Sunday, 18 July 2010

Ice axe project - and a new blog to watch

Back in sunny Suffolk and exiled from the mountains for a while, most of my energy is being put into my writing efforts. A novel on a slightly altered history of the late 19th century, from the perspective of the mountaineers, is taking shape. I have a few exciting research trips lined up for later in the summer--Cambridge, London, and Grindelwald.

In the meantime, I have recently begun a more hands-on project. With the raw materials of a knackered old ~1935 Stubai ice axe, and an ashen pickaxe handle, I am building a brand new ice axe from scratch. The idea is to make a 3ft axe of the sort commonly in use at the turn of the old century. The new pick, modified from the old Stubai one, is designed to he close in design to the one belonging to Edward Whymper: an incredibly practical and lightweight design, simple and easy to maintain.

I have already finished the pick (photos are up onnmy Flickr account) and am about to start the delicate plane and chisel work on the shaft.

In other news, my brother James, who has written a few articles for this site, has now set up his own blog. Given his renowned skills as a mountain photographer, it should develop into an excellent resource. Visit it here :

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