Harvey T. Carter’s Hammer and Handmade “Stoveleg” Pitons

 

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I was privileged to climb and explore with the legendary Harvey T. Carter for many years starting around 1992. He taught me things about the mountains and rock climbing but he also showed me an approach to life that was focused, sometimes difficult, and always unique.
Harvey started climbing in the early 1950s around his hometown of Colorado Springs. In his early days he often had to make the equipment he required to realize the climbs he set his sights on. The two large pitons pictured above were fashioned from angle iron. He had them made at a small ironworks which used to stand near Colorado avenue and Cascade avenue in the springs. Although the exact date of manufacture is unconfirmed, Harvey once told me he had these made for an ascent of the Totem Pole in Monument Valley, Utah. He said he modeled them after some bongs he saw on an early trip to Yosemite.
All four pins in the picture (2 homemade, 2 chouinard) are painted his distinctive gold color.
The hammer is a CMI crag hammer. Harvey only used this hammer a few times. He didn’t like the sling or the pick design.

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