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Founded in 1971 in Snoqualmie, WA, Rivendell Mountain Works was the brainchild of climber Larry Horton. The name was taken from Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings, a book much loved by Horton and the climbing community at that time. The flagship products were based on designs created by the late Don Jensen, who was a climber active with the Harvard Mountaineering Club, in the 1960's. Larry had a keen sense of how to manufacture these products to a high standard and a design philosophy of adhering to a theme of simplicity. In the 1977 catalog, Larry wrote "In spite of our choice to remain a cottage industry-or, perhaps, because of it-we have managed to continue an innovative influence on the world of equipment for backpackers, climbers and skiers."