Objects Database

Stubai Screwgate Karabiners

Accession Number


Object Name

Stubai Screwgate Karabiners




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Stubai screwgate karabiners.


aluminium alloy


12(l) x 6(w) x 1(d)cms

Number Of Objects


Inscription Description

On both sides reads "STUBAI 2200 AUSTRIA" On two of them a mountain shape with initials "UIAA"





Object Production Place



We are not sure if they actually mined the ore there, but the good people of Fulpmes in the Stubai area of Austria have been working with iron ore since the Middle Ages. In 1897 a group of local blacksmiths got together to form a co-operative to market their products which, at this time, were mainly farming tools and implements for farming. The co-operative, which became known as Stubai, soon branched out into mountaineering products to cater for the boom in the sport during what has become known as the Golden Age - 1860-ish until the outbreak of World War One. Crampons, ice axes and later, karabiners were their staple products in the early days and remain pretty much so over a hundred years later since Stubai is still going strong in 2015.
These alloy karbiners that we have here appeared on the market around 1965/70 and interestingly they have the UIAA stamp on them - Union Internationale des Association d'Alpinisme, which translates as the International Association of Mountaineering and is a safety standard to which most mountaineering equipment is/should be manufactured to. Unfortunately, the snaplink versions of the screwgates partially failed impact tests set by the British Mountaineering Council in 1972 who deemed them to be below the UIAA standard and it seems the UIAA agreed, but Stubai didn't.
Very little seems to have been done about it and both types of karabiners continued to be sold in the UK though history does not record how many climbers died as a result - if any!
These three 'krabs' were part of Mick Tighe's climbing gear back in the day and he survived!

Acquisition Method

Donated by Mick Tighe

Acquisition Date


Condition Check Date



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



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