4. January 2013
I firmly believe everyone should be a member of the Yosemite Conservancy. Not because their logo sports my favorite rock – Half Dome. This is the fund raising non-profit that helps the park out with literally millions of dollars in aid. YOUR donations allow many of the trails to be maintained, the Vistor Center kept as one of the best in the NPS and many many other useful programs. Do you like the webcams? How about the bear-proof containers for rent at the Wilderness Office. Maybe the Outdoor Adventures ring your bell – yup, all YC programs. To become an official member, (no secret decoder ring included), just visit their website. I’d love to meet you at the Annual Spring Forum on March 23.
In gratitude, YC sent out this video. Non-members can view it as well. There are some very nice shots of our favorite spots. Former Park Suuperintendent, Mike Tollefson is the YC president and narrates the piece.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “If it wasn’t for baseball, I’d be in either the penitentiary or the cemetery.” – Babe Ruth
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com
11. October 2012
By the powers vested in me by the Council of Elders,
I hereby declare October 12 as George Anderson Day.
George Anderson was the first person to ascend Yosemite’s signature landmark, Half Dome on October 12, 1875. This singular feat opened up a whole new area of mountain exploration. Today, over 40,000 people per year enjoy the experience of hiking to the top of Half Dome.
Working alone, Anderson forged approximately 50 seven-inch steel spikes that he perilously placed into holes he drilled as he ascended the 400 vertical feet of the backside and up to the summit. He then stood on them and created a “ladder”to the top. He attached a rope into eyelets on the spikes with knots to allow people to pull themselves up and reach the top.
Anderson’s accomplishment is noteworthy for two reasons: First, he was the first human to reach the top; and second, this climb marked the debut of extensive bolt placements in the American climbing scene.
Soon after, park guardian Galen Clark made the ascent. Sally Dutcher was the first woman. It is believed that John Muir was the ninth person up the rope system in November 1875. …
8. October 2012
Continuing the theme of honoring George Anderson, today I jump to the end of the line. In the spring of 1884, George continued his routine of doing odd jobs in the emerging Yosemite Valley. He agreed to paint the exterior of a small cottage owned by Adolph Sinning. Sinning is important to know because he was a wood carver known for his “beautiful and dainty souvenirs in California woods.”
In 1898, the Park Commissioners asked the Sierra Club, founded in 1892, to provide a public reading room and information center for Yosemite visitors. They picked the then available Sinning Cottage. It was located on the southside of the Valley on what is now Southside Drive, near Sentinel Bridge. This area is where the park originally had all visitor services until they were moved to today’s Yosemite Village. Don’t look for any artifacts – it’s pretty much all forest there a century later. Galen Clark served as the custodian at Sinning’s Cottage. The Sierra Club operated the public reading room and information center there until the LeConte Memorial Lodge was built.
Anywho, back to George. While doing the painting, Anderson contracted pneumonia, a common ailment then. He was …