The Grivel family of blacksmiths, started to transform their production of agricultural tools. So the ice axe came into being surrounded by scepticism.
The English engineer Oskar Eckenstein was received with similar scepticism when in, he asked Henry Grivel to manufacture the first modern crampons.
Henry's son Laurent made the brilliant invention of the two front points, allowing climbers to stand face on whilst attacking the steep ice and snow gradients.
Amato Grivel, Laurent's younger brother, using the Chromolly alloy (Nickel-Chrome-Molybdenum), created a really strong crampon, not as thick and therefore lighter, 360 grams a pair. These crampons, the Super Leggero Grivel, have been used to conquer the 3 highest peaks in the world, the Everest, the K2, and the Kangchenjunga.
New management led by Gioachino Gobbi was convinced that over a hundred years of tradition, the brand name and the company's location were a recipe for future success. Grivel's Super Courmayeur system, with its spare and inter-changeable picks and shovels, established itself as market leader.
Rambo crampon: a rigid crampon with a stable platform and no vibrations. Forged front points were added for the first time, a huge improvement.
Grivel presented its new crampons with four different binding systems, suitable for all types of boots and different functions. The use of plastic for the first time would find many imitators!
The Machine: the ice axe that revolutionised the design of technical tools. From now on this was the shape that all manufacturers would use.
In 1998 experience gained from competitions spread the idea of climbing without leashes. Grivel was the first to present an ice axe with a crook in it adding leashless climbing: Top Machine
Grivel resolves the problem of snow build up under crampons with the first pro-active anti-balling plate. This gets rid of the snow with every step taken, using its flexibility and the alpinist's movement. Other manufacturers have tried to find an alternative to this Grivel patent but the truth is that no other real alternative exists!
All the accepted rules about climbing equipment were upset during the 2004-2005 season by Monster. Lots of Grivel competitors tried to stop this stampede even using underhand methods.
The ultra lightweight Matrix ice axes and Rambo evolution 4 crampons: easier to fit, lighter and better for the latest generation's new posturing.
The new Quantum Ice Axe range continues this cutting edge tradition introducing a carbon composite material used in the aerospace industry. Our composite Quantum Ice Axes are the lightest in the world, lighter than those in carbon fibre, ligher than those made with any other material.
Grivel installs a solar paneled roof and starts to produce its goods with solar energy.