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Julian

History of Leashless Tools

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There have been some great threads on here by Dane and others on the evolution of ice tools, and there are a few good articles on various websites as well. One thing I'm curious about, and that I haven't found any reference to, is the origin of dedicated leashless/Z-handled tools.

 

-What were the first ones, and how have they evolved? What about early prototypes modded from leashed tools by actual climbers?

-Were the Petzl Quark Ergo and Black Diamond Fusion the first such tools from those manufacturers?

-How about Grivel, Simond, DMM, and others? Was any manufacturer definitively "first to the market"?

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Good question. About 10 years ago Jeff Haley showed me what he called an IBOC he helped patent like 25 years prior. It was a 45 cm ice tool stamped out of flat steel with a grip just like the current leashless tools. The Grivel Monster is a near identical copy. If there was a leashless/Z handled tool before this I haven't heard of it but I am sure Dane has and probably owns it.

Edited by DPS

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I'll post something better when i get time.

 

More here:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=382806&tn=0&mr=0

 

Pete on early Z handled tools pre Fusions.

 

http://videosonar.com/2/video/mixed%20climbing/xh15kb.html

 

But Daniel is on it. The "Eboch" was the first radiacally bent tool shaft but it was a leashed tool. Grivel followed with the first bent shaft.

 

Z handles and leashless climbing were a direct result of the ice comps. Few followed Henry Barber doing vertical ice on straight shafted tools, leashless.

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Pete's climbing on Trango tools, headless Madame hooks? - helmet, fruit boots and tools put that video in the early 2000's like 2002 or so. Trango was pretty big into the leashless market then, and made some very nice tools, like the Mantis.

 

I think the first ergo tool, designed specifically for leashless use was the Petzl/Charlet Moser Quark Ergo that came out around that time (early 2000's). I remember thinking they were the stupidest thing ever, and then bought a pair. Never looked back...

Edited by EastCoastBastard

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Quick list of some of the "early" modern tools from winter 2002. Some will predate that in 1999/2000/2001.

 

Black Diamond Viper (old silver ones)

C.A.M.P. Tiburon

Cassin Mirage

Charlet Moser Quark (available fall '99)

DMM Xeno

Grivel Tech Wing (earlier?)

Hugh Banner Spitfire

Omega Alpha Ti

Stubai Scorpio

Trango Madame Hook

 

More here:

http://www.climbing.com/print/equipment/icetool225/

 

I'd guess the date the Ergos @ 2002, and later on the first Fusion.

 

Question might be answered better on Will's gravsport web site.

I wasn't very interested in the first dbl handled tools. So I didn't pay much attention past the new weird stuff Pete was climbing on..

 

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Before the Ergo people were trying all sorts of things in the ice comps.

 

I remember Simond athletes c. 1998 or 1999 had this axe with a tight V-shaped grip with the idea you could get fingerlocks in the angle of the V and hang on the fingerlocks.

 

Basically they bolted on another bar that stuck up in front of the grip.

 

I don't think it ever went into general production.

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When MSR was all Larry Penberthy, (1970s) he put out an ice-tool that was so far ahead of its time nobody could relate. I don't think he kept it in production more than a year or two. It was a hook with a handgrip, intended to be used in pairs to make ice-climbing more like rock-climbing, foreshadowing today's comp tools. At the time, the pterrodactyl seemed pretty damned radical, and MSR's tool was generally considered to be too specialized to be very useful. Maybe somebody at MSR could help us out with a photo from their archives? Maybe one of the other geezers among us even has one gathering dust?

Time frame would have been '77-'79.

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When MSR was all Larry Penberthy, (1970s) he put out an ice-tool that was so far ahead of its time nobody could relate. I don't think he kept it in production more than a year or two. It was a hook with a handgrip, intended to be used in pairs to make ice-climbing more like rock-climbing, foreshadowing today's comp tools. At the time, the pterrodactyl seemed pretty damned radical, and MSR's tool was generally considered to be too specialized to be very useful. Maybe somebody at MSR could help us out with a photo from their archives? Maybe one of the other geezers among us even has one gathering dust?

Time frame would have been '77-'79.

 

I remember those. I think they were primarily for aid climbing, with stirups for the feet, as terrors were used early in Canada.

 

MSR was cool MSR_tent_testing.jpg

Edited by num1mc

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Good question. About 10 years ago Jeff Haley showed me what he called an IBOC he helped patent like 25 years prior. It was a 45 cm ice tool stamped out of flat steel with a grip just like the current leashless tools.

 

I wonder if that was the MSR tool, would have been the right time-frame

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When MSR was all Larry Penberthy, (1970s) he put out an ice-tool that was so far ahead of its time nobody could relate. I don't think he kept it in production more than a year or two. It was a hook with a handgrip, intended to be used in pairs to make ice-climbing more like rock-climbing, foreshadowing today's comp tools. At the time, the pterrodactyl seemed pretty damned radical, and MSR's tool was generally considered to be too specialized to be very useful. Maybe somebody at MSR could help us out with a photo from their archives? Maybe one of the other geezers among us even has one gathering dust?

Time frame would have been '77-'79.

 

The Ice Hawk, perhaps?

 

http://www.cascadedesigns.com/msr/history

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