Original Vintage Wild Country Friends
Russian Mountaineer, Vitaly Abalokov, is credited with inventing the first spring loaded camming device though it was American climber, Ray Jardine, who perfected the idea and invented/ created the 'friend' in 1978. The story goes that whilst he and his climbing partner were experimenting with prototype camming devices in America's Yosemite Valley, other climbers appeared for a chat. Not wishing to give the game away when sorting their gear, Jardine asked his mate if he'd brought his 'friends' along with him - the name stuck.
Though patented in America, it was the British Company, Wild Country, who began manufacturing them back in the 1980's, initially with the solid stem versions that we have here and later with the 'flexible friend.' 2012 saw the launch of the 'helium friend' which, whilst still flexible, is lighter and slightly longer.
Though 'friends' has become the generic term for all camming devices there are several other brands on the market; Camelots, by Black Diamond being perhaps the most notable.
Set Sizes 1, 1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2, 3, 3 1/2, and 4 spring loaded solid stemmed camming devices.
US PAT 4184657
Made In England