Grivel: a cutting-edge family!
If you are a fan of mountaineering history and of mountain climbs, you have almost certainly heard of the Grivel family from Courmayeur: a name that has been closely linked to mountaineering for more than two centuries, both due to the deeply rooted passion that has tied the family to the mountains for several generations, and due to the revolutionary innovations in the equipment that has been knowingly created by the engineering minds and skilled hands of the Grivel family.
The year was 1912, in fact, when Henry Grivel created the first pair of 10-point crampons, which entirely changed the way of practicing mountaineering. His first-born, Laurent, further perfected his father’s creation and the youngest son presented the first ultra-light crampons in 1933.
Over time, the Grivel family generated many more activities that grew to become the crown jewel of tourist life in Courmayeur: from the historic sports-gear store in the very centre of the town to the ski-depot in Dolonne, from the rental service for technical equipment and mountaineering apparel to the management of cosy holiday apartments.
For more than a century, the name of the Grivel family has been inextricably linked to that of Courmayeur, and above all to the Courmayeur of mountain climbing, of high mountains and mountaineering endeavours.
Dominique Grivel came to Courmayeur in 1873 and three years later founded the Grivel workshop in Dolonne.
In 1912, the English mountaineer Oskar Eckstein commissioned Henry Grivel to produce the first pair of crampons for mountaineering and very soon Henry was assisted in his work by his children Laurent, Camille, and Aiméè, who shared his interest in the workshop and his love of these mountains.
In-between one mountaineering conquest and the next, there were many remarkable innovations thanks to which Grivel’s equipment adopted new materials which made it increasingly performing, such as, for instance, some special steel from Cogne which increased its lightness and resilience.
The heritage of the three Grivel siblings was later continued by Camille’s son, Walter, who inaugurated a store dedicated to mountaineering in the very heart of Courmayeur: he called it “4810”, in honour of the Mont Blanc.
Today, Walter’s sons, Enrico and Andrè, have taken on the task of continuing the family tradition together.
What does the future hold? Passing on the entire tradition and passion of the Grivel family to their sons, Laurent, Thomas, Joseph.