Blast from the past – Dachstein Mitts.

After yesterday’s wee blog on Wind – suits I got a few photos of Wind – suits and the famous Dachstein mitts. Looking through some of the climbing forums it was amazing to see how so many “tigers” berated them. As clumsy and overall an awful glove. In there day they were a great bit of kit for there time. That’s all we had. I loved them especially when they got worn thin and fitted your hands better. I even dyed mine red, they ended up pink . I least no one pinched them.

The Classic Dachstein Mitt.

Dachstein-mitts – They are not modern and hi-tec but still one of the best winter mitts available. Warm and virtually windproof – completely so when covered in frozen snow – they also provide excellent grip on snowy/icy rock.

On a tragic Avalanche on Ben Alligin In 1986 as flying over in a Wessex to start a search. My mate Jock noticed a Dachstein projecting from the snow. It was some spot and we landed on. It was way out of our search areas. We located the casualties two survived.

Gloves are a key part of winter mountaineering , lose a glove in the winter and have no spare and you can be in serious trouble. Without gloves you are useless, in wild weather the hands freeze quickly and soon you cannot navigate, use an ice – axe and that’s when all the problems start. They are still available from most climbing shops between £ 30 upwards – buy them a bit big a good tip.

The Classic Dachstein mitt

I have used them for years they are still an incredible glove and well worth carrying a spare in your bag.

Top tip ; Always carry a spare , ask me how many I have given away to people who have lost theirs on the hill.

Dachstein mitts are made from 100% wool, shrunk and felted to make them thick and dense. These naturally highly wind resistant, and provide good warmth even when wet. They are also very comfortable to wear as wool is an excellent absorber of any dampness from the hands. You cannot do anything requiring dexterity, but they are a cheap, comfortable and long-lasting mitt for winter use. So for all those poor climbers with limited funds they are still available.

Available in any colour you like as long as it is grey.

n Mitts

Traditional heavy duty wool mitts. made well oversized and then boiled to shrink to a tough thick woollen felt. As used by Scottish winter climbers, alpinists and Himalayan expeditioners for over 50 years.

Not waterproof but when used in snow, an icy skin forms over the mitt which is very effective at keeping hands warm. If you are an impecunious winter climber looking for the one glove that will do everything (as cheaply as possible) then this is about as close as you’ll get!

Please note that with the change in supplier from Lackner (who ceased production) to Huber, the sizing of these mitts has changed and they are now larger than they used to be.”

Back in the 1970’s just about everybody wore Dachsteins, but as with lots of things, fashions change and they are nowhere near as common 40 years later in 2013. There are so many great gloves about yet it’s good to see that they are still available though.

Ben Nevis Point 5 only a few years ago Wind suit and Dachstein mitts. Photo A. Barnard. Al gets the most of of his gear.
Many used them and attached them to your body like your mum did so you did not drop them!
27 Nov 2006 – Wind suit and Dachstein Gloves with fingers plus broken probe Cairngorms after a night shift in the Rescue Centre.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Avalanche info, Equipment, Friends, Gear, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Scottish winter climbing., Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Blast from the past – Dachstein Mitts.

  1. johndburns says:

    I used to use the fingered versions of these. They wore out fairly quick but were really good while they lasted.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.