Kahtoola – Designed Around People

Kahtoola’s story began with a climbing accident in the Italian Dolomites in 1993. It has evolved into a quest to design innovative gear that celebrates the positive potential of people.

Kahtoola owner and founder, Danny Giovale, found himself descending with his brother off of the Graffer Route on Campanile Basso—a spire that stands over 1000 feet tall in the Italian Dolomites. As the two were making their way down a steep gully on foot, Danny’s climbing shoes slid on the frozen surface. He suddenly found himself careening 200m down an icy slope.

The next few moments would impact Danny for the rest of his life. As he was falling, time seemed to stand still. Danny thought about how his death might impact his loved ones and friends. He came to a stop shaken but alive. And it was clearer to him than ever that life is a gift worth celebrating.

Danny was convinced that outdoor experiences could be made safer. He ultimately took up the challenge to design and build a pair of packable crampons that could be used with flexible footwear. It was a long road. Four years and dozens prototypes later, he accomplished that mission with the world’s first crampon designed for hiking.

Now known as our KTS Hiking Crampon, this groundbreaking traction device is still current. Helping make the outdoors safer, more accessible and more rewarding more than two decades later. We’re constantly looking to make our products the best they can be, through customer input, rigorous testing, exhaustive prototyping, and of course, a healthy dose of ingenuity.

Over the years, our team has grown, and today we all work together to drive the culture at Kahtoola. But one thing has remained constant—we know our ability to focus on people begins with crafting innovative products. That single truth has kept our products on the cutting edge of design and technology since our first hiking crampon prototype was created in 1996.