Grivel, Mont Blanc, world-leading manufacturers of premium winter climbing gear since 1818...
As early as 1818 the Grivel family of blacksmiths sought to transform their manufacture of agricultural tools to satisfy the demands of a new breed of wealthy tourists looking for a new kind of tool with which to explore the mountains.
As the roots of mountaineering slowly grew, so the Grivel ice axe came into being - often met with a degree of scepticism. A similar incredulity met the English engineer Oscar Eckenstein in 1909 when he asked Henry Grivel to manufacture the first modern alpine crampon. In 1929, Henry’s son Laurent was behind the creation of the first dual front points. This innovation allowed climbers to stand face on while negotiating steep ice and snow routes. This would later prove key to conquering the last unsolved route of the Alps: the North of the Eiger, 21-24th July, 1938.
In a 1936 collaboration with the Cogne steelworks, Amato Grivel, Laurent’s younger brother, developed the first high-strength crampon using Chromoly alloy (Nickel-Chrome-Molybdenum). This allowed for a thinner, lighter Grivel crampon design.
This led to the creation of the very first 'lightweight' Grivel crampons. Weighing just 360 grams per pair, these Grivel crampons, the Super Leggero Grivel, have been used to conquer the 3 highest peaks in the world: Everest, K2, and the Kangchenjunga.
In 1982, a new direction was needed to take what had become a rather sleepy, uncompetitive Grivel into the modern era of mountaineering. New management led by Gioachino Gobbi was convinced that with over a hundred years of tradition, the brand name and company location were a recipe for future success.
With their passion for innovation reignited, in 1996 Grivel released The Machine: the Grivel ice axe that revolutionized the design of technical climbing tools. The Machine's success was sealed and from now on this was the shape that all manufacturers would draw from.
In 2003, Grivel crampons resolved the problem of snow build up with the very first proactive anti-balling plate.
Now 196 years later, Grivel continues to balance tradition with progress; between forging and aerospace technology, between intuition and R&D.
Grivel Mont-Blanc has achieved all possible certifications: from TUV GS (Sichereit Gepruft) for product quality to ISO 9001-Vision 2000 for their management system and even the ISO 14001 environmental Certification for Environmental Compatibility.
In May 2009 Grivel opened a new production facility in a much bigger space. This new set up has meant they can widen their range of products while maintaining their avant-garde position in the market.
The new location also sees a switch to solar energy making Grivel's production cleaner and more eco-friendly. Since 2010 all their energy needs are produced by their own photovoltaic panels, seeing them save an equivalent of 1173 barrels of oil every year.