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Inside Black Diamond, Climbing Hardware Manufacturer

August 22nd, 2008

For all the climbers out there who wonder where their carabiners come from, well, it’s chunks of aluminum that get bent and cut from rod stock by a CNC machine, stamped, drilled, heated and anodized.

Originally Chouinard Equipment, (of Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia) Black Diamond in Salt Lake City is now one of the leading manufacturers of climbing hardware. My two friends, Andreas (graphic design) and Roger (sales rep) work there…along with a bunch of other cool kids. So, after years of having the opportunity, I finally went in for the tour. Here are some snaps:

The results of gear testing. I think it’s interesting how the cables failed first…

Re-tooling a die that stamps out carabiners like the one placed in the die

Drills and more drills…..

Andreas at his new des

And it appears that a lot of employees ride to work.

Roger is an excellent sales rep because he believes in the gear he sells. It’s great stuff, I won’t contest, but he believes. I think he should get the logo tatooed on his…wait…maybe he already has one…?

We’ll have to ask his wife, Merridy, if the rumors are true. Enjoying some silly YouTube back at Kasi and Andreas’s place before a session of the Olympics and an episode of Big Love, the show about Mormon polygamy. Something they all seem to enjoy, it being Salt Lake and all.

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