Jerry Gallwas (born 1936) is an American rock climber active in the 1950s during the dawn of the Golden Age of Yosemite Rock Climbing. He achieved a number of pioneering first ascents including sandstone spires in the American Southwest, and the first ascent of the Northwest Face of Half Dome with Royal Robbins and Mike Sherrick in 1957. Gallwas made his own heat-treated chrome-molybdenum steel alloy pitons, which contributed to the success of the climb.
In the early 1950s, most American climbers imported climbing equipment from Europe or acquired it from US Army surplus. Pitons from these sources were made of mild steel that twisted and became unusable after only a few placements. Gallwas recognized the problem and was among the first to make and use heat-treated chrome-molybdenum steel alloy pitons. He patterned his pitons after John Salathé's so they could be placed hundreds of times without twisting. These improved pitons proved instrumental to the success of the first ascent of the Northwest Face of Half Dome in 1957. That same year, Yvon Chouinard began to produce and sell alloy-steel pitons.
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