsen were very nice people. It was fun to work with them.




Edit! Tad! Good work on remembering Wilderness Experience came up previously on ST. http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/904453/Wilderness-Experience-Chatsworth-California
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Nov 19, 2015 - 07:27pm PT
Fritz-

The klettersack I had is similar to the one on the right in your catalog post.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2015 - 12:23am PT
I am very happy that you enjoy this new thread!
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Nov 21, 2015 - 05:53am PT
I've still got "old orange". My 40 year old Kletterwerks Rock Pack. That thing has been around the block. I paid $40 in '76--should have got the Bomb pack for a little bigger size.
They still make them in Bozeman but they cost two bills now. Probably worth it still because it goes with my eyes and my new SD 60/40 parka.
The best packs have the Grocery Bag style--holds what you need and no zippers to fail.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 21, 2015 - 04:29pm PT
Can't exclude the Lowe Alpine Systems Expedition pack. The original internal frame pack if I am not mistaken and still my cragging pack, patched holes and all. Taping the stays together has been my secret weapon to scarf stuck cams and the cheater stick that I never quite needed...
The Alpine

climber
Nov 21, 2015 - 04:56pm PT
Another fine historical pack:
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 21, 2015 - 06:40pm PT
Stevie, Greg gave the six of us those Exped packs for the '78 Pamir trip. They were a real
step up. Actually, he kindly gave the Rooskies a bunch when we went to Denali the year before.
Sadly, the head Commissar wouldn't let the poor sods use them! There we were, slogging up
the Kahiltna with crushing loads, and the poor blighters had their POS homemade jobs with
1" wide leather straps and NO hip suspension system! OMG!
I felt so sorry for them but, of course, they were impervious to pain and had the time of their lives.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 22, 2015 - 03:33pm PT
If there is nobility in suffering, then those stalwarts are royalty!

Great story!

Once Greg invented fastex buckles and the compression system moved away from grommets and shoelace then you were really talking versatility with smaller loads.

The only time that my Lowe pack let me down was after doing the Muir Wall hammerless in 1989. The weather was really cold and my partner Jay Ladin and I decided to not risk the East Ledges iced up and walk down the Falls Trail. About a mile into the trudge one of the shoulder straps blew out with no way to repair it. I had to quasimodo a hundred pound load the rest of the way.

Jay remarked that it was the only time that he ever heard me really complain on a climb together. I took a couple of weeks to finally straighten up.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 22, 2015 - 03:43pm PT
I bought a Gregory Denali Pro for Alaska trips. They were the biggest packs that I could find, and I had to carry a lot of food and basic gear. I would be out for 35 days straight, solo. The damn thing weighs 9 pounds on its own.

I always liked Lowe stuff. I still have one of their large packs, along with a small one that I use in the desert, where you don't need to take much more than a sleeping bag and a tarp. It has been through the wringer and still looks mint.

Anyone remember the Chounard Cragh Dubh? I think that was what it was called. I ran into a guy who had one in perfect condition once. Easily identified.

The weight of the pack itself should be a priority. Just don't skimp on sturdiness. I grew to hate that big Gregory. Day after day trudging through wet muskeg and tussocks. It was like a huge red tumor on my body.
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Nov 22, 2015 - 04:17pm PT
would like to see documented photos of whatever Bonatti took up the Dru or the Matterhorn. Maybe that's all lost to history.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Nov 22, 2015 - 04:26pm PT
I always liked Lowe stuff. I still have one of their large packs,

Still have a big Lowe pack I bought in the 80s. Don't know the name but it is around 70-80 liters. Sucker has been all over the sierra and still looks new.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 22, 2015 - 04:30pm PT
I have a Wild Things Andinista that really performs well in the ultralight category and a Dana Designs Astralplane Overkill at the opposite end of the spectrum.

I wonder if Walter was carrying his namesake model Millet pack on the Dru?
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Nov 23, 2015 - 08:59am PT
I worked at Dana Design for six years until we were purchased by K2 and our jobs
were sent offshore. K2 already owned Wild Ex so we began producing those as
well. Here's one of the last packs out of the Chatsworth factory.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Nov 23, 2015 - 09:05am PT
With my background of running an outdoor shop 1973-1983, I think there were two "game-changing" pack designs in the U.S. in the early 70's, that most all popular large packs are descended from.

First was the frameless pack design, that was then stuffed tightly to achieve a rigid state, so some of the pack's weight could be carried on your hips.

Don Jensen started that trend with the Jensen Pack, and it was then refined, or just ripped off, by a number of other pack companies. Two of those I remember were the Chouinard Ultimate Thule & The Yakpack.

Alpinist Magazine borrowed my 1973 vintage Jensen Pack for the cover- photo of a nice article on the history of the Jensen Pack.

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP48/26-tool-users-jensen-pack-rassler
26 Tool Users: The Jensen Pack by Brad Rassler

Here's a shot of me leading with the same pack in 1975 on Cascade Falls by Banff.
As noted in the Alpinist article, the Jensen Pack demanded carefull packing technique to carry it comfortably.

the ergonomic pack allowed climbers and skiers to tackle steep, technical terrain without the awkward sway of an aluminum frame or the roll of a cylindrical sack. Shaped by a brilliant mathematical mind, the Jensen melded with the user's back, but only with careful planning: if packed meticulously, the spineless rig stood tall, its structural pillar formed by the pressure of the contents. Improperly crated, the Jensen puckered and sagged.


By the mid-70's, the obvious advantages of the Lowe Expedition design: ease in packing, compression to hold the load close to the back, & internal stays to make the pack rigid, thus allowing some of the weight to be carried on hips, were killing the Jensen pack.

The Jensen design was changed with a full zip-out back & greater volume. It was not a great seller in my store. With Jim Donini's encouragement, my employees and I had changed from Jensen fans to Lowe fans.



By 1976, we were all climbing in Lowe packs.

nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 23, 2015 - 09:27am PT
Fritz, thank you very much for posting the LAS advertisement published in Summit. I did not know it. One more interesting photograph of the early prototypes of the Lowe Cam Nut to treasure in my archives!
frank wyman

Mountain climber
montana
Nov 23, 2015 - 09:40am PT
I have a "Great Pacific Iron Works" Ultima Thule, blue backpack, Great shape, if anybody is interested. Bought in in the 70's. Make me a offer..
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 17, 2015 - 01:48am PT
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Dec 17, 2015 - 07:50am PT
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Dec 17, 2015 - 08:03am PT
Thanks SLR, I was wondering where I got the inspiration for this drawing. Yeeaars ago. Courtesy of Don Hunter. VVVVV Edited ~ It is Dave Alcock with a Karimor ad/pack?
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Dec 17, 2015 - 08:09am PT
Keith,not sure who that is on the cover of the magazine, I sold my entire collection of books and mags.

=

I believe this is a Millet pack, from the 1970s
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 17, 2015 - 09:03am PT
I believe this is a Millet pack, from the 1970s
Yes it is. I would say a Eiger or a Walker. The bottom of the Walker could be opened and it had an additional pocket.
couchmaster

climber
Dec 17, 2015 - 12:54pm PT



Haha, I have a version of that Millet pack Nutstory that I still take out on occasion (where I know it will be left on the ground and I don't care if it gets stolen or trashed by a bear) I'd forgotten how nice they looked new, but that's it- same colors. Mine doesn't have the side zipper. They had these add on packets that you could strap on if you needed extra space. I should take photo to compare and contrast.

I had the next gen Karrimore Ihateplastic. I gave it to a local climber kid when I was climbing in Thailand a few years back. It had a small hole in it worn from climbing a chimney and being pooly padded and packed, which Karrimore had said was guaranteed for life. I didn't want to return a beat up old pack, although I still loved it. Kid was sooooo stoked, you'd have thought he'd won the lottery. I didn't want to tell him it was my shittiest pack or that I probably still had more packs left in my basement back home than the local climbing store had for sale. Haha, 1st world.


Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Dec 17, 2015 - 03:02pm PT
BTW awesome drawing Keith
carlos gallego

Ice climber
Spain
Dec 18, 2015 - 08:11am PT
The authentic "bag of sheperds" for climbers of the 70´s. hahahaha.
(North face of Aig. du Plan-Alps-Chamonix)

rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Dec 18, 2015 - 11:25am PT
Classic Rebufattian Guide Pack in action in the Tetons, early 1960's. (Who made these? I don't think it was Millet...)


