Good Gear Makes It Easier

During the second British expedition to Chomolongma in 1922, George Finch and Geoffrey Bruce used bottled oxygen for the very first time. The four steel cylinders and the supporting frame of each piece weighed around 14 kilogrammes, and the apparatus was both awkward and prone to clogging. That was 70 years ago. Today, the market is packed with modern, ultra-efficient and innovative equipment, some of which has undoubtedly contributed to making mountaineering more accessible.

The ice axe, one of the indispensable tools of climbing, has seen remarkable changes since its early days. The ice axe of the early 20th century used to be quite long, doubling up as a walking stick on level ground. Nowadays, apart from being shorter, it is also provided with two or more holes for looping ropes. New alloys, resins and fibres, and combinations of these, have replaced the traditional wood and metal in the axe.

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Himal Southasian