Black Diamond

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Black Diamond traces its roots to 1957 when 18 year old Yvon Chouinard started manufacturing climbing gear. Selling the kit from the back of his truck in Yosemite. In 1958 the first ascent of the Nose on El Capitan used ChouinardÂ’s cro-moly pitons.

When Telemark started enjoying a renaissance in North-America in the 1980s the company introduced the first cable binding. During the 80s sport climbing also enjoyed a boom but this brought with it liability lawsuits that eventually drove Chouinard Equipment to seek protection through Ch.11 bankruptcy. Just before Christmas 1989 Chouinard was reborn as Black Diamond following an employee buy-out.

In 1991 the headquarters moved to the ski and climbing mecca of Salt Lake City, Utah. Black Diamon entered a joint venture with Scarpa of Italy and in 1992 launched the T1 plastic telemark boot. Today the company sells a wide range of skis, safety equipment as well as specialized backcountry and climbing gear.

2007-2008 Skis Lineup

Black Diamond skis were originally manufactured by Atomic. In BD 2007 followed a trend amongst North American manufacturers moving production to its own factory in China. This has given the company more control over construction and enabled it to expand the product line to Ten (or is that eight discounting the Velvet and Joule?) skis covering a broad range of tastes from big-mountain rippers to backcountry AT and telemark skiers to the randobeards. There are even a couple of women's skis although these appear to owe more to marketing (on paper they seem to be the same as the Voodoo and Kilowatt). Hopefully quality won't suffer with the China move.


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