200 Years of Climbing Evolution

Grivel’s Tech Machine and North Machine ice climbing tools

Awesome Sponsor Gear Review

by Angela Hawse, co-owner Chicks Climbing and Skiing, IFMGA

 

In 1818, the Grivel family of Blacksmiths began to create technical tools for alpinism. These “technical” climbing tools evolved from agricultural tools like pick axes. Despite widespread skepticism these innovations established Grivel as the leader in equipping alpinists to climb more challenging routes in the Alps—and, later, throughout the world.

For 200 years, Grivel has stayed at the forefront of climbing evolution through innovation and, recently, a commitment to sustainable manufacturing. Today, all Grivel products are produced with power generated from 100% solar energy at their small, family-run plant in Coermayeur, Italy.

For over seven generations, Grivel has taken clean climbing to an entirely new standard with their foresight and regard for cultural responsibility.

In 1986, Grivel’s Super Courmayer system introduced interchangeable picks, hammers and shovels (what we call adzes) which maintained Grivel as the technical, ice-climbing tool leader. In 1996, The Machine further revolutionized the design of ice climbing tools by setting the modern curved-shaft standard. Every other manufacturer soon followed suit.

I climb exclusively on Grivel tools and I can say, as a woman with small hands, that there is no tool on the market that works better for me.

Grivel tools are light, which matters for swing after swing.

Grivel tools are well suited for both ice and alpine objectives: One stop shopping!

GRIVEL TOOLS

New for 2018, the re-crafted North Machine Carbon and Tech Machine Carbon both feature aerospace composite shafts: thin aluminum inside and carbon fiber outside with the option of hammers or adzes and blade (what we call pick) of choice (see below). The grip remains small and easy to handle with a perfectly balanced swing weight.

North Machine

  • My personal favorite
  • Lightweight technical tool designed for ice climbing and alpinism
  • Excels on high north faces where mixed terrain is common
  • Tech rated, carbon fiber shaft with small grip and spike for alpine ascents and all around climbing.
  • MSRP $289.95

Tech Machine

  • Designed primarily for ice climbing and dry tooling where vertical to overhanging challenges are more characteristic.
  • Radically bent shaft easily clears bulges and cauliflowers with a stable for shape hooking both ice and rock.
  • MSRP $329.95.

GRIVEL PICKS (BLADES)

Grivel makes four different, interchangeable, picks for their Machine tools.

Hot Forged, Chromoly Steel Blades:

Ice

  • This 3mm pick is perfectly suited for all types of ice

Mix

  • This beefy 4.2mm pick is designed for the abuses of mixed climbing.

*New for 2018 Laser Cut Steel Blades:

Cascade Plus

  • Specifically for ice
  • Very narrow shape easily pierces ice, but also cleans easier

Dry Plus

  • Specifically for dry tooling
  • wider and more burly than any other Grivel pick
  • Downturned tip makes it easier to hook rock

Chicks is proud to have Grivel as a Silver Level Sponsor. Chicks clinic participants have the opportunity to experience Grivel’s high quality products during any one of our ice climbing programs.

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