In the mid-1800s the Grivel family, blacksmiths working in Courmayeur, began actively influencing the history of alpinism from their little factory at the foot of Mont Blanc. The Grivels, a family of Walser origin, had already established a fine metal-working reputation with the agricultural tools they manufactured in an area that became known as Les Forges; this part of Courmayeur carries the same name today. Because many alpinists passed by the factory on their way to the mountains, an important exchange of ideas began taking place. In direct response to the demands of both mountains and mountaineers the Grivels made modifications to the normal workman’s pick axe. Thus, without a true inventor, the “piolet” was born. The heads of these ice axes were hand-forged of the best quality steel available, heat-treated to provide greater resistance and the slag was removed by tumbling them in a water-driven revolving barrel.
When Grivel invented and began making the world’s first modern crampons, based on the designs of Oskar Eckenstein, over 80 years ago they manufactured from the best quality steel that could be found; old railroad ties were cut up, reheated and forged by hand. Now manufacturing processes have been modernized and better quality steel is available. The crampons themselves have changed little in terms of design and function, with the exception of Laurent Grivel’s history-making invention of the twelve point crampon in 1932.
Looking for Grivel Replacement Parts?Please Contact Us. We will be happy to get you the Grivel replacement parts you need.
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