Now This Is Really Retro

2:19 p.m. on February 10, 2007 (EST)
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Saw this old story posted on another site. Just shows the new stuff isn't always better.

9:56 a.m. on February 12, 2007 (EST)
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Very cool. Makes me wonder a bit about the necessity of some the things I have. I doubt I'd trade clothing with the guy, I like my marmots & patagucci stuff, but how much difference do the tools make? Carbon fiber mountaineering axe vs wood handle? When I was on top of Orizaba there was a local standing next to me that had plywood cut roughly to the shape of his shoe with nails driven through & tied on with chord to act as his crampons. A far cry from what I had on my feet but they served the same purpose for at least that mountain and the end result was the same.

11:03 a.m. on February 12, 2007 (EST)
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I'll keep my modern rope, thank you very much, but that kit he's wearing look nice, and (being a ludite at heart) I'm certain would wear better than modern down garments - plus it would be nice to not have that "polypro funk" odor after a couple of days -

9:18 p.m. on February 12, 2007 (EST)
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Steve, modern ropes, axes and other protection were no doubt a leap forward. With clothes, I think it's more about weight. Look at the stuff Eskimos have been wearing for hundreds of years. A PBS documentary on Amundsen showed off Eskimo outerwear really well-big long coats made from what I think were reindeer hides with big fur collars and hoods. I remember seeing military jackets back in the 50s with fur lined hoods-wolf fur I think.

Back in the 80's the guide services in NZ used to give hobnail boots to the tourists they would take on glacier walks. I never saw a pair up close, but a friend of mine who was a guide told me about them. He would cut steps if need be and the tourists would follow him around.

Adam, your story about the homemade crampons reminds me of the slippers I used to see on the Indians in Bolivia in the 60's-made from sections of tires with rubber pieces as the straps. We called them Firestone Specials.

7:05 a.m. on February 13, 2007 (EST)
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Funny - I still have a wood shafted ice axe - haven't used it in years (except as a walking stick when it's really crappy out).
As a ludite I fully support the old-tech stuff - and appreciate the advantages of layers of wool and other natural fibers - in fact I'd like to find this guys tailor!

8:29 p.m. on March 24, 2007 (EDT)
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Kinda off topic

Most of my cyclista buddies have re-discovered the miracle fiber-wool-that I used to race in back when it's all there was to wear for cycling.

A hunting camp accident several years ago in Canada's NWT has led me to only wear natural fibers in any camping/hunting scenario. There was a fire invloving a leaky white gas cooking range and the only survivors (and they were burned) were wearig wool and/or cotton. All three people wearing sybthetic fabrics perished. Largely because the plastic clothes stuck to them whilst burning.


June 23, 2018
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