Compass: Charting the Evolution of Outdoor Gear

Forrest Mountaineering History

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1968

Bill Forrest starts business in basement in Denver, Colorado

one of the first commercial sewn harness, a combination swami bely and leg loops

1969

develops the Copperhead, a nut of malleable copper (or aluminium) swaged onto a single steel cable

Ray Jardine rents a room in Bill Forrest's house and does some design work for Forrest Mountaineering

1970

develops the Foxhead, pyramidal nut in either aluminium or plastic

Daisy Chain - adjustable anchor line

1971

Single Anchor Hammock - supsension bivouac shelter

1972

first use of solid fibreglass in handle of a mountaineering tool

1973

Ray Jardine uses the Forrest workshop to prototype his 'Friends' spring loaded camming device

develops the Titon with Kris Walker, a T shaped nut (steel in small sizes and aluminium in larger sizes)

1974

develops the Arrowhead, a very slim copper-based nut

Forrest Haul Bags

1975

the famed Mjollnir Hammer, with interchangeable picks

Ice Axes with twisted adze for greater strength

1976

Rabbit Runner - first runner sling with sewn end loops

1977

Bam Nut tool

1978

Gaiters - first with neoprene arch strap

1980

Lifetine Ice Axe - interchangeable picks and warranties

First womens specific harness ?

1981

Ultimate Sit Harness

•  first adjustable sit harness with singles pass buckles and elasised butt bands

1982

develops P-Nuts, a wire swaged half moon of steel

1983

Fall-Arrest - shock absorbing runner said to offer 300% increase in margin of safety

1985

releases the Triton, a combination nut, belay plate and abseil/rappel device

Bill Forrest sells company to Olsen Industries

sets up business, ForrestSmith (with partner) to develop a new snowshoe design

after unveiling the design, MSR offer to buy the rights to the design, and hire him to work on their snowshoe line

1995

MSR release a new snowshoe in moulded plastic that was conceived by Bill Forrest

Bill Forrest works as R&D manager for MSR