Same pack, same era, high on the North Face of the Grand


The defacto standard Kelty frame pack at Shadow Lake in the Winds

Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 18, 2015 - 02:47pm PT
Rgold! Your framepack photo reminds me of what we used to call a "Sawtooth Overload." A fully loaded framepack with a full climbing pack lashed on top. In this 1971 photo of me, the framepack was a Camptrails & the climbing pack a Millet.

nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 19, 2015 - 12:38am PT
Classic Rebufattian Guide Pack in action in the Tetons, early 1960's. (Who made these? I don't think it was Millet...)
If it is not a Millet, I suspect that it was made by Lafuma. Anyway, a beautiful vintage pack.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Dec 19, 2015 - 07:32am PT
Oh yeah---definitely Lafuma; I remember now.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Dec 19, 2015 - 12:48pm PT
Later on in time the Berhaus expedition
Pack was a favorite!
carlos gallego

Ice climber
Spain
Dec 20, 2015 - 08:03am PT
I agree with Stewart Johnson... The "big one" but very light (empty rucsack, of course).


Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Dec 21, 2015 - 08:54am PT
SLR, I think that the blue and red pack on the Mountain mag cover is a Joe Brown Extendable. I had one once. It was a good pack for its day but was soon surpassed. That blue fabric was cotton canvas.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 22, 2016 - 02:21am PT
And... behind the stage:
EdwardT

Trad climber
Retired
Jan 22, 2016 - 05:54am PT
My first climbing pack.

nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 26, 2016 - 12:29am PT
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jan 26, 2016 - 01:29am PT
^^^
Classic
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 26, 2016 - 07:46am PT
This Millet le Sherpa old label is often (always) very used or spoiled. Here is a sample in a good condition.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 26, 2016 - 08:13am PT
Swiss Army, 1955

I never managed to wear it out. Gave it to my son for school, and obviously it's outlasted his friends going through 10 Chinese day packs each....

They made fun of him at first, but no more!

This is a grabbed photo of one very close to mine.




nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 26, 2016 - 08:35am PT
1955... it's as old as me... but it still looks fine...
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 26, 2016 - 08:42am PT
nutstory, yes, incredibly tough. You can still find them online and in surplus stores.

I'm gonna have to take a picture with Layton wearing it!
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Feb 14, 2016 - 04:07pm PT
This is not nearly as classic but,`` this is 35 yr old In perfect condition
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 17, 2016 - 08:15am PT
throwpie

Trad climber
Berkeley
Mar 17, 2016 - 08:30am PT
Still got my Millet!
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 17, 2016 - 08:48am PT
This old guy has received a great deal of punishment...
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 3, 2016 - 08:50am PT

Nutstory

In the OP you had a photo of a Millet le Sherpa Varappe Walter Bonatti (circa 1964). Recently I found the Millet le Sherpa Bonatti below. Do you know when this model was produced? The side pockets make it look older than the 1964 rucksack, but that is not necessarily the case.

nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - May 3, 2016 - 10:17am PT
Marlow, what a beautiful sample! It is not that easy to date your old Millet with precision. My older catalog Millet is dated 1970. Regarding the older sacks, I used my Au Vieux Campeur catalogs which are not very precise (often without photos). In fact, I do not believe that your sack is older than 1964. The side pockets mean that this model was mainly produced for mountaineering, and not for climbing. My main reason to date it circa 1964 is that Millet filed out a Patent for their Minyl back pack straps on March 29th 1963 (Patent FR 1 365 328A).
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 3, 2016 - 10:26am PT

Nutstory

It may have been produced for mountaineering. It can even have been produced for military purposes, though I doubt it because of the colour. It was sold from Germany as produced for military purposes.
Mark Force

Trad climber
Ashland, Oregon
May 3, 2016 - 03:02pm PT
Tump lines are awesome. It's amazing how well they work.

http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/patagonia-tumpline?p=11685-0
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
May 7, 2016 - 08:41pm PT
The classic Karrimor Whillans pack in action:

Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
May 8, 2016 - 03:17pm PT
Here's a Bergans I got in early 50s. Almost perfectly identical to Millet Le Sherpa Haute Montagne René Desmaison, "lady model" (early seventies). Knockoff?

The Norwegians were making quality packs WAY early. Lots of miles on this one!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
May 8, 2016 - 03:54pm PT
Here's a Bergans I got in early 50s

Wow, you are a fossil.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - May 9, 2016 - 12:51am PT
Here's a Bergans I got in early 50s. Almost perfectly identical to Millet Le Sherpa Haute Montagne René Desmaison, "lady model" (early seventies). Knockoff?
Could we see a photo of the back of your pack. It is so much "identical"... I do not believe that such a pack did exist in the early fifties...
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
May 9, 2016 - 10:24am PT
Hi Nutstory -

Yes - the exact similarity bothers me too, especially as the label came off somewhere along the line. I examined it carefully for any other ID but couldn't find any. It looks so exactly like the Millet that it is hard to believe it can be anything else.

I got this after staggering around Norway's mountains in 1949 under a US Army surplus pack and being so impressed by the Norwegian students' packs. I don't remember date or origin of purchase. I do remember packing it in northern Yosemite for about 10 days in about 1957, which gives me a date to work with.

I don't recall ever owning a Millet pack. However - one can lose a lot of detail in half a century. I could be wrong.

I searched the web for Bergans history but couldn't find anything from that period. Maybe Marlow knows where to look.

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 9, 2016 - 12:33pm PT

Wayne.

I have not been able to find a photo of another Bergans rucksack similar to your Bergans rucksack, but here's an English-speaking website covering external frame rucksacks and a bit of the early Bergans history: http://www.carryology.com/bags/external-frame-backpacks-applying-the-old-ways-to-the-new-journeys-part-2/
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - May 10, 2016 - 05:50am PT
René-Gaston Millet filed out a Patent for the bottom of the back of their packs on June 13th 1959 (Patent FR 1 236 558). Would not Bergans be the distributor of the French Millet packs in Norway at that time…? Marlow...?
Something else that puzzles me is that Millet filed out another Patent for their Minyl back pack straps on March 29th 1963 (Patent FR 1 365 328).
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
May 10, 2016 - 04:11pm PT
My 1971 Millet has the same features as Wayne's, but his is slightly larger than mine. It has a wood panel going down that sleeve the label was stitched to and a metal bow with tensioned webbing screwed to the base of the wood. The texture of the webbing straps and the buckles are unmistakable
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
May 10, 2016 - 04:22pm PT
Marlow - thanks for the interesting bit on old external frames. I lugged one of those Army plywood frames all over Alaska the summer of 58 mapping glaciers for the IGY. You could strap damn near anything to them, and we did. I think I got six inches shorter that summer.

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 12, 2016 - 01:18pm PT

Wayne

Great photo, that's as heavy duty old school as can be...

Nutstory

I will see what I can find concerning Bergans rucksacks 1950-1960 when my time allows me to exercise my curiosity...

In 1966 Bergans started selling Bergans Alpinist, which was said to be the first anatomical rucksack (Nils Faarlund mentioned this in an article he wrote).
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
May 12, 2016 - 01:51pm PT
What is ruck and why are you bringing it when mountaineering?

In America they are all backpacks.

The difference between American and English terms is interesting to me. It seems American terms are often more descriptive/utilitarian.

Boot vs. trunk
Torch vs. flashlight
Head torch vs. headlamp
aluminium vs. aluminum
articulated lorry vs. tractor-trailer

I must say I like these English ones better
boob tube vs. tube top
danger money vs. hazard pay
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 12, 2016 - 02:04pm PT

Ruck and sack are German terms.

Ruck is back and sack is pack.

The plural term "Rucksacks" is in German "Rucksäcke".
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
ne'er–do–well
May 12, 2016 - 08:07pm PT
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
May 12, 2016 - 08:26pm PT
From Mountain Magazine #1, January 1969:

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 13, 2016 - 09:04pm PT
SWEEEEET!
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
May 14, 2016 - 04:14pm PT
I was wondering if anyone was going to mention the LaFuma! Back in the day (circa 1962-68) the LaFuma was the pack of choice. Simple design, leather bottom, no exterior pockets, single compartment interior, single strap closure, metal hauling ring, and felt padded straps. It (at the time) was the ideal climbing rucksack - easily hauled.

crankster

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
May 14, 2016 - 06:54pm PT
Fossil, hell of an alpenstock. Got one a bit shorter.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
May 15, 2016 - 12:38pm PT
My father’s Bergans rucksack (ryggsekk), which he bought in 1962 or 1963, probably at a store called Arlberg in Vancouver.

Stuffed with a duvet, for realism. (Troll not included.)

Loki the cat thinks it is an interesting new cave/box, and even snoozed in it.

It was a step up from the Trapper Nelson, a sort of prospector's packboard made from wood, with a green canvas bag. Then came the REI Cruiser.

My father often took his little dog Max with him when he went hiking and snowshoeing with his friends. He would fill the pack with clothes, making a kind of shelf – when Max got tired, he got a ride inside. Very cute!
(When I get a chance, I'll post a photo of my father's alpenstock. In fact, my original ice axe, which he later lengthened. He often used it for snowshoeing, with a basket.)
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
May 15, 2016 - 02:15pm PT
It seems that La Fuma shows up in many Yosemite Golden Age pictures.
I built a simple replica/tribute version, more of a reinterpretation, and not nearly as cool as the originals!

.........................................................................

The frame on that Bergans of Anders is very nicely sculpted.
The thick leather attachment sleeve at the crown of the frame is a nice touch.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2016 - 11:56pm PT
Don Lauria, is this what you have in mind...? Enjoy...
The Lafuma were three brothers, Victor, Alfred and Gabriel.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
May 17, 2016 - 08:19pm PT
Ellingwood's rucksack,
From the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum, Golden Colorado:


(... Probably not Albert Ellingwood. I need to look into this. The sack is probably too late a vintage for Albert to have owned it. It may have belonged to his son, Robert Whitcomb Ellingwood)
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
May 18, 2016 - 06:05am PT
Yes, RW donated a bunch of stuff to the museum.

It's really hard to make out the R, it looks like a P. When I took the photograph I was hoping that interpretive plaque would have been readable.

I'm thinking your bid is probably a bit low!
Jamesthomsen

Social climber
Mammoth Lakes, California
May 26, 2016 - 09:31pm PT
Great stories and photos!

In 1972 Eiger Mountain Sports, the USA distributor for Millet packs in the USA was having a hard time with imports and was way behind on shipments and could not fill orders for the growing outdoor business in the US.

So the owner, Mike Strum?, asked if we could make a replacement for the Millet packs. We had a small climbing store in Tarzana, CA and made products in the back. So Greg said, "Of course" and designed a bunch of climbing packs and we made samples. By the time we showed them to Eiger Mountain Sports his shipment had arrived from Millet and he said he was no longer interested.

So we showed them to Don Lauria, at West Ridge, and he bought some. And that was the beginning of Wilderness Experience.

So, thank you again Don and thank you Jim Donini...we did have some great times! OK, maybe too many great times!
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
May 27, 2016 - 11:51am PT
Mike Sturm, Jim, not Strum.
11worth

Trad climber
Leavenworth & Greenwater WA
May 28, 2016 - 09:29pm PT
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 29, 2016 - 06:21pm PT
From Ray Olson's Garage = FROG
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
May 29, 2016 - 06:42pm PT
The FROG sack! Yeah! Great to see one again they inhabit my dreams. Yes, the dreams & sack were made in the early 80s

(I've got to try to dig out my purple Karrimor) ;-)
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - May 30, 2016 - 06:03am PT
One more Millet!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 30, 2016 - 09:47am PT
Probably when REI knocked off the design and produced their own modell like they did with the Wilderness Experience Klettersack.
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
May 30, 2016 - 07:16pm PT
Stephane - Fun Thread!
The Millet 1992/93 catalog shows mostly clothing, but it shows a SAC on the accessories page.

I do have a SAC Lafuma pack which was used as a first aid kit for the Arizona Mountaineering Club rescue in the early 1970s. I am not sure when this pack was first made but I believe this one is 1973 era?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 30, 2016 - 09:33pm PT
anybody know exactly when and why REI stopped selling them?

They got expensive quite rapidly, production was irregular, and better
packs became available for the money. The buyers also didn't like
dealing with Millet, something about an 'attitude'.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jul 24, 2016 - 10:14am PT

Wayne

I have not been able to sort out the Bergans - Millet - LaFuma history. I contacted Bergans in Norway, but no one working there at present knows the 1920-1950 Bergans - France history very well. There is one person (retired) who may know, but I have not been able to reach him.

I have found a website (http://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/rucksack-vintage-or-new-wpg-bergans.45611/page-2) pointing back to a 1920s Bergans catalogue (there is no longer a functioning link to the catalogue). Talking about the catalogue one forumer says this:

The French have the word "Bergam"... a Bergans' style rucksack, and looking at that old Bergans catalogue, it now explains WHY the French have a "Bergam". The catalogue shows and describes a mixture of Norwegian and French troops using the Bergans style rucksack. So there is some long history of French Alpine troops using that rucksack - hence "Bergam".

There is/was probably a long history of cooperation between Bergans and French producers of rucksacks.

From Lafuma history:

The three Lafuma brothers - Victor, Alfred and Gabriel - founded Lafuma in 1930 producing backpacks. In 1936, the company invented the metal-frame braced backpack, which expanded the group considerably. Having produced products for both the French Army pre-World War II, and during the occupation of France by Nazi Germany for the Wehrmacht, the company resumed production post-war. In 1954 Lafuma expanded into camping furniture.

In 1984, the company went bankrupt, and was taken over by a grandson of the founders, Philippe Joffard. In 1985 the company expanded into sleeping bags, and in 1986 moved part of its production to Tunisia. In 1991, the company launched new clothing brands, and in 1992 opened new production facilities in Hungary. This allowed the resumption of the production of brands Millet and Le Chameau in 1995.

The group is still highly reliant on the domestic French market, with 60% of group turnover generated from French sales. The current brandlines of the group include (with reported sales percentages):
Lafuma (44.1%)
Oxbow Surfwear (28.2%)
Millet (16.3%)
Le Chameau (11.4%)

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Aug 3, 2016 - 01:41am PT

If you're considering to buy a new rucksack - here's the frame for you: http://www.ebay.com/itm/181503403626?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 17, 2016 - 08:07am PT
What about this one...? The rare and typical little flag allows me to date it; 1974!
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2016 - 12:00am PT
A very rare Super Desmaison!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 23, 2016 - 11:51am PT

Nutstory has got an incredible collection.

Lafuma made Bergans rucksacks. Here is an example:


I would not be surprised if Bergans also produced and sold Lafuma rucksacks like the one Wayne found in Norway in the late 1940s.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Sep 23, 2016 - 01:48pm PT
for the time and place it was an awesome pack. Bare bones solid carried well and was up to reasonable hauling. Your choices were to have the flap/lid as you see it
or you could stash it inside.
Yes please
11worth, take some more pictures of your pack




please.!
F10

Trad climber
Bishop
Sep 23, 2016 - 07:46pm PT
Just used my FROG pack yesterday. It's not my front line pack anymore but still works great when I do use it. It's seen a lot of use and still kicks ass.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 24, 2016 - 06:59am PT

Another old climber's Lafuma model

Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Sep 24, 2016 - 01:18pm PT
The photo of the Super Desmaison pack shows an Alpelit ax of the same era attached. Here's mine, which was apparently imported by Royal Robbins.

John Morton

climber
Sep 27, 2016 - 02:31pm PT
Don't believe I've ever seen another one of these. I got it at the Ski Hut around 1966 I guess. It's close fitting and good for steep climbing, but the zipper opens far enough that I have lost some of the contents when not paying attention at a crowded stance.


Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 28, 2016 - 09:39am PT

Millet Le Sherpa Walter Bonatti - a minimalistic version...

nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 29, 2016 - 05:48am PT
Marlow, I saw it on the web a few days ago...
Old logo, old sac. I would say early seventies.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 29, 2016 - 09:52am PT

Nutstory

The logo of some old Millet rucksacks says:

Adopte par
Walter Bonatti

while other Millet rucksacks have a logo saying:

Adopte par
Walter Bonatti
Reinhold Messner

Are the rucksacks carrying only Walter Bonatti's name older than the rucksacks carrying both Bonatti's and Messner's name?
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 30, 2016 - 12:56am PT
Marlow, Walter Bonatti was the very first technical adviser for Millet. Then came René Desmaison, and Reinhold Messner joined the team later. (Walter Cecchinel, Gaston Rébuffat were also technical advisers hence some Millet backpacks have logo with these names.) So early Millet rucksacks have the "Bonatti" logo, about at the same time another collection of Millet rucksacks have the "Desmaison" logo.
And, you are right, the rucksacks carrying both "Bonatti" and "Messner" logo are more recent than the "Bonatti" logo alone.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 30, 2016 - 11:33am PT

Thank you Nutstory. There are times when symbols make sense chrono-logically, as in this case... ^^^^
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2016 - 05:21am PT
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 3, 2016 - 08:49am PT

Fantastic post, Nutstory.

I'm not able to find the red Sherpa I posted above, though. Among other characteristics this rucksack hasn't got a leather or leather-like bottom.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Oct 3, 2016 - 09:27am PT
I don't remember the name of rucksack shown in this photo. I was bright orange with a leather bottom. It was tough enough for hauling by the top loop and as far as I remember it never tore. Great pack.


George Meyers and Rik Rieder (Rik is inspecting my gear) and I were preparing to shoot some photos on the Central Pillar of Frenzy, which Bridwell and I had recently completed.

Here is a b&w picture of me wearing the same pack on the FA of Freewheeling. The skinny kid is Kevin Worrall.


Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 5, 2016 - 02:10pm PT

Old Swiss canvas rucksack.

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 14, 2016 - 11:35pm PT

Mystery rucksack

This old rucksack could be an early study for a Millet Desmaison, but it could also be a self-made rucksack made by someone who has a lot of skill. It has a primitive hip belt. There is no logo. Do anyone know more about this model? Nutstory?


The rucksack was recently sold on eBay from Portland, but it looks European.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 27, 2016 - 05:38am PT
No Marlow, I'm sorry, this time I can't help. I have never seen this beautiful pack.
Ian Parsons

climber
UK, England
Oct 27, 2016 - 11:23am PT
I don't remember the name of rucksack shown in this photo. I was bright orange with a leather bottom. It was tough enough for hauling by the top loop and as far as I remember it never tore. Great pack.

That looks and sounds very obviously like the Karrimor Whillans Alpinist - a UK standard in the 1960s and early 1970s. It had a removable lid with a large map pocket inside and a crampon patch on top. Earlier models had a D-shaped steel hauling ring, replaced sometime in the mid/late 1960s with a webbing one. The one you're wearing in the B&W shot, however, looks different; there doesn't seem to be enough contrast between the body and the base, and the lid looks fixed. Are you sure it's the same one?

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=whillans+alpiniste&newwindow=1&client=firefox-b&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiBuvT6zfvPAhVICMAKHbwBC6UQsAQIJQ&biw=1006&bih=584
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 28, 2016 - 05:52pm PT
Marlow's find is interesting.

Hard to believe this was made by an amateur, when scrutinizing some of the details like the pop rivets at the waist belt/shoulder strap attachment, the grommets/eyelets on the crampon patch, the gray taping around the top lid, and especially the waistband tensioner. But it does look like a knockoff of the Sherpa number 368, featured at the very top of this thread, in the second advertisement picture.


From Mountain magazine #15, May, 1971:




The first inconsistency that I see is the shoulder straps. Not made from that characteristic and patented tubular webbing as noted by Nut Story up thread:

Millet filed out a Patent for their Minyl back pack straps on March 29th 1963 (Patent FR 1 365 328A).

The brown leather patches on the sides for attaching pockets or skis, (which I used to purchase in the late 70s, and I have since learned were often hand cut at US pack factories) as well as the yoke patch for the shoulder strap attachment at the top, would be, in a genuine Millet, likely made of that gray synthetic material. Those leather attachment patches look like stuff used on American packs throughout the 70s. The zippers are also a bit off.

Some of the gray webbing, like on the shoulder straps, without really looking into it, reminds me of the Gerry packs. Maybe it was made in a US pack factory by an employee who was just entertaining themselves, trying to copy a Millet, with what was lying around the shop. Nicely done little knockoff, at any rate.

Almost like doing forensics!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 28, 2016 - 11:37pm PT

Tarbuster.

I think you are near the truth: "Maybe it was made in a US pack factory by an employee who was just entertaining themselves, trying to copy a Millet, with what was lying around the shop."

Someone with the needed skill made the rucksack based on a Millet model.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 29, 2016 - 08:18am PT
Sometimes I search eBay for old REI catalogs from the 70s.
There was a particular issue, circa 1975 – 1977, which featured a story on the Ptarmigan Traverse (or something similar), North Cascades, which was an early inspiration for me and I'd like to read it again.

....................................

A low-resolution scan of an REI catalog from Google images:

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 29, 2016 - 08:30am PT
Also from eBay or Google images, a Millet we haven't seen on this thread yet, and perhaps slightly more modern, say late 70s or early 80s.

The shape is trending more towards teardrop or wrap-around, and also lacking a heavily reinforced bottom, perhaps for achieving lighter weight.

I'd be interested to see a photo of the back panel, likely thermoformed foam (see Nut Story's Millet Cecchinal circa 1976 up thread), if so, for its vintage, it looks like it would carry nicely:



Note the presence of a color-story matching blue side release nylon buckle used at the lashing strap, in the picture at the right and on the side of the pack. This SR buckle may not be consistent with the pack's vintage, but if it is (it matches with the cord lock on the pack closure), it would help in dating this item.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 29, 2016 - 10:32am PT

Tarbuster.

I appreciate your posting of the Millet catalogue above. The B rucksack in the Millet catalogue is clearly the rucksack I posted above. Now I know.
Was it a 1975-77 catalogue?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 29, 2016 - 05:35pm PT
Okay, I see that Marlow.

REI catalog probably from that timeframe or a year or two earlier. Their inventory seemed pretty static for a while.

Another Millet 368, from Google images:

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Nov 18, 2016 - 11:51am PT

And then a legendary rucksack from the other side of the canal - Karrimor Alpiniste Dougal Haston. The original version as seen from the logo.

Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Nov 18, 2016 - 02:47pm PT
John Morton... I have that exact Chouinard pack. I shall ig it up and take a pic. Great fabric on that one!

Roger Breedlove... That is absolutely a Karrimor Whillans Pack. Horribly uncomfortable but I wish I still had mine. I dragged it up plenty of routes in the Valley and Pinnacles.

Maelow... I had that Haston pack too. Didn't carry very well when loaded.
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Nov 18, 2016 - 05:39pm PT
Marlow, perhaps the mystery pack is a copy made in the East Bloc. Those climbers did some amazing knockoffs before the Soviet collapse.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Nov 19, 2016 - 01:08am PT

Todd. Yes, it could be a Russian version. It was located in the US, but that does not exclude the possibility of a Russian rucksack.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2016 - 01:47am PT
Marlow, your old Alpiniste in such a mint condition is a dream piece! I love it.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 19, 2016 - 08:36am PT
I like the simple, elegant styling of the older packs...nice and minimalist. It would have been nice if they had had access to some of today's materials.

The nadir of pack design was in the 80's with the rise of Dana Designs and Gregory. Their owner/designers were rather rotound individuals who likely didn't do much backpacking. The packs were over engineered behemoths that weighed 4+ kilos before you put anything in them.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 29, 2016 - 09:42am PT
The original Dana Terraplane was the best of all the iterations of the Rivendell Jensen/Chouinard Ultima Thule wraparound concept. Except with a more robust harness system, that worked well, but ultimately defeated the elegant simplicity of the originals. More of a ski mountaineering pack than a climber's pack.

Yes, those later Dana packs were way over built.
But I carried one into the Winds with full climbing and camping gear and I didn't care how much it weight because it carried so well with such a hefty load.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 29, 2016 - 09:55am PT
I also think the shapes and simplicity of the European rucksacks from the 70s fit the pure climber's needs best.
Karrimor maybe even a cut above Millet.

Here's an early Haston Alpiniste.
This one belonged to Don Peterson, of Robbins/Tis Sa Ack fame. (I had it in my possession so I could pull pattern from it).

It had that novel full-length entry zipper with velcro closure.
This allowed access vertically all the way through the load from nearly the bottom up through the draw sack at the top, as in Marlowe's picture.




Here's another good example of a Haston Alpiniste, from Google images:



And a recent revivalist version:

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 29, 2016 - 10:10am PT
Millet 330/331

Model designation depended upon construction either from cotton canvas or nylon.

Darryl Lloyd, owner and operator of Mount Adams Wilderness Institute, 1976:



An example from eBay:



Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 29, 2016 - 10:24am PT
Check out this sweet Karrimor Jaguar!
(pictures from eBay)

This is a nice size pack:





And this Karrimor summit pack shows perfect minimalism:

ecdh

climber
the east
Nov 29, 2016 - 10:55am PT
Ive been using a Cilogear with several elements of the old karrimor dougal haston, inc the zip and bucket base. Also minimalist panelling, padding and general bullsh#t. In modern fabrics as messr donini prescribes.
It can be done and it works.

Millet still do a big zip pack. Having used one a fair bit i found it lost integrity as the nylon warped and the foam squished out and the frame wasnt really up to it. Perhaps the old ones in heftier material fared better, but to becomes lighter they got flimsy. Only way to have both worlds is with expensive fabrics.

But if youre doing sh#t that demands 100L volume at sub 2kg the $$$ becomes irrelevant.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2016 - 07:45am PT
HISTORIQUE DES SACS MILLET
• 1959
Armature lombaire souple amovible (Brevet FR1236558A)
• 1962
Walter Bonatti conseiller technique (1959?)
René Desmaison conseiller technique
• 1964
Bretelles Minyl (Brevet FR1365328A)
Sac en Nylon
• 1965
Nouvelle armature dorsale
• 1966
Fond de sac en Edsanyl
• 1970
Fond de sac en Cordoual
• 1971
Porte-skis plastique
• 1974
Chapeau des attaches supérieures de bretelles en plastique
Fanion tricolore triangulaire
• 1975
Walter Cecchinel conseiller technique
• 1976
Boucles à pression coulissante
Fond de sac en Taryl
• 1977
Appui lombaire garni feutre
Fermetures à glissière Nylon
Reinhold Messner conseiller technique (?)
• 1978
Bretelles Minyl contact coton

(a work that might help you to identify old Millet; forgive the French language)

Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Dec 1, 2016 - 08:08am PT
ECDH, THNX AWSOME,,!


And of course fantastic (factory?)promotional? Shots of th the old karrimor dougal haston


I was saying I've got dig out my pack. . . .

So motivated, I'll make an attempt . ? .

That . . What I said above was an hour or so ago.
The very sad condition of my packs makes sharing now to
Embarrassing ,
I'll try to share some thing soon.

The discovery of the damage is not really a surprise.

This is just more of the constant change . . . the continuation
And while Entropy, is universal, this just adds to material loss,
the packs being nearly the least of a life's worth of chattel .
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Dec 21, 2016 - 06:09am PT

Karrimor O Bound I: What's the story?


Now on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/252690369880?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 22, 2016 - 07:49am PT
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 9, 2017 - 02:04am PT
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 11, 2017 - 06:07am PT
EBEEP

Social climber
Omaha, NE
Jan 20, 2017 - 03:10pm PT
Hello!
I know I'm a weirdo, but I must get my hands on my own Millet le Sherpa Varappe.
The circa 1974 blue/gray 331 pack that Nutstory and later Tarbuster posted is my ideal.
Anyone know of any resources other than waiting it out for one to pop up on eBay or, gulp, Etsy?
Thanks!!!
storer

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Feb 4, 2017 - 10:06am PT
Yosemite backcountry 1965 (Free Speech Movement for reference). Army rucksack as-issued except for leather rumpband. Army wool pants converted to knickers by mom, Northland skis, Marker cable bindings with "Touren Zusatz", leather boots. Pot from home, newest Ensolite pad.
Jay Wood

Trad climber
Land of God-less fools
Feb 4, 2017 - 06:26pm PT
More of a hiking sack, but vintage...



crankster

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
Feb 5, 2017 - 07:41am PT
Excellent, storer, probably didn't run into many other backcountry skiers in '65. Wool knickers sure did the job...got a bit smelly drying out as I recall.
yedi

Trad climber
Stanwood,wa
Feb 5, 2017 - 08:18am PT
My climbing buddy called his " sacs middle ages" mine was a " wilderness experiment".
Happy Cowboy

Social climber
Boz MT
Feb 5, 2017 - 12:18pm PT
I love the storer b&w, and by the way, could this be John Storer?
I climbed in the Tetons summer 71' w' John and his friend Shari McVoy.
Have these b&w's from the day.
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Feb 5, 2017 - 07:14pm PT
Truth of the matter.

I was disappointed from the get-go with the discomfort and malperformance of my Millet rucksack purchased BITD from REI circa 1972 (when I also bought some classic gear from REI like the McKinley pyramid tent and an ice axe like the ones used by the American Mt. Everest expedition in 1963).

I quickly quit using the Millet and never looked back with any regret. In fact, I can't even remember what became of it (by contrast, I still have lots of gear acquired in the same time frame, like my Kelty backpack and Chounaird gear sling, my Jumar ascenders - and even still use same when occasion arises.)

So, truth be told, Millet sacks were torture devices. I have as many "fond memories" of my Millet as I do of my first backpack - issued to me when i went to Colorado Outward Bound in 1967 - twas a World War II surplus backpack (its date of manufacture embossed into the plywood: 11/44).

This mankiller was made of shaped plywood with canvas held in suspension via a webbing tied off with parachute cord to keep the wood from riding directly on ones back. That is, until, midway through the 26 day course, the parachute cords broke and the plywood did rest directly on my back. What's more the pack lacked any hip belt to transfer the weight to the hips, so mid-course I improvised a workaround with a thin leather belt for my britches which I turned into a "hip belt" of sorts.

Sorry to go on so. I am going crazy during a fifth day of enforced bed rest with the flu.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 6, 2017 - 04:50pm PT
I hope you feel better soon, man.
Chris Jones

Social climber
Glen Ellen, CA
Feb 6, 2017 - 04:51pm PT
Certain Lafuma models had an odd feature on one of the shoulder straps whose purpose is hard to fathom. At least it was to myself. Normally the shoulder straps were connected to the adjusting strap and buckle with a solid ring and rivets, as shown on Marlow’s post of Sept 24, 2016. But other models had a spring-loaded clip, which is well shown on nutstory’s post of Jan 11, 2017. Perhaps this clip was touted as an alternative way to un-shoulder the pack, but in practice it was a nightmare on belay stances as now and then it would self unclip. After one near-drop on the Gold Wall, I permanently closed it in some fashion or the other.

The Lafuma packs had an old-school look and feel even in the 1960s, still incorporating leather and its related hardware, for example, as compared to the Millet packs. The latter mostly had plastic bases and fittings and nylon straps, with canvas soon being replaced with nylon fabric. The Millets were far better for alpine environments. I recall having a model with a coated nylon inner liner that could be pulled out, thus making a (very) tight bivi sac, which was to be used in conjunction with ones equally awful cagoule. Somehow we survived.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Mar 12, 2017 - 09:49am PT

A good-looking Karrimor Alpiniste Dougal Haston up for auction on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/381994413299?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 12, 2017 - 12:16pm PT

Here's me and my old Joe Brown (long since died) pack
in '76 on Mt. Helen in the Winds. . .

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Mar 12, 2017 - 05:25pm PT
While not likely a rucksack, but probably a wooden-framed pack, this photo is historic. If you blow it up, the fellow wearing the white T-shirt is Dale Ebersbacher, who on the trip pictured here, discovered the ledges that have become the standard North Fork route on Whitney (the ledges are in the picture behind him and to the right of him)



Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Apr 22, 2017 - 06:59am PT

An early Berghaus rucksack - late 1960s/early 1970s. Do you have a photo of the earliest Berghaus rucksack(s)?

nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 22, 2017 - 08:29am PT
Berghaus and Karrimor... I am very far from being a "specialist"...
Millet, just Millet, I am sorry...;-)
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2017 - 01:44am PT
RDB

Social climber
wa
Aug 16, 2017 - 10:49am PT





Likely all bought from Fritz ")
RDB

Social climber
Great Basin
Aug 16, 2017 - 11:07am PT



Roushski

Mountain climber
Durango, CO
Aug 16, 2017 - 11:54am PT
Here are a couple of my Millet sacs. The leather one was imported by us at Royal Robbins (Mountain Paraphernalia). The blue nylon RD is one I used for cragging. RR also imported the Whillans Alpinist pack from Karrimor (orange canvas w/black leather) shown in some of the previous posts. Later we also imported the Karrimor KGT 90, and expedition-sized (90L) sack with clips to fit on an external frame.

