Classic Ice Primer- Chouinard Catalog 1968

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 4, 2010 - 12:31pm PT
And Ice on the Brain!

Man, this is one killer good thread!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 2, 2011 - 02:34pm PT
Big frosty bump!
steve shea

climber
Feb 21, 2011 - 02:45pm PT
Hello Gordon, Jack and Rick. I just came across this site and thread and you guys have brought up some great memories. I consider myself a retired alpinist, although my twelve year old twins have dicovered climbing on their own so I may have to get off the couch. I never really got out of climbing until about 1999. We found we were to have twins and my wife wanted me to cool it so I did. My last season in the alps was 79'. After surviving a massive avalanche on the Grand Central Couloir that summer and generally bad conditions in the icefields, I felt compelled to go back to the alps. Went direct to Grindelwald with Larry Bruce to wait for the Nordwand to come in. The highlight of the trip was living in the hayloft of a barn at the alpiglen. In return for harvesting potatos, churning butter and making cheese we were given the hayloft and three squares plus beer. Finally it came in and we had success in somewhat wintery conditions in late october. Made it to Denali for the Cassin and a ski of the Messner via the West Butt. We had some success but it was basically a miserable trip. I had no problem with altitude but felt very uncomfortable and really stretched the whole time. Lots of storms and souls lost. That was 1980. I pretty much dialed back the serious stuff and went cragging and waterfall climbing till 1986 when I got off the couch and started my Himalayan phase. That's it for now. I've got more to add to the Dru Couloir story and also looking for Joel Coquienot. We did a new variant on the Eckpfeiler in 78' and some verdon and calanques time and then lost touch. I did see Stevie Haston on Ama Dablam NF in 91' and have seen Trover at Snowbird.
steve shea

climber
Feb 21, 2011 - 05:03pm PT
On the bivy at the Grand Montets with Jack before the Dru Couloir I met Georges Bettembourg. Turns out his uncle was Charlet or someone in the family. Georges got me a pair of Gabbarou Cascades for a family discount. The tools were beautiful, balanced and very well made. I tried them on a couple of climbs and they were ok but did not live up to their namesake; cascade. So after telling Georges he took me to the foundry. I met the old man and explained the issues. "Pas de problem" he says and reshaped it to my specs then and there. The tool was awesome! You could do pullups in horizontal cracks with hardly any deformation. It was strong and incredible sur les glaces. From then on on I used the Gabbarou and a terror exclusively for ice and mixed. The interesting thing is that the Gab was stiff and almost brittle feeling while the terror felt sort of soft and maleable. Between the two, for me it was the perfect combo. Georges grandfather made tomme de savoie and cured it in a cave near the col de montets. We used to go up there with bread and wine and visit grandad after climbs. Georges was killed hunting crystals under the Droites.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Mar 5, 2011 - 10:54am PT
Steve,

Welcome and great to have you here! We look forward to a treasure trove of stories from a storied career. Magical how folks are able to reconnect on ST, after decades: 44 years in our case.

This will whet your appetite and encourage you to relate some of your adventures. Here is a link to Gordon's account of his and Tobin's first ascent on the Grand Jorasses in September of 1977-- which is still considered today one of the hardest mixed routes in the range. Hats off to Gordon, it's one of the best climbing tales ever.

http://www.smc.org.uk/Downloads/LitPrize2008.pdf

Rick
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 5, 2011 - 03:24pm PT
You might enjoy this thread if you are a Charlet fan.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1253035&msg=1382491#msg1382491
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 30, 2011 - 09:52pm PT
Off the icy couch bump.
Larry Ware

Trad climber
Leysin, Switzerland
Jun 20, 2011 - 12:59pm PT
Dear Wee Gordon,

It has been too long a while since last we shared a rope.It was fun reading your "works". Why such a prolonged silence??
I am still in Leysin though may soon be emigrating to Chamonix. The battered body still seems to come alive on the rock though I give it far less chances to do so these days.
Do you remember the Carpentier on the Blatiére? The whole route has disappeared now. As I recall, the rock was a tad hollow.
ISM struggles on. The Vag dried up. College failed. I retired.
Martine sends her best.
Larry
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2011 - 01:18pm PT
A Big ST Welcome to you Larry!

You might find this thread on the Club Vagabond interesting...

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1048804&tn=40
Larry Ware

Trad climber
Leysin, Switzerland
Jun 22, 2011 - 02:05pm PT
Thanks Steve for the Dougal pictures. I showed Allan around when he was over two years ago. The interview with Annie was on my balcony. I hope he can fulfil his dream and put together his film on the Vag climbers. The sixties and seventies and well into the eighties were amazing times in Leysin. From John Harlin to Pat Littlejohn, there is a lot of history. I am fortunate to have been a part of most of it.
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Jun 30, 2011 - 08:18pm PT
Hi Larry. See you in Sept. I'll be in touch.
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Jun 30, 2011 - 09:39pm PT
Larry and Martine party at the Vag bar like it's 1966.
Larry and Martine party at the Vag bar like it's 1966.
Credit: Allen Hill
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 17, 2011 - 12:27pm PT
Can anyone confirm the origin of the screw pictured below? Nestor Superscrew perhaps? No manufacturer's mark that I can see.






This shot of the same screw appeared in the 1960 AAJ but I haven't been able to locate the point of reference.
DJMac

Big Wall climber
Bonedale, CO
Nov 14, 2011 - 10:56am PT
I think I'm having a flashback ...
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Nov 14, 2011 - 01:18pm PT
Steve, the ice screw is European (probably Austrian) and not a Nestor. The Nestor Super Screw was made in the very early 1970s and was supposed to be a drive-in. It seemed better at blasting away ice than offering safety...
RDB

Social climber
wa
Nov 14, 2011 - 10:51pm PT
best thread on the Taco :)
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Nov 15, 2011 - 01:07pm PT
Steve,

The threaded ice screw shows up in the 1961 REI catalog.
Named "Swiss Ice Screw Pitons"
Three sizes:
Eye Screw 6 1/2"
Short Ring Screw 5 1/2"
Long Ring Screw 7"
REI catalog shows picture of two screws.
The screw shown by Steve looks like the 5 1/2" version.
Item not shown in 1960 REI catalog.

Rock on! Marty
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2011 - 12:21am PT
Thanks Todd.

My recollection of the Superscrew didn't match this item very well.

Anybody have one for show and tell?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2011 - 12:20pm PT
I just heard about the Bozeman Ice Festival happening December 9- 11. Joe Josephson has been working hard at making this one especially choice and I will be bringing along lots of items from my own collection and some borrowed ones to present a historical timeline and show the evolution of the gear from items like the ones above to the present.

Jeff Lowe and Connie Self will be there so this really promises to be a stand out gathering. I have been doing an in depth biographical and historic interview with Jeff and will be continuing it while in Bozeman.

More on this stellar event will be forthcoming. Don't miss this one!
steve shea

climber
Nov 19, 2011 - 01:14pm PT
I'm going ice climbing in Teton Canyon tommorow. I'm using all my old stuff. I bet it still works after collecting dust since the mid nineties. I'll probably look into new boots though. But it'll be fun...terrors are what I'm used to. I think my last new tool was something made by BD. I did buy a new coated rope. Maybe I'll do a TR on geriatric ice climbing SS
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