Of course there are new technologies and machines that can improve some manufacturing processes but that's exactly what I'm trying to say: machines are designed and conducted by men and these men have to know how and why the tools will be used: so that the tools are not just highly resistant but also contain the very soul of the people making them. This is the 'added value' that comes from production in the mountains. And this is what we don't want to lose and we think that our clients shouldn't lose either.
Grivel always keeps a close eye on new developments.
We were the first in the world to use steel alloys containing Ni-Cro-Mo for crampons and ice axes in 1939. The first pair of the legendary 2F crampons were produced in 1984 using Laser technology (other manufacturers have now discovered it) ideal for producing limited series and keeping costs down on small scale production. We were among the first to use carbon fibre for ice axe shafts (at one stage abandoned by everybody and every now and then re-discovered by the odd manufacturer). Grivel's first curved shaft presented in 1986 was made in carbon fibre. Lavorazione Condor Lavorazione Antibott
This doesn't mean though that we've forgotten the technology as in 2004 we presented the first ever 'wooden' shaft to obtain CE certification overcoming the extremely strict norms regulating its power of resistance: the 'carbonwood'. This was feasible by reinforcing the wood with internal layers of carbon fibre creating a shaft that is fairly lightweight, extremely resistant, insulated electrically and thermally that can withstand impacts as the wood acts as a protection to the carbon fibre and is extremely pleasant to hold as it gives an overall impression as being made out of wood. It is a good example that there are no universal solutions but that each specific problem can be resolved by adopting specific technologies.