If I can remember I'll send along a pic of the KGT 90 and also some shots of the remaining set of Royal Robbins prototype WALL NUTS chocks. Need to write some of this stuff down before I forget it!
Rustie

climber
Coeur d\\\\\\\'Alene
Aug 16, 2017 - 07:03pm PT
Pardon NutStory, mais nous étions avec les anglais, chez sacs Joe Brown et Whillans. Désolé.......

But......the main thing, the Big Deal for technical climbers, was that these packs were among the first (sadly not the JB) to make the load long and slim, so that it would fit close to the back and not hang out and drag you over backwards.......pretty important in Les Alps, where you always seemed to be carrying a pack on technical climbs.........and it was Millet who figured it out.

Merci Millet............
Mar'

Trad climber
Fanta Se
Aug 16, 2017 - 11:39pm PT
Thank you for this great thread— and the studio-quality photographs!!

I always loved the Millet Sherpa dearly~ the Lady model without the slanted pockets was my favorite. I had those cool clip-on pockets too that worked for the Chouinard 120cm approach skis. It was the red nylon model with gray straps. I got it used in 1975 when I lived in Leavenworth, WA.

With an MSR GK and fuel in one pocket and 1.5L water in the other, 3~5 days wasn't too far-fetched.


When it finally died, I had to make a few from scratch until the 2000 cu in dark blue senior ballistics-cloth Chouinard Crag Pack came out some time around 1980. That one was even better than the Millet. The pockets from the Millet fit perfectly in the Crag Pack's wide slotted neoprene side strap/ski patches.

I suspect that the Chouinard design was heavily influenced by the Millets in some respects. But the way the curved side-panels of the Crag Pack were cut really was brilliant— very stable and body-hugging. I did miss the "box-lid" of the Millet though.

The Chouinard Ultima Thule rocked as well— that was a copy of the Rivendale pack someone showed earlier in the thread. That was my first "big pack". I learned a lot about loading a pack with that one.

It didn't have a frame at all so since then I've never understood what an "internal frame" pack was for— then again, I've never worn a pack bigger than 50 liters. The first thing I do is pull out the aluminum ribs.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 17, 2017 - 12:17am PT
Roushski: the all leather Millet 444 has always been the Holy Grail for me. Thank you for posting a good photograph of the back of this sac. I did not know it.
Rustie: Qu'importe le pays d'origine, Angleterre ou France; l'important c'est la Passion ;-)
Mar': ho yes, great photos ;-) I suspect that your pack was similar to this red one...
And... a new acquisition...
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 17, 2017 - 11:55pm PT
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 18, 2017 - 11:59am PT
John Bragg's pack on Torre Egger 1976...can someone identify it?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 18, 2017 - 09:48pm PT
With the cord and D-ring compression system it looks like an early Lowe Expedition pack but the waist belt is wrong. McHale Pack?
Mad69Dog

Ice climber
Aug 19, 2017 - 09:43am PT
Most of the time, reality makes me feel pretty old, because I am. But when I read threads like this, I feel so young! Unfortunately, I have not digitized most of my old 35mm slides. Maybe I'll dig into that this coming winter. My oldest climbing pack was a Himalayan from the early 70s, probably something like 15 liters. I don't know if it's still in the archive.

Thanks for putting this thread up. Feeling pretty chipper among all you old timers.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Aug 30, 2017 - 12:42pm PT

Karrimor Alpiniste Whillans repro - Nigel Cabourn

Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Aug 30, 2017 - 01:42pm PT
Rucksack of choice on the NA Wall, 1968 ... LaFuma






donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 30, 2017 - 01:45pm PT
I had a LaFuma in the same color combination. Classy leather bottom...it's the once piece of gear from bitd that I wish I still had.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Aug 30, 2017 - 02:08pm PT
We loved 'em, Jim, because they had no exterior pockets (to snag if it needed hauling), a single leather strap with a metal buckle to secure the top flap (easy, quick access), and accommodated two liters of water, lunch/munch food and rain gear, had a heavy-duty metal ring for hanging at belays, and they were rugged (canvas-like cotton material) - never had to open the haulbag during the day - only during bivouacs.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 30, 2017 - 02:32pm PT
Yeah Don, equipment manufacturers today should reread the old maxim..."less is more."
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 3, 2017 - 08:00am PT

Looking like what?

Mark Force

Trad climber
Ashland, Oregon
Sep 3, 2017 - 08:11am PT
Don, Thanks for your pictures! They're awesome! You guys were tough. That pic of you jugging overhanging terrain in a butt bag with tied off pins above you is an all time classic shot.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Oct 6, 2017 - 02:03pm PT
YES, THANK YOU MR LAURIA !


MY 'HOME' FOR AWHILE . . . THE BEST WHILE OF MY LIFE A-WHILE AGO NOW THOUGH. . .
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 30, 2017 - 09:34am PT
Many, many thanks Marlow for the "missing link"...;-)
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Dec 30, 2017 - 09:40am PT

My new rucksack. Not quite Nutstory quality, but a nice addition to the collection: Karrimor Alpiniste

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 31, 2017 - 01:36pm PT
Marlow scores!
We don't need no stinking Nigel Cabourn replica!

Though, were I to possess the means of a true collector, I would want one of those as well.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 21, 2018 - 05:29pm PT
Here is a classic early Lafuma catalog that unfortunately I didn't win on ebay so I don't have an exact date of release but judging by the shot of Tenzing on the cover and graphic style I would venture to say mid to late 50s.






jc luddite

Mountain climber
Fort Collins
Mar 16, 2018 - 08:01pm PT
some recent Karrimor reproduction builds from my shop. a purple alpinist, a blue/brown Haston vallot and one of my Dyneema New day rising packs built for climbing gear reviews UK. all built in ouray, co.
[photo[photo[photoid=526131]id=526130]id=526129]

I have a decent collection of the old packs in the shop, including several of the Millet canvas/leather packs, Chouinard ultima Thule, and an original whillans alpinist. if your ever in ouray folks are welcome to come over and see all the old, and new, packs.
[photoid=526133]
jc luddite

Ice climber
ouray, co
Mar 16, 2018 - 08:16pm PT
Thanks.

I really enjoy building the classic packs. I build a lot more modern packs, but I try to keep the simplicity of the classic packs in the Dyneema packs.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Mar 19, 2018 - 12:52pm PT

And here's a pre Whillans Karrimor "Whillans" rucksack

Ledge Rat

Trad climber
Michigan
Mar 19, 2018 - 03:40pm PT
Not as old as many of these great packs, but a personal favorite for sure!


Jeff

jc luddite

Ice climber
ouray, co
Mar 19, 2018 - 08:40pm PT
Those are both great packs. I have a Karrimor pinnacle of the same vintage.

That Chouinard was my favorite. If Patagonia didn't have a version I'd be building this one too.

[photo[photoid=526306]id=526305]
stunewberry

Trad climber
Spokane, WA
Mar 19, 2018 - 09:15pm PT
I had a green Holubar backpack/haulbag, purchased about 1968-9. It was green, bullet shaped with internal pockets, a flap that could be stored inside the pack for hauling, and leather bottom. It was awful to carry, and the nylon wasn't tough enough for hauling. I remember patching it extensively with bicycle inner tube patches when the abrasions got bad. I finally tossed it when the leather straps (with felt padding) stretched too much to carry. I loved that thing, it went on many great trips. No pictures, though.
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Mar 19, 2018 - 10:43pm PT
I haven't read the whole thread, so I'm not sure if one of these packs has been featured before. It used to be the quintessential Canadian backpack---the Trapper Nelson.

I acquired this one in exchange from Dick Culbert, over 50 years ago, after he reversed his temperamental Jeep over my beautiful external frame pack from Europe, and turned it into a metal pretzel. He was so surprised when it started, that he forgot it was in reverse!


