Value of an Original Salathe Piton

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Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 30, 2009 - 02:46am PT
What is something like that going for on the open market now a days?......I know there are some collector experts out there;...thanks
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Aug 30, 2009 - 02:58am PT
Got one Todd? I think they are worth a lot.

Ken
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 30, 2009 - 03:07am PT
Yeah;...I have one from Bridwell that we are planning to unload;...along with some other stuff;....I'm like you, Ken;...climbing gear, climbing books, guidebooks, history;...I am facinated by it all.....The Salathe pin is really cool....very, very cool....Jim don't need it....and some fat cat collector probably does!.....anyone help on an approx. value or price it should/could go for?...and it anyone is interested in the pin or other stuff;...I'll be posting any of the goods on supertopo with a link to ebay.......(It's a great opoportunity to buy cool stuff and help out The Bird....)...
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 30, 2009 - 03:13am PT
Make up a certificate to go with it, stating when and where it was found, and by whom, and anything that can be said about the piton and its history - picture, description, etc. Get it signed by the seller. Should help.

If Ken's on-line, I hope that means he's safe at home.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Aug 30, 2009 - 03:14am PT
Where did it come from? History please? How much money does YCA have? or how much money do I have?

How much to close the deal?

Ken

P.S. Anders, I am still in Hawaii and flying home day after tomorrow. I think the house is fine but will not be able to visit for a few days after I return. What a frigging hassle. Kids are all over the place and I would have never gone on vacation if I had known. I put a lot of people dealing with my responsibilities because of circumstances unforeseen. I think there is a reason I do not take vacations.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Aug 30, 2009 - 11:48am PT


COME ON TODD! COMMMMEEEEE ONNNNNNN! PICTURRRRREEEESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

PICTURRRRREEEESSSS.....AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
Scared Silly

Trad climber
UT
Aug 30, 2009 - 11:52am PT
Rox, Salathe marked his gear with a P inside of a diamond. The P was for Peninsula Ornamental Ironworks. Chouinard copycated the diamond marking.
wack-N-dangle

Gym climber
the ground up
Aug 30, 2009 - 12:32pm PT
Not that I could afford it, but if I found a decent chunk of granite, wrapped a few loops of webbing around my waist, took off with a hammer and that pin, got to a logical point, then pounded it in as the anchor, would anyone be offended?

Also, good idea about provence, or whatever that history stuff is that makes things more valuable.

Maybe link the auction to a few European climbing sites too. It seemed like they were ahead of the U.S. in their support of climber/athletes.

Studly

Trad climber
WA
Aug 30, 2009 - 01:22pm PT
Seems to me that the value of a historic Salathe pin would be based allot on its history. Is it just one that was never used, and is in good shape out of the closet? Then it would not be worth as much. Is it one that Bridwell pulled off some historic climb by Salathe, that raises the bar allot, and makes it a piece of history and probably worth hundreds of dollars.
wack-N-dangle

Gym climber
the ground up
Aug 30, 2009 - 01:26pm PT
good pt. studly. a piece of history around the time of the clean climbing revolution would make a more worthwhile museum display.
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Aug 30, 2009 - 01:44pm PT
On an ascent of the Salathe route on the SW face of Half Dome in the early 60s, on one of the upper pitches, climbing under a right curving arch, I noticed a piton way back up and in. It was so far back in that I didn't even clip it.

When we got back down, I happened to mention this to Glen Denny. He hiked up there with several ropes, rapped down and got it, a genuine Salathe.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 31, 2009 - 03:09am PT
I'll post a pic and get the full scoop from Jim on the History of this pin.......thanks....
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 31, 2009 - 03:40pm PT
A friend of mine has a John Salathe piton (diamond P) also.
I don't have a photo of it yet, but I am hoping to get a photo of it one of these days.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Aug 31, 2009 - 04:05pm PT
I hope that the museums are the ultimate recipients of these handmade Salethe beauties so that or children can see them and touch history. I know that if left in basements, a sudden heart attack of the owner who prizes it so much could have the wife unknowingly tossing it or garage selling it to a non-climber for .50 cents and having the pin basically disappearing from the pin gene pool.

