In 1957, Yvon Chouinard, an American climbing enthusiast, judging that the pitons he uses are not strong enough, decides to make his own equipment, reusable steel pitons and carabiners, in a small workshop in the back. -our home of his parents in Burbank, near Los Angeles. He then makes a living selling equipment he makes from the trunk of his car.
In 1965, he joined forces with Tom Frost, climber and aeronautical engineer. The artisanal manufacture then becomes industrial. He opened his first store, Great Pacific Iron Works, in the seaside town of Ventura, California. In the 1970s, Chouinard Equipment became the first supplier of climbing equipment in the United States. In 1972, she decided to replace in her catalog pitons that damage the rock by aluminum jammers, inventing the "clean climb". The same year, the company offers solid outdoor items and clothing (polyurethane-coated rain anoraks, bivouac bags made in Scotland, gloves and Austrian mittens in boiled wool, reversible "schizo" caps) and in 1973 takes the name from Patagonia.