Here's a photo of two overloaded Trapper Nelsons in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Mine is the one on the left.

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jun 4, 2018 - 10:23am PT

Millet Sherpa Bonatti rucksacks with leather details:

1. With rectangular details on the side of the rucksack

2. With "elliptical" details on the side

I used to think that the rectangular form predates the elliptical form, but they were at least part of the time produced in parallel...
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jun 4, 2018 - 04:10pm PT
Oh man, that vintage Trapper Nelson, my first backpack. Snapped the frame with a heavy load one time, but glued and screwed it back together for a zillion miles. Classic and simple.......
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 26, 2018 - 01:54am PT
The Holy Grail! Thank you very much Arnaud!
Risk

Mountain climber
Marooned, 855 miles from Tuolumne Meadows
Jun 26, 2018 - 09:27am PT

Tenaya Canyon, 1981

My old Sacs Millet - pretty sure in was the 1st rucksack to grace Kings Canyon Junior High in 1971
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jun 30, 2018 - 11:08am PT

Nutstory's Millet 444 is the first one I have seen of its kind... pure rucksack history...

I finally found a Millet I think is identical to the one in Nutstory's OP.


... and it is interesting to see the difference in seams and leather details from the one below. I wonder how the two played out in time...

nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 1, 2018 - 10:24am PT
Marlow, you have found a genuine gem! I'm so happy for you.
1964 seems correct!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jul 1, 2018 - 10:26am PT

Nutstory.

I am surprised by the great diversity seen between the early leather detail model(s). Do you know the development story?
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 1, 2018 - 10:59am PT
Unfortunately no my friend. My Millet catalog collection does not allow me to be sure of the information that I post here. The advertisements in the climbing magazine are often the same, and I suspect that Millet marketed packs without any published literature. I do my best to be as accurate as possible...
Fritz

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
Nov 15, 2018 - 10:38am PT
I appreciate this is a rucksack thread, but this packframe is certainly historic. I saw this in a Boise Antique store yesterday for only $67.95. I have enough old packs, so I left it behind.


The load would have rested on the two shelf brackets extending to the right in this photo.

Detail of back-pad & strap attachment.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Nov 15, 2018 - 10:54am PT

An early Millet Sherpa Desmaison with leather details

Rustie

climber
Coeur d\\\\\\\'Alene
Nov 15, 2018 - 05:56pm PT
Ah....the wisdom of hindsight.
We have to evaluate this gear based on what came BEFORE, and before Millet soft packs were round and lumpish.........though there is a photo of Herman Buhl in White Spider, where he's swinging across the Hinterstoisser sporting a nice-fitting pack.
Millet put climbing ability into climbing packs. Magic but many francs! Dirtbag types had to wait for Karrimor.
Whillans nailed it but his pack was a bit small for winter routes. For some sad reason the Great Joe Brown came up with a lumpish sac, though, like The Baron, it was very elegant.
They all might have been much lighter if they hadn't used half a cow to reinforce the bottom......but they wore well.....
Gotta love trivia, and the grand traditions of this transcendant and ridiculous life........
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 15, 2018 - 09:05pm PT
The workmanship, materials and styling on these old rucksacks is exceptional. I would love one for a carry on bag for travel. Wouldn't use them for technical outdoor use but for luggage they’re really cool.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Nov 16, 2018 - 10:58am PT

My grandfather's old Bergans rucksack. This is his finest rucksack. He only used it when he went to the capital, Oslo, to visit his daughter, my aunt. He put on the rucksack and his hat and off he went... Soon he was back in the forest and off to Trysil or Svartbekken to fish trout with his other rucksack...

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Nov 16, 2018 - 12:07pm PT

he Bergans was patented in 1909: http://industrimuseum.no/bergans

I think my grandfather's rucksack is from the early 1960s.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
Nov 16, 2018 - 02:22pm PT
Steve's photo from upthread:
Translated, it says "The Sherpa Tenzing, the highest man in the world, 8,600 m on Everest" (She's actually about 8,850 m by modern measure.)

Which indicates that it was from 1952/53, after he'd reached that height with Lambert in spring 1952, but before success the following year. Had the advertisement been post-Chomolungma, it seems likely that they'd have said so, or at least said "8,848 m" or whatever.

This reminds me to get out my father's Bergans pack, and take it for its annual walk.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 16, 2018 - 05:30pm PT
Up thread quite a ways Marlow posted a picture of a Karrimor Alpiniste Whillans repro - by Nigel Cabourn.

At the time I got pretty excited about it, looked into it, and didn't find much, but recently found a better exposition on what is going on with this reproduction. When James Thomsen of Wilderness Experience started a thread (looking for one of his original Klettersacks) in the last month or so, I started digging deeper into this "heritage gear" category, as it's been coined, that's when I found this link:

http://www.petesy.co.uk/karrimor-whillans-alpiniste-redux/

The “Karrimor K100 Whillan’s Alpiniste by Nigel Cabourn” pack that turned up in stores I’ve never been through the door of such as Van Mildert with a RRP of around £700 (good grief) was done right, exactly right. I know this because they used my original 60’s Whillan’s pack as the pattern for it.

Thread counts, exact dimensions, textures, materials, construction detailing, everything was inspected and modern equivalents were sourced, sampled and tested to make the reissue as close to the original as possible. In same cases they found the obscure original manufacturers, look at the studs that attach the lid.

They did all this in a Glasgow workshop too, itself as historic as the goods being recreated inside.

Metal, leather and cotton. It speaks to me more than any synthetic.

From that link I also fetched these photographs:


The Japanese go crazy over this stuff and do all sorts of reproductions. Of course that's what Supertopo contributor JC Luddite of Alpine Luddites is into as well, having posted up some fine examples here on this thread, and I applaud those efforts!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 17, 2018 - 12:31pm PT
I tend to agree with that assessment of 70s US stuff. It was a simpler and often more boxy vernacular.
There are a few examples which still hold some retrospective merit, in terms of aesthetic and functional proportion.

The subtle sophistication of the Karrimor cylinder is one of the few approaches which have persisted: variations and improvements on that theme seem quite dominant in the modern era.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Nov 18, 2018 - 09:07am PT

Karrimor Graham Tiso: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Karrimor-Graham-Tiso-Canvas-Rucksack-Blue/173599887556?hash=item286b5c10c4:g:x1IAAOSwx5hbn3ER

Graham and Maude Tiso started their shop in 1962.



Graham Tiso is a famous outdoor shop in Scotland.

History: https://www.tiso.com/history

Tiso was started by Graham and maude in 1962. Graham died in 1992. Maude continued. Maude is seen on the right side centrally on the photo below.

Fritz

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
Nov 18, 2018 - 09:22am PT
Per another nickname's mention of REI as the chief 1970's importer of European packs, I don't disagree.

In this Dec. 1972 Off Belay magazine full page ad for Karrimore, two U.S. distributors are shown. Royal Robbins' Mountain Paraphernalia stocked Karrimore, but my Idaho outdoor shop did not carry them. By the mid-70's the U.S. rucksacks were both less expensive & worked better with large loads. None of my climbing pals at the time owned canvas rucksacks, for what seemed like obvious reasons, to us.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 18, 2018 - 02:28pm PT
Sierra Designs Summit pack, from eBay:
 Felt shoulder strap padding, single compartment, no internal frame, waist belt, or padding against the back.

.................

I was thinking one in royal blue, and in mint condition might be nice for picnic supplies!

Anyone know about ADK? Adirondack something or other, perhaps?

martin bazley

Trad climber
England
Nov 21, 2018 - 07:37am PT
To Ihateplastic. Ihave a Whillan's sack but it's not for sale, in fact it's avery treasured item.
Jamesthomsen

Social climber
Mammoth Lakes, California
Nov 22, 2018 - 03:43pm PT
Tarbuster,

On a very side note, the photos you posted of the Sierra Designs Summit pack from eBay showed a cord lock that I always liked, the B-Lok cord lock. We used those on early Wilderness Experience packs too. It was a one man operation.

When we talked about the idea of re-creating the original Klettersack I thought I would see if the company still exists. I did finally reach his son and he still had some boxes of products from the 1970s. He had about 500 of that original B-Lok so I bought them from him.

