I-beam Pitons Used On The Nose
A steel and aluminum piton made from I-beam stock by George Whitmore for the first ascent of the Nose of El Capitan, 1957 and 1958. The steel I-beam piton was affectionately called the "Big Brute" by the first ascent team. The Big Brute was by far the heaviest piton they carted up the route. Early on they decided they "needed a hammer that was heavier than the piton" and developed a beefier hammer made from a modified center punch. Warren Harding was hit in the head by the Big Brute after weighting it and after finishing his pitch was found glowering from his sloping ledge when his partners arrived. This ledge is called the Glowering Spot to this day.