Objects Database

Mountain Technology Vertige Hammer

Accession Number


Object Name

Mountain Technology Vertige Hammer




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Ice climbing axe with black rubber grip. Triangular hole in adze.Serrated pick.Hole in head, hole in shaft and hole in ferrule.


steel ,rubber


Shaft & ferrule 42(l) x 10(cir)cms. Head 27(l) cms.

Number Of Objects


Inscription Description

On rubber grips "GLENCOE SCOTLAND" On plastic label attached to shafts " MOUNTAIN TECHNOLOGY GLENCOE SCOTLAND" "VERTIGE GLENCOE MOUNTAIN TECHNOLOGY" on hammer head.




Mountain Technology

Object Production Place

Glencoe, Scotland


Hugh McNicholl set up a wee workshop down in Glasgow around 1979 , the idea being to manufacture climbing equipment. Unfortunately, the early attempts were a bit of a disaster as his first batch of drive in ice screws broke when being hammered in, leaving Hugh with several hundred unusable screws. (see related items)
Undaunted, Hugh changed the name of his company from Mountain Engineering to Mountain Technology and moved to Glencoe in 1981, opening a little factory which primarily made ice-axes, the only ones made in Scotland at the time. The business went from strength to strength throughout the 1980's and 1990's but Hugh, was of an engineering background rather than a businessman, and unfortunately, the money men got the better of him in 2004 and he reluctantly closed down the business. Having married Australian, Mary Rosengran in 1992, Hugh moved to Australia in 2007 where he died prematurely in 2012.
Hugh was a great character, always on the lookout for new ideas and having got a good range of general purpose ice axes on the market, he moved on to the more technical side of things, with the result being the Vertige Technical ice climbing tools that looked good and worked well - the trendy pseudo french name also impressed your mated when you were name dropping in the bar! Les Ward was a client and friend of Mick Tighe's when he had his Mountain Guiding Company, Nevis Guides. Les's son kindly donated this axe.

Acquisition Method

Donated by Les Ward's son

Acquisition Date


Condition Check Date



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



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