Through the words of the climbers of the time and artfully restored photographs, Yosemite in the Fifties chronicles the historic first ascents of Yosemite’s “mile-high” granite walls, the legendary personalities who risked their lives to climb them, and how their endeavors initiated the birth of adventure sports and rubbed against the cultural norm.
Recent attention to the climbing feats of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson on the Dawn Wall has highlighted the unique climbing and cultural history of Yosemite and specifically El Capitan. For decades a certain kind of person has been drawn to the daunting challenges these sheer granite walls present. But the intrigue has never been only physical. As Yosemite in the Fifties demonstrates, from the beginning, the allure of scaling these precipices has been as much a challenge to the cultural norm and technical limits as it has of physical prowess or ability. Featuring original source material, first-person narratives, artfully restored archive photos and memorabilia particular to the seminal ascents of the era, Yosemite in the Fifties captures the inception of the intriguing sport of climbing as well as man’s struggle to understand his place within the natural world and how far he can push himself within it.
Reprints of original contributions by all the most influential climbers of the time: Warren Harding, Royal Robbins, Ax Nelson, Steve Roper, Alan Steck, Jerry Gallwas, Don Wilson, Frank Tarver, Dick Long, Bob Swift, Mark Powell, Don Lauria, Joe Fitschen, Don Wilson, Mike Sherrick, Wayne Merry, and more