Side note: I get out occasionally with the guy taking care of the Mazamas archives, they'd love to have something like this -especially if it is found locally in the Pac NW: and Kens Yosemite museum is open for donations like a pin or if anyone is feeling sassy and wants to toss a few bucks to him so he can buy the next one that isn't donated.
jstan

climber
Aug 31, 2009 - 04:13pm PT
I was walking across the low desert near Cottonwood once and saw a small piece of native pottery. Very thin so I knew it had belonged to people who had had to carry it. One day I will take it back and put it where it belongs.

Its real value is realized only if it is left in place, I think.
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Aug 31, 2009 - 05:10pm PT
Good example, John.

One day in the Palisades I came upon a bighorn sheep skull, nice horns.

A few years later it was gone. Only climbers would have found that spot, overlooking Temple Crag.

I've heard of a wall or two that might have a Salathe pin. It would be...what? -- interesting doesn't quite cover it -- to ring one back tight with the hammer, clip it and climb on in the footsteps.
Gene

climber
Aug 31, 2009 - 05:18pm PT
See page 161 of Roper's Camp 4 for an idea of value even BITD.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Sep 1, 2009 - 01:37pm PT
My buddy from the UK was out about a year or so ago, and he stumbled upon a Salathe pin. He'd gotten off route on some classic. Funny...a real beauty, it's his key chain now.

Jealous?? Naw...
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Dec 6, 2009 - 02:19am PT
Todd, What ever happened to Jim's Salathe piton? Did it ever go up for auction? For years Jim kept telling me about his Salathe piton. I visited his house a few times but he had misplaced it for years so I never got to see it. I am totally glad that he found it!

Do you have a photo of it. Show us!!! Show us!!!

Below is my Salathe possibility. This thing is bombproof! Found by metal detector 10" underground at the base of the Dihedral Wall. This piton has no markings but is twice as heavy as a lost arrow of the same size. The end is beaten heavily but the blade shows no wear. I have asked 4 of the climbing gods so far and they all lean toward it being 99% Salathe. 1% no since Salathe didn't hand it to me personally. This piton has no info trail, no signed document.
Salathe piton (unconfirmed)
Salathe piton (unconfirmed)
Credit: karabin museum

This is a photo of the Salathe piton from the Curry Village climbing store in Yosemite, CA. I am not sure if Ken presently has it on the road or not.
Salathe piton on display in Yosemite, CA. Curry Village climbing store...
Salathe piton on display in Yosemite, CA. Curry Village climbing store.
Credit: karabin museum

Rock on!

Marty
wildone

climber
GHOST TOWN
Dec 6, 2009 - 10:52am PT
What a beauty!
WBraun

climber
Dec 6, 2009 - 11:19am PT
Value of an Original Salathe Piton?

Totally worthless piece of scrap steel.

Throw it in the metal dumpster and melt it down to make something new.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Dec 6, 2009 - 11:35am PT
Jstan said: I was walking across the low desert near Cottonwood once and saw a small piece of native pottery. Very thin so I knew it had belonged to people who had had to carry it. One day I will take it back and put it where it belongs. Its real value is realized only if it is left in place, I think.

Ohhhh, this one was stomped into dust by a herd of grazing sheep already John. Too late. Maybe catch the next one?

Todd, stop playing now, lets see the pictures! ...and don't tell us one of those cute little rascals that run like wild half nekid savages in your house tossed it in the toilet to see what it would do!

ps, speaking of pictures, get lots!

My son about a month or so ago it seems, I mean, they were just little kids a bit ago and now they've moved out of the house!



11 30 2009 my son came home for Thanksgiving and we got out and climbed twice. Here he is in the Jeff Thomas picture following me on the FA of the Route that Jim Opdycke named "Child Abuse"..LOL. He looks different, sure, being bigger and all......but he's the same kid. Really. Don't see him much anymore. The little girl up there in that picture is 24 now and lives in Hawaii. (didn't see much of her either for Thanksgiving as I gave her $300 bucks and she was on the Black Friday sales like flies on shit).
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Dec 6, 2009 - 11:46am PT
The piton from below the Dihedral Wall in the photo above looks like an old hand forged Chouinard. I had quite a few of those once upon a time. When Yvon forged these horizontals and hammered out the blade he made sure to get a lot of steel back into the neck between the blade and the eye, as this is the weakest part. This pin shows that well. Also the probability of an old Chouinard being found at that location seems way higher than a Salathe being there.

I once had an old European soft iron thick horizontal that was one of my most frequently used pins. It was about the size of a baby angle which didn't exist at that time. Any how I gave it to Yvon and asked him if he could make a copy of it in chromolly. A while later I get two pitons in the mail. There was no box or bag, just two pitons with a wire through their eyes and a shipping tag attached to the wire.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 6, 2009 - 12:02pm PT
Jim's Salathe piton got donated to the Yosemite museum, and it got sent off to Ken Yaeger......it is now in Yosemite......
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Dec 6, 2009 - 03:08pm PT
Photo below is Chouinard hand forged pitons from 1959. I love these pitons! I thought the same that the piton I have is from Chouinard. But 6 years ago at the Outdoor Retailers show Chouinard said it was not his. He also commented about how heavy it is, and what a great treasure it is. Yosemite is a big climbers destination. Who knows where this pin came from, who was carrying it and where did it originally fall from. Compairing it to the other 400+ pitons I have, it stands by itself. I will reask Yvon the next time I see him. Maybe Summer OR show. Robbins may be there also.

Todd, I am kinda disappointed. If Jim's Salathe piton was going to the Yosemite Museum to be shown to the world, why the secrecy on not showing a photo of it to the world on this thread that you created? Hmmmm. Todd you did good by putting it in the Yosemite Museum! That's where it truly belongs! Ken can you shoot a photo of it for us?
Chouinard Pitons c-1959
Chouinard Pitons c-1959
Credit: karabin museum
Salathe or early Chouinard
Salathe or early Chouinard
Credit: karabin museum

Dick Erb, I wish you still had your old Chouinard pitons. There are not many around these days.
Even if this piton was created by Scooby Doo from Iceland, it is a fantastic piece!

Rock on!

Marty
MisterE

Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Dec 6, 2009 - 03:33pm PT
I just love a happy ending!
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Dec 6, 2009 - 03:36pm PT
I think Eric Beck still has some of the old Chouinard pins that I gave him years ago when I went clean.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Dec 6, 2009 - 04:35pm PT
Here you go;



mongrel pitons
mongrel pitons
Credit: Piton Ron





Top row, left to right;

1) suspected Salathe
2) has TZERL readable, so it is Swiss
3) Charlet Moser, Chamonix (diagonal head)
4) marking could be a diamond or just a rusted hammer blow...??? rounded blade like Marty's
5) first generation GPIW Lost Arrow

lower two;

1) Army blade
2) Holubar




Elsewhere I have one of two handmade knife blades from T M Herbert and Chouinard's rap anchors from an unsuccessful early attempt on the Muir recovered by Tony Yaniro and myself in June '77 on the Dorn Direct.
It has a diamond C.
SGropp

Mountain climber
Eastsound, Wa
Dec 6, 2009 - 04:42pm PT
The piton that was found below the Dihedral Wall shows a definite forging flaw where the blade was fullered down from the shoulder at the eye. This was likely caused by a hammer blow of insufficient force to penetrate to the middle of the bar, causing the edges to move faster and further than the center, leading to what is called a "cold shut." This can give the appearance of a correct profile but leaves a weakness in the piece. This can also be caused by using the wrong size bar stock for the forging blank, in this case too high and thin.

This folding would be okay or even sought after as an effect in an artistic forging but would be cause for rejection in an industrial or structural application.

My understanding that Salathe was a blacksmith by trade, presumably trained in the rigorous European tradition. He would have known better than to allow a fold like this to form and the other pitons attributed to him do not show this . The rest of the piton , however shows excellent craftsmanship in the formation of the eye and shape of the blade.

By all accounts, Chouinard was a self taught blacksmith, so maybe this is one of his, perhaps an early prototype, experiment or reject. There is also the intriguing possibility that this was made by someone else altogether.

All my Chouinard pitons, bought new in the late 60's or early 70'were definitely drop forged in closed dies. When did they go from forging pitons one off in open die hammers ? And does anyone know where all the original forging hammers from the Great Pacific Ironworks ended up?
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Dec 6, 2009 - 05:22pm PT
That piton looks almost identical to some of the first pitons that Chouinard made given to me by Tom Frost. Keep this thread near the top and I will post some photos of Salathe pitons for you tomorrow. I can post pictures of some of his other equipment too if you want. I posted a lot of this stuff in a thread about 2 or 3 years ago but can't remember the name of it.

Ken

P.S. Chouinard still has his original forge set up in Ventura. A couple years ago I was lucky enough to make pitons with him.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Dec 6, 2009 - 06:22pm PT
This thread has some photos of Salathe equipment.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/369545/Hammer_and_Rope

Ken
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 6, 2009 - 06:44pm PT
It's cool to see the diamond P stamped pitons and biners.
With the long axis horizontal instead of vertical, so the diamond C is not that much a copy.
I'm not sure I'd stamp my biners near the bend with that stamp, but I suppose it made the gear sort easier.
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Dec 6, 2009 - 09:02pm PT
Ken, Thanks for getting some Salathe photos together for us!

Salathe hangers from Salathe routes.
Credit: karabin museum
Bolt Hangers from Salathe Routes
Bolt Hangers from Salathe Routes
Credit: karabin museum

Old bolt hangers
--Warren Harding hanger. Original kingswing hanger from top of Boot Flake. Nose Route, El Cap, Yosemite, CA. Placed October 1958. Donated by Bryan Law.
--Royal Robbins hanger. Original 10th pitch pendulum hanger from Northwest Face route on Half Dome. Placed 1957. Donated by Jim Bridwell.
--John Salathe hanger. Original summit hanger from Lost Arrow Spire, Yosemite, CA. Placed 1947. First ascent was a rope trick. Second ascent placed the bolts. Donated by Chris McNamara.
Historic Bolt Hangers
Historic Bolt Hangers
Credit: karabin museum

Many pieces of gear created by manufacturers are still in crude stages while being tested. I have handfulls of prototypes to prove this. Just because a piece is not marked or is not finely finished like the catalog shows does not mean that it is not truly created by these companies, especially in these golden early days of gear creations. Many of these guys handed out their prototypes to many Yosemite climbers to get feedback on creations years before the manufacturing actually started. Let's take Dolt for example. Dolt was an absolute perfectionest! But looking at Dolts early creations used by Harding on the conquest of the Nose, 99% of the pieces he created were unmarked and crudely made. ex: Dolt Cart, Dolt Winch, flat rectangle midbend hangers, wingnut adjustable wide pitons, two stage welded eye angle pitons, and then his whole 1958 set of angle pitons were unmarked. When Dolt recreated his company in the later 1960s he reused none of his early creations except for his Dolt Holsters (Doltsters). A large angle piton I got from Jim Bridwell that was personally given to him by Dolt, when looking at it you would never claim it was a Dolt. I know this is a Salathe Thread but I am sure Salathe had some crude creations before there was a great interest in the value of his pitons.

SGropp, looking at the thread that Ken pointed out "Rope and Hammer", look at the Salathe piton that is in the photo with the two carabiners. His blade portion of the piton is folded over just like the one I have. Is this what you are talking about?

Rock on!

Marty
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 6, 2009 - 10:08pm PT
Marty;...I'm not being secret...I posted a pic of it when it was for sale, but then when we decided it need to go to the museum....I just dumped the pic and forgot about the whole thing;...I'll look back in my photobucket, and get the photo;...no secrets here.....give me a few minutes, and it will be right up...it's a beauty....(by the way;....you have the cool stuff;.......if I ever have anything you wish or need, marty;....let me know;...I'd probably donate it to your cool museum collection....)..



Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 6, 2009 - 10:16pm PT
Marty,

Thanks for posting those photos of the bolts/hangers from the Pinnacles.
Bruce Hildenbrand and Kelly Rich had wondered where those ended up.
I'm glad to see you were interested in them.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 6, 2009 - 10:23pm PT




mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Dec 6, 2009 - 10:25pm PT
Really sweet stuff here!

Thanks for the pic Todd!

Best thread EVER!!

Mucci
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Dec 6, 2009 - 10:41pm PT
39 posts so far and no one has given a market value for a Salathe piton, except for Werner and his bid wouldn't last log.
dogtown

Trad climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Dec 6, 2009 - 10:42pm PT
Like anything else it’s worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Kind like some of the girls I know in Newport Beach.

Dawg.
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Dec 6, 2009 - 11:10pm PT
Dick Erb mentioned some old Chouinard hand forged pitons I acquired from him. I gave one to an Access Fund auction many years ago in San Diego, it went for $125. The other adorns our mantle.
SGropp

Mountain climber
Eastsound, Wa
Dec 6, 2009 - 11:49pm PT
Marty,

Yes the fold is the same in a number of these pitons . Even though this would be considered a flaw by industry standards, in the real world use of a rock piton, I doubt this would be a cause for actual failure.

When forging such a radical change in section as where the blade meets the eye, it is very hard to avoid getting this fold in the steel. This would be even more likely with the hand hammer techniques used by Chouinard and presumably Salathe.

Even when Chouinard began using power hammers in his forging, they were relatively light. The archival photos of the GPIW shop in "Let my People Go Surfing" show them using 25# or possibly 50# Little Giant mechanical hammers. There is however, what looks like a 100# hammer under a tarp in the background in one of the photos. That hammer would have had the hit to do the job properly if set up right.
I suspect the later Chouinard pitons had the edges ground smooth to get rid of any folds and give the blade a double taper. I haven't measured the taper of the pitons I have but it looks very close to the 1-8 "holding taper" found in Morse taper tooling and power forging hammer die keys.

The pictures of the KB's in the related thread that show the forging marks from drawing the taper of the blade could have been done by hand under flat dies on a power hammer as well as by roll forging.

I'm still not sure whether the eye of the piton was punched and drifted to size while hot or was punched in cold on a punch press. Again the archival photos seem to indicate that the eye was punched cold after the blade was forged to shape . Punching and drifting the eye while hot would have given a stronger eye with better grain flow of the metal and no loss of material, although this would be a tricky operation so close to the shoulder.

I guess I'll have to go out to the shop a make a couple to see how I would actually do it.
dogtown

Trad climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Dec 7, 2009 - 12:00am PT
If old Chouinard is worth 125.00 I would say 200.00 would be fair. What route did it come off of? And when? If I can ask? I’m sure there’s some history that Jim can ad.

Dawg.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Dec 7, 2009 - 12:18am PT
This is a good time for Hennek to jump in.

Dennis was the main forger for YC for years.

I remember one very fun trip to Eddie Shapiros (sic) in LA with Dennis, when we picked up one mechanical hammer only to drive a short distance and return to exchange it for another. These are not light units!
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Dec 7, 2009 - 01:29am PT
Todd, Wait a minute while I wipe the tears from my face.....What a beautiful piton! Outstanding!!! We are not blaming you, we just want to see the history. THANKS TONS Todd!

Clint, The Access Fund called me up and said that they had a box of left over stuff from an auction that nobody wanted. Inside was half of the Pinnacles bolt hangers and a pair of shoes. Inside the shoes was a list of the bolt hangers where I discovered it was only half of the lot. That Neptune character in Colorado had beat me to the other half! That was the half with the handful of Salathe hangers. Once I realized what the shoes were I almost fainted! Dick Williams shoes shown on the nude climber on page 289 in the book climbing in North America,by Chris Jones. One of the original Vulgarians. I eventually contacted Gary Neptune and we did a big trade and I got the other half of the hangers.

What is a Salathe piton worth? At least $1000.00 if it has all of the document papers with it (that is clean store shelf value). If it was from Salathe as a gift and may have been used by him it could be more valuable. Once again, "one mans trash is another mans treasure." A Salathe piton has got to be the second most desired collectible piton from North America. Stoveleg piton is probably the most desired and I value that at $5000.00, and there are only 4 created. Who knows how many Salathe pitons are out there. If my piton is truly a Salathe, it is worth only $50 or so due to condition and no history documentation.

Below is a photo of Salathe gear out of the Book Climbing in North America pg 191.
Salathe pitons from Climbing in North America, Chris Jones
Salathe pitons from Climbing in North America, Chris Jones
Credit: karabin museum

Rock on! Marty
WBraun

climber
Dec 7, 2009 - 01:35am PT
Stoveleg piton is probably the most desired and I value that at $5000.00,

Holy sh'it!!!!!!!!!

I'm going to dive into the dumpster .........
SGropp

Mountain climber
Eastsound, Wa
Dec 7, 2009 - 02:14am PT
The hell with making stair railings, I going to retool to crank out genuine Salathe "artifakes"
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Dec 7, 2009 - 02:41am PT
Marty,

when we rebolted the historic routes on the Hand at Pinnacles National Monument in 1997, Kelly Rich removed two pitons that were driven into cracks on the belay knob at the top of pitch 1. Along with the bolts in your photo I also sent the pins to the Access Fund for future fundraising auctions. When I contacted the AF a few years back to see where all that stuff went, they couldn't tell me.

I am not sure that these two pins were originally Salathe's, but it would be nice to know where they ended up so we can attempt to verify their origin. As I remember, I believe they were ring angles. I am not sure if Salathe made any ring angles. Can you help out here?

Bruce
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Dec 7, 2009 - 03:12am PT
Bruce, No clue where the pitons went. Maybe Gary Neptune (Neptune Mtneering in CO) obtained them from the auction as well. If the pitons were in with the hangers then Neptune is my best guess. I only knew of and got the hangers and shoes. Do you still have a list of everything that was auctioned overall? What I obtained is absolute gold! I can only imagine! Maybe the items were not displayed correctly to get the full value of the pieces, or people did not know what they were looking at.

The ring angle piton in the photo above is a Salathe. But the text says that it is rare.

Photo below is the auction hangers I got overall. Remember nobody bid even a penny on these. The Access Fund came to me to get them off of their hands. This is a fabulous set of historic hangers dating into the 40's. Unbelievable history here. Toss a rusty Salathe piton on the table and I bet it would be the same. Maybe one taker at 15 bucks. People just have no clue what they are looking at. I love this set of hangers!!! (Red borders)
Bolt hangers from Pinnacles National Monument.
Bolt hangers from Pinnacles National Monument.
Credit: karabin museum

Rock on!

Marty
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Dec 7, 2009 - 06:14pm PT
Quite a collection of funkies.

I still have a Dolt keyhole and a pile of new Leepers.
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Dec 7, 2009 - 11:31pm PT
Chouinard must have a few Salathes. He repeated many of his routes looking for pitons. I remember him coming back form Little Yosemite proudly holding a John Salathe piton. When Chuck Wilts heard about this he said something like, "Gosh we thought the fifty five cents he was asking for them was a little high".
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Dec 7, 2009 - 11:45pm PT
My bud Toby from the UK visited Yosemite about two years ago. Plucked a Salathe from some highway. Apparently he had gotten off route.

It was kinda small, I wish I had taken a picture. It makes a great bottle opener on his key chain.
Eric Reynolds

climber
CO
Mar 4, 2010 - 07:18pm PT
Salathe pition #1 - pre 1950
Salathe pition #1 - pre 1950
Credit: Eric Reynolds

I've got three Salathé pitons given to me by on old family friend who climbed with John Salathé.

My friend grew up in the Bay Area and as a teen was in a Sierra Club rock climbing group that had Salathé, Steck, and Bedayn as instructors/mentors for kids like him. This was pre-1950 years. I am 100% positive of the provenance of these pitons as being made by John Salathé himself. The stories told to me were quite great.

About ten years ago I was given a few pieces of off his old rack that had been hanging on a nail in the garage for decades. Here are some photos.

I want to sell them to finance my move the Rwanda to start up a social sector enterprise there. Open to advice and inquiries.

Eric Reynolds
ereynolds-boulder@comcast.net

Salathé piton #2 = pre 1950
Salathé piton #2 = pre 1950
Credit: Eric Reynolds
Salathé piton #3 - pre 1950 (most rare "flat/straight Bugaboo" type)
Salathé piton #3 - pre 1950 (most rare "flat/straight Bugaboo" type)
Credit: Eric Reynolds
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Mar 5, 2010 - 06:13pm PT
I don’t remember where I acquired the piton shown below. It’s certainly a pre-GPIW horizontal forged from chrome-moly. It looks most like a Chouinard hand forged one, but its markings say that it’s not. Most obviously, are the “S” and “H” hand stamped, probably after the paint was applied. If the pin is inverted, it could actually mean “H. S.” which might be Herb Swedlund. Did he ever use turquoise paint to mark his pegs and place them similar to this one? Roper’s “Green Guide” shows that Steve Herrero made the FAs of “Try Again Ledge” & “Bacchigaloupe Wall” in the Yosemite Falls area; he may have owned the pin as well. At any rate, directly underneath the “H” is a circular mark that was probably a part of the original manufacturing process. Any guesses about who made this or similar pitons? In Chouinard’s article “Modern Yosemite Climbing” in the 1963 AAJ, he mentions that Jerry Gallwas forged some chome-moly pins for the FA of HD’s NW face? How did he mark his pins, if at all? Comments welcome.

Hand-forged chrome-moly piton of unknown origin.
Hand-forged chrome-moly piton of unknown origin.
Credit: BooDawg


Hand-forged chrome-moly piton of unknown origin.
Hand-forged chrome-moly piton of unknown origin.
Credit: BooDawg

Hand-forged chrome-moly piton of unknown origin.
Hand-forged chrome-moly piton of unknown origin.
Credit: BooDawg

Recently, this thread has been running parallel to another here on Taco, so check this one out:

Help with vintage pitons???
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1104287/Help_with_vintage_pitons
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Mar 5, 2010 - 06:22pm PT
The only place Herb ever used turquoise paint was on his girlfriend's toes.

Dam, starting to sound like Donini.
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Mar 6, 2010 - 01:12am PT
That's the point: The paint was applied BEFORE H.S. or S. H. acquired it...

I wonder if turquoise nail polish would attract as much fetishtic attention as that on the Bible thread...
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Mar 8, 2010 - 10:09pm PT
I have some European pitons that seem to be about exactly
like that Salathe piton (one of the first picture posts on
this thread). They were relatively common in Europe, and
I wonder if he didn't have some, in addition to any he might
have forged himself.

Right now I have all sorts of classics, one hand-forged by Jerry
Gallwas that went up the NW Face of Half Dome on the first ascent,
with Royal and Sherrick, then got stuck in Bat Crack at Tahquitz,
and Rearick removed it...

Pat
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Mar 8, 2010 - 11:03pm PT
Here are a few photos of some Salathe gear. One of the more distinctive features of many of Salathe's Arrows are grooves running lengthwise down the blade.

A selection of his pins.


Bedayn carabiner on the right and an oversize aluminum carabiner on the left with a piton below.


Drill handle and bit.


Bolts and hangers.


The grooves can be seen a little bit in this photo.


His rope.


His hammer.


Ken

P.S. I wonder how many of these were sent out and whether any others survive.
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Mar 8, 2010 - 11:52pm PT
Quite the interesting thread to be sure!!
Messages 1 - 58 of total 58 in this topic
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