/ The difference between an alpenstock and an ice axe
I'm pretty sure that when Whymper took his big fall on the Matterhorn in 1862 he wished he had a proper axe with him...
Basically yep, but trekking poles are much flimsier and I would be even less keen on the idea of cutting steps with a Leki pole =P
So what's an aschenbrenner - or was that just a trade name?
> Stubai Aschenbrenner
That's the one ... it's a name for a specific type of ice axe (although I believe they were manufactured for many years and came in a variety of models).
That's the fella - used to use one from time to time.
The question really is is 'Aschenbrenner' a noun or a name? The pic of Peter Aschenbrenner you linked suggests that it's a trade name, a bit like a Whillans harness. But 'Aschen' translating as 'Ash' always made me think that it was an ash-shafted something though.
German using capital letters for both nouns and names really doesn't help either! At least with 'Whillans harness' you know where you stand (or sit).
> That's the fella - used to use one from time to time.
> The question really is is 'Aschenbrenner' a noun or a name? The pic of Peter Aschenbrenner you linked suggests that it's a trade name, a bit like a Whillans harness. But 'Aschen' translating as 'Ash' always made me think that it was an ash-shafted something though.
I don't know for certain, but I have a feeling that Peter Aschenbrenner probably came up with the original design, which was later adopted by Stubai as a brand name. Someone else on the forum will most likely know the answer!
Peter Aschenbrenner was an Austrian Mountain Guide (1902-1998) who was somewhat controversially involved in early expeditions to climb Nanga Parbat in the Himalaya. The German led - and Hitler backed - expedition of 1934 ended in disaster when several Sherpas perished, the result being that Aschenbrenner and fellow expedition member Schneider were hauled before a 'court of honour' for 'abandonment' of Sherpas and were excluded from further expeditions to Nanga Parbat. This was later rescinded and he was back in 1953 taking over the role of expedition leader from Karl Harrligkoffer. On this occasion, Herman Buhl made the summit alone, to claim the first ascent and though the expedition had technically been a success there was much acrimony.
Aschenbrenner left behind a much less controversial legacy in the form of an ice axe which he developed in the early 1930's and got the Stubai company to manufacture for him. These axes became almost universal in the mountains from the mid 1930's right up to the 1960's when metal and alloy shafted tools began to take over. There were many variations and it seems that some were custom made. Batches were made for German mountain troops during WWII and thousands were exported to the UK, mostly just after WWII, many of which have found their way into our collection.
And now I know - many thanks.
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