Value of an Original Salathe Piton

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Messages 41 - 59 of total 59 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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 &#40;most rare "flat/straight Bugaboo" type&#41;
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!!
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