Patagonia - Best Snowboard Prices

Beginnings and Blacksmithery

Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia's founder, got his start as a climber in 1953 as a 14-year-old member of the Southern California Falconry Club, which trained hawks and falcons for hunting. After one of the adult leaders, Don Prentice, taught the boys how to rappel down the cliffs to the falcon aeries, Yvon and his friends became so fond of the sport they started hopping freight trains to the west end of the San Fernando Valley, to the sandstone cliffs of Stoney Point. There, eventually, they learned to climb up as well as rappel down the rock.

Chouinard started hanging out at Stoney Point on every weekend in the winter, and at Tahquitz Rock above Palm Springs in the fall and spring. There he met some other young climbers who belonged to the Sierra Club, including TM Herbert, Royal Robbins, and Tom Frost. Eventually, the friends moved on from Tahquitz to Yosemite, to teach themselves to climb its big walls.

The only pitons available at that time were made of soft iron, placed once, then left in the rock. But in Yosemite, multiday ascents required hundreds of placements. Chouinard, after meeting John Salathé, a Swiss climber and Swedenborgian mystic who had once made hard-iron pitons out of Model A axles, decided to make his own reusable hardware. In 1957, he went to a junkyard and bought a used coal-fired forge, a 138-pound anvil, some tongs and hammers, and started teaching himself how to blacksmith.

Chouinard made his first pitons from an old harvester blade and tried them out with T.M. Herbert on early ascents of the Lost Arrow Chimney and the North Face of Sentinel Rock in Yosemite. The word spread and soon friends had to have Chouinard's chrome-molybdenum steel pitons. Before he knew it he was in business. He could forge two of his in an hour, and sold them for $1.50 each.

Chouinard built a small shop in his parents' backyard in Burbank. Most of his tools were portable, so he could load up his car and travel the California coast from Big Sur to San Diego, surfing. After a session, he would haul his anvil down to the beach and cut out angle pitons with a cold chisel and hammer before moving on.

For the next few years, Chouinard forged pitons during the winter months, spent April to July on the walls of Yosemite, then headed out of the heat of summer for the high mountains of Wyoming, Canada, or the Alps, and then back to Yosemite in the fall until the snow fell in November. He supported himself selling gear from the back of his car. The profits were slim, though. For weeks at a time, he'd live on fifty cents to a dollar a day. Before leaving for the Rockies one summer he bought two cases of dented, canned cat tuna from a damaged-can outlet in San Francisco. This food supply was supplemented by oatmeal, potatoes, and poached ground squirrel and porcupines.

In Yosemite, Chouinard and his friends were called the Valley Cong. They had to hide out from the rangers in the boulders above Camp 4 after they overstayed the 2-week camping limit. They took pride in the fact that climbing rocks and icefalls had no economic value, that they were rebels. Their heroes were Muir, Thoreau, Emerson, Gaston Rebuffat, Ricardo Cassin, and Herman Buhl.

View the Patagonia home page for more information.

