Farewell old ice axes – lecture at Clachaig Tuesday 10 Feb at 2000 hours.

This is the third week since my operation and things are getting slowly better, when your ill and house bound  on the recovery you get time to think. The wee house needed a paint and I needed cash so my collection of ice axes and hammers that were on my wall went. It was hard as most are great friends my pride and joy and we have had some fun together. My favourites were the Chounaird Zero axe and Hammer and they have been with me since 1982 and on my first trip to Canada to climb the famous waterfalls.  They are a beautiful crafted wooden axe and it was like losing a good friend. They went to Spain to a climbing Museum and I have been told they will be well loved by the buyer. I hope so as he loves them.

The Classic Chounaird Axe & Hammer

The Classic Chounaird Axe & Hammer

I also have a small Alpine Hammer another wonderful tool the Chounaird Alpine Hammer another piece of wonderful craftsmanship. This was another incredible ice – tool in the 70’s and I have a pair that I will keep as they are very special, they were mounted on a board when I was at RAF Leuchars Mountain Rescue Team.

The Chounaird Alpine hammer another classic.

The Chounaird Alpine hammer another classic.

This winter there is some climbing getting done as I sit and recover but I am getting lots of great photos of friends out climbing safely in the winter. The climbs getting done this year are incredible it has been another outstanding winter and good for everyone concerned. I wonder how they would cope with some of this gear.

Stubia Alpine North Wall Hammers

Stubia Alpine North Wall Hammers

Of course you cannot mention ice axes without Hamish MacInes famous Terrordactyl  being mentioned it was a huge breakthrough at the time and very futuristic in design.

Axes Terrors h m

Hamish and Glencoe is legendary in climbing and mixed climbing in particular and what a break through this axe and hammer was at the time and goes down in the history of ice climbing. Hamish made an all metal axe in the early 60’s after several tragedies with ice axes breaking due to the wooden shafts when used as belays! Hamish came out with his early answer the Massey a very heavy all metal Axe that I was issued with when I joined the RAF Mountain Rescue  at Kinloss it was nearly heavier than me at the time.

The North Wall Hammer this one is being given to the Scottish Mountain Heritage Colection!

The North Wall Hammer this one is being given to the Scottish Mountain Heritage Colection! They are always looking for old gear for the collection.

I travel down to Glencoe on Tuesday for my chat in the Clachaig Hotel at 2000 hours and hope to get a very short wander next day and maybe visit a few old friends. Glencoe is a place I love and what a history this place has.

1965 axes H Mc Inness

Clachaig Lecture





About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in History, Scottish winter climbing., Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

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