Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Last summer, Grivel caused at stir at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market with the introduction of its bargain price, highly technical leashless tool called the Monster ($125 retail). With neither hammer nor adze, and featuring sheet metal shafts and wild graphics, the Monster is intended for modern mixed climbs where much of the climbing is on rock and only brief sections of ice.
The radical design is so unique that it does not meet the standard definition of an ice axe and thus could not be certified by the CEN, which meant the Monster couldn’t be sold in Europe. Not to be deterred, Grivel sought the creation of a new standard by the UIAA, from which the CEN derives its certification.
Normally standards for climbing gear move along at a glacial pace, requiring extensive discussions and voting by committees. However, in December, Grivel announced that a new norm was created (89/686/EEC) for an entirely new category called “climbing tool” and the Monster was the first certified product.
SNEWSÂ® View: To put it mildly, this is an astonishingly fast accomplishment even if Grivel didn’t have to re-invent the wheel by using parts of existing standards to arrive at this new one. This new climbing tool standard quenches the complaints from other companies that the Monster might not be sufficiently tested. It also opens up the door to new innovations for this still-developing segment of the climbing world. Lowering the price of entry for leashless tools is ultimately good for everyone. Kudos to Grivel for challenging paradigms and pushing ahead, even when current standards appeared to be stymieing innovation.