Historical and Outstanding Mountaineering Rucksacks

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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:

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