Cana­dian Alpine Tools

Hand­crafted Ham­mers and Pi­tons Made in Canada

Gripped - - PRO FILE -

Founder of Cana­dian Ice Tools David Glavind has been tak­ing full ad­van­tage the Cana­dian Rock­ies as an ice and rock climber for al­most 20 years and has been a work­ing black­smith for 30.

When his pas­sion for fine metal work and the alpine suf­fer-fest col­lided, Cana­dian Alpine Tools was born. “Whether you’re choss wran­gling in the South­ern Al­berta sum­mer or crushing your way through a win­ter in the ghost, Cana­dian Alpine Tools has you cov­ered,” said Glavind.

“In our work­shop, we re­fine and reimag­ine tra­di­tion to bring you to the cut­ting-edge of alpine pro­tec­tion.”

As of now, Glavind is busy mak­ing 90- de­gree an­gle pi­tons, cus­tom ham­mers, hand­crafted alpine ham­mers, knife blade pi­tons and wedge pi­tons. Cana­dian alpine climber and re­cip­i­ent of the Pi­o­let d’Or, Ian Wel­sted, or­dered a cus­tom ham­mer with or­ange pi­tons and put in a num­ber of days on them this year. He re­ported that they’re the right tools for the job. He’s al­ready used them on a num­ber of new routes.

One can’t help but think about Yvon Chouinard, who helped to start an aid climb­ing rev­o­lu­tion in North Amer­ica with his gear. The only pi­tons avail­able in the 1950s, were made of soft iron. So when you placed once, you left it. Multi-day as­cents in Yosemite re­quired hun­dreds of place­ments. So Chouinard, af­ter meet­ing John Salathé, a Swiss climber who had once made hard-iron pi­tons out of Model A axles, de­cided to make his own reusable pro­tec­tion.

Glavind is from B.C. and started climb­ing in July of 1987 over in France. “The first rock alpine ham­mer I owned was made by me,” said Glavind. “I have been mak­ing tools since 1988 and the first pi­ton I banged in was on a crag we climb at be­low Hail­stone Butte, South­ern Al­berta.”

Glavind went through the Black­smithing/Far­rier pro­gram at Kwan­talen Col­lage in Lan­g­ley, B.C. He’s com­peted na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally in Far­rier and black­smithing com­pe­ti­tions. He also ap­pren­ticed with a black­smith in Rich­mond, B.C. for three years. “Be­fore open­ing my own shop in White­rock,” he said, “I was build­ing in­te­rior and ex­te­rior wrought iron pieces and props for the movie in­dus­try.”

He’s been mak­ing pi­tons for about 20 years. “I have al­ways been in­spired by Chouinard, you just have to make your own,” he said. “A climb­ing part­ner of mine started re-bolt­ing some old routes and that’s what re­ally in­spired me to start mak­ing tools.”

When asked if his tools are in a league of their own, he said, “I don’t know if my tools are in a league of their own, but good tools have a tac­tile feel. They must work well for the pur­pose in­tended. The ham­mers for in­stance should swing right. The feel­ing of it and hit­ting the tar­get in­tended. All our ham­mers are hand-made. To my knowl­edge, no one else is build­ing alpine tools in this fash­ion.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.