/ NEWS: Mountain Technology founder dies

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Brownie on 05 Sep 2012
Hugh McNicol RIP. The man was responsible for some of the world best ice axes at the time.




Ed: The BBC are reporting the death of Hugh McNicol: http://www.ukhillwalking.com/news/item.php?id=67411
In reply to Brownie:

I'm so sorry to hear that. Many was the day, while up climbing on the Ben or in the 'Coe, I'd call in to Hugh's factory and say "Where's my bloody order Hugh" and he'd grab a box and say, "Needle sports, Needle Sports, well Tiso's won't miss a few..." and grab my order out of boxes labelled up for delivery to Tiso's! A grand man - those were great days to be in retail and great days to be winter climbing. A pair of Vertiges and two ice screws/pitch - what more could you want?
USBRIT - on 05 Sep 2012
In reply to Brownie: I used to distribute his axes in the US..well if he sent them ... I great bloke ... So sorry he is gone
John Rushby - on 05 Sep 2012
In reply to Brownie:

Met him once, great chap. Vertige was and still is a great axe. Mine is still in use.

Cheers
In reply to Brownie: Sad news; RIP Hugh.

I think the MT Mountaineering Axe and the MT Technical Axe/Hammer were classic examples of tool design. Didn't they have a sticker on them saying they had one some design council award? I remember something like that. Their rubber handles were about the best quality. Never seemed to fall off. Anyone remember Ettle hammering the handle of his Vertige into the crack for the last move of White Magic on the BBC filmed ascent? Cool or what. :)

But working in a climbing shop from 93-96 I do remember they were hopeless to deal with. Being in Glasgow our assistant manager drove up to Glencoe to pick up the shops' order himself. Otherwise you'd get the winter order around Easter. I bought Pulsars purely because the shop couldn't get any Vertiges. In retrospect I think the Charlet tools might have been a better design than the MT ones. I know a couple of people broke the head sections of their Vertiges.
wee jamie on 06 Sep 2012
In reply to Brownie: Very sad news indeed. He was very welcoming at the factory and took me into his office and helped me modify my Ice Vipers (which I'm still using!) to fit my boots. I bought his Terrordactyls off him just before he moved to Oz, and they hang on the wall in my studio.
He's left behind a real legacy of solid and beautifully designed mountaineering equipment - a part of history
Only a hill - on 06 Sep 2012
In reply to Brownie:
I used a Mountain Technology Alpine axe for my earliest climbs in Scotland and the Alps. A very reliable piece of kit, beautifully designed; it was probably almost as old as me yet absolutely rock solid. I gave mine away and bought a Grivel Jorasses, which is a good axe in its own right but not as durable and the pick is shorter.
Wee Davie - on 06 Sep 2012
In reply to Brownie:

RIP indeed. I used my Vertiges from the early 90's up to c.2005.
Their Warthogs are the best you can get. I've got a couple of MT Bulldog hooks as well.

Yanchik - on 06 Sep 2012
In reply to Brownie:

Ah yes. My first axe. A beautifully formed single-piece steel head, with a nicely round-cornered triangular lightening hole in the adze, showing all that quality control and attention to detail for which British manufacturing became famous. Perfectly functional, but so far off centre as to be shameful to behold. Long live DMM !

RIP, anyway, and thanks Hugh. I didn't dislike the axe - but as a piece of industrial history it did make me wince.

Y
Rick Graham on 06 Sep 2012
Rest in peace. Hugh.

Top bloke. Fond memories of the gear and the man.

creag - on 06 Sep 2012
In reply to Rick Graham:
Hugh was as mad as a bag of frogs!! I worked in West Coast in Fort William for years and every spring he would come in and deliver the balance of the winter axes order... Not a care in the world that they were 6 months late!!
But you couldn't help love the guys enthusiasm for what he did...
RIP
Blue Straggler - on 06 Sep 2012
In reply to TobyA:
>
> Didn't they have a sticker on them saying they had one some design council award?

"British Design Award 1987"
I know this because I just went downstairs to check mine, which saw some good use this June in the Alps!
SFM - on 06 Sep 2012
In reply to TobyA:

Sad news about Hugh. I still have my vestiges in the loft. Aluminium heads are a bit mashed mind....I was watching Graeme that day. Inspirational stuff especially when the sparks were flying off his crampons.
Jim Walton on 07 Sep 2012
In reply to Brownie: The Mtn Tech Technical Axe is such a great scottish axe mountaineering axe. Totally bombproof, heavy but Scotlands not for lightweights...
davidbeynon - on 07 Sep 2012
In reply to Brownie:

I still use a pair of vertige xtremes, and have spare picks that should keep me going for years. Excellent pieces of kit.
In reply to Jim Walton:
> Totally bombproof,

Well, not the year they stamped their name on them well down the blade and lots of people then snapped them at the "M" of Mountain Technology.
heavy - on 12 Sep 2012
In reply to TobyA:

Obituary to Hughie in today's Scotsman.

www.scotsman.com

RIP Hughie a real character and a sad loss.
abcdefg - on 12 Sep 2012
In reply to heavy:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> Obituary to Hughie in today's Scotsman.
>
> www.scotsman.com

Have you got a direct link? Thanks. I can't find the article online.
Wee Davie - on 12 Sep 2012
abcdefg - on 12 Sep 2012
In reply to Wee Davie:

Excellent, thanks.
ads.ukclimbing.com
abcdefg - on 12 Sep 2012
In reply to Wee Davie:

As a PS, in case it helps anybody else: you seem to have to register and login in order to see content on The Scotsman's website. Not having done so was my problem.
andyathome - on 12 Sep 2012
In reply to Brownie: I remember losing a nut off a vertige headset and calling into the factory that evening.

Hugh just took two nuts off axes that were due to go out to shops and gave them to me. Top man!

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