Once upon a time... far far away, high in Caucasus mountains, 3 mountaineers were descending on the glacier after the attempt to climb one of the most beautiful mountains on earth - double peak mount Ushba. Suddenly one of them stopped, leaned down and rose with something in his hand. The thing that was in brown colour, but neither the rock nor other natural thing one can find in the mountains. Climbing friends carefully looked at the item and realised it was part of an old ice axe - rusty pick with the remains of the broken wood handle...
This is how the story of Vintage Climbing and Vintage Mountain Works began.
I was one of those 3 alpinists. The ice axe looked so beautiful and attractive to me, that I decided to take it home with me. While descending further, I had started thinking of what was the story of this ice axe? To whom it belonged? How it was broken? What happened to the owner?
And I have started imagining those times - alpinists with wood handle ice axes, blacksmith's hand forged rock pitons, tricouni pinned boots, canvas tents... All those old pictures seen in climbing magazines became live on the glimpse of my imagination. How did they climb in those days? How they felt? Would I be able to climb in that style with the same gear that they used?
At that time I have realised that I want to repair the found broken handle of ice axe and try to climb in that style. But would only ice axe be enough? Could I use other gear as well?
This idea filled my mind. By returning home, I started searching for vintage climbing gear, both old and new. Day by day the history of mountaineering and climbing gear started filling me in as collection of old climbing gear. Also I was very happy to find out that some gear is still produced these days, as it was done 100 years ago. And it was sad realising, that some will never be made again... But should it be that way? Maybe I can produce them for myself?
From that moment I started re-producing old style gear under the name Vintage Mountain Works as well as gathering other manufacturers gear and apparel.
Today we start the new chapter of our story by launching vintageclimbing.com platform for those who share the same passion for old days climbing gear and want to climb in style or just hang a real old ice axe with its own story on the wall.
I still climb myself. For sure, I use the most modern, lightweight and safe climbing gear on the difficult climbs. But for some climbs - I will take old wood handled ice axe, hemp rope and sheep skin gloves. And will continue to write new chapters of our story...
Marius | Founder