Well I never

One of the thoughts behind integrating the blog into the treemagineers web site was to give people an insight into some of the background things that go on with the projects we are involved in. De facto it turns out to be a bit of a window into my brain as much as anything else, but that, as they say, is another story.

So, I thought I would share a bit of background info only few knew about – until now…

It is the story of the Pinto pulley. Or rather, the naming of the Pinto.

The naming of products we have been involved in has been quite an eclectic business, and this was no different.

Thinking back ten years or so, I remember the frustration I felt at the pulleys we were working with at the time, wishing I could tie into the becket at the bottom of the pulley, for instance, or being able to girth a sling onto the pulley directly. All things we did in the end, but it was a bit of an unknown, as the pulleys were definitively not designed to be used that way – and were certainly not very rope-friendly.

The practice of tying one leg of the hitch cord onto the becket on the P05 Fixe pulley that Petzl made was  a matter of considerable contention over a number of years, in the end some brave soul at Petzl US that use, which was quite risqué, in view of the lack of testing that I am aware of… but allowed us to use it in that fashion at the TCCs.

The Edelrid pulley above had a round rivet at the bottom that was more rope-friendly, but was also not rated.

When we embarked upon the Pinto project we specced a pulley that was to have the dimensions of a P05, have a load-bearing becket, rope friendly surfaces and offer a wide range of attachment options, from connector to tying in directly with slings or cordage. Initially DMM were unclear whether they  would be able to produce the pulley according to our spec. But they did themselves proud and came up with the goods. It was a lengthy process to iron out the inevitable teething problems the combination of such a complex forging and novel concepts brings with it.

And this is where the name comes in…

Pinto? What exactly is a Pinto?

No, it is not named after Ford’s Pinto…

No, it is not named after the Pinto horse…

No, the truth is more cryptic.

If my memory serves me right, this goes back to a conversation that Chris had with Richard Allmond, where they came up with the acronym P.I.N.T.O., that was short for Pulley I Need To Own. So there you go.

Actually, as I mentioned above, the project seemed to drag on for ever before the pulleys went into production, so long in fact, that there was a point where I suggested an alternate name, which was P.I.N.T.H.I.P., short for Pulley I Need To Have In Production, or  also P.I.N.T.H.I.F.P., … er, well, work that one out yourself. But somehow that name just did not have the same je ne sais quoi to it, does not roll off the tongue so well – and ultimately when the Pintos went into production also became somewhat obsolete.

So, Pinto it is. And now you know.