Guest post by Phil Powers, CEO of American Alpine Club.
Nearly sixty years ago, Royal Robbins, Jerry Gallwas and Mike Sherrick made the first technical ascent of the 1,800 foot-high Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. It took 23-pitches and five brutal days for the team to reach the summit, a place previously considered “perfectly inaccessible.” The achievement of these men has inspired generations of ambitious climbers and their route is still considered one of the best-known big wall climbs in American climbing history.
The techniques developed in Yosemite in the 60’s are among America’s unique contributions to climbing. Yosemite big-wall techniques advanced climbing standards around the world.
Yosemite is the mecca of climbing in the U.S. and one of the world’s greatest vertical playgrounds. It captures the spirit of climbing and is rich with remarkable histories. And yet, the park lacks an interpretive center to share with the public— climbers and non-climbers alike—its stories, culture and ethics. A climbing museum or substantial interpretive center would add value to a diverse range of visitors by telling the story of the evolution of climbing and recreation. It could explain the influence of National Parks on human achievement. It would serve as a resource for the climbing community as well as to the many thousands who view “spiders on the walls” from the meadows and roadways below.
Spearheaded by visionary climber Jerry Gallwas, the American Alpine Club is joining an effort to create a public - private partnership with the National Park Service, the Yosemite Climbing Association (YCA), and the Yosemite Consevancy to establish a climbing museum in Yosemite. The momentum behind this much needed and long sought-after project is building and we are proud to help lead the way.
Read the full letter of support that Outdoor Alliance sent by clicking the letter above or right here.