Ep. 9 - Creation and Catharsis: On Designing a New Ice axe with Marty Theriault

Dec 6, 2023

What goes into making an ice axe? Of course there is technical know-how, design, and testing, but for Marty Theriault, it was more like an act of therapy. And a way to connect with friends.

Marty started Forecast Equipment after he was medically released from the Canadian military for PTSD. He’d been percolating on the idea of a new tool and finally had the time – to heal and to create. He wanted a tool that could do it all, and he drew upon decades of familiarity with different axes and uncompromising principles for certain features. 

Marty says, if you had asked him 10 years ago if he’d be making climbing tools today, the answer would emphatically be, “no way”. Yet here he is, with Brian and Zac, with a tool helping people achieve everything from alpine FAs to competition podiums to first leads. And all proudly made in Canada. 

Listen on to hear how Marty went from a gear junkie to a gear maker in today’s episode. 


1:47 - The great poutine debate

6:49 - Canadian tire is God's store

9:33 - Ice climbing in Québec

11:58 - Serving overseas

20:36 - Starting to design a new tool

31:05 - Design principles and feedback

45:11 - Future product ideas

48:04 - Building more than a brand

54:36 - A message for those with PTSD

Resources and links:

Marty and the Forecast team are offering veterans and active duty military a 10% discount through January. To get the code, contact the company at sales@forecastequipment.com.

You can check out the Nor*easter and the rest of the Forecast lineup on their website: forecastequipment.com.

If you are struggling with PTSD and are seeking help, know that you are not alone and there are resources. Consider talking with the Veterans Crisis Line to get support. You don't have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to call.


Intro music by Hannah Noelle Enomoto (thanks, sis!).

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© 2023 Ice Ice Beta. All rights reserved.

© 2023 Ice Ice Beta. All rights reserved.

© 2023 Ice Ice Beta. All rights reserved.