Thursday, September 10, 2009

Things are getting cheaper

I was flicking through an old climbing mag recently and happened on an article on ice screws. The article was in the March 1994 copy of Climber. Now I have a scanner, you can read it by clicking on the images below if you want, but what really jumped out was the prices listed. Keep in mind this was 15 years ago but the recommended retail price of the screws that are still on the market, is now lower than it was a decade and a half ago.

Check out the prices on the page below, Black Diamond turbos, at an RRP of fifty quid. Checking out Needlesports, they're currently selling the Turbos at GBP 35 for 19 cms. You can get the Turbo Expresses (that didn't exist in 1994) for 50. Charlet Lasers are still on the market as well. In 1994 their RRP was 35 quid and it remains that now, despite 15 years of inflation.

Firstly this makes a point that many of the youngsters on UKC don't seem very convinced of: that actually the outdoor industry is pretty good value. Secondly, it makes some much bigger point. A HUGE one probably - about patterns of manufacturing in a transnational economy, about the power of containerisation, about the impact of computing power on engineering industries and just-in-time stock delivery systems. All that globalisation stuff. And that ice screws aren't really that expensive even if they seem like they are.


Tony said...

Poppycock. You used to be able to buy Russian ice screws for 50 French francs in Chamonix.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Second column of the first page talks about them being available from 40p to ten quid, but also notes they had the unfortunate side effect of the hangers ripping through the screw body if you actually fell on them.

Tony said...

40p. That's pretty amazing. Cheaper than the Ukrainian cams on Ebay.