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.

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Patagonia Women's Retro-X Cardigan
$71.99
42% off   $124.99
At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Trout Fitz Roy T-Shirt - Men's
$20.99
40% off   $34.99
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Capilene 2 Lightweight T-Shirt - Men's
$26.99
40% off   $44.99
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$35.39
40% off   $58.99
At: Als Sports  
Patagonia Minimalist Mesh Vest - Men's
$38.70
39% off   $64.50
At: Backcountry  
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$139.99
37% off   $222.99
At: Moose Jaw  
Patagonia Men's Capilene 1 Silkweight Graphic Tee
$28.99
35% off   $36.00
At: Moose Jaw  
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$35.75
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$103.05
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$30.00
33% off   $40.00
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$44.50
33% off   $66.75
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Patagonia Adze Vest - Men's
$59.50
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Patagonia Mesh Master II Vest
$63.60
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Patagonia River Master II Vest
$71.60
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Patagonia Men's R2 Jacket
$84.99
32% off   $125.99
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Patagonia Womens Cordelisse Tank - Sale
$37.95
31% off   $55.20
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Patagonia SW Boxer Shorts - Men's
$20.93
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Patagonia Baggies Short - Men's
$34.30
30% off   $49.00
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Patagonia Barely Baggies Board Short - Women's
$34.30
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Patagonia Wavefarer Board Short - Boys'
$34.30
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Patagonia Stand Up Short - Men's
$38.50
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Patagonia GI III Short - Men's
$41.30
30% off   $59.00
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Patagonia Capilene 3 Midweight Zip-Neck Top - Women's
$44.93
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Patagonia Kamala Skirt - Women's
$48.30
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Patagonia Morning Glory Dress - Women's
$48.30
30% off   $69.00
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Patagonia A/C Shirt - Short Sleeve - Men's
$55.30
30% off   $79.00
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Patagonia A/C Steersman Shirt - Long-Sleeve - Men's
$62.30
30% off   $89.00
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Patagonia Refugio Backpack - 1709cu in
$62.30
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Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Jacket - Men's
$69.30
30% off   $99.00
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Patagonia Synchilla Lightweight Snap-T Fleece Pullover - Women's
$69.30
30% off   $99.00
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Patagonia Torrentshell Pant - Women's
$69.30
30% off   $99.00
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Patagonia Down Sweater - Girls'
$83.30
30% off   $119.00
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Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket - Men's
$90.30
30% off   $129.00
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Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket - Women's
$90.30
30% off   $129.00
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Patagonia Drifter A/C Hiking Shoes - Men's
$90.93
30% off   $130.00
At: REI  
Patagonia Drifter A/C Hiking Shoes - Women's
$90.93
30% off   $130.00
At: REI  
Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket - Women's
$97.30
30% off   $139.00
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Patagonia Black Hole 35L Daypack - 2136cu in
$104.30
30% off   $149.00
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$104.30
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Patagonia Drifter A/C Low WP Hiking Shoes - Women's
$107.93
30% off   $155.00
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Patagonia Black Hole 120L Duffel Bag - 7323cu in
$111.30
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Patagonia Legacy Label T-Shirt - Short-Sleeve - Men's
$20.30
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Patagonia Tech Web Belt
$20.30
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Patagonia Footwear Drifter A/C Hiking Shoe - Men's
$78.00
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$78.00
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$139.30
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Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Jacket - Women's
$139.30
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Patagonia Special Edition Nano Puff Pullover - Men's
$153.30
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$160.30
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$174.30
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$209.30
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$279.30
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$94.99
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Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl Jacket - Women's
$191.60
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Patagonia Ultra Lightweight Organic Crew Socks - Women's
$9.90
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Patagonia Footwear Kula Canvas Moccasin - Women's
$49.50
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Patagonia Logo Hat
$17.40
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$96.75
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$137.99
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$55.00
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$101.75
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$23.20
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Patagonia Fitz Roy Trout Trucker Hat
$23.20
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$27.95
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$27.95
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Patagonia Duckbill Trucker Hat
$27.95
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$27.95
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$28.00
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$30.95
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$30.95
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$30.95
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$30.95
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$30.95
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$30.95
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$30.95
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$35.95
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$35.95
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$35.95
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$35.95
20% off   $45.00
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$35.95
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$35.95
20% off   $45.00
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$36.00
20% off   $45.00
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$36.00
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$38.95
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$38.95
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$38.95
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$38.95
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$38.95
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$43.95
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$46.95
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$46.95
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Patagonia Polarized Hoody
$46.95
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$46.95
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Patagonia Squeaky Clean Polo
$46.95
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$46.95
20% off   $59.00
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Patagonia Iliana Halter Dress - Women's
$51.95
20% off   $65.00
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$51.95
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$51.95
20% off   $65.00
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$51.95
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Patagonia Quandary Skirt - Womens
$51.95
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$51.95
20% off   $65.00
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Patagonia All Weather Zip Neck Hoody
$54.95
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$54.95
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Patagonia Back Step Shirt
$54.95
20% off   $69.00
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Patagonia Bluffside Shirt
$54.95
20% off   $69.00
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Patagonia GI III Pant - Long
$54.95
20% off   $69.00
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Patagonia GI III Pant
$54.95
20% off   $69.00
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