Vintage Snow and Ice Climbing Tools

Seen here are the ice axe and crampons I purchased in Chamonix, France, in the summer of 1962. Chamonix is the alpine climbing center of Europe, located in a deep valley at the foot of Mt. Blanc and the vertiginous Aiguilles (Needles) of Chamonix. The latter peaks rise 9000′ directly over Chamonix, while Mt. Blanc rises 12000′.  I arrived there in 1962, intent on climbing as many of the famous peaks that cluster around Mt. Blanc (and Mt. Blanc itself), as I could manage. These tools were with me on some of the most exciting climbs of my life! See this and other posts on these climbs:

Short-shafted ice axe, for mixed climbs

Charlet-Moser, Super Conta

Charlet-Moser, model Super Conta

Made in Chamonix, France

Made in Chamonix, France


The head of the axe – adze, carabiner hole and pick


The spike of the axe, well-worn


The axe is short-shafted so as not to get in the way while rock climbing. The axe is slipped down between the pack and the shoulder blades.

Over on the other (south) side of Mont Blanc is the Italian town of Courmayeur, also a climbing center. These Grivel crampons were manufactured there.


“Grivel Courmayeur”

Grivel crampons, made in Courmayer, Italy

Grivel crampons, made in Courmayer, Italy


Top side view


Upside down view


About Evensteven

I am a photographer and author, and live in Embudo, New Mexico, alongside the Rio Grande. I have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: The Grand: I have also published six additional iBooks: 1. The Salt River: 2. Coyote Buttes: 3. Four Cornered, the Land: 4. Four Cornered, The Rivers: 5. Rio Marañon: 6. Rio Grande:
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