Classic Ice Primer- Chouinard Catalog 1968

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 401 - 420 of total 569 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
RDB

Trad climber
Iss WA
Mar 8, 2009 - 11:51pm PT
FWIW DR sent me a picture I hope he'll post shortly of his McInnes axe/hammer. Pick has way more droop than the one I have and Steve posted.

The model shown above has a straight pick with a very shallow angle...about 1/2 what a piolet has in curve and only 2 tiny round teeth.

But what a finely made tool! Not a big fan of metal axes but this thing is really, really nice. Steel used is extremely high quality. Handle is very oval not round at all. Mine had a bit of ancient surface rust which easily polished off. Underneath English broad arow proof marks and a 1973 production date. It also has the original hauser laid nylon leash attached. Great self arrest and dry tooling axe...as you'd not likely break the pick as it is a full 9mm thick.

Polished up like new and it is modern art!
RDB

Trad climber
Iss WA
Mar 10, 2009 - 06:30pm PT
Hoping Doug doesn't mind me posting his email here but though others might enjoy this as well.

"Interesting. '73 seems late for them to be making a straight pick. 3+ years after YC had his drooped pick on the market. Hmmm... Is there a date on your set of Terrors? ( no dates on mine, db) I wondered too about the seemingly slight droop on mine, but I think it is just a trick of the photo, with the shaft angled toward the camera. I remember how good the steel was. That combined with the thickness and I would be flat amazed if anyone, ever, anywhere even bent one. It's' in Ecuador now, or wherever Fischer dropped it off on
that early 70s guiding trip. I was disappointed, even though I had long since switched to a 70 cm Chouinard Piolet and matching ice hammer. Did that a few months before that photo, which makes me wonder a little what made me grab the MacInnes for that "family portrait" of the Armadillos at Cardinal Village. I think even then I felt nostalgic
for it as a fine tool.
Cheers,
Doug"





Side note...just how many of us bought that cheap, blue canvas, anorak from REI?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 15, 2009 - 11:50am PT
Some seriously futuristic ice funk from the brilliant mind of Greg Lowe. The tools at the time may have been primitive but the thinking clearly was not!


Greg Lowe on Mahlen's Peak waterfall. Lance Wilcox photo.









That last paragraph is prophetic and all in the family! LOL
RDB

Trad climber
Iss WA
Mar 16, 2009 - 10:22am PT
Amazing mind...

Pretty obvious where the BD Spectra, Charlet Ice Six tools, Snowdon Curver tools, and the Chouinard Zeros came from. And with a little imagination the more modern, bigger clearenece tools and knuckle protection. Guess all that happens when you climb 5.12 on a regular basis in the mid NINETEEN SIXTYs and WI6 by 1971.

I remember making a copy of that north wall hammer myself and then replacing it with one of the commercial copies when they arrived.

"all this sounds complicated and slow but is much faster than aid" and that sounds a lot like modern M climbing.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - May 23, 2009 - 09:43am PT
I came across this Charlet obit in Mountain 47. Amazing career to say the least!

Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
May 23, 2009 - 11:35am PT
Check this out, deep in the Obit:

Col est des Pelerins, from the North, with Robert Underhill and Miriam O'Brien

This links Charlet's influence directly to us! Recall that Underhill, a Harvard professor, was the one who brought ropework to the Sierra on his famous trip in 1931. We always credited Underhill's education in turn to "learning it in the Alps." But now I see that he was taught directly by the great Charlet, the leading guide in France between the Wars.

This is so cool!

And when Underhill got here, his eager students included Norman Clyde, Jules Eichorn and Glen Dawson, who became the leading climbers in both the High Sierra and the Valley (and even at Tahquitz) for at least the next decade. And they passed on the technique and the inspiration to the generations leading to us.

I hardly need to remind anyone here of the way that group tore through the Sierra in August 1931, making the FA of the East Face of Whitney, FA of Thunderbolt, FA of the North Couloir of Temple Crag, etc.

And in 1934 Eichorn, with other members of the newly-formed Cragmont Climbing Club, brought the first technical ascents to the Valley on both the Higher and Lower Cathedral Spires.

Let's bring this all the way back around to what, after all, started this thread. When I worked on the history chapter of Climbing Ice, Chouinard impressed on me Armand Charlet's crucial influence on the elegant French Technique -- surely the most subtle and beautiful culmination of the art of moving on steep neve if not outright ice. That's how they must have climbed, after all, the day he took Robert Underhill and Miriam O'Brien (soon to become Mrs. Underhill) along on that FA of the Col des Pelerins.

What I'm seeing now, for the first time, is Charlet's direct influence on us as rock climbers too.

I wonder if Charlet, who revived and led for a decade the ENSA, the Ecole Nationale de Ski et d'Alpinisme that trained French Guides -- I wonder if he ever knew how he helped set in motion rock climbing in California, which in a few decades evolved into a Golden Age that became the cutting-edge of rock climbing in the World?

