WTB: Bedayn Carabiners


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Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Oct 20, 2010 - 06:08am PT
More stuff on Raffi:


Yosemite Gazette on Raffi:


Cliff wiliams

Trad climber
Oct 20, 2010 - 06:49am PT
I got a spare Bedayn kicking about.I wouldn't sell it but...
I would trade it for a Allain or Desmaison carabiner
Chris Jones

Social climber
Glen Ellen, CA
Oct 22, 2010 - 06:55pm PT
In 1960 I met a New York-based climber, Howard Freidman, in the Dolomites. He was likely the first American climber any of us had ever met; my English mates and I had no idea about American climbing or equipment. We were in awe of his New York accent, and especially when he showed us his Bedayn carabiners, referring to them as something like "Bedaaayans". Their silky smooth gate action was a vast improvement over the few aluminum Pierre Allain carabiners that we had managed to buy a few weeks before in Chamonix. Up until then we mostly used Stubai steel carabiners, which were both heavy and had a lousy gate action.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Oct 22, 2010 - 06:59pm PT
But remember too, Chris, that there were these aluminum army surplus carabiners out too. You could buy them from REI back then. I think that was the main initial reason I joined REI then. I think maybe $1.25?? It has been a long time.

They came packed in oil or oilpaper. And they were truly ugly. Tons of dross and pits in the surface. The gates were kind of a little floppy. I had about 30-40 of them by Xmas of 1963. None left of course; they were really questionable or at least not inspiring. Not sure if they were from WWII or the Korean War.

Trad climber
Oct 22, 2010 - 08:07pm PT
I've got a bunch of bedayn biners kicking around. I still use them when I rack up. My gear is a real mix of old & new stuff. I guess I'm not very up to date!!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 11, 2010 - 07:08pm PT
Here is a real find. This is Raffi Bedayan (then Bedayan, later Bedayn) in 1945 when he was in the 10 mtn division. He is in Pietra Colora, Italy. By this point, the war must have been over in Italy, I would think. Don't have the month. This image comes to us from the Library of Congress!! Last time I saw him must have been 1970, I think, in Berkeley.


Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Dec 11, 2010 - 07:15pm PT
Hennek and Harper use to work for Raffi and have some funny stories. Time for Hennek to step up to the plate so to speak.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 11, 2010 - 07:19pm PT
But Joej, isn't this image of Raffles fun!?? I just found it on the LOL site.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 2, 2011 - 10:07am PT
I just came across a shot of an early Bedayan biner with the scroll pin at the axle. Those Ski Hut biners were likely made by Raffi.

Troy, MT
Jan 2, 2011 - 10:17am PT
I have one I found in TM. Not selling though.

Mountain climber
there and back again
Jan 10, 2011 - 11:06am PT
I never had the chance to meet Raffi. But I worked a ropes course with his son who lived in Sonoma for a time. He and his family moved north many years ago now.

Yes I have both styles of Bedayn biners. And no I am not selling. Good luck though.

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
Jan 10, 2011 - 11:12am PT
I forgot who here on ST gave me one last year. Passed it along to his son who lives in Alamo, Ca.

The evil one

Jan 10, 2011 - 11:15am PT
An excellent read. Don't miss it. Raffi was a supply officer.


Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 10, 2011 - 12:56pm PT
These are the two lettering types (not including the scroll pin version that Steve mentioned above).

(photo by Peter Haan)


Mountain climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 9, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
Whoa - had no idea you guys posted more info...thought everyone was pissed at my $7-10 offer. Yeah I saw the $40 - who do you think bid it up : ) if I don't get, then the winner pays dearly.

Anyways, right now they're averging about $20 a piece. Let me know if you have some you want to sell.

PS I have (1) Ski Hut carabiner. Contacted them to find out the age of it a few years ago but they didn't know what I was talking about..

Mountain climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 9, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
I have a few Allains that I might want to trade...
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 9, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Ranger Ben, at Sunday climber coffee in front of some obscure boulder....
Ranger Ben, at Sunday climber coffee in front of some obscure boulder. Bedayan rock and plaque being used as table.
Credit: Mighty Hiker
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 9, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
Well this is surprising. I've said things in other threads concerning the old boy, but it never occurred to me that Raffi was an officer. Those look like two bars on his lid. It really does fit his personality. He had opinions, he knew lots of people, he was a real operator, everything just so, confident as heck.

I was very lucky to have had several inconsequential conversations with him. We never talked about climbing that I recall. Rafffi did have a sense of humor. He owned the building across from the 1234 5th St. location of TNF and it was leased to Euro-mechanics to work on Eyetalian mega-machines. He called it "Little Roma."

Clint's photos elicit a "feel" for the aluminum biner (alumibiner) which is eerily familiar: I'm sitting here remembering all the SHUTs & Beddies I've handled--all of the alumibiners like those had a distinct "hand" or texture, much the same as certain fabrics exhibit. Steelies had a vastly different type of scarring on them* than did ABs. I think it's because they all scratch and erode under use, no matter how gentle the use, but it affects the surface enough to cause this sensation over repeated use. And just being racked causes loss of material, too, I believe.

I can't recall the Chonies having the same feel, but I never owned many, no more than a dozen, likely.

Of course, it's all moot when your hands are worked-over by pitoning and un-pitoning.

Tape worked for a while, to distinguish who owned what, but I learned to put it on the hinge or it wore out--sprayed paint, too. Larry's rack was yellow. Mine was red. Jeff's blue, I think.

Eiger ovals were "just there"--not especially useful for racking, IMO, mainly for connecting.

And the hinge curve and the gap on the Bedayn and the REI ovals was a very savvy call, Clint. My compliments on that.

*Peter, I never had more than six or eight steel biners, but not a sound gate among them, not one, ever.

Mountain climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 22, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
Bump - good history thread but I would like to buy some Bedayns : )
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Jan 22, 2013 - 09:12pm PT
Well - Iíve got a few 50s Bedayns (used on the Nose), Ski Huts (ditto), Eigers, Omegas, SMCs, REIs, and unidentified.


Also a combination of the original bolt (thanks Mad Bolter), homemade hanger and Bedayn biner used on the legendary last bolt ladder. But Iím not really tempted to part with the latter unless somebody from the 1% wants to bid something ridiculous.

Oh yeah - some of the drills and drill holders used there too.

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