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climbingagain


Feb 10, 2004, 8:56 AM
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Forrest Mountaineering
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Does anyone know when Forrest Mountaineering went out of bussiness and what ever happened to Bill Forrest? I wuold love to get another of his ice axes and a wall hammer.


potreroed


Feb 18, 2004, 1:49 PM
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Bill Forrest was way ahead of his time and couldn't make a living selling gear to climbers so he turned to the Search and Rescue industry by the mid 70's. Don't know anything more--good luck finding the items you're looking for.


brianinslc


Feb 18, 2004, 2:16 PM
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Re: Forrest Mountaineering [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Bill Forrest was way ahead of his time and couldn't make a living selling gear to climbers so he turned to the Search and Rescue industry by the mid 70's. Don't know anything more--good luck finding the items you're looking for.

Had a catalog as late as 1984. Was still selling gear into the late eighties?

Yeah, copperheads, rabbit runners, Titons, modular ice tools...

Brian in SLC


joe


Feb 19, 2004, 12:57 PM
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another interesting tidbit...he invented copperheads to be used like regular nuts and chocks. then the yosemite wall rats of the early seventies (mainly charlie porter, i think) got the bright idea to smash them with a hammer into seams. thus, the art of copperheading was born.


csoles


Feb 19, 2004, 1:45 PM
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Don't forget he developed the MSR snowshoes. Also the made second commercial climbing harness on the market (1967). And the first women's harness (1980). He may have made the first commercial haul bags but I'm not sure on that.


dee


Feb 25, 2004, 12:28 PM
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I still have my Forrest bigwall hammer, it has been rock solid for over 30 years. He also made some funky plastic stoppers on cable that would "jump" out of placements! The hammer rules! It recently found action chopping the infamous "3 Amigos" bolt ladder at Josh, not at my hand though.


southernmtguide


Feb 25, 2004, 12:58 PM
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Try calling him at Cascade Designs in Seattle.


ambler


Feb 25, 2004, 2:15 PM
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In reply to:
another interesting tidbit...he invented copperheads to be used like regular nuts and chocks. then the yosemite wall rats of the early seventies (mainly charlie porter, i think) got the bright idea to smash them with a hammer into seams. thus, the art of copperheading was born.
Their single-cable design made copperheads fairly useful, for a while, as thin-crack protection. Forrest's wedge-shaped aluminum or blue plastic "foxhead" designs were built around copperheads at their core, and shared the placement advantage (strength disadvantage) of the single-cable design. I used to have a blue-plastic foxhead that was the only piece I needed for the Bastille Crack's first pitch.

Hammering in copperheads instead of gently placing them as nuts came about pretty quickly. It's an obvious possibility when you're doing hard aid with copperheads and a hammer. The "bashies" concept existed already; pre-copperhead versions included a specially-made (but not very well designed) aluminum blob by Dolt, or Clog aluminum wedge nuts you could pound into shallow cracks. A big downside to this method is that much of the gear became fixed trash, making hard aid routes uglier and easier but not safer.


billcoe_


Feb 29, 2004, 8:35 AM
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I love my Forrest Molinjar. Made the mistake of loaning it our to a friend to go do "a" wall in the valley. He fell in love too. Came back @ 10-11 years later pretty beat up (I had asked for it many times, my friend had moved serveral times and had it packed "somewhere".) It finally came back not as pretty as it left, but it was at least finally home

Sigh, at least it's back in my clutches now, during it's absence I was forced to use a old lightweight POS Bonati hammer that had a cracked shaft (duct taped of course). I would think fondly of the Molinjar with every swing.

Almost broke down and got an A4 or a Chouinard hammer but I use a hammer so infrequently.

I pledge now to die with that hammer clutched in my cold hands. Sorry, don't ask to borrow it-ever. I may use it very infrequently, but it will be ME that uses it at least.

Seriously.


dirtineye


Mar 1, 2004, 2:42 PM
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If anyone has titons to sell or trade, PM me please. I have a dear friend who still insists that they are bomber. Every so often he gets one in a good spot and you should see his face light up. Poor guy can barely place a cam (Famous quote:" You just don't understand rattley gear!"), back in the 70's he led scary stuff on nothing but nuts, haha, and he is always wishing he had some more titons as his good friends have made sure many of his set were lost permanently over the years.


gambler


Jul 16, 2004, 12:12 AM
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Forrest came out with the 1st modern Swami belt/Leg loops(later the 1st padded model also) combo in the early seventies....the only previously available premade harness was the Whillians harness,which had a single strap under the legs that crushed your balls and for good measure it flipped you upside down during most falls!

Previous to this I used a Swami belt(with no leg loops) made from 2" tubular webbing ala 70's hardman style...a good incentive not to take the big whipper(when I climbed with Jimmy Dunn in the mid to late 90's he was still using such a rig...talk about old school)

Bill Forrrest was way ahead of his time and his Harnesses,Hammers,Hammocks and Copperheads were definately state of the art!

gambler


rockitjeff


Jul 16, 2004, 8:24 PM
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Yea- back in the day it was 2” tubular swamis 100% of the time; even on walls.. until we got the sheeit hot Forrest Swami belt/Leg loops. They were sweet.. .. I still have mine (while I long since tossed my Titons and Foxheads.....

..and yea.. .those Whillans truly did crush your balls ~~~~ and when I’m doing easy classics I still use only a 2” tubular swami…. More comfortable…. . plus it makes me want to put on white painters pants and a bandana


cologman


Jul 16, 2004, 8:50 PM
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Still have my Forrest Hammer, Hammock & Haul Bag. Last two items I purchased in 1971. 8^)


hacksaw


Jul 16, 2004, 10:17 PM
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I worked at Forrest Mountaineering, LTD., on and off during the mid-80's when it was at 15th and Platte Street in Denver. It was an "interesting" place to work. :shock:

Bill was too far ahead of his time on a lot of his gear (Lifetime ice ax, Sarac Sabers, packs, hammocks, copperheads, Fallarresters, harnesses, sewen runners, Titons, Penuts, etc...), just like Paul Ramer was. Believe it or not, Bill didn't copyright or patten a lot of his designs.