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
May 23, 2009 - 12:16pm PT
Such a poignant perspective you're presenting to us here Doug!
(Pardon my alliteration)
lucasignorelli

climber
Torino, Italy
May 23, 2009 - 01:45pm PT
Very good resume of Charlet's life, but it does miss what may have been the greatest climb he ever attempted - and very nearly achieved: the first ascent of the north face of Grandes Jorasses via the Croz spur, in 1934, together with Ferdinand Bellin, another Chamonix guide who was an astonishing free climber for the standard of the 30's. Charlet did five attempts at the Croz spur, and the final one with Bellin could have been successful, if the weather had not looked sour, forcing them to return from more or less quote 3600. Charlet never used points of aid when rock climbing: had he succeded in finishing the route - and chances were that he could have - the whole history of mountaineering may have changed, as it would have demonstated that even the most difficult alpine faces could have been won in pure "western" style, and thus without the artificial methods used by "easterners" (Dolomite climbers etc). As it happened, both the Croz and the Walker spur where first climber using aid climbing.

Charlet influence on "western" climbers, particularly those active in Chamonix and Courmayeur was enormous, almost to mythical levels. Renato Chabod (who was Giusto Gervasutti's regular partner and followed him in the second ascent of the Croz spur, 48 hours after the first), once wrote "I had two gods: Grandes Jorasses and Armand Charlet", adding that seeing Charlet fail on the Croz spur had convinced him that the wall was impossible "by fair means". It was Chabod who coined the phrase "Charlet l'a dit", which ironically paraphrased the latin motto "Ipse dixit": "Charlet said it" (thus it must be so).

It's interesting to note also that the Walker spur was finally conquered by Riccardo Cassin, an "eastern" climber completely devoid of any kind psychological awe towards Charlet (and the Jorasses, to be honest).
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
May 23, 2009 - 01:50pm PT

The master, Armand Charlet


The disciple, Yvon Chouinard

both from Climbing Ice
Mimi

climber
May 23, 2009 - 07:40pm PT
Unreal, DR! Now that's pure technique. 3 points gets you up. About 65-70 degrees is the limit isn't it? And people ski this!

Hmmm French technique...right where this thread started.
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
May 23, 2009 - 09:10pm PT
It's pure alright, knocking right up against the limit of balance, and I think a little steeper than gets skied on any sustained slope. God -- I hope so!

Charlet's looks a tad steeper, but Yvon is on pure flinty water ice -- the 'schrund wall of the V-Notch. I don't think anyone skis that kind of burnished surface at any radical angles.

A lot of full circles here, especially when you count Charlet's influence on bringing the rope to California nearly 80 years ago.

We should have an anniversary party in the Palisades!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2009 - 06:19am PT
Only if Glen will show up! Might need a mule...
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
May 31, 2009 - 12:03am PT
On Dane Burns comment Jan 6, 2009 shows yellowed photos of an ad with Chouinard first generation alpine hammer on top, and on bottom is a Climbmax. Now the Climbmax I have is beautifully made where the head and handle holders are one piece and the handle holders are channeled and fitted into the handle. This photo shows that the axe head is attached to the standard Alpine hammer handle and the head holders are separate pieces. Maybe I have missed something but has this item ever been marketed?

All right whos got one out there? I really would love to see a better photo of one.

Rock on! Marty

karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
May 31, 2009 - 12:30am PT
Steve Grossman, about your 1968 catalog, can you show us the prices page, pages 30,31 If it is the same as what I have. Chouinard sometimes put out many catalogs within the same year usually only changing the items in the back list.

Do you have any other Chouinard catalogs or pamphlets specifically 1957 - 1971?

Rock on!

Marty
RDB

Social climber
way out there
May 31, 2009 - 11:32am PT
Hand forged Climax from an alpine hammer ?

"This photo shows that the axe head is attached to the standard Alpine hammer handle and the head holders are separate pieces. Maybe I have missed something but has this item ever been marketed?"

I also thought someone might have or at least seen one. May be DR? But no matter the climax that was forged from a alpine hammer blank would have been a much better climbing tool because of the added weight compared to the production version that came from Camp...the "toy" ice axe.

Dick Irvin is the other ice climbing connection (Scotland-California) from this thread that I really enjoyed finding out about.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=836643&msg=837109#msg837109
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 17, 2009 - 02:17pm PT
Marty- I would be very surprised if more than one version of those early catalogs were produced. I only have that one 68 catalog in my collection prior to the 72 clean climbing catalog. Regrettably, I razor cut out some of the text on the price page for an art project long ago and would rather not torture you with the result.

Do you have a building for your trove or plans for the near future?

Cheers
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Jun 17, 2009 - 07:38pm PT
Marty: Here is my copy of prices from Chouinard 1968 prices. My notes show it was bought from Snug Mountaineering in Ketchum, Idaho. Most likely I grabbed it late fall or winter 1968.

Please let us know if prices are same as your copy. I do not have any Chouinard information prior to this. I was just getting into this avocation.


Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 18, 2009 - 04:14pm PT
Please excuse the hole and the bad assumption.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jun 18, 2009 - 04:18pm PT
Blasphemy Mr. Grossman!
I hope you were but a teensy teenager when you wrought such evil upon the sacramental parchment.
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Jun 18, 2009 - 06:08pm PT
So-----fellow Tacoites----as we say (in moments of total surprise) in posh salons here in Idaho, while sipping chardonay: "Damn! I'll be totally immersed in canine excrement" ----or a similar expression.

Marty was right. There were multiple price sheets for the 1968 catalog. It appears the one I posted is later than Steve's.

I was a Chouinard dealer from 1973-83, buddies with the reps, and I have no memory of multiple price lists in any year.

Marty: thanks for keeping us honest!
Messages 401 - 420 of total 569 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews