Value of an Original Salathe Piton

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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.
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