Boiled Wool Dachstein Mitts
Lynne F’s glove system (refab mitts with Dachstein liners)
Add German made, Dachstein (rebadged Ortovox) shrunken wool mitts to the list of disappearing archival products. Ten years ago, you could purchase these heavy duty mitts (a layering staple for mountaineers and ice climbers) at REI. Now, if you want a pair, you must mail order them from the UK/Germany or conduct a pleading email correspondence with US distributor Ortovox. Most of the message boards and google searches suggest vendor links that are either broken or out of business.
The Mountaineer in Keene Valley, NY, carries the Ortovox Arctic mitts. This is the only available style of mitts I could locate in the US (in my size).
10 thoughts on “Archival Mitts: Dachstein/Ortovox”
Lackner Wolle in Austria also makes similar mittens, but the e-mail link is broken. No idea on possible availablity in the States. They also have some nice sweaters and vests.
Feathered Friends in Seattle used to carry Ortovox mitts and socks. The socks were the most amazing things I ever wore on my feet. No matter how wet they got your foot never became cold or clammy. Granted they were thick and I had to remove the footbeds in my hiking boots. I’d buy a half dozen pairs if I could find them again.
I’m pretty sure you can still get the Ortovox socks… either through the US distributor or by way of some of the UK stockists. I’ll see what I can find out. The mitts are stunningly thick and warm (resisting rain even after hours in a perpetual downpour).
The Mountaineer, linked in the mitt post, says the following about the Ortovox socks:
No plans to carry the socks; we just haven’t seen much demand. We could certainly special order them the next time we do an order from Germany, which probably won’t be until next fall. Please tell your friend to contact us if he/she is interested.
I can tell you that the folks at The Mountaineer are super friendly. My first pair of Ortovox mitts ended up being slightly too big so the Mountaineer folks are mailing out a second smaller pair even before I’ve even had a chance to return pair one (in the mail now!). I love companies like that (the same ones who keep limited stock on hand and actually sell out of seasonal items).
I wore 3 or 4 different types of gloves while I was a power meter reader in college. All worthless except for wool mittens. Nothing beats them for warmth, even in wet conditions.
The Ortovox Arctic mitt is not a Dachstein mitten. Dachstein mittens are made ONLY in the Dachstein region of Austria. That said, it is a felted wool mitten like the classic Dachstein mittens.
You could just learn to knit. They look pretty simple to make. There’s a pattern for boiled wool mittens in this book:
I believe it is out of print, but you could get it on inter library loan.
I have lived in Alaska for about 25 years, but am preparing to move to a warmer climate. In packing for my move, my wife found a new and never worn pair of Ortovox Dachstein wool mitts I bought the year I moved, and never wore. 😉 They are a medium size. Thinking of eBaying them unless someone here would appreciate them more. The are pristine, and although I don’t have packaging, they were in our original moving boxes from the Lower 48 until today.
Most surprised to find your website (was looking for high-altitude technical mitts) but can report that http://www.joe-brown.com (climbing shop in Snowdonia, UK) continues to stock Dachstein woollen mitts. Bought my first pair from them in 1975 and second pair 2015 (first pair still going strong but was worried I might not be able to replace them if I needed to!). Think my first ones are woven a little tighter, but little in it otherwise.