Vintage mountaineering gear

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing.
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SurfNTurf
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Re: Vintage mountaineering gear

Post by SurfNTurf » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:09 am

Nice find! I have basically the same thing, a Chouinard-Frost wooden ice ax from the 60s or 70s. Mine looks a little shorter, probably around 55cm. I've always assumed it was one of the early ice-climbing tools they manufactured, but if they made the same thing in longer varieties -- maybe it's just a normal ol' ice ax. I got mine when someone donated a bunch of old gear to the CMC. When that happens, first pick goes to CMC programs and schools. If no takers it usually gets donated to Goodwill. Somehow nobody saw the historical value, and I literally snagged it out of a box destined for Goodwill later that afternoon. I've always wanted to mount it in a nice frame for an office decoration.
“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper
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Oman
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Re: Vintage mountaineering gear

Post by Oman » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:39 am

So far I am older than everything "vintage" posted on this thread.

Here's my still-in-use MSR fuel bottle, which the label says was purchased for $5.50 when REI was in the old grocery store on west Alameda Avenue.
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Re: Vintage mountaineering gear

Post by Presto » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:43 am

Wow, Oman ... we used to go to that REI on West Alameda. The Organ Grinder pizza place was very close by.
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM
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Re: Vintage mountaineering gear

Post by planet54 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:35 pm

^ I still have my Snow Lion Polarguard sleeping bag purchased from Cres Mountaineering located on N Kipling in 1976. Also some other stuff from the Mountain Miser's first location, not the Cinderella City one ,on Broadway not far from the Surplus Store. Also a Lowe Expedition Backpack from 1980, purchased from the Alpineer in Frisco. I recall 2 Holubar stores, Colorado Blvd and 6th Ave. I used a borrowed wooden shaft ice axe for the NW Couloir of Crestone Peak.
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Re: Vintage mountaineering gear

Post by crestone14ers » Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:52 pm

Here are two very vintage, one seldom seen anywhere. Dachstein Anorak... the kind worn and pictured of Hermann Buhl looking ghostly approaching camp after his successful solo ascent of Nanga Parbat. This incredibly warm and almost impervious to weather thick, boiled wool pullover was on virtually every type of cold weather climb in the Alps, Himalayas, worldwide prior to the intro of down. The second, Woolrich wool knickers. If you think about it, wool knickers were everywhere a serious climber was.
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Re: Vintage mountaineering gear

Post by pvnisher » Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:30 pm

Do ski boots from 1998 count?
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Wentzl
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Re: Vintage mountaineering gear

Post by Wentzl » Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:44 pm

Oman wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:39 am
So far I am older than everything "vintage" posted on this thread.

Here's my still-in-use MSR fuel bottle, which the label says was purchased for $5.50 when REI was in the old grocery store on west Alameda Avenue.

PXL_20210125_183333810.jpg
I will see your MSR and raise you an Optimus 123. Still works Great! Vintage? mid 1960's
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Re: Vintage mountaineering gear

Post by Hiking_TheRockies » Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:45 pm

Wentzl wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:44 pm
Oman wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:39 am
So far I am older than everything "vintage" posted on this thread.

Here's my still-in-use MSR fuel bottle, which the label says was purchased for $5.50 when REI was in the old grocery store on west Alameda Avenue.

PXL_20210125_183333810.jpg
I will see your MSR and raise you an Optimus 123. Still works Great! Vintage? mid 1960's

IMG_1517[1].JPG
I like the cat under the pillow
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Re: Vintage mountaineering gear

Post by TomPierce » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:25 pm

Splitting hairs, but that's a Svea, not an Optimus. The Optimus versions came much later and are characterized by an ugly silver sticker on the fuel tank, probably saying something critically important like "don't drink the fuel in this tank" or whatever. I can't see the valve stem on your stove, but if bent down it's a pre-70's version. If it comes out of the central stem at a right angle it's a 123R with a built-in cleaner for the jet. And if it has certain markings on the windscreen/burner bell housing, it's a very rare (and expensive) 60's Siefert version. I occasionally rebuild 123's, I have 4 of them, one of which is still in my arsenal of go-to stoves.

Way more than you wanted to know, just chimin' in...

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Wentzl
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Re: Vintage mountaineering gear

Post by Wentzl » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:37 pm

hey baby, wanna see my stem valve?
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TomPierce
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Re: Vintage mountaineering gear

Post by TomPierce » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:40 pm

I really like the cat! Chewin' on the valve key!!

PS: Clearly a pre-72 123, fwiw.
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Re: Vintage mountaineering gear

Post by MountainHiker » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:55 pm

Scott P wrote:
Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:04 pm
nyker wrote:
Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:55 pm
I've tried climbing Popo twice, but didn't even get started both times due to it being off limits. One day...
I climbed it in 1992 and it went off limits in 1994. It used to have big glaciers and big crevasses (though the standard route avoided the crevasses). It had been dead for quite a while before blowing up. I'm guessing that it won't be open to climbing for many years to come.

Incidentally my dad climbed St Helens pre-eruption with the same wooden handled ice axe in the photo so the ice axe has been to the top of at least two climbs/mountains that no longer exist In the state they were in since the time those climbs were done with the axe.

I wonder how many other wooden handled ice axes still in existence have been to 9677 feet on St Helens and Popo pre eruption? Probably not many.

PS, that's a nice axe you have there.
I missed my chance to climb Popo in January 1994. We stayed at the hut at the base of Popo and climbed Izta. Some of the people on that trip had already climbed Popo. I figured it would always be easier to find people to go to Mexico again to climb Popo than for Izta. I had climbed Orizaba the previous year so felt that was a solid plan. Then Popo started erupting and has been off limits. I've been back a few times for second climbs of Orizaba & Izta along with La Malinche and Toluca. These are great growth climbs for learning to do bigger foreign mountains. Oh, and I used what would be now old stuff!
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