Black Diamond, a company specialising in making some of the best rock climbing, mountaineering and backcountry skiing equipment in the world laid its roots back in 1957. That year an eighteen-year-old named Yvon Chouinard bought a hammer and anvil and started pounding out hand-forged pitons and selling them from the back of his car in Yosemite. His intelligent designs were quickly recognized by climbers as the best available and Chouinard Equipment was born. In 1989 the former employees of Chouinard Equipment signed the papers to make the first employee-owned company in the climbing industry official. Black Diamond Equipment was established. Nothing’s really changed and Black Diamond is still very much at the cutting edge of mountaineering equipment development, its climbing hardware and backcountry skiing equipent are ledgendary.