This cord lock was great, in that it was easy to use with gloves and once closed did not slip. My wife and I are working with Backpacker Magazine this year, testing backpacks and something that I notice, even on the most expensive and well designed packs most cord locks will slip.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 23, 2018 - 08:54am PT
Good eye, James!
Also on that Sierra Designs rucksack is something I had completely forgotten about: the double D-ring lid closure system, as opposed to the standard ladder lock buckle, whether metal or nylon.


Like a throwback to the flag football waist strap closure systems we kids used in the 60s!
Gerry

Mountain climber
Suffolk, UK
Dec 15, 2018 - 02:04am PT
Karrimor O Bound I: What's the story?

http://www.supertopo.com/photos/36/16/483124_14213_L.jpg

The Outbound packs, of which there were 2 models were designed primarily for school use. In the post war years there was an organisation called Outbound which took children away during summer holidays to the wilds of North Wales, Scotland, The Lakes etc, sailing, climbing, hill walking, kayaking etc. Like summer camps in the US. Karrimor produced these packs specifically for this purpose. They were robust as they were lent to the children, used and abused.

The general theme of pack size and load carrying between Europe (UK included) and the US. Europe distances are far shorter getting into the climbs. There is/was a relatively sophisticated infrastructure system, including "huts". We didn't necessarily need to haul as much gear. Hence the "alpine pack" being 35-45 litres. The Karrimor purple Alpiniste broke the mould insofar as it was much bigger. But it did have another intended use, that of a bivi...the extension was allow your legs to waist to be in the bag. Down jacket above, sitting on the removable foam insert. Spent many a night like this.

The French and German packs were ready available insofar as when in Chamonix or the Tryol you could buy the. Exchange rates were favourable. But to be faIr at that time, Karrimor had the market pretty much covered. Quality and design was good.

Karrimor also made a lot of bespoke packs.....I have Karrimor haul sacs, not a catalog item.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Dec 15, 2018 - 02:26am PT

Gerry.

Great to get the story. Putting the rucksacks into context make them even more interesting. TFPU!
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Dec 15, 2018 - 03:49am PT
Previously posted, I used as a bivysack regularly the sleeve/skirt extended to just under my armpits. The center zipper extended so that you could open or close it depending on the conditions, a 4 season bag . It is A Great pack
Gerry

Mountain climber
Suffolk, UK
Dec 15, 2018 - 07:04am PT
Looks as if Karrimor have release a copy of the original Pinnacle with a modern twist. Quite cheap from Sports Direct who will ship overseas (given the weakness of the £ might be worth it chaps).



[url="https://www.sportsdirect.com/karrimor-k100-legend-daypack-718022?colcode=71802259http://"]https://www.sportsdirect.com/karrimor-k100-legend-daypack-718022?colcode=71802259http://[/url]
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 15, 2018 - 08:01am PT
^^^
Now that is well conceived and functional. Bravo Karrimor!
Karrimor K100 Legend Day Pack

Also, Gerry, thanks for this:
The general theme of pack size and load carrying between Europe (UK included) and the US. Europe distances are far shorter getting into the climbs. There is/was a relatively sophisticated infrastructure system, including "huts". We didn't necessarily need to haul as much gear. Hence the "alpine pack" being 35-45 litres.

This explains why the original Whillans Alpinist was so small!
Much more of a crag sack, by my lights, as a Yank.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Dec 15, 2018 - 10:14am PT
Sadly the build quality of modern Karrimor kit is truly, eye wateringly, shite and has been for a very long time.

The brand has changed hands several times from it's real heyday in the seventies and is now one of the many 'names' that were bought up by Mike Ashley a well known 'businessman' in the UK. It's pile it high, sell it cheap tat.

He is also the owner of my local football team, newcastle United and was intent on changing the historic name of the Ground, from St James' to the 'Wonga' stadium.......

That rucksac (strangely not advertised on the SD site I'm looking at) would probably fall apart in very short order. If you have the ability to stitch, it might be worth a punt!\


Steve
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 15, 2018 - 11:12am PT
To my eye, from afar, the item looks okay. Thanks for the appraisal, Steve.
I clicked on other Karrimor products from that site and all I saw were garments, boots and shoes.
Gerry

Mountain climber
Suffolk, UK
Dec 15, 2018 - 12:23pm PT
That rucksac (strangely not advertised on the SD site I'm looking at) would probably fall apart in very short order. If you have the ability to stitch, it might be worth a punt!

I think these are being made under a different label....K100. Time will tell as at £27 ($32) I thought it worth a punt. I will report back, but as Tarbuster said they look relativity good. The match for the Patagonia retro pack I picked anyway.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Dec 15, 2018 - 12:33pm PT
Ah yes, it does come up under K100.

Sports Direct does have a good returns policy - I know! ;-) so you have little to lose.

Regards,

Steve

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 23, 2018 - 11:14am PT
Classic early Karrimor sack on ebay right now.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1950s-Vintage-Blue-Karrimor-Mountain-Rucksack-Mountaineering-Hiking-Camping/202448689732?hash=item2f22e1da44:g:Z0sAAOSwxB5bo2jX
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 23, 2018 - 04:32pm PT
This La Fuma looks suspiciously mint, as though it is some kind of repro (though it is claimed to be vintage 70s), and branded for kids!


La Fuma rucksack on eBay
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Dec 23, 2018 - 09:22pm PT
An old and faded Millet, retired a long time ago. The base was repaired with a leather patch.

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 23, 2018 - 10:10pm PT
Geez, I guess I shouldn’t have tossed me old Millet? It was more knackered than me!
Actually, come to think of it, we both got knackered by the same boulder one time,
although it didn’t whimper.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jan 21, 2019 - 01:10pm PT

Karrimor Chamonix rucksack: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Collectors-KARRIMOR-CHAMONIX-Rucksack-1960s-Rare-item-to-find-now/392220047498?hash=item5b5222f88a:g:WksAAOSwPg9cRPdy:rk:1:pf:0

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Feb 9, 2019 - 12:01pm PT

At present a Chouinard Almski rucksack is for sale on eBay Germany: https://www.ebay.de/itm/Retro-vintage-Almski-Rucksack-Wanderrucksack-backpack/173785355114?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

WBraun

climber
Feb 9, 2019 - 12:06pm PT
A rucksack can't climb sh!t .....
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Feb 9, 2019 - 12:08pm PT

No, that's true. Neither can historical stuff or posting on ST. Did you know? :o)

Do you want to hear a poem?
ron gomez

Trad climber
Feb 9, 2019 - 05:46pm PT
Hey Werner, hope you guys are doing ok there. Nordic skiing must be good on the floor. Merry still have her Martin?
Peace
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 16, 2019 - 03:54pm PT
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Feb 17, 2019 - 09:57am PT

Cool wall! :o)
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Apr 5, 2019 - 12:10pm PT

Here's a no nonsense Lafuma rucksack carrying a mark indicating that it was made for use during climbing
nutstory

Trad climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2019 - 06:01am PT
Marlow, at that time, Lafuma had only one label that they put on all their rucksacks, whatever their uses.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Apr 6, 2019 - 08:11am PT

Nutstory

Good to know. Do you know for which use this rucksack was marketed? Climbing? Daypack for different uses? Other?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 6, 2019 - 09:30am PT
^^^
That certainly is a very lean, aesthetic and economic design feature where the shoulder straps appear to exit through grommets in the lid to form a handle/haul loop.
(Though I don't think that's exactly what's happening.)

...

Here's an American classic in action, likely a Chouinard Fish Pack:

nutstory

Trad climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2019 - 09:31am PT
Marlow, it is just a little sack for young people, or for a working day.
I have not found it in my old Lafuma catalog 1938.
nutstory

Trad climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2019 - 09:54am PT
Marlow, maybe this one...
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Apr 6, 2019 - 10:12am PT

Nutstory,

Aha, le Grepon...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 6, 2019 - 11:17am PT
Le Grepon. So it probably is a climber's pack!

And that leather handle most likely was intended as a haul loop where it emerges from the grommets just above the (cotton?) webbing of the shoulder straps.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
May 6, 2019 - 06:49am PT
Lead on, Charlemagne!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 6, 2019 - 08:13am PT

Another

Go back to the romantic movement and the noble savages...
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