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Yosemite in the Sixties: A Slide Lecture by Glen Denny

The sheer granite walls of Yosemite Valley have drawn many types of visitors over the decades. But they particularly galvanized a dedicated group of rock climbers, who saw the nearly holdless, glacier-polished faces as the purest form of challenge. The awesome faces of Half Dome and El Capitan were first climbed in the late 1950s, ushering in a new era of rock climbing later known as the Golden Age of Yosemite climbing. During this era, the climbers of the sixties developed the techniques, tools, and philosophies that made Yosemite the most important and influential rock climbing arena in the world.

In the spirit of the social changes of the sixties, a small group of committed climbers dropped out of the mainstream of work and society and took up residence in Camp 4, perfecting their skills and developing a unique social scene. This austere, boulder-strewn campground became the epicenter of the climbing world. In between spectacular feats carried out on the walls, it served both as a launching pad for further adventures and a refuge from them. Here plans were made, teams were formed, and the rest of life was lived. The significance of Camp 4 was recently recognized in its placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photographer and filmmaker Glen Denny was one of the denizens of Camp 4 in the sixties. He scaled the big walls of Yosemite Valley with many of the climbing icons of the 1960s, including Warren Harding, Royal Robbins, Tom Frost, Yvon Chouinard, Chuck Pratt, and Layton Kor. Camera in hand, Glen captured both the gritty reality and the sunny optimism of those years on film. This slide lecture, based on his award-winning book, “Yosemite in the Sixties,” gives an insider’s view of the classic ascents and colorful characters of this important era through images, stories, and anecdotes. The show is approximately 70 minutes long, plus Q&A.

Glen Denny’s climbing films have won awards at several film festivals; his photography has appeared in a number of publications, culminating in his 2007 book, “Yosemite in the Sixties,” the source of the photographs in this slide lecture. “Yosemite in the Sixties” has won prizes at the Banff Mountain Book Festival and the National Outdoor Book Awards. Glen currently lives in San Francisco.

Date: 5/14/2012

Time: 6PM Check In, 7PM Start

Location: New York City Headquarters

Member Ticket Price: No Charge

Guest Ticket Price: $20

Student Ticket Price:

$5 w/ ID

Reservation Notes:

Payment must accompany reservation. Tickets are secured only when a credit card is provided at the time the reservation is made. Reservations made without a credit card are not secured and tickets will be forfeited by 6:50pm the evening of the lecture.

Reservations are suggested on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call 212-628-8383, Fax 212-228-4449, or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste