Eliteclimb story started in 2013. After a short talk during summer climb in Tatra mountains, the idea started to grow…
I was inspired by Wojtek Ryczer to make prototypes of climbing axes. With composite background from sail planes factory, and open mind I’ve started to work on it. In the same year first six Salamandra axes were made. One pair went to Wojtek, one stays with me and third… That went to Artur Małek- one of the top himalaists who offered me help to improve Salamandra axes, and gave me a bunch of new ideas. He was the one to take Elieclimb equipment to summer K2 expedition during 2014. For me, despite earlier strength test, that was the biggest exam of the axes.
That expedition and positive feedback from people that have opportunity to test Salamandra showed huge potential of Eliteclimb equipment. Half of normal weight axes made a big difference during approach and climbs at high altitude. Always “warm” shaft stays clean from ice and snow. The balance and swing is perfect – almost half of the weight is the pick and bolts- it goes in the ice with no effort. Polish himalaists like Artur Małek, Ryszrd Pawłowski, Janusz Gołąb, Adam Bielecki, Grzegorz Bielejec or Andrzej Bargiel were first to give credit to Eliteclimb.
Second axe was Kruk- alpine axe for mountaineering allowing to climb steep terrain or ice fields up to IV UIAA grade. Made with the same head as Salamandra allows to use same picks. It’s the only axe of that type with detachable pick. The last but not least is the Raptor- versatile climbing axe for mixt terrain, ice and dry-tooling. I’m pretty sure that it will be great tool as it can be used in wide range of climbing including competitions and weights just 430g.
In 2016 Elieclimb products had another big test- the Ouray Ice Festival. Climbers had the opportunity to demo Salamandra and Raptor axes.
Feedback was really great. It showed that not only features like: weight, balance, durability, stiffness or quality are important- one of the biggest value is that each tool is hand made from start to finish. It’s also the story that stands behind each one of Salamandra or Raptor that you take with you in the mountains for next adventure.
Eliteclimb is not a factory it’s an independent craftsman- you get tools from my hand to your hand.