Objects Database

Chouinard Crag Hammer

Accession Number


Object Name

Chouinard Crag Hammer




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Chouinard Crag hammer. Red canvas strap on end. Wooden handle.


metal, wood, canvas


30(l) x 18(w) x 2(d) cms.

Number Of Objects


Inscription Description

On handle reads "CHOUNAIRD MADE IN U.S.A." Also "AMTC" scratched on.


brown, grey, red



Object Production Place



Chouinard Hammers are a bit confusing as the 'crag hammer' 'Yosemite hammer' and 'North Wall hammer' are all pretty similar and as Chouinard kept changing the design it gets even more confusing. We think this is an early (circa 1974) crag hammer which we got from our friend, John Patchett. The initials AMTC stand for Army Mountain Training Centre where John once worked as an instructor.Other than that we'll let Yvon Chouinard tell the story of the hammer.
"Crag Hammer
While it is a fact that carrying a hammer on most climbs is unnecessary and should therefore be dispensed with, the hammer is still essential when attempting climbs you do not know about, or where it is known that fixed pitons are in place and are required for belay anchors or for protection. The hammer is also essential when pioneering serious new routes. The Crag Hammer is made specifically for use in free climbing for removing chocks, fixed pegs, and placing rappel pitons. It has a long thin blunt pick that functions well for extracting nuts and cleaning dirt and vegetation from prospective nut placement cracks. It's a very handy hammer in Yosemite where it is used along with a whisk broom for cleaning out dirty jam cracks. The Crag Hammer is extra light in weight and has a lightening notch under the anvil which helps the hammer to cruise securely in the holster. The Crag Hammer (like our other hammers) has a "Buckeye" quality American hickory handle which gives unexcelled balance, dampens vibration, and is strong and reliable. It is for these characteristics that loggers, blacksmiths, and master carpenters still use nothing but wooden handles on their tools. We inspect each handle for flaws and reject 20% of them. They are then preshrunk in an oven, machined and presetted, then riveted securely to the head. Each hammer is soaked for 24 hours in linseed oil to guarantee that the wood will be weather proofed for years of use against the wetting, freezing, and drying conditions encountered in mountaineering. Each hammer comes with a sewn nylon shoulder sling. Weight; 1 Ib. 8 oz. Price: $20.00"
(extract from The Great Pacific Iron Works Catalogue 1978)

Acquisition Method

Donated by John .M Patchett

Acquisition Date


Condition Check Date



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



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