Ray Jardine used the Forrest metal shop to make some of the prodotypes of Friends (that was really interesting to watch... :shock: ). He offered Bill the chance to go in on Friends. But, Bill didn't go for it :( . Why I don't fully know.

I still have some Forrest gear, and NO its not for sale (because I still use some of it!). I'm sure Bill still has a stockpile of gear. Call him up, he might have a Lifetime ax to sell you. Last I heard Bill is in the Northwest working for MSR, and he sold Forrest Mountaineering. I think I heard that the new Forrest Mountaineering was making fire fighter and ski lift evac gear, and doing custom sewen slings for set of cams.

A lot of equipment designs where drawn on napkins at "My Brother's Bar," kiddy corner from Forrest. I always smile to myself when I go down to the REI flagship store, and look over at the old Forrest storefront (which is now some high priced loft office space :wink: ). There where some interesting times there (the basement floods :P ) and a lot of good climbing done out of there.

Cheers,
Halsted


jc5462


Sep 11, 2004, 10:24 PM
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I agree that Bill was way ahead of his time and many of todays climbers do not know who he is and all the contributions he made. I still have some of his catalogs and still have lots of his gear (and know I will not sell, but if you know of anyone selling any I am interested in buying more) I have Mollijinor hammer, Lifetime tools, Serac Sabre tools, 3 verglas axes, titons, copperheads, belay plate, P-nut, arrowheads, daisy chain, etriers, gear sling, pin bins and bandolier, ultimate harness, swami and leg loops and Bam-Nut tool. I used to frequent the store on Broadway in Boulder, the Platte Street store and even the later locations on Speer and when his final gear was in Colorado Outdoor Sports. Last time I talked with Bill was at a trade show and he was working for MSR. The current "Forest" is in Durango and does sewing for several manufacturers/distributors and makes safety products. I know that Rocky Mountain Rescue group has the old Forrest Drop Tower and utilizes it for testing. I really wish he was still making gear.


xkyczar


Sep 13, 2004, 7:18 AM
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=1299&item=7100590717&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW


pecall


Jun 3, 2005, 2:54 AM
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The correct name of the hammer was Forrest Mjollnir, which is, as was described in the catalog, pronounced approximately "maul-ner". It was named after the hammer owned by the Norse (viking) god of thunder, Thor, Mjölnir. When Thor was angry, he threw the hammer and the sound it made was heard by humans as thunder.
Never owned one of these myself, though I used to have number of Titons, Foxheads, Arrowheads and Copperheads. My first harness was also a Forrest Swami Belt and Leg Loops harness. This design was so good that it was copied by several others. My second harness was a British copy of the Forrest design, though I can't remember who made it. Maybe Troll, yeah, I think it was Troll. My third harness was an Edelweiss copy of the Forrest harness, which differed only in that it had sewn on gear loops. The copies had different colors from the Forrest harness. The Troll harness was light blue and yellow, and the Edelweiss harness was a sickening turqoise and neon pink (typical of the times; I bought it in 1988, I think).


Coolclay


Feb 18, 2007, 9:45 AM
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I have a Forrest Moutaineering Axe in awesome condition, barely any where at all. I don't use it that much so I'd be willing to sell it or trade. I have seen ones in very worn condition go for $50. As long as the buyer promises to take care of my baby, I'd sell it for $40 shipped obo. Also open to trades, I am in the market for nice heavy gloves, winter pants, or anything else you think I may be interested in. Picts, available upon request.


cblatter


Apr 9, 2007, 1:27 PM
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In 1978 Bill "loaned" us some axes for our attempt to repeat the French Route on Fitzroy...we ended up anchoring fixed line to one and glacial movement stretched the rope so tight it bent the axe...when we returned it to him he was not real pleased....I ran into him in '99 on a 10th Mtn Ski hut trip...he was then living somewhere outside of Boulder?


e_free


Apr 24, 2007, 12:49 AM
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I have an original harness... my dad taught us to climb in it :)


druw


Aug 26, 2009, 1:33 PM
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Re: [pecall] Forrest Mountaineering [In reply to]
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I have a Mjollnir III that I'll be selling on Ebay 'cause I need the cash and I found this forum while researching it (haven't been climbing long enough to know what it was). However, I would also love to find it a good home where it will be well taken care of and also maybe used once in a while. If this forum is still active and anyone here would be interested -- shoot me an email at -- druw @ oneimage.com and I'll get you a photo and details.
Dru
303 666 - 7665


ACLSRN


Jun 25, 2011, 5:59 PM
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I owned one years ago and wish that I still had that bad boy! They were great ice hammers and I'd love to find one again!

If anyone ever has one for sale I'd be interested....


hacksaw


Jun 29, 2011, 11:32 AM
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I have seen a couple on ebay.

I'd still like to get another Roosterhead hammer of ax.


ACLSRN


Jun 29, 2011, 12:01 PM
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I'll have to keep an eye on eBay with a Saved Search for any - haven't found any to-date on there....


billcoe_


Jun 29, 2011, 3:47 PM
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I saw 2 go in a single auction the other day.

Since I posted in 2004, I learned that the name of the hammer I was describing was the Forrest "Wall Hammer". Great hammer. I have 2 A5's and 2 D5s and wouldn't give up my Forrest. Interesting that the handles came in 2 different handle lengths, the slightly longer length is nice.

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