16 — Grivel
High Altitude Safety
Courmayeur, Val d'Aostahttp://grivel.com/
Grivel is the name of the historic blacksmith’s workshop in Courmayeur, which had always built its business around the needs of a small community living at the foot of Mont Blanc. At the beginning of the 19th century the passion for modern mountaineering began to spread, and the Grivel smithies found themselves able to satisfy the demands of a new category of customers. When climbers from all over the world began to arrive with the intention of climbing the highest peak in Europe, the smithies started switching their production of agricultural tools to that of climbing gear. In 1909, from an encounter between Henry Grivel and the British railway engineer Oscar Eckenstein, sprang the idea of making a tool that would revolutionise ice-climbing. The first modern crampons launched a production of mountain equipment that is to this day among the best and most advanced in the application of new technologies. Although still on a manageable and family scale, Grivel operates in over 50 countries, to which it exports 90% of its products; and so it might be called a “pocket multinational”.
All images courtesy of Grivel