More Info
Patagonia Women's Happy Hike Shorts
$26.93
51% off At: REI  
Patagonia Trim Brim Hat - Boys'
$21.45
45% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Men's P-6 Logo Cotton T-Shirt
$24.93
44% off   $24.93
At: REI  
Patagonia Baggies Cargo 9in Short - Boys'
$29.40
40% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Baggies Jacket - Girls'
$41.40
40% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Venga Rock Pant - Women's
$47.00
40% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Tenpenny Short - Men's
$47.40
40% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Men's Oakes Fleece Jacket - Sale
$58.05
40% off At: Masseys  
Patagonia M10 Jacket - Men's
$239.40
40% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Men's Wavefarer 20 IN Walk Short
$36.99
37% off At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Sol Patrol II Shirt - Men's
$48.75
35% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Women's Nano Puff Bivy Pullover
$108.83
34% off At: REI  
Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka - Men's
$356.85
34% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Boys' Insulated Snowshot Jacket
$132.99
33% off At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Mens Down Sweater Vest - Sale
$98.45
31% off At: Masseys  
Patagonia Arbor Duffel 60L Bag - 3661cu in
$69.30
30% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Baggies Jacket - Men's
$83.30
30% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Stretch All-Wear Capri Pant - Women's
$41.40
29% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Torrentshell Insulated Jacket - Women's
$138.83
29% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Men's Daily Henley Shirt
$34.93
28% off At: REI  
Patagonia Men's Nano Puff Bivy Pullover
$108.83
28% off At: REI  
Patagonia Women's Ultralight Down Vest
$123.83
28% off At: REI  
Patagonia Nano Puff Hooded Insulated Jacket - Men's
$178.99
28% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Men's Windsweep 3-in-1 Jacket
$188.83
28% off At: REI  
Patagonia Lithia Skirt - Women's
$36.75
25% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Women's Insulated Powder Bowl Jacket
$358.99
25% off At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Line Logo Badge LoPro Trucker Hat
$22.04
24% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Women's Fleur Tank Top
$36.93
24% off At: REI  
Patagonia Women's Strider Pro Shorts
$48.93
24% off At: REI  
Patagonia Better Sweater 1/4 Zip Fleece
$74.95
24% off At: The House  
Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket
$104.95
24% off At: The House  
Patagonia Headway Tote
$59.50
23% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Women's Piolet Jacket
$193.99
23% off At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Women's Beatrice Beanie
$20.99
22% off At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia R1 Full-Zip Jacket
$74.95
22% off At: The House  
Patagonia Down Sweater - Girls'
$64.99
21% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket
$171.95
21% off At: The House  
Patagonia Beatrice Beanie - Women's
$18.72
20% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Men's Puckerware 8 IN Short
$22.99
20% off At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Synchilla Cardigan - Toddler Girls'
$35.40
20% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Womens Nano Puff Pullover
$135.20
20% off At: Masseys  
Patagonia Refugitive Pant - Women's
$257.40
20% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Wavefarer Bucket Hat
$31.95
18% off   $39.00
At: The House  
Patagonia Synchilla Fleece Cardigan - Toddler Boys'
$38.35
18% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Micro D 1/4-Zip Pullover - Women's
$48.00
18% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Go To Shirt
$55.95
18% off At: The House  
Patagonia Women's Morning Glory Dress
$42.99
17% off At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Flying Fish T-Shirt - Men's
$24.65
15% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Baggies Short - Men's
$41.65
15% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Stormdrift Insulated Parka - Women's
$322.15
15% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Baby Synchilla Booties - Infant Girls'
$17.40
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Baggies Board Short - Women's
$29.40
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Bandito Shirt - Men's
$53.40
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight Crew Top - Men's
$53.40
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Loislee Poncho - Women's
$53.40
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece Vest - Women's
$59.40
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Fleece Pullover - Women's
$71.40
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Adze Hybrid Hooded Jacket - Men's
$119.40
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Insulated Sidesend Hooded Jacket - Men's
$119.40
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket - Men's
$137.40
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Untracked Pant - Men's
$269.00
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Stormdrift Insulated Parka - Men's
$269.40
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Untracked Pant - Women's
$269.40
14% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Alpine Axmen Roger That Hat
$18.85
13% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Beanie Hat - Boys'
$18.85
13% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Sun Booney Hat
$25.35
13% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Woolly Hat - Girls'
$25.35
13% off   $25.35
At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Retro-X Fleece Vest - Toddler Boys'
$44.85
13% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Swirly Top Fleece Jacket - Toddler Girls'
$44.85
13% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Regular Fit Duck Pant - Men's
$51.35
13% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Straight Fit Duck Pant - Men's
$51.35
13% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Simul Alpine Softshell Pant - Men's
$90.35
13% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Fitz Roy Trout Trucker Hat
$20.30
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Groovy Type Layback Trucker Hat - Women's
$20.30
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Capilene Baselayer - Girls'
$24.50
12% off   $24.50
At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Go-To Boxer - Men's
$24.50
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Capilene Lightweight Crew Top - Women's
$34.30
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Serenity Leggings - Women's
$41.30
12% off   $41.30
At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight Crew Top - Women's
$62.30
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Borderless Tight - Women's
$69.30
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia R1 1.5mm Top - Long-Sleeve - Women's
$69.30
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Alpine Houdini Jacket - Women's
$139.30
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Nano Puff Bivy Insulated Pullover - Women's
$153.30
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Men's Rubicon Jacket
$208.73
12% off At: REI  
Patagonia Piolet Jacket - Women's
$209.30
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl Pant - Women's
$265.30
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia 3-in-1 Snowbelle Jacket - Women's
$279.30
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Triolet Jacket - Women's
$279.30
12% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Refugio Backpack - 1709cu in
$47.99
11% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Snow Drifter Backpack 30L - 1831cu in
$104.99
11% off At: Backcountry  
Patagonia Fish Monkey Cotton T-Shirt
$24.95
10% off At: The House  
Patagonia Re-Tool Vest
$81.95
6% off At: The House  
Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Pullover Fleece
$89.95
6% off At: The House  
Patagonia R2 Jacket
$96.95
6% off At: The House  
Patagonia Womens Beatrice Beanie - Closeout
$31.20
5% off At: Masseys  
Patagonia Baby Pita Pocket Mitten
$10.99
At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Daily Bikini - Women's
$12.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Daily Hipster - Women's
$12.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Kids' Wooly Hat
$12.99
At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Print Bayonne Bikini Bottoms
$13.95
At: The House  
Patagonia Baby Capilene Daily T Shirt
$13.99
At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Baby Reversible Shell Hat
$13.99
At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Baby Reversible Synch Hat
$13.99
At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Barely Bikini - Women's
$15.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Barely Hipster - Women's
$15.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Barely Thong - Women's
$15.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Solid Adour Bikini Bottoms
$15.95
At: The House  
Patagonia Solid Sunamee Bikini Bottoms
$15.95
At: The House  
Patagonia Girls' Fleury Tank
$15.99
At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Active Briefs - Women's
$16.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Ear Flap Hat
$16.99
At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Cap Daily Briefs - Men's
$17.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Cap TW Scull Cap
$17.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Capilene Bottoms - Infant
$17.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Fitz Roy Trout Visor
$17.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Re-Tool Headband - Women's
$17.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Sun Mask
$17.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Synchilla Gloves - Kid's
$17.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Trail Arm Warmers
$17.00
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Beanie Hat - Girls'
$17.40
